Back in 2007, Newcastle United were about to embark on a journey of change. Long-standing owners Freddy Shepherd and Sir John Hall agreed to sell their respective stakes in the Magpies to Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley, in a move which many fans saw as a positive one at the time. Ashley brought with him a vast fortune which could rival some of the richest clubs in Europe – maybe there was hope for the Toon Army that they could be seeing their heroes battling for honours near the top of the Premier League after all? That hope was offered yet more fuel when Ashley dispensed of the services of Sam Allardyce – who had been largely unpopular with the faithful on Tyneside – and replaced him with club legend Kevin Keegan, who had helmed their previous closest run for the title in the late 1990s.
Newcastle may have had their ups and downs in recent years, but generally things seem to have been going well on Tyneside lately. After returning to the Premier League at the first time of asking in 2017 by winning the Championship title, the club solidified their top-flight presence with a good 10th placed finish. Having retained the services of popular manager Rafa Benitez, the club have seemed to be back in the ascendancy – and have continued their rise despite possessing what many called a “Championship team”. There have been cracks slowly emerging over the course of the summer, however, and nowadays the fog on the Tyne seems to be descending once again as the club’s internal struggles bubble over into the public eye.
Time is ticking towards the end of the transfer window and Newcastle United are still tangling themselves up in knots. When Aleksandar Mitrovic’s permanent transfer to Fulham was confirmed over the weekend, Rafael Benitez will have hoped that all of the recouped £22million would be available to be spent on a replacement, as Mike Ashley suggested would be the case twice over the last year.
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has revealed that he had the opportunity to take charge of Spain ahead of this summer’s World Cup. The former world champions caused early drama in the tournament when they sacked boss Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the opening game of the campaign after the 51-year-old took charge of Real Madrid without notifying the Spanish FA. Sporting director Fernando Hierro ultimately took charge of the team for the tournament, but Benitez claims there was a “chance” that he could have been the man in the dugout in Russia. Benitez admitted that he remains open to the prospect of managing his native national team in the future, but says for the time being he is happy in the north east.
Check out our Premier League predictions ahead of the latest round of fixtures, here!
Brighton vs Manchester United – away win
Brighton may not be mathematically safe but they are more or less there and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if they take their foot off the gas.
With United bringing the likes of Lukaku (72 points) and Lingard (68 points) leading the front line, it’ll most likely be them who will finish Friday night with three points in the bag.
Stoke City vs Crystal Palace – away win
Stoke are fighting for their lives and Paul Lambert will be desperately hoping that Continue reading
With the 12th round of fixtures in the Premier League now done and dusted, it’s time to take a look at which strikers performed the best on top flight pitches up and down England. Continue reading