Newcastle United find themselves in a new ground of unusual situations. The club that used to fight for relegation a few years back is now on a journey of unthinkable, going to play in Europe next season. And this is not a norm that we must expect, it is surely an indication that there is more to come.
Newcastle’s rise up the table was inevitable considering the money infused by new Saudi owners. However, the rise would be this exponential was far beyond the imaginary horizon of pundits. Money surely has been one huge factor, but not the only factor. Eddie Howe and his team achieved a feat that still remains hard to believe courtesy of their strategic planning, decision-making, and calculated decisions.
Newcastle United is a Big name now
The Magpies have entered into an elite club of Premier League teams both in terms of the money they have as well as their performance this season. The Big Six clubs as we famously acquaint Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Tottenham Hotspur will have one more team trying to sneak into their group or maybe they already have.
Whilst their performance was a claim of how good they have gotten, their standing in the points table at fourth position is a testimony to that claim. The reborn club of Newcastle has curbed the big names of English football and promises a scare in seasons to come.
Newcastle’s strategic planning
The change in ownership was welcomed openly near the streets of St Mary’s stadium and the wealthy Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) hasn’t let their fans down.
The owners surely have a horizon of money at their disposal but have they spent huge on any transfer? Yes, they had emptied a good sum of their pocket in signing Alexander Isak for £63 million who still stands out to be their highest earner; followed by their recent £60 million purchase of Sandro Tonali from AC Milan. They also spent a good sum in getting Anthony Gordon for £45m from Everton this January and Bruno Guimaraes from Lyon for £42m who was also Saudi’s first big signing.
These are a testimony of new owners’ ocean of funds but there are many more strategically planned signings. Nick Pope was signed by the Magpies for a meagre £3 million from relegated Burnley and oh boy how good has he been. The Englishman has risen through the shackles leading his team to the Champions League through his goal-saving laurels. He successfully registered 13 clean sheets this season and was second only to David De Gea (17) and Alisson Becker (14).
Their next brilliant signing was a £12 million full-back. Kieran Trippier, arguably the best full-back in present football and unarguably the best set-piece taker in Premier League is a stubborn fact of how good Newcastle United have been in spending strategically. Their £25 million signing of Chris Wood is another example of spending with their brains and utilising funds adequately.
Eddie Howe – A Managerial Genius
Credit where it’s due, Newcastle’s best decision in the last 18 months has been penning down a contract with Eddie Howe. The Englishman turned around the destiny of Newcastle all alone, saving the newly owned Saudi club from being relegated in the 2021-2022 season to leading them to their first-ever Champions League qualification in 20 years.
The steady and level-headed 46-year-old manager inculcated the offensive style of play at St Mary’s stadium which may not have worked eventually but a few tactical changes in the second half saw a meteoric rise in Newcastle’s standing as the club eventually finished fourth in this season.
Surely there have been likes of Leicester City, Southampton, and West Ham showing glimpses of excellence in one season and failing rigorously in seasons to come but Newcastle United does not seem to be the team to be discounted for sure.
The Magpies are here to stay!