Newcastle United end of season review: Awful campaign sees Magpies drop into the Championship  

  • Newcastle United suffered a miserable relegation from the Premier League 
  • Steve McClaren and over-rated, under-performing players to blame
  • Rafa Benitez revival came too late to arrest their slide to the Championship  

Now that the curtain has fallen on the domestic season, it's time to reflect on the highs and lows, heroes and and villains, and what the future may hold.

As part of our end-of-season guides to every team in the Premier League, Sportsmail's CRAIG HOPE looks back at a season to forget for Newcastle United...

Steve McClaren must take most of the blame for Newcastle United's relegation from the Premier League

Steve McClaren must take most of the blame for Newcastle United's relegation from the Premier League

 

In a nutshell, how was the season?

Awful. It tells you a lot about the flawed characters in this team that they reserved their best performance of the season for the final game - a 5-1 win over Spurs - when the pressure was off. They deserve relegation as a football club and as a bunch of disinterested and over-rated players.

Who was the shining light?

Rob Elliot. The goalkeeper started the season as No.3 but took advantage of injuries to Tim Krul and Karl Darlow and performed admirably. Saying that, he always had plenty to do.

Who failed to live up to expectations?

Jonjo Shelvey. A £12million signing in January, alarm bells should have sounded when Swansea were prepared to let an England international join one of their relegation rivals. He soon lost his place in the side under Rafa Benitez amid questions over his attitude and application.

How did the manager get on?

Steve McClaren was a disaster and should never have been appointed. In the isolation of this season he is the reason they have been relegated. 

Benitez, though, at least gave them half a chance of staying up and, while his appointment came too late, he ended the campaign with a six-match unbeaten run and supporters urging him to stay.

Too many Newcastle players underperformed as they failed to get going in the Premier League

Too many Newcastle players underperformed as they failed to get going in the Premier League

What was the best moment?

Sunday’s mauling of Spurs - a brilliant performance on the pitch and an even better one in the stands as fans sang Benitez’s name from first minute to last.

And the worst?

McClaren’s final game was a 3-1 home defeat to Bournemouth and the atmosphere that day was toxic. It was a clear a change was needed.

Reasons to be cheerful for next season?

If Benitez stays there is every reason to be happy and actually look forward to the campaign in the Championship. If he leaves, however, the club will be searching for their fifth manager in 18 months.

 

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