• Our Opinion

Premier League relegation contenders: Newcastle United

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While they have a new manager and a really good striker, Newcastle United might struggle to survive against many teams in the league next season.

When it comes to relegation and promotion, no one can outshine Newcastle United. The Magpies have been relegated and promoted to the Premier League several times in the last decade.

And after barely surviving last season, it appears that the Toon is going to be mired in a relegation dogfight again this time around. Even though they have a lot of talented players at their disposal, Newcastle United have a few off the field problems that always seem to affect on-field performances.

Mike Ashley wasn’t on the best of terms with Rafael Benitez who eventually left the club to join Dalian Yifang in China. The Spaniard has been very critical about how the club is being run. It is a sentiment shared by many former players including Alan Shearer.

After seeing many big-name managers say no to the poisoned chalice that is the Newcastle United managerial job, Steve Bruce decided to ditch Sheffield in order to manage a club he supported as a boy.

However, it remains to be seen if the former Manchester United player has the ability to prove doubters wrong.

One cannot blame Ashley for not trying though. The Magpies have made two really great moves in the transfer market.

First, they held on to the services of talented midfielder Sean Longstaff. The young midfielder was on the radar of the Red Devils but has been convinced to stay put. Joelinton was brought from Hoffenheim. The Brazilian is definitely a talented player and is expected to do well in England.

However, it remains to be seen if Newcastle United will actually be able to compete with the likes of Sheffield, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and other teams who have invested far more heavily in the transfer market.

When it comes to performances on the pitch, consistency isn’t the term you would associate with Newcastle. They do have a very talented bunch of players but the problem is that Ashley isn’t the sort of owner who is proactive when it comes to finding immediate solutions to many problems that can arise during a season.

Moreover, Bruce hasn’t been given a vote of confidence by the club’s fans either. This lack of confidence could creep inside the dressing room and once the players feel that the manager doesn’t have the support, they might stop responding to him as well.

While Jamaal Lascelles is a class act, it remains to be seen if the talented defender will have a consistent partner at the heart of defense.

The Magpies are currently keen on making a move for Emil Krafth of Sweden. If the move happens, it could give Newcastle United another option. Allan Saint-Maximin has joined from OGC Nice but it remains to be seen if he would be able to replicate the form that saw him enjoy a fair bit of success in Cote d’Azur.

All in all, Newcastle United do have a good squad. However, it remains to be seen if their manager has it in him to turn his players into consistent performers in the league next season.