Newcastle 2017/18 Premier League season review
Last Updated: 13/05/18 6:36pm
Read on for our review of their campaign, complete with the views of Soccer Saturday pundit Phil Thompson.
Finishing position: 10th (-)
Total points: 44 (-)
FA Cup: Fourth round
Carabao Cup: Second round
Top scorer: Ayoze Perez (8)
Newcastle came up to the Premier League as champions of the Championship but a summer of relative inertia in the transfer market meant that some of the optimism had been sapped from supporters early in the campaign and relegation was a real fear at the halfway stage.
But some savvy signings in the January window, Kenedy and Martin Dubravka among them, helped to reinvigorate Newcastle and Rafa Benitez deserves huge credit for keeping calm amid the off-field concerns to steer the team to safety.
An emphatic 3-0 win over Chelsea on the final day ensured a top-half finish, which represents an impressive achievement. Newcastle are now on a sound footing and ripe for investment if the sale of the club can go through in the summer. Keeping Benitez is crucial.
Best day of 2017/18
The 1-0 win over Manchester United in February was a sweet one for Benitez against his old foe Jose Mourinho but it was also their first home win in four months. The result lifted Newcastle out of the drop zone and the performance epitomised the spirit at the club.
Worst day of 2017/18
The 1-0 defeat to Arsenal just before Christmas was not the worst of results in isolation but it did represent the nadir for Newcastle. After 18 games and with only one point from the previous nine games, they were in the relegation zone and things looked bleak.
PHIL THOMPSON'S VERDICT
I think he's done an absolutely astonishing job. Not too many backed them for relegation initially but when the transfer window shut you were really fearing for them as the team was already full of Championship players and they looked like they needed more Premier League quality. That meant that the biggest thing they had on their side was the manager, who kept the fans on side and stopped a toxic atmosphere creeping into the club.
Player of year
I think Jonjo Shelvey has had a very good campaign but I would probably go for their captain, Jamaal Lascelles. I think he's epitomised what they need as a leader and a winner.
The priority has to be to convince Benitez to stay because even the fans would understand if he walked away due to lack of funding again. They can't make assurances to him again and not back it up because the biggest danger for the club is him walking away.
Sky Bet odds for relegation in 2018/19: 5/1
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