Newcastle United yet to impress this season
After their acquisition in 2021 worth £300 million by a Saudi-led consortium, fans of the famed club began dreaming of a scenario where the Magpies establish themselves as one of the premier clubs in the top-flight. With an uptick in cash, resources and bargaining power when signing talent, Newcastle United has a real chance of becoming a powerhouse both on and off the field for the first time in their storied history.
It appeared as though the wheels were in motion to do so as early as November of last year, when Eddie Howe took over the head coaching role not long before the halfway point of the season. His success was immediate, securing 13 wins and five draws from the team’s remaining 28 fixtures. As a result of their late-season progression, coupled with their signings of Nick Pope, Sven Botman and Matthew Targett, there was plenty of buzz surrounding the north-east club heading into their 2022/23 campaign.
That excited those who bet on football, as Newcastle entered this season as the seventh favourite to win the league. They kicked their campaign off on the right foot with a dominant 2-0 victory against Nottingham Forest at St James’ Park. After following that up with a 0-0 draw against Brighton & Hove Albion, United had the chance to test their mettle against defending champions Manchester City.
Newcastle’s performance was incredibly promising, taking a 3-1 lead against the Premier League favourites courtesy of goals to Miguel Almiron, Callum Wilson and Kieran Trippier. However, in true City fashion, Pep Guardiola’s team managed to claw the game back and secure a draw thanks to braces by Erling Haaland and Bernardo Silva.
While they would have gained plenty of confidence in securing a point against one of the best teams ever assembled, they haven’t been able to replicate that kind of form since. After their game against City, they have drawn a further three fixtures to Wolves, Crystal Palace and Bournemouth – to coincide with a loss to Liverpool.
Despite not having the best of starts to the season, they have managed to stay in striking distance of the top eight, only trailing the eighth-positioned Liverpool by a single point in the table. Additionally, they will be buoyed by the recent re-signing of young midfielder Elliot Anderson to a long-term contract. Anderson broke into the side this season and has played in three fixtures – impressing in limited game time.
It’s a sign that the club is investing in its young talent, something United’s manager Howe is pleased about.
“We are all delighted with Elliot’s development. He is a natural talent, but he also has an excellent work ethic and always wants to learn,” Howe said.
“I know our supporters will be especially pleased to see another local boy coming through from the Academy into the first team. Elliot has earned that chance, and he has set a great example to our young players.
“He is just at the start of his journey at this level but he has a very exciting future ahead and we are delighted that his journey will continue here.”