Newcastle United entered the 2017-18 Premier League campaign as the winners of the Championship but they had an underwhelming summer in terms of transfer activities. The fear of relegation was present amongst the fans after their side’s stuttering run of form during the first half of the season but the club persisted with Rafael Benitez and the Spaniard didn’t disappoint.
The former Napoli boss introduced some necessary freshness to the club during the January transfer window, acquiring Kenedy and Martin Dubravka, and both of them played an instrumental role under the tutelage of Benitez. Arguably, it was their 1-0 win over Manchester United at St. James’ Park which lifted the spirits of the players and also pulled them out of the relegation zone.
The Magpies kept their composure in check when it did matter the most and as a result, they finished 10th in the league table with 44 points to their name. They signed off the season with a dazzling 3-0 win over Chelsea which ensured a finish inside the top half. As far as the other competitions were concerned, Newcastle United went up to the fourth round of the FA Cup and the second round of the Carabao Cup.
Top Three Players
Jamaal Lascelles was absolutely brilliant throughout the season epitomising the traits of a resilient defender and an astute leader on the pitch. The 24-year-old was strong in the air, kept things neat and tidy at the back and marshalled the back line meticulously, more often than not, and earned positive reviews from the football fraternity.
Apart from Lascelles, veteran midfielder Jonjo Shelvey also made his presence felt to a heartening extent. He offered his know-how and calibre and his brilliance in midfield was nicely evened out over the season unlike in earlier campaigns. Apart from these two, Florian Lejeune also had a really productive season in central defence. The 26-year-old mustered 1.4 tackles, 1.9 interceptions, 6.1 clearances and 0.6 blocks per game on an average.
Three players to disappoint
After signing for the Geordies in the summer from Norwich City, Jacob Murphy hardly made his presence felt in the Premier League as he managed to bag just 1 goal and 1 assist in 25 outings. Besides, Joselu lacked the cutting edge up front despite getting an adequate amount of opportunities to showcase his calibre whereas Javier Manquillo was also sporadic in his outings.
Season Rating 7/10
A top-half finish in the league table, after getting promoted from the Championship, with the arsenal that Benitez had at his disposal has to be appreciated. However, Newcastle United must leave no stone unturned to keep Benitez as he would be crucial for their upcoming endeavours.
Stats Courtesy: Whoscored