There are many reasons why Newcastle United fans should be distraught at being relegated. £80 million reasons to be exact. That’s the amount that was spent to bolster the squad.
Instead of competing in the Premier League next season, they will be scrapping in the Championship alongside Aston Villa and Norwich City.
With their Tyneside rivals Sunderland surviving relegation, it makes their fate even harder to accept, especially with Middlesbrough taking their place in the Premier League following their promotion.
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But how does a team that spent £80 million in the transfer window find itself in this position?
Here are three reasons why Newcastle United only have themselves to blame for their relegation from the Premier League.
Appointment of Steve McClaren
This was the start of Newcastle’s troubles.
What the club needed at the start of the season was stability and a manager that could inspire the players. Instead, they stumbled from game to game putting in terrible performances.
Steve McClaren is an experienced and well respected assistant coach, but his record as manager has been patchy to say the least.
It’s inconceivable that a manager with a better pedigree and success in the top job could not have been found.
Lack of commitment from the players
One of the hallmarks of the McClaren reign was a distinct lack of commitment from the players.
They struggled to bounce back from poor performance and there seemed to be no one in the squad who could rally the players to perform.
Other than their 6-2 win against Norwich City last October and their 5-1 thrashing of Tottenham Hotspur on the final day of the season, their other performances this season have been average at best.
Poor decisions by the owner
This is the second time in eight years that Newcastle have been relegated under owner Mike Ashley, and it appears that poor decisions have struck yet again.
Newcastle legend, Alan Shearer alluded to this recently in an interview with The Sun, where he said: “'I am not looking forward to a season of Championship football and I really feel for the staff who are going to lose their jobs. Lessons have not been learned from 2009, the same mistakes have been made and the club has got what it deserves.”
Their recent resurgence under current manager Rafa Benitez has come too little too late. He has done a fantastic job of making the team defensively solid, but one wonders what might have been if he had been brought on board sooner.
Yet again, Newcastle fans face an uncomfortable few months ahead, and they have every right to be uneasy.
Rafa Benitez is considering his future with the club and many of the players might see the Championship as a step backwards and will look to leave. Whatever the case, the club has no choice but to pick itself up and start again.
Should Rafa Benitez stay at St James' Park for next season? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!