Newcastle United's January transfer window failure secured their downfall

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Looking back at Newcastle United's season, there were a number of failures made by management that ended in the club being relegated to the Championship.

However, their one chance at saving themselves was wasted, even if at the time many thought that they had done well to recruit exciting players to the club, because they had forgotten why most teams struggle at the bottom of the table.

A lot of critics believed that Newcastle needed a proven goalscorer to push them over the line but they did not. In fact, six teams above them in the league standings scored either the same amount or less during the season than the Magpies.


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Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, West Bromwich Albion, Watford, Swansea City and Stoke City all got by with 44 goals or less but Newcastle did not. The 65 goals conceded, the third-worst in the division with only fellow relegated teams Norwich City and Aston Villa allowing more, proved to be their eventual downfall.

The warning signs were there, the 63 they conceded the year before should have rang alarm bells but instead, the management decided to invest in one defensive player in Chancel Mbemba. They were given several more warnings in the first half of the season, conceding six against Manchester City, five against Crystal Palace and three to both Leicester City and bitter rivals Sunderland.

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Instead, they decided to focus on creative and attacking players, attempting to score their way out of trouble. The only defensive signing of any note was holding midfielder Henri Saivet of Bordeaux but the Senegalese international has made only two appearances since his move to Tyneside.

That's not to say he was deserving of a start, that can only be up to management, but it does show a waste of time and the fact that the Magpies did not get the defensive reinforcements their rivals did. Sunderland brought in the likes of Lamine Kone and Jan Kirchoff, both who excelled in the final few weeks of the season and pushed the Black Cats to eventual safety.

The arrogance of signings like Jonjo Shelvey and Andros Townsend, who will probably move on in the summer, showed that the management had no clue in what the club needed, they were signings that looked like they were already planning for next season. Not getting the right players in has cost them dearly.

Chelsea v Newcastle United - Premier League

It's right to argue that not bringing in Rafa Benitez earlier failed them as well, he had finally found a formula or at least the right organisation to get their back-line moving in the right direction. Should the Spaniard stay in the summer, he is more than capable than marshalling what is still a solid overall squad back into the top flight.

However, they need to learn from the mistakes of the past to start moving forward. The transfer process has to be more focused on the team's flaws and not simply looking at players they may add value to and sell on, more that they could develop and make the club better as a whole.

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Fabricio Coloccini
Newcastle United
Andros Townsend
Tim Krul
Jonjo Shelvey
Jack Colback
Premier League

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