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dominated the entire season. The players played under 4 different managers. The fans protested against Ashley who decided to put the club up for sale. Newcastle lost away to Sunderland for the first time in over a quarter of a century and Joe Kinnear arrived. The season ended in relegation to the second tier after 16 consecutive years in the Premier League and the owner lost the trust of many of the supporters forever. Summer 2012. Having finished the 2011-12 season in 5th place, everyone was on a high and optimistic for the season ahead but knew that the club had work to do to maintain or improve on the European qualification. Not that they were lucky to finish where they did but even the most ardent fan would accept that a lot of things went United’s way that season. A generous opening set of fixtures, an unusual lack of injuries, everything Cisse hit ending up in the back of the net and Chelsea & Liverpool losing 24 league games between them all played a part. Nevertheless, we had finished 5th and had European football to offer new players. Linked with Raul, Toby Alderweireld, Olivier Giroud and César Azpilicueta, United decided the only senior player they would bring in would be Vurnon Anita. A player Pardew neither wanted nor needed. Parallels could be drawn to the summer of 2003, when after a 3rd www.true-faith.co.uk

place finish and Champions League qualification under Sir Bobby Robson, the powers that be decided not to spend any money over the summer (only Lee Bowyer arriving on a free transfer). The club went backwards and never recovered. The same thing happened in 2012. The club showed itself for what it was. Not only to the supporters but also to the players who had achieved that 5th placed finish. Sometimes we forget that players want to see signings just as much as we do. They need the competition and they want to know that they play for an ambitious football club. It was the beginning of the end for players such as Cabaye, Ba and Ben Arfa. They knew they weren’t going to achieve what they wanted in football at Newcastle United. United decided to offload

a number of squad players that summer. Guthrie, Lovenkrands, Smith, Best and Fraser Forster were all either released or sold. For some reason the club decided to make the squad smaller going into a season where Europa League football meant they would be playing more games. The squad couldn’t cope, was hit by injuries and United went from 5th top in 2012 to 5th bottom 12 months later. Pardew’s managerial limitations were exposed for all to see and only the desperation signings of Sissoko, Gouffran, Debuchy, Yanga-Mbiwa and Haidara in January 2013 prevented United from getting relegated. The lack of ambition shown in the 2012 summer transfer window set in motion a chain of events that eventually saw United relegated in 2016.

and only the desperation signings of Sissoko, Gouffran, Debuchy, YangaMbiwa and Haidara in January 2013 prevented United from getting relegated.

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True faith 132  

Newcastle United back in the Premier League with Rafa Benitez serenely assembling his squad for the new challenges and receiving every possi...

True faith 132  

Newcastle United back in the Premier League with Rafa Benitez serenely assembling his squad for the new challenges and receiving every possi...