The 2016/17 football season in England was interesting and unique in many ways. Chelsea managed to win the Premier League title, but the success of Newcastle United under Rafa Benitez was no less impressive. The Geordies are back in the top tier after just one season, and they not only qualified for Premier League football, but also managed to finish first in the Championship, ahead of Brighton.
Now Newcastle are back in the Premier League, and you can bet whether the team will have a positive season back in the top tier, and for many more betting markets at bet365 click here.
Nobody Could Save Newcastle in 2016
Take Newcastle at the end of the 2016/17 season and Newcastle at the end of the 2015/16 season, you’ll see two completely different squads. Many experts and pundits were almost shocked at how terrible the Toon were last year, when they played arguably the worst football in the Premier League. Steve McLaren was sacked in March 2016, after only three quarters of a year as a manager, and Rafa Benitez was hired.
The signing of Benitez was a surprise for many. After all, he was the manager that led Liverpool to a Champions League win in 2005, and before being hired by Newcastle, he was manager of Real Madrid, the most successful team in the world. Still, there was not a lot of room for optimism, as Newcastle were in 19th position, with a lowest number of points after 28 matches in the club Premier League history.
From Real to Championship
Even Rafa didn’t manage to save Newcastle from relegation, and probably no manager could. However, the change was evident. The team actually started playing, but it was too late. Many doubted that Benitez would stay on Tyneside after Newcastle was back in Championship, but he choose to do the right thing by the club. Many joked about the fact that a man who was in charge of Real Madrid was to lead a team in the second tier of English football, but Rafa pledged to bring the Toon back to Premier.
Leading a team to promotion after just one season in the Championship is no easy task. Firstly, many key players decide to leave the squad that has just been relegated. In the case of Newcastle, one of the top players, Gini Wijnaldum left for Liverpool, whereas Sissoko joined the Spurs. Second, many of the players who remain are demotivated and usually perform at a lower level, plus there are more matches in the Championship than there are in the Premier League.
Another Season, another Miracle?!
With few great transfers, including Dwight Gayle who became Newcastle’s top scorer in the 2016/17 season, as well as Scotsman Matt Ritchie, Benitez put together a highly competitive team that managed to score 85 goals, 11 more than second-placed Brighton. The hopes are up for Geordies and with few smart signings, we can all expect a successful Premier League season for Benitez and the lads.