In the wake of Rafa committing his long-term future at the club, optimism has rightly crept in over at St James’ Park in recent times. Relegation to the Championship was devastating but the way the players, fans and club officials accounted for themselves in the Magpies’ six game unbeaten run at the back end of the 2015/2016 is only encouraging.
With this in mind, many NUFC aficionados have I guess understandably, touted their club for an immediate return to the top flight at the first attempt. With a world class manager at the helm and easily the league’s strongest fan base, not to mention the struggles of fellow relegated clubs Norwich City and especially Aston Villa, Newcastle are currently the bookies’ favourites to come straight back up.
But for those expecting Newcastle to stroll to victory in every game (especially with the season still two months away), I say, please manage your expectations. With the ‘trickle down’ effect from the Premier League’s vast wads of TV money only making the English second tier stronger, many clubs such as Villa, Norwich, Derby (who have just appointed Nigel Pearson), Sheffield Wednesday et al will also be ‘there or there abouts’ come the end of the 2016/2017 campaign.
With a summer ahead of club and transfer speculation as well as the European Championships in France, all we can do for now is sit back, relax and hope Rafa’s men start the new season in the right frame of mind.