After a dismal season in the Premier League last term, Newcastle United dropped down to the second tier of English football for the second time in seven years.
However, after spending just shy of £50 million over the summer, the Magpies don’t plan on being in the Championship for long.
First and foremost, the best bit of business the Newcastle board pulled off during the close season was keeping hold of experienced manager Rafael Benitez.
A man of the 56-year-old’s stature, who’s been there, and done just about everything during his 23-year managerial career, should not have too many problems guiding the North East club back to the promised land at the first time of asking.
Nevertheless, that’s easier said than done, of course.
You only have to look at how Newcastle’s opening league game panned out to know things don’t quite work out like that in football, especially in the Championship.
The Magpies should get back on track
Regardless of the result at Craven Cottage, it should not take the Magpies’ new signings long to bed in and start finding their feet at St James’ Park.
No Championship side has got close to spending as much as Newcastle this summer. In fact, they were amongst the Premier League’s biggest spenders this time last year, also.
After seeing the likes of Steven Taylor, Andros Townsend, Fabricio Coloccini, Papiss Cisse and Georginio Wijnaldum depart the club, the Tynesiders have cushioned the blow by splashing the cash on a number of top new recruits.
Newcastle have signed Matz Sels from Gent, Dwight Gayle from Crystal Palace, Matt Ritchie from Bournemouth and Jesus Gamez from Atletico Madrid.
They have also captured defenders Grant Hanley and Ciaran Clark from Blackburn Rovers and Aston Villa respectively.
The most recent signing was Hull City’s play-off final hero Mohamed Diame, who arrived at St James’ Park from the Tigers last week.
Overall, Newcastle’s transfer fees came to a total of around £43 million, which in truth, is quite staggering for a Championship club.
No excuses — they have what it takes to climb back up
Now the players are there, it’s up to them to start performing in a Black and White shirt.
After a disappointing opening result, Benitez’s men now have back-to-back home games against Huddersfield and Reading to concentrate on.
Of course, nothing short of six points will suffice for the Magpies faithful.
Newcastle know exactly what it takes to get out of this division, having won the Championship under Chris Hughton in 2010.
After a couple of years of struggle in the top flight, they also know how to take the rough with the smooth.
Belong in the top tier
Whichever way you look at it, Newcastle United are a massive club, and with 52,000+ coming to watch them week in, week out they will feel their club must be back playing in the top tier as quickly as possible.
Nonetheless, with their spending powers and the kind of players they have attracted, as well as persuading Benitez to stay at St James’ Park, they are certainly going the right way about an instant return to the Premier League.
Written by Gareth Hinton
Follow Gareth on Twitter @Galccfc
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