Newcastle United are one of the best-supported football teams in England. Many famous victories have occurred at their home fortress, St James’ Park. However for all their fantastic support the first team has flattered to deceive for most of the last half century.
The last time the Magpies lifted a major trophy was in 1969 when they won the old Uefa Fairs Cup, a forerunner of the Europa League. Newcastle’s last domestic success was the 1955 FA Cup and despite several close calls, the trophy cabinet has remained bare in recent decades. In the 1990s the Toon twice finished runners-up in the English Premier League and also went down in consecutive FA Cup finals.
Instead Toon Army supporters have had to cheer for the odd victory against the big boys. The 5-0 annihilation of Manchester United in 1996 stands out. More recently Newcastle defeated the Red Devils at Old Trafford for the first time since the 1970s. Unbelievably Jose Mourinho has never won at St James’ Park and Alan Pardew’s men have also enjoyed the odd win against clubs like Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.
The club hit rock bottom in 2009 when they were relegated but bounced back immediately. Under Pardew, the Magpies finished the 2011/12 season in fifth place, ahead of Chelsea. However the following season saw Pardew avoid relegation on the penultimate weekend. Last season was a strange combination of success and failure. After starting off very well, Newcastle’s season petered out into a purgatory mid-table finish.
The Magpies have bolstered their ranks for the coming campaign. Jack Colback, Ayoze Perez, Remy Cabella and Emmanuel Riviere have been joined by Dutch pair Daryl Janmaat and Siem De Jong. This new bunch of Newcastle players have replaced the likes of Dan Gosling, Shola Ameobi, Mathieu Debuchy and James Tavernier who have all moved on.
Newcastle United kick off their 2014/15 Premier League season at home against champions Manchester City.