After winning the Championship and securing an instant return to the Premier League under Rafa Benitez, Newcastle United had plenty of reasons to approach this season with optimism.
That hope will feel very distant after a miserable start to life back in the top flight. The Magpies’ loss to Huddersfield Town means they have 0 points and 0 goals after two games.
Newcastle are now 9/4 to get relegated this season – far from favourites but it’s still a possibility if things don’t improve.
Unfortunately for them, as well as problems on the pitch, trouble could be brewing off it too.
Benitez is a Champions League-winning manager and he wanted to aim for much more than simply avoiding relegation this season.
He’s frustrated with the lack of backing he’s received in the transfer market this summer though and they could struggle without investment before the window closes.
The club have brought in six players, but there’s a lack of proven quality amongst them. Jacob Murphy is the most expensive arrival at £10m, but he’s only 22-years-old and has no top-flight experience.
While Newcastle have been complacent, Huddersfield Town have built on the squad that gained promotion and made a great start to the campaign as a result.
With die-hard support, an iconic stadium and a vastly experienced manager, Newcastle have huge potential, but Benitez needs some help from those above him if they’re going to fulfil it.
Wednesday’s Carabao Cup game at home to Nottingham Forest is a chance to generate some momentum, before four winnable games in the league against West Ham United, Swansea City, Stoke City and Brighton & Hove Albion.
A few smart additions could help Newcastle get back to winning ways in those games and kick-start their campaign. If they don’t arrive, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Benitez doesn’t stick around for too much longer either.
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