Fast-forward to 2021, and Newcastle find themselves languishing at the wrong end of the table.
With just 7 wins to their name this season, the Magpies remain rooted to 17th following their draw against Tottenham Hotspur, with the spectre of relegation looking over them.
Speaking to Transfer Tavern prior to this weekend’s result, the ex-Magpies man claimed: “You look at the way the Premier League is this year and look at the way clubs that have excelled. Aston Villa have done great, Leicester have done great, Everton have done really well, West Ham.
“Why couldn’t that be Newcastle? Because Newcastle have done it in the past and qualified for Champions League football.
“It wouldn’t have been a big shock for Newcastle to be up there challenging maybe for top six, but they are where they are because they deserve to be there. But a lot of it is down to the owner.”
As much as it is easy to blame Mike Ashley, Newcastle simply cannot compete with the spending power of the traditional top six.
Granted, the likes of West Ham do prove that money does not always equate to points, but generally top recruitment necessitates top spending.
Conversely, Newcastle do rank above many competitors in terms of average net spend within the past five seasons, indicating a tight grip on the purse strings alone is not to blame for Newcastle’s predicament.
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