Date: 5th April 2021 at 4:00pm
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Former Newcastle United star Keith Gillespie has insisted Newcastle could have challenged for the top six spots this season – citing the unpredictability of the League a key reason.

Since finishing fifth under the reign of Alan nine years ago, the Magpies have yet to puncture the oligarchy that is the traditional top six.

Fast-forward to 2021, and Newcastle find themselves languishing at the wrong end of the .

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 is this year and look at the way clubs that have excelled. Aston Villa have done , 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 , 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.

In other news: Ex-Newcastle ace unamused by defender links