Last Season : 12th
Have you read English Premier League Season Review : Part 1
Pre-Season Expectations : Mid-Table
A Disastrous Season for Newcastle! After Kevin Keegan took control in January the club had seemed stable. Newcastle Owner Mike Ashley had signed former Leeds manager Dennis Wise as Executive Director (Football). However in the pre-season transfer window they ended up losing an important player in James Milner. Sources reveal that it was Wise's decision to cash in on him even though he was a regular in Keegan's side. Strike one for Keegan. Keegan wasnt allowed to bring in his own targets. He only signed Guthrie of his own accord. Another great defender in Coloccini was brought to St.James's Park. Gutierrez and Xisco came but no others came. Strike two! Finally problems escalated on the final day of the transfer window and 3 days later Strike 3! Keegan resigned stating he was unable to continue as manager if he was not in control of who was bought by the club.
The very next day Mike Ashley put Newcastle up for sale. Protests against Ashley and Wise continued and attendances dropped. A fortnight later Joe Kinnear(who had gone into non-existence) was brought on as interim manager with the intention that he would continue until Ashley had found a buyer. However by December, Ashley had failed to find a buyer and withdrew the sale. Kinnear was offered a contract until the end of the season. Meanwhile their footballing season became even worse. Coloccini was at fault for many stupid goals. They had entered the relegation zone now.
The transfers were shocking to say the least. Lovenkrands was unattached. Nolan was the club captain at Bolton before signing for only £4m. Ryan Taylor was another good acquisition. Shay Given's case was like "Out of the frying pan, Into the fire" by moving to Man City. N'Zogbia's transfer request was however a farce. He wanted a transfer after Kinnear mispronounced his name !
Kinnear was going to offered a full-time contract when he had to undergo by-pass surgery and withdrew from his managerial duties. In a surprise move, Alan Shearer was brought in as interim manager. Wise soon left. Even though Alan Shearer helped NU many times on the field he could not do much as a manager. He ended up winning only one match and Newcastle got relegated after losing to Villa in the last week of the season.
So, all-in-all , their footballing season was overshadowed by their non-footballing matters. Michael Owen had a bad season. So did half the team. Mike Ashley has now put the club for sale again.
The future is indeed bleak for Newcastle. They have to reduce £30m from their wages. Owen is out of contract in the summer and it is almost evident that he will leave. It seems as though Newcastle will lose many of their players. With the ownership uncertain there would not be sufficient funds available. Alan Shearer has not signed a full-time contract yet. Newcastle have to get everything in order before the start of the season to have any chance of getting promoted. Lets hope this wont be another Leeds !
Last Season : 3rd (Championship)
Pre-Season Expectations : Relegation Candidates
It is always said that too many changes and transfers disrupt the harmony of the team. Hull City brought in many players in the transfer window.But the effect was exactly opposite. They won their first two matches and lost the third 5-0 to Wigan. Most pundits were talking about the bubble being burst.However Phil Brown proved them wrong yet again. He went on to become the Premier League Manager of the Month for September. Hull City were joint top at one stage alongwith Chelsea and Liverpool. This was the best part of their season. However their season soon turned into an anticlimax.
Come November they were losing matches just like they were winning before. Hull City won only two more games in the remainder of the season. They won only one in the whole of 2009.
Kevin Kilbane (Undisc)
They bought in players to strengthen their first team. The gamble on Bullard never payed off. Bullard remained injured and made just one appearance. They ended the season losing matches and occasionally drawing some. On the last day of the league Hull were still not confirmed as a Premier League team. Their match was against a Manchester United Team that had an eye on the Champions League Final. Eventually Man United fielded their third-team and still ended up winning 1-0. Though Newcastle lost which meant Hull would stay on.
Nothing can be said about Hull City next season. Though the general opinion would be Relegation Candidates, Phil Brown may still have another trick up his sleeve.
Read more: English Premier League Season Review : Part 3