Another Premier League season is at an end and as per usual, there was no shortage of drama up on Tyneside.
Newcastle, still just about owned by the enigmatic Mike Ashley, have managed to enjoy a respectable season having been one of the favourites to go down back in August.
Steve Bruce, despite initially not being the fans' choice to succeed Rafael Benitez, has had a fantastic first season in charge. The Magpies managed to finish well above the relegation zone and with a big money takeover still not out of the question this summer, things could be finally heading in a positive direction for the club.
So without further ado, let's look back at the Newcastle season that was.
Premier League - 13th
Newcastle began the season in their usual inconsistency way. Heavy defeats to Norwich and Leicester were intertwined with impressive victories over Manchester United and Tottenham.
However, Steve Bruce managed to find a winning formula at the start of November and from then until Boxing Day, the side lost just twice and at one point were even sitting ninth in the league table. The improved form of Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin in particular gave the side real attacking threat, while defenders also began to chip in with an unusual amount of goals.
The goal threat wasn't quite potent enough to sustain that form into the new year, with the side winning just twice between then and when the league was suspended in March.
Upon returning to action in June, the Magpies flew out of the traps, going unbeaten in their first four games to guarantee their league status once more, but as soon as they had mathematically avoided relegation the wheels came - as they went on a six game winless run to close the season out.
Domestic Cup Performance
Carabao Cup - Second Round
A disappointing night on Tyneside saw Newcastle crash out of the League Cup at the first opportunity. A tight match with Leicester that finished 1-1 after extra-time and was decided on penalties, with Jonjo Shelvey and Isaac Hayden both missing spot kicks to ensure the Foxes progressed.
FA Cup - Quarter Finals
A pretty favourable draw gave Newcastle a good run in the FA Cup this year despite a couple of nervy moments. It took a replay to get past Rochdale in the third round and Oxford United in the fourth - the latter of which was a thriller that went deep into extra-time.
Another classic cup tie followed in the fifth round, where the Magpies survived a late comeback from Championship runners-up West Brom to progress. They came unstuck however in the quarter-finals, where defending champions Manchester City were far too strong and ran out 2-0 winners.
Few players in the league have showed as much flare and technical skill as Saint-Maximin this season. Although he missed large parts of the season through injury and can be erratic at times, he gave Newcastle a real dash of star quality when he was on song.
Joining last summer for a bit of a steal at £16.2m, the vivacious winger became known for charging at defenders like he was in FIFA Street, with his confidence and trickery terrorising defences; most notably against Bournemouth in July where his hat-trick of assists ensured a 4-1 win.
Oh Joelinton, it's a sad tale. The Brazilian was snapped up for a sizeable £39m last summer with the hope that he would be the next great number nine for Newcastle. His record for previous club Hoffenheim was impressive without being spectacular, but there was plenty of hype on Tyneside when he joined.
What has followed has been pretty woeful. Just one league goal all season and just two in total puts him right up there as one of the worst Premier League signings in recent memory.
Newcastle fans were fuming when former Sunderland manager Bruce was given the job, and he too recognised that it was going to take some time to convince the faithful fanbase that he was the man for the job.
Considering the age of the squad and the lack of any consistent goal threat, Bruce has certainly exceeded expectations. He has probably bought himself another year in charge even if the club is taken over. It remains to be seen what the future holds for the club, but Bruce has certainly shown he is up to the challenge.
Overall Grade: B
Few could have expected Newcastle to finish in the mid-table at the start of the season. It could have been an even better season had they managed to keep their best players fit and not conceded as many as they did but still, most Toon fans will be more than satisfied.
Source : 90min