Newcastle United's 10 Greatest Premier League Seasons - Ranked

Despite their modern day struggles, Newcastle United are Premier League royalty with a rich history in the English top flight.

Arguably, they have provided the greatest ever player, match and soundbite that the Premier League has ever seen.

From Laurent Robert to Hatem Ben Arfa, Alan Shearer to David Ginola, the Magpies have enjoyed a lot of mercurial talent during their 24 ​Premier League seasons. 

Here, 90min have put together a list of their top 10 seasons in the top flight, and (*in a Kevin Keegan voice*) 'I tell ya honestly, we would love it if you read this article'.

10. Season: 2017-18

Position: 10th

Rafael Benitez

There was plenty of choice for the coveted tenth spot with Newcastle managing a fair few mid-table finishes in their ​Premier League history. 

Some could accuse this selection of recency bias, but Rafa Benitez's first season back in the Premier League led to an extremely respectable finish for a team expected to be relegated. 

A summer of transfer passivity looked to have doomed the Magpies, and by Christmas it was looking bleak. Ayoze Perez's goalscoring and a second-half-of-season renaissance fired the Toon up the table. Newcastle closed the season with a 3-0 drubbing of Chelsea on the final day to secure a top-half finish for the first time in five years. 

It might not have the flair of Loïc Rémy's goalscoring in 2013/14 or the thrill of Obafemi Martins in 2006/07, however, it was Newcastle's tenth highest finish in the Premier League, making it tenth on our list. 

9. Season: 2005/06

Position: 7th

Michael Owen,Alan Shearer

Michael James Owen. Need we say more? 

In 2005, ​Newcastle had a great summer in securing the signatures of Owen, Scott Parker, Emre and re-signing Nobbie Solano to bolster a decent Newcastle squad. 

However, Graeme Souness looked set to be leading the Magpies for a relegation battle and received his P45 in February. 

Miraculously, Paul Gascoigne-whisperer Glenn Roeder took over and led Newcastle from 15th to seventh, winning nine from 14 to secure European football and qualification to the Intertoto Cup.

The criminally underrated Charles N'Zogbia led the way that season, notching six goals and seven assists during the campaign.

8. Season: 1994-95

Position: 6th

Phillipe Albert

Newcastle, much like rollerblades and Kevin McAllister, had great times in the 90s. In the 1994/95 season, Kevin Keegan's brand of trailblazing football was really beginning to take shape.

Newcastle began the season with their best ever start to a campaign, winning their first six games to go top - a position they didn't relinquish until the 15th matchday.

Andy Cole was their talisman but was surprisingly sold in January to Manchester United - a move that led to Keegan meeting with fans to explain his reasoning for the move. 

It was good times at St James' Park as crowds were delighted to see daring and attacking football but better times were yet to come under Keegan's watch.

7. Season: 2011-12

Position: 5th

Newcastle United's Papiss Cisse (2nd R)

Alan Pardew's francophile revolution blazed a trail that these streets won't forget. Sorry, Premier League Manager of the Season Alan Pardew.

Newcastle would finish ahead of European Champions ​Chelsea in a miraculous turnaround - the season prior Newcastle had finished 12th. Their season had ignited with the arrival in January of Senegalese striker Papiss Cissé, who plundered 13 goals in 14 games. 

Cissé's partnership with Demba Ba was electric; together they amassed 29 goals in the league. However, it wasn't simply the strikers. The Magpies had Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa, Cheick Tioté, and Sylvain Marveaux to boot. These boys could play. 

Pardew would lead this Newcastle team to a brilliant fifth-placed finish through savvy recruitment and a lethal attacking unit.

6. Season: 2003-04

Position: 5th

Alan Shearer

In a season dominated by Arsenal's 'Invincibles', Sir Bobby Robson led Newcastle to a UEFA Cup semi-final and a slightly disappointing fifth place finish in the league. 

Sir Bobby had created such expectations at the club that missing out on ​Champions League football was a blow to the Magpies' fan base. 

It was one of Alan Shearer's most prolific season as the Newcastle talisman scored 28 times in all competitions. 

They needed a little more productivity from the rest of the side as no other player managed to reach double figures in the ​Premier League, but Newcastle were part of the league's elite.

5. Season: 2001-02

Position: 4th

Laurent Robert

Sir Bobby's third season in charge saw dramatic progress after two consecutive bottom half finishes. 

Kieran Dyer, Craig Bellamy and the magical Laurent Robert added real quality to a side that had previously relied on Christian Bassedas.

Before YouTube compilations existed, Laurent Robert had incredible foresight. The Frenchman seemed hellbent on being prepared for the day as he struck 30-yarder after 30-yarder that season. It became a regular competition between Robert and Morten Gamst Pedersen to decide 'who has a better left peg'. 

A 3-1 win against eventual champions ​Arsenal at Highbury in December suggested that Newcastle had a very capable squad. The Magpies couldn't sustain a title challenge, but the metronomic Shearer again struck 27 in a brilliant campaign. 

4. Season: 1993-94

Position: 3rd

Kevin Keegan

In Keegan's second full season, the legendary boss led recently promoted Newcastle all the way to third place in the Premier League. 

Club legend Peter Beardsley and young prospect Andy Cole were on fire, managing 55 goals between them.

It was this side that became branded 'The Entertainers' by the media with a famous 4-2 win over Sheffield Wednesday, a nickname that would stick throughout Keegan's time. 

This season saw the emergence of youngsters Steve Howey and Lee Clark, as well as the signing of Rob Lee, players that would prove crucial in Keegan's best sides. The club played an exciting and enjoyable brand of attacking football that neutrals loved. 

It was this season that Newcastle became everyone's second favourite side.

3. Season: 2003-04

Position: 3rd

Bobby Robson

Simply put - Sir Bobby Robson is a footballing legend. His final three years at St James Park moved the club to the former glories realised by Keegan in the 90s.

During this season, Newcastle were very much in a title race, challenging with Arsenal and ​Manchester United up to late March before consecutive defeats to Everton and Ferguson's United derailed their pursuit.

Not just competitive in the Premier League, Newcastle qualified for the Champions League second round, securing a famous 1-0 home win against Juventus.

The partnership of Shearer and Bellamy ignited their season, with the play of England youngster Jermaine Jenas pushing the team forward from midfield.

2. Season: 1996-97

Position: 2nd

Les Ferdinand

After the disappointment of letting the title slip in the previous season, Newcastle splashed the cash on bringing back their hometown hero Alan Shearer. It was a move that worked out for Magpies. 

A 5-0 demolition of ​Manchester United in October was sweet revenge for Keegan as Newcastle looked set to challenge again for the title. However, in January, after no wins in seven, Keegan shocked the Premier League and resigned from the club.

Kenny Dalgleish took over and created a similar team to his title-winning side at Blackburn, with David Batty and Shearer the crucial cogs in the side.

A resurgence in the second half of the season saw the Magpies finish ahead of Liverpool and Arsenal but this season would prove to be the last of Newcastle's title challenges under Keegan. 

1. Season: 1995-96

Position: 2nd

Faustino Asprilla and Gary Pallister

There was only going to ever be one season that made the top of this list. Newcastle were ten points ahead of Manchester United at Christmas and had been top of the league for the entirety of the season. 

A meltdown of five defeats in eight games saw Ferguson's United eat up the difference between the sides and ultimately, Newcastle finished four points from the top. 

Their season included the greatest ever Premier League game, a 4-3 loss to Liverpool where Stan Collymore struck an injury-time winner, with Keegan strewn over the advertising hoardings. 

Not content with providing enough standout moments, Keegan gave the footballing world the best ever post-match rant against Sir Alex Ferguson live on Sky Sports: "We're still fighting for this title, and he's got to go to Middlesbrough and get something, and... and... I'll tell you, honestly, I will love it if we beat them. Love it." 

However, this season shouldn't just be remembered for Keegan as Newcastle played total attacking football. 

The play of wing-backs Philippe Albert and Steve Howey was revolutionary. Newcastle's 1994/95 was truly iconic and pushed the needle forward for how teams played football in the Premier League.

Source : 90min