Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughWhat has happened to Newcastle? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough What has happened to Newcastle? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

What has happened to Newcastle?

Was it all a dream? Did Newcastle’s wonder 2011/2012 season really happen at all?

Newcastle were brilliant last season and were not far off a Champions League spot, but having to settle for a Europa Leauge place instead. Alan Pardew had led led them on their must successful league campaign in 17 years.

This pleased owner Mike Ashley who duly rewarded Pardew for his excellent work by giving him a whopping eight year contract extension.

Now, I’m not saying that this is a reason for Newcastle’s shortcomings this year but it must certainly be in the back of the manager’s mind that he has got another seven attempts to do better than the previous season.

As it stands, Newcastle currently lie at 16th in the table with a measly 27 points. With twelve games left and only 4 points above the relegation zone, Newcastle fans could start sweating if their team starts losing games.

I don’t think this will happen, though, and there have been signs of life from the team, having beaten Chelsea in the league and advancing to the quarter finals of the Europa League.

Still, it is bizarre that a team so good last season have dropped off so dramatically the next. I suppose Pardew was banking on Papiss Cisse reproducing some of that form he showed last season but it hasn’t happened.

Chelsea came calling for Demba Ba who up untiil January was probably Newcastle’s best player.

Hatem Ben Arfa is a huge miss and one of the main reasons that Newcastle have lacked creativeness and poise going forward. The young Frenchman is magnificent talent but has been sidelined with a hamstring injury since December.

It all seemed in place for Newcastle to launch an attack on the Premier League’s ‘top four’ and muscle their way in for a Champions League spot but, unfortunately for them, it just hasn’t materialised.

Don’t worry Monsieur Pardew, there’s always next season (and six more after that) to make it happen and a whole load of French players for you to recruit.