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The Ups and Downs of Newcastle United

It is fair to say that Newcastle United have had their fair share of ups and downs over the years, from winning promotion to the Premier League in the 1992/1993 season to losing 2-1 to Scunthorpe in the Championship and everything in-between.

Kevin Keegan got Newcastle promoted to the Premier League in 1993, one season after saving them from relegation from Division 2 on the final day of the 1991/1992 season and this where we begin.

In Newcastle’s first season in the Premier League Kevin Keegan led them to an impressive 3rd place finish behind winners Manchester United and second placed Blackburn Rovers. Newcastle scored 82 goals during their 42 matches at a rate of 1.95 goals per game and conceded 41 (0.98 goals per game) finishing with a goal difference of +41. Newcastle took 77 points in their 42 games, winning 23 of them and losing only 11.

After a poor start to the season which saw them only win one of their first six matches they managed to pick themselves up and started to put points on the board. After a 4-0 drubbing of Coventry City, Newcastle went on an 8 match unbeaten run which saw them take 20 points out of a possible 24 and cement their place in third. They also only managed to lose 2 of their final 14 games and finish in their highest league position since 1927.

Newcastle were branded “The Entertainers” by Sky Sports during this season, which was no surprise considering they scored more goals than anyone else with the prolific Andy Cole and Peter Beardsley scoring 55 goals between them.

Andy Cole went on to win the PFA young player of the year award after scoring a club record of 41 goals in all competitions and soon became a fans favourite at St.James Park.

Andy Cole joined Newcastle in February 1993 for a then club record of £1.75 million and what a buy he turned out to be. After scoring his first league goal for Newcastle against Manchester United, Cole went on to score 55 goals in his 70 games for the club before joining Manchester United in January 1995.

Andy Cole scored 219 goals during his career (not including loans) in his 477 games at a rate of 0.46 goals per game. His best goal scoring statistics came while he was at Newcastle where he scored a goal every 0.79 games, 0.33 better than his career average.

Andy Cole’s Career Statistics (Not Including Loans)

Andy Cole did score the most goals for a Newcastle player in one season but how did his career at Newcastle compare to some of the other great strikers that Newcastle have had?

League Appearances and Goals for Newcastle Strikers

It’s not surprising than Alan Shearer has made more league appearances and scored more league goals than anyone else for Newcastle.  Papiss Cisse has the best goals per game ratio as he scores a goal every 0.93 games, although he has only played 14 league games. Andy Cole has the second best goals per ratio ahead of Les Ferdinand and Alan Shearer. During the 1995/1996 Premier League season Newcastle managed to throw away a 12 point lead at Christmas and finish runners-up to Manchester United. They still had a chance to win the title on the final day of the season but after United won 3-0 and Newcastle only getting a point against Spurs the title went to Old Trafford.

Newcastle ended up four points behind Manchester United even though they won 89% of their home games that season, with their only defeat being a 1-0 loss to Man United.

They managed to score 66 goals during the season at a rate of 1.74 goals per game and conceded only 37 at a rate of 0.97 goals per game. Les Ferdinand scored 29 goals during the season his best seasons tally in a Newcastle United shirt.

Newcastle also only failed to score in 16% of their matches and kept a clean sheet in 53% of their home matches.

Although, this is the last time that an English manager has finished in the top two positions in the Premier League.

Newcastle went on to finish second again in the 1996/1997 season and qualified for the Champions League. They failed to get out of the group stages though, lost the F.A Cup final and finished 13th in the 1997/1998 season under Kenny Dalglish after Kevin Keegan left the club.

Ruud Gullit took over early in the 1998/1999 season after some poor results, but he was sacked after dropping Alan Shearer for the Tyne Wear derby and replaced with Sir Bobby Robson.

Newcastle finished fourth during the 2001/2002 season and qualified for the Champions League, third in the 2002/2003 season but after a series of rows Robson left St.James’ Park to be replaced by Souness.

From 2004-2010 Newcastle had seven different managers (Souness, Roeder, Allardyce, Keegan (second spell in charge), Kinnear, Shearer and Pardew) with some key events occurring during these years such as winning the Intertoto cup under Glen Roeder and getting to the Uefa Cup semi final under Sir Bobby Robson.

One of Newcastle’s lows during this period was in 2005 when Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer were both sent off against Aston Villa for fighting each other. Their side was 3-0 down and already down to 10 men when they came to blows in one of the most farcical scenes in Premier League history.

Newcastle’s biggest low came after a 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa that saw the club relegated to the Championship under temporary manager Alan Shearer during the 2008/2009 season.

Newcastle only managed to win 7 matches all season conceding 59 goals in the process (only bottom side West Brom and Blackburn conceded more) at a rate of 1.55 goals per game. They also scored 40 goals during that season (1.05 goals per game) which would have been ok if they hadn’t conceded so many.

Newcastle managed to win promotion back to the Premier League in their first season in the Championship after taking an incredible 102 points and winning the league. The 102 points that Newcastle achieved that season was a club record.

Newcastle scored a staggering 90 goals during the season at a rate of 1.96 goals per game, this coupled with the fact that they only conceded 35 goals in their 46 matches (0.76 goals per game) saw them end the season with a goal difference of +55.

Andy Carroll scored 19 goals during this season after coming through the youth team and was Newcastle’s top goalscorer.

Since then under Alan Pardew Newcastle have gone from strength to strength and finished 5th in the Premier League last season. They have spent wisely in the transfer market with attacking players such as Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse and Hatem Ben Arfa at their disposal next season.

Alan Pardew has done incredibly well at Newcastle but how has he compared to their previous managers?

Win Percentages For Newcastle Managers Since 1992

Alan Pardew comes about in the middle of the managers in win percentage terms. Chris Hughton and Kevin Keegan have the best win percentages out of all the managers in this comparison but some games for both managers were in the Championship/Division 1. Hughton won 59.38% of his 64 matches in charge, which is 4.4% better than Kevin Keegan and 16.96% better than Alan Pardew. Sir Bobby Robson, Glenn Roeder and Graeme Souness all have higher win percentages than Alan Pardew and have all managed more games than him, but if Pardew and Newcastle can keep improving next season then Pardew may be up there with the best.

For more articles like this check out www.ourfootballview.wordpress.com or follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/ourfootballview. Also a massive thank you to @statsnufc (www.statsnufc.webs.com) for providing me with some of the information used in this article.

James Amey
James Amey
Head of the writers here on EPLIndex! Can also be found on Twitter - @jamesamey316
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