Newcastle United had a season to forget last time around, with the Magpies suffering relegation behind their local rivals Sunderland. Poor results throughout the early stages of the campaign led to the dismissal of Steve McClaren, being replaced by former Real Madrid boss Rafa Benitez. Although the Spaniard was unable to prevent Newcastle from being demoted, the club worked hard to convince Benitez to remain in the Championship, and announced in May that he would stay at St. James’ Park.
Considering the manager’s extensive career, leading the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Real over the course of recent seasons, Newcastle supporters were quick to build up their chances of instant promotion back to the Premier League. Controversial owner Mike Ashley sanctioned several transfers for Benitez’s targets, and their financial advantage over the rest of the league led bookmakers to name them overwhelming favourites for the Championship title.
The new season hasn’t quite gone to plan though, with Newcastle falling to defeat against Fulham and Huddersfield Town, both of whom only narrowly avoided relegation to League One last season. Benitez’s side are already struggling against the weakest opposition in the second-tier, and although we’re only two weeks into the Championship season, you cannot help but wonder how long it will take before the Toon turn on their manager and demand his resignation.