Newcastle United finished their Premier League season in style as they defeated already relegated Fulham 4-0 at Craven Cottage on the final day of the season.
Rafa Benitez certainly sent a message to Mike Ashley with this emphatic scoreline, and the Spaniard will be happy that his side were able to put on a show for the travelling supporters at their final away trip for the campaign.
On a day where the final result didn’t really matter too much in terms of league position or Premier League safety, lots can be learned from the Magpies’ victory down in London.
Here, we’ve identified the three key things that can be taken from Newcastle’s victory and what it could mean going into the next season.
This is the three things Nothing But Newcastle learned after the Magpies’ win against Fulham:
Shelvey must start
The performance of Jonjo Shelvey was one to remember for the travelling Newcastle fans, who saw the 27-year old score the opening goal in the ninth minute to put his side 1-0 up in the tie.
Shelvey was impressive throughout, and ran the show from midfield. The £70,000-per-week player(Source: Spotrac) also played the full 90 minutes of the fixture and didn’t show any signs of slowing down, which is another reason why he should be playing much more regularly in a black a white shirt next season.
The midfielder will be hoping that his final day performance has alerted Benitez, ahead of the club’s upcoming pre-season campaign, where they will be preparing for next season in the Premier League.
Fabian Schar is key
Benitez’s inclusion of Fabian Schar in the match-day comes as no surprise anymore, as the central defender has shown exactly why he should be starting week-in, week-out for the Magpies in recent months.
The Switzerland international was also on the score sheet alongside Shelvey, scoring the third goal in the tie to make the score 3-0 to the away side. This goal was Schar’s fourth of the season which is an impressive number for a player who’s main focus is to stop goals from being scored.
Although his goal scoring exploits have not gone unnoticed, it has to be said that the 27-year old has been unbelievable in his defensive attributes too, finishing off the season with a well-deserved clean sheet.
Rafa must stay
Newcastle need to do everything in their power to keep Benitez at the club, and whether that be offering him a new an improved contract, or giving him extra funds for the summer transfer window, it must be done.
The Magpies have ended the Premier League season mid-table in 13th place, but could’ve been a lot worse off if it hadn’t have been for the Spanish tactician that is Benitez.
He seems to get the best out of the players, and grind results out when everything seems bleak, which is what any fan wants in a manager, not to mention his vast experience with European giants such as Liverpool and Real Madrid.
Without Rafa, the club would no doubt be a lot worse off, Newcastle must keep him.