There will be a great debate happening among football supporters arguing whether or not Newcastle’s exit from Europe will be deemed a failure.
Sure, the richest club in world football now not playing in Europe having had an incredible amount of hype surrounding them will almost certainly get plenty of feedback. However, their European exploits should serve as a reminder to many just how far Newcastle United have come in two years of PIF ownership, and a nod to the future.
Eddie Howe’s side finished bottom of Group F which means they are out of Europe completely, with Dortmund and PSG progressing to the next round of the Champions League while AC Milan will compete in the Europa League.
But collecting five points in the so-called ‘Group of Death’ should be seen as a sign of things to come despite the disappointment of missing out on the next stage of football on the continent.
Injuries hampering Newcastle’s season
It’s been well-publicised that the current injury crisis is finally starting to impact results with Howe and his side outrunning their situation.
There will be an argument to say that Newcastle are way ahead of schedule having secured Champions League football in the first full season of PIF ownership and that should be taken into account when assessing what comes next for the Magpies.
Eddie Howe has done a spectacular job so far since arriving in 2021 and this season has only exemplified that. Sure, Newcastle have fallen at the first hurdle but that’s not without scrapping until the very end despite the odds being stacked against them.
A first European adventure since 2003, mixed with a crippling injury crisis alongside Sandro Tonali’s season-long suspension, and you can suggest that Newcastle have overachieved in the last 18 months.
Whilst the dreams of success in Europe have ended prematurely, supporters and those associated can look back on this season with pride as they kickstart their assault to the elite.