It was always going to be a long, hard season for Newcastle United, and no mid-season takeover was ever going to change that.
A terrible start under Steve Bruce meant that whomever came into the St. James’ Park hot-seat, was going to have their work cut out.
The players were seemingly bereft of confidence, and rebuilding that as well as reshaping a squad takes time.
Especially one who’ve been as poor as the Magpies have over the past 18 months or so.
Eddie Howe was eventually tasked with helping this particularly phoenix rise from the flames, and though he hasn’t quite succeeded, the green shoots of recovery have been occasionally seen.
His biggest issue will be the attitude of his players in turning things around, and what they showed on Saturday in the FA Cup against Cambridge United was the biggest indicator yet as to the problems Howe is likely to encounter.
Newcastle legend, Alan Shearer, was none too impressed by what he saw on the pitch, but what occurred after the game clearly left a sour taste in his mouth too.
Alan Shearer on @BBCBreakfast: ‘Newcastle were hopeless. It was a really disappointing day to be a Newcastle fan. I was really surprised and disappointed to see some of the players just walk off the pitch without acknowledging the superb support inside St James’s Park.’ #nufc
— Miles Starforth (@milesstarforth) January 10, 2022
Talking on BBC Breakfast, the former Magpies No.9 didn’t like to see some of the players just walk off the pitch at the end of the match, without even acknowledging the supporters who had turned up in their thousands.
Looking ahead, there has to be a sea change in mentality if Howe and his backroom staff are going to be able to haul Newcastle out of the bottom three.