Contrary to popular belief, Newcastle aren’t higher than where they should be. It’s a superb squad. No matter what the club’s brainwashing tells you, this squad is worthy of a top 7 place and competing regularly for European football. Coming 5th two years ago was an overachievement based on an unsustainable amount of luck but the board are happy to settle for 10th place with a far stronger squad. If Stoke and Crystal Palace complete their overtaking, Pardew won’t even meet that very easy target and will miss out on bonus payments.
Counter-argument: Last year you were battling relegation, so be grateful for the top 10.
No, it just emphasises last season’s disaster. A squad like that fighting at the bottom of the league was humiliating, but Pardew hid behind the Europa League excuse. There were Dutch, Italian, French and Argentinian internationals wedged into silly formations and told to play midget hoofball. For a club the size of Newcastle United, with a squad like this, is it deluded or embarrassing to aim for success?