Paul Merson believes Newcastle United will be a force for years to come amid their fine start to the season.
The Magpies went into the World Cup break sitting firmly inside the top four, and at time of writing, it looks as though they will stay there for a little longer, at least, leading Leicester City 3-0 away from home at half-time on Boxing Day. It was been a hugely impressive season for far from Eddie Howe’s men, who seem to have forgotten how to lose at this point.
Ahead of the Leicester game, they were 12 games unbeaten across all competitions, and they are looking like serious contenders for a top four finish, especially given the inconsistent form shown by the likes of Manchester United and Tottenham below them.
Newcastle have spent wisely amid the arrival of their new wealthy owners, and Sky Sports pundit Merson believes the club won’t be a one-hit wonder this season.
“I’m so impressed with what they have done, the way they have done it,” he told Sky Sports News. “We say they have all the money in the world, but they have bought so well, got a brilliant manager in, and all the players have been eight or nine out of 10 so far.
“They have got to keep it going. If they get in the top four...I was saying to the lads, ‘would you take a top four finish or a League Cup?’ They haven’t won a trophy for a long time. I wonder what they will do. For me, I would take the League Cup, because I don’t think this is a short-term thing for Newcastle, I don’t think they are a one-hit wonder where, if they miss the top four, that’s it. I think they will be around for a long, long time.”
Newcastle also face Leicester in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup, and on Boxing Day’s evidence so far, they have a real shot at making a solid run in that competition. Meanwhile, they face Leeds United and Arsenal in their next two Premier League outings.