Mon 25 Dec 2023, 10:54 by Ash Harrison

Newcastle United year in review 2023 - January to May

Newcastle United year in review 2023 - January to May
Serena Taylor via Getty Images
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We're taking a look back at the rollercoaster year for Newcastle United that was 2023.

Splitting the year up into two parts seems like the right way to go about it, so part one will be the good part. The end of the 2022/23 season when we all loved each other and everything was going great.

We even lost at Wembley in a cup final and still there was harmony amongst the fanbase. What a weird time to be alive.

Tell me ma, me ma...

Newcastle united fans stands carabao 798790440
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February was a wild ride

January

Newcastle kicked off the New Year flying high and although the transfer window was open, it was a quiet one for the Magpies bringing in youngster Harrison Ashby from West Ham and £45million Anthony Gordon from Everton after a lengthy pursuit. Unfortunately, it would take Gordon until this season to find his feet and Harrison Ashby only made it as far as the bench all season, so they were hardly impact signings at the time.

On the pitch things started to wobble too. The Premier League was fresh back from a break after the World Cup and it seemed to take Newcastle a while to get back up to speed. A draw with Arsenal was a decent result but that was followed up by getting knocked out of the FA Cup at the first time of asking to Sheffield Wednesday.

Or only Premier League win of the month came against Fulham at St James' Park, but the Magpies saw of Leicester City and Southampton twice to make it to the Carabao Cup Final.

February

Newcastle's attentions were clearly focused on the upcoming Wembley trip where they'd face their old nemesis Manchester United in the Carabao Cup Final.

Draws with West Ham and Bournemouth preceded a home defeat to Liverpool before the big day arrived. That defeat to Liverpool was very significant as that was the game that saw Nick Pope sent off in the most ridiculous fashion meaning he'd be unavailable for the Cup Final. Former Liverpool stopper Loris Karius would be our only option as Martin Dubravka who'd spat his dummy out at the start of the season and went on loan to Manchester United, made his only appearances for the Red Devils in the Carabao Cup leaving him cup-tied for the final.

The Toon Army took over London and turned Wembley black and white only to watch on as the lads caved under the pressure and fell to a 2-0 defeat. However, it didn't dampen the spirits of the fans who were ecstatic to see the side competing again.

March

Manchester bested us again in the first Premier League game in March but this time it was City's turn. We lost 2-0 to the Champions at the Etihad but then we bounced back with two wins against Wolves and Nottingham Forest respectively. The Carabao Cup hangover had lifted and now it was about finishing in the top four.

Champions League
Newcastle United
Newcastle ended the season on a high

April

Five wins out of seven matches in April saw the Magpies keep the pressure on the top four spots despite two back-to-back defeats to Brentford and Aston Villa.

However, this was the month that free-scoring Newcastle reared its beautiful head. A 5-1 away win at West Ham could have been the highlight, the 4-1 away win at Everton was also pretty decent, especially that amazing run Alexander Isak went on down the left wing before crossing in for Jacob Murphy to poke home.

Let's be honest though, April was all about that 6-1 demolition of Tottenham at St James' Park. 5-0 up in 20 minutes. Jacob Murphy's face after hitting a thundercracker. It was one of those games that stick in the memory. Not least for me as I had to text updates to my dad who was stuck at work. He thought I was winding him up so he stopped replying. Good times.

May

The season came to a close with Newcastle being pipped to third spot by Manchester United, but that didn't matter at all. Newcastle had done it. Eddie Howe had got Newcastle to the Champions League for the first time in 20 years.

After beating Arsenal 2-0 and then drawing with relegated Leeds 2-2 it was a nervy end to the season but a 4-1 win at Brighton meant that the lowest we could finish was fourth and the Magpies saw out the season with back-to-back draws but the word was done and Europe's Elite were due on Tyneside once again.

2023 showed a lot of promise for Newcastle

Was the season a fluke or a sign of things to come? Only time would tell, but nobody cared at the time. Newcastle had returned to Europe's top competition and also had a Wembley trip. 2023 got off to a belter.

If only we could say that part two will be as fun and full of merriment.

Stay tuned to nufc.news as the second half of our 2023 review will be out later this week.

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