Why Beating Manchester United Could Be Significant In Newcastle United's Progress

The Magpies are still in the race for the Premier League top four
07:00, 02 Apr 2023

This weekend sees Newcastle United welcome Manchester United to St James’ Park for a Premier League clash that will see the two teams meet for the first time since the Carabao Cup final back in February.

United prevailed 2-0 on that occasion to hand Erik ten Hag his first piece of silverware as Red Devils boss and the club’s first trophy since 2017. As for Newcastle, that match was a huge marker in their progress since their Saudi Arabian-backed takeover in 2021. It was also a test of where they were in their evolution as a club on the field under the guidance of Eddie Howe. And while it wasn’t the result they wanted, the fans knew it was only the beginning of their journey.

After all, the bigger story of their season has been their rapid rise up the Premier League table, establishing themselves as top four contenders already.


The Magpies’ mission to become one of the football’s elite clubs is still in its infancy but the team are currently showing that they are ahead of schedule. Regardless of the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool faltering this season, some of the football we saw from Newcastle this term, particularly before Christmas, showed us exactly why they are in this position.

While it may have been a great stride in their rise to win the Carabao Cup this season, an avenging defeat over United this time around could mean more for their long-term ambitions. Howe’s men sit fifth in the table, two points behind Tottenham Hotspur in fourth and we are about to enter the most challenging part of the season.

Eddie Howe
Eddie Howe

The pressure will intensify and the final batch of fixtures will separate the strong from the weak in the race for Champions League football. To be a part of Europe’s most elite football competition is exactly what Newcastle need if they really want to take a giant leap forward.

The added revenue and the raised profile of the club will make them a lot more enticing, not just for players but sponsors too. Much has been said about how Howe has not only bought intelligently since his arrival but he has turned a lot of the players who were there before into key members of the team - just look at Miguel Almiron and Fabian Schar. However, if Newcastle really want to become football’s super force they need to start bringing in some world-class talent. And there is no better way of luring such players than by being in the Champions League draw.

Newcastle are about to embark on their most challenging phase of the campaign because there is still so much at stake for them, but with it being late in the season there are bound to be some tired legs. Nonetheless, with two games in hand on Spurs, the mood in camp will be high and they will feel confident that they can make that fourth spot their own and bring European football back to Tyneside. 

A solitary victory against Manchester United won’t be enough to get the job done but it will set them up brilliantly for the games ahead, especially after beating the team that inflicted Wembley heartbreak upon them only a few weeks ago.

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