Newcastle 2023/24 season review and player ratings: Isak 9, Guimaraes 8, Tonali 3

We take take a look back at how the campaign played out for Eddie Howe's side

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Season synopsis

Premier League final position: Seventh

Champions League: Knocked out in group stage

FA Cup: Quarter-finals; beaten 1-0 away to Manchester City

League Cup: Quarter-finals; drew 1-1 after 90 minutes away to Chelsea, lost 4-2 on penalties

It was always going to be a tricky campaign for Eddie Howe's team after the high of a top-four finish the previous season which brought the added burden of midweek Champions League fixtures for the first time in 20 years.

What the manager could not have predicted, though, was a relentless injury list that regularly reached and crossed double figures or the 10-month ban handed to key summer signing Sandro Tonali for breaching betting rules while at former club AC Milan.

The absences would hit them particularly hard mid-season when they finished bottom of their 'Group of Death' in the Champions League – consisting of Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and future finalists Borussia Dortmund – which meant they missed out on the consolation of even dropping down to the Europa League.

That blow also coincided with a desperate Premier League run that saw the Magpies lose six times in seven games as well as being knocked out of the League Cup at Chelsea.

But the new year brought renewed hope as players began returning from injury. Newcastle won six of their final 10 games, losing just twice, which secured a respectable seventh place and potentially Europa Conference League football next season, as long as Manchester City beat Manchester United in the FA Cup final.

Best Performance of season

Newcastle 4 PSG 1: Highlights include the opening day 5-1 demolition of Aston Villa, thrashing Chelsea 4-1 and Spurs 4-0 all at home, while sticking eight past hapless Sheffield United at Bramall Lane – when there was eight different goalscorers – also stick in the memory.

But the breathless night on Tyneside back in October when Newcastle destroyed a PSG side containing the likes of Gianluigi Donnarumma, Ousmanne Dembele and Kylian Mbappe was arguably the club's greatest European performance of all time.

It was a win made all the sweeter by local boys Dan Burn and Sean Longstaff being among the scorers in what was the Magpies' first Champions League game on Tyneside in two decades. It was to prove their only victory of the group stage.

Worst Performance of season

Newcastle 1 Nottingham Forest 3: Quite a few contenders in what was a poor season defensively for Howe's men. The 3-0 loss to Everton was up there, when Kieran Trippier was guilty of two dreadful errors directly leading to goals. There was also two 4-1 defeats in North London against Tottenham and Arsenal when Newcastle were completely outplayed.

But in a campaign when Newcastle's home record finished as the fourth best in the Premier League, the December loss against a Forest side on a seven-game winless run was particularly galling.

Adding to the misery was the fact former Magpies striker Chris Wood bagged a hat-trick which made it five defeats in seven games across all competitions in what was their worst run of the campaign.

Thriller of season

Newcastle 4 West Ham United 3: The 4-4 draw with Luton Town in February was certainly the most ludicrous when Newcastle twice took first-half leads only for the Hatters to twice draw level before taking a 4-2 lead before the hour mark. Goals from Kieran Trippier and Harvey Barnes rescued a point for the home side.

But that game was eclipsed a few weeks later when Newcastle came back from 3-1 down to win 4-3 against West Ham at St James' Park thanks to an Alexander Isak penalty – his second of the match – and a double from substitute Barnes in the last 10 minutes that snatched all three points. Anthony Gordon's sending off in injury-time after receiving a second yellow for kicking the ball away only added to the drama.

Player of season

Alexander Isak: Narrowly edges out the also excellent Gordon, Isak's career-best goals haul of 25 – his previous high was 17 at Spanish side Real Sociedad – gave Newcastle a vital cutting edge up front with fellow striker Wilson injured for a chunk of the season.

Such has been his form, Isak is reported to be a summer transfer target for the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool, although manager Howe has made clear his determination to keep hold of the Swede.

Goal of season

Fabian Schar v PSG: A few crackers to choose from here. Miguel Almiron curling home a wonder finish against Burnley, Joe Willock's side-foot finish against Manchester United in the League Cup, Joelinton thumping into the top corner versus AC Milan and Bruno Guimaraes volleying home at the back post at Forest.

But Schar's strike against the French champions was the icing on the cake of that stunning night at St James' Park. The Swiss defender was falling over as he curled a stunning shot past Donnarumma from the edge of the box into the top corner to make it 4-1 (see best performance of season above for footage of goal).

Updated: May 21, 2024, 4:16 AM