A 10th-place finish in the Premier League is an improvement from last season's 16th, but this doesn’t tell the whole story for Newcastle United fans.
It’s safe to say that manager Alan Pardew isn’t exactly a crowd favourite with over 80% of Newcastle supporters wanting him dismissed. Only a fifth-place finish like the one from two years ago would be enough to change their minds.
It might not seem very likely at the moment, but if right signings are made, then there is every chance the Magpies could break into the top six, as Everton so aptly demonstrated this campaign. If not, then it could result in a dangerously low bottom-half finish.
Newcastle owner Mike Ashley was recently reported to be wealthier than Sir Richard Branson, and there is no more hiding from the fact he has the money to invest.
The investment needs to start in defence. It’s no coincidence that the Magpies lost six out of eight games while Fabricio Coloccini was injured. They need a steady rock to partner the Argentine centre-back and another to cover when those types of injuries occur. Brede Hangeland, 32, could provide cover, while 26-year-old Ryan Shawcross would be a fantastic asset and that rock.
In midfield, Yohan Cabaye’s departure has left a hole and it largely contributed to that same slump after Christmas. Remy Cabella, who is 24 years of age and bagged 14 goals and eight assists from a central midfield role for Montepellier this season, would be an ideal replacement.
Up front, Loic Remy carried a lot of Newcastle’s games, but he has finished his loan spell and has returned to Queens Park Rangers. The last thing the fans want as his replacement is another Luuk de Jong loan spell. A Demba Ba (28) return would bring goals and bring out the best in his Senegalese compatriot Papiss Demba Cisse, but another striker would still be needed. A punt on Kostas Mitroglou, 26, might be a risk worth taking as the strong Greek has proved his worth in Europe with Olympiacos.
If Pardew and his bosses fail to act in this transfer window, then a 10th-place finish will be the least of their worries. The next few months are going to be crucial in the club's future in the coming years.