Newcastle have chosen to focus upon the Premier League ahead of cup success.
It is a viewpoint that would be backed up in the Magpies were fighting for the title, or even just looking at the potential for European football, but with a potential relegation on the cards, favouring league football seems a crazy idea.
It is a mentality that the club have taken since the arrival of Mike Ashley, and it is no surprise that both fans and players cannot get motivated for knock-out football when the knock-out part is all too frequent.
The reason for this favouritism of the league was to maximise performance without the need to field full-strength teams in the cup competitions. The result of this is better fitness levels and a better chance of success than their rivals.
However, it has not worked that way this term.
Newcastle sit just seven points above the relegation places, and with six consecutive defeats are the most out of form team in the division. A drop to the Championship is looking increasingly likely, and they really should have used the example of Aston Villa when taking on the cup tournaments.
Villa secured passage to the FA Cup Final by defeating Liverpool on Sunday, and the positive atmosphere since Tim Sherwood’s arrival is bound to keep them in the top flight. Rather than favouring the league as they knew they would suffer, Villa have progressed in the cup, and are reaping the motivational rewards.
Whilst Newcastle flounder near the bottom end of the table, Villa are looking up, and have a cup final to boot. What was a poor season could end in success, whilst the Magpies could be heading to the second tier.
Mike Ashley did once run Newcastle with aptitude and a clever business model, but his archaic methods are catching up with him, and the Magpies look like a club who are not suited for the rigours of the Premier League.