However, a run of one point in 10 games under John Carver saw them plummet down the table with only a final day victory over West Ham saving them from possible relegation.
It was an embarrassing run of form and the Magpies must now set about rebuilding the squad and their reputation.
The first thing they must do is appoint a hungry manager who will aim high to match the supporters' ambitions of finishing in the European places and challenging for a first major trophy since 1955.
High on their list is Manchester City Elite Development Squad manager Patrick Vieira, who is a young and upcoming coach that would appear to be a perfect fit for Newcastle.
Vieira would not only aid the Geordies' policy of signing French talent but knows how the Premier League works, having played in the top flight for over a decade with Arsenal and City. His tenure as coach of City’s youth side also shows his passion for nurturing young talent.
Former Newcastle striker and a former teammate of Vieira at French youth level, Antoine Sibierski believes that he would be a major success of Tyneside.
He told the Chronicle, “He’s worked with the reserves at Man City and he has been learning the job. He expects one day to be a first team manager and I think he’s had a lot of interest in the last few months and last year.
“But he is looking forward to getting the right opportunity and getting the right club. I believe he could be a very interested or he wouldn’t talk to Newcastle.
“Why not? He’s young and hungry and he knows the Premier League perfectly and the French market which Newcastle are already very active in.”
Sibierski also believes Vieira has the character to succeed at a very demanding club such as Newcastle.
He continued, “I know Patrick and played with him for the French Under-21 team and at the Olympics. He should be on the shortlist. He is a big enough character to handle it. There’s no doubt about that for me. He has the knowledge, he has the character, he’s got everything to be a manager for a club like Newcastle United.”