Newcastle have blown away all before them in the Championship this season and it is becoming very reminiscent of their all conquering side of 2009/10. Here is the eleven that started the final match of that campaign.
Newcastle United fans celebrate
It is fair to say that Newcastle have been repaying their fans of late as the Toon army kept faith with a side that had slipped into the Championship in embarrassing style last season. Perhaps the presence of Rafael Benitez kept many of the fans on side though, with the manager a serial winner.
His ability has shone through brilliantly this season with Newcastle currently top of the Championship, leading Brighton by five points. There is already talk of how early the Magpies could win the league and if they will break 100 points for the season. It is a time for fervent optimism around St James' Park, and the players and fans are enjoying every second of it.
It is very reminiscent of the club's last successful stint in the Championship. The 2009/10 season saw the Magpies promoted back to the Premier League with what was a very strong squad. Their starting XI in particular for their final game against QPR on May 2 saw them rotate somewhat but still run out 1-0 winners, having sealed promotion in early April, but what happened to those players?
Newcastle United's Tim Krul
Tim Krul had been one of the few consistent shining lights of talent in Newcastle's team over the past few years. His ability in goal means that he has been the undisputed number one, however, his injuries have curtailed any kind of consistent appearances in the team and so, whether number one or not when fit, his inability to play on a regular basis has demolished much of his Newcastle career.
Krul is still on the Magpies' books, but he is out on loan in his home country of the Netherlands plying his trade with Ajax. He is moving closer to full fitness with each passing day and, if Newcastle are promoted this season, expect to see him back for their next top flight challenge.
It would have taken a brave fan to have put money on Danny Simpson earning another Premier League medal and actually being a consistent starter in a title winning team. That is exactly what he has done at Leicester though with his pace and power adding a real threat out wide. Still at the Foxes, Simpson has been brought back down to earth with a bump as his side have struggled in the league, but nobody can take that winner's medal away from him.
Newcastle's Fabricio Coloccini
On his day, he was one of Newcastle's best players and their best defender. Captain and leader, he marshalled his back four superbly and was a rock on more than one occasion across the eight years he spent with the Magpies. He encountered difficulties both on and off the pitch as his form dipped and injuries followed. The centre-back is currently playing for San Lorenzo in Argentina, his home country.
Chelsea's Diego Costa in action with Mike Williamson
Williamson is another player who, on his day, was a rock at the back for Newcastle in the Championship. Signed in the January transfer window of 2010, Williamson struck up a good relationship with the fans as he put in hard working displays wherever he was chosen to play. However, in the Premier League he was found out on more than one occasion by the quicker strikers who left him in their wake. Currently with Wolves in the Championship, Williamson has not yet featured this season due to his injury problems.
Ryan and his namesake Steven were mainstays of the Newcastle defence for some time as the Magpies looked to consolidate their position in the Premier League. However, both of the Taylors encountered a number of injury problems and so fell down the pecking order. Taylor was perhaps best known for his wicked free-kicks and busy displays. The defender is currently with Port Vale in League One after his departure from Newcastle.
One of the more successful players from the starting XI, albeit, he is playing for a side currently bottom of the Premier League. His intelligent running, turn of speed and tricky feet make him a tough proposition to deal with on the wings and he spent a fairly successful spell with the Magpies. As previously mentioned, he is currently with Swansea, who are in some relegation trouble of their own, with Routledge needing to rediscover his old form to keep his current team's head above water.
Andy Carroll (C) celebrates scoring for Newcastle United with Joey Barton (R) and team mates
For such a talented player, he has had a very disappointing career. With Burnley last season he was awesome as he played a pivotal role in their promotion. Instead of staying with the newly promoted side though, he chose a move to Scottish outfit Rangers. Poor performances and training ground bust ups mean his contract was terminated by Rangers and he is currently back training with Burnley in an attempt to maintain his fitness.
Smith spent five years with Newcastle after his time with Manchester United and became a very important part of the squad. He is a player that could fill in in midfield and also up front, thus making him a very versatile and dangerous option. However, since his time with Newcastle he has fallen down the league system and is now playing with League Two side Notts County, with whom he has been with since 2014.
Guthrie played on the wing against QPR on the final day and he showed his pace and power throughout the season when called upon. He was not at Newcastle for much longer after their promotion though, as, in 2012, he moved onto Reading. Since then, his career has not gone forward particularly well, with the wide man currently playing for struggling Championship side Blackburn Rovers.
Leon Best of Newcastle United (L) and Ledley King of Tottenham Hotspur in action
The striker has played for a lot of clubs in his time and he has not really been able to settle down at one for an elongated period of time. Best was actually brought in during the January transfer window of 2010, and so did not play the entire promotion winning season. The striker lasted just a year and a half with Newcastle, scoring 10 goals in 42 appearances, before moving to Blackburn Rovers, with the striker currently playing with 17th placed Championship side Ipswich Town.
Ameobi was an absolute tank of a player with his strength and size making him a nightmare for defenders to deal with. However, with the emergence of the likes of Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse and Andy Carroll, Ameobi fell down the pecking order in favour of the more clinical strikers. Ameobi is currently unattached, with his time at Fleetwood Town coming to an end last season.