The Magpies suffered their first Premier League defeat on Wednesday night following a 2-1 loss to Liverpool, since May 2022 when they last lost to Manchester City
In April 1996, Kevin Keegan launched an on-air rant after his Newcastle United side had beaten Leeds United 1-0.
Goal reports they were locked in a battle with Manchester United for the fourth title of the Premier League-era. United had won two of the first three Premier League titles, with Newcastle finishing third in 1994. Keegan was lauded as a hero on Tyneside as he sought to deliver the title for the first time since 1927, something he came oh-so-close to doing.
Sadly, 26 years later, Newcastle are still without a title, whilst Manchester United have added ten more. Newcastle have struggled, suffering two relegations in the last 16 seasons and only once finishing in the top ten. However, pundit Jason Cundy thinks all that might be about to change.
Sport Bible reports he was recently asked which of the two sides he thinks will win the league next, and he immediately replied: “I’d probably go with Newcastle. Look at what Manchester City have done with their millions and how they’ve spent, look at what Chelsea have done with their millions and how they’ve spent.
“Both of those clubs aren’t in it to make money. Chelsea and Man City’s model isn’t worrying about money; it’s about glory. It’s not about the pound notes. Manchester United, right now, their priorities right now aren’t necessarily about the trophies.”
The change of heart comes amidst a strong start to the season for Eddie Howe’s side. They held a 3-1 lead against Champions Manchester City before drawing 3-3 and are laden with money after their Saudi takeover.
However, instead of splashing the cash crazily, Eddie Howe’s side have made strategic signings that have complemented an already strong set of players. Kieran Trippier, Chris Wood, Dan Burn and Bruno Guimaraes have all arrived in Newcastle and have given the team a robust feel, whilst Alexander Isak looks set to pep up their attack.
That has elevated them up the table, literally and in the eyes of pundits and experts. They’re still behind Manchester United in the current Ladbrokes Premier League odds but find themselves tagged onto the traditional top six, with the other 13 teams priced at twice the odds of the Magpies. If anyone is going to break into the elite English club’s dominance, it is likely to be the black and white of Newcastle.
Manchester United are the team ripe for plucking; they’ve had a woeful start to the season, compounded by a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Brentford. When Keegan ranted at Sir Alex Ferguson, Brentford were just a season away from relegation to the third tier; they were even in England’s bottom division for two years between 2007 and 2009. However, they brushed United aside at the Gtech Community Stadium and were described by the BBC as having ‘ran riot’ in a first half which saw them score all four goals.
In addition to their tough start, United have also struggled in the transfer market, pulling out of a move for veteran Swiss attacker Marko Arnautovic after fan backlash. The former West Ham man had been the subject of a £6.8m ($8.1m) bid before it came under fire from supporters who feel the club have completely lost their way in terms of recruitment.
They’ve also lost their way in the Premier League, looking a million miles away from the once dominant force that brushed Keegan and Newcastle aside in a thrilling title race. Perhaps, 26 years later, Newcastle are closer to the top prize than Manchester United, and somewhere, a smiling Kevin Keegan is likely toasting that fact.