Decisions That Took Newcastle United off the Path to the Champions League

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Decisions That Took Newcastle United off the Path to the Champions League
David Rogers/Getty Images
Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew

Newcastle United’s Jekyll and Hyde existence over the past two years has intrigued and infuriated the club’s fanatical support in equal measure.

In May last year the Magpies clinched fifth place in the Premier League, qualifying for European competition for the first time in six seasons and finishing ahead of the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool.

Fast forward 12 months, and Alan Pardew’s side found itself in a very different setting. Just five points separated the Geordies from the dreaded drop as they finished fifth from bottom.

A promising start to the 2013-14 campaign has got some Toon stars dreaming of continental competition once more, with man-of-the-moment Hatem Ben Arfa eyeing another top-five finish, as revealed by The Shields Gazette.

But after such a dramatic turnaround in fortunes over the past 16 months, their prospects under Pardew remain typically unclear.

And having missed out on the Champions League by just four points last year, we look at some of the factors that took Newcastle off the path to Europe’s biggest club competition.

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