With the last set of premiership fixtures upon us, few would have expected so see Alan Pardew’s Newcastle side in the battle for champions league qualification, yet should results go their way they could be lining up against the giants of European football once again after a 10 year absence from the competition.

It would be fair to say that the magpie’s success this season has been unexpected. After the summer sales of Kevin Nolan, Joey Barton, Jose Enrique and of course Andy Carroll, It looked like Newcastle may struggle. Despite this exodus, the clubs transfer policy led by chief scout Graham Carr has been a resounding success, as the introduction of key players such as Cabaye, Ba and January star signing Demba Cisse has seen the club competing at the top end of the table.

The influx of new players has clearly been a key factor, but also the careful managerial hand of Alan Pardew has done much to stabilise the club. Despite joining in controversial circumstances with the ousting of fan favourite Chris Houghton, Pardew has won over the Geordie hordes and with a long term contract in place for him and his star players, this has finally given the magpies the much needed security it needs.  When looking at the factors which have affected the clubs success this year it is hard to not praise Mike Ashley. Although he remains an unpopular figure on Tyneside, much of his good work has been vital in the clubs amazing rise to the top 5 of the premier league.

Not only has Ashley poured in millions of his own money to make the club financially sound and to secure transfers, his policy to sign younger exciting players and placing them on longer contracts and in getting in a top quality manger also on a long contract means he has done much to bring the stability the club has desperately needed over the years.   Perhaps the Newcastle faithful need to rethink their feelings when it comes to their chairman??