Newcastle is coming off experiencing one of their most disastrous weekends ever on both their men’s and women’s teams sides after they suffered defeats in their respective matches.
Eddie Howe’s squad faced reigning Premier League champs Manchester City at St James’ Park and they lost 3-2 on injury time after leading the game 2-1 with less than 30 minutes left. City clinched the win with a late goal by Oscar Bobb, leaving NUFC sitting in 10th place in the EPL standings after Chelsea’s victory 1-0 over Fulham.
The women’s team also faced a tough competitor, playing against Manchester United in the FA Cup. Despite strong support from traveling fans at Leigh Sports Village in a day for the ages—at least before kick-off—Newcastle’s women’s team, managed by Becky Langley, was trounced and destroyed on location 5-0, leading to their elimination from the competition in shocking fashion and making it clear the team still has a way to go to become the superpower everybody envisioned following the PIF takeover.
In light of these setbacks, NUFC’s co-owner, Amanda Staveley, addressed the fans on her personal Instagram account.
Staveley expressed pride in both teams’ efforts, acknowledging that it was a challenging weekend but she also emphasized resilience and unity among the teams and supporters.
“Very proud of both our Men’s and Women’s team performances,” she wrote. “It wasn’t our weekend, but we will come back stronger. I’m also overwhelmed by the support of our amazing fans – some who were traveling at 6am this morning! We Are United.”
The women’s team’s progression to the FA Cup clash against Manchester United is notable even if their tourney run ended with a monster blow. It’s worth noting how distanced in terms of talent and player quality both clubs are at this point, with Manchester playing for all trophies at the highest level yearly and NUFC still climbing the ranks from the bottom of the pyramid and fighting to reach the English top-flight division.
Most importantly, the significant number of supporters who traveled to the match reflects the growing enthusiasm for the club and its ambition to join the Women’s Super League, something that PIF and the new board have prioritized from the minute they took over back in Oct. 2021.
As for the men’s team, their performance against the inevitable Blue Mancunians was commendable even though they ultimately fell—as expected. Although the result was disappointing, it demonstrated Newcastle’s potential to compete against top-tier teams in the future, although things must take a turn for the good in the next few weeks if the club can keep up with the financial restrictions and keep competing as everybody once planned.