Jamie Carragher thinks Newcastle won't finish in the top four this season
Jamie Carragher explains why Newcastle won't finish in the top four this season
Photo by Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images

Jamie Carragher explains why Newcastle won't finish in the top four this season

Newcastle United are currently in the top four of the Premier League, but Jamie Carragher doesn’t think they will finish there.

Eddie Howe’s side are third after 14 games, and will go into the World Cup break in a position that would qualify them for next season’s Champions League. No one can force them out of the top four until at least December.

It’s been a remarkable start to the season for the Magpies, who suddenly look like genuine European contenders. Whether it’s Champions League, Europa League or Europa Conference League, there will be a real buzz among Toon fans if Howe brings European football back to St James’ Park. It would be a huge achievement for his first full season in charge of the club.

Right now, Newcastle are being talked up as Champions League contenders. We are certainly in the mix, and are being aided by slow starts to the season for the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea.

The Magpies are above those teams right now, but Carragher doesn’t expect them to stay there.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Carragher on Newcastle possibly finishing in the top four

The latest episode of Gary Neville’s The Overlap has been uploaded to YouTube, with Carragher joining the former Manchester United defender.

And he has explained why he doesn’t think Newcastle will qualify for the Champions League this season.

“The players that they’ve brought in, they have spent money, but they were good Premier League players, just to keep them up initially,” Carragher said.

“And then to take the next step. I don’t think the next step in their eyes was Champions League. I think it was almost ‘could we be challenging for Europa League with the players that we’ve got’.

“Them players for me are not Champions League players, top four players. I don’t think they’ll get there because of the quality of player. But right now they’re in there and the way they’re performing means Eddie Howe is getting more out of his players than anybody else.”

Howe is getting every ounce out of his players right now

While it sounds disrespectful, Carragher is kind of right. This isn’t a group of players who belong in the Champions League. It was only last season that most of them were competing to avoid relegation.

But the players Howe has got have taken Newcastle to third, with so many showing huge improvements under the manager. He has been in charge for a whole year, and what a year it has been.

Howe is getting more out of Miguel Almiron, Joe Willock, Joelinton, Sean Longstaff, Fabian Schar. The list goes on. Are they Champions League players? No, not on the face of it. But they are functioning in a team that is currently third in the Premier League.

Newcastle might not finish in the top four, and it’s okay if they don’t. As Carragher alludes to, the Magpies are performing better than expected this season.

A challenge for any European football would have been enough, but Howe’s men are playing out of their skins. Will it end with that famous Champions League anthem ringing around St James’ Park? Carragher doesn’t think so.