Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher do not expect Newcastle United to finish in the top six or seven this season.
The Magpies are preparing for their first full season under new ownership, now ran by a consortium who have long-term ambitions of competing in Europe.
They have already taken huge strides towards that goal. A sensible and ambitious manager in Eddie Howe has been appointed, while money has been invested.
However, Newcastle haven’t massively splashed the cash this summer. Our one big signing is Sven Botman at £35million. We still desperately need attacking reinforcements.
But given the change of mood at St James’ Park and the form shown in the second half of last season, some are tipping Newcastle for a very bright season that might end with European qualification.
However, Neville and Carragher aren’t convinced.
Neville and Carragher on Newcastle qualifying for Europe
The Sky Sports pundits have appeared on the latest episode of the Overlap, where they had to answer some quickfire questions. They were asked about about some interesting topics, and one question involved the Magpies.
Presenter Josh Denzel asked: “Will Newcastle qualify for Europe?”
Both Neville and Carragher answered almost immediately with a definitive ‘no’.
While they pondered and deliberated some questions, this answer was definitive. They do not think Newcastle are going to be playing European football next season.
Qualifying for Europe would be a real shock
In the second half of last season we had the form of a team who could qualify for Europe. We have since made some good signings, while Kieran Trippier and Callum Wilson are fully fit.
There are plenty of reasons for optimism on Tyneside. However, qualifying for Europe still feels like a stretch.
It would mean us having to finish in either at least sixth or seventh, depending on who wins the domestic cups. That is going to be a real challenge considering how much the other teams around us have improved.
Newcastle want to break into the top six, but so do many other sides. Meanwhile, the ones already there are doing their best to stay there.
The fact that Neville and Carragher didn’t even stop to think about whether Newcastle can qualify for Europe might seem dismissive, but it’s a testament to the quality in the Premier League.
Can we do it? Anything is possible. However, it would be a real shock.