Newcastle United currently sit just inside the top half of the Premier league. Considering this is their first year back after relegation, the season can be viewed as a successful one by Rafa Benitez's men. A top ten finish would be a good achievement for the Magpies, but with the support the club gets as well as having a top class manager, should they be aiming higher?
The club has not been in the Champions League since 2003 and not experienced European football since 2013, not to mention being trophyless since 2006, when they won the Intertoto Cup. For a club of Newcastle's stature this has not been good enough and supporters now want the club to get some silverware or at least aim for the elite competitions in Europe.
Newcastle have some of the most passionate supporters in the country. Every home game at St James' Park is a 52,000 sellout. The Geordies give their all to support their club and even when Newcastle were relegated twice in the last seven seasons, they stuck by their beloved club. With their impressive stadium and huge fan base, surely Newcastle could have a little more ambition.
The magpies have one of the best managers in the world. This is a man who has managed the very best clubs; Liverpool, Chelsea and Real Madrid to name few, not to mention that he won the Champions League in arguably the greatest final of all time.
Rafa Benitez has reunited the relationship between the clubs and supporters and has put together a hard-working passionate squad that has overachieved in the Premier League this campaign. It is clear that Rafa wants financial backing from owner Mike Ashley beforecommitting to the club.
Newcastle only had a net spend of £11.5 million this season, the sixth lowest in the division. This emphasises just how good a job Rafa and his boys have done. Newcastle rely on organisation from defence to attack. Goals have been hard to come by, with Ayoze Perez as Newcastle's top goalscorer with just six goals. Even with a lack of goals, the team finds itself in a healthy league position.
Imagine where Newcastle would be if they had Everton's budget from last summer. The Toffees had lofty ambitions when they had a net spend of over £80 million. If Newcastle had that sort of money, their target would be top six minimum!
Ashley has always expressed his desire for Newcastle to play in the Champions League. Now it is time for him to put up or shut up and invest in the playing squad. Benitez and his boys have performed admirably for Newcastle, especially when the current team is made up of loanees, youth products and players bought on modest transfer fees.
Newcastle could definitely challenge the big boys with the right investment. The club itself is a big attraction for players and with a top class manager as Rafa Benitez, Newcastle should be aiming for the top six and potentially Champions League football.