By Ollie Irish
After six middling years in the Championship, Plymouth Argyle have slipped back into the third tier of English football. Paul Mariner did a half-decent job in very difficult circumstances, and whilst I’m not yet convinced of his quality, he deserves the chance to steer the Green Army (oh do shut up) up and out of League One next season.
Plymouth played pretty well in spells last night, but Newcastle’s superior quality shone through. Goals by Andy Carroll (a nice looping header) and Wayne Routledge (a very smart, Theo Walcott-esque finish) did the job.
So Newcastle go up as champions and I look forward to having them back in the Premier League. As a club, NUFC probably deserved the chastening experience of relegation – a spell outside the top flight is not necessarily bad medicine. The fact is, Newcastle is a big club and as such its natural home is in the first tier of English football. Can Chris Hughton keep them? It will be tough, but if the club makes a couple more shrewd purchases in the mould of Kevin Nolan in the off-season then yes, I think relegation can be avoided.
The best photos from Home Park (WARNING: Features topless Geordies):