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Philippe Albert has fond memories of the Newcastle side he played in

"We had such a strong side – we went out there thinking that however many goals the opposition scored, we would score more. We had that mentality. We were competing in the Premier League, reaching FA Cup Finals, beating Barcelona in the Champions League. It was an amazing time.

"English football was all about ourselves and Manchester United. Chelsea were nowhere, Manchester City were nowhere. We played the kind of football that you loved watching as a kid. Goals came from everywhere. I’m not sure that any member of the current Newcastle side would get anywhere near that side. We had so many players with so much ability and without Man Utd, we would have won two or three trophies. We came so close.

"We had great players on the pitch and great players on the bench. It didn’t matter whether we were playing at home or away, everyone loved watching us play. I don’t think Newcastle have those players anymore. It’s hard to see Newcastle now ever matching what we did.

"I watch them as much as I can. Things aren’t going well but hopefully they will pick up. If they don’t buy three or four new players then they’ll definitely struggle. It needs a huge amount of money for the club to be back competing in the top six. That’s going to be very difficult because you have clubs like Manchester United, Manchester City, Spurs, Liverpool, Arsenal who are so far ahead. The club are too good to go down and I think, in many ways, if they can finish mid-table then that would be a success. But whatever happens they’re a long, long way from where they once were."

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