Beasant-now the most expensive 'keeper in the country-took over as club captain. At times he saved United from heavier defeats but he often looked clumsy and leaden-footed and had to shoulder some of the blame for United ls decline. Jim Smith decided to sacrifice him to strengthen other parts of the team.
His impressive form in the stiffs convinced Smith he could move Beasant on and Tommy made his debut in a 3-1 defeat at Villa Park in January. Lost his place for a couple of months before returning for the final games.
The arrival of Beasant prompted him to look for another club but a move to Swansea fell through. Stayed and got a run of games at the end of the season after Tommy Wright was dropped before being dropped himself ater the 4-0 thrashing at Wimbledon.
With McDonald moving on he had the right-back slot to himself for the first half of the season. Smith didn't seem to sure about the Irishman and he was replaced almost immediately by Ranson. Scored a piledriver at home to Millwall, United's last ever goal in the old Division 1.
Once again flitted between left-back and midfield. In what was his testimonial year, he was forced to retire through injury.
Arrived from Birmingham for ? 175,000 and was plunged straight into the relegation fight. Took some stick from the fans as United struggled and because he had replaced crowd favoutite Anderson.
The former England full-back had lost his place in the Arsenal side and he looked like a good signing. A good talker-he replaced Beasant as captain-but he made little impact on what was already a slow and ponderous defence.
Used sparingly and after Jim Smith has seen him in action his career on Tyneside was over. Sold to Swindon in January.
Flame haired scotsman was signed from Raith Rovers on deadline day. A left-back by trade but played most of his games in midfield.
Dane was jetted in from Aarhus in March but arrived too late to make much difference. A classy utility player he was used initially in midfield before taking over at right-back.
With Peter Jackson moving on established himself as a regular starter for the first time.
Previously a rock in the Wimbledon defence but struggled to stay afloat in United's crumbling back line. Partnered Scott for most of the season although he missed a couple of months through injury.
Had hoped to move into management but nothing came up so he signed a one year contract. Injured at the start of the season he returned in the 4-0 defeat at Milwall and was promptly dropped. Smith later recalled him in what was to be his last season on Tyneside.
Played in the first day drubbing at Everton, but this proved to be his last game as he was dropped prompting an immediate transfer request. He returned to Bradford in September.
The regular left-back until Jim Smith brought in Kenny Sansom. Handed in a transfer request and joined Jackson at Bradford in March.
Gave his all as usual but his little legs were definitely going and his performances were not up to his usual standard. Still won the supporters Player of the Year Award in his last season on Tyneside.
Was Jim Smith's old faithful from his Oxford and QPR days and was his first and arguably best signing of the campaign. A decent schemer with a powerful long range shot he definitely improved the midfield.
Signed by Colin Sugget from Manchester United in November for to try and inject some creativity and thrust in midfield. Made his debut in the 4-0 drubbing at The Den and struggled to make an impact. Did weigh in with four goals though.
With Gazza gone some had hopes that the "new Gazza" would take his place, but he rarely got a look in despite a dearth of creativity in midfield and moved to Preston in February.
Made two sub appearances (at Highbury and Old Trafford) at the end of the season.
Made his last appearence in the home game against Spurs before ensuring his departure by labelling the club "a shambles". Moved to Dundee in March.
Made his debut when he came on as sub in the goaless draw with Luton but didnt get another look in during the season.
One of the very few successes of the season as he combined skill with workrate and decent finishing. Very popular with the fans who were extremely disappointed to see him sold to Leeds during the summer.
Despite the rumours Mirandinha did return-"refreshed"-but only fleetingly did he look up for the fight although he was top scorer. Substituted in almost half the games he started, Jim Smith completely lost patience with him and was glad to let him leave on loan during the close season.
A regular fixture in the side (in either midfield or attack) but played his last game in Jim Smith's first match in charge. Sold to Dundee United for
Struggled to make an impact during his second campaign. Memorably netted twice in the last 30 minutes after coming on as sub against Southanpton but only scored once more all season and was guilty of a number of some glaring misses. Sold before the start of the 1989/90 season.
Had been a prolific scorer in Scotland but he just could not find the net as part of United's "subbuteo" forward line. Smith immediately took the opportunity to recoup the cash by selling him back to Hearts for ? 750,000 whereupon he returned to his prolific ways.
Operating on a weekly contract he had a short run in the side in the Autumn and looked to have recaptured some of his old form but in November he moved to Millwall for ?300,OOO.
Former boxer was brought in to beef up the attack. Skimmed in his only goal against Liverpool before netting an own-goal a week later. A trier who appeared out of his depth, he returned to Denmark in July.
Signed from PSV for ? 150,000 by Colin Sugget. He scored at Hillsbrough but it proved to be his only success. It didn't take the United fans long to get the measure of the 61 4" striker and their jeers reached a crescendo in the goalless FA Cup game against Watford. "You wont get me down" he claimed but he never started another game.
Went straight from non-league Barnet into the top flight. Made his debut in the 3-0 win over Middlesbrough in October and seemed to be adding a bit of zip to United's left side. Unlucky to be replaced by Brock when Smith arrived, he wasn't given another game and left for Reading in March. Possibly had something to do with his initial fee of ?25,000 potentially rising significantly dependent upon appearances.
joined from Preston in February in a deal. Despite some promising performances really didn't get a chance to establish himself.
Started the last 3 games of the season scoring once.
Prolific scorer in the reserves and got his first chance in the firsts when he came on as sub in the last match at Old Trafford.