Phil Thompson told Soccer Special he hopes Alan Shearer remains Newcastle's manager despite the club's relegation to the Championship.
The Magpies dropped out of the top flight for the first time since 1993 after losing 1-0 to Aston Villa following Damien Duff's 38th-minute own goal.
"They had a fantastic start - just what the fans wanted," reflected Thompson. "It was a great atmosphere as you can imagine - there were chances coming and going.
"I said they could rue that and then a shot from outside of the box by Gareth Barry clipped off the shins of Damien Duff and gone right in the bottom corner; you knew it wasn't going to be their day.
"I think they (the Newcastle players) gave their all, they did their best. It's just that they are where they are because they haven't been good enough this season.
"The gap showed; they tried, they chased, they harried, they tackled but there wasn't the quality there that you need to stay in this division.
"Nobody has a divine right to stay in the Premier League; you have to earn respect and the points that you gain and Newcastle have not done enough, I'm afraid."
PassionDespite that, Thompson believes the Premier League will be a poorer place in Newcastle's absence.
"You always want a Newcastle (in the league) - a 55,000-seater stadium, the passion of the fans," he said.
"A lot of the time their fans are even better when they travel away. The support that they give for a whole 90 minutes at games throughout the country is absolutely astonishing. Newcastle will be a massive loss for the Premier League."
Shearer is expected to hold talks with owner Mike Ashley early next week to determine if he has a future at the club given that Joe Kinnear is still officially the Magpies' manager.
"I would think he has enjoyed it," said Thompson. "He and Iain Dowie seem to get on extremely well. I would think Alan Shearer will make a quick decision, and I think it will be that he is going to stay on as manager.
"I would like to see it - he's done really well. Ok, he's not had the results he wanted but that's not really down to him. All of the damage had already been done.
"So I hope for Newcastle that he does stay there. It will be a good learning process for him. They (the club) will be hoping they can get as much money for these guys as possible so they can bring something back in."
Questions will now inevitably asked about the future of a number of the players at the club, including the likes of Mark Viduka and Michael Owen.
"A lot of those players (in the squad) will not want to play in the Championship and I would think Alan Shearer wouldn't want a lot of them.
"It's going to be a big balancing act and it's going to be like a revolving door at Newcastle this summer.
"There will be players coming and going and it will be a difficult one. Will any big players actually want to go to Newcastle and play in the Championship next year?"