Alan Shearer believes Newcastle's season could have turned out differently if they had kept all their stars.
The Magpies began their Premier League campaign with high hopes but they have endured another turbulent 12 months and are now in danger of being relegated.
Shearer admits there are a number of things that have gone wrong and hopes Newcastle will not be so willing to sell their local heroes in future.
He has pointed to James Milner's form for Aston Villa as an illustration of his point, with the winger allowed to move on last summer despite then manager Kevin Keegan insisting he would not be going.
"There have been mistakes made," Shearer told the Daily Telegraph.
"James has gone on and had a very good season with Aston Villa. That tells its own story, doesn't it?
"I have looked at it and looked at it and thought why? Hopefully it will be rectified in the future with Newcastle United as a Premier League football club."
Newcastle face Aston Villa in their final Premier League match of the season and Shearer does not believe the significance of the occasion can be overstated, with three other clubs still battling to survive.
"Huge, huge," he said. "We all know the implications. I know, the players know, people around the city know what it means for this football club in to be in the Premier League.
"Massive. You are talking about the staff you don't know at this football club - tea ladies - who could lose their jobs.
"We're all aware of the stakes. I won't have to motivate the players for this game. We've got one last throw of the dice."