Of the many things Newcastle fans endured last season, how many things did the powers that be actually learn from?

We edge closer to the start of the 2015/2016 season with no new additions, in fact we do so without Gutierrez, Ryan Taylor, Sammy Ameobi (loan) and Jak Alnwick, who all played their part last season.

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So in essence a squad which was widely regarded as being paper thin last season has become even thinner.

Added to that fact is the extremely sad situation we find ourselves in, having refused the iconic, battling Gutierrez, a contract extension.

Yes he’d lost pace, but he proved match after match that he has the heart of a lion; determination, passion and desire, plus he was the leader we so desperately needed. Do we have anyone who can take up that mantle?

As a player he’s not at the level of Pirlo, but he could well have been as inspirational for the team, as well as what a hero for the academy lads to admire.

Jonas, you inspired people the world over and you will continue to do so for many years to come – adiós a nuestro héroe que lucha!

jonas gutierrez

The situation we now find ourselves in is that we have dead wood, but a squad too small to sacrifice anyone, without replacements already signed up, unless we want to potentially have another season like the last.

We are in dire need of two centre-backs to replace Coloccini and Williamson, plus that is taking into account the ‘return’ of Lascalles from his season loan back to Forest. Taking into account the fact that Taylor is perennially injured, then when fit, has as many bad games as good.

When Steve McClaren took on this job, I’m sure he didn’t expect so many things needed to be addressed.

Not just in terms of the first team; where lack of leadership, training, ideas and tactics were obvious for all to see last season. But the fundamentals, that regardless of having exceptional facilities, almost all of our prospects in the past eight years under Mike Ashley have failed to make it to the first team. This club has let them down, as much as it has let its fans down, and this must change.

What we haven’t had for a long while, is a bench of established first team players desperate to get onto the pitch, fighting tooth and nail to be in the starting eleven. Players pressing those in the starting eleven to perform at their best and knowing that if they don’t, there is someone there willing to jump into their boots while they’re still warm.

Mr Charnley, it’s time for you to open up the chequebook and start writing…!