We are just four days from our Premier League new season opener against Southampton.
We’ve got a new manager and a completely new coaching team.
We’ve even signed three new players for a combined £36m.
So why do I feel so numb about the start of this season, why don’t I have the excitement I’m used to, dreaming of what might be and what we could achieve?
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I guess it’s just the slow draining impact of Mike Ashley’s Newcastle United vision. It’s the knowledge that the decisions made are not for on-field success but for financial gain. It’s the feeling in my gut that the next disaster is just around the corner.
Even with the promises we’ve been made of investment in the playing staff, and the ambition to achieve the top 8 and a cup run, can’t inspire. Ultimately, those are just words and the actions don’t live up to them in my opinion.
The greatest show of this is our defence. We had the second worst defence in the Premier League last season, conceding a huge 63 goals. What have we done to correct this? We’ve signed a 20-year-old from the Belgian league.
As talented as Mbemba appears to be, you wouldn’t want to hang your hat on him shoring up the second worst defence in the division and the recent quotes from McClaren leave little hope for further additions.
Beyond the defence we’ve signed two other players and quite notably they are our third and fourth most expensive signings in our history. But also you can’t ignore it’s more raiding of weaker European leagues and nothing proven within the Premier League itself.
Even the addition of a new manager fails to kindle hope in me for the season. McClaren is a reasonably safe but utterly uninspiring appointment. I am happy to give him time but he isn’t someone who makes me think he will develop the performances of our squad significantly.
Basically, we’ve done the minimum necessary this summer to ensure we shouldn’t be at risk of relegation, but we’re a country mile from getting near top 8 or a challenging for a trophy.
The club are still trying to take the fans for mugs. They are overselling limited additions and relying on the gradual destruction of the fans’ ambition to keep them turning up each week and parting with their hard-earned cash.
If you feel that spark for the new season then I envy you but I have to ask, what are you excited about?