So another game day provides yet another comfortable win versus Cardiff yesterday, to be honest Newcastle cruised the second half against yet another mediocre team who were allegedly on a great run of form.
I walked out of St James last night once again thinking that Newcastle switched off for the second half, it seems that we scale down our attack and conserve the lead once it becomes clear that we are a class above the opposition.
Then of course we allow them back into the game like yesterday and all of a sudden we are hanging on, we still have this thing with our back four where we can’t carry off a ‘shut out’.
Which brings me on to my next point of how many Premier League acquisitions do we need to return to say mid-table next season, assuming that we do indeed get promoted.
We just seem a little bit weak still and when I watch the poorer premiership teams this season, I can’t help but think they look much stronger than us. I would like to think that come June 2017 when the summer signings get going, that we are looking at the fringe players of the top six Premier League sides and not looking at players who performed decent in Holland and Belgium.
Rafa Benitez clearly had a strategy to purchase proven Championship experienced players for his assault on the Championship title this season and I don’t think anyone would disagree that this has clearly worked. It being anyone’s guess at how far away Newcastle will be from the runners-up come May.
So my question is this, will Benitez go for proven Premiership players in June?
As to the top six fringe players I referred to earlier, they will still cost in the region of about 15-20 million pound each, and I think we need four of these said players to go with what we have.
We could be needing to spend as much as 80 million pound this summer, just to establish a foothold in the premier league.
Stoke City signing Shaqiri!!
Everton spending 28 million on Lukaku!!
My point is that whilst we were stuck in the Ashley/Carr era and accepting’ better value’ players from Belgium etc, the bar has been raised and now the average teams in the Premier League are splashing the TV money (Crystal Palace buying Benteke for 30 million).
Now I would like to think that Rafa Benitez will be looking at the likes of Samir Nasri who looks like his City days are numbered (currently on loan at Sevilla), Kieran Gibbs or maybe Oxlade-Chamberlain who seem to be on the fringes at Arsenal. Morgan Schneiderlin has apparently been told he can leave Manchester United also.
Will Mike Ashley allow Newcastle signings of this calibre?
My personal opinion is that we need this type of quality to put us back in the mix with the likes of Everton and the best of the rest next year, or it may be a struggle with or without Rafa next season.
We can only hope that Rafa discussed all of this before signing full-time in the summer and I hope rumours of confirmed budgets in his contract are true.
We have the stadium, we have the support, we have the world class manager, now we just need our chairman to give the green light in June to the signings and I’m sure we will be back amongst the Premier League elite.