Newcastle Lose The Surprise Element
From an Australian (where I’m based) point of view the signing of Curtis Good is a welcome addition. Good is certainly not a player for this season, or even next, but the young centre-half has been talked up by the local media here and will certainly increase the coverage of NUFC if he tastes first-team action.
All the talk has been about Mathieu Debuchy being bought in as a replacement for Danny Simpson. That has failed to materialise for one reason or another, so that has been frustrating given at one point he looked certain to sign.
There of course has been the bid to re-sign striker Andy Carroll from Liverpool. I know this piece of transfer talk has split the Toon Army, but I for one would take big Andy back at the right price. With Leon Best and Peter Lovenkrands leaving we are in real need of a striker to give Cisse and Ba more competition than just Shola. Carroll would do that and more, he is better on the floor than people are giving him credit for and we wouldn’t have to change our style that much to play to his strengths, despite what the doomsayers may say.
Dutch International midfielder, Vurnon Anita, will certainly bring an extra piece of quality to the midfield options. Along with youngsters Gael Bigirimana and Romain Amalfitano, these three signings replacing the outgoing Alan Smith and Danny Guthrie improves the midfield stocks somewhat.
At home I would certainly stick with the 4-3-3 formation that served us so well last season.
Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Davide Santon
Yohan Cabaye, Cheick Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez
Hatem Ben Arfa, Papiss Cisse, Demba Ba
“It is OK. I just felt tight, it was nothing.
Then possibly away from home I would either drop Ben Arfa back into midfield or replace Ba with another midfielder like Vurnon AnitaDan Gosling, Sylvain Marveaux, Gabriel Obertan or Haris Vuckic.
Naturally there is always a worry that any player could be sold for the right price if a club comes in with a silly money offer. Hopefully though Mike Ashley now respects the plan and vision Alan Pardew and his team have for the club, so any sale would hopefully only be conducted if we had a replacement lined up and time to get in.
A big season for Alan Pardew and his team, there is no surprise element now as other teams know what we are capable of and where our strengths lie.
We got off to a great start last season and were unbeaten still in November, this time however the start looks much harder on paper, therefore it will be interesting to see how we cope if there is a couple of early defeats.
Overall though I am confident in Pardew and the squad he has assembled so hopefully we’ll see more of the same this season.
Success would naturally be winning one the cup competitions but realistically qualifying again for Europe has to be the goal.
Failure would be to finish outside the Top 10 in the league. The only way that could be construed as not being a failure would be if we did win a cup.
Our success last season for me was built on our solid foundation at the back and Coloccini & Krul were the key components of that. Coloccini has been an impressive leader who has been a rock at the back, while Krul has been a match saver with his agility and reflexes. Long-term injuries to either, or both, of these players would seriously jeopardise our league campaign.
Going forward you could pick one of numerous key players but for me every team needs an out-an-out goal scorer and in Cisse it looks like we have found one. His goalscoring run from January was sensational and even though it will be difficult for him to keep that up, his goals will win matches once again this season.
The Champions League is where every top team wants to be at and where a club like ours should be aiming to play in. However that can’t be at the expense of having a real go at the Cups, the feeling of elation and pride that winning a Cup Final would bring is something we all hope to experience once in our lives, so there is no way I could pass up that opportunity.
The following six matches have already been confirmed as televised live, with no doubt many more to follow.
Spurs (H) – Saturday 18th August but moved to 5.30pm (ESPN)
Chelsea (A) – Saturday, 25th August but also moved to a 5.30pm kick-off (ESPN)
Everton (A) – Monday 17th September 8pm (was Sat 15th Sept) (SKY)
Manchester United (H) – Sunday 7th October 4pm (was Sat 6th Oct) (SKY)
Mackems (A) – Sunday 21st October 1.30pm (was Sat 20th Oct) (SKY)
Liverpool (A) – Sunday 4th November 4pm (was Sat 3rd Nov) (SKY)
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