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Alan Pardew Claims Newcastle United Are Stronger Than A Year Ago – But Are They?

8 years ago

When interviewed out in Portugal this week, Alan Pardew has referred to having a ‘stronger’ team than at this point last year.

The reference can be taken either in terms of fitness & preparation, or in terms of the strength (numbers/ability) of the actual squad.

For our purposes here however, I’d like to consider the ins and outs of the past 12 months and where it has left us now, comparatively.

These are the outgoing & incoming transfers of the last year;

OUT                                       IN
Danny Guthrie                  Gael Bigirimana
Peter Lovenkrands          Curtis Good
Alan Smith                         Vurnon Anita
Fraser Forster                   Romain Amalfitano
Leon Best                          Mathieu Debuchy
Demba Ba                         Moussa Sissoko
Xisco                                   Mapou Yanga- Mbiwa
Nile Ranger                       Yoan Gouffran
Danny Simpson                Massadio Haidara
Steve Harper
James Perch

In terms of our first eighteen I would say that these are the ins and out from the two lists;

In – Anita, Debuchy, Gouffran, Mapou, Sissoko, Haidara

Out – Simpson, Forster, Perch, Best, Guthrie, Ba

My personal take is that Demba Ba is the biggest factor here, as proven Premier League goalscorers are the most valued commodity.

I would say that on what we have seen so far, those ins and out have made NUFC very marginally stronger overall. Though I think there is scope for the likes of Debuchy, Mapou and Sissoko to show us a lot more and add consistency to their play.

However, there are (at least) two other factors to consider.

Firstly, if Cisse leaves then that would massively tilt the scales the other way as losing two out adnd out proven goalscorers would be a disaster, with Yoan Gouffran more of a supporting act at best.

Secondly, what cannot be ignored is that the vast majority of fans thought we were desperately in need of squad strengthening before all of these transfers in and out happened.

So while arguably things are very slightly better than 12 months ago, the reality is that the squad is still far too weak, especially up front and at  least one defender and attacking midfielder/winger short.

Plenty of scope to move forward but if we move backwards in the transfer trading then Newcastle United could be in big trouble.
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