Are You Looking Forward To Next Season?
Since last season’s calamity which saw us finish 16th after the previous success story of reaching 5th, I have yet to find a soul who holds any optimism for the upcoming chapter in the journey of Newcastle United.
It appears that Mike Ashley is reluctant at best, to sanction a transfer anywhere north of £4m when it is as transparent as thin air that we need a striker to help take the burden off sole-striker Papiss Cisse.
We live in an era now when one of those 15-20 goals strikers will fetch a fee of around the £15m mark, both European powerhouses Swansea City and West Ham United seem to have little trouble in pursuing this.
Don’t forget the defence that shipped a whopping 68 goals last season – only Aston Villa and relegated duo Wigan and Reading conceded more. Then what about the creativity in midfield, or overwhelming lack of it?
Star(?) player Yohan Cabaye is continually linked away but would we miss the man whose body language had every hallmark of a Gallic wantaway throughout the campaign?
There is much to be considered at boardroom level, but whether any rational thoughts are actually taking place in the corridors of chaos is anybody’s guess as JFK mumbles his way tragically through a takeaway menu, whilst attempting to refer to our playing staff.
Yet despite all the shortcomings and furore, I am as ever, upbeat about the new season. Outside of the Manchester clubs, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham, the whole division is arguably up for grabs and just look what we achieved in 2011/12 when we got off to a flier with a squad arguably less talented than the one we possess currently. Debuchy, Sissoko, Yanga-Mbiwa and Gouffran are good signings and will benefit from having the experience of last season.
I also feel our fans are too quick to entirely transform their opinions on Cheick Tiote. The Ivorian was a powerhouse in his first two seasons and whilst he was poor last year, so too was everyone else! We can be very drastic in our mood swings here, just look at Scott Parker’s career since leaving Tyneside. Coloccini has also decided to stay (although an apology is still due after his ridiculous actions) which is fantastic as without him we looked entirely lost on every occasion he was missing.
Now onto the lad who actually has ‘it’. You know, ‘it’, when he creates or does something out of nothing when the team looks devoid of ideas and inspiration. Hatem Ben Arfa, the mercurial Frenchman who promises so much but delivers consistently below-par when required. Injuries have not helped his cause since joining in 2010 but this season this lad could be our saviour and make us a force. Those goals against Everton, Bolton and Blackburn are some of the strikes you rarely see in a lifetime. HBA must stay fit and Pardew has to find him the role where he can terrorise defenders once more. The 4-3-3 which worked so effectively in our rise to 5th was inexplicably dropped to try and accommodate a now departed Demba Ba in a 4-4-2 last season, or whatever the hell they were playing.
Looking to the future and young Adam Campbell has really impressed me when coming on for the odd cameo, as well as his goalscoring record for the reserves. He also possesses pace, bags of the stuff in fact and it was probably the biggest ingredient missing from our team last year which had us playing like that of a sticky jam tart rather than a fancy soufflé. He should be given time and opportunities to come on at appropriate times to build his confidence and experience to develop an unquestionable talent.
The thing with supporting this magnificent club is that you become primed with a hollow belief that we will actually go places. Whether it be Keegan’s Entertainers or Bobby’s Young Guns, we always expect to make a hash of it somewhere along the way. And so what if we don’t win a trophy this year?
St. James’ Park will still stand as one of the greatest stadiums going and house the most loyal and fervent supporters in the country. Nobody else can boast attendances and loyalty the way we can when considering the total lack of silverware within the last half-century. So when Local Hero bellows out as the lads take to the field to do battle, hairs will tingle on the arms and the back of the neck once more.
Football clubs are only as big as its support and as long as we continue to back the lads with the incredible numbers we always do home and away, you never know, we might just be there when they do something unbelievable.
So when people ask me, ‘are you looking forward to the new season?’, of bloody course I am!
Have a bet on Newcastle United next season and also take advantage of the £25 free matched bet on offer.
66/1 NUFC to finish Top Four – View all odds HERE
9/1 NUFC to finish Top Six – View all odds HERE
11/10 NUFC to finish Top Ten – View all odds HERE
4/6 NUFC to finish Bottom Ten – View all odds HERE
1/20 NUFC to stay up – View all odds HERE
8/1 NUFC to be relegated – View all odds HERE
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