Newcastle United – One Month On
What a difference a month makes.
My previous article on this site was an appeal for calm, a cry for some sense of unity in amongst the madness/negativity that has (justifiably) surrounded this club, though [intlink id=”45112″ type=”post”]things aren’t as negative as some seem to think[/intlink].
All I have wanted was for Newcastle United to be the best it can possibly be. If that’s finishing 5th (2012) so be it, if that’s finishing 10th and having a cracking cup run, that’s fine too. We simply aren’t a Manchester City, United, Arsenal, Liverpool or Chelsea. We can’t compete with that kind of spending power.
However, we should be able to give Everton and Tottenham a fight. That’s seven sides we would do well to break into and even Everton have to overachieve to get there, for they don‘t have our spending power and are always in the shadow of that other Merseyside club.
It is however unacceptable to not compete with Southampton, Swansea, West Ham, Stoke and Aston Villa, we have no excuses for not competing with them financially. Our support is streets ahead as well.
This summer we have (so far) seen Remy Cabella, Siem De Jong, Ayoze Perez, Jack Colback Emmanuel Riviere and Daryl Janmaat join, what was considered a decent first team, with little or no depth underneath. We have seen Yohan Cabaye (January) and Matteiu Debuchy leave. Er, so what? They both chose to go. Replace two players that want to be away for two that want to be here. Sounds good to me.
The deals also make good financial sense, with the fee garnered for Cabaye covering the whole deal for Cabella including wages. The same with Debuchy/Janmaat. I think the club have done well with these deals, replacing players to a similar quality and adding De Jong for comparative peanuts, is fantastic. Now if we were to ship out Elliot, (Steven) Taylor, Gutierrez, Obertan, Bigirimana and Mbiwa and get a commanding centre half in with the proceeds, we would be looking at some side in my opinion.
Naturally we still have to maintain the good players we have; Krul, Tiote and Coloccini must be at the club this season to form a good spine for the side. Here’s how I would have the side lining up next season in a 4-3-2-1:
Gouffran, De Jong, Cabella
Haidara, Williamson, Coloccini, Janmaat
The defence picks itself with Santon providing good cover at full back. Colback and Tiote I’m sure will be excellent at protecting the back four and occasionally taking turns at nipping up field when things are going well. This leaves a quartet that should be allowed to do what they do best, combining workrate with skill and creativity that can pose a problem to most of the Premier League. It has the makings of a cracking side.
Did I mention the bench? Anita, Sissoko, Abeid, Ben Arfa and Cisse. I honestly haven’t been as excited about (the potential of) a set of players at Newcastle for a number of years.
It all has to be backed up from the top. Selling players in a couple of years isn’t the answer (unless silly money is involved). Ambition must replace mediocre contentment. Attacking this league should be made compulsory and at least an attempt made in the cups. Giving up at Christmas because the bonus is safe, is not an option.
Alan Pardew has irritated me beyond belief during his time so far here, but has proven he can do the business with a good set of players. In 2012 and last season, up until the festive period and the flogging of Yohan Cabaye, things looked quite good. There is no reason why things can’t look even better this season. Everyone needs to step up.
The ingredients are certainly starting to fall into place.
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