Newcastle United – The Love Affair
To me, supporting NUFC is quite literally like a love affair.
There are times when I want out, when I just can’t think why I ever bothered. When I want to destroy everything that reminds me of my situation, rip up every shirt, photo, programme, the lot.
Then the new season comes around. We’ve had time apart, time to think (about how boring cricket is) and we are back on. I can’t remember all of the pain of last season and there’s even been a few signings to give us hope.
De Jong looks a good player and so does Janmaat and Cabella. I’m hoping for good things and wholehearted effort from Colback too. Riviere seems to know where the goal is too. Things are looking up.
But I’ve been hurt before. I need to be sure this time before I make the journey from the Midlands as regularly as I used to.
I’ve looked closely at the ins and outs. It looks to be around even, if you don’t count the 2 from Forest as they can’t play this season. Janmaat looks class and almost a straight swap for Debuchy in terms of forward play. He can put a tackle in too. I don’t think Debuchy struck up much of a relationship with Sissoko the way Jonas and Enrique did, so I don’t think much has been lost there. I’m delighted Colback has joined us. He looks just the kind of player we lacked last year after Cabaye left. I don’t think he will replace Cabaye but he will add steel to our midfield. I think him and Tiote would do well in a 3 man midfield along with Sissoko. I’d play a 4-3-3 system that did well a few years ago.
Up front I’d have Riviere supported by de Jong and Cabella. At the back I’d have Krul, Janmaat, Colo, Willo and Haidara. My subs would be Elliott, Santon, Saylor, Anita, Gouffran, MYM and Ferreyra.
I’d still like to see us buy a better centre half to provide pace and power next to Colo. I think we could do with a top goalscorer too. I’d love to see Remy back where he did so well last year.
So in terms of playing staff I think we are about the same as the year we finished 5th but with a weaker defence. To me this begs the question about why we didn’t move forward last year. We seem to have replaced but not quite added to.
To make me think we have really moved forward the acquisition of a top goalscorer and central defender would do the job. It seems Ashley is halfway through the job. Does he want to go for it or just survive again?
Pardew is making the right noises about the top 4 but we don’t have the squad for that just yet. But at least he is being positive.
However, the biggest negative for me is the HBA situation. You are either a fan of his or not. To me he is amazing, a real talent. Whatever happens I think Pardew could have handled the situation better than he has. It will be a real shame if HBA leaves under a cloud.
So there we are. I’ve made a date with the team I’ve loved and hated for 47 years, at the Palace game. I’ll be wearing my best clothes (97 home kit – not the full kit, just the shirt!).
I will try not to swear – my kids tell my wife everything I say! I will smile a lot and be relaxed and try and enjoy the whole occasion. It’s been a while but I’m looking forward to being entertained again.
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