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It’s a fine line for Newcastle United

5 years ago

A new season looms large for Newcastle Utd – anyone nervous yet?

Pre season is done with. The waiting is over.

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Newcastle United under Steve McClaren are about to get the new campaign underway.

As I trudged back from the Borussia game, I thought ‘patience’ needs to be the watchword. Rome wasn’t built in a day. It’ll take time for McClaren to get that team playing exactly how he wants it.

It’s a results business, yes, but patience will be needed here. There is much work to be done on transfers and the season has sneaked up quickly.

The squad needed a major overhaul, not just tinkering at the edges, but as things stand the club has failed to rebuild the back four sufficiently.

Surely McClaren, who worked with Fergie at Man Utd, recognises the need to build from the back? Southampton will fancy their chances if Williamson is in the starting line-up.

It’s a fine line the club are walking because another centre half would really settle it all down.

They also need a right sided midfielder and another centre forward. I keep hearing that there will be more coming in. There has to be, otherwise it could be a season where they missed an opportunity to really move forward. Player sales remain a worry too – Sissoko anybody?

I’m happy with the new arrivals so far and I recognise it’s a significant investment by the club, albeit working off a backlog of shambolic transfer windows over the last three years where money has been there but not spent.

Distrust in the Ashley regime will always remain, that’s a fact that will never shift, so I don’t expect a season of complete harmony is about to unfold.

Aside from squad strength and playing style, the club must attack the cup competitions. As ever, I live in hope of getting the good draw. The derby remains a major issue too. The players need to move heaven and earth in that game.

Steve’s not John but he has to outdo Alan

Shearer was spot on when he said the benchmark was pretty low for McClaren, after what John Carver put the club and it’s fans through between January and May this year. Surely Mac can’t do any worse than JC.

He also has to try and do outdo Pardew by getting the points on the board with tactical acumen at the forefront. Despite what Palace fans say on Twitter, Pardew served up some shocking football at Newcastle in 2013 and 2014. We need to see a better product on the pitch, where players know their jobs and improve under good coaching.

I’m sure we’ll all marvel at Pardew doing well at Palace but we can only judge him on his time at NUFC and that was really a one season wonder.

Spending a penny at SJP

At the Borussia game, the gents toilets in the Gallowgate upper tier had no lights working, so we basically had to spend a penny in near darkness, save for emergency lighting. Fans left in the dark again, eh?

It got me thinking what Derek Llambias might have said, ‘Saving on electricity will help us to put a new player on the pitch’.

You can follow the author on Twitter @DavePunton


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