Back to pre-season training and back to reality for Newcastle United
Monday 3 July sees the Newcastle United squad getting back together.
The Championship ended 57 days ago, a remarkable finale to a successful season as already promoted NUFC beat Barnsley at St James Park and Brighton imploded at Villa Park.
Who won the title didn’t really matter…well, it didn’t if you are a Brighton fan!
It is always nice to come first and Rafa Benitez & his players couldn’t do any more last season, as the cards that were dealt meant that Newcastle were competing in the second tier.
Supporters left St James Park full of hope and expectation, the club once again with real momentum and who knows what can happen?
The last two promotions have proved how quickly fortunes can change.
Going up in 1992/93, inside a year Newcastle had finished third in the Premier League (then went on to finish 6th, 2nd, 2nd).
Promoted in 2009/10, within two years the Magpies had ended the season in fifth place, coming very close to a Champions League spot.
People say ‘Ah – but things are different now’.
Which is all very strange seen as it was only in May 2016 that Leicester City were crowned Premier League champions, only two years after promotion.
Not making any outrageous claims of Newcastle’s first top tier title in 91 (NINETY ONE) years but nothing wrong with simply showing ambition and seeing where it takes you.
First things first and that season after you go up is obviously a crucial one.
In May we saw both Middlesbrough and Hull bounce back down at the first time of asking, along with a shockingly poor Sunderland team who had somehow evaded relegation time after time, thanks in a large part to the donation of points each season from Tyneside.
No panic on transfers just yet for Newcastle fans but now the team are back at the training ground, I think each passing day from now on without any strengthening of the squad will be a negative.
Supporters have been using the return to pre-season training as a countdown where transfers are concerned and now that has come to an end.
We now look at 40 days until the Premier League kicks off once again and only 11 days until the first pre-season friendly at Hearts.
Whilst there is no panic, I don’t see how anybody can look at no new faces added to the squad as being a positive.
Rafa Benitez will surely have wanted and expected new signings in by now and can’t be happy that at least one or two haven’t been dragged over the line.
It will be interesting to see the Newcastle manager’s body language when he gives his first press conference/interview to camera, here we go again.
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