Whilst it would look a massive gamble for Newcastle to not bring in another quality goalscorer, it is equally obvious just how important Dwight Gayle will be this coming season.

Last season his 23 goals were a key part of the promotion picture and you can only wonder just how many he would have ended up with, if injury hadn’t prevented him making more than 26 league starts.

The striker admits ‘I have a lot of weight on my shoulders and I will have to do well next season’ – surely that weight of expectation has to be shared with at least one other new goalscorer, though they are the hardest to land in the transfer market.

As well as more spectacular goals last season, Dwight Gayle also showed that happy habit all good strikers have, of being in the right place at the right time. A mixture of luck and design, an instinct to gamble where the ball will land, something almost impossible to teach.

The problem with Gayle though, is that we can’t be confident of him being on the pitch for most of the season, as he acknowledged himself a week ago.

Dwight Gayle interviewed after scoring twice against Hearts – 14 July 2017:

‘Towards the back end of last season you were plagued by that hamstring trouble a little bit. That’s clearly behind you now, it is all in the past?’

“(Laughs!) I wouldn’t say that.

“Just seeing how it goes and fingers crossed I can get as many games as possible next season.”

Having had repeated hamstring problems in the last few years at both Crystal Palace and Newcastle, no wonder the striker is so cautious about predicting just how his fitness will go.

Last season, Gayle started 21 of the first 26 Championship matches but then only five of the remaining 20 league games as hamstring problems struck yet again.

Newcastle ended up crawling over the finishing line when at one point they looked like having a stress free promotion season with Dwight Gayle seemingly set to break all kinds of records.

Those final 20 games saw a run at one point of eight matches where in only one of them Newcastle scored more than one goal in a game.

Dwight Gayle talking to the Chronicle:

“You obviously know the history of it (the number nine shirt) and how much people rely on that number 9 to do well.

“I know that I have a lot of weight on my shoulders and I will have to do well next season.

“As I said last season, I don’t have too many targets, just to try my best.

“To go out and get as many goals as I can, then see where that takes me.

“I wouldn’t say it (scoring goals) was a knack, it’s sometimes a bit of luck, things drop for me in the right areas.

“As I have said before, the quality behind me is fantastic and I love playing with some of the players we have got here.

“As long as that continues, I will continue to do well I hope.

“If that is the case then I am sure everyone will be happy.”

  • Leazes Ender

    You don’t buy wingers without a target man, who will be on his way shortly, that would be stupid.

    • Rich Lawson

      Or presumably let Murphy go with out having someone lined up ?

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      Which of our wingers put crosses into a target man?

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    good goal scorer but missed 20 games in each of the last 2 seasons
    can`t rely on him, Gimp

  • Desree

    All the happy clappers don’t want to face up to facts. When Gayle was missing we were poor – defensively and offensively. That was against championship teams.
    When Shelvey was banned we struggled. This squad has about 30 goals in them based on last season and the factoring the jump in class. We really need goalscorers

    • Leazes Ender

      Gayle or Shelve missing and Rafa parks the bus further back.

      • Soldier

        Is that possible

      • Anita kick up the Hoop

        Shelvey has always been found wanting for pace and mobility at Premiership level .. he then gets frustrated and disappears or looses his head and gets booked

    • Damon Horner

      Not sure who’s point your opposing here? Outspoken for the sake of being outspoken. Nobody said we were great when key players were missing.

      We did just enough but the general opinion of everyone was we needed to strengthen in this window. Nothing we didn’t all believe.

      • Soldier

        we haven`t strengthened though, have we

        • Damon Horner

          We have. It’s a question of whether we’re strong enough. This team though has many individuals who are capable of stepping up to the level so I’d prefer to ser them play against good opposition first.

          • Anita kick up the Hoop

            Who is capable of stepping up ?

          • Damon Horner

            Probably more than you might think considering them individually.

            One thing us for certain we need an insurance against Gayle’s injury and we could do with a player who can offer more tactical flexibility.

          • Anita kick up the Hoop

            Then name them individually please

          • Damon Horner

            Bearing in mind this is a judgement of capability of Premier League level which includes those who can hold their own in the bottom end.

            Darlow, Krul, Yedlin, Clark, Mbemba, Lascelles, Dummett, Hayden, Shelvey, Atsu, Ritchie, Gayle. I think there’s a way back for De Jong and Saivet too.

          • Desree

            We have 30 goals in this team based on previous pl stats and being generous. I don’t see us getting more than 10 clean sheets. So how are we going to win enough games to get the points we need to survive?

          • Damon Horner

            Obvious answer isn’t? Hope we sign 1-2 players who are better quality or hope the current group who should have earned a bit more respect from fans can step up.

          • Desree

            Hope is not strategy.

      • Desree

        We need to strengthen. Lets not applaud the club for contuing to repeat the same mistakes that got us relegated. That is my observation. It isn’t about patience when you see the club repeating the same mistakes over and over.

        • Damon Horner

          Biggest difference is these signings appear to want to play for the club and/or for Rafa.

          You can see what the plan is as well. Competition for places between players of close ability where one bad egg will be moved on, permanent uplift of quality when players appear to lack the quality.

          It isn’t finished yet by any means and we’re still lacking in certain positions but give me a Murphy over Thauvin any day.

    • TheFatController

      I think the happy clappers you refer to assume we’ll be Strengthening, they’re not deluded the squad is good enough.

      Life isn’t about polarities, mike Ashely is neither pure evil nor pure saint. To think either is a sign on blinkered perspective.

      I would think the ‘happy clappers’ as you put it, in an equally blinkered way assuming you’re smarter somehow, are simply looking at the fact a world class manager is controlling transfers and building a squad methodically fit for purpose with the revenue the club makes.

      So the ‘happy’ you refer to may just be that ‘I’m happier it’s not pardew and Carr, or MacLaren’

      It doesn’t mean they can’t see Ashley for what he is, and thus you need to enlighten them – that’s patronizing. It probably just means if Ashley shows he’s learning its progress – we’d all take a new owner but in life, there are never polarities, everything falls somewhere in between. Ashley isn’t great, most would agree, but he is handling things better. Thus to say he hasn’t changed is a polarity that doesn’t bear scrutiny.

      • Anita kick up the Hoop

        Ten years of Ashley is all the proof you need

      • Desree

        I have been one of the haapy clappers. I applauded the arrival of Rivierre, the next Thierry Henry. I even marvelled at how good he was at holding up play.

        We all know where not investing in the team leads to. We all know the deficiency in the teams. Thinking positively doesn’t change that. Mclaren was the most positive thinking manager we had. We also had Steve Black. We were relegated.

      • Desree

        Not once did I mention Ashley

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      Did you confirm our bet Des’ree? ‘money don’t make my world go round’

      • Desree

        I’m reaching out to a higher ground bobbi

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman


          • Desree


    • Anita kick up the Hoop

      Even when Gayle played we turned over a lot of possession and struggled to play in the final third of the pitch … he can’t hold the ball up and bring others into play .. we played 15/20 yards further forward when Mitrovic was on the field .. in the Premiership if we give up that type of possession we will be destroyed.. our defence isn’t good enough to play a system where we soak up attacks and hit on the break .. Shelvey in midfield isn’t quick enough to cover the ground and falls further and further onto his centre halfs toes looking for easier possession.. we then get pinned back resorting to hoofs forward that Gayle chases but is easily outmuscled and the cycle starts over again .. that happened in a poor championship never mind the premier league!

  • Mxpx

    Gayle’s past premiership goalscoring record doesn’t suggest he’s a player we should be looking to having never scored more than 7 in a season

    • 1957

      It’s ok a new goalkeeper will compensate for any lack of goals

  • Leicester Mag

    Not doom mongering to point out that we effectively have 1 centre forward, one who has struggled to play a full season and like or not has not got a proven record in the Premier league. Clearly Rafa doesn’t rate Mitro, perhaps understandably. History shows though last time we tried to rely on a single forward all it took was a pre season accident to show the folly.

    • Damon Horner

      Injury record alone we definitely another functional striker.

  • 1957

    Let’s hope Diego Rolan isn’t plan B if Gayle gets injured.

    Rolan’s goals per game ratio in the French league is 1 in 3.6, marginally WORSE than that of…Emmanuel Riviere and we know how well he adapted to the PL.

    • Damon Horner

      I know little about him, is he any good? What’s he like?

      • 1957

        He is reasonably quick and his goals on YouTube are well taken. I’ve seen him a couple of years ago apparently when I was visiting Monaco as part of a holiday, he clearly didn’t make an impression. Over the last 3 seasons he has made around 30 appearances each year but only made double figures with goals once. 33 goals in a total of 121 games is hardly prolific and not what we need.

  • Anita kick up the Hoop

    His record while playing as a lone striker in the Premiership doesn’t fill me with optimism

  • Stephen Paylor

    Please Rafa with Chelsea signing Morata go and get us Michy Batshuayi (or at very least Loic Remy)

  • Geordiegiants

    Let’s hope we can off load donkovitic, then we will have to buy a new forward, I only hope it’s not a chefi coochy!