Martin Keown has been previewing Newcastle United’s return to the Premier League.
The former Arsenal and England defender sees two people as crucial to Newcastle’s hopes…
The obvious one is of course Rafa Benitez, with Martin Keown pointing out that the Spaniard ‘has managed some of Europe’s top clubs and will be crucial to any success this season’.
As for key players, Keown points to Dwight Gayle.
With pace and goals being vital in the Premier League, he sees Gayle as having a finishing style as reminiscent of Ian Wright at times, and after thriving in the Championship with 23 goals despite only 26 starts – restricted by injury, he now has his chance on the top stage.
However, with hamstring/confidence issues blighting the final weeks/games of pre-season, we wait to see just what part Dwight Gayle is set to play this season.
When it comes to be ‘Reasons to be fearful’ for Newcastle, Martin Keown thinks Newcastle will be certain to struggle if one of two things happen.
The pundit saying that if Rafa leaves, or NUFC fail to properly strengthen in these remaining weeks of the transfer window, there will be troubles ahead.
Needless to say, if both of these things did happen, it wouldn’t be just a struggle, it would be catastrophic for Newcastle United.
Martin Keown talking to The Mail:
WHO’S IN CHARGE?
“Rafa Benitez – Brought in too late to rescue Newcastle two years ago, Benitez showed loyalty to stand by the club and return them to the top flight. He has managed some of Europe’s top clubs and will be crucial to any success this season.”
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
“Newcastle have bounced back immediately and, with Middlesbrough and Sunderland going the other way, they are the pre-eminent North East club once more.
“In Benitez they have a manager with a proven track record in delivering trophies.
“Not since the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1969 have Newcastle won major honours, so Benitez would become a legend on Tyneside should he win silverware.”
REASONS TO BE FEARFUL
“Unless Benitez is given the resources he needs, there is every chance he could leave the club.
“The manager himself has admitted the club have had a ‘difficult’ transfer window so far and Newcastle will struggle if they fail to strengthen — or if Benitez leaves.”
“Dwight Gayle – When he was at Selhurst Park, Gayle’s imaginative finishing reminded me of Ian Wright, another Palace old boy.
“He thrived in the Championship, scoring 23 goals, and now he has the chance to prove he belongs at the highest level.”
WHERE WILL THEY FINISH THIS SEASON?
“If Benitez stays at the club and is able to work his magic, Newcastle have a great chance of survival.”