Can circumstance breed opportunity?
We have an owner who is totally irrelevant to a true Newcastle United.
He delivered a transfer window that was absolutely expected and it’s a waste of time and energy to berate him through social media. So let’s just forget that Mike Ashley exists and focus on what has been left, as we sift through the rubble that remained after last Thursday.
We still, to this point, have a class manager who’s heart is set on Newcastle becoming better every day and a supporter group that desperately wants the manager and team to succeed in the future.
We still have a very young playing group who seem to be giving it their all for both the manager and the shirt. Remembering, this season isn’t one for us to win the League, qualify for Europe or navigate deep into a cup campaign. It’s simply a season to survive and develop and if the manager, playing group and supporter base are all as one then the foundation is there to achieve this goal.
But are we good enough to survive in the Premier League???
Possibly not…but the results of an over-inflated transfer window has certainly produced plenty of opportunities for a young squad with a high ambition.
We seem a bit light with keepers but we have a possible jet in Woodman (20) who could be the #1 for a decade in the next season or two.
At the back the jury is still out on Manquillo (23) and Lejeune (26), Clark (27) and Lascelles (23) will always give 100% but, interestingly, we’ve been forced to keep Mbemba (23). He was arguably our player of the season in our last Premier campaign and at 23 could massively benefit from Dummet’s injury.
Midfield is similar to last season but the bargain box has thrown up Merino (21). Lack of high profile signings mean he’ll play often, it’ll fast track his development, and with Merino holding his own, it could release Jonjo (25) to play at attacking midfield. Yeah, Jonjo’s a bit of a nut case but he certainly has an eye for a pass and a goal and could be the conduit we desperately need to connect the midfield to the strikers.
Opportunities now for Atsu (25) and Aarons (21) off the left and Murphy (22) to learn his trade from Ritchie (27) on the right, means we should have an abundance of enthusiasm out wide.
Mitro (22) is crazy but there is something about him that suggests a player is in there somewhere. He’s played 35 games of Premier football and scored 10 goals but he could have possibly doubled that if we think of how many gilt-edge chances he’s missed. Lack of signings means he’s had to stay and at the age of 22 he still has the opportunity to become the player we hope he could be.
The squad are young and mostly in their early to mid 20s but are super ambitious to improve and succeed. Under the tutelage of Rafa and his staff these young players, with continual opportunity and support, could develop quicker than we think.
Will it be enough to survive???
I’m not sure, but if they do and Rafa sticks, then perhaps we can look back on 2017/2018 as the season the foundation of sustained success was built for our mighty Magpies.
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