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Opinion

10 positives(***) for Newcastle United heading into the 2019/20 Premier League season

3 months ago
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Talking about positives at Newcastle United has become a little bit outdated.

Mike Ashley has ‘succeeded’ in wearing down the best of us.

However, there is now at last room for positivity.

Of course, it depends on the owner standing aside and letting things be down properly, or preferably, selling the club.

Ten positives below but the first one is integral to the rest…

Rafa Benitez(***)

A much decorated manager who has signed on for another three/five/ten years.

Martin Dubravka

The best goalkeeper Newcastle United have had since Shay Given.

A manager with a realistic transfer budget and freedom to spend it as he sees fit

Like many of these other positives, they all rely on the top one. Rafa Benitez staying as manager at St James Park.

He will surely only do that with a watertight contract and Mike Ashley this time unable to break ‘promises’ he makes to Rafa.

Centre-Back

The best strength in depth of centre-backs (Lascelles, Schar, Lejeune, Fernandez) most/all of us have ever seen, plus potentially further strengthened with Clark set to go and maybe replaced.

A tried and tested formation that works

Rafa Benitez is the first EVER to make three/five at the back work at Newcastle United. This formation looks very good and could be potentially great, if/when better players are added in certain positions,

Miguel Almiron

When you consider he was stepping up from MLS level AND after a two month break with no football, it was an astonishing impact really from Almiron. He changed the way Newcastle played from February onwards.

His record for NUFC currently stands at Played 10 Won 5 Drawn 2 Lost 3, repeated over the course of a full season that would do nicely.

With that Premier League experience AND with some better players added this summer, he could be a real star next season. Goals and assists aplenty if Newcastle do things right.

A sold out St James Park every game

Rafa Benitez is absolutely pivotal on this one.

Newcastle averaged over 51,000 in the Championship because Rafa stayed and the fans believed in a better future.

If Ashley changes and gives the manager what he needs/wants, St James Park will be full next season.

Good to watch

As you can see in this table below not only the results but also the entertainment/goals factor were so much better in the final four months of the season.

Only four clubs picked up more points in the last 16 games and only four scored more goals.

premier league form table 2018/19 from match week 23

Sean Longstaff

Now regularly mentioned as a target for Man Utd, Tottenham and others, that is all good!

We should want our players mentioned as being targets for others, it is a compliment and not a cross to bear.

A massive bonus what he showed last season and having a homegrown star in the centre of midfield scoring goals (he will, trust me), will be a sight to behold.

Top 10 and building for the future

Finally, Newcastle United will be building towards something.

Once again, providing Rafa Benitez stays and isn’t the domino that knocks down so many others, NUFC will be on the rise again.

I actually think it will be top eight, never mind top ten, and momentum will be with us.

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