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Opinion

Unbalanced Newcastle United squad vulnerable to losing key players

2 years ago
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This Newcastle United squad has one common thread.

With just the odd exception, they all care, they have all given 100% this past season.

However, there is a serious divide in terms of ability, this squad has an awful lot of honest triers but not a lot of quality.

You need that effort of course but without the added sprinkling of quality, Newcastle wouldn’t have been any better than Cardiff last season.

Moving forward, it is the same challenge this summer at Newcastle United as it is at every club, a need to retain your best players, shed as many of those as possible who are not good enough, then try to add better quality to go with those you ave already got.

Whilst this Newcastle United squad certainly put in the effort this past season, fans are always in danger of making more of it than they should. Imagining that players are just like them, when that isn’t the reality.

It doesn’t mean the players don’t care but there is only one Alan Shearer!

A brilliant player who was and is also a massive fan.

I have seen so many Newcastle supporters this season going on about how this Newcastle United squad is the best ever in terms of attitude and so different to most who have gone before etc etc.

However, we have heard/seen it all before. I understand that for so many people they are caught up in only the here and now, they forget about players in the past who they similarly raved about and then later turned on.

If you talk about attitude and desire, then certainly during Mike Ashley’s disastrous reign, easily the best attitude was shown in that 2011/12 season.

You don’t end up fifth in the table, with a relatively limited team/squad, above the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool, only five points off third, unless you have a squad/team who gave absolutely everything.

Yet I have seen any number of that team demonised in the years since, particularly in terms of attacks on their character.

The likes of Ba, Coloccini, Simpson, Steven Taylor, Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Santon and others, all getting varying levels of stick. Especially the likes of Ba and Cabaye who left due to the lack of ambition under Mike Ashley.

The fact that the fifth place finish saw no net spend on the team and only Vurnon Anita recruited, summed up the fact that decent players were wasting their time.

If Rafa Benitez stays then I am hopeful NUFC can retain their best players.

However, if offers come in, then the reality is that Newcastle’s best players, such as Dubravka, Schar, Lejeune and others could/would all move on.

Dubravka has started 50 Premier League games for Newcastle, Schar 22, Lejeune 36, Rondon 30…

I could see them all playing at Newcastle in the coming years if everything worked out with Rafa but equally I can see them all walking away if there is no ambition shown, not even to keep a top manager. Sean Longstaff as loads of potential and is hopefully an exception but in the past the likes of Gazza and Beardsley were forced out due to lack of ambition.

They are professionals with limited careers, the chance to make massive money and hopefully win things.

They are not fans, they need something more than blind loyalty to stick around.

That is the reality.

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