Season Previews 2010/11 – Newcastle United

by

Newcastle

Last Season: 1st in the Championship

New Signings: Perch, Campbell, Gosling

Key Player: Jonas Gutierrez

One To Watch: Jose Enrique

Needs A Big Year: Andy Carroll

Would Quite Like: Stay up, beat Sunderland, have a normal season.

Mmm, cornrows. Always a good look.

Prediction: 17th

Thoughts: For once, there isn’t too much drama at Newcastle. After a shaky start, Chris Hughton comfortably oversaw their promotion as Champions and the current squad looks equipped enough to survive their return to the top flight. Indeed many if the player responsible for relegation are still at the club but everyone is in a happier place and they should have more confidence having dominated the Championship.

There isn’t much money to spend on reinforcements but there have been some good value signings in James Perch and Sol Campbell. Perch is a right back who can cover across the defence while Campbell showed in his cameo half season at Arsenal that he can still do a decent job at this level. His no nonsense approach and desire to win will stand the Magpies in good stead when the inevitable poor results occur. Harper is steady as you like in goal and with the likes of Coloccini and Enrique also off the back of good seasons the defence seems not too bad if potentially a little slow.

In Nolan, Smith and Barton they have three midfielders who all have a point to prove in one way or another – if Barton really does play to the level he clearly thinks he’s capable of (if not everyone agrees) then Newcastle will have a very good player on their hands again. Perhaps the main concern is over goals will come from. You have Andy Carroll who had a good year but isn’t a natural goal scorer. In support there’s Ameobi, Lovenkrands, Xisco and some youngsters. Not good. A loan signing is certainly needed.

So all in all they should be ok. It won’t be easy but they should stay up. But do old habits die hard? Are we just a short distance away from the next ridiculous story that could derail a season and only happen at St James’ Park?

T.

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