Last season couldn’t have been much less fun for Newcastle fans. Alan Pardew left and John Carver could barely win a match, despite his claim of being the best coach in the league. Little money was spent but Steve McClaren has come in and already made two big money signings, is it finally time for Newcastle to turn a corner or is there another mishap right around the corner?
Last Season: Premier League (15th)
Manager: Steve McClaren
GKs: Tim Krul, Rob Elliot, Karl Darlow
DFs: Fabricio Coloccini, Paul Dummett, Daryl Janmaat, Mike Williamson, Jamaal Lascelles, Massadio Haidara, Steven Taylor, Curtis Good, Lubomir Satka, Shane Ferguson
MFs: Moussa Sissoko, Vurnon Anita, Siem de Jong, Yoan Gouffran, Jack Colback, Rolando Aarons, Remy Cabella, Haris Vuckic, Cheick Tiote, Gabriel Obertan, Mehdi Abeid, Gael Bigirimana, Sylvain Marveaux, Georginio Wijnaldum
FWs: Papiss Cisse, Ayoze Perez, Emmanuel Riviere, Adam Armstrong, Aleksandar Mitrovic
In: Georginio Wijnaldum (Feyenoord)
Out: Davide Santon (Inter Milan), Remie Streete (Port Vale), Adam Campbell (Notts County), Sammy Ameobi (Cardiff City – Loan)
First Six: Southampton (H), Swansea City (A), Manchester United (A), Arsenal (H), West Ham United (A), Watford (H)
Likely Lineup: (4-3-3) Krul – Janmaat, Coloccini, Taylor, Haidara – Colback, Wijnaldum, Tiote – Perez, Cisse, Sissoko
A word from…Robbie Elliott
On his close bond with the club Yes, there’s nothing like playing for your home town club. The Premier League coverage over here in the USA is incredible, I get to watch every Newcastle game. The hard part is getting out of bed for the early kick offs with the 8 hour time difference.
Newcastle is home for me and I still had a lot of teammates and staff who were still at the club from my first time. There was a different feeling around the town which was noticeable.
On tackling the best wingers, physically and mentally Playing fullback in the modern game is incredibly demanding. First and foremost your job is to defend but you are then often the outlet for starting the attacks. Its become arguably the most physically demanding position in the modern game.
On the current side Of course, I am one of them! It’s been torture watching and reading from afar. I can only imagine what it must feel like seeing it first hand.
Hopefully the scare from last season has shown that re investment was needed. It looks like we are looking at the quality of player which is needed if we don’t want to be in the same situation next season.
On Steve McClaren By all accounts he is a very good coach and I hope to see that transfer from the training ground into match day. Small things can make huge differences and it seems he has a good group along side him. Time will tell but I am optimistic that we will see a change from last season.
Nowadays there has to be quality throughout the whole squad, its not possible to carry players like in the past. Confidence and mentality also play a huge role. Those are the things that separate the top players.
The Offside Rule Podcast Prediction: Newcastle on paper shouldn’t have to worry like they did at times last season. Wijnaldum and Mitrovic are both excellent signings for a team that came 15th last season whilst Siem de Jong will be like a new signing given his issues last season.
Key Player: Moussa Sissoko – Will McClaren get the best out of him or find his best position? Who knows. But at times last season Sissoko was superb and playing way above the level of a team fighting relegation, the French international can and should be key again this season.
One to Watch: Siem de Jong – Coming over a big reputation last summer, de Jong’s season was immediately curtailed by injury issues and fans saw nowhere near the best of him upon his return. Now he’s fighting fit, he could be the ace in the pack.