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Archive for category: Thoughts and reflections.

Newcastle Still Require More Firepower to Cement a Top-Half Finish

October 26th, 2017 | No Comments |

Rafa Benitez
Benitez’s Newcastle: Solid but goalshy so far
Newcastle United and Rafa Benitez have made a terrific start to life back in the Premier League, sitting in seventh position after just nine games and possessing a positive goal difference. The Magpies have been defensively solid so far, chalking up three clean sheets, with Jamal Lascelles impressing at the heart of the back four. The Derby-born defender has also contributed at the other end of the pitch, finding the back of the net on two occasions this campaign, but many fans remain concerned about the lack of firepower within the squad.

The Toon kept Crystal Palace quiet for the majority of the contest on October 21 with summer signing Mikkel Merino’s header proving the difference between the two sides. The Spanish coach has been working hard on the training pitch to ensure his side offer a physical presence in the top flight and the Magpies appear to be increasingly difficult to beat. Only high-flying Spurs have managed to leave St. James’ Park with all three points, although their cause was significantly helped by Jonjo Shelvey’s costly lack of discipline at the beginning of the second half. (more…)


Newcastle’s Defensive Record Will Be Key To Where They Finish This Season

October 23rd, 2017 | 23 Comments |

Joselu training
Joselu: Still has alot to prove
Newcastle United’s return to the Premier League is just reward for their impressive Championship campaign last season when they finished as champions, one-point clear of second placed Brighton. Newcastle’s front line were on fire last campaign out scoring every other club with 85 goals, and yet it was their back four who were most impressive conceding only 40 goals in 46 matches.

This was no mean feat in what many recognise as the most competitive league in the world. To put it in perspective, Newcastle managed to score more than twice as many goals as they conceded and more than Wigan and Blackburn combined. How they will fair against Premier League defences across the course of a season is unclear, but with just nine goals in their first eight matches they are unlikely to meet the dizzying heights of last season, even with the arrival of Joselu from Stoke City for £5 million in the summer. Joselu is priced at massive 5-1 to score more than 10 league goals this campaign, which tells you pretty much everything you need to know about where the Spaniard’s season may be heading. (more…)


Can Jamaal Lascelles Break into the England Squad?

October 19th, 2017 | No Comments |

Lascelles: His stock is rising rapidly
Lascelles: His stock is rising rapidly
The latest England squad has been announced for the upcoming qualifiers at the beginning of October, with the usual array of names featuring. Gareth Southgate has been labelled as fairly predictable and safe with his selections in recent months, and the announcements regularly divide Premier League fans. Newcastle supporters have been impressed by captain Jamaal Lascelles so far this season, and many feel as though he deserves a call-up to the national side.

The England squad included defenders John Stones, Aaron Cresswell, Gary Cahill and Michael Keane, but there was no place for the Newcastle centre-back who has impressed so far this season. Lascelles is not only commanding at the back but has proved to be the Magpies’ match-winner on two occasions this season, including netting the winner against Stoke in the middle of September. (more…)


Are Newcastle Fans Right to be Disappointed by the Club’s Transfer Dealings this Summer?

September 12th, 2017 | No Comments |

Rafa Benitez & NUFC Fans.
IMAGE SOURCE: Twitter.com
Rafa Benitez wasn’t able to hide his frustration at the end of August as Newcastle failed to land a number of their primary targets in the transfer window this summer. The Magpies were one of a number of top-flight clubs who voted for the window to be closed prior to the start of the season from next year with the Spanish boss clearly exasperated by the club’s failure to close a number of potential deals.

New Additions to the Squad

The Toon did complete a number of transactions, with several new faces arriving at St. James’ Park, including Norwich winger Jacob Murphy for £13 million, Borussia Dortmund’s Mikel Merino, and former Stoke play-maker Joselu. Eibar defender Florian Lejeune was one of the more eye-catching additions to the side but there were doubts about whether the Paris-born 26-year-old would opt to move to the North East amid interest from other clubs. Javier Manquillo also joins for £6 million to bolster the Newcastle squad ahead of a tough season back in the top flight. (more…)


How will Newcastle fare next season in the Premier League?

July 9th, 2017 | No Comments |

Rafa Benitez with Championship trophy.
Benitez: Knows where he needs to strengthen.
It is often said that no club is too big to go down and fallen giants such as Aston Villa and Leeds United are testament to that, but Newcastle’s relegation to the Championship in the 2015-16 season was unexpected, and a body blow for the Magpies’ faithful.

However, with a passionate and talented manager in charge, they bounced at the first attempt and the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United will once again be seen at St James’ Park next season.

But will Rafa Benitez be able to keep the club in the Promised Land?

It has been obvious there have been problems between the owner and the managers in recent years which have led to dissention in the stands and ultimately, relegation. (more…)