Newcastle United 2014/15 Season Preview: Sense of Optimism Returns to St James’ Park
Newcastle United endured another difficult campaign last term with supporters becoming increasingly frustrated at both the ownership of the club and the performances of manager Alan Pardew. The final straw appeared to be the sale of Yohan Cabaye to Paris Saint-Germain in the January transfer window, with the money not being reinvested into the squad straight away.
However Newcastle United has worked in an impressive and efficient manner this summer with French playmaker Remy Cabella the marquee signing from Montpellier having been a long-term target whilst Daryl Janmaat joins to replace the outgoing Mathieu Debuchy.
The performances of Papiss Cisse have been a concern throughout the whole of the 2013-2014 campaign, and Alan Pardew has sought to improve the Geordies’ forward line with the addition of Emmanuel Riviere from AS Monaco to add a physical presence in the final third.
There are still question marks over Pardew as a technical coach at the top level whilst issues surrounding the manager’s recent ill-discipline tarnishing the club’s already waning reputation are still fresh in the memory.
However the St James’ Park faithful can head into this campaign in a far more hopeful mood than in years gone by with the club having spent money in addressing areas of weakness within the squad.
Siem de Jong is a particularly interesting signing with the Dutchman, whose brother Luuk was on loan at the club last term, having the potential to perform a wonderfully productive creative partnership with Cabella just behind the forward line.
Manchester City saw first-hand the qualities of De Jong during their clash in the Champions League in 2012 when the Dutchman was a key figure in the Ajax team that defeated the English club even outshining starlet Christian Eriksen.
The 2014-15 campaign could be a very exciting one for Newcastle United. However the squad with the numerous new signings must gel together quickly. Facundo Ferreyra will add goals whilst Riviere will be a handful for opposing defences. The defense is still weak even with the addition of the versatile Jack Colback from rivals Sunderland on a free transfer.
Europa League qualification has to be the aim considering the money spent by Mike Ashley this summer and whether Alan Pardew has the ability to achieve this once again is yet to be seen however the Magpies are heading into a season in the best shape for a number of years.
Players In: Remy Cabella-£9million, Siem de Jong-£8million, Emmanuel Riviere-£6million, Daryl Janmaat-£5million, Ayoze Perez-£2million, Jack Colback-Free Transfer, Jamaal Lascelles-Undisclosed, Karl Darlow-Undisclosed, Facundo Ferreyra-Loan
Players Out: Mathieu Debuchy-£13million, Shola Ameobi-Free Transfer, Romain Amalfitano-Free Transfer, Dan Gosling-Free Transfer, Sylvain Marveaux-Loan, Jamaal Lascelles-Loan, Karl Darlow-Loan
Predicted Finish: 8th
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