Newcastle United 2013/14 Outlook

670px-19,655,0,360-Newcastle_United_Logo_002As the season draws ever-closer, we here at the Center Circle are going to start looking at what each of the top teams in the EPL are looking at this season. Last season saw a nearly epic collapse push Newcastle back to the depths of the Championship and a nice late season push keep Newcastle far from the relegation battle in the end. If this season is going to be different, then nearly every Newcastle fan will be hoping for a quick start and a much higher finish.

Newcastle had the 17th worst defensive record in the Premiership last season. Constant injuries to some of the central defenders meant that the back-line shuffling resulted in no defensive cohesion. If Coloccini can stay healthy and keep a few constant pieces around him for most of the season then they may improve their defensive standing. Tim Krul is a great keeper, but he will not be able to improve the defense if the players in front of him cannot keep some of the EPL attackers at bay. However, I still feel that Newcastle have a few defenders that are too mistake-prone to be truly strong at the back. Alan Pardew should probably stop buying French attackers and buy up a few capable defneders…

The midfield for Newcastle will only go as far as Tiote and Cabaye take them. They do have some other pieces that seemed to be improving as the season progressed, and many of Pardew’s French imports started looking dangerous out on the pitch when they got comfortable in the EPL. Marveaux and Gouffran add some attacking prowess while adding some stability to the ever-impressive Jonas Gutierrez, but the midfield only seems to be improved cosmetically. In fact, Yohan Cabaye will probably be pried from Newcastle if he continues to impress this season…a scary thought considering his worth to the black and white stripes.

After the departure of Demba Ba, Newcastle really struggled to put an effective striker on the pitch. Papis Cisse had seemed unstoppable while Ba was around, but after Chelsea took Ba to London, Cisse was almost pedestrian in most of his performances. Obertan will probably continue to improve this season, but new-boy Remy will probably be seen as the main goal-threat for the upcoming season. If a few of their strikers start scoring consistently, they might erase the fact that they only scored more goals than five teams in the last campaign.

Alan Pardew may have staved off relegation last season, but another miserable season for a team that was starting to think it had returned to the top half of the table two seasons ago may prove fatal for Pardew at Newcastle. Although it was not long ago that they returned from the Championship, most fans view the EPL in a very Liverpool-esque way. “Once upon a time, we were pretty good…so, we should always be pretty good.” Sadly, Pardew may fall prey to unattainable standards if he disappoints once again.

Predicted best case scenario: Sixth place. Cisse and Remy create an instant partnership that results in goals-galore! The French contingent of Newcastle works like a well-oiled machine in midfield and Coloccini stays healthy for the entire season. Victories against most of the top four clubs result in Pardew staying on at Newcastle.

Predicted worst case scenario: Relegation. Remy flops and Cisse continues to falter. Cabaye gets pried away in the January window while most of Pardew’s transfer purchases fail to bear fruit. Coloccini and Krul succumb to injuried early or while on international duty. Pardew is out by January and an interim manager can only watch as they plunge down and out of the EPL…

 

About the author: Andrew McCole

 

If I may be so bold to condense my immense personality into two words, it would be: soccer nerd. I love everything about the beautiful game and I tend to reflect that in my writing. I suffer through Liverpool fandom and hope that they will win another title before my wife spreads my ashes at Anfield (considering I'm in my twenties, it seems somewhat likely). Although I also dabble in tennis, teaching, and coaching, most of my free-time is spent writing articles for The Center Circle! Feel free to stalk me on Google+

 

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