Thursday, 12 August 2010

Premier League Preview - Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Newcastle United makes their return to the Premiership after year in the Championship thanks to three years of turmoil which saw them relegated the end of the 2008/09 season. With 102 points in the bag, Newcastle finished top of the Championship ahead of West Brom.

Now with the players, the staff and the budget under control, Newcastle are looking for consolidation in the Premier League, and it looks very possible considering the experience calibre of players available.

Kevin Nolan, Alan Smith, and Joey Barton are the most experienced players in the squad previously playing for Bolton Wanderers, Manchester United and Manchester City respectively. While Shola Ameobi, Fabricio Coloccini, Steve Harper and Jonas Gutierrez were members of the side relegated two seasons ago.

This time around, expect the Magpies to establish themselves in the Premiership while fending off the threat of relegation.

Key Player: Andy Carroll

The talented, yet controversial young striker was instrumental in Newcastle’s challenge for the Championship last year scoring 17 goals in 39 games. He made his name coming through the youth ranks and impressing for the reserves, before making his debut as a 19 year old and scoring 3 goals in his first 14 Premier League appearances.

Now making his return to the Premiership with his home town club, the 21 year old will lead the Newcastle front line with Peter Lovenkrands, Xisco and Leon Best.

Manager: Chris Hughton

Key Signing: Sol Campbell

I was tempted to say young Marseille winger Hatem Ben Arfa, who is expected to sign on a loan in this coming weeks, so instead I’ve gone for the experienced former England international Sol Campbell, who joins on a free transfer from Arsenal. The 35 year old is a solid, yet quite slow, centre back with invaluable experience and winning mentality which will help Newcastle if they are to grind out results this year.

Aims: Avoid relegation

Prediction: 16th

I believe Newcastle have enough quality and collectiveness to stay up, mainly due to the experience in the squad and the great fan base, which act like a twelfth man. A few more additions are needed, but Newcastle should be a lot more organised and motivated to keep their Premiership status this time round.

First Five Fixtures: Manchester Utd (A), Aston Villa (H), Wolves (A), Blackpool (H), Everton (A)

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