Would A Year Of Mid-Table Obscurity Do Newcastle Good?

Just what can we expect from Newcastle United this season?

The Magpies went from an incredible fifth-placed finish in 2012 (higher than Champions League winners Chelsea) to narrowly avoiding relegation in 2013.  What’s more, Alan Pardew had gone from being named both Premier League and LMA Manager of the Year, to pushing a linesman for making a decision he disagreed with.

This incident occurred in Newcastle opening day win over Tottenham at St James’ Park, a result which would be one of few Toon fans could savour over the course of the season.  The change in image of someone praised so highly the previous year seemingly transferred to his team, who would go on a disastrous winless run in the league through November – losing four out of five games to earn themselves just a single point.

It has certainly been a Jekyll and Hyde couple of years for Newcastle.  Some may personify this point further by claiming that they have slowly changed from an Englishman to a Frenchman, with the latter struggling to settle in a foreign country. Given time to acclimatise, Pardew will hope his multinational team can get to grips with the Premier League.

The fast pace, high tempo and sheer physicality of England’s top flight have seen many players take a full season to get used to.  Others have briefly tried their luck before making a swift departure, deciding that the league simply isn’t for them.  Newcastle will need to restore the pride of their supporters this campaign and prove they are up for the fight.

A turbulent summer involving the return of Joe Kinnear as director of football, as well ethical issues surrounding the club’s Muslim players and new shirt sponsors Wonga, has ensured Newcastle have frequently been in the news.  The St James’ Park faithful will want a return to their team making the headlines for the right reasons this season.