Is the team really better than last season?

Hard times and hard lines for Simpson

Simpson hails improvement
Danny Simpson has claimed that this years NUFC team is better than last years team.

It’s a bold statement coming at this early juncture, but given that we’ve made a very decent start to the season I can perhaps see the reason for a bit of optimism from within the camp. As long as it doesn’t turn into complacency then I don’t mind a bit of optimism.

Simpson has touched on a question that was pondered by many fans over the summer. The fact that we lost a lot of players who had done a job for us and replaced them with promising yet untested players in terms of the Premier League was cause for the debate. It was just so hard to tell whether or not we’d improved with so many questions lingering over so many players. In a way the jury is still out and the only way we’ll be able to judge properly is at the end of the season.

However from within the group of players there is a voice that believes that the squad has been improved over the summer. Danny Simpson is that voice, and he has said this about the new look Newcastle United.

“The squad is better all-round than it was last year. And I think we’ve got more belief, to be honest,” he The Journal.

“We have more attacking options and while we’ve been very good at not conceding goals this season, when we do like we did on Tuesday we are capable of hitting back. There’s been a lot of talk about us not scoring enough goals but we created a lot of chances.”

“A few of the lads who came in look like they’re going to be really good players and they would be ready for the Premier League if they were called on.”

Bold claims so early in the season, although in fairness Simpson is far better placed to comment on these things than we are. Us fans only see what goes on during the match, but Simpson will see what goes on in training and will be part of the camaraderie with the group of players.

Time will tell whether or not his insistence that we’ve improved will prove to be right, but I’m reasonably optimistic that we could actually have a better team than last season. We’ve started off better than last year no doubt, but the real test will be when we first lose a game.

Having said that, Newcastle have been good at answering questions on the pitch for a couple of years now. It started under Chris Hughton in the Championship and then the Premier League before being continued by Alan Pardew in the second half of last season and, now, the start of this one.

Maybe this new team will be able to bounce back quicker that the last team? I mean even with pinnacles and founding fathers of team spirit such as Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton we still managed to find poor runs of form. Perhaps this years team will be able recover quicker? Maybe they won’t?

Certainly Danny Simpson thinks that the team is better, but what do you think?

32 thoughts on “Is the team really better than last season?

  1. Not sure three players counts as “a lot”, let alone the “mass exodus” I’ve seen quoted on here – but they were three important players, so fair enough.

    So far it’s hard to argue that the squad is weaker. Certainly there seems to be a resilience, which partly comes from a broader range of attacking options. The flair is there, albeit only for brief flashes at the moment. The finishing isn’t always great, but I’d rather have five players on 10+ goals a season than two on 25. Eggs, baskets and all that.

    I think we’ll beat last year’s points tally and position quite easily. That’s partly based on performances so far, but mostly based on the fact that that’s what the club has set out to do and achieved easily for two years on the trot now.


  2. i think that if santon comes good then simmo could be right. if not, we need pieters in cum january .. i would much rather get a LB in than a forward.


  3. Might be better on the eye but whether they turn that into results in the longer term is open for debate. Certainly still a little concerned about the lack of goals potentially.


  4. Jury’s out imo. Enrique is a massive loss. I felt Barton was too, and it has to be said that he bossed the QPR game, and Cabaye hardly got a kick, allowing for their tactics of 5 in midfield. I’m not convinced yet , and we did concede 3 v Forest , but there are deffo reasons to be optimistic, and i really rate Pardew, and have for ages.


  5. “I mean even with pinnacles and founding fathers of team spirit such as Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton we still managed to find poor runs of form.”

    😆 :lol :lol::


  6. its just the normal kinda banter going on at the minute and the ones who like ashley’s blue print will be enjoying not just the fact we are doing well but that they are being proved right. i am thrilled that we are doing well at this early stage. its great. I do think we will have some tough weeks ahead and its all about how we react to them times… I dont think we have anywhere near enough depth in certain key areas and we are running at maximum. in my line of work we call it ‘single point failure’. We have no back ups to key elements and that is a concern. Its a simple question, Lets imagine that Santon will need an op – which he may and he is out for 1-2 months by time he is at full speed. If Colo or Staylor get injured and Afra breaks down we are looking thin on the gorund. Lets just hope that does not happen but that simple scenario could well happen.


  7. “I felt Barton was too, and it has to be said that he bossed the QPR game”


    Barton never bossed the QPR game. He was in fact their quietest midfielder. Faurlin and Taarabt bossed the midfield that day.

    Anyway, I think Barton is a loss, but a necessary one. Nothing to do with his attitude, but more to do with his style of play. We need to move on from that.


  8. Agreed Craig. Much rather get a pieters type signing than maiga. Need to move on a striker or two if we do get one in as well

    Munster – I don’t think Barton was the one bossing midfield, qpr yes but more so faurlin and even Derry providing ball for taarabt and swp


  9. We only be able to judge this at the season if we finish higher than last , but its been a very promising start. We shall wait n see.


  10. @11.. right, thats that then… toonsy, shut the blog down and lets all come back in 9 months to argue the toss of how it all went. .. lol 🙂


  11. Munster, have to disagree with Barton bossing the midfield, I thought he had a shocker tbh.

    Is that Munster-ireland or Munster-Germany?


  12. The team seems to be better at defending. Against Villa, there were signs that they were better at passing. But it’s all too early to say for sure.

    It *looks* better on paper, and they’ve now got more premier league experience. They certainly inspire more optimism.

    Let’s hope they are better at avoiding stupid losses just when it looks as if they are getting things together. That was the biggest downfall last season.


  13. u always have bad and good games…tiote is has been well off the pace..and getting better…marveaux and ben arfa will get up 2 pace…this squad is better all round and full of pace…anyway if this squad wasnt…..the squad is judged on the bench…we had nobody 2 change the game last year and this year we have better players on the bench then on them..and some players cant even get on are bench..that says something…most newcastle fans would pick a different team and bench..last year we could all have the same team and a very crap bench…we are only weaker in 1 postion left back…the rest have been replaced with better players…whats the difference with ba and carrol..goals..but best has come in and done that…


  14. Great night Dubtoon! u? Cluxton what a hero!

    Cluxton : ” Put on more pressure ”

    Gilroy : ” There is no more pressure ”



  15. Be some quiz question in a few years. Goalie to kick the winning point in the all Ireland final. Town was crazy 🙂 good night was had by all. A lot of Kerry lads were in good form too tbe fair


  16. I honestly believe that given the right support, Pardew & this group of players are capable of finishing in the top 6, but if things go awry they could struggle against relegation. If we remember Keegan’s entertainers were not comprised of the ‘best’ 11 players in the EPL. Keegan was not the greatest tactically, but his enthusiasm and man management got players like Beresford etc playing above themselves, it all fell apart because Keegan fell apart. Same thing here & now Pardew is beginning to get the best out of men like Steve Taylor, Danny Simpson et-al…if you include the smattering of quality such as Cabaye, Tiote HBA Marv etc, then you have the possibility of repeating the Keegan phenomenon. Difference now though is the money at the top 2 or 3 clubs…but even then if they don’t gel together as a team they can become unstuck.


  17. Yeah saw town would of been mental , living down in Kilkenny myself but was out in the pub for it. Last 10 minutes was epic.


  18. Simpson should keep his mouth shut, its early days yet, he himself has had a poor start to the season so he should be concentrating and improving his form and retaining his place.
    Centre back pairing, goalkeeper, centre midfield all are improved but the rest could play better, we have had a good start but i hate it when the brags start being quoted especially when the party poopers are next up on Saturday.


  19. Robert: come on, these interviews are part of their job; provide the press with some blind optimism quotes and all that. It’s even in their contracts, I think.

    Just thinking about that resilience thing, though. On Tuesday we had all but 2 players changed but managed to score goals. And concede them. You can’t base too much on one match, but I think it confirms that we’ve just got a few holes to plug in the squad. Much better than we have been.


  20. We have a much better squad this year.
    Our midfield is much improved with the French acquisitions.
    Pardew is getting the best out of our defenders and after watching Perch at Forest I can see Pardew getting an injury free Santon back to his best form by xmas.
    If we are to play out this season with the current squad I would like to see Sammy cover for Best occasionally, especially if Benny is playing.


  21. Two camps; the pessimists (call themselves realists) and the optimists (referred to as the sheep by the pessimists). So far this season I have been in both camps because I am honest about how I feel. The impression I have about people who clearly subscribe to either camp is that they are more concerned about their view of the club bring the correct view. Being proven right. Surely as a pessimist you should want to be proven wrong? I mean why would you want the club to suffer? It is bizarre.


  22. Much better play on the wings and Cabaye is an upgrade. If Ba continues to improve and Santon can give us close what Enrique did I’d say yes. Let’s not forget the additions of Gosling, Abeid and Vuckic


  23. Think you’re right – real test will come when we lose two or three games in a row which will prob happen in November when we play Man U, Man City and Chelsea – be lucky to get any points out of those games to be honest tho we might get a point (or three) out of chelsea


  24. I know people have moved to the next thread, but got to say:
    Lacedaemonian: excellent, entirely appropriate post.
    Craig: proved his point perfectly. 🙂


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