It would appear that Alan Pardew has been given permission to strengthen the squad in the summer. Hurrah I hear you say!
Quite right too. Whatever you make of this season, whether it’s been viewed as promising, whether it’s been viewed as a disappointment, the fact of the matter is that we need strengthening. I’m actually confident of this happening, more confident than I have been in recent seasons anyway.
With the wage bill being shorn of players like Alan Smith and Peter Lovenkrands and with others such as Danny Guthrie and Danny Simpson still yet to agree to new deals and potentially leave the club, there is room to utilise those wages on new players.
It’s been said that we have a small squad. Utter b*llocks I say. We have a squad that is of similar size to the rest of the league, especially when you consider that you can only name 25-men in the squad for the season. We have space, like other teams do,but not enough space to get four or five in without losing anyone.
What we do lack however is strength in depth and a bit of balance. For instance we have an overload of strikers at the club with Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse topping the list. However players like Peter Lovenkrands are approaching the end of their NUFC shelf life that will leave us with Shola Ameobi, Leon Best and the two Demba’s plus room for any players under 21 who don’t need to be registered, like Nile Ranger for example, or someone else if he is got rid of also.
In short it’s not about getting rid of all of the deadwood. It’s about getting rid of some of them and replacing them with higher quality giving us more strength in depth. Of course the incomings are harder to guess these days – Newcastle are capable of keeping things quiet and pulling off a surprise or two these days and I dare say the rumour pages will be full of various names. The outgoings though are obvious, well, some of them are.
So who do you think is out? And consequently who would you like to see in to replace them?