Last year three players who were set to play an important role during the season found themselves injured and were forced to watch what was a tremendous season for Newcastle United from the sidelines.
Sammy Ameobi, Sylvain Marveaux and Steven Taylor all succumbed to serious injury cutting short their respective season.
Sylvain Marveaux showed promise when playing, particularly when he set Yohan Cabaye up for his goal in the 1-0 victory over Wigan last year. Of course this was a player who has had trouble with injuries over a number of years but he had shown that he had skill. He has been involved in pre-season this year and looks set to play a part in the long campaign that the club is set for in the forthcoming season.
There may be doubts about his fitness, but he is an exciting player who has a very good left foot which should mean that he plays on the left side rather than playing a right-footer in that position. I could see him linking well with Papiss Cisse and Hatem Ben Arfa as Marveaux has shown that he has pace within him and that could produce some interesting counter attacks if joined with these two players. It will be interesting to see how Alan Pardew uses Marveaux next season, I think he is a player who has potential and if he manages to stay injury free then he could turn into a very good player for us.
Steven Taylor has had a torrid time with injuries. Most recent has been the achilles injury that he sustained when Newcastle were beaten 3-0 by Chelsea. It has been a long road back to full fitness and up until injury, Taylor had been playing better than I had ever seen him before. I never felt quite as comfortable with Mike Williamson at the back out it that way. There was something about the partnership between Coloccini and Taylor that oozed confidence. With him returning I think the defence will be a lot more solid than it has been.
There is no doubt that Steven Taylor gives his heart and soul for the black and white cause. He is a true Geordie lad who loves playing for the club and you can certainly see that whenever he plays. I expect him to find himself back alongside Fabricio Coloccini in our first game of the season, their bond seems to be one that works incredibly well together. However if Newcastle do a sign a pacey defender then I could see his place under threat but with a number of games to contend with this season I am sure we will see plenty of him regardless.
Sammy Ameobi is the final player who I believe can have an impact this season. He too found himself on the sidelines after showing promise in league and Carling Cup matches. Sammy is tall and lanky which allows him to use a lot of pace whilst keeping the ball under close control. He looked effective when playing on the left hand side of midfield and I could see him being brought on for the last ten minutes of Premier League games. I could see him playing a more important role in Carling Cup and Europa League games and he is certainly one for the future.
Will these players have an impact next season?