Newcastle play their first game back in Europe tonight against Atromitos. It’s the first European match since 2007 when we played AZ Alkamaar and beat them 4-2.
Tonight could mark a new era for Newcastle as once again we get to perform on the big stage and amongst some of the biggest clubs in Europe. Since our last adventure into Europe we have been relegated, lost managers, changed owners and almost all of our squad has changed with only Harper, Ameobi, S.Taylor and Krul the only surviving members of the squad from 2007.
But not all has negative as we now have what I think is the strongest squad we have had since the ‘entertainers’ era and possibly the best chance of finally ending our silverware drought. Also, since the last European game for the toon army, the owners have pushed the club in the right direction. For example, our transfer policy is now a template for other clubs to try and replicate – don’t spend stupid money on a player and give them ‘low’ wages. In my opinion this has helped Newcastle get to where we are now as under Shephard we would spend money on overrated players and give them a huge wage packet. Michael Owen and Alan Smith both being prime examples! When you look at the quality of players we are buying now, for such little money, it is astonishing; Cabaye, Tiote, Cisse and Ben Arfa to name a few.
This is why I think the Atromitos game marks a new era for Newcastle under the leadership of Alan Pardew and Mike Ashley, it shows how far the club has come since the last European game in 2007, the club is now sitting in a good financial position due to the policies enforced by Ashley and look to where it has got us….back in Europe and fighting the likes of Spurs, Liverpool and Chelsea for league positions.
Surely this must be a reward for all the support we have shown the club over the years and stuck by the club through thick and thin.
So roll on the good times at Newcastle!
Howay the lads!