Alan Pardew has moved to dampen down expectations ahead of the new Premier League season and claims that the fans would be happy with an 8th placed finish as a minimum.
Speaking to The Chronicle, Pardew was keen not to raise the bar ahead of the new season although he did admit that qualifying for the Champions League will be the ultimate aim for the season ahead.
Much of what we do next season will depend on how we strengthen over the summer, but with no new signings imminent it would appear that we must wait to see who our first “first team” signing will be this summer. Equally important though is keeping hold of our current crop of stars. With another season of Premier League football under their belts these guys can only get better which could help us out next season.
“If we improve and these guys get another year under their belts together, there’s no reason why we can’t do the same – if not better,” Pardew told The Chronicle.
“I don’t want to raise unexpected expectations. I think our fans would honestly accept eighth, though I don’t think they’d want us to finish lower.”
“That would be a decent season, but wouldn’t it be great if we could get in the top four, so that’s where we’ve got to aim.” He added: “Where we fall will probably depend on injuries, form and a little bit of luck.”
So in your opinion is 8th the minimum you would accept from the new season?
It’s a hard one to judge to be honest as so much depends on other teams. I think we fluked it a little bit last season in truth. That’s not to say that we didn’t deserve to finish 5th because we did. What I mean is that other “big hitters” had torrid times last season, like Chelsea who have spent a fortune already this summer.
Ultimately I’d like us to improve on last season although I do understand that it will be hard to achieve. Would I be happy with 8th though? Probably not as it’s a backward step although ultimately I’ll only really be able to gauge my happiness come the end of the season and after I can survey what went on and what went wrong.
How about you though?