As the new season draws ever closer, there has been a lot of pre-season predictions and comment on what Newcastle can or will achieve next year. As always, the media enjoy commenting on NUFC and we of course still need more new signings through the door. A large fan base and having a manager of Rafa’s stature naturally leads to higher expectations than a ‘typical’ newly promoted side. So where can we finish next year?
What does Rafa expect?
Rafa wants quality signings, like we all do. Merino arriving seems to have appeased things slightly but he knows we need further enforcements, particularly in attacking areas, to not be in a dog fight come spring. Rafa himself said recently of aims for the new season:
“If we are trying to avoid relegation we have to make sure we are stronger, then maybe we can go higher and higher.”
Rafa likes to keep expectations grounded and his view that avoiding relegation this year, with a view to then making further strides up in the table in coming season, would be echoed by most.
What do the bookmakers make of Newcastle?
Many bookies have released their title odds, which effectively is them predicting how the final table will finish. Newcastle are amazingly 10th favourite to win the title in May; suggesting bookmakers think we will sneak in the top half. This seems a little ambitious but with some quality signings and some good luck it could happen. After all, there is not a wealth of quality sides in the bottom half of the table.
Interestingly though, Bentiez is also the favourite manager to leave his post first from the twenty current top flight managers. A lot of that will be due to press speculation over transfers, the past actions of Mike Ashley and the fact of how much of a coup it was to get Rafa on board in the first place.
Pundits views on NUFC
Harry Redknapp has again surfaced after taking the full time managers role at Birmingham City and made the news last week by tipping Newcastle as one of seven sides to struggle. He claims we have not singed enough quality players to move away from the relegation bracket and he arguably has a point. We need a lot of investment still but even as it stands, you hope we have more quality than the likes of Brighton and Huddersfield.
Paul Merson has also waded in on Newcastle too this summer, claiming we are a big club but that he doesn’t think Bentiez would stay for the long term. Pundits who aren’t linked with the club feeling the need to comment on NUFC just confirms that we will always be a good story; let’s hope we can enjoy a solid season and avoid the usual press soap operas like we have in the past.
Where do Newcastle fans expect to finish?
This is an interesting one. The Chronicle punished a survey over the weekend and the average position Newcastle fans (in the survey) expect us to finish was actually 14th. This reflects the fact we are newly promoted, have not invested as hoped yet but do have a quality manager to see us through. 50,000 plus at home games will also hopefully earn us a few crucial home wins.
What are you expecting next season; where will we finish?