The 2017/18 season: Expectation vs. Reality

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?

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)

About Simon Riddlesden

Lifelong Newcastle United fan and East Stand season ticket holder. Observations from a supporter who has followed NUFC during Champions League participation and through relegation, taking me from Milan to Scunthorpe.

190 thoughts on “The 2017/18 season: Expectation vs. Reality

  1. When do we expect our players to realise their potential? Armstrong and Toney are off on loan again and they are aged 20 and 21. I think this is Armstrong’s 3rd loan and Toney’s 4th. At some point don’t we have to see if they are good enough for NUFC? Along with Woodman, these are probably our 2 brightest prospects. When will they be ready? It is not like we are Man U or Man City who have two internationals for every position. It is not like Armstrong would push Sergio Aguero out of the team but how about Ayoze Perez?

    We have some very average players so you would think some of the young uns would be able to get some gametime. Sammy Ameobi was given opportunities

    You have Dele Alli being valued at 100 million, rightly or wrongly, at age 20. Rooney and Barklay started at 16. When will be the right time to give our “kids” a chance?

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  2. ERIC imo it’s starting to look at very few making it so does that point to the fact that the root of the problem is the coaching at youth level is not up to scratch

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  3. Icedog: it is all getting a bit mad. Do you know that Chelsea had 39 players out on loan last year? They don’t play any of them though. They hoover up the best young talent and then do nowt with them. They couldn’t even recognize what they had in De Bruyne and Lukaku. But they buy the finished article as well so their young talent would have to bump a really good player to get in the team. If we had a decent midfielder in the academy, are you telling me they couldn’t bump Colback 🙂

    And Citeh spent 200 million on their academy and I can’t think of anybody that has come through. That Ihaneachio or however it is spelt they are selling to Leicester for 25 million. Is that the point of it? Bring them in and fatten them up like cattle to sell them on and hope that once every decade you discover a Messi or Ronaldo. Meanwhile the rest of us (NUFC) are left with the scraps?

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  4. And since I am on a bit of a rant (again), Wolfsburg only played 3 first teamers against us. I watched the pre-season warm up of Madrid and Barcelona in Miami. Messi, Gareth, Neymar, Suarez, Isco, Ramos all played at least a half. WTF are we doing playing Wolfsburg reserves?

    They actually were contracted to play their senior players for a certain number of minutes because the sponsors were paying the teams $25 million each to play in this tournament. So, they get money, they get to expand their brand and their best players get to work on their fitness.

    What do we do? Play Wolfburg’s reserves in their reserves’ stadium followed by the second placed team in Serie B. Can anyone name a single player in the Hellas Verona team?

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  5. ERIC no I cannot name one player in their team Ime afraid,we could get one big shock come the visit of Spurs,after playing third rate teams,saving money by not traveling to far off shores could turn out very expensive lesson

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  6. I can’t even tell if we have had a good or bad preseason, apart from the fact that we do not seem to have picked up any major injuries.

    What can you judge by playing Hearts and Bradford, and Wolfsburg reserves?

    I am happy we didn’t go to the Far East or Australia because we did need some time to prepare and that is more important than selling shirts this year. I am just concerned about the quality of opposition we have faced. It tells me that the staff at SJP left it until the last minute. Rafa seems a control freak so I don’t really understand why he didn’t intervene.

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  7. Sharpy17:
    Well Ice, this time next week I’ll have the Maltese sun on my back mate

    Well done son, pup said 39c today in the shade,you be a miss on here mate,mind most maccy Dee’s have free wifi out there,don’t forget the blue lagoon in Malta boy will love it,there is a really great park with animals ect but it’s a bit far for you maybe,it would be about hour and half from you at Machalock (spelling),don’t forget all shops open at 7am until 4pm from 4pm until at least 7pm,enjoy

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  8. 10pm in Malta SHARPY and its only 30c now lol,hate to say it but if you or your feel poorly,go to chemist normally a doc on there,there is no so called doc’s surgery so there they are installed in chemists

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  9. Rafa still wants Perez but on loan and buying a m/f player,Perez has now put in a transfer request to try and push a deal through to any club to get away

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  10. Icedog:
    10pm in Malta SHARPY and its only 30c now lol,hate to say it but if you or your feel poorly,go to chemist normally a doc on there,there is no so called doc’s surgery so there they are installed in chemists

    Ice – were out there for 11 nights so main plan is to just chill out, enjoy the sun & cool down in the pools.

    How the hell does Pup cope with that heat mate?!. It’s one thing wondering round in a mankini ?? but in suits or work clobber, it must be unbearable!!

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  11. If this Neymar deal goes through it will destroy football. Europe will consist of around 7 – 8 teams. PSG, Real Madrid, Man City, Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool maybe Spurs… money and business rule over sport, fans and enjoyment. All other teams will be fighting over scraps. Very very sad… so much for FFP… what a joke.

    And then we cannot even compete financially with Huddersfield, Burnley, West Ham, Bournemouth, et al … ????☹️

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  12. SHARPY he gets things done before 6am,starts work 9 till 5 his office has air-con luckily,saying shopping is a nightmare like,kids there are off school for three and half months because of heat which is hard for parents

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  13. Why do these rags come up with half their storeys most fans know there crap,latest one toon are interested in signing Barkley from Everton “what” at 50 mil and wages of 150,000 a week don’t make me laugh

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  14. Dubai Toon:
    If this Neymar deal goes through it will destroy football. Europe will consist of around 7 – 8 teams. PSG, Real Madrid, Man City, Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool maybe Spurs… money and business rule over sport, fans and enjoyment. All other teams will be fighting over scraps. Very very sad… so much for FFP… what a joke.

    And then we cannot even compete financially with Huddersfield, Burnley, West Ham, Bournemouth,et al …

    Barca, Juve. One or both the Milans. Bayern.

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  15. Icedog:
    Why do these rags come up with half their storeys most fans know there crap,latest one toon are interested in signing Barkley from Everton “what” at 50 mil and wages of 150,000 a week don’t make me laugh

    Ice: Totally agree mate. We know it is sh!te. The journalists know it is sh!te. Why even bother?

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  16. Dubai Toon: there has been talk in the past about a European Super League. The ones you mentioned would be in it plus probably the ones I added. It has to getting closer when one player costs 200 million quid. It would also be better for the rest of the teams to ignore this insanity and just get on with it.

    My only stipulation would be that there should be some rule that these “super teams” should not be allowed to buy up all of the best young players and park them somewhere. That is no good for anybody. And Neymar’s Dad is getting about 35 million in this deal. It is not a joke anymore. We already saw the corruption in FIFA, now something really has to be done about these greedy gits.

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  17. You also know it was the Yank FBI that uncovered the corruption at FIFA? There was a money trail, money laundering, which led them to investigate these people. The football world had just turned a blind eye to it previously, oblivious to the fact that these fat cats were gorging themselves on the beautiful game and giving the World Cup to Russia and Qatar FFS – a corrupt state and a furnace.

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  18. Eric Sykes:
    Dubai Toon: there has been talk in the past about a European Super League. The ones you mentioned would be in it plus probably the ones I added. It has to getting closer when one player costs 200 million quid. It would also be better for the rest of the teams to ignore this insanity and just get on with it.

    My only stipulation would be that there should be some rule that these “super teams” should not be allowed to buy up all of the best young players and park them somewhere. That is no good for anybody. And Neymar’s Dad is getting about 35 million in this deal. It is not a joke anymore. We already saw the corruption in FIFA, now something really has to be done about these greedy gits.

    Maybe we should feel sorry for poor old jabba then,he has not received any wages from any of his company’s for a year,looks like he will to dip into his 2.2 billion to get by poor soul ffs

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  19. Are Leeds trying to jump on the band wagon,they want 25mil for c/f Wood,I’ve seen him play a few times he ain’t worth that sort of money,in today’s daft market I would say 10 mil

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  20. It would have been nice if the England women had progressed but you just know that if they made it to the final the media would have hyped it up to such a nauseating degree that it would have been almost unbearable.

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  21. Should there be a transfer cap? 200 million would seem like a good place to start. But then every really good player would start to be sold for 200 million, just like now with the buyout clauses. The teams put ridiculous prices on their players assuming no one will ever pay it and then along comes PSG with their fraudulent finances and pays it anyway.

    People all have a wank about the free market nowadays but unfettered capitalism usually leads to booms and busts.

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  22. Icedog:
    Are Leeds trying to jump on the band wagon,they want 25mil for c/f Wood,I’ve seen him play a few times he ain’t worth that sort of money,in today’s daft market I would say 10 mil

    You’re right Ice, he’s not worth it but I totally see where Leeds are coming from here. There is so much money getting pumped into the PL clubs and frankly mediocre PL players getting sold for 3 or 4 times their true worth that it’s no surprise championship clubs want in on it too.
    If I owned a lower league club and had a decent player there is no way on earth I would let a PL cash rich club fleece me. The lower leagues are getting left behind and other than the recently relegated teams with parachute payments most haven’t a hope in hell of ever reaching the promise land that is the PL unless they get taken over by an oligarch or Saudi royalty.
    Grass roots football in this country is on it’s knees, the wealth is not distributed anywhere near enough. You look at £200m for one player and despair at where it all ends, how many little clubs on the edge could that save ? it’s obscene and there should be a cap on fees which is reviewed every 5 years like a contract would be for a player. If I had my way no player would earn more than a million a year, that’s ample money to live well and save for your future. And agents would get set fees too .

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  23. Oh and my gripe for today is ‘ difficult transfer window ‘. I swear if I hear that term one more time from Ryder et al , I will explode. Enough already, we’re skint , we get it 🙄

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  24. Icedog: That’s tough mate,you got air-con??,I hate air-con myself

    Absolutely… could not live without air conditioning mate … but it’s damned expensive ?

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  25. Eric Sykes: Barca, Juve. One or both the Milans. Bayern.

    Quite right, I forgot about those, (it was late last night and still jet lagged from coming back home) ?? but yes they are collectively destroying footy for everyone else.

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  26. They were saying that in the 1950s when somebody signed for £5,000. Nothing changes. The rich win things apart from Leicester.

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  27. So it looks like Burnley are ready to loose Andre Gray for nowt next season in a hope that keeping him means he gets them the goals to keep them in the league.
    I can kinda understand that coz £10-12m now isn’t close to the money they get for PL survival – and they’ve already lost Michael Keane.
    But there is a risk that Gray spits his dummy and doesn’t come up with those goals. Not sure if he’s handed a transfer request in, but that might change their mind.

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  28. Sharpy17:
    So it looks like Burnley are ready to loose Andre Gray for nowt next season in a hope that keeping him means he gets them the goals to keep them in the league.
    I can kinda understand that coz £10-12m now isn’t close to the money they get for PL survival – and they’ve already lost Michael Keane.
    But there is a risk that Gray spits his dummy and doesn’t come up with those goals.Not sure if he’s handed a transfer request in, but that might change their mind.

    what happens if he gets injured too.

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  29. Taylor & Besty Retweeted

    Billy Rice‏ @dangerrice · 16h16 hours ago

     More

    Man from Qatar buys gold pen from PSG shop for €221,999,999. That is FFP sorted. #neymar

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  30. THERE IS NO SUCCESS WITHOUT AMBITIONS. Unfortunately Ashly does not have any ambitions regarding NUFC (except business, money etc). There is only one magic which give me hope not to be relegated, is Rafa…

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  31. This transfer may well have all the hallmarks of the January one under McClaren. Our striker search is looking rather pathetic to be honest. But having said that, it was always going to be the hardest as they cost more money.

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