Through the muck and the mire the Toon keeps on going. After yet another season, flanked by managerial shifts and controversial takeover bids, ensured safety in the top flight for another season was finally secured and yet a new campaign is almost amongst us.
It’s been a positive few weeks in terms of reinforcements for Steve Bruce’s side. A fire sale at south coast based Bournemouth brought in Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser to add much needed bolstering to the front line.
There have also been additions in the form goalkeeper Mark Gillespie who has made the journey south of the border from Motherwell, as well as additions in midfield with Jeff Hendrick joining from Burnley.
There’s a lot to look forward to in the north east then for the coming season. What’s needed and needed desperately though is more goals. Newcastle registered one of the worst goal hauls in the league outside of the relegation places last season, second only to Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace.
The Bournemouth pairing should slip straight into the side after several season’s experience playing together. The two will be in-sync which is just what the attacking line will be needing in the hope of injecting some vitality and goal scoring opportunity to the side.
Just last week, before the double deal went through, Newcastle were among the favourites to finish as the lowest scoring team in the next campaign. Now the odds have taken a considerable boost from around 2/1 to 8/1 on a number of betting sites offering Bet 10 Get 30 offers for the Premier League.
Further music to Newcastle fans’ ears will be the recent contract renewal of home grown lad and youth academy graduate Matty Longstaff, who made an impressive league debut in the defeat of Manchester United at home last October.
Steve Bruce has so far done well to keep his core side from last season intact, while making additions, and at least so far, not losing any key figures in the dressing room.
Not only has it boosted Newcastle’s goal scoring odds with the bookies, but positive reinforcements have also lifted the Magpies out of the relegation favourites, behind the likes of West Brom, Fulham, Aston Villa and Crystal Palace.
However, Steve Bruce will have to keep his wits about him. Post Project Restart form toward the back end of June and into July was notoriously poor as the season drew to a close. It was lucky that there were only a handful of games left, otherwise it would’ve given serious cause for worry over Premier League safety.
It looks likely that Wilson in particular will line up in Newcastle’s opener against West Ham. The Hammers themselves only secured safety near the last gasp during the final stretch of the last campaign. However all doesn’t seem well in east London, with captain Mark Noble recently tweeting a defamatory message in what could only be interpreted as direct criticism and calling out of the club’s board and senior management figures.
Turmoil at a West Ham side that struggled last season, as well as solid additions upfront and in midfield could just be what Newcastle need to kick off the season with a solid start and three points in the bag.