Forget transfer anxiety: 10 reasons I’m so excited for the new season at Newcastle United

I’m absolutely buzzing with excitement about the new season.

Something I haven’t said for quite some time. Under Ashley, summers were a respite from the soulless attempt to simply exist every season.

Now we have ambition, a quality manager, and so much to look forward to. But there’s still rumblings of discontent in certain corners of social media about the lack of signings in the final third.

I get it. Some built this summer up to be totally transformative, setting up almost an entire new squad and finally splashing some much-needed and highly available cash on huge names. We’ve made fewer signings than I expected. There have been fewer exits than I expected (which, selfishly, I’m happy about because I adore pretty much every member of this squad).

But those signings have been quality and Howe has said himself we “won’t stop.” We’ve secured a top target in Sven Botman. We signed one of our best performers from the second half of last season permanently. We’ve got an outstanding England-level goalkeeper in, and more are expected to come.

So, despite the anxieties over our transfer activities, here are 10 reasons this season will be one to remember.

1. Doing more than just surviving

Perhaps except under Rafa, who had genuine ambitions, when was the last time we went into a season with goals higher than “don’t get relegated”? Knowing we’re going to put some effort into achieving something – be it a cup run or European qualification – is unbelievably exciting. Bookies have us the most likely side to break top six outside the traditional ‘big six’. And I think it’s doable. It’s also beyond exciting. Especially considering at this point last year, we were rightly tipped for relegation.

2. A full season and pre-season of Howe-ball

Our form in the second half of last season was glittering, and Howe’s impact on our style of play was immediate. We’ve also had a cracking pre-season where players look at their peak fitness (Shelvey, anyone?) compared to the sluggish, unfit team we saw start last season under Bruce, with an inability to play 90 minutes and hideous tactics – if you could even call them that. I can’t wait to see what and how Howe does over an entire season.

3. Exciting talents to enjoy

I still can’t believe we have players of the quality of Bruno and Trippier. It feels like a fever dream. We finally landed Botman and he’s pure luxury and engineering – him and Burn together are going to be unstoppable. He’s been around a while but I’m hoping to see Callum Wilson for a full season in this system. We’re building an absolutely quality squad with the potential to grow into something special.

4. Young talent breaking through

Elliot Anderson could be the biggest talent coming through the academy for years. He’s fearless and already looks top drawer. Matt Bondswell is another breakout name over the summer – a pre-season that’s earned him a place on the window of the St James’ club shop. With promised investment in the academy, this is a trend set to continue.

5. Off-field appointments

Dan Ashworth is a name we’ve doggedly pursued and we’re in safe hands with him. I trust him to get it right over final few weeks of transfer window. Both he and Darren Eales (CEO) are quality additions that give us footballing people who we back to make the right calls off the pitch.

6. St James’ Park will be rocking!

we’re going to sell out every week. Wor Flags are back and better than ever before. The stadium was bouncing for every home match from the takeover onwards last season and it’s an unrivalled feeling. Especially compared to the drab and apathetic atmosphere of supporters (myself included) who were there out of a sense of duty instead of excitement last August. I’m at the point of my young self feeling so excited I almost make myself sick on a home matchday. I’ve missed that feeling.

7. Still time left – and a commitment – to do business

Howe has explicitly said we’re still looking for attackers. And unlike his predecessor, I believe him. He’s admitted quality forwards are the hardest to sign and we as supporters should know this. I’d argue we’ve gotten lucky a few times in recent years – with Demba Ba and Callum Wilson, for example – but it’s been a while since we’ve actively tried to sign and pay proper money for a quality forward. It’ll come. And our new seniors will do their due diligence with every signing.

8. The renaissance of Almiron

We saw the effect Howe had on Joelinton, Schär, Krafth and many more last season. Now, we’re witnessing Miggy in potentially the form of his life at the start of a new season and I’m so excited. I’ve defended Miggy to the death and I think he gets too-harsh criticism, but he’s proving the haters wrong (hello, Jack Grealish) and I expect to see him start against Forest. Long live Miggy Almiron and Howe’s insane impact on existing players.

9. Genuine, real ambition

Perhaps I’ve covered this in previous points, but it can’t be overstated. Compare Howe’s recent comments on what will constitute a good season to Bruce last year. There’s a chasm of difference. Howe is positive but still grounded. Bruce was moany, miserable, and belittled the club and supporters. I find myself gobbling up every interview Howe does, every word that comes out of his or a player’s mouth. It’s a stark contrast to muting the telly or skipping an article anytime I saw our previous manager’s face. I’m eating up every ounce of NUFC content I come across and I’m loving it all.

10. No more square pegs in round holes

The team that started against West Ham last season will be dramatically different to the one that starts against Forest and shows how we’ve upgraded in every area. Woodman was quality when he played last season, but we now have Nick Pope. We’ll never have to Clark in black and white again, and Fede is now a (still very good) backup. We also no longer have to fit players into unnatural positions – like pushing Hayden (sob) out wide. It’s refreshing to have options and be able to play players in their best positions. We can put out a balanced, high-quality team.

Roll on 3pm today. HWTL!

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