We’re not going to get ahead of ourselves or carried, but Newcastle this season have shown what team spirit and togetherness can do, when you also have some good skill in the side.
Chris Hughton – terrific job this season – he deserves high credit
Because the lads won a crucial game last night, and are now certain to be promoted, we can now look ahead to strengthening the squad in the summer and playing again in the Premiership, after just one season in the English second tier.
The squad we have right now is very solid, and we still need to get more quality into the side, and we are already hearing of various targets Chris is looking at, with the help of Chief Scout Graham Carr and assistant manager Colin Calderwood.
We have already heard the club be linked with a number of potential targets like Jamie O’Hara, Charlie Austin, Jimmy Bullard, Juan Albin and Pablo Hernandez among others, and it will be interesting to see who Newcastle will bring in and who will leave during the summer.
But with a solid squad to build on, the likelihood is good that we’ll have a more than decent squad come next season.
We also have to remember that we’ve only had half a season out of two of our more obvious Premier League class players like Steven Taylor and Joey Barton.
Add to that the January signings of Danny Simpson, Wayne Routledge and Mike Williamson, all signed for around £3.5M, and these are bargain basement buys for Newcastle United, no doubt about it.
But we’re not expecting to be in the top four next season, and in fact if the lads can get into the top 12, which we are capable of, then it will be a very successful first season back in the Premier League.
There’s also a lot of upside promise, because we have now shown this season that we can fight and gut it out in games like the best of them.
The way forward for Newcastle is the Youth Academy and bringing in young players who are already good, but still have significant progress to make.
Charlie Austin, the 20 year-old Swindon striker we were linked with recently is an excellent example of the type of player that fits into this category.
Sebastien Bassong was a good example of a player in that category that we signed for just £500K from French club Rennes when he was 22. Seb is no longer with us, but the acquisition recently of Mike Williamson might mean we don’t fret too much about losing Seb, who was great while he was at Newcastle.
The way forward for Newcastle seems a solid one, although we’ll not be making any big £20M type trophy signings.
And quite honestly, when we think of some of our signings in the past of Jean Alain Boumsong (£6.7M), Albert Luque (£9.5M), Michael Owen (£17M) and others, we’re not sure we want trophy signings, because we have never shown we are very good at it.
The £20M players in Newcastle’s team in a couple of years time will have been made at the club.
Two of those in the making are 21 year-old Andy Carroll and 20 year-old Tamas Kadar as just two examples and maybe 18 year-old Nile Ranger and 17 year-old Haris Vuckic down the road a little.
As we said we’ll be making those £20M players in the next few seasons rather than signing them.
But we think it’s a wise approach, and we’re right behind the strategy, which has already worked quite well over the last couple of years.
Some really good times might be ahead for the Newcastle club – we hope so anyway.
Howay The Lads!!