Alan Pardew last night admitted he has some concerns that his squad now includes a large number of French and Spanish speaking players.
Demba Ba – new striker will lead the line
And it looks like Newcastle-born John Carver, who was Assistant manager in the heady days when the great Bobby Robson managed the club, will be given the responsibility to make sure no cliques develop in the dressing room, and that good team spirit is built up this summer and throughout next season.
Pardew expects to build on last season, as he said last night:
“We are bedding foreign players in and hopefully we will find our feet quickly.” “I expect to build on last year – especially in the second half of the season.”
“We want to take on the top teams and beat them, and deserve to beat them.” ” I am hoping we can get a reputation that we are a tough nut, a proper side.”
“Challenging for the cups and the top 10, then pushing on and keeping the players we want to keep.”
Newcastle have signed Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba, Sylvain Marveaux, and young 18 year-old French U18 International Mehdi Abeid.
And Newcastle also have Ben Arfa and Dan Gosling also fit again, after recovering from serious injuries last season – Ben Arfa from a double break of his left leg, and Gosling from a serious ACL knee injury.
Pardew hopes to add at least two more players before September rolls around – a left-back if Jose Enrique moves on, and another striker, with Turkish International Mevlut Erdinc their main target.
Another winger is also likely to be drafted this summer, with their top target probably being 25 year-old French International Charles N’Zogbia.
“Carver has the job of making the gang interact – that they all sit together and mix in,” “We are keeping our eye on that.”“We have three Spanish speakers and now three or four French speakers.”
“It is important for everyone at the training ground this year, with the nucleus of a new side, that we keep the same team spirit that helped us dig results out.”
“Last year, Cheik Tiote walked straight in and settled but others take time. We are hoping these new lads get a fast start.” “When I joined the club, I said we needed a strategic plan – how we break the cycle and get competitive.”
“Financially we can’t compete with the top five in trading players, but we can on the pitch.” “We have gone for players who have an improvement in them and a desire to play for Newcastle.”
“To keep them, we have to put success in front of them. We need to see a progression in our form and consistency and get closer to those teams. We will keep them then.”
“Then, in the third and fourth years, we have to push and people like Jose Enrique and Tiote will be looking for trophies.”
There is some hope still that Jose Enrique will decide to stay on Tyenside, and indeed, if both Joey Barton and Jose do stay, then the side already will look very strong.
We are wishing and hoping Newcastle will have a great season next time around.
But we do that every summer.