It’ always interesting to hear Alan Pardew talk about the Newcastle side.
Erik Pieters – is this lad coming to Newcastle this summer?
We have a guy managing Newcastle, who seems to have been inspired into having his best season ever in football management after 14 seasons, and he aims to have Newcastle a better side next season.
Whether it’s to bring in a new center-back, who can score some goals from set-pieces, or generally improve the Newcastle defensive displays – there are areas Alan Pardew knows can be improved.
But that’s not to says the lads have not performed magnificently this season, but we often wondered why, with 19 wins in the bag, our goal difference ended up at only +5.
Newcastle conceded 34 goals in their league games away from home, and only half of that number was conceded at home – 17 – so our away defending needs to improve next season.
When we have been off our game we’re really been off, and we lost games at Tottenham 5-0, Wigan 4-0, Fulham 5-2 and those are just three examples of games when at some point during the game, our lads switched off.
It was the first half at Tottenham and Wigan, and then the second half at Fulham, after we had played the Cottagers off the field in the first half.
Those are some of the things Alan and his coaching staff will be looking at in the summer, as they try to improve to pinpoint the improvements in the Newcastle squad for next season.
Alan talked about the game on Sunday to the local press:
“The third goal summed us up this year.” “We should have prevented that and we’ve had a few goals like that.”
“So we are going to improve at the back – definitely.” “The goal difference here this season is only plus five.”
“It means we’ve had to eke out a lot of wins. To get 19 wins and only have plus five shows there is a bit of work to do.”
“All I can say is it has been a privilege to be manager of this football club.” “I am so proud of what the players and staff have achieved.”
“As a team we have been magnificent.”
It seems Alan will be bringing in at least two top defenders this summer, and the favorites seem to be FC Twente center-back Douglas, PSV defender Erik Pieters and Lille right back Mathieu Debuchy.
We’d happily take any two from those three, but there’s little doubt that our defense has been our weakness this season, and it also seems to have been the displays away from St. James Park.
Alan will fix that for next season, that’s his remit in the summer.
What do you think?