One 0f the reasons we still think Newcastle will have a decent season and finish in the top ten is for a number of reasons.
Our squad is probably better than we think it is and that’s been shown over the last two games when new players like Mikel Merino, Javier Manquillo and Joselu have all looked good.
And there is real competition for most positions in the side, and even Jonjo Shelvey will have a challenge on his hands to get his place in the side with young Mikel Merino looking so good.
Rafa could also play Jonjo in the number 10 position so both midfield players along with Isaac Hayden – all excellent players technically – could be in the starting line-up.
Maybe the biggest reason for success is what we saw Rafa do when he came into the club a year last March, and after four games he had us playing like a top six side with 12 points from our last six games.
Rafa Benitez – Newcastle manager
We have a stronger squad than last season and hopefully owner Mike Ashley will allow Rafa to bring in maybe three new players in January.
Another reason for potential success is that our players from last year, who have now been with Rafa for over a year and know what he expects, are determined to prove they are good enough to play in the Premier League.
Ayoze Perez has talked about this today as reported in the Northern Echo:
“People haven’t really been talking about the players that were here last season, but that is normal when the window is open,”
“There are always a lot of rumours about what is or isn’t going to happen, and you have to deal with that.”
“There was talk about what players might come in, but we know the team we have and we know how strong we can be.”
“We still have to do a lot of work, and we can improve a lot, but we know how good we are. This dressing room has a lot of ambition, and we all have the desire to win games.”
“That is going to be important right the way through the season.”
“We have players here who went through relegation, and we want to put that right and show what we can do in the Premier League.” “We had to go into the Championship and had a tough year.”
“Nobody feels good when you get relegated, but we worked very hard to get back into this league. Now we are here, we want to show everyone that we deserve to be here.”
“We have to keep that mentality because it is going to be a long, tough season. We have to keep going in the same way we have been in the last two games.”
“We have two wins a row, but the most important thing is that we are still working on what we have to do,” “We know the mentality we have to have, and that is important.”
“The results are going to give us some confidence, and now we are playing at home in front of our fans, which is always great. “
“We will see what happens then.”
So Rafa has assembled a squad that is hungry to do well this season, coupled with competition in almost every position in the side and that augers well for Newcastle.
If we keep playing like we have over the last two games, we will win more games than we will lose this season.
We’ll all know better by the end of the year, but whatever league position we are in on January 1st, we hope Rafa is allowed to strengthen the squad in the next transfer window.
If he isn’t then the manager could still walk this summer, and that would be a real tragedy for both the Newcastle United Football Club and for our faithful fans around the world.
We hope that doesn’t happen and it’s one reason we expect to do a lot better than most pundits think we’ll do this season.
What do you think?