Ciaran Clark is the man in possession of one of the center-back slots with both new signings Fabian Schar and Federico Fernandez pushing hard for a starting position at Newcastle.
Ciaran has played in our first two games, but we deserved more than the one point from those games at home to Tottenham and away at Cardiff.
But the only thing that really matters is what we did get, and it’s only one point from those games.
It’s better than the last two seasons when we lost both of our first two games.
The summer transfer window was a lot like last summer when Rafa was vocal in saying he wanted Newcastle to be more aggressive and ambitious in the transfer window.
But Ciaran says once the transfer window closed the players knew this is the squad we have through the end of the year.
All the players are settled and focused on the season ahead.
Ciaran Clark – in action at Cardiff City
This is what the 28-year-old former Aston Villa defender said in the Chronicle today, when asked if the off the field activities had affected the players:
“Once the window shuts, that’s it. I think everyone’s got their heads screwed on and everyone knows this is the squad,”
“It probably gives everyone a bit more focus and takes everyone’s minds off everything else.”
“It’s full focus on the football side of things.”
“We’ve done that. We were unlucky in our first game. I felt we did enough to take at least a point and we could have come away with three from Cardiff.”
“We’ll take the positives and keep working hard.”
“We’ve got a great team spirit and great attitude within the whole squad,”
“I think that showed when we went down to 10 men. We kept going, we kept fighting.”
“It could’ve swung our way in the end, and we were a bit unlucky that it didn’t.”
“That’s one thing we’ll always have: that good attitude and commitment, no matter who’s playing.”
“That’s what helped us through and ultimately got us to where we finished last season. We need to try and keep that.”
“I think we knew the type of game it would be – it was always going to be a fight – there was going to be a lot of hard work, and both teams put that in,”
“I can’t remember there being too many chances. Obviously, the sending off came, and you’re down to 10 men. It was always going to be a tough one.”
“We managed to keep going and keep fighting. We got the penalty at the end, and it’s one of those things, people can miss them.”
“We came away with a point. We’re disappointed, but it’s a point at the end of the day.”
“Even with 10 men, I can’t remember there being too many chances for them. We didn’t see as much of the ball as we’d have liked.”
“We always knew it was going to be that type of game. It was always going to be a fight.”
“They (Cardiff) make it really difficult for teams to play. That’s their style. We knew that before coming out.”
“On the whole we’re pleased, but, at the end of it, we’re disappointed we didn’t come away with all three points.”
The squad seems stronger than last year at this time, but the best starting eleven has yet to be seen.
But it looks like Salomon Rondon, Yoshinori Muto, Ki Sung-yueng, and maybe Federico Fernandez could be the starters before the end of the year once they are fully settled in at the club.
If that happens, then we will have six new first-team starters compared to last year – more than half the side,
What do you think?