As evidenced over the past two matches, the takeover has done little so far to affect matters on the pitch. Newcastle were again second best at Crystal Palace on Saturday after coming up very short against Spurs last weekend.
However, there were some slight signs of improvement at Selhurst Park. Graeme Jones implemented a plan to address the porous defense. While it wasn’t exactly played out to perfection, Newcastle held The Eagles to just one goal and snatched a point despite barely threatening Vicente Guaita in the Palace goal.
After the match, Jones was pleased with the result and commended his players for their off-the-ball work. He also conceded that the lads are nowhere near where they need to be but the point at Palace can be a platform to build on.
Speaking to NUFC TV, Jones said the following about the importance of Saturday’s point:
“Remember the boys are on the back of a few bad results so confidence has been affected.
“I hope today gave them belief, a bit of confidence back, and the platform to build on going forward.”
Jones will take charge of our next match against Chelsea at St. James’ Park next weekend. We’ll be very fortunate to get anything from that match. The aim will be an improved display, especially in possession, and hope for the best.
While the squad won’t be improved until January, Newcastle are narrowing in on some key additions. Interviews are underway for our new Sporting Director as well as our next manager. Hopefully, both positions will be filled before the international break next month and could be announced as early as this week.
Once those positions are occupied, there will likely be two plans of action. First to strengthen the squad in January to keep the club up this season. Then the long-term rebuild will get underway in the summer.
Newcastle’s winter targets are likely to be players with Premier League experience such as Burnley defender James Tarkowski and Manchester United forward Jesse Lingard. Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette has also been touted as a potential target.
All three are in the final year of their contracts and could theoretically be brought in at well below their value. Though I keep having to remind myself that money is no longer the giant obstacle it was previously.
As we reported earlier, The Sun’s Alan Nixon is claiming that Wolves defender Conor Coady is on the wanted list for January. Frank McParland, who is currently an advisor at Newcastle but in line for a senior role, is a big admirer of the 28-year-old England international.
McParland was Liverpool’s Academy Manager from 2009 to 2013. He oversaw Coady’s progression at Anfield as he rose through the Academy ranks. The 6’1″ defender only made 2 appearances with his hometown club before moving on to Huddersfield in 2014 and then Wolves a year later.
Coady signed an extension at Molineux a year ago which has him tied down to 2025. Nixon claims it would take a fee of at least £20m to land the Wolves skipper, though that seems on the low end.
Newcastle have 11 matches remaining until the squad can be strengthened. It will likely be slightly longer than that as we travel to St. Marys to face Southampton on January 2nd.
The focus in the interim is to get the best out of this squad. Graeme Jones has at least one more match to build upon. Then it will likely be our new manager to take the controls for Brighton at The Amex to start November.
After The Seagulls comes the third international break. That will be a crucial two weeks for the new manager to work with the squad. Hopefully, we’ll signs of improvement in November and December as the club prepares to strengthen in the New Year.