By Joe Allon
Monday 06 Dec 2010 11:21:00
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At the time of writing it has been a productive transfer window for us. I’m impressed with James Perch. I liked him last season when he was at Forest and we have got him at a snip. Likewise the boy Gosling from Everton. Another young lad who has the potential to represent his country in the future and who could be the creative spark we have all been crying out for at the club since the days of Speed and Lee. I think the signing of Sol Campbell is a masterstroke and with the injury to Taylor the timing is perfect. A lot has been made about his lack of fitness and weight he is carrying but that will only spur him on. He is a talker and a leader and the likes of Taylor, Colo and Williamson will benefit from just having him around the training ground. He played well for Arsenal last season and competed in Europe. He is good friends with Hughton and to get him on a free transfer makes the wages easier to swallow for the club. The injury to Taylor is a blow. He is out of contract soon and I’m sure the club would have looked to offload him to bring in cash to spend. He has been a good servant but if the club are sticking by the policy that they announced earlier this year then selling Tayls would fall into that remit. Only time will tell now. So what’s our aims for this season? Staying up will do for me. We don’t want to become a yo-yo club like the makems. Speaking of which I can’t wait to take 6 points of that lot this season. They have had there moment of glory being the North East top dogs, now they can go back to being the scrawny black cats that they are. There have been a few changes to the backroom staff over the summer and I was sad to see my old pal Alan Thompson leave for Celtic. He did a cracking job at the club and will be sorely missed. The appointment of Peter Beardsley as Reserve team coach though is well overdue. He is a living Newcastle legend and with felloe Geordie Steve Stone alongside him I’m sure they will unearth a few Geordie gems for the future.


So my old shirt has finally found a new home. Andy Carroll has been handed the No.9 shirt and I for one think that it’s a brilliant decision. It’s important for every club to have a centre-forward that the fans can worship. We have had our fair share, Milburn, Supermac, Cole, Shearer and now another Geordie gets to live the dream. The drop into the Championship benefitted him more than anyone else as it gave him time to develop and he coped well with the physical nature of the game at that level which will stand him in good stead for the Premier League. Who partners him this season is the 100M dollar question. Lovenkrands suits his style and many would say he deserves a shot at it. Best has finally broken his duck during pre-season and will be itching to get the chance to grab a proper goal. Don’t forget Shola who we know can turn it on when he wants will also be knocking at the door. For me the midfield is the key to where we finish this season. They are Carrolls supply line and Hughton has a few big decisions in there. Guthrie looked great in the middle but has been outwide during pre-season. Barton undoubtedly has the talent and is entering his biggest season. Nolan will be looking at proving the doubters wrong after a great season last term. Smith won’t want to be a bit player  and then there’s Routledge and Jonas. A lot depends on formation but it’s a nice problem to have.


Final word this issue has to be about Chris Hughton. He has done an outstanding job but he knows that last season is dead and buried and that all that matters is now. He is in the results business and needs to get off to a good start. If he gets off to a bad start then I just hope there isn’t a knee jerk reaction. He needs to be given time and if needs be a bit more cash to strengthen the squad. I’d like to see him look at the League Cup this year to. So many average teams have won this trophy over the years and we have never come close. Let’s give it a go Chris. Win a cup and you and the lads will go down in history.

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