Newcastle United Profile
In stark contrast to bitter local rivals Sunderland, who have been the busiest team in the transfer market this summer - Newcastle have barely taken the cheque book out of their draw. Indeed the only first-teamer to sign is Loic Remy on loan from Queens Park Rangers - a club he signed for after turning his back on Newcastle. The biggest arrival for Newcastle has been new director of football Joe Kinnear - a former manager who is now on charge of transfers. Away from the controversy that has surrounded Kinnear, Newcastle have managed to hang on to Fabricio Coloccini and Yohan Cabaye.
Alan Pardew has been fighting fires over the summer following the arrival of Kinnear. Pardew has been given one of the two strikers he wanted. Pardew was happy with the business he did in January when Newcastle invested heavily but after flirting with relegation for much of last season there is huge pressure on him this term. Having won the majority of fans over with their brilliant campaign the season before, the honeymoon is most definitely over.
Ins and Outs
- Olivier Kemen - Undisclosed
- Loic Remy - Loan
- James Perch - £750K
- Danny Simpson - Free
- Steve Harper - Free
Having rejected the chance to join Newcastle in January, he will have to work hard to win some fans over. But if he starts scoring goals, that should go a long way to helping.
The key to Newcastle's season. A world-class performer on his day and he will be needed to perform from day one. When he ticks, the whole team runs at its peak.
Like Cabaye, the fact he has stayed with Newcastle is crucial. When he was missing last year, his absence was felt massively. Vital if they want to get back to the top-six.
Strengths & Weaknesses
Newcastle's squad as it stands has only been put together since January. Add to that Remy, who will miss the start of the season through injury, and they look a hugely competitive side. But as they showed last season, their squad is perhaps not as strong or deep as Pardew would like. They never replaced the goals of Demba Ba after he left but Remy will look to do that whilst Papiss Cisse will aim to recapture his form from 2012. How they start the season, and thus how much pressure there is on their boss - could be crucial to their season.
No matter how happy Pardew was with his squad, he will be bitterly disappointed at the lack of new faces he will have available to him at the start of the season. Remy is a quality addition but there is little doubt Newcastle need more. They look at least one short in every department, although their additions from January will be that much stronger following a pre-season in England.
"There are no excuses this year. The guys are in great condition. Their levels have been very high. We have worked very, very hard and have got everyone back fit now. Mistakes were made last season. You need to be honest enough to admit them and look at when and why they were made."
"All us players want to do is get down to business and when that first game comes along against Manchester City on Monday night we will be raring to go."
Facts and Figures
Number of PL goals Newcastle only scored from inside the six-yard box
Newcastle used more players than any other 2012/13 Premier League team
Newcastle conceded a higher portion of second-half goals than any PL side
Premier League 2012/13 points won with goals in second half injury time
Minutes between Hatem Ben Arfa attempting a dibble in the 2012/13 PL
What do Newcastle need to do this year? Just start doing sane things! Do not do anything silly! The North East is a great place to play football, because they are so passionate about the game but you look at both Newcastle and Sunderland and it is a bit like a rollercoaster ride. They need to do things normally and calm down a little bit - and I am not talking about from the fans' perspective but from the clubs' perspectives. They have got great atmospheres, good crowds and great stadiums and you just hope that both those clubs can settle down.