Steve McClaren has not made the impact that he would have hoped for after replacing John Carver and Newcastle have yet again had a poor start to the season.
They have only picked up three points in seven games and are currently 19th in the Barclays Premier League table.
McClaren was provided with the funds to improve his squad in the summer window and spent just over £46 million on five new players, but at the moment, those investments have not had a positive influence on results.
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THE SEASON SO FAR
Newcastle started brightly and impressed in their Premier league opener with an entertaining 2-2 draw at home to Southampton. New, £14 million signing, Georginio Wijnaldum was the star off the show, scoring a fantastic header.
They suffered a disappointing defeat against a red hot Swansea side 2-0 in their second game, before earning a point at Old Trafford against Manchester United.
They drew the game 0-0 and showed a real determination and work ethic to prevent United from scoring. The performance was full of heart and the Newcastle faithful would have been proud of their players for the effort, commitment and bravery they showed throughout the game.
They took the confidence that they gained against the Red Devils into the League Cup and comfortably beat Northampton of League Two 4-1.
Arsenal were their next league opponents and new striker, Aleksandar Mitrovic did not make things any easier for his side, receiving a petulant red card in the 16th minute of the game. Newcastle held firm for as long as they could but eventually Arsenal’s pressure and man advantage told, and the Gunners won the game 1-0.
Even though it was a defeat, there were still many positives to take from the game and considering the man deficit, Newcastle did a really good job to stay in the game and not get destroyed by the creativity and talent of Arsene Wenger’s side.
Without a win in the league, the pressure was starting to build and this reflected their poor form. They suffered a 2-0 defeat to in-form West Ham before losing at home to newly promoted Watford, 2-1.
The game against the Hammers was always going to be a tough away fixture and all three points would not have been expected by many fans, but the home defeat to Watford was a result that created chaos and showed just how much work was required.
Watford have been on a decent run this season but at home, Newcastle were the clear favourites and really need to start winning these types of fixtures.
Another dreadful defeat to Championship side Sheffield Wednesday, losing 1-0 at home in the League Cup heaped even more pressure on the players and Steve McClaren, surfacing rumours he could get the boot.
They needed a great performance against the Champions, Chelsea in their next fixture to regain some confidence and stop the losing streak.
They certainly performed admirably and took advantage of Chelsea’s defensive frailties. They really took the game to Chelsea and attacked at every opportunity.
Newcastle led the game 2-0 and showed a real determination to attack as well as defend. The game ended 2-2 as Chelsea’s quality eventually showed but a point is still a great result and something to build on.
WHAT NEXT FOR THE TOON ARMY?
Manchester City at the Ethiad Stadium will be their next fixture and it doesn’t come much harder than that. City are second in the league and are one of the favourites to win the Premier League this season.
However, they might be short of confidence having lost their last two league matches against West Ham and Tottenham. Defensively they have looked suspicious and suspect to say the least without club captain, Vincent Kompany, and so Newcastle must exploit this.
Hitting on the counter with their pace will be the best option in this game but it would be sensible not to overcommit on the attacks otherwise they will be left open to City’s counter-attacks.
City have a devastating attack and they are usually very clinical in front of goal, so Newcastle must ensure chances and space for their attackers are limited.
WHO SHOULD THEY SIGN?
Newcastle have struggled for goals this season and only scored five in the league so far.
They were linked with QPR goal machine, Charlie Austin in the summer window, but the move did not materialise. He is a fantastic finisher and can score all types of goals.
He scored an incredible, eighteen goals last season and even earned himself an England call-up. He would bring goals to St James Park and complete an already decent attacking line-up.
Loic Remy could be another player they could bring in although it is unlikely he will want to leave Chelsea just yet. He was on loan at the club before and is a sensational player and he may be interested in a loan move if he still isn’t getting enough game time with The Blues.
For me they also lack that pace in the side and so I would be looking to add a creative, pacey player, perhaps a winger. Andros Townsend would be a perfect fit for Newcastle and has real star quality.
This move would not be impossible, with Townsend frustrated at the lack of first-team football. Spurs will probably want £10 million for the England international but he’s worth every penny and he will score and create goals.
Another centre-half would also be a welcomed addition and could partner Fabricio Coloccini. Someone with Premier League experience like Michael Dawson, for example, would be a very good buy.
If Newcastle start scoring goals and tighten up defensively they will be fine this season. Relegation could be a possibility though if they don’t start improving soon.
The performance against Chelsea was better and they need more of the same if they want to get anything from the game against Manchester City.
They must use the Chelsea result as a stepping stone and start picking up more positive results like this. If Newcastle can pick a point up away to City and then win their next game, they could go on a run and push up the table.
If they solidify the defence and add more talent in the next transfer window, mid table seems their likely destination!
FOOTBALL FANS: Where will Newcastle finish this season? Who should they sign?
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