After the last campaign which has seen Newcastle qualify for Europa League football, Alan Pardew stated that he would be working really hard over the coming transfer months to bring in class European players for United to not only cope, but compete in Europe and in the Premier League.
But many clubs in the past, who have so wanted to grab those Europa League spots, have perhaps later regretted it. This comes after Stoke City had one of their most disappointment campaigns with head coach Tony Pulis admitting that his squad struggled to cope with the demands of playing a Thursday European game and flying home to play a weekend game in the Premier League.
This leaves a dilemma for the man in the Toon Army hot seat as the current transfer policy at United will not allow Pardew to sign any big names from other top European clubs. And with players like Peter Lovenkrands and Danny Guthrie departing, Newcastle’s squad is looking to be getting smaller than the way in which many of the fans would like to see.
Many pundits said that Newcastle may have got a little lucky with their results throughout the season and they had every right to express that, as with the only Fabrico Collocini and Mike Williamson being the first and only choice centre backs, United would have found it difficult if injuries had plagued their small squad.
The weaknesses of United’s back up players was exposed at points with James Perch having to fill in all over the pitch and Ryan Taylor – a natural right footed player – played left back for most of the season.
But Pardew and the Toon faithful remain strong willed that they can succeed at European level with many fans looking forward to travelling to watch their favourite Black and White team play.
Newcastle have begun to recruit European class players with Romain Amalfitano arriving on Tyneside and plenty of interest going in to French right back, Mathieu Debuchy, the Toon Army definitely keen on keeping the French connection going.
But the Newcastle fans and players will be wanting to compete in the Europa League and, as a result, Pardew will have to develop team management skills, to prevent the squad from burning out. But with quality on the doorstep of St James Park, Newcastle are beginning to get back to their best, looking for that much sought-after silverware.