New Boy in ToonBy: Aidan | August 1st, 2010
Not James Perch, Dan Gosling or Sol Campbellâ€¦but me! After being sadly neglected during the last year or so, this blog is up and running again with me at the helm.
So first a bit about meâ€¦yes Iâ€™m a Geordie, no I donâ€™t spend my days hanging around outside St Jamesâ€™ Park waiting for the Sky Sports News cameras to come along as ask me to grunt into a microphone about messiahs, no I donâ€™t believe in messiahs, yes I like to drink beer and shout profanities when watching Newcastle, yes I sometimes wear my black and white shirt but only when watching them play, not to go shopping or on a night out, and no I donâ€™t have a ridiculous amount of optimism when it comes to Newcastle United.
Iâ€™ve seen enough disappointments to know that glory is not something we need to particularly worry about anytime soon. However, it is the start of a new season, which does require a little mindless optimism so here goesâ€¦
Newcastle have come back up at the first attempt as Championship Champions. Considering the turmoil that was 12 months ago that is no small achievement.
Just think back to last summer. Club up for sale. Players desperately wanting to leave. Ridiculous wage bill leaving the club losing money hand over fist. Fans despising the owners. Relegated in limp fashion for the want of just 1 goal to send Hull down instead. Shearer wanting to become the full-time boss but no agreement coming. Hughton continuing as caretaker.
Amid all of that the squad that remained became more close knit and knuckled down together to fight for the cause. Chris Hughton did his job with minimum fuss and without the need for doing any of his dirty laundry in public. And the team showed themselves to be a class above the majority of the Championship.
The squad has had some reasonable additions over the last year (Simpson, Routledge, Campbell, Gosling) although nothing earth shattering, and mostly untested at the top level.
There is of course some of the traditional dross still hanging about, but at least now it isnâ€™t stupidly expensive dross. And finally morale is undoubtedly higher than it was in our previous Premiership campaign.
So what are the expectations for the coming season? Frankly I canâ€™t see any reason to expect anything other than a bit of a struggle, but keeping our heads sufficiently above water to be far enough clear of the real danger at the bottom.
Iâ€™m anticipating being somewhere in the 12th to 15th positions and quite honestly that would be just fine after the trauma of two years ago. I feel it would be foolish to expect much more than that this season, but then look to build on that in the future. Iâ€™m not like the numpties who constantly think Newcastle should be straight up into the European places despite all evidence to the contrary.
So welcome back to the Newcastle United blog â€“ hope you enjoy it.