Newcastle United Fans' Season Preview: Alan Pardew Has Had Your Lass

They had an unmitigated stormer last term, and thus far have managed to keep hold of their best players. With their silver fox still at the helm, is the sky truly the limit for the Magpies?
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Last season was one to remember; what's Pardew got up his sleeve this time round for Newcastle United?

Pre season: Good, bad or ugly?

Results-wise, wholly indifferent with various different results against various quality of opposition. Humbling defats against a team of Lativan milkmen, playing Champions League pretenders off the park, with one of the drabbest 0-0s ever witnessed by these eyes to round it off.

Off the field though it's been relatively quiet by our standards. No major dramas to report with only the elongated and frustrating pursuit of a right-back really worth tweeting.

Hopes for the season:

A repeat of last term would be fantastic, but a nice stabilising flirtation with the top 4, coupled with a cup run to keep things interesting would be lovely. Keeping all key personnel happy, fit, and actually at the club would go almost the full way to making this a reality.

Fears for the season:

Another chapter in the book of important players leaving with no time to replace them is the major worry. Given, Milner, N'Zogbia, Carroll and Barton all left without adequate hours on the clock to find a direct replacement in previous years and a repeat of this could ruin the good start our ambitions necessitate.

Absolute bare minimum you’ll accept?

Top-half and a hug from Yohan Cabaye.

Fixture you’re most looking forward to?

The opening game, as it happens. Olympic duties mean that St James Park hasn't been able to host any friendlies this summer so our first sighting of the team will be when we kick off the season. The FA Cup 3rd Round falls on my birthday this year as well, so that could hopefully be a personal highlight.

Got the right manager?

Hipster glasses, Steve Redgrave's voice, and the brain of 10,000 virgin chess players. Yes, in Pardew I wholeheartedly trust.

By Christmas you’ll be…

Laughing heartily at whatever predictions I foolishly made in this article.

Player you’d most like to sign?

Defensive strengthening is a necessity and if Graham Carr says that Debuchy and Douglas are the right players to go after then they're top of my wishlist as well.

Which player should we look out for?

Gael Bigirama, who we've picked up for next to nowt from Coventry has looked other worldly in pre-season. Rumours abound that we might just loan him straight back out but if he's allowed even a cameo role this season then he could really turn a few heads. Likewise Medhi Abied who came in under similiarly low-key circumstances a year ago.

Other than that, this is probably the year Haris Vuckic has to make a name for himself or else it's better for both him and the club to allow him to ply his trade elsewhere. If he manages to get anywhere near the player he's supposed to be though, there could be fireworks.

Which player would you love to ditch?

After last season it's almost impossible to justify taking delight in anyone's exit. Even the much maligned Obertan played a big part in the opening 10 games and has showed occasional flashes of quality in between hours of wasting possession.

Opposition hate figure?

I'm sure Andy Carroll's public pining for a return has ensured he'll forever be an icon of ridicule and comical misfortune rather than simply the totem of greed he looked on his exit. Likewise Enrique. There isn't anyone who'd really qualify as deserving of “hatred though”

That said, I'm sure Lee Cattermole or one of that other lot will show themselves to be the height of professionalism with their now traditional needless derby day sending off. El-Hadj Diouf, Tim Cahill and Karl Henry have all since packed up their craic and left, so I'll need to find a new poster boy for my footballing grievances now.

Tell us something we don’t know about your club?

Alan Pardew's middle name is Scott, and he has had your lass.

What won’t happen this season?

Joey Barton.

Where will you finish?

Heart? 4th. Head? 6th.

Any other news?


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