With the start of the 22/23 season almost upon us, I thought I’d share a few Newcastle United predictions for the upcoming season.
A season that should be considerably less painful to watch than last time around (the first few months at least.)
Agree or disagree, here are my thoughts and musings on what may happen to us as the season moves on.
More improvements in written off players
We saw it in the likes of Krafth, Joelinton, Schar and many others last season, where shockingly, when you gain a head coach who actually knows how to train and prepare for matches, their performances improve!
Unprecedented I know.
This season, I think Almiron, Longstaff and Willock will be the main beneficiaries. Willock and Longstaff already starting to show signs at the tail end of last season, and Almiron always a hard worker, but now with a hatful of goals in pre-season to show he can find the net. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think any of them will become world class players, but if Howe can get 3-4 goals and a similar number of assists in a season from Longstaff, get Willock back to the individual heroics he performed while on loan, and keep Almiron’s hot streak going, we should be looking far more healthy in terms of goals scored this season.
Wilson to hit 15+ goals this season
We all know Wilson is injury prone and will end up sitting out some games. However, I would argue that with a proper training regime and keeping peak fitness levels up (always lacking under you-now-who), his injuries can be managed so that he won’t be missing for huge chunks of the season, and will instead be managed much better, possibly coming off/on as a sub in certain games or missing out on others to rest or allow for a different tactic. This would lead to more goals, and I think 15 is a fair target to aim for. Who knows, could be even more if he hits form and can avoid any lengthy lay-offs…
NUFC to have signed Cornet or Sarr by the end of the transfer window
Up top is where we need to be strengthening now, as I’m sure most fans would not want to see Murphy / Ritchie on the wings should we lose any players to injury.
Obviously we’ve been linked with every player under the sun lately, the latest being Julian Draxler of PSG and James Maddison of Leicester City, but another we have been strongly linked with, is Maxwel Cornet. A solid performer in a poor Burnley team last season, a player who can cover on the wing or up top would be ideal in my book, and with a £17.5m release clause to boot. Maybe not the Hollywood signing some fans have been clamouring for, but a good solid addition nonetheless.
As for Sarr, I think Watford will be forced into selling before the end of the window, as I doubt the winger will want to be slumming it in the championship. This one strikes me as a throw out a bid in the last few days of the window, unsettle the player and force the move. Again, much like Cornet, he can cover on the wings and up top, so another reasonable addition at what would likely be a cut price.
Top ten finish (at least)
I think this is a little cautious but a top ten finish where we should be aiming at a minimum.
Let’s be honest, if we can finish three points from 9th last season after our abysmal start, surely with the improvements we’ve already made (not to say what else will happen in the transfer window), top ten should pose few problems. Get another covering striker and a winger in, and maybe we could even have a go at the European places, Conference League for me, I’m not greedy.
My membership pack to arrive before Xmas
Bit of a joke one here, but I got my membership renewed on the day they launched, when everyone was tweeting and writing angry articles about online queues, you remember, and I’ve still yet to receive anything from the club. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve already reaped the benefits, getting a ticket for the Forest match on Saturday, but a few goodies would sweeten the deal a bit more – anyone else in the same boat?