Groundhog Day with a sprinkling of Bollocks and Haribo…

I’ll come to Newcastle United in a moment. Let’s start at the top of the table…

I’d be very surprised if Manchester City don’t defend their title, although I do expect Man United to give them more of a run for their money this season, given their signings.

Now that’s out the way, let’s think about the teams that matter for the mags. I really think that the three promoted sides, in Norwich, Watford and Brentford will go straight back down. I can see them having a good start to the season, although I think they will go the way of Fulham. Often pleasing on the eye, which in turn will end up creating chances for opponents at this level. I wonder if Wolves have a wobble too, losing their manager and having a poor run toward the end of last season. Equally I’d worry if I was a Brighton fan too

I bet you though, fans of those teams mentioned above are all saying the same about Steve Bruce’s NUFC. It would be easy to make an argument as to why. No signings, no really changes in personnel and the only moves in the market are a few players off the books. Take-over talk (bollocks though it is) grinding away in the background and it is Groundhog Day once more.

The reality is that all of that stuff is not too important to those in charge. We are doing what Mike Ashley wants us to do – exist. He’s taken some earners off the wage bill, and not replaced them. Steve Bruce’s transfer budget of a packet of haribo and a Greggs bacon bap is not likely to do too much damage in replacing these players either. This concerns me greatly. My biggest worry is that we are going into a season having solved none of the real problems from last season. They remain no real answers to our full back issues, but most notably at right back. We will still have no real pace or mobility in the middle of midfield, and we lack a creative number 8 type to replace Joe Willock. Oh, and if Callum Wilson gets injured, we are done for. Whilst none of the players who have left are likely to have solved those problems, the issues remain unaddressed.

Despite all that doom and gloom, I do think we will stay up and I do think that Bruce will see the season out. Mainly because we will grind out wins when we need to, and we are on balance, better than the three promoted sides, and one or two others as well. We will rely on Wilson a lot, even more so than last season and I expect him to be our star man. I’m saying a glorious 14th place finish

My real gripe here, is that I don’t care. I mean I do, because otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this, but it is very hard to get excited. The same players I don’t really have much affinity for, playing for manager who I actively dislike, run by an owner I despise. I hate that I say this, but I’m more excited about going to new Dutch football grounds (I live in The Netherlands) watching ADO Den Haag this season, than I am NUFC. I hate that, I really do. We all want something to change, but it looks every more unlikely at the moment. Until it does, the club I fell in love with seems a lot further away from me than ever before.

Dai Rees @colemans_dream