End of Season Review 17/18

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End of Season Review 17/18

Post by lassassinblanc » Mon May 28, 2018 2:18 pm

Our getting round to posting this up now

Season Review
After returning to the Promised Land as championship winners it was to be another rollercoaster season for the toon.
It started off with a 2-0 loss to Spurs were an act of stupidity from Jonjo Shelvey ultimately cost us, a loss to Huddersfield away had us feeling nervous but then a run of 3 wins seen us reach season high 4th place but a run of only 6 points from the next 13 games seen us in the relegation zone just before the gruelling Christmas schedule.
A 3-2 win over West Ham seen us up to 15th but still in danger due the relatively close battle for the relegation spots, next up was a Man City team who were swatting away opposition, Rafa set the team up to contain and hard to beat and had it not been for a lapse in position and concentration by Yedlin it may have been a draw, of course there was also the stone wall penalty not given for a foul on Gayle.
One loss in 9 after that (again to Man city this time 3-1) would see us up to 15th the introduction of both Kenedy and Dubravka really helping. After a 2-0 loss to Liverpool at Anfield a run of 4 games with dropping any points raised up into the top half and past the magic 40 point mark.
Despite four straight losses after this we still remained in 10th but it wasn’t until the last game of the season with a 3 -0 that we knew we’d finished a magnificent 10th something which no Toon fan would have predicted I myself would have been happy with 17th.
Overall an OK season as said like a rollercoaster with its ups and downs. The big thing to point out here is how great Rafa was and how shrewd he had to be with transfers especially with a small budget I shall review more in the player reviews but investment will be needed to maintain and hopefully better this season. Priority number 1 now is give Rafa a new contract and money to spend in the summer.
Last edited by lassassinblanc on Mon May 28, 2018 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: End of Season Review 17/18

Post by lassassinblanc » Mon May 28, 2018 2:18 pm

Player Review
Goalkeepers
Rob Elliot: Starting the season as our number one but injury and loss of form seen him drop out of the side. Still think he has something to offer and is decent backup but needs to improve his distribution should he want to challenge for the number 1 jersey shall see what the summer holds for him.

Kark Darlow: When Elliot lost form and suffered an injury in came Darlow again like Elliot he has his moments good reflex saves at times but can’t catch a ball for his life seriously at corners the lad flaps more than his hair. It will be an interesting summer for him too, still young for a keeper so may improve but I think himself and Elliot may be offered out and whoever garners the bigger fee will go.

Martin Dubravka: Came in on winter deadline day from Sparta Prague his first game was the visit of Manchester United and past it with flying colours, he didn’t look like a keeper making his Premier League debut more like an experienced veteran. Rafa has been after a keeper who is decent with his feet since he took over and has found an absolute bargain in Dubravka with his initial loan close to being made permanent for €4m.

Defenders
Jamaal Lascelles: Captain fantastic is how I’ll best describe him, when he wasn’t playing we missed him, not without his mistakes though but at 24 he still young, very unlucky to not be going to the World Cup with England also how he hasn’t been capped yet is very strange as I’d rate him some of the options who Southgate has called up in the last few games. Has been linked with a few moves away but I hopefully he’ll stay and build on next season.

Florian Lejuene: A player Rafa earmarked quite early and I think he was one the only one of his top transfer targets we managed to get in. Looked solid on his debut until a horrific challenge from Harry Kane put him out for a while. When he eventually came back in he formed a great partnership with Lascelles. Comfortable on the ball and no nonsense. Exciting to see how he gets on next year.

Ciaran Clark: The unlucky man in defence with the Lascelles-Lejuene partnership. Had formed a good partnership himself with Jamaal last year and is decent cover.

Chancel Mbemba: if Clark was unlucky then I don’t know how to describe Mbemba the forgotten man of the team, talk of him leaving the club which is unfortunate as he is still young and could grow if he was to leave I’d prefer it be on loan so he can show what he can do.

Paul Dummett: The player Pardew said would never make it as a premier league footballer well he can stick a nice two fingers up at his former manager now as he has made the left back position his own this season and when he was out with injury we looked a much weaker team.

Javi Manquillo- One of our bargain basement summer signings has had his critics but has done OK at moments and provides cover for both left and right back. If we bring in someone to provide cover for both fullbacks then he will most likely be sold.

DeAndre Yedlin- I think I can just copy and paste from my last season review- decent attacking threat but a reliability at the back needs to improve his concentration and the defensive side of his game, talk that Rafa wants to improve his fullback options so his starting position may be in danger.

Others: Jesus Gamez and Massaido Haidara barely played 5 appearances between them all season only 1 of them being a league start both out of contract come June and I’d highly doubt they’ll be offered new ones.
Last edited by lassassinblanc on Mon May 28, 2018 2:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: End of Season Review 17/18

Post by lassassinblanc » Mon May 28, 2018 2:19 pm

Player Review

Midfielders
Jonjo Shelvey: Our creative hub after criticism of his temperament after his stupid red card on opening day he has managed to stay out of the bad books and has not received a booking since a his two yellows against Everton in December. Media called for him to be part of the England World Cup Squad and he can probably count himself very unlucky not to be part of it as given his range of passing and vision could have been an asset for them.

Jacob Murphy: Our big money signing at 12m has been hit and miss is young and with the right guidance I think he will improve.

Mohamed Diame: Many including myself questioned his ability and place in the team but after a bust up in training with Lascelles supposedly over lack of effort he obviously took the heed of the words of the captain and went on to be a pivotal cog in the midfield engine room.

Matt Ritchie: Our most used player this season with 35 Premier League games (32 starts) his set pieces especially corners led to much of our success during that 3 game winning streak which brought us up to 4th. Reliable but still feel at times he lacks with his final ball.

Kenedy: After looking to bring him in during the summer Rafa finally got his man in the winter, and alongside Dubravka is one of the reasons we turned the season around. Added some creativity and flair which was much needed. If there is any chance of bringing him back in the summer I’d jump on it.

Christian Atsu: the loan move from last year was made permanent but his own admission he didn’t have the greatest of seasons mostly due to niggling injuries. Still think he has a lot to offer and hopefully he can recover some of the form he showed in the Championship.

Mikel Merino: Came in initially on loan with obligation to buy after certain number of appearances, started off like a house on fire and looked a real find but injury and loss of form and Diame becoming a rock forced him out of the starting XI. Still a good option but has been linked with a move away and there are rumours he is unsettled in the area and would prefer a move back to Spain. One to watch.

Isaac Hayden: Mostly used as an off the bench shore up the midfield, Hayden is still young and done OK for his first PL season, will learn.

Ayoze Perez: A player who got a lot of bad press from the fans some warranted but he turned out to be our top scorer of the season with 10 and linked up well with Kenedy come the end of the season. Needs to be stronger in his hold up play but given the license to roam I think he can kick on.

Others: Henri Saivet was listed in our original squad only played one PL game against West Ham in which he scored was loaned out pretty soon after that. Rolando Aarons 4 appearances in the first team but once again injury struck him spent the second half of the season out on loan with Verona



Forwards
Dwight Gayle: Our top scoring striker with 6 goals which says it all about of options up front. Was one the reasons we got promoted last season but I feel he isn’t really PL standard. Has been linked with a move to Stoke if they offer anything close to our valuation of 15-18m then I’d bite their hands off.

Joselu: If Manquillo was a bargain basement then I have no idea what Joselu was saying that he did score some important goals for us at home to Liverpool and opening the scoring against West Ham which kick started a revival after two opening losses. I’m not sure where he was on Rafa’s striker transfer list but you’d have to imagine well down it. If we can make money back on him then we’d be doing well.

Islam Slimani: We were looking for someone to come and improve our strike force and after a move for Nicolai Jorgensen lead to nothing it was the Algerian on loan from Leicester. Injury hampered his time and he never really got going only starting 1 game and another 3 from the bench. Linked up well with Perez and Ritchie against Arsenal when he came on and changed the game, then was terrible against Everton then banned for a stupid kick out at Dawson vs West Brom

Aleksandar Mitrovic: I’d still rate him as probably our best striker he just doesn’t fit into Rafa’s style only made 6 sub appearances for us before going on loan to Fulham where he has shown what he can do if you play to his strengths with 12 goals as Fulham got promoted via the playoffs. Rafa is very set in his ways so unfortunately I can’t see a future for him here, if he has a semi-decent World Cup then a fee of 20-25m imo (current market) would be a decent fee and should be reinvested in a replacement more to Rafa’s way.

Not even going to do the rest of the players out on loan as I don’t think any of them have a future at the club.
Last edited by lassassinblanc on Mon May 28, 2018 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: End of Season Review 17/18

Post by lassassinblanc » Mon May 28, 2018 2:19 pm

What is needed?
CF: Number 1 priority should be a Striker who will score at least double figures: Bas Dost is being linked as par usual, Will there still be an interest in Nicolai Jorgensen who knows? It really is a watch this space as there hasn’t been much concrete news on this front more rumours.
LW: Someone to replace Kenedy (if not Kenedy himself)
CM: Some is needed to come in take the creative burden from Shelvey also to add some competition for places, have seen Stefano Sturaro linked which I think would be a brilliant move.
Full backs: A position Rafa himself earmarked as needing improvement and I’d agree decent cover or some to play ahead of Yedlin is badly needed.
CB: This all depends on transfers out, if Mbemba is to go then a replacement needs to be brought in, have heard rumours of Craig Dawson who I don’t think would be that bad of an option only 28 , has a lot of PL experience and may have a relatively reasonable release fee.
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Re: End of Season Review 17/18

Post by Remember Colo » Mon May 28, 2018 3:06 pm

Not sure if I consider Clark unlucky. I was really unimpressed by him before Lejeune returned to the line-up. Credit to him, he was instrumental in getting us promoted, but I think the Championship is more his level, and he just doesn't seem to have the awareness or reaction time to handle marking PL quality players near the goal. Seemed like time and time again he was getting lost in no-man's land, or failing to track a run. He's probably fine as back-up, but not sure I like him as first man up for CB.

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Re: End of Season Review 17/18

Post by Don Sholeone » Mon May 28, 2018 3:16 pm

Eu estou Colo wrote:Not sure if I consider Clark unlucky. I was really unimpressed by him before Lejeune returned to the line-up. Credit to him, he was instrumental in getting us promoted, but I think the Championship is more his level, and he just doesn't seem to have the awareness or reaction time to handle marking PL quality players near the goal. Seemed like time and time again he was getting lost in no-man's land, or failing to track a run. He's probably fine as back-up, but not sure I like him as first man up for CB.
Got to agree, I think he's one of those that peaks around top 3 championship, bottom 3 PL, he's a good solid defender, just struggles against PL quality like you say.
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Re: End of Season Review 17/18

Post by lassassinblanc » Mon May 28, 2018 6:59 pm

Maybe I'm looking through green tinted glasses a little but by unlucky I meant more in a sense he lost his place I don't think he was as bad as you make out though but again this may be my green tinted glasses
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Re: End of Season Review 17/18

Post by Remember Colo » Mon May 28, 2018 7:09 pm

Lassassinblanc wrote:Maybe I'm looking through green tinted glasses a little but by unlucky I meant more in a sense he lost his place I don't think he was as bad as you make out though but again this may be my green tinted glasses
I knew you meant unlucky in that he lost his place, I just think he deserved to lose his place based on his performance this season. I don't think its a coincidence that our performance improved when Jamaal and Florian became our consistent CB pairing. But improved play by Yedlin and the return of Dummett surely made a difference too.

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Re: End of Season Review 17/18

Post by ColbacksFlamingBarnet » Mon May 28, 2018 7:44 pm

Player of the season is definitely Lascelles for me. Sturdy defender, maybe not the flashiest, but my word does he improve our team. His goal line block against swansea/tammy abraham was possibly one of my favourite moments, especially as he banged in the header. To me he embodies what I want Newcastle to be about - a hard working team that puts in the graft, with the occasional bit of flair.

I hope he stays and has the time to become a true icon in Newcastle United's history books.

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Re: End of Season Review 17/18

Post by Bodacious Benny » Mon May 28, 2018 7:53 pm

ColbacksFlamingBarnet wrote:Player of the season is definitely Lascelles for me. Sturdy defender, maybe not the flashiest, but my word does he improve our team. His goal line block against swansea/tammy abraham was possibly one of my favourite moments, especially as he banged in the header. To me he embodies what I want Newcastle to be about - a hard working team that puts in the graft, with the occasional bit of flair.

I hope he stays and has the time to become a true icon in Newcastle United's history books.
Took one in the bollocks v Chelsea too.
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