Last season, nearly promoted Newcastle maybe surprised some people with their overall performance and impressive displays against Arsenal, Aston Villa & Sunderland. When manager Alan Pardew sold top scorer Andy Carroll to Liverpool for £35 million, many thought they would struggle to survive without replacing him, but managed to do so relatively comfortably. Although during this summer a number of situations have occurred, resulting in the loss of key players, most recently Joey Barton. This leaves Newcastle in a dangerous position for maintaining their Premier League position.
The summer began with contract talks between Newcastle and club captain Kevin Nolan, but after a rejection of a 5 year contract by the club due to his age, they sold him to relegated West Ham. This development upset both fans but, several first team players, including Joey Barton & Jose Enrique. Alan Pardew then brought in a couple of new signings, striker Demba Ba from West Ham, midfielder Sylvain Marveaux from Rennes on free transfers and French international Yohan Cabaye for over £4 million. Current players who were key to the success of the club last season, have been offered new contracts, including midfielder Tiote, who impressed in his debut season.
On the 1st August after a series of messages were posted on the social network site, Twitter, Mike Ashley decided to release player Joey Barton. He had previously committed his future to the football club and then was in involved in speculation of a transfer to another Premier League team. The decision to release Joey Barton yesterday on a free transfer, rather than sell him for £3-4 million, shows how annoyed the Newcastle board are with his actions over the summer. This is the same club who had stuck by him when he was sentenced to six months in prison. Many will disagree with the decision of Mike Ashley, but Joey Barton has continuously commenting on the overall running of the football club. In any business other than football, if you question the quality of the management in a such a public manner, then you will face the sack.
With the new season only two weeks away and an increasing number of players becoming unhappy with the situation at Newcastle United, can they avoid the drop this year? With three of their main players leaving in the last 8 months, and a couple more apparently wanting to leave, Jose Enrique & Fabricio Coloccini. All of this along with increasing expectations from the supporters, makes this coming season extremely important. If they fail to stay in the league then it will make the remaining and future players question the direction the football club is heading, considering the amount of money made from transfers. I just hope the players can stick by the clubs board and move forward together and improve on last seasons position.