Oh man, Newcastle are impressive this year. Attacking and defending as a team, Pardew has built one hell of a unit there. I was kind of hoping for Newcastle to have a sh*t season after what Ashley did to Hughton but you have to admire how they've gone from strength to strength under Pardew.
I think they're lacking a little bit of quality depth and could do with a bit of bolstering in certain positions. A new striker to offer competition and new partnerships with Ba and Best is probably required (I bet Andy Carroll must have a little
regret at leaving at this point). I'm also thinking they should do what Arsenal failed to do and bring Chris Samba into their defence. A back four containing him, Coloccini (anyone remember when he was a bit of an overpaid joke?) and the two Taylors would be a pretty fearsome prospect. One more quality winger is probably needed too, unless Obertan can suddenly become a world beater.
I think "big teams" like Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea have frailties that a hard-working Newcastle could exploit but whether they have the guile and tenacity to go the long-distance remains to be seen.
Either way, Newcastle's evolution is just one indication as to how this could be a pivotal season in the history of the Premier League. Can they last? Can City? Are we seeing the terminal decline of Premier League stalwarts such as Bolton and Blackburn and the rise of new/rejuvenated powers such as Swansea and Norwich? How long until Liverpool decide King Kenny needs a stand named after him too?
f*ckING INTERNATIONAL BREAKS