The sky's the limit for new look Newcastle United

Sir John Hall Stand Newcastle

Newcastle followed up their win at Aston Villa with an excellent home victory over Chelsea at the weekend, and their smart work in January should set them up for a rapid rise up the table in the next few months.

Whilst many people doubt whether the January transfer window is a good thing, you would be hard pressed to find a Newcastle fan who wouldn't be extolling its merits at the moment.

Despite losing Demba Ba early in January, Newcastle brought in a slew of talented players to bolster their squad, and they have reaped the benefits of this with two good wins already. The star of the show has so far been Moussa Sissoko, who Alan Pardew has played in a more advanced role than the midfielder has been used in his career so far, with two goals and an assist instantly vindicating the manager's decision.

Mathieu Debuchy and Yoann Gouffran are also in the starting eleven, and it's surely only a matter of time before Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa joins them. Add in Cheick Tiote's imminent return, and Newcastle are indubitably a club on the up, and it would be unwise to predict anything but a top half finish for them despite their current lowly position.

The question is, how high can they go in the remaining 13 games of the season? At the moment Newcastle are 15th with 27 points, just three behind Stoke in 10th, and also only nine points behind Liverpool in 7th. Brendan Rodgers' side have also improved in recent weeks, but have yet to beat a top ten side this season, giving up leads to Arsenal and Manchester City in their last two games. Unless they can find a way to start winning those kinds of matches, there's every chance Newcastle could end up competing with them for league position.

However it might well be next season when Newcastle's new squad really kicks into gear, and there's every chance they could be competing for a top six spot once again. The January spree has meant that their squad is no longer based around a talented first team, with plenty of depth in most positions now available to Pardew.

The players brought in are generally young, and set to hit their peak in the coming seasons, and if Newcastle keep the unit together, they could be set for a fine few years.

images: © mickyb59

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