A round-up of news and views relating to Newcastle United
Alan Shearer has backed Newcastle United’s decision to stick with Alan Pardew despite a poor season in the Premier League. Shearer also believes that some early signings could see Newcastle make amends next year.
“You don't become a bad manager in one season. I'm pleased they stuck by him. He'll feel they have to get off to a good start as you always do, but fingers crossed that will happen,” he said.
Moussa Sissoko has said that Newcastle will improve next year, and said that although he has enjoyed his first six months in England, he can get better as well. Sissoko picked out his first home game against Chelsea, where he scored twice in a 3-2 win, as the high point of his time at Newcastle so far.
Another January signing, Mathieu Debuchy, has also pledged that he will be more influential in the side next season after settling in Newcastle.
“I’ll go away this summer, rest up and prepare hard for next season because, on a personal level, I want to give more to my team. Hopefully the team as a whole will improve,” he said.
Alan Pardew has highlighted attacking set pieces as one area for Newcastle to focus on next season, with Davide Santon the only defender to score for the Magpies last year. The last team anyone scored form a corner for Newcastle was Demba Ba in October 2011, something that Pardew believes is stopping them from picking up more comfortable wins.
In transfer news, Newcastle are reportedly still tracking Vitesse Arnhem striker Wilfried Bony as they look to bolster their attacking options for next season. Bony is rated at around £12million after scoring 31 goals over the last season, with several teams apparently chasing the Ivorian’s signature.
Newcastle might also rival Liverpool in pursuing Barcelona forward Bojan Krkic, after AC Milan decided against making his loan move to the San Siro permanent. Barcelona are likely to look to sell the 22-year-old, who is unlikely to make an impact on their first team next year.
Big spending Monaco are rumoured to be lining up a bid for Haten Ben Arfa, who has been linked with a £10million move away from St James Park this summer. The Ligue 1 side have already spent £60million on James Rodrigues and Joao Moutinho, and look set to sign Radamel Falcao for £51million this week.
image: © tpower1978