All the latest news, views and transfer rumours from St. James' Park...
Newcastle's dismal second half of the season is finally over, and Alan Pardew is now expected to turn the Magpies' fortunes around having been given reassurances over his job security on Tyneside. Newcastle's summer of rebuilding has already begun, with midfielder Dan Gosling leaving the club for a move to Championship side Bournemouth, and the former Everton man has revealed his frustration at being on the fringes of the first team.
"I have been lucky enough to be part of a great set of lads and made some really top friends, both players and staff," said Gosling. "I have built some really good relationships but it is just a shame the football side of things hasn’t worked out how I would have liked it to."
"Every player wants to play week in and week out, I’m no different. The competition was good and the season we finished 5th we were winning most weeks and so you can’t change a winning team, I know that. Slowly but surely I got in the team, unfortunately it was probably too little, too late," added the 24-year-old.
Former Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper is currently with Hull City, but regularly passes comment over his former club. This time, Harper says that the club is "bi-polar" and desperately needs a productive transfer window to compensate for the sale of Yohan Cabaye to Paris Saint-Germain in January.
"It has been a chalk-and-cheese season. I have said before that Newcastle is a bi-polar club and it has been a bi-polar season,” he said. "Before Christmas it was fantastic and they had a fantastic run, but you sell your best player and it knocks the wind out of your sails. It becomes a very difficult season, but the mandate was for a top-10 finish, which they achieved," said Harper.
“The way it happened it has left the fans with a bad taste, but if it had been a general level of consistent performances and the end result of 10th, it would have been a bit easier to take. Newcastle need to become active in the transfer market. I’m still close to a lot of people up here and I hear that is their intention, so that could go a long way to getting the supporters back onside. Let’s hope they do," added the former Magpies stopper.
With the summer transfer window now drawing ever closer, Newcastle must bring in striking power to replace Loic Remy, whose loan deal has now expired. In the Frenchman's place, Newcastle have been linked with a swoop for former Sunderland striker Darren Bent. The Aston Villa striker has been out on loan at Fulham this season, but with the Cottagers now relegated, the England international will be seeking a new club.