Five things learned from Newcastle's season so far: Cisse, Cabella & Aarons feature

Newcastle United sit 18th in the Premier League table after seven league games. Here are five conclusions from an unacceptable start to the season...

Deja vu

It looks as though, despite signing several new strikers this summer, Alan Pardew's Newcastle side are back to relying on a familiar face as far as goalscoring is concerned.

Indeed, with just four goals to his name, Papiss Cisse is by far the Mapgies' top scorer in the league so far this season. Impressively, he did get those goals in just three games (with the actual striker going in in two of them) but a reliance on the previously injured Senegalese striker shows the dearth of in-form forwards at St James' Park.

Bad transfer business?

Why 29-year-old Cisse has to be Pardew's go-to-guy is a strange situation when you consider how many players Newcastle brought in during the transfer window. Siem de Jong, signed for £6 million, is out with a long-term injury, while Facundo Ferreyra has not made any impact whatsoever.

Emmanuel Riviere and Remy Cabella, too, have struggled for goals and many of the Magpies' other new recruits have failed to shine thus far.

After Newcastle had confirmed a string of summer signings, many supporters were predicting a top-six finish. Seven winless games in, relegation looks more likely. Has it simply been a case of bad transfer business?

Youth shines through

Negatives aside, however, some young players have burst onto the scene early in this campaign on Tyneside. The biggest example is Rolando Aarons, whose energy has really made a difference for both Newcastle and the England Under-20 side.

Unfortunately, injury has sidelined him for a while, although there is also 17-year-old Adam Armstrong to look out for. Both youngsters highlight the fact that the future could be bright for the Magpies, while they could certainly have a big say on Newcastle's present should they be able to stay fit for the majority of the season.

Time to respect the cups?

What is interesting to note about Newcastle's season so far is that, despite the doom and gloom of their form in the top flight, Pardew's men have won a game - in the Capital One Cup.

That perhaps presents a timely reminder that, when the chips are down, cup football can provide a unique set of circumstances that can produce a very different result to the one the formbook predicts.

As such, why not capitalise on that? Newcastle have had very little success in cup competitions of late and this season, when the Premier League campaign looks to be full of misery, could be the perfect time to change that. A cup run could then, in turn, provide momentum for the Toon's league season.

Defending and goalscoring are a concern in equal measure

Finally, arguably the biggest lesson of Newcastle's season so far is that Pardew's men are just as bad defensively as they are going forward. That isn't anything new to any fans who watched the Magpies' capitulation in the second half of last season.

But many critics were concerned with Newcastle's inability to score goals during pre-season. Had the Magpies possessed the ability to defend, though, just one goal could have already secured their first league win of the campaign.

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