Definitely an area of strength.
Harper is obviously Hughtons number 1 and he has been OK.
Behind him we have Tim Krul and Fraser Forster â€“ both first team footballers of the future. I just hope that we donâ€™t stick with Harps through good form or bad on the grounds that he is one of the dressing room leaders â€“ this would hinder the development of whichever keeper is not out on loan.
Simpson/ R Taylor and Perch are competing for the right back slot, though we are worryingly thin on the left.
Jose is a great first teamer but he has been prone to an injury or two in his time here.
Kadar has covered for him in the past, but I see Kadar as a centre half. We need some cover at left back ASAP.
I was really disappointed what S Taylor got injured (again). There are a lot of Newcastle fans who do not like Taylor, but I think he adds a lot to the team and I would sooner have him in the starting XI than not any day of the week.
I was not too sure about whether signing Sol would be a good idea â€“ but as soon as Taylor picked up the injury at Carlisle it was a no brainer.
Colo and Williamson will be interesting to watch in the coming season. Colo was awful last time out in the Prem, but I am hoping that the Championship has helped him adapt and settle in to the English style of play. Obviously the Prem is a whole different ball game (Drogba or Chopra?!) but I have faith.
I really donâ€™t know what to expect of Williamson at the very top level. He could end up being a hidden gem!
And backing them up is Kadar who I rate as an excellent prospect.
Another area of the squad that could do with some bolstering. Jonas is another player who splits opinions amongst the home faithful, but I love watching him. He may not contribute a load of goals and assists, but he receives more attention from opponents than any of our other players and that helps the likes of Nolan.
Routledge is a journeyman and heâ€™s only in his mid 20â€™s (we are his 8th club!). He will do OK for us, but he is certainly not top class.
LuaLua is not good enough. Too light weight and not enough ability to make it at the top level. A League 1 player at best.
We have a few of these, though not many of them would win a 100M sprint race.
Kevin Nolan had a great season last year playing in an advanced midfield role or as a second striker. Lets hope he can keep on scoring goals!
Alan Smith â€“ not for me thanks. A liability, he can only tackle on his backside, heâ€™s not great on the ball and he is very slow.
Joey Barton has more ability than any of the others, but we all know his failings. Perhaps he has grown up a bit? I hope so but I doubt it.
Danny Guthrie is quite popular with the fans but he is another player I do not rate as premiership class. He has a nice touch, but he is slow and has no killer instinct. He also gets caught in possession more than any player I have ever seen.
Dan Gosling â€“ looking forward to seeing him play, though it will be a while yet!
We need some creativity in that midfield.
Haris Vuckic looks great, though he is still very young. Id love to see him get some playing time.
Andy Carroll has the magic #9 shirt and will lead the line. I like Andy a lot â€“ big and powerful, heâ€™s great in the air and his all round play has developed well over the past 12 months. He is a real prospect if he can stay out of trouble off the field.
Shola Ameobi â€“ no comment.
Leon Best was AWFUL after he signed last season, but he has enjoyed a solid pre season. If he stays at the club he will probably be no more than a bit part player.
Peter Lovenkrands scored some great goals at SJP last season, but made very little impact on the road (when he featured). The same will probably apply this season.
Xisco has never looked like a Â£6million player. An optimist might believe that his tough last couple of years can only help to develop him, but I doubt he will be here on September 1st. If he is he wont play much.
Nile Ranger is a one for the future, but Hughton does not seem to rate him as highly as some of the fans do. Talk is that he will go out on loan, which would be good for his development.
This is another area of the team where we have quite a few bodies but we are very thin on class.
Oh for Shearer and Ferdinand.