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Posted by Marc Duffy on 08/08/2012

In ten days time we kick of our 2012/13 Premier League campaign at home to Spurs and I can hardly wait.

Almost everything surrounding the club of late has been positive - a strong 2011/12 season, European qualification, great morale amongst the players and fans and most importantly, so far, no high profile sales - even the Demba Clause has been and gone. We have brought in some high potential youngsters who will almost surely contribute to our Europa and League Cup campaigns and we have been linked with high quality first team additions such as Debuchy and Andy Carroll, though we have not yet agreed deals with any senior players and our squad needs to be strengthened in one or two areas.

If we pass through the closure of the transfer window without selling any of our stars, regardless of whether we buy anyone else, the pressure will be on Alan Pardew at a level it has never been before in his career at the start of the season.

This pressure will be fuelled by expectation. No one expected us to be competing for a Champions League spot right up until the final day of last season and in doing so we found ourselves way 'ahead of schedule'. We, the Newcastle faithful, need to be patient. We still have an excellent first team but beyond that we don't have the depth to seriously compete in what could be a 50+ game season.

I firmly believe that the success of last season was triggered by the great unbeaten run we enjoyed at the start. Spurs at home on the opening day is no more formidable a fixture than Arsenal was at the same time last season, but a trip to the Bridge straight after and Europa fixtures too - this is a big ask. (Yes, I know we won comfortably at the Bridge last season but that win was under very different circumstances).

Pardew comes across as a very cool man and for that reason I think he will handle whatever comes our way. I am confident that we will have another solid campaign, but when we face the inevitable difficulties that arise lets make sure that we don't jump the gun and that the support remains positive.

We are on the right track with an approach focussing on youth development. This approach WILL see us win something in the medium term and I am certain that we will see some of the young stars become regular first teamers this season. Rash reactions from the support (and let's be honest, those of us who have attended the games for years have seen this type of reaction more than once) will only stifle these plans.

Let's stay positive and hope that as a club we continue to make the immense progress that we have made since September 2009.

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Posted by Nigel Welsh on 08/08/2012

In fantasy world NUFC win the league, in reality world NUFC finish mid table ro even lower but not relegated. I beleive we will manage around about 8th with a decent euro campaign, similar to stoke but a better league finish. Much will depend on the first 9 to 10 league games and this is a prediction without any of the supposed big new signings. If Marveaux stays fit he will be like a new player, Brigimania has looked good in pre sesaons as has Gosling. Our younger players are coming on well so if reality bites hard this season I still think now worse than 10th with 8th my final prediction for the current squad. Add a player or 3 (full backs and/or centre back as well as a striker) and we could replicate last. season

MD: I can't disagree with that

Posted by Barbarossa on 08/08/2012

To be sure, Newcastle fans have suffered over the years from their own high expectations. We expect greatness, many times from players that are not capable of living up to the great Newcastle United that has been built up in fan's minds, then bemoan bad results.

We cannot fall in this trap anymore. We have a great fist team, one that can go toe-to-toe with any team in the Premiership. But what we don't have is a deep squad that can absorb injuries the way that squads like Citeh and Chelsea can. Europe will be a nice diversion, but it will likely take its toll on the team, as will domestic cup competitions. As much as I'd love to see a repeat of 5th place this year, I think more likely we'll end up 7th. If the close games tick our way, and we evade major injury problems, then 5th is attainable.

Posted by Carl west on 08/09/2012 just plsted that milan have clinched the signing of Demba Ba for 14£!!!! I hope its not true.

Posted by Patrick on 08/11/2012

Honestly, I cant wait for this season to start. This is the most excitement around the club ive experienced in a long time. I feel that if we can just sneak through a deal for a couple defensive backs and a midfielder we will be golden. Honestly though, Id be happy with a top 7 finish and at least a couple exciting cup runs. We have the forwards and midfielders to do it, but I just worry about our depth. Im worried we'll end up like Villa under Oneil where we make it about 2/3 of the season then succumb to the limitations of a shallow squad. All i know is regardless of the results Im with with the boys through and through. HOWAY THE LADS!!!

Posted by Hunter Bell on 08/11/2012

Great blog entry Marc! If Pardew can keep it together and some of the younger players like Marveaux, Vuckic, and Brigimania step up to the plate we could be contenders on one of the four competitions we are in! Knowing our luck though something has to happen, but who knows maybe a miracle will happen at Sports Direct Arena.

Posted by Darren Grant-Hall on 08/15/2012

Heya Marc, good to hear from you again.

I'd like to hear your opinions on our transfer targets, (Anita and Debauchy being the main 2) and what else you think we need to do to really become competitive.

Also, if we go the way of Arsenal in terms of how we are run, would you be satisfied with being good bordering on great?

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Marc Duffy Marc Duffy is a National Account Manager in the alcoholic drinks industry - a career in alcohol was obviously the natural step after following Newcastle United for all of his 32 years. Marc blames his father for his obsession with Newcastle United - since attending his first game at the age of 4 Marc has endured many ups and downs, and despite the lack of silverware remains positive that a trophy will be won at some point in his lifetime! (Wait, does the Intertoto cup not count?) Follow Marc on Twitter @MarcSDuffy

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