Jeremy Spitzberg

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Season Preview: Newcastle

Friday, August 16, 2013



Loic Remy - QPR (Loan)




Steve Harper - Hull City - Free
Yven Moyo - Released
Danny Simpson - QPR - Free
James Perch - Wigan - undisclosed
Shane Ferguson - Birmingham - Loan
JJ Hooper - Northampton - Free
James Tavernier - Shrewsbury - Loan
Mehdi Abeid - Panathinaikos - Loan
Michael Richardson - Accrington Stanley - Loan


I's a year that ends with a number, so you know that Newcastle United will be interesting.


They followed up relegation with a run into the top-half of the Premier League table and a spot in the Europa League. That proved too much for a talented, but thin, squad and they flirted with relegation last season. They were saved by a January infusion of French talent (to complement the injured and off-form French talent they already possessed), and the general awfulness of a few other teams. *cough*Rangers*cough*


So how to follow that up? Why not mimic the organizational dysfunction of a QPR and bring in one of their players as your only summer addition? It doesn't make a lick of sense, but hey... interesting!


Loic Remy should be a good addition. He can play up front on his own, or alongside Papiss Cisse and Hatem Ben Arfa. Hopefully his pending legal issues - serious legal issues - don't derail his season. He's only on loan, so there's no long-term risk for Newcastle, but in the short-term, they'll need him to be effective.


Otherwise, manager Alan Pardew needs to find a system that suits his players. Momo Sissoko is either a box-to-box midfielder, or a number 10. Depending on which day you ask which interested party. Can he be accommodated in the same midfield as Yohan Cabaye? And which is the real Chek Tiote - the effective midfield destroyer, or the ineffective foul and yellow card machine?


There is a lot of talent in their back five, with Tim Krul, fullbacks Davide Santon and Mathieu Debuchy, and captain Fabriccio Colocinni the standouts. If the players in front of them do their jobs well enough, a solid defence could be Newcastle's saving grace, and a possible source of value for fantasy managers.


Newcastle as a fantasy-relevant, defence-first proposition. It is going to be an interesting season, isn't it?

Jeremy Spitzberg writes about fantasy soccer (football) and is a Rotoworld contributor. You can find him on Twitter @JSpitzberg.
Email :Jeremy Spitzberg

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