Newcastle United's 08/09 Season of Promise

Gavin BlenkinsopCorrespondent IMay 29, 2008

Well, what a season. 

Let's not dwell on Alladyce's short reign at Newcastle United. Let us cast our minds back to January, and to the arrival of Kevin Keegan back at St James' Park. In a few short weeks he had the team playing football again, the ball got to see a lot more of the pitch than it did under Alladyce's and we finished 12th. 

So what's in store for next year?

Nothing so far. KK talks about a top five finish but he needs to start making moves in the transfer market before Euro 2008 kicks off. No doubt the top clubs will be watching for the brightest young players from each country represented and it would be best to get in early. 

A defender or two are definitely needed at SJP. Dunne from Man City would be a great signing and I could see a partnership between him and Taylor. He is just the sort of experienced player Taylor needs to play alongside. Nicky Shorey would be a good choice for the left back position, although I have been impressed with Jose Enrique.

With Joey doing a rather good Ronnie Barker impression ("don't let the bastards grind you down") we need some quality in midfield, and Emana (even though he sounds like a hospital procedure) would be an ideal replacement. Hopefully Charlie N'Zogbia stays and Alan Smith gets booted down the road to Smogville.

Viduka looks like he'll be on the sidelines for a while, Owen seems upset with  £80,000 a week and Martins is being eyed up by Wenger. If Owen and Martins stay, I can't see the harm in signing another striker. Andy Carroll needs more time and hopefully this season he gets it.

I have a good feeling about next season. I don't believe we'll challenge the top five, but a top 10 and dare I even say it, a top eight finish could be on the cards, provided changes are made to the defence.

Hold on tight fellow followers of the Toon, we're in for a bumpy ride.