Newcastle United: 8 Reasons Magpies Have Huge Potential
While the mood on Tyneside after failing to secure a striker on transfer deadline day may be bleak, there is still some cause for optimism.
The team, the squad and the club could still have a big future, and if Mike Ashley and the club's board stop making ridiculous decisions, they could make good progress over the next few years.
As Newcastle United try to put a disastrous summer behind them, here are eight reasons why the club still has huge potential.
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How well UEFA's Financial Fair-Play system will work, and how tightly it will be enforced is open to question. If it operates as intended, then it should put Newcastle United in a strong position in a few years time.
The Newcastle United board's stated aim is to be running in a "break even" manner by 2015. The wage bill has been slashed, and large transfer fees and wages seem to be a thing of the past. While this year's accounts are yet to be released, it seems likely that Newcastle are ahead of schedule on meeting their financial targets.
These moves limit the club in the short term and are painful for fans to stomach. In a few years time, though, it may mean Newcastle qualifying for Europe via the "back-door" as teams not living within their means wont be allowed to play in continental competitions.
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Part of the recent structural changes at Newcastle have been the focus on buying and developing young talent through the introduction of a "development squad".
At the moment, Newcastle have probably the best set of young players they have produced since the early 90s when the likes of Steve Watson, Lee Clark, Alan Thompson and Steve Howey were breaking into the first team.
Shane Ferguson made it into the first team at the end of last year, and with Newcastle's squad looking short of number, the likes of Haris Vuckic, Sammy Ameobi, Mehdi Abeid, James Tavernier and Yven Moyo may well make the step up this year.
Vuckic and Ameobi in particular look like exceptional young talents, and if nurtured correctly, they could have massive futures ahead of them at Newcastle.
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While Newcastle may not be big spenders in the transfer market anymore, they do have one seemingly huge advantage over a lot of other clubs.
Chief Scout Graham Carr has an excellent record since joining the club, and has already unearthed some gems. Last season he found Cheik Tiote who was an instant hit, and this year Yohan Cabaye looks the pick of the bunch.
Hopefully Carr can keep finding talent of this quality, and the club can continue stealing them from under the noses of the bigger clubs. If so, these sort of quality additions could really push Newcastle to challenge in the top-half of the Premier League.
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Newcastle fans have started to worry that they will never see Hatem Ben Arfa back in a black and white shirt. Alan Pardew says he should be available to play some part in the League Cup game against Nottingham Forest later this month.
If Ben Arfa returns to full fitness, and can re-capture his previous form, he has the potential to be a huge player for Newcastle. He is the sort of player that can push Newcastle from mid-table mediocrity to challenging for Europe.
Lets just keep our fingers crossed he stays fit and gets back to his best.
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Newcastle currently have on of the best central defensive partnerships in the Premier League. Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini have looked formidable this season, and if they can stay fit, they could form a solid base for Alan Pardew to build upon.
The pairing has contributed massively to Newcastle's good start to the season with three clean sheets in four Premier League games so far. If Davide Santon can slot in well, then Newcastle could have their best defence of the modern era.
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Tim Krul has secured his place as first-choice goalkeeper this season having fought off competition from Steve Harper and Fraser Forster.
He has started the season brightly, conceding only one goal in four Premier League games. Krul is arguably the best young keeper in the division and has the potential to be a real star.
A good goalkeeper can make a massive difference at Premier League level. Hopefully Krul can help Newcastle succeed and be first choice at the club for the next 10 years.
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I think every Newcastle fan by now is sick to death of hearing about the £35 million "Andy Carroll" money.
In the end, whether it is spent on players or remains in the clubs coffers to improve the financial situation, it gives some cause for optimism.
Hopefully it will allow Alan Pardew the chance to bring in two or three more players in January, and also put Newcastle closer to being on a sound financial footing.
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As Newcastle approach a sound financial footing, surely they will become the target of another takeover attempt.
While many questions remain as to why Everton can't find a buyer, the lack of bids for Newcastle United is more puzzling. Unlike Everton, Newcastle already have a world-class stadium.
If Newcastle can maintain Premier League status and achieve a break-even financial status, then there would be few more attractive purchases in world football.
With the potential Newcastle already have, all they need is a new owner who is more ambitious than Ashley and willing to fund a reasonable level of transfer expenditure.