Some exciting arrivals there and even more excited to see Hyuk come through in the first team!
Episode 22: From 20th to 2nd Place!
After these early transfers, the 2024-2025 season began after a good pre-season in China. Some of the results of the preseason gave the Gaffer confidence for a successful season. However, the first game against Tottenham did not go as planned. A dismal loss away from home gave the Gaffer an indication that this season might be tougher than he expected. The Gaffer is deploying a new 4-3-3 system as he wants to utilize Rice, Maia, Gomes, and Bakayoko in the same lineup. This system might change after the terrible performance at the Tottenham Stadium.
After a second loss and draw in the PL, Newcastle United found themselves sitting in 20th position. Not the start the Gaffer was looking to begin the season. The month of August ended with the team in the relegation zone. Going into September, the atmosphere in the dressing room was beginning to dip but, the Gaffer had faith in his team.
Newcastle United suffered their third defeat in the league to Leicester and from that game on will go on a 12-game unbeaten run going into the new year. There was one injury to the squad which could be identified as a reason for the bad start. For starters, first-team goalkeeper Fariñez suffered an abdominal injury and was out for 2 months. Backup Yann Sommer was placed in goal who did his best but let in far too many goals. There were also small and minor injuries forcing some important players to miss one or two matches.
Within that unbeaten run, Newcastle United won convincingly against Liverpool and some close games against Man United and Chelsea. The Gaffer was awarded PL Manager of the Month in November after winning all his games during that month. In the Europa League, the side managed to qualify for the next rounds by finishing in 1st place in Group D. The teams Newcastle played gave the Gaffer some trouble during the matches, but his team managed to come away with some win’s solid wins.
The Gaffer was more concerned with the results as opposed to the performances in the Europa League. This team will be a force to be reckoned with in the latter stages of the European competition. Newcastle sadly did miss an opportunity to go further and win the Carabao Cup. A dreadful penalty shootout against Wolves forced the Toonside out of the cup competition.
The impressive run by the team up the PL table put a smile on the Gaffer’s face. He is finally witnessing how good his team can be and that they can make a push for the Premier League. Something must have clicked for the Newcastle players; they have been performing day in and day out. Forwards and midfielders have been on a tear especially star striker Patson Daka. In 16 games played, he has scored 16 goals in all competitions so far. Bowen, McNeil. Gomes, Allan Saint-Maximin, and other attackers are in some fine form chipping in with assists and goals.
Defensively, the team is still quite shaky but, with the forwards playing exceptionally, it is not the biggest of worries. One thing noteworthy was the Gaffer’s switch to a 4-4-1-1 shape which provided more cover for the defense. To keep other teams on their toes, the Gaffer makes slight adjustments to his tactics. It has proved to be successful so far as seen in the last two months' results.
Information has been circulating in the media that some players are unhappy with their playing time at the club. The Gaffer was asked what his thoughts were on the subject. He stated “All the lads are happy to play when called upon and sad when not, but I cannot play everyone. Some of them like Zaha and Bakayoko will have to be patient. I have spoken to them and they will need to be ready when injuries occur or player performances drop but at the moment, I can give them the minutes they want.” This is well said by the Gaffer. There are still more matches to be played and squad rotation will be key for the second half of the season. The winter transfer window is now open, lets see who the Gaffer and his recruitment team bring into the club if any.
FIXTURES AND RESULTS