In the 2013-14 Premier League season Newcastle United will be hoping for a much better season than in 2012-13. Their previous year was a fantastic one in which they managed to finish fifth. This time around they no longer have to worry about the rigors of playing in the Europa League despite being able to add more depth to the squad.
Newcastle will hopefully have learned from the mistakes they made to start last season. They did address this some during the mid-season transfer window in January, but have done very little this summer so far. Their only real transfer in this summer has been acquiring the loan for Loic Remy from QPR. While this is a good move for them they really need to bolster their defense and even more than that, they need to keep their players healthy this season.
Looking at the Newcastle team on paper, they look like a decent mid table team with good players and depth. However, there have been some issues this offseason with new football director Joe Kinnear and his relationship with manager Alan Pardew. Hopefully this will not affect how well Newcastle does this year. Pardew will also need to work on getting his tactics right this Premier League season. Too often he was out maneuvered by opposing managers and unable to get the results needed. This wasn’t helped at all by having to play some players out of position or by losing their top striker, Demba Ba.
In 2013-14 they will have some quality strike options with Remy, Papiss Demba Cisse, Sammy and Shola Ameobi and even Yoan Gouffran. Having Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa returning and healthy will be a major boost for the midfield. In defense they will still have Fabricio Coloccini as well as Mathieu Debuchy, Davide Santon, Steven Taylor and Massadio Haidara as some good defenders. Their defense is probably where they are the weakest, both in terms of talent and depth.
My prediction for Newcastle is that they will finish mid table, somewhere around tenth place. There is still the possibility that they could get sucked into a relegation battle again, but this 2013-14 season they can focus on the Premier League and not have to worry about the wear and tear from travel and matches in the Europa League. This will certainly be a relief for Pardew and the Newcastle staff.