Things are changing at St. James’ Park for the 2015/16 Premier League season following the departure of Alan Pardew from Newcastle last season and the slump under John Carver seeing fans believe that there was a serious threat of relegation for the club. This season sees the appointment of former England manager Steve McClaren as manager, but after failing to see Derby County promoted to the Premier League last season with one of the, if not the, best squads in the Championship is he the man to deliver a better season for the Magpies?
Although they managed to secure their place in the Premier League for this upcoming 2015/16 season, things did not go well at the start of the last campaign for the Geordie team as they found themselves second bottom of the league at the end of September having drawn three and lost three of their opening six matches. Things dramatically improved after this as the club won six and drew two of their following nine games to sit mid-table at the end of 2014 and this attracted the attention of Crystal Palace who were looking for a new manager. They got their former player in Alan Pardew and this saw the Londoners from inside the relegation zone to the top ten at the end of the season while things went the other way for Newcastle under new manager John Carver. 2015 for Newcastle saw just three wins and 12 defeats in 19 matches as they survived by just four points thanks to four points in their final three matches of the season. Can Steve McClaren come in and return the kind of form that the Magpies showed at the end of 2014?
2015/16 EPL Preview:
Having the experience of Steve McClaren come to take charge of the Newcastle team for this upcoming season and this is very much needed after a their last campaign that saw them 14th and 19th best in scoring and conceding goals in the league from the 20 teams. They will need to have more consistent players in attacking and defensive positions it they are to move up the table this season, but even if they can attract them to the club can Steve McClaren get the best from them?
Ins and Outs:
Steve McClaren – The new manager is the biggest change to the club this season and he brings almost 15 years of experience to the role. He was assistant manager to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United before taking charge of Middlesbrough in 2001 where he guided the club to the UEFA Cup Final before managing England and twice in the Netherlands and once in Germany. His most recent club was Derby County but after a spate of injuries saw his team go from promotion favourites to missing out on a return to the Premier League last season he was released by the club to take charge at St. James’ Park. Can he utilise his vast experience to bring success to the club?
Georginio Wijnaldum – 24 year old Wijnaldum moves to the EPL after four years at PSV in his homeland of the Netherlands on a five year deal that has cost the club £14.5m, a record under the ownership of Mike Ashley and the third highest ever behind Michael Owen and club legend Alan Shearer. The Dutchman scored 56 times and created a further 23 goals in 152 games for PSV and he has also bagged three goals in 19 caps for his country. The versatile midfielder, who can play in attacking or right wing roles, is a massive boost for the quality of the squad.
McClaren has released two youngsters in Remie Streete and Adam Campbell who have left for Port Vale and Notts Country respectively, while after signing a new two year deal Sammy Ameobi has left on a season long loan to Championship side Cardiff City. The biggest exit from the club is 24 year old defender Davide Santon who has returned to Inter Milan, the club he broke into football with, following a successful loan spell last season. The defender has been capped eight times by Italy.
Newcastle EPL Preview Bets:
With the Magpies all change this season and, so far at least, looking to have improved both their on and off field talent from the second half of last season’s free fall online bookmaker Bet365 see the Geordies staying in the EPL for another season with ease. They can be backed at odds of a paltry 1.17 to remain in the Premier League during this 2015/16 campaign while they are available at 5.50 to be relegated in the Bet365 Sportsbook.
For us neither of these two bets are particularly tempting, while seeing them available at odds of 2501.00 to win the league are not something that we’re going to be touching either, there is value to be had on the team and we have found two bets that we like.
The first of the two is the least risky of the pair as we see them finishing higher than their local rivals Sunderland in the Premier League at odds of 1.50 with Steve McClaren’s experience seeing them manage this feat for the fourth successive season.
The more risky bet would be for Newcastle to finish in the top half of the table at odds of 4.50 with Bet365. The league promises to be a much closer and tighter affair this season and if the side can continue to bolster the team with additions similar to Georginio Wijnaldum then we can definitely see the value in backing the team to be there or thereabouts as the 2015/16 campaign comes to a close.