Newcastle have been busy in the transfer market in the last week. The Magpies have strengthened their squad by bringing in four players from French football.
The north east side have had success recruiting from Ligue One in the past with the likes of Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa and they will be hopeful that the new signings will be just as successful.
Moussa Sissoko has arrived from Toulouse, Yoan Gouffran has joined from Bordeaux, and Massadio Haidara joined from Nancy. Centre-back Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has also joined from Montpellier.
All four players are relatively young and highly-rated. Newcastle’s chief scout Graham Carr has worked wonders in recent years and found some real gems for very reasonable fees. If Carr’s previous history is anything to go by all four players will be successful in the north east.
Newcastle are in desperate need of adding to their squad. Alan Pardew’s side have had to endure an injury crisis this season and their lack of strength in-depth has been horribly exposed.
Newcastle fans knew that their squad was very thin last season and that their squad needed strengthening in the summer. However, boss Alan Pardew obvious didn’t feel the need or didn’t have the resources to bring in fresh faces in the summer.
Not only are bodies needed for Newcastle, but fresh faces may come in and provide a slight lift in confidence. That is vital for the Magpies at the moment, as confidence seems to have hit rock-bottom in recent weeks.
Last weekend’s 2-1 home defeat to relegation rivals Reading was simply awful. It seemed like an unlikely defeat for the home side, as the Royals have struggled away from home this season.
This result was probably one of the low points of the season and it illustrated just how badly the Magpies needed to bring in fresh faces.
I’m wondering why Newcastle have waited until January to strengthen their obviously thin squad. Had the Magpies brought in so many players in the summer then Newcastle may not be in their current predicament.
The north east side have struggled so badly that they are now just two points clear of the relegation zone. This season is an amazing contrast to last season’s fifth place finish in the Premier League.
They look like a completely different team to the one that nearly gate-crashed the Champions League spots last season. The players’ body language has looked completely different this season because their confidence is in pieces at the moment.
Alan Pardew needs to try and re-instil that confidence within his side. This is the sort of situation that the former-Southampton has to prove his worth. He won Manager of the Year last year, but that will count for absolutely nothing if his side is relegated this season.
All four players are likely to be thrown straight into the squad for the midweek trip to fellow-strugglers Aston Villa. This game has become a relegation six-pointer, with Villa a place and a point below the visitors in the Premier League table.
Both teams are low on confidence and both need a victory to move themselves away from the relegation zone. Neither side can afford to lose the game, as they could drop into the relegation zone with defeat.
With the new players coming in I can see Newcastle’s form improving. The fresh impetus that the new players should provide will help the morale within the squad and hopefully for the Toon Army’s sake a move away from the relegation zone.
Will the new signings be enough to move Newcastle away from the relegation zone?