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Discussion thread: Premier League 2012/13 - Team Preview - Manchester Utd
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- Position Last Year – 5th
- League odds – 272 (BetDaq)
- FA Cup odds – 21 (PaddyPower)
- League Cup odds – 17 (PaddyPower)
Who’s in who’s out?
- In – Vurnon Anita, Gael Bigirimana, Romain Amalfitano
- Out – Fraser Forster, Peter Lovenkrands, Alan Smith, Leon Best, Danny Guthrie, Nile Ranger
Does that mean they’ve improved?
They were the surprise package of last year. A number of their senior players were moved on and mainly unknown or unheralded players were brought in. That reshuffling involved tough decisions, but for the most part they were flawless decisions. They may have lost their way in the last few games - possibly due to a relatively thin squad - but make no mistake their strikers will bring fear to the hearts of many defenders this year.
With Ben Arfa and Cabay providing the ying to Tiote’s yang (or vice versa) the midfield is coveted by many top clubs. That they’ve managed, so far, to hang on to their star players is probably the best they could hope for from the transfer window. They’re not likely to get much money to build from Ashley as his primary concern has been bringing much needed stability and financial security to the club, even when trying to sell it only a couple of seasons ago. Throw getting shot of Alan Smith and his rediculous wages into the mixer and it’s job well done.
The incomings so far won’t set the heart a-flutter but Anita is a good understudy to Tiote in midfield and unheralded French attackers don’t take long to turn into fantasy football staples. What do we know is the Newcastle chief scout is so well regarded he recently signed a seven year contract, a duration unheard of in professional football, so prepare to learn the names of the new signings, you’ll probably hear them quite a lot.
Where will they finish this year – 6th
Unfortunately for them they can’t rely on Chelsea being as poor as they were last season so it appears there’s a new glass ceiling of the big 5 and we’d expect Newcastle to win the league within a league.
Player worth watching?
Their strikers last season were epic, Ba confounding critics and medical science to have a blistering start to the season before tagging Cisse in for the second half of the year and some genuinely draw dropping finishes.
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Mr9F9vi5Rpg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Who would they want back?
As the books already include a solid young keeper, the blend of steel and finesse required in midfield and world class strikers it’s defence where they could do with some assistance. The chatter has been around signing a right back, but Philippe Albert could play anywhere, and indeed wound up all over the place, in the great entertainers team.
Phillipe Albert Compilation at Newcastle on Youtube
(sorry no embedding allowed for this one, hop on over to Youtube to view it, ed)