Premier League preview: Newcastle United

Alan Pardew is making friends with Joe Kinnear. Photo: PA

Last season: 16th

It wasn't the best season for Newcastle last time, as they struggled desperately in the lower reaches of the Premier League, thanks to a mixture of poor form, and a lack of players.

Despite signing a new eight-year deal Alan Pardew was under constant pressure throughout the campaign as his team failed to match the standards of the previous season where they just missed out on Champions League qualification.

The loss of Demba Ba to Chelsea compounded matters, leaving the Magpies with Papiss Cisse as their only striker capable of scoring goals, and even he failed to fire for long periods.

If Newcastle fans thought things were bad last season, they became a laughing stock over the summer as Joe Kinnear was brought back to the club as director of football.

The former Wimbledon manager had been out of the game since leaving St James' Park in 2009, but arrived with an unearned sense of bravado as he explained he was the world's smartest man, or something similar.

To back this bizarre self-made reputation up he has thus far managed to acquire Loic Remy on loan from QPR for the season, and has missed out on many more.

A power struggle could take place during the season between Kinnear and Pardew, and the manager will need to use all his skills to ensure the team on the pitch are kept away from any of the political stuff upstairs.

At least Pardew will have two competent strikers to call on this season in the form of Cisse and Remy, as well as keeping hold of Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa and Fabricio Coloccini.

The January purchases of Moussa Sissoko and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa will be more settled this season, meaning they can really push on.

Papiss Cisse will need to be firing once again this season.

One to watch: Joe Kinnear

He's done nothing in football for a while apart from appear on radio programmes proclaiming himself to being smarter than all the Newcastle fans, and that he could open doors to any football in the world, but has only manages to contact Harry Redknapp properly to obtain Remy. It will be intriguing to see how his relationship blossoms with both Pardew and the Newcastle faithful.

Something to prove: Alan Pardew

After bouncing around a few clubs, it looked like the ex-Charlton and West Ham boss had found his place at St James' Park. However, last season was placed into the 'poor' file, and if things don't start well this year, the gaffer could once again be left searching for a new club.

  • Prediction finish: 14th
  • Relegation odds: 9/1
  • Your view: Will you welcome Joe Kinnear back?
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@itvfootball he still needs to prove he is serious about what he is doing by making a quality signing, then he will be welcomed to SJP.

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@itvfootball If I'm honest, I'm not for Kinnear. Infact, it's safe to say, we're all not for Kinnear. We're not for Kinnear! We're not for..