End Of Season Toon Report - Good But Could Have Done Better

Malcolm Macdonald: “I would have to say to the strikers, ‘Do you really feel you made a difference?’

“In the euphoria of instant promotion I think a lot of people have overlooked this, but I see the season for what, in certain areas, it wasn’t.

"It might sound mean, but I was somewhat disappointed that the forwards didn’t score more than they did last season.

“Having won promotion with a record number of points, and won games by some very high scorelines, no-one got 20 goals.

“For not a single forward to reach 20 goals in an absolutely runaway season, when the side is scoring goals for fun, is disappointing to me.

“So if they couldn’t do that in the Championship, how do they hope to in the Premier League?

“Defences are very much better, and Newcastle won’t enjoy all the possession they did last season. Then the whole thing is turned on its head and suddenly you’re desperate for goals.

“How are they going to score under that pressure? Who is going to score? This is the biggest question for the club next season.

“The club is going to desperately need a couple of guys who can get 20 goals. If they think that what they went up with is good enough for the Premier League, without improving, that is sheer folly.

“Now people are saying they can’t because of this statement about not spending money. In the past people have seen Newcastle as a car crash, they’ve been stupid enough to pay anything.

“In the past, when selling clubs heard Newcastle were interested, the price suddenly doubled because they knew they’d pay the money.

“But now I wonder whether this statement is all a smokescreen to avoid that happening again, to say we haven’t got money to spend so that they can actually do a bit of shrewd business without paying over the odds.

"People who say Andy Carroll a big, young lad who’s going to improve vastly over the summer are fooling themselves. The step up in class is going to be huge.

"The pressure will be severe and I don’t think he dealt well with pressure last season.

"He’s got to stay on his feet, he gets knocked over too easily for such a big lad and needs to sort his balance out.

"Peter Lovenkrands did OK, but is he a forward? He has pace, and has become a bit of a fans’ favourite – but can he deal with the Premier League?

"It’s all very well doing it in the Championship, the Premier League is completely different.

"He should be given a chance but will have to keep earning it. When he’s not scoring goals he doesn’t offer much else.

"Shola's had more than a few chances to prove himself in the Premier League and I don’t feel he’s really done it.

"I’m not sure he’s looked really up for it. He has all the attributes but you have to question if he’s really prepared to get out there and make a difference.

"He has been unfortunate with injuries but you have to stay fit if you want to be of any value."