Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Never Mind Signing Strikers, You Want to See United Get Some New Stoppers; BIG TOON SURVEY - You Reveal Where You Want to See Newcastle Strengthen This Summer

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Never Mind Signing Strikers, You Want to See United Get Some New Stoppers; BIG TOON SURVEY - You Reveal Where You Want to See Newcastle Strengthen This Summer

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Douglas Newcastle United Editor @MsiDouglas

FORGET Wolfsburg hit-man Bas Dost or QPR's in-demand sharp shooter Charlie Austin - for now, at least.

The message from Newcastle United fans to the club's transfer team in our biggest ever Big Toon Survey is an interesting one - they feel the Magpies' priority this summer should be centre-backs, not centre-forwards.

That doesn't mean that United supporters don't want to see Austin snapped up this summer.

Handed a list of four names - with the option to throw in their own suggestions - Austin attracted 73.82% of the vote.

Biggest of the write-ins? Yohan Cabaye, by a long way - he picked up nearly 100 votes while Alexandre Lacazette, last year's big target, was another who was mentioned.

But if Newcastle fans know who they want to lead the line and provide the bullets to the new sharp shooters, it's at the back where they're really concerned with Newcastle stocking up.

We polled more than 2,500 United fans on the areas of the team that most needed to be strengthened and 48.07% specified centre-backs.

Strikers took 22.44% while improving the management and coaching accounted for 24.20%.

Remember this was an endof-season survey so was conducted after a season where Alan Pardew and John Carver were in the dug-out - presumably United think they have addressed those concerns with a new man in the hotseat.

Surprisingly, the rest of the positions weren't nearly as urgent according to you.

Central midfield, where it looked to this correspondent at times last season that Newcastle were lacking any sort of creativity or dash, was 1.57% of the vote and wingers were only 1.09%.

Newcastle seemed to have a dearth of quality from wide men last season, so that's a surprise.

Less surprisingly is that full-backs only account for 2% - there are surely other priorities than filling an area where Newcastle have Daryl Janmaat, Massadio Haidara and Paul Dummett.

Having said that, a back-up right-back might be required somewhere along the line.

Less than 1% - 0.62%, in fact - thought that Newcastle needed to improve their goalkeeper as a priority. Tim Krul and Karl Darlow will battle for that slot, with Freddie Woodman next up.

Delving deeper into the results, there was little that Newcastle fans agreed on as much as what United needed to do with regards to transfers.

How much do United need to spend this summer? PS50m+.....................61.03% PS40m-PS50m.............19.37% PS30m-40m...............13.95% PS20m-PS30m ............... 4.64% We asked two questions on how United should go about their business - how much they should spend and how many players they need.

You gave a very clear message: the only way to clear up the mess is to spend a lot and bring in a lot. …

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