Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

The Season Now Hinges on Seydou

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

The Season Now Hinges on Seydou

Article excerpt

Byline: Follow us on Twitter @EveningChron John GIBSON

THE dust has now settled over the barren land of the fearful.

A mad scramble among those threatened with relegation and comparative poverty is at an end.

Either enough has been done in a hectic transfer market or it hasn't. We're about to find out the truth.

Newcastle brought in another four players for the thick end of PS30m to supplement the PS50m spent during the summer months. On the surface not bad at all.

However, whether the new arrivals will now get the job done has become the big debate.

Have enough reinforcements arrived? It's all a matter of opinion until results begin to reveal the truth.

The bottom line is that the club itself is privately hoping rather than believing that all will be well.

By their own admission their wish list on transfer deadline day included another striker and a left-back - both of whom didn't arrive despite persistent advances. I can see why they wanted them and I would have been more comfortable had they been secured.

However, we must go with what we have, and in Jonjo Shelvey and Andros Townsend we have two seasoned Premier League players good enough to have been capped by England.

Two players who are only in their early twenties with their best years ahead of them. Therefore, they are assured of a warm Geordie welcome.

Nevertheless, the key to the rest of the season for me is Seydou Doumbia, the 28-year-old striker imported on loan from Roma. He has to do what Aleksandar Mitrovic at PS13m has so far failed to do - score regularly enough to win games.

It's the hardest job in the world but the most rewarding, both in terms of riches and personal glory.

As when Mitrovic arrived, fans have no real idea if Doumbia can deliver.

He notched plenty of goals in Japan, Switzerland and Russia, but their leagues are hardly of Premiership standard, while he had a dry run in Italy's Serie A. Champions League goals were secured, though again not in the backalley skirmishes where Roma operate. Let us hope it works for Doumbia this time and, believe me, every Geordie who cares will be roaring him on. …

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