NOW MAGPIES NEED TO MAKE BIG CHANGES
NEWCASTLE deserve their promotion but major surgery is required. No side that loses ten matches in a Championship season can be considered Premier League-ready. Matt Ritchie is proven class, Ciaran Clarke a cultured centre-back, Jonjo Shelvey possesses matchwinning quality (albeit allied to a dubious workrate) and Isaac Hayden is an emerging talent. But beyond that? With the exception of the lethal but injury-prone Dwight Gayle, the Magpies’ squad is a monument to mediocrity. Ask yourself: would any other top-flight side want Jack Colback? Mo Diame? Yoan Gouffran? The same cannot be said for Brighton, who were forced to fend off bids for Dale Stephens, Lewis Dunk and Anthony Knockaert last summer. The Seagulls require a tweak and a tickle to turn their table-toppers into contenders. Newcastle need an overhaul or their return to the top flight could be brief.