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Pardew ready for test with big-spending City
ALAN PARDEW does not think Newcastle United have anything to be scared of when they start the season at the Etihad Stadium on Monday – even if Manchester City have spent nearly £60m on their forward line alone this summer.
While the Magpies squad’s only new face since the end of last season is Loic Remy, a loan arrival from Queens Park Rangers unlikely to play the opener because of a calf problem, the 2012 Premier League champions have been splashing the cash, again.
Spanish winger Jesus Navas has moved in with his international team-mate Alvaro Negredo from Sevilla for £35m. City have also spent £22m on Montenegrin Stevan Jovetic from Fiorentina, to join an attacking unit already boasting the likes of Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, David Silva and Samir Nasri.
On top of that Manchester City have also invested £30m in Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho, but Pardew is not ruling out a start to the new campaign which would not only shock new Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini but the rest of the top-flight too.
“Look at Manchester City and their outlay,” said Pardew. “There's a statistic that they have spent £400m just on strikers over the last six years. It's phenomenal.
“But actually, when we get to Monday, August 19, they can only put a couple on. They won't put four on - although they might do over the course of the game - but it's still 11 versus 11.
“You must always enter every game in the belief that you can go and win it. I've always done that. Even last year when we were really struggling for confidence and even personnel we had to enter the game with a game plan and a belief you can win. Trust me, we will be looking to do that next season too.”
Pardew heads in to his third full season in charge at Newcastle and, despite his London roots, has realised during his reign just how much affection there is for the club on Tyneside and in the North-East.
During his time in charge he has to experience how high feelings run at St James’ Park when supporters do not like certain decisions which are made both on and off the pitch.
And, following the appointment of Joe Kinnear as director of football earlier in the summer, Pardew witnessed again how quickly the spotlight can fall on Newcastle – good or bad.
The Newcastle boss wants to focus on what happens on the pitch and within his squad this season, in the hope he can lead the team back in to Europe after last season’s run to the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
“I haven't got that (local knowledge) but I have got the knowledge that it's there,” said Pardew. “I think there have been decisions made at this football club - both good and bad.
“But they always react in the same way: they turn up, they're passionate about the team. There's not many big clubs that have had quite the turmoil these fans have had and my passion is to give them something back - a trophy, success of some description.
“Finishing fifth that year when you look back at it, wow it's going to be very difficult to replicate but our ambition must be to replicate that.”
Newcastle’s chances of repeating that high finish could largely depend on the activity in the transfer market in the final few weeks of the transfer window.
Pardew is still hoping Kinnear will bring in an extra striker, despite further suggestions that a deal for Lyon’s Bafetimbi Gomis looks doomed to fail before September 2.
Blackburn’s Jordan Rhodes is a name mentioned in dispatches, but the Ewood Park club would be looking to recoup somewhere close to the £8m paid to Huddersfield 12 months ago.
Newcastle could suddenly have more finances available to invest back in to the squad if Paris St Germain match the valuation placed on Yohan Cabaye’s head in the St James’ boardroom. There is a reluctance to lose Cabaye, but also an acceptance that every player has his price and money poses little problem at PSG.
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