Ye knaa what ah mean leik – Newcastle United *2003/04 DB

We join Keith Fitt in the canteen at Darsley Park (Newcastle United Training Centre).

Ah needed that! Ah wez famished! Keith has just demolished a footlong breakfast sub from Subway! He is sitting next to Alan Shearer (Club Captain) and then says, How Al what dyer think o the new lads? Dyer think they’ll dee the business?

Keith Fitt is referring to an eventful transfer window on the eve of the opening 2003/04 Premier league fixture. Newcastle United are to start their campaign at St Mary’s where they will play Southampton.

I must admit Keith, I was dubious about some of the names we have been linked with during the summer. But I must admit some of the signings show great promise not just for now but for the future of the club.

– Alan Shearer responds in a thoughtful manner towards Keith

aye Ah knaa what yee mean. Some of these bairns could be reet firecrackers! Keith then adds. If wi can gis them time they will be gold.

John Carver – Keith Fitt and Newcastle United’s Assistant Manager pops his head around the canteen door and shouts “FIIIIIIIVE MINUTES LADS, FIIIIIIVE MINUTES BEFORE THE COACH LEAVES!”

Keith shuffles off to the toilet. Ten minutes later he appears outside. With everyone already on the coach waiting for him. Haplessly he boards the coach. Moans and groans greet him, then a loud cheer is heard from the back of the coach as he sits down.

The coach finally departs for Southampton, We now get the chance to review the transfers in and out. Along with brushing over the preseason results.

Wheelin’ an Dealin’!

Newcastle’s first signing Lee Bowyer was already made before Keith had even been touted as Bobby Robson’s replacement. Jan Kristiansen, the Danish winger followed, this was another signature made by the club just before Keith had really had chance to get his feet under the desk.

Ian Harte from Leeds was Keith’s first out right signing. After assessing the Left Back department, Keith was keen to strengthen. Harte comes with Premier League experience and a hammer of a left foot, especially when it comes to free kicks.

We then agreed a deal to bring former Wallsend Boys player Michael Carrick back home. The midfielder is seen as a natural heir to Gary Speed’s throne.

We see Carl Cort go out on loan to Championship side Norwich for the season. Along with the sale of Robbie Elliott to Nottingham Forest, Clarence Acuna to the MLS. John McClen to West Brom, Michael Chopra go out on loan to Derby for the season. And the sale of Goalkeeper Tony Caig. We also see West Ham loan Steven Caldwell for the season. And Everton sign defender Titus Bramble.

During which time Keith makes bids for three young lads. Two were plying their trade in the Dutch Eredivisie and the other in the Belgian Juplier Pro League.

Feyenoord agree the sale of Robin Van Persie first as the snap our hands off for the £18m DOF Gordan Milne offers.

A few days later Ajax then agree the sale of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, again DOF Gordan Milne makes an offer, and £14.25m is enough to secure his signiture.

With the signing of two up and coming forwards we then sanction the sale of Craig Bellemy who had been chased by Liverpool throughout the summer. We finally agree to sell him to the Reds for £22.5m.

Anderlecht then agree the sale of teenage sensation Vincent Kompany for £5.75m.

We then bring in another left back, with Neil Clement joining from WBA for just over £1m, this was more due to the news that Olivier Bernard has sustained a medium term injury which would see him out until November.

The final piece of activity would see the season long loan of youngster Nigel De Jong. We had convinced Ajax to allow us to aquire his services for the season. I hope was that he could be used as back up for Jenas, Carrick and Speed.

Preseason in a nut shell.

Very good results in the six matches that were played. You may notice that Keith has looked to stick with the same formation, a 4231 DM Wide, through out the preseason.

Howz it playing Keith?

When I first looked at the Newcastle squad i had two possible tactics in my head. The first was to play a 442. The second was to play 4231. After seeing a tactic on a thread in the community, FM Base . I quickly decided that I was not going to reinvent the wheel, and that for the first time in years I would just download a tactic and play rather than develop something myself. So I followed the link FM Base had linked in a tweet.

Note this tactic was created by FM Guru And so far throughout Preseason it has been fantastic.

I will wrap this update up right there and thank you for your time. I plan to update with a twitter thread during the regular season, fingers crossed I remember. Bye fre noo Bairns!