Thursday, March 26, 2015

Summer clear out

Although I am very skeptical I was interested to hear that the Newcastle United squad will be overhauled this summer that Mike Ashley has realised the errors of his ways and will invest in players. I don't plan on holding my breath on this, but hope to be pleasantly surprised.

With that in mind,  I have broken down our squad giving my opinion on who we should keep, and who we should move on. I have used the following 5 categories:

Starters - Players I believe merit a first team spot next season
Keep - Players I would be happy to keep in the first team squad
Can go - Players I would not miss if they were moved on this summer, but could retained as squad players.
Gone - Players I want to see moved on this summer
U21's - The young players we have not had a chance to judge.

1 Tim Krul
7 Moussa Sissoko
9 Papiss Cisse
10 Siem de Jong
14 Jack Colback
17 Ayoze Perez
19 Massadio Haidara
20 Remy Cabella
22 Daryl Janmaat

27 Steven Tayor
28 Sammy Ameobi 
30 Mehdi Abeid
36 Paul Dummett
16 Rolando Aarons

6 Mike Williamson
8 Vurnon Anita
15 Facundo Ferreyra
21 Rob Elliot
31 Jak Alnwick
39 Shane Ferguson

Can go:
2 Fabricio Coloccini
4 Ryan Taylor
11 Yoan Gouffran
18 Jonas Gutierrez
24 Cheick Tiote
25 Gabriel Obertan
29 Emmanuel Riviere

U21's - not proven yet
32 Adam Armstrong
33 Curtis Good
34 Remie Streete
35 Adam Campbell
37 Lubo Satka
38 Gael Bigirimana
40 Olivier Kemen
41 Freddie Woodman
42 Kevin Mbabu 
23 Haris Vuckic

Friday, February 20, 2015

Mr Charnleys PR machine

The NUFC publicity machine is in full flow. Managing director Charnley is throwing his support behind John Carver and hails the changes / difference he has brought to the club since he took temporary control. 

However the current owner and his regime have turned me and many other NUFC fans into a cynic and I cannot help but think we are being prepared for the permanent appointment of John Carver in the summer. Ashamedly on the back of meeting the clubs standards of delivering a top 10 finish.

“What we have in John is an individual who is doing absolutely everything he can to achieve positive results.

“The staff and players have responded very well to John and the changes he has made on a daily basis.

Yes changes that have brought only 1 win, 5 points from a possible 15 - form that is worse than Pardew achieved earlier this season. 

No doubt Carver care passionately  about the club - but don't we all? that does not quality us to be Head coach - is Carver just a glorified fan who struck it lucky and worked his way up through the club - not too dissimilar to Charnley. Do we have a MD and Head coach who really have no right to be in those positions?

“I know that from first thing in the morning until the last thing at night he is giving it everything he’s got and driving the staff and players.

“He is desperate to get the right results.”

Could it simply be that he is not good enough? again we all would try hard. I'd go as far to say that I imagine that JC work be working twice, maybe thrice as hard as Jose Mourinho yet achieves no where near the level of success. Hard work and graft will only get you so far in an industry dictated by individual skill and expression. 

Has JC really changed the teams set up at all? Bringing Remy Cabella back into the team and getting a performance out of him is the only move I can think of. The teams set up / tactics and substitutions have been a mirror image of those use by Pardew. 

 “Are you Pardew in disguise” was sung by the NUFC fans at Selhurst Park. This is a fair opinion in my eyes - Carver has been Pardew's closest Allie over the last 4 years so now to suggest he differs in regards to football ideology if not believable. Did Carver have no influence on the team over the last 4 years?

“What we would ask is for the final 13 games the supporters get behind John and get behind the team.

“We would encourage everyone to focus on getting behind John and the staff and team. It will make a real difference.”

Mr Charnley NUFC fans will always back the team, not necessarily the regime. Yes i accept JC as an temporary coach, but he is not the answer long term for our club. We are Newcastle United, we are better than this. Success is not a top 10 finish, that should be a minimum. Our Head coaches should not be hired on the back of such low expectations.

Its over to you Lee - deliver us the Head coach our club deserves and allow JC to get back to coaching.

Monday, February 2, 2015

A case for the defense

So another transfer deadline day is here and as per usual at NUFC it is all about out going transfers.
Today see the news that Daivde Santon is heading home to Inter Milan on loan, with a view to a permanent more in the summer.

Santon arrived with a big reputation after being handed a debut at Inter at 18 by Jose Mourinho. He went on to be labelled 'The new Paolo Maldini' - to be honest he go no where near that standard and is nothing but a decent premiership left back. Of course he young and could develop but in all honestly he departure is not real loss to NUFC.

Personally I actually prefer Massadio Haidara at left back yet Santons departure leaves a lack of first team defenders in the squad - one or two injuries and we are in trouble. To be facing with second half of the season with only: Colo, Willo, Dummett, Haidara, and Janmatt is very worrying. 

I am fine with Santon leaving, but only if a replacement is brought in. I am posting this article at 3.50 GMT and here are zero signs  any signings will be made today. Santon out and a replacement signed is a piece of business I can understand and approve. But this is NUFC I fully expect to hear the "Closed for business" statement made via Skysports any minute now.

On the bright side Moussa Sissoko remains a NUFC player....for now.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Yes man?

No doubt you've seen it plenty of times in the press over the last week few weeks - but in case you've been on another planet and missed it, here it is: John Carver is a Geordie, he loves the club to bits and he worked with the great Sir Bobby Robson. 

Now that's all well and good, but does that qualify him to manager our club, or more importantly does that mean he will not be another 'yes man'? - I have my doubts.

Carver was Alan Pardew's closest lieutenant and strongly defended his boss against fan protests yet was quick to distant himself from AP when his former boss left for Crystal Palace

JC -"I am no Pardew clone. I’ve done some things different on the team meetings, how I’ve worked with the players is slightly different. I am my own man.
“This is how I look at it is you live by the sword, you die by the sword. If I don’t do it my way and I don’t get the job, then I’ll think ‘why didn’t I do it like that?’
“I’m going to do it my way and if I don’t do the job then at least I know I’ve done it my way.”
I am not sure if other than the 1st half at Chelsea we have seen any difference in how Carver and Pardew set up their teams.
Carver also wanted to make it clear he would not pander to boardroom pressure - yet immediately towed the company line in fielding a weakened team in the FA cup.
Carver is not the choice of the fans and will face an uphill struggle to convince the fans of how effective he can be as our head coach.

Carver needs to be his own man, stand up to the board and make the following demands to ensure our season does not just drift away into a relegation battle.
- A first team centre half must be brought in. We cannot finished the season with only Colo, Willo, and Dummett. Taylor is out for the season & unfortunately we have sold Mapou yanga M'biwa so a replacement must be signed.
- Moussa Sissoko must not be sold in January. He has been our best player & team leader this season. His future will be a press headline until the transfer window slams shut, but for the sake of our season any transfer must be put off till the summer.
Carver has 16 games to win over the fans & prepare the club for hopefully and exciting managerial appointment in the summer.

Good luck JC 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Carver till the summer

Today first team coach John Carver has been appointment Head Coach until May. Although this is something we all really saw coming I really cannot get excited about his appointment.

I am not convinced JC will be able to get this group of players going - will things be any different to his time at the club under Pardew? I think a clean break for the club would have been a better option - even on a short term deal. A new coach with new ideas, new faces around the club would have been beneficial. 

I while I can understand waiting till the summer if it means we can appoint a top coach, I am also concerned that nothing is set in place for the summer. Could we get De Boer, Tuchel, Garde etc... to sign a pre-contract agreement?

Its all good FDB saying he will talk to us in the summer - but what if there are better jobs available then? I see Steve McClaren is still linked - what is Derby are promoted?  I have the feeling we are just going to go through all this again in the summer rather than having it signed and sealed.

No doubt JC cares about the club and has been in and around the club for years - i am just unsure he has what it takes to be the leader. Of course i hope he proves me wrong. But right now Premiership survival has to be the main aim - i just hope he have not taken a massive risk in appointing JC.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Normal service resumed

Apologies for the lack of posting recently. I have the massive privilege of travelling home to the North East for Christmas with my family. During this time I was able to be at St James for the Sunderland, Everton, and Burnley games.

A lot has happened over the last few weeks - another derby defeat, Pardew has gone, and we continue in the never ending search for a new manager continues!

I will be back to regular posting at the end of this week.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Geordie resurgence

I imagine Sir John Hall is sitting in his Northumberland country manor with a smile on his face as he watches a great bunch of Geordies in the NUFC first team squad.

It was back in the mid 1990's when Sir John made the famous "I dream of a team full of Geordies' speech. We had a bloody good team back then, however the only Geordie's who made it to the top level with us were Alan Shearer, supported by our best crop of local talent - Clark, Howey, Elliott, and Steve Watson the Geordie version of Man Utds class on '92.

In all honestly though Alan Shearer was the only member of that group who played for us in their prime.

Since then only Shola Ameobi and Steven Taylor have broken through and stayed around the 1st team - both with varied success. This season though we have seen a group of local lads having a big influence on our recent success.

During Saturdays win of Chelsea we fielded the following Geordies - Taylor, Dummett, Colback,Alnwick, and Ameobi. Add to that Armstrong, Campbell, and Streete who are next in line to make the 1st team squad and we have a lot to be proud of. 

The time and money spent on the academy is paying dividend right now. Outside of the Geordie group we have seen Tim Krul,  and Rolando Aarons make the 1st team after progression through our academy system.

Our squad all of a sudden looks in a lot better shape than we first thought thanks to the Geordie resurgence. 

Now if only we could find the next Alan Shearer!