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!  

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Burnely, Ings, & awful set pieces

Tuesday night saw NUFC grab a decent point away at Burnley despite an awful 1st half performance. Second half have changes saw us equalise and push for a winner yet in the end we had to settle for a draw - probably a fair result. This is the kind of of game NUFC usually lose so lets take that as a positive. 

Saying all of that that the only things Tuesday nights game confirmed for me is that we are terrible from set pieces - corners, free kick, and even throw In's - we are awful. Secondly we need to make a move for Danny Ings who I felt was the best player on the field. If Ings was in a NUFC shirt we would have won this game.

Ings is a old fashioned England style forward - much in the mold of a young Alan Shearer, similar to QPR's Charlie Austin who is looking great this season in the Premier league. Ings or Andy Carroll wold be the kind of forward NUFC fans love. Young, hungry with bags of potential.

Ings is free to talk to clubs in January and leave Turf Moor in the summer. He is someone NUFC should certainly talk too and is a forward who could lead our forward line for years to come.

The new Shearer?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Burnley away - Injury crisis

After a quick read of the morning football news is appears we have 13 first tteam players currently injured and will miss tonights game at Burnley. 

Add to this list Moussa Sissoko and Jack Colback who are suspended and we are really down to the bear bones.






The likes of Remie Streete,and Lubomir Satka will come in as defensive cover, while the likes of Vurnon Anita will be given a chance. Pardew will have to earn his wages tonight as coming up with a team which can win a Premier league game tonight will be tough.

I would go with the following 11

Elliott

Dummett
Taylor
Streete
Haidara

Cabella
Anita
Tiote

Sammy
Perez
Riviere

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

NUFC & AP - Better together

Back in September we all witnessed and the Scottish independence referendum and saw for weeks both the Yes and No campaigners cast their visions for a better Scotland.

As we know the No campaign we successful and the United Kingdom remained in tack. 

The tag line of the No campaign was 'Better together'  - When looking at Newcastle's resurgence over the last 5 weeks couldn't this tag line be applied to Newcastle United and AP?

After a terrible 2014 AP has finally found the right formula to get his team performing to a level the fans deserve. Don't get me wrong this purple patch of form does not forgive AP for the terrible run we have had this year, rather it shows that sometime patience is the key to success. 

Everything is clicking at SJP right now and whatever AP and his staff are doing is working. To look at our squad, at our starting 11's over the last few weeks we have no right to be 5th in the PL yet this is exactly where we are. Full credit must go to AP - he has made the changes - both tactically and personnel wise and he has got it spot on.

Newcastle United right now are a great example of Aristotle's ideology stating that "The whole is more than the sum of its parts." We have no superstars - just a bunch of good players working hard together towards a common goal.

Geordies are a realistic bunch and we know this good run will come to an end, but lets all just enjoy it while we can - like always continue to back the team, but lets also show AP some Geordie love.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Tiote: A pain in the Arsenal?

So by now i'm sure most NUFC have seen the image below of our midfield enforcer Cheick Tiote wearing a Arsenal away shirt while posing with a friend.


Gooner

After a quick look on Facebook & Twitter I was shocked to see the fans reaction. I feel anyone who thinks Tiote wearing an Arsenal shirt means he is 'disloyal', 'disrespectful' or "Trying to forcing a January move to Arsenal" are being far too naive. 

To expect our players to be just like us fans is unrealistic. They are employed by NUFC not passionate NUFC supporters. They grew up like we did supporting their local clubs. Arsenal are massive in Africa - chances are Tiote grew up a fan, and he might still be. Coloccini is a San Lorenzo fan, I bet Sissoko and Cabella will follow PSG or Monaco.

My point is as long as our players give 100% on the pitch and are professional then we shouldn't care about which teams shirt they wear in the spare time. No one can claim Tiote has not been fully committed to us when he is on the pitch - one of our best signings over recent years. 

When talking about Tiote and Arsenal I prefer to remember this picture.


Tiote screamer: 4-4


The bigger concern right now is getting Tiote back on the pitch...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

January Business

So we are only a weeks away from the opening of the January transfer window - a month of business which can make or break our season.

In an ideal word we will sign two players - a centre back and a striker. If this happens and we keep our squad together then we can have a strong second half of the season.

Over the last few years we have conducted a lot of January business, probably due to Mike Ashley loving a bargain and feeling he can get the best value possible. Recently we have bought the likes of Sissoko, Gouffran, and Cisse, while also sold Ba, Cabaye, and Andy Carroll. All these deal have had a big impact on our seasons.

In terms of this season I feel if we can bring in a forward who can make a immediate impact while helping the development of Perez and Armstrong when that would be a massive plus. I am thinking of someone along the lines of Andre Pierre Gignac - a fella who we have been linked with for years. He is having a great season at Marseille where he has bagged 10 goals in 13 games. He is in the last year of his contact so could be available for a knocked down price. Andre's only downfall is that he is 28 - way over the hill in the eyes of MA.

Another forward we have been linked with is Aleksandar Mitrovic who is at the opposite end of the spectrum than Gignac. He is 20 and has fired 23 goals in 47 games for Anderlecht since 2013. The young Serb has been linked to Zlatan Ibrahimovic - which is great for the young lad. Mitrovic's star is rising fast so now might be the time make that bid before the big boys get involved.

Let me suggest another player I would like to see come in a short term loan deal - Jermaine Defoe - goals, goals, goals - JD knows our league like the back of his hand and could fire the goals and also educate our youngsters.

We recently learned after a fans forum with the club that a centre half we lined up to replace Yanga-Mbiwa would left for Roma - I believe it was Toby Alderweireld. What a shame we couldn't get him over the line as I think Toby is quality. Anyways this leads me to believe the club are ready and willing to bring in a defender this January. Before I go any further let me just say that I have been impressed with the development of Paul Dummett, however to suggest he is ready to start at centre half is premature. He is a good young lad who will learn and grow. 

We need a top centre half - one to compete with Stevie Taylor for the right to partner Coloccini. Willo is not that man, and ever will be. He should be allowed to leave the club as he deserves regular football at a lower level. 

Finding a suitable defender is a little more tricky - who could we buy that is better than ST?  For me we need a physically imposing player to compliment the classy Coloccini and with this being the case lets rule out Nemanja Nastasic who does not have the attributes to play that role. My number one choice would be Ron Vlaar although we may be trumped by Man Utd on that deal. How about the young Kurt Zouma from Chelsea? We were linked with him before he arrived a Stamford bridge where he is yet to get a look in behind the impressive Terry, Cahill & Ivanovic. He could arrive on a loan deal. Looking further a field how about Bruno Martins Indi who started at the world cup for Holland. One player a really like is Winston Reid from West Ham - he is a no nonsense defender would is easily at home in the PL.

In terms of out going deal I would lose no sleep over Mike Williamson or Vernon Anita moving on. Anita is a tidy player would uses the ball well , but has just never adapted to the PL or been able to cope with the physical demand. He is now 5th choice behind Tiote, Colback, Sissoko, and Abeid. 

Our player most attractive player to the bib clubs will be Tim Krul, Cheik Tiote, and Mousa Sissoko - they all need to say. We also need to tie down the contracts of Sammy, and Ronaldo Aarons who are having breakthrough season.

Let me through one more suggestion out there. Let bring Andy Carroll home. I grew up having Alan Shearer lead the line and lead out team and would love another big Geordie taking the team forward. Yes he had struggled with injuries and has never set the world alight since he left but at the right price, on the right deal I'd have in a flash. Haway home bonnie lad.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Are we really fickle fans?

Who could have imagine that within the span of a month NUFC have won 5 games on the bounce, climbed to 8th in the league, recorded a famous cup with away at City. Even less would imagine that Alan Pardew would be nominated for Manager of the month! 

As they often say in football - you couldn't make this up. After our win against Liverpool the Sky sports cameras panned to the crowd where two lads were holding a Banner saying 'Alan Pardew - Back from the dead' - in reality it could have read ' NUFC back from the dead'

More than any other football club out there we have had to take the rough with the smooth - things have been really rough for the last few years under Ashley's rule, and recently with our team under Pardew's guidance. There cannot be a NUFC fan who did not think AP's time at United was up. At any other club in the land AP would have been fired - truth be told her would have been fired last season after our terrible end of the season. 

With all the doom and gloom over the past year I have take the decision to live in the moment and enjoy this good spell we are currently having. Things are great right now and no matter what my thoughts are about AP I am just going to enjoy my team winning. I an realistic to know it will not last, but long may it continue.

Does that make me fickle? I wanted AP out based purely on results and performances. In all honestly I am still not convinced that he is the best long term option for us, however he is currently getting it right so I will support him and the team. He takes plenty of stick when things go wrong so isn't it only fair he gets the credit when we win?

It really does seem AP can do no right in the eyes of some fans - they really have a personal problem with him. We lose and its all his fault, we win and its all down to the players, or just pure luck.

We have the right as fans to want change, we deserve better than what AP delivered last year - but there is also nothing wrong with our continued support of the team. 'Support the team, not the regime' has appeared on banners at St James recently. If the press wants to call us fickle now that we have seen an improvement in results then so be it. In reality the national press need to realise that we will always support Black & Whites no matter who manages from the dugout.

 I have always said that a Successful AP means a successful NUFC and ultimately isn't that what we all want?

Here for the long term?