Newcastle today announced that five players – four whose contracts have run out – and one whose loan is complete – will not be given new contracts.
All the players are defenders and three are center backs – where Newcastle’s problems have been huge over the last few seasons.
We think that’s a good start – but more is to come.
Sam at Bolton with then Assistant Sammy Lee
On recruiting new players Sam Allardyce talked a lot of common sense when he said:
“It’s important we recruit the best players possible and make sure we are not always looking for the big names all the time, as Newcastle have done in the past”
“There are very talented players outside this country who want to prove themselves in the Premiership.”
“I have managed to do that with Abdoulaye Meite and Abdoulaye Faye, who have been outstanding successes in this country, but were very rarely known in this country.”
We agree completely with those sentiments and hopefully Sam will be able to acquire a few players outside of England – that will be future stars at Newcastle – certainly his judgement of players at Bolton was first rate.
The other promising aspect of Sam Allardyce being our manager is that players want to come to play for him – which is great for Newcastle.
Sam yesterday came across at the conference call and in the numerous interviews he gave – as a steady, no nonsense, authoritative football man with his feet firmly planted on the ground.
He is noted for being straight and very honest with his players and his motivational qualities are strong.
We believe that whoever is left from the current squad – after all the outgoings that will happen – Big Sam will be able to get much better performances out of them than the previous two managers – we’re sure of that.
For the record there are no real shocks in the players whose contracts will not be renewed:
- Titus Bramble – Had 5 years at the club – signed for $5M from Ipswich by Bobby Robson – made a total of 156 senior appearances for the club and scored seven goals
- Pavel Srnicek – Geordie Pavel signed again late last year to fill in for Given and Harper – made one appearance last season – just a little surprising we let him go since we think that Tim Krul may go out on loan next season.
- Craig Moore – Signed from Borussia MÃ¶nchengladbach two years ago on a free by Souness – was good when he was fit but missed over 75% of games through injury. Rumored that Sunderland may go after him. A good player if he can be kept fit – he made only 29 starts and a single sub appearance over two seasons
- Olivier Bernard – Signed on September 1st last year when we had failed to bring in defenders by the previous day’s transfer deadline. Never played for the first team this last season – seems to have lost his playing prowess – very strange signing for us last year. Made 117 starts and 26 sub appearances for the club and scored six goals
- Oguchi Onweyu – signed on loan at the end of January from Standard Leige – lost his place after six games and was therefore not expected to get a contract from the club. USA International – this will be blow to him as was keen to sign for Newcastle. Gooch made 7 starts and 4 sub appearances for us this year.
Freddy Shepherd also talked yesterday about potential new players coming into the club this summer:
“I think four or five players would be the top end of what we would try and get to resolve some of the problems that happened last year.
“There are obviously some resources there to bolster the squad.
“You have never heard any manager at Newcastle saying we have never backed them.”
We think if Sam gets rid of some more of the deadwood – putting a few more on the transfer list – and then bringing in five players (or more) – we will have a good squad to start next season with – and then the real fun begins ….. again.