Just How Many Center Backs are Newcastle After ?

News today that Newcastle may be after Phil Jagielka of Sheffield United. He certainly played well last season in the Premiership – but just how many center backs are we really after ?

In case it’s Jagielka – let’s take a look at him.


Phil Jagielka – already in B/W Stripes !

We’ve been linked with Campbell, Distin, Ben Haim, Davis, Hyypia and Rozehnal to name just a few over the past few weeks. Of course that was our main weakness over the last few seasons and it looks certain Sam will bring in at least two new center backs – we just don’t know which two.

Phil Jagielka was born in Manchester in August 1982 and joined the Everton Academy before moving to Bramall Lane where he has established himself as an integral first team player. He has now played 254 games for Sheffield United and has scored 18 goals. He is a former member of the England Under-21 team and scored in a 2-0 victory over Slovakia at the Stadium of Light. His first senior representative honor was playing for the England B team last Monday against Albania.

Nicknamed Jags he is 5′ 11″ tall and made his debut for Sheffield United on May 5, 2000 against Swindon Town in the final League match of the 1999-2000 season.

Phil played in all of the league matches in both 2004-05 and 2005-06 and has made 128 consecutive league appearances for the Blades, last missing a league game in April 2004. That’s good because it says he is not injury prone and if we signed him he would be able play quite a number of games for us – unlike some other players.
Phil was named the Sheffield United Supporters Club Player of the Year for the third successive time in April 2007 and won the Capital One Player of the Year in May 2006.

He is one of only two players who have appeared for every minute of the 2006-07 Premier season – the other being Joseph Yobo of Everton. Yobo – who it turns out is also one heck of a center back – also plays for Nigeria with Oba Martins. As far as we know Yobo is not available – although he did interest Bobby Robson at one time.


Everton’s Joseph Yobo – available ?

It remains to be seen just who Big Sam will bring in – but there seems no shortage of choices. Of course one player we would love to have at Newcastle – because of his vast experience – is Sol Campbell. Sol and Steven Taylor would form some partnership at the back – and Steven would benefit greatly. But Harry Redknapp is not that stupid to let Sol go. 🙁

We should know hopefully within the next week or so who’s coming – comments always appreciated.

23 comments so far

  • Ebol

    Jun 2, 2007 at 3:29 PM

    Comment #1

    Jagielka would be a very good signing and has already proved himself at Premiership level.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 2, 2007 at 3:34 PM

    Comment #2

    Ebol – he’s not that tall – but that doesn’t stop him from being a good header of the ball. If he did join us – he would get more International opportunities – just because Newcastle is a big club – and McClaren lives so close and keeps tabs on Newcastle. That’s if McClaren keeps his job – though England were unlucky last night – and played well.

  • Mick Gray

    Jun 2, 2007 at 3:42 PM

    Comment #3

    Thats not how you spell Centre! Are you american?

  • Greg

    Jun 2, 2007 at 3:52 PM

    Comment #4

    LOL good spot. I think that we should not be risking our defence because he outshone the defence of sheffield united last season. This is no big accoplishment Cambell Distin or Hyypia. This is our chance to get our defence right after seasons of it being our weakest part

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 2, 2007 at 3:54 PM

    Comment #5

    Mick – may have to put something out on this – we now live in Raleigh, NC – and have been over here since transferred by IBM in 1973. Born and bred in Newcastle (as was my wife) and when transferred i was 28. So I’m a displaced Geordie and use American spelling. 🙁

  • Craig

    Jun 2, 2007 at 3:56 PM

    Comment #6

    We need at least two centre backs.

    I think Ben Haim and Jagielka would be good signings, although I still think we need someone with a little more expereince. It’s just a shame Roeder didn’t sign Campbell when he had the opportunity.

  • Greg P

    Jun 2, 2007 at 3:58 PM

    Comment #7

    He is also a useful right back, which is something we’re desperate for. I honestly think he would be a good signing, although I do know that Everton are keen to get him in.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 2, 2007 at 4:13 PM

    Comment #8

    Craig – good point – we could have had Campbell last year – his contract runs out at Portsmouth next season – but that’ll be too late … maybe not?

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 2, 2007 at 4:21 PM

    Comment #9

    Greg P – you’re right we need a good right back – and he could also play in the center – sounds good to me !

  • Greg

    Jun 2, 2007 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #10

    whilst everyone is going on about the desperate need to replace our entire back 4 we seem to be forgeting one of our few defensive stars. What about Steven Taylor wher odes he fit into all of this

  • Cathal

    Jun 2, 2007 at 5:41 PM

    Comment #11

    campbell and ben haim i reckon!! the others are not good enough!! altho i reckon we shud go 4 jorge andrade and coloccini from depor!

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 2, 2007 at 5:56 PM

    Comment #12

    Greg – he’s got be a starter next season – he’s a future England International – and Newcastle captain. We have to have local talent in the team and Steven is our best right now.

  • Chris

    Jun 2, 2007 at 6:08 PM

    Comment #13

    how about Kaladze?:)

  • Chris

    Jun 2, 2007 at 6:32 PM

    Comment #14

    hey can you put up a debate about who will be the next newcastle captain after scott parker?

  • darren

    Jun 2, 2007 at 6:41 PM

    Comment #15

    yobo won’t come while emre’s still here 🙂

  • Jackson

    Jun 2, 2007 at 7:32 PM

    Comment #16

    Sol would be a great addition to Newcastles squad. At Portsmouth he has 2 or 3 years left at the highest level, but if he joins Newcastle his career will be extended by an extra few years because of Big Sams training methods. To be honest i would try and buy all the centre backs mentioned

  • Alan Riley

    Jun 2, 2007 at 8:13 PM

    Comment #17

    I am intrigued by the talk of Phil Jagielka as a centre back. He has certainly played there – and at right back, but the first few times I saw him in TV games – when Sheff U were doing their famous Cup giantkillings – he was very much a midfield player. It seems he is now very much a utility player, who would, probably, be a useful addition to the squad. If the Wikipedia entry (set out below) is to be believed, we might not even need a third goalie.

    Wikipedia intro – Philip “Phil” Jagielka (born August 17, 1982 in Manchester) is an extremely versatile football player who can operate as a midfielder, defender, and even in emergencies has acted as goalkeeper (indeed, to such distinction that manager Neil Warnock rarely took substitute goalkeepers to Championship and even Premiership games).

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 2, 2007 at 9:00 PM

    Comment #18

    Alan – good point – if Sam didn’t use a substitute goalkeeper next season it would be the end of Steven Harper’s time at Newcastle – but I guess the point is that he would be available if Given or Harper was injured – as our third goalkeeper. We could then send Krul out to get experience with a Championship side – we feel Tim’s that good right now.

  • noel hopper

    Jun 3, 2007 at 12:31 AM

    Comment #19

    Krul should be number two next year . Harpers been a loyal servant to Newcastle ,serving so long without complaint in Shay’s shadow but how many points did we lose with him in goal. Krul looks superb and needs to learn from Given.

  • totsy

    Jun 3, 2007 at 5:44 AM

    Comment #20

    noel-coudnt agree more with you, hes a top class keeper but he is gonna be in givens shadow so needs to go on loan and get some experience like ben foster did

  • kev

    Jun 3, 2007 at 6:54 AM

    Comment #21

    Is it just me or is anyone else not worried that big Sam could miss out on some of his targets due to his holiday. Talk today suggests that liverpool could snatch Ben Haim and with West Ham also being linked with Joey Barton, i’m getting very worried.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 3, 2007 at 7:04 AM

    Comment #22

    Kev – we’re pretty sure Sam has been working the phones while he’s been on holiday – or someone else is doing it for him – that’s why there’s been so much in the press since he took over. Looks like he had a few players lined up for Bolton and he’s “pinching” them from Sammy Lee. There’s a lot of talk about other clubs coming in for our targets – but not sure if that’s true – or in there to sell papers. We think Sam’s aggressive and if he doesn’t get somebody – it will not be because he wasn’t around.

  • Greg B

    Jun 3, 2007 at 8:19 AM

    Comment #23

    Some good names mentioned there but I honestly think we should be looking further afield. Yeah Campbell is a good solid centre back but Portsmouth wont let him leave, Yobo is another Bramble I am reliably informed by Evertonians, too many lapses in concentration, Ben Haim would be worth signing on a free and Jagielka would also be a quality signing…. but not as a centre back!
    A few players that could be tempted to Newcastle are Ajax’s John Heitinga, Dutch centre back who can also operate at right back.
    Andrea Barzagli, Italian world cup winner currently with Palermo, unfortunatley there is alot of interest from Juventus so Sam would have to move fast.
    Kevin Hofland, Dutch centre back playing in Germany. Interested Man Utd a couple of seasons ago.
    Pablo, Spanish centre back (dont mention Spanish centre backs!) currently playing for Atletico Madrid.
    Gael Givet, French defender playing for Monaco, would be a quality signing.
    Anthony Vanden Borre, Belgian center back or right back playing for Fiorentina. Very experienced for his age.

    Steven Taylor would still very much be in my plans if I were running the show. Id like to see a couple of the versatile players come in for instance Vanden Borre could be brought in as a right back and provide cover for centre back. Also Givet could be signed as a left back but could also play at centre back. Barzagli would be my first choice at centre back but would take some convincing to leave Italy however I feel Heitinga or Hofland are very much withing reach as far a centre back go and either one of them could partner Taylor or indeed they could gel very well together as they have for Holland once or twice.


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