Leighton Baines Is Too Short and Not Coming to Newcastle

News late today that Wigan and England Under 21 Internal left back Leighton Baines will not – after all – be arriving on Tyneside. The reason is two-fold – Wigan is asking too much at ₤5M – and Baines is too short for Sam who will be looking at taller full backs to bring in at Newcastle.

Leighton Baines

Baines is one of five players we have been following for almost three weeks thinking all six would eventually arrive on Tyneside. The other five are Viduka, Barton, Ben Haim, Rosehnal and Derek Boateng.

Newcastle believe the price Wigan is asking is too high but coupled with the fee Big Sam has recently concluded that one of the reasons we conceded goals last season was because of the height of the full backs. Baines is about 5’7”. That’s not good news for Nobby Solano either who is 5’8” but nevertheless just signed a one year deal today with Newcastle.

It is good for some of our younger players like Ramage, Huntington and Edgar all of whom are over 6’ tall and have played full back before. We do expect most of these youngsters (except Ramage) to be shipped out on loan to Championship sides next season. Let’s make sure that when we are reported to be after full-backs in the press we check their height.

Bakari Sagna, the French left back who plays for Auxerre – who we are reportedly interested in – is 176 cm tall – and we worked that out as 5′ 9.26″ (approximately). So we suppose that’s tall enough? Of course it also depends how good they are in the air – coupled with their height.

Allardyce must have been working over-time on not only the transfers but working out what really is needed in defense. Hopefully he’s also been working on how we get so many injuries. This is some proof of how Sam uses science to improve the team – in this case to understand better why we conceded too many goals last season.

It’s going to be fascinating to see what else Sam and his backroom staff do during the pre-season – to use science to improve the team.

Comments welcome.

34 comments so far

  • Arthur Prince

    Jun 12, 2007 at 6:09 PM

    Comment #1

    Fair enough . Sam clearly knows what he is after . Lets remember he is no fool so I have every faith in his decision making . It also send messagers that he wont be a push over re signings . They will come if they are good enough in Sam’s eyes he wont be held to ransome . Makes a change from recent signings fevre . Seems Sam is very hard nosed . Goos for him and Us supporters .
    Ed– any news re Boateng and Sagna and of course Guily ?

  • nightfall

    Jun 12, 2007 at 6:18 PM

    Comment #2

    i agree…sam’s the man…

  • Phil

    Jun 12, 2007 at 6:28 PM

    Comment #3

    The fact that Bolton conceded 52 to our 47 last season should be noted! That and their goal difference is only 4 better -5 to -9.

  • Arthur Prince

    Jun 12, 2007 at 6:31 PM

    Comment #4

    Ed -Please apologise to your wife . I agree the comments on the Blog really are of the utmost importance . Tell her that when BSA wins something for us and all of Tyneside is rejoicing then her tolerance of her husbands Obsessional mission in facilitating the Blog will be really worthwhile and should result in a very happy” Ed “who will be only to pleased to show his gratitude to her for her Patience with him and of course us . Sorry Ed only joking

  • Jam

    Jun 12, 2007 at 6:32 PM

    Comment #5

    Hey i’m dissappointed, i thought that Baines would have been a great signing. I think he will be one of the better english players of the furute…but….I have full faith in Sam. He is such a good manager that if he can turn down players as well as sign them, even when they look like sheer quality to us, he obviously knows what he is looking for. Crack on Big Sam…

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 12, 2007 at 6:39 PM

    Comment #6

    Arthur – on Boateng, Sagna and Guily – no new news other than Spurs are in for Giuly – the more I look at this guy the moew I like him and he’s only 1.5M – he seems a must. May do a transfer update on these tomorrow – i’ll get all i can on them.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 12, 2007 at 6:40 PM

    Comment #7

    Arthur – right 😀

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 12, 2007 at 6:41 PM

    Comment #8

    Phil – i guess science didn’t help Bolton’s defense much last season.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 12, 2007 at 6:42 PM

    Comment #9

    Jam – couldn’t agree more.

  • DP

    Jun 12, 2007 at 7:23 PM

    Comment #10

    Ed – This may very well be a cover story, I believe it first appeared in the Chronicle, Alan Oliver is a complete…….well i’ll let you all fill in the blanks! but I think that the hierachy at St James’ may be using the chronicle to throw other clubs off the scent. I understand Sam is looking for height, and the price quoted may be a bit steep..but! and this is a big but, he’s English, he’s had 2 years prem experience, and most importantly of all he’s consistent (Babayaro anyone?!) I’ve watched him quite a bit as I’m currently studying for my FA coaching badges, so I now tend to watch players individually, rather than the game itself! and he is a far better headerer of the ball than Evra (United) Clichy (Arsenal) Riise (L’pool) and cashley Cole (Chelsea). Just thought i’d bring up the fact that this could be a possible cover story from within the club, especially if Leighton has a good U21’s tournament. Well thats my little piece, any follow up would be appreciated. HOWAY THE LADS!!

  • Steve

    Jun 12, 2007 at 7:33 PM

    Comment #11

    I reckon Baines would have been a goos signing but 5 million is to much , something approaching half of that would have been fair value and I reckon Sam would have jumped at the chance to sign him.

    I had some doubts when Sam was appointed but at least he seems to be building a team rather than spending all the cash on one big signing – now we just need to hope they gel as a team and push up the table. Am hopeful that we may have a decent season coming up, roll on August 11th….. arrgghhh I’ll be in NY for the kick off 🙁

    btw: good site

  • HAS

    Jun 12, 2007 at 7:35 PM

    Comment #12

    ehhh , too short to be a fullback , what is that all about ?. Can anyone name me a “top class” fullback who is 6 ft +. what i’m trying to say is fullbacks are well known to be short and less build than center backs , rite ?

  • Soren

    Jun 12, 2007 at 7:47 PM

    Comment #13

    A shame with Baines, was really looking forward to see him in a black n white shirt. But I’m backing Sam’s decision 100%. He seems to know what he wants, and I think we are in good hands with him.

  • Ahmed Bilal

    Jun 12, 2007 at 7:51 PM

    Comment #14

    DP –

    1) how do I go about getting my coaching badges?

    2) anyone – my 2 ft imaginary non-existent no-legs dog – can jump and head the ball better than patrice evra. just a thought 🙂

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 12, 2007 at 8:00 PM

    Comment #15

    DP – interesting – well we’ll need to see how this one plays out.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 12, 2007 at 8:02 PM

    Comment #16

    HAS – interesting comment – i laways thought it was better to have full backs short – like wingers – because they need the speed – always thought tall full backs a bit slow and cumbersonme – eg Ramage and Huntington. I liked Edgar at left back – or right back by the way. He seems a solid future defender.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 12, 2007 at 8:03 PM

    Comment #17

    Soren – see comment by DP – on Baines….

  • andy

    Jun 12, 2007 at 8:18 PM

    Comment #18

    for right back, what about hunt, hes tall and quite young, much better that carr. sam must have another left back lined up otherwise he would pay the 5mill, even if we did pay it thought, it would be a good investment for the club as we could easily get the 5mill back i we were to sell him so many yers down the line

  • Soren

    Jun 12, 2007 at 8:24 PM

    Comment #19

    DP – Interesting point of view.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 12, 2007 at 8:45 PM

    Comment #20

    andy -we like nicky hunt – he’s a good player – young – and can only get better – especially with Sam

  • LewDavies

    Jun 12, 2007 at 8:54 PM

    Comment #21

    The height thing is a load of …. We need a decent left footed full back and I think Baines is the one for us.
    Its more likely that BSA has been told he cant have the money …YET, so has come out with the height thing as an excuse.
    I wish the takeover was all sorted out so BSA could get on with building his squad, now. Got to feel sorry for the man, could only happen at NUFC.

  • nightfall

    Jun 12, 2007 at 9:38 PM

    Comment #22

    we should get armand traore from arsenal

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 12, 2007 at 11:03 PM

    Comment #23

    Lew – the more we think of it the more this height thing sounds like rubbish. Like to know what’s going on though.

  • Cathal

    Jun 12, 2007 at 11:13 PM

    Comment #24

    philip lahm anyone?

  • Outlaw

    Jun 13, 2007 at 2:30 AM

    Comment #25

    We won’t have any chance in getting Lahm. That dude is way world class.

  • Greg

    Jun 13, 2007 at 4:27 AM

    Comment #26

    Dont think height should be of importance with full backs, i think pace, a godd tackler and a good passer of the ball are the main things to look for.
    Best full backs in the world… Ashley cole, roberto carlos,phillip lahm,cafu none above 6 foot

  • aviluck

    Jun 13, 2007 at 6:26 AM

    Comment #27

    Wat abt Taylor from Portsmouth but i dont think Rednapp will ever let him go. He’s too good.

  • RN

    Jun 13, 2007 at 8:30 AM

    Comment #28

    When BSA was first appointed, he said that he wanted Newcasatle to develop two styles of play: 1) high tempo & attacking when at home, 2) solid & defensive when away from home. For me, this means must have two types of teams, within the squad. For example, when at home, a back four of Dyer, Ben Haim, Rosehnal, Baines and when away Taylor, Ben Haim, Rosehnal, Ramage. This is why I think BSA he will have to go for someone with the attacking quality of Baines, because if he doesn’t, he will have an unbalanced team for home games.

  • Dp the geordie

    Jun 13, 2007 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #29

    Ed if you could post this it would be great, and hopefully help out a fellow geordie!

    Ahmed Bilal

    It’s not as easy as you’d think getting your coaching badges i’m afraid. You need to contact your local F.A (tyne & wear, kent,etc) and see when they are running an ‘F.A Level 1 coaching course’. The coaching course takes place over 5 days generally 2 full days over the weekend and 3 evening classes. Alot of it is classroom work, but you do get to have a kick about! the prices are normally £120 for level one, but the more you progress the more they rise. I think when I last checked the FIFA accreditation was nearly £20k! but your along way off even considering that. Ahmed hopefully this info will help. Whatever you do, do NOT book anything through the F.A website. It’s not worth the hassle mate

  • Ahmed Bilal

    Jun 13, 2007 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #30

    DP – not a geordie mate, a dirty manc would be more like it 🙂

    thanks for the info – whenever I come to England for a stretch I’ll check out the process, and maybe even give you a call. Do keep us posted on your progress mate.

  • Jeff

    Jun 13, 2007 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #31

    Lets not forget Ramage,Huntington & Edgar are all central defenders and not full backs….yes they may have covered well when they’ve played there although I remember Ramage being very slow and out of position alot which happens when you play players in different positions………..Lets hope Big Sam plays players in the positions that suits them and not swap them around like previous managers have………….I also hope he gives Nzogbia a good chance unlike Roeder did……Duff wasnt too hot last season but with Roeder buying him he pushed nzogbia’s nose out whent he season before he was class…The boys confidence suffered after that,Yeah I know he got injured but hasnt duff been out long periods over the season???

  • Jeff

    Jun 13, 2007 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #32

    By the way what do you all think of the new strip??? I think its class

  • Gateshead Glenn

    Jun 13, 2007 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #33

    I’ll be very diappointed if we don’t go for Baines, especially if it’s just because he’s too short! I suspect this is all a ruse to try and get the price down? Shorey is decent too but is older with less potential to develop + he’s valued at the same price and he’s of a similar height to Baines.

    Quality left-backs with proven Premiership ability are in short supply, so we can’t expect to get one on the cheap. Fine, if Sams got someone better lined-up, but I can’t think of any in the Premiership who might be available. Bridge would be but I doubt Chelski will let im go + he’s bit injury-prone.

    There’s probably some foreign LB’s out there who might do a job and could be cheaper but they’d be more of a gamble and would take longer to settle-in + they may not stay too long either?

  • Kev C

    Jun 14, 2007 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #34

    DP, cheers for the info on the FA Coaching badges, im sure many others will find it helpful! Are there many FA courses in Kent? Im in East Sussex myself! Cheers!


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