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News and Commentary On Newcastle United Football Club By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Sam Speaks on Signings – Papa Diop Still to Come?

9:45 am, Saturday, August 4th, 2007 by Ed Harrison · 29 Comments

Sam Allardyce still hopes to make another three signings before the end of August as Newcastle United made the crucial transfer breakthrough yesterday.

To be clear these three signings are following the two Newcastle wrapped up yesterday – Smith and Cacapa – so that leaves one we don’t know about since we expect Drago and Enrique are all but 100% certain to come to Newcastle.

Who will that last player be?   The favorite could be Papa Diop from Fulham unless Sam springs another surprise like he did with Jose Enrique last night.

papa-diop-3.jpg

Papa Bouba Diop - will he be Sam’s ninth and final signing?

Both new signings, Smith and Cacapa are expected to make their Newcastle debuts against Sampdoria at St James’ Park tomorrow. Cacapa as it turns out trained all last week at the Benton training ground (where were all our spies who didn’t spot him?) and by his own admission Claudio has wanted to sign for the club for some time now. There’s an excellent interview with him today on the official Newcastle web site. We wonder if Claudio could become a candidate for Newcastle captain this season?

Sam Allardyce, who admitted last week he was becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of new signings has made the breakthrough he wanted with 21 year-old left-back Jose Enrique due on Tyneside next week to finalize a five-year-contract. Wonder if Enrique can make it over for the game tomorrow against Sampdoria – he could then get a feeling for what a great club he has signed for – if he doesn’t know that already. Claudio Cacapa had some interesting things to say about the game last week (in the interview above) against Juventus – all very complimentary to Newcastle and the fans.

Certainly expect both Sam and Chris to be recieved tomorrow at St. james’ with a lot more satisfaction and enthusiasm from the Newcastle faithful after pulling off four deals within 24 hours. It will be interesting to read Mort’s comments in the match program. They deserve big credit for what they have achieved this last week and have lifted the gloom on Tyneside.

After crucial talks with chairman Chris Mort last Monday Allardyce hinted he could be about to make some signing breakthroughs. This what Sam said at the time:

“I’m still about three players away. Don’t forget I’ve always wanted four, so if Kieron goes out and Alan comes in, I haven’t got one extra. I’ve just got a replacement for one, so I still need four. I was good at maths at school.”

“If Claudio comes in that’s one of them and three to go. The availability of quality players is limited, the prices are huge, so we’ll have to keep competing as best we can at that level to bring them in. “

“In the end, if I spend big money on two rather than medium money on three, if that’s the opportunity I get, I might do that. But at the moment strength in depth is lacking.”

Sam was willing to talk today with Luke Edwards of the Journal about the transfer successes of yesterday:

“It’s been a good 24 hours with Alan and Claudio signing. They are two crucial players. “

“might be surprised I’ve gone for Alan Smith but when you get a quality player of his caliber available in the market, I just couldn’t turn my back on it.”

“He’ll be tremendous for the club, he’ll prove that over the next four or five years and he’s a very versatile player. His only reason for leaving Old Trafford was a lack of games.”

“He wants to play football, not be paid well and not play. That’s one of the reasons why I signed him.”

It’s obvious from what Smith and Sam have both said that they have a mutual admiration and certainly Alan’s very positive statements about Sam and the club should get him a huge reception tomorrow when he is introduced – probably as a substitute.

Jose Enrique, who is regarded as one of the most promising youngsters in Europe, is reported to be ready for a £4M deal and a five year contract as was revealed to top off an extraordinary day for the club. One of our reader in Spain (MadridRob) had the following comment on Jose:

Just to say i live in Madrid and followed La Liga just as closely as the premier league this year.

Enrique is a pretty good player, he was solid in a pretty average Villareal CFf team last season and he and Forlan were the big players this term (after Riquelme left).

I am not going to say he was incredible, he simply wasn’t, but he was solid in a weakened team. Good sign, much potential, fingers crossed!

As a recap Sam has brought in the following players to the club:

Viduka, Barton, Rozehnal, Geremi, Smith and Cacapa in that order with Drago and Enrique the next ones to sign.

That will be eight players with a likelihood that Sam will complete his transfers with the signing of Papa Diop from Fulham for around £3M. If Sam is to shock us with a new player we would put two names forward as possible candidates – Riquelme and Deco. Maybe Newcastle can get one of these because we still need that playmaker who can open up defenses for our powerful strikers. We’ll probably see what transpires fairly quickly.

Sam must then decide which other youngsters – apart from Tim Krul who is off to Falkirk on a six months loan deal – will be sent out on loan this season to gain the valuable playing experience they need.

Things are certainly starting to look up at the club – first league game in seven days – can’t wait.

Comments very welcome.



Tags: Newcastle News · Transfer News and Rumours



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29 responses so far ↓

  • 1 StevieA // Aug 4, 2007 at 9:52 AM

    Fulham are in talks with Bouazza from Watford. From what I have heard Dioup has lost something and is not performing in training well. I personally think he has lost his passion for Fulham and needs a new challenge.

    Let’s be honest Fulham will never go onto great things for a long time so perhaps he feels like he has achieved all he can there?

    I expect him to sign early next week. He would be a fantastic signing for us and this move would really bring the best out of him. He is wasted at Fulham.

  • 2 carl // Aug 4, 2007 at 9:58 AM

    if sam brings in drago and enrique i think he should go for someone better then dioup,after all he did say he has cash and may spend big on 2 players?

  • 3 Ryan // Aug 4, 2007 at 10:16 AM

    Can’t stop smiling!! Looks like Martins and Viduka will be up front against Bolton thanks to Owen’s niggling injury. Can’t wait to see what else materializes over the coming days.

  • 4 apan // Aug 4, 2007 at 10:16 AM

    get makelele if chelsea dont want him ahha i chose him anytime over diop, the prospect of riquelme playin for us is mouth watering as well and his in villareal right *Slurp

  • 5 bw positive // Aug 4, 2007 at 10:18 AM

    Can’t wait for tomorrow to see Smiths reception. He will be at Newcastle for a long time I hope. I am particuarly excited about Drago, think he will be great for us, he can play leftback and has done for Seville. He was once Vidics defensive partner. Casapa will prove to be a classy but uncompromising prem defender and I have mixed feelings about Enrique. I have come to several doubt spanish mentality within the premiership. They bottle it too easily for my liking. I would have prefered Baines or Shorey. But I do hope he can prove to be a quality player. Papa Diop would be immense, and our side would have every dimension to it. Geremi will be especially useful in midfield. Still feel we need to push that extra mile and get a solid rightback. Whilst I feel babayaro can offer us seomthing, providing we have a solid defence and Sams individual guidance, I feel Carrs involvement puts total waste to that rightback slot. And for me, the fullback positions are the most underrestimated element in football, a good fullback will always give you 2 extra men in attack as well as 2 extra men when your defence is put under pressure. Baba and Carr go missing far too much. They have neither the ability, fitness nor determination to succeed.

  • 6 simon // Aug 4, 2007 at 10:23 AM

    Cacapa, Enrique, Smith and Drago is 4 out of the 5 signings he’s after so we are left with one player to come. Diop would be a good signing. Sam was quoted as saying Baines is a possibility still so maybe it could still be him. I’d then hope to see the world class signing that was mentioned at the start of pre season. Ashley’s not stupid he’ll buy a big player to show his intentions. Here’s hoping it is one of Sneidjer, Queresma, Deco or Riquelme.

  • 7 Daniel // Aug 4, 2007 at 10:28 AM

    Diop is not useful to the current squad. He is just another Amdy Faye who attracted Souness! We already have Nicky Butt to be the ankle man and Barton to cover up if needed. I would prefer, and actually quite confident, Sam’s last signing is Juan Roman Riquelme! Don’t forget, NUFC always have a big summer signing!

  • 8 Tom_Toon // Aug 4, 2007 at 10:33 AM

    Id much rather have Sneijder than Riquelme he said 3-4 signings after Cluadio and Alan. 1. Drago 2 Enrique 3 Diop/Riquelme 4. RB??

  • 9 StevieA // Aug 4, 2007 at 10:34 AM

    Diop is much better than Amdy Faye! (LOL)

    I don’t use ‘lol’ often but that warrants it!

  • 10 bw positive // Aug 4, 2007 at 10:34 AM

    Simon, doubt very much we will see that big signing now. If we had circled any big names, the press would have been on it in a crack. Where has all this Diop talk come from anyways, theres been no mentioning from either sam, diop or fulham about him. Only scattered rumours. i think sams intentions were making multiple bids for defenders, giving the press the notion we wanted all of them, which of course wasnt the truth. I am concerned about losing Barton. Think its looking more inevitable. HUGE shame, he was in the gerrard mould and would have been immense. Im shocked that Ed or other editors havent opened an article about this, as we will clearly need a replacement. Perhaps it is not Dyer that Smith will be replacing. Also Ed, what is your take on the fact that Ashley, put the valuation up by 2 million, within 24hours of Bartons charges. Perhaps Smith is the replacement for Barton. And dyer was a luxury deemed unneccessary, and sold in order to finance the defensive recruitment.

  • 11 Mart // Aug 4, 2007 at 10:36 AM

    If we can get those extra two defenders in soon, a big signing on top of that would be the icing on the cake. Have to agree with BW above that a right back would be good. Geremi looks good in midfield but maybe Sam has him marked down as RB cover….
    I’ve been pretty pessimistic for the last month but that is beginning to fade away and I’m really looking forward to this season. A lot of clubs have spent big money so it’s going to be interesting to see how they all do.
    If we can cut back on the injuries we’re gonna have quite an impressive squad. And if BSA gets them pulling in the same direction then I feel certain there are exciting times ahead at the Toon

  • 12 Tom_Toon // Aug 4, 2007 at 10:37 AM

    I think you;ve been thinking to much, just go on what we;ve heard and the general concensus which is Alan Smith was a replacement for Dyer :)

  • 13 t-g-w // Aug 4, 2007 at 10:43 AM

    Has Enrique actualy signed for us or not? All it says on the Villareal website (and I speak Spanish) was that a deal between the 2 clubs has been agreed – doesn’t mean personal terms are sorted and Enrique actually wants to come to NUFC. Apart from that I know nothing about him! From the comment above he sounds like another no nonsense defender rather than a flair player – good as far as I’m concerned.

    I won’t believe we’ve got Enrique and Drago until I see it on the NUFC website.

    As for the next signing, it could be a right back – it say in the Times this morning that Sam wanted 4 more signings after Smith and all of them are to be defenders. Diop would be very good though and then we would be sorted in midfield and attack. I really do think we need an out and out right back – Carr is not good enough and Solano and Geremi are better in midfield. I don’t think there is any need for a world class player just yet. I would rather we keep as much money as possible to strenghten this time next year when we’re in Europe and can attract a better quality of player.

  • 14 b&w positive // Aug 4, 2007 at 10:44 AM

    barton is guilty of assault, and Man city might testify against him as witness as they were forced to sell him over this situation Tom. If he is proven guilty, which seems inevitable, he may face prison sentence. I know people don’t want to think about this now, because we have so much positivity flowing around the club, but it is a concern considering that I still see Barton as integral to our plans. Hopefully he will get off and avoid jail sentence especially if Bowyer and Woodgate did when they attacked an innocent clubber.

  • 15 StevieA // Aug 4, 2007 at 10:44 AM

    ^^^ Plus Geremi has proved he can play very well in centre midfield. We have nothing to worry about. N’Zogbia can play there and prefers that position too.

    We also have Emre, Smith. I know Sam is looking at one more midfielder and it’s probably Dioup but we will have to wait and see!

    Dyer will go but only at the right price. I personally think he should go, it’s his wages that’s the problem.

  • 16 Cockney Magpie // Aug 4, 2007 at 10:48 AM

    have we definatly signed jose enrique? on wikipedia it says he currently plays for newcastle united fc

  • 17 b&w positive // Aug 4, 2007 at 10:48 AM

    I agree with t-g-w on everything but his name as that is stupid :oP Geremi and Solano are better in midfield, Carr is dreadfull. He is clear championship material. We need two new rightbacks, one experienced with quality to slot straight in, and a younger talented player with potential. Would have very much liked to have seen Luke young join. Tenacious and a battler. Have we been linked with any right backs ? Chances are, one of them could be next if so. I know cacapa played his last games with Lyon as rightback, but he is not a natural rightback. Its happening again, we are not strengthening the areas that were priority. Smith 6 m is fantastic, but no good when you have ronaldos, giggs, etc tearing us a new one on the left.

  • 18 Tom_Toon // Aug 4, 2007 at 11:02 AM

    smith was 4mil

  • 19 Tom_Toon // Aug 4, 2007 at 11:03 AM

    what happening to dabo, is the getting off punishment because he is as soft as shite?

  • 20 bw positive // Aug 4, 2007 at 11:12 AM

    Does anyone know what actually made Barton go for dabo. Was it just a disagreement or did dabo foul Barton in trainning.

  • 21 Archie Brand // Aug 4, 2007 at 11:12 AM

    I’m glad Sam Allardyce is in charge of the team and not Stevie A.
    What kind of logic are you using when you say he’s not doing well in training so we should buy him?
    I think the last signing will be Baines. After all, Wigan have Bramble, so they dont need Baines, and little Leighton Baines will struggle to get first team football with Big Titus there.
    And Michael Owen will have an injury free season, and Luque will score 3 against Man U, and charges against Barton will be dismissed because he’s such a nice guy, and Ashley will bring Fat Fred back because he knows what he’s doing, and Alan Oliver will be voted Global Sports Journalist of the year, and Arsene Wenger will get lockjaw from smiling too much, and Boumsong will get European Footballer of the Year……..and…….and

    Well, I think you get the message.

    It looks like Sam’s sulk last week has finally released the purse strings, but I still dont see that huge signing that they were talking about last month that will stun the footballing world.
    Unless it’s Neville Southall – he’s pretty huge.

  • 22 Hog // Aug 4, 2007 at 11:26 AM

    true. That is a big man right there.

  • 23 LiamBirchy8 // Aug 4, 2007 at 11:29 AM

    I’m hoping Sam makes four more signings definite!

    Baines 6m, Diop 3m, Enrique 4m, Drago 2.5m.

    Also get glen johnson on loan if chelsea sign Alves

  • 24 Dingo // Aug 4, 2007 at 11:41 AM

    I got this feeling that Deco will be winging his way to SJP in the next few weeks….. hes just left barcas pre-season early to see his baby be born (i think) but my guess is that he on his way here with Edmilsom to follow in jan.

  • 25 Alex // Aug 4, 2007 at 11:56 AM

    If Sam gets the defenders he wants plus diop then we wont need any huge signing.We have a number of world class players now.Geremi,Given.Owen,oba,

  • 26 StevieA // Aug 4, 2007 at 11:57 AM

    Archie Brand is in cloud cuckoo land.

    What I meant was Dioup he has lost interest in playing for Fulham or certainly playing under Lawrie Sanchez. He is a quality player, you don’t loose your footballing ability over night. He is tall, atheltic and skillful. What more do you need in a centre midfield player?

    It wasn’t too long ago that Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex were after Dioup. Selective memory perhaps?

    Dioup would be a great signing mark my words. I will say it again, form is temporary but class is permanent. It’s a shame you have no grasp of that.

    Players can regain form with the right challenge and I think Newcastle would be the right challenge for Dioup. Sam would agree with this I am sure, seen as this is Sams speciality, but hey what do I know! :P

  • 27 Bill // Aug 4, 2007 at 12:03 PM

    Tom-Toon First time I’ve seen Sniejders name mentioned but agree he would be a fantastic signing.

  • 28 Ed Harrison // Aug 4, 2007 at 2:35 PM

    t-g-w neither Drago or Enrique have signed but what we understand is that the deals have been agreed between both clubs and terms agreed with the players – the signings will hopefully happen early next week or sometime sooner.
    Once Sam is finished with all the signings it would be good to have a picture with Sam and all his signings together. Then when Sam’s 70 years old he can look back and say – that was 3 years before we won the European Champions league – for the first time :D :D

  • 29 Big Sam Fan // Aug 4, 2007 at 3:10 PM

    I remember a long time ago when N’Zogbia signed he was touted as taking over the Gary Speed position, obviously his chances there have been limited but i do think that cm is his much better position i think we are light of a right back and left winger. enrique looks like a good prospect of what ive seen but think we will sign another lb as well. I would prefer baines over shorey anytime, both good players but baines has SO much more potential and englands future lb. any one got any ideas on rb lw?????
    as for whoever said that mancity will struggle, i dont tink they will. the players they have signed are good quality and bojinov from fiorentina will be a great player in the prem very strong. i think they could be a team to watch out for.




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