Sam Still Needs Three Signings at Newcastle

Time to take a little stock at where we stand as far as the size of the Newcastle squad is concerned.

Last season we didn’t have enough players and for the last two years we have had an injury crisis at the club so let’s bear that in mind as we discuss the size of the current squad.

When we look at who’s left and who’s arrived the numbers still look a little light.

Let’s see what the situation is right now.


Sam Allardyce

We have had seven players leave the club since May. They are

Titus Bramble (free), Olivier Bernard (free), Craig Moore (free), Pavel Srnicek (free) and we didn’t pick up the option on Oguchi Onweyu who was on loan from Standard Leige. We have since sold captain Scott Parker to West Ham United (₤7M) and Alan O’Brien for an undisclosed fee to Hibernian.

We have brought in or will bring in the the following eight players:

Mark Viduka (free), Joey Barton (₤5.8M), David Rozehnal (₤2.9M), Geremi (free), Alan Smith (₤4M),Claudio Cacapa (free) and we will soon bring in Drago (₤2.5M) and Jose Enrique (₤4M).

We have also let young third-choice goalkeeper Tim Krul go out on loan for 6 months to Falkirk and Tim made a successful debut yesterday and kept a clean sheet in their 4-0 win against newly promoted Gretna.

So we have let eight players go from the squad last year (including Krul) and brought in the exact same number.  We must now bring in another goalkeeper as cover for Krul at least until he returns to the club.

We now have the same number of players in the squad as last year with the proviso that a number of the youngsters who didn’t figure last year may now be good enough to join the first-team squad and have an occasional game in case of a dire injury situations or to give them a run out. One such player is Darren Lough who has played admirably at left-back in pre-season and looks to be a decent player for the future.

We think we now need at least a good right- back and a classy play-making midfielder. Not sure why we are  pursuing Leighton Baines of Wigan since we seem to have two good left-backs in Drago and Enrique with Babayaro as cover if he ever recovers from injury.

Not sure why we didn’t get Luke Young from Charlton (probabaly not good enough) and it may be that Sam needs to bring in a right-back from outside England. As far as the play-maker is concerned this could be an opportunity to bring in a star player who’s available and splash a little cash on somebody like Deco from Barcelona or Argentinian Riquelme.

But when we look at the numbers – if we have them right – it still seems the squad is a little light doesn’t it?

Let’s know what you think about our current squad assuming we get those additional two players, Enrique and Drago this week.
Who do you think we should still sign  before the end of the season?

Comments always welcome.

69 comments so far

  • KevinHann

    Aug 5, 2007 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #1

    Young is not good enough. Riquelme is an excellent playmaker, but we remember what happened with another good argentinean, veron. Buying someone like that is always a risk.
    I guess the moderators of this site don’t like detailed posts and that’s why my comment was erased – or it was because it has already been posted?

  • Howie

    Aug 5, 2007 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #2

    We are ok on the right mid position. Milner and Solano and Geremi are not injury prone. I think we will bring in a right back and possibly a holding midfielder after we sign the 2 left backs and that is all we need till January. We don’t want to bring in too many all of a sudden cause team spirit and the new guys getting to know the current players is vital so if we had this squad on aug 31st this would be great. We should let Carrol, Edgar and Huntington on loan for 6 months too.
    GK- Given, Harper
    RB- ?, Carr, Solano,Geremi
    CB- Rozenhal, Taylor, Cacapa, Ramage
    LB- Drago, Enrique
    RM- Milner, Solano, Geremi
    LM- Zog, Duff, Luque
    CM- Butt, Barton, Smith, ?, Emre,
    ST- Martins, Owen, Viduka, Shola, Luque, Smith

  • Toon_Army

    Aug 5, 2007 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #3

    We have got Fraser Foster who is a backup keeper, to cover for Krul. We don’t need another Keeper. We need a right back and if we get drag and enrique that should set us fine for the season. We struggled last year with injuries. This year we aren’t in Europe and Sam’s training methods should ensure we have a group of players who stay injury free.

  • george t

    Aug 5, 2007 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #4

    i hear the talk ….we need three more players ………..where is the money coming from ,because it appears that ashley aint gonna release any

  • KevinHann

    Aug 5, 2007 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #5

    george we did buy Smith for 6 mil even though Dyer is still with us, this money did come from somewhere?

  • Davey

    Aug 5, 2007 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #6

    If you look at the player who left the club Onweyu, Bernard, Bramble, Srnicek, O’Brian and Parker most of the players there were simply not good enough and some didn’t feature at all, also Luque didn’t feature much last session either. So if you look at the squad we have now, we still have the same numbers but the quality is higher and these players will actually feature in the up and coming session and be a big part of the squad unlike the player who left. Plus if we were to sign more players which I believe is the case we will have a fantastic squad of players.

  • KevinHann

    Aug 5, 2007 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #7

    Howie you put Solano and Geremi at both RM and RB, this is awesome squad depth indeed…

  • Alex

    Aug 5, 2007 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #8

    Dont forget the players that have left 2never or hardly ever started a game last seison.Bernard and Obrien .So in terms of numbers we are already stronger.But another three are still needed.

  • carl

    Aug 5, 2007 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #9

    ashley isnt stupid enough to confirm how much sam has got,stop worrying people,allardyce proved us wrong this weekend

  • bigpants

    Aug 5, 2007 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #10

    I would love us to sign a player like Riquelme he is top class, but we still need a right back and centre half even if all the other players sign that you’ve mentioned.

  • andrew

    Aug 5, 2007 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #11

    We haven’t signed Dragutinovic or Enrique, and Sam hasn’t even spoke on the subject. The fact we’re being linked with Baines probably suggests that one or maybe both of the spanish-based left backs aren’t coming. The reason Luke Young didn’t come could be that he rejected us, after all Sam did say a couple of transfer targets have rejected us for other English clubs.

    The squad maybe thin, but there’s no doubting that Sam has replaced players that NEEDED to leave the club, with players of great potential and class.

    George T, no pessimism this year please. The money IS being released, 6mil for Smith and no sale on Dyer yet. But we’re not going to make the same mistakes as we’ve made in the recent past. The days of signing a hopeful star for 10mil and then having him completely flop went out the same door as Fat Freddy Sheppard.

  • george t

    Aug 5, 2007 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #12

    yea kev…but everyone thought the dyer deal would go through and one would even out the other but not so

  • Steven

    Aug 5, 2007 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #13

    I think Ashley will release as much money as Sam asks for; it’s just Sam isn’t asking for a lot.

    If you think about it – it seems unlikely that Mike Ashley would Pay £130 odd million for a club, assume all of it’s debt and not invest in the area that requires money the most (the most important aspect of any football club) – our team.

    I don’t know where this notion of us not having any money has come from but I don’t like it, I’m guessing Alan Oliver had something to do with it?

  • e

    Aug 5, 2007 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #14

    why would he cancel it then george? we obviously have money

  • StevieA

    Aug 5, 2007 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #15

    Ashley will spend as long as the player is worth it. I think that’s the easiest way to put it.

    He won’t spend for spending sake which is very smart business in my opinion. It’s probably why he is a billionaire! 😛

    I also think he will sign “superstars” but only if he feels it would benefit the club. I don’t think we will ever go the “galactico” route that Real Madrid use but we might sign one or two big stars once the club is established in the top 6 again which should be by next season if all goes well!

  • michael

    Aug 5, 2007 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #16

    You haven’t taken into account that Owen is back. I don’t agree with the right back comment either. If we are to sign one it needs to be a really good one which probably will take until Janurary to find a suitable candidate. The LB was an emergency the RB situation is nothing alike.

    1. Given/Harper
    2. Geremi/Carr
    3. Taylor/Cacapa
    4. Rozenhal/?Ivan Drago
    5. ?Enrique or ?Baines/Babayaro
    6. Milner/Dyer
    7. Barton/Emre
    8. Butt/Smith
    9. Martins/Viduka
    10. Owen/Ameobi/Carroll
    11. Duff/Luque/N’Zogbia

    So we have two players for each position, and suitable versatility to allow us to play different systems based on the opposition. Any more players who we sign need to be at such a level that they will improve the first XI.

  • LiamBirchy8

    Aug 5, 2007 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #17

    Baines – i have a feeling he will surprise the world by signing for us ionstead of everton, we can offer a bit more on the wage front and he is a liverpool fan so he may not want to go to the rivals.
    Diop – classy,strong and physical midfielde, just what we need to add depth.
    Sign a great playmaker if dyer leaves.
    Re-attempt to sign Beye, Salgad0 from real madrid – surplus to requirements and is a great strong player or Hoyte from Arsenal for right back.

    So i would have Diop, Baines and Hoyte. ANd try and get a class playmaker if dyer leaves(lucho gonzalez?)

  • michael

    Aug 5, 2007 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #18

    and i forgot about nobby and huntington, ramage

  • Howie

    Aug 5, 2007 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #19

    Fine even if you put just Geremi at Rb and solano at rm we still have enough cover there if we get one right back in.

  • geordiejordan

    Aug 5, 2007 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #20

    you forgot about sibierski. so we DEFINITELY need a couple more signings…. we’ve lost 8 and OFFICIALLY signed 6.

  • george t

    Aug 5, 2007 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #21

    i dont think anyone knows the real reason the dyer deal fell through….i know ashley is not stupid but surely he must have trust in his manager as far as transfer dealings go…..and i dont want any flash ba******* at sjp just for the money….we have had enough of them in the past

  • AB

    Aug 5, 2007 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #22

    andrew – I agree with you completely about Drago and Enrique. I hate it when people assume players have been signed when the club hasn’t announced it, just look at Dyer & West Ham. We’re looking at Baines because we don’t have a left back (other than Baba) and he has premiership experience. Neither of the other two we have been LINKED with have this. I would prefer Baines over either of these.

    I can see Enrique coming as Villareal have announced he’s leaving for us, but he’s still to pass a medical. As for Drago, other than the player saying he can’t turn down the financial opportunity, there is nothing official. I find it hard to believe that people are seeing that as a done deal when the player (unless I’ve missed something) hasn’t even been to Tyneside.

    As for a new keeper? You have to be joking. We have Forster as a 3rd keeper if needed and in an emergency Krul will be recalled.

  • Tom_Toon

    Aug 5, 2007 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #23

    The reason the Dyer deal fell through is from rumours ive heard that Spurs or Man City have offered upwards of 7mil for him.

    After Enrique and Drago we will need 2 players minimum.

    A Decent RB and a creative midfielder.

    Deco would be good but not a cheap option.

    Riquelme is much more creative than Deco and he wants to leave Villareal and Villareal want to get rid of him. We could doi a swap deal say Luque and 8 mil for Rqiuelme.

    As for Sneijder he is good, but not exactly a brilliant creative midfielders, hes just a goal machine from midfield.

    As for a goalie even though we dont need one, Martin Stekelenburg would be a good signing.

  • Tez

    Aug 5, 2007 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #24

    I still do think one or two signings in even if we do get drago and Enrique but I can’t believe people are comparing this squad to last years.
    We have got rid of dead wood and brought in class players (eg Rosehnal looks a far better defender than bramble even at this early stage).

    I have been dying for someone to do this for a long time, unlike our last few managers who just changed the defence slightly (a la boumsong) Sam has completely reshaped our defence.

  • doug

    Aug 5, 2007 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #25

    If we need to raise 8M then we should sell Owen. He is past (long past) his best. Martins will improve.

  • Tom_Toon

    Aug 5, 2007 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #26

    Owen is at his peak :S Hes 27

  • Tez

    Aug 5, 2007 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #27

    I think Owen will show his class this season (if he can get rid of the injuries). To be fair that alone is like a new signing (again if he stays fit!)

  • dirk

    Aug 5, 2007 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #28

    I don’t think RB is a big concern. After all, what was Geremi signed for? He has played RB for Chelsea, and dare I say it, he has performed better than any of their other RB’s – I would have had him any day over the likes of Johnson, Ferreira etc.

    Geremi as first choice RB, with Carr as backup is an adequate solution (I know Carr is shite, but he will do as back up – all else failing, Solano could also do a job here, and a damn fine one at that)

    Milner has the RM slot all sewn up, and rightly so. He has been one of our best players last year, and he is first-choice for that position hands-down. Again, Solano can offer back-up in this position, as could Geremi if emergencies arose. (Possibly even Dyer if he stays, but I doubt that)

    I have heard people talking about Taylor playing RB, and I just cant understand it. Have those people actually watched Newcastle play, or do they just read internet reports! He played there at the start of his career to help out, and he has never looked like a world-beater in that position.

    He is however, in my opinion the first option to play as CB. He was our best CB last season, he’s got huge potential, he is quite likely to be captain this season, he is quite likely to go and play for England, and he has valuable prem experience. Add to this he is a geordie, and has shown he will fight for the cause – the guy is first choice CB, before Cacapa, Rozenhal, Drago and whoever else we sign. To suggest he shoud “fill in at RB” borders on the ridiculous.

  • ToonKing

    Aug 5, 2007 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #29

    @AB – i rate Drago much more than Baines, Drago is a seasoned veteran, great strenght and defensive skills, he knows every trick of the trade, while Baines is just a kid who runs forward to often and isn’t that good at defending. Don’t get me wrong, i like him and would like him to sign as he would be great in a few seasons, but out of the 2 Drago is a better defender in imo.

  • És

    Aug 5, 2007 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #30

    who is the Portuguese goalkeeper that Newcastle have bought?
    he’s name is Patrick Custodio. do anybody know where he is bought from?
    I found the out with the help of wikipedia. here is the link:

  • Darren

    Aug 5, 2007 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #31

    When you look at the players that have been brought in they are better than the players we have sold/released – so our overall quality has gone up.

    On the numbers side we are still a little short, I’d say two players.

    As for cash problems, Ashley has just taken over, he is not going to write out huge cheques until all aspects of the club have been studied (which Mort is doing now). If I’d invested that kind of cash I wouldn’t be piling more money into it until I’d had a good look at the financial side of things either.

    All we are spending now is our TV money.

  • Archie Brand

    Aug 5, 2007 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #32

    You can make your statistics show whatever you want, and to include Bernard and Srnicek in your calculations is pushing it one way only.

    Ignore those 2, and remember that Titus has gone – that’s like signing 2 new players, and as mentioned, there will be a few more youngsters coming through.

    The likes of Huntingdon, Edgar, and Lough are, in my book comparable talentwise (and maybe better) that Boumsong, Babayarro and Bramble .

    Then there’s Carrol who looks like he might be able to play a bit.

    I can’t figure out Pattison though. He seems to be slow and have a touch like an elephant.

    And yes of course our old favourite, as mentioned, Luque.

    How many fans are going to have egg on their faces if Sam turns him around.
    It’s the old bad workman blaming his tools scenario – now that Sam is the workman lets see how he uses this particular tool.

    The big question has to be – What are the chances of us having the worst injury season ever – three years running?

    Playing Sunday League football 25 years ago half the team would turn up hung over looking like death warmed up. One particular bloke would crack a can before going on, couple of fags at half time and invariably throw up sometime during the match. He was always good for a goal or two, and as with most of our “de-conditioned” team, never suffered these girlie type muscle injuries.

    Theres an old joke about tightening up cylinder head bolts that goes along the lines of “tighten it up until it strips the threads then back it off half a turn”.

    These days we’re stripping too many threads. We need to back off.
    I half expect us to have a worse season with injury as yet another new manager takes time to figure out fitness levels and who’s susceptible to this and that.

    I’ll still be putting my hundred quid on the Toon for the title though. Its almost a tradition.
    Don’t know what I’ll do if I ever win though.

  • Rich

    Aug 5, 2007 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #33

    @ ED

    i dont agree that we need to bring in another keeper for Krul… weve still got Steve Harper & Fraser Forster and i dont think Lazerus can have another injury for a long time (touch wood).

    i think we still need Baines, Diop and a RB (something along those lines)

    that would give us:

    2 LB’s (3 including Drago)
    4 CB’s,
    2 RB’s (3 with Geremi)
    2 LW’s
    6 CM’s (incudling Smith)
    2 RWs and
    6 CF’s (including smith)

    who needs dyer?

  • Rich

    Aug 5, 2007 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #34

    come to think of it, after that last post i think we will use Geremi as a RB because we may have 5 CM’s in:

    Butt, Emre, Barton, Smith & potentially Diop… i think Geremi’s position largely depends on who we sign in the next week wether hes RB or CM, but i think with a fully fit team Geremi will be RB as we have too much other quality in CM which means Carr would defintly be sacrificed IMO!

  • Rich

    Aug 5, 2007 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #35

    Arsene Wenger has told Glenn Roeder he is in the frame for a sporting director role at Arsenal. (Sunday Express)


  • George

    Aug 5, 2007 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #36

    I agree with all out there that we still need to strengthen the squad and certainly 3 more buys should cover us ok for the foreseable.
    Personally i can not think of who to bring in, but i do hope they are british and the reason i say this is, Sir Bobby Charlton has spoken out in one of this mornings papers about the number of foriegners in our game.Especially the premiership.
    What BC points out is the lack of youngsters comimg through which is no good for the game and that is a sentiment i have been preaching for quite sometime now.
    Just look at the problems Italy endured in the late 80s early 90s in the Serie A, the foreign imports almost bled the game dry. now it seems to be happening here. Just look at our own NUFC, and look at Man City since Erikson took over. These should be british, but unfortunately the way the modern game is going, we may all have to become multi-lingual to ask for an autograph.

  • Neil W

    Aug 5, 2007 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #37

    “Arsene Wenger has told Glenn Roeder he is in the frame for a sporting director role at Arsenal. (Sunday Express)”

    Really??? Any Gooners think thats a good idea? Appointing a man whose last team deconditioned over the course of a season. Possibly some lead in the pipes at the Emirates?

  • Daniel

    Aug 5, 2007 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #38

    my newcastle team for next season all i feel we need is 1 more signing and that is whichever lb we can get enreque, bains, drago
    gk- given
    rb- nobby solano
    cb- taylor, cacapa
    lb- bains(enreque, drago)
    rm- millner
    cm, barton
    lm- n’zogbia untill duff is fit
    am- smith
    st- viduka, owen

    subs- harper, rozenhal, emre, butt, martins

  • Bill

    Aug 5, 2007 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #39

    Whats wrong with a goal machine from midfield, would we have Lampard if we could? I think Sneidjeir (Havn’t a clue if spelling is correct) would be a great buy. I think the big difference this year is that the squad is going to be fitter and less prone to daft injuries so even if there are less players we are going to be (sorry about this) meaner and leaner.

  • Tom_Toon

    Aug 5, 2007 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #40

    Tbh, i really do not wants Baines or Shorey, Enrique and Drago will do me fine. Then a RB – Bosingwa and a Creative Midfielder – Deco, Riquelme.


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