Midfield Madness at Newcastle

We seem to be struggling at the moment to field a decent midfield, with so many players out with injures, away on African Nations Cup duty or unavailable through other reasons.


Andrei Arshavin – Russian captain would be great acquisition for Newcastle

We are already without central midfielders Abdoulaye Faye, Geremi and Joey Barton for our trip to Manchester United on Saturday. Barton’s therapist Peter Kay, was yesterday quoted as saying Barton will not be making any return to football in the near future:

“It will not be happening in the near future.”

“There are bail guidelines we are adhering to and we’re concentrating on the work we need to do, which is going well.”

Even if Barton was available we think it would be inappropriate to play Barton for Newcastle before his next hearing on Wednesday, January 16th in Liverpool. It doesn’t exactly set a good precedent.

Nicky Butt is suspended for next Wednesday’s FA Cup third round replay against Stoke City after receiving his 10th yellow card of the season on Sunday. He’ll now have to miss two games and Emre, as we mentioned earlier this morning, is still struggling to be fit for Saturday’s trip to Old Trafford.

With Barton’s situation murky at best, we would have thought the board would have sanctioned Sam to bring in a top central midfielder in January to potentially replace Joey Barton at the club. If Barton can get over all his personal problems and remain at the club, so be it.

But we need cover in the immediate future, and we expect Sam to bring in a top midfielder. We hope that player will be Russia’s Captain Andrei Arshavin. He seems to have all the qualities it takes to be successful in the Premiership, and he is very keen to join the Magpies, that’s for sure.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

46 comments so far

  • Luke

    Jan 9, 2008 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #1

    I think it’s pointless suggesting players I’d like to see at the club.

  • ToonKing

    Jan 9, 2008 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #2

    It looks like we made a 2,5 Mill offer for the Geromel guy.

  • jvdw

    Jan 9, 2008 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #3

    if we could get arshavin and diarra that would be amazing, but i think we need a RM aswell

  • Pete

    Jan 9, 2008 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #4

    Indeed, I doubt any of our transfer deals this January will excite the supporters. I’m guessing Kevin Nolan for a shocking 5-6 mill, and some random defender.

  • aaron d

    Jan 9, 2008 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #5

    I think that he will have to play N’Zogbia in midfield from now on where he should be playing anyway. Zog is a more than capable central middfielder. But would still need cover as looks like Lua-Lua will be a first time regular soon with all the injuries and international call-ups.

    First team midfielders:

    Emre – not match fit at the moment, plus rumours about his future at club with Monaco and others interested

    Barton – not available, and unknown if he will be. Hasn’t really looked any good this season.

    Duff – lacking match practise, needs more games and to be played on left mid not right mid.

    Zog – no questions on fitness and form but needs to remain in the middfield.

    Milner – maybe over tired with number of games played this season, hopefully back to the starting line-up shortly.

    Smith – better as a striker.

    Geremi – African Cup till Feb misses next 5 games.

    Butt – 2 games suspended, getting on a bit too.

    Troisi – going on loan to a dutch club and not ready for premiership yet.

    Lua-Lua – looks good but still too young and inexperianced for first team.

    So we are well short of middfielders, hopefully get at least one in before end of january.

  • iain

    Jan 9, 2008 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #6

    we need a dfmf that can pass, and who isnt slow or lightweight – diarra.

    and a creative, goalscoring cm that could play rw if needed – arshavin.

    a ch that can play rb – wes brown

    a cf to replace shola – gudjohnsen/ashton/doyle/kitson

    i think to avoud our season going tits up we need those 4 players minimum.

    then we could sell carr/shola/emre imo and start using players like edgar instead of carr.

    what good is sam saying we need good young players when by all acounts he will use carr while beye is away when we have the clearly better edgar waiting for his chance ???

    shor term solution untill butt is back we sign some players…

    edgar taylor cacapa enrique
    milner smith zog duff
    viduka owen

    or mf if milner is still unwell…

    duff smith roz zog

  • big pea ov the weab

    Jan 9, 2008 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #7

    a just cant see mike ashley putting his hand in his pocket to tell u the truth its a shame our big club is dwindelng from benithe us such a sorry state of affairs at the moment a just cant see it getting any better in the near future.

    its all well n good looking at the bigger picture for the future with some good youngsters coming through but we need a short term fix to get us over the rest ov this season

  • James

    Jan 9, 2008 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #8

    Why pay £8 million for the Russian Barton (he’s constantly banned and suspended from club games).

    When an extra few million would land Carrick (£12 million). Geordie boy through and through and would run and pass his socks off for Newcastle.

    Getting him in Jan would be difficult yes, but a definite possibility in the summer

  • iain

    Jan 9, 2008 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #9

    desperate teimes call for desperate measures.

    if we have to to sell martins to pay for that lot then so be it.

    but id then add saviola to that list of 4 to mkae it 5 and add some pace and trickery to our forward line.

    diarra – 6m – cm/rb
    brown – 3m ch/rb
    arshavin – 8m cm/rm/am
    saviola – 4m cf/wf
    other cf ???

    the sale of martins/emre/shola/carr would just about pay for the first 4 imo. just up to ashley to find his cheque book for the 5th.

  • James

    Jan 9, 2008 at 11:46 AM

    Comment #10

    I am one of the few who would like to see Martins sold because I get frustrated at seeing him miss chance after chance, and fail to pass to players in a better position. I’d be surprised if he goes in Jan because we don’t have a big enough squad to handle his loss. But selling him for £15 million and getting in Huntaleer for £20 million is a much better option.

  • obafemimartins

    Jan 9, 2008 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #11

    i cant see lualua and carroll etc playing against man u but they should be in with a shout for the stoke replay as the looked more lively than viduka and duff against stoke. arshavin seems to be a good player but we make good players bad. owen, duff, smith, geremi, barton. the list could go on forever. aston villa and man city have made offical enquiries about martins and i think fat sam would sell him if he gets a replacement first

  • MattyDread

    Jan 9, 2008 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #12

    Luke – I think it’s great commenting on the players we’d like to see at the club. It keeps the real world at bay. I want to see Alessandro Rosina (Torino) sign for the toon.

  • craig chisholm

    Jan 9, 2008 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #13

    i agree about selling martins as he just does not convert enough chances. saviola would be brilliant. as for maure on sat i would play the zog in his pref role – left mid field. that should give us (from left to right), duff, zogs, butt and milner (if he is fit). put smith up front with owen as viduka just has zero energy and looks like he cant be arsed that much. i would put ameobi in front of vid – honest!
    people in, well, i think we’d all like to see wes brown, top player. arton IS good, he’s just nuts thats all. will we ever see him play for us again i wonder?

  • Rich

    Jan 9, 2008 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #14

    Since the summer and took over this is how our midfield has changed –
    Before After
    Dyer Barton
    Solano Geremi
    Parker Milner
    Milner N Zogbia
    N Zogbia Emre? Going(Nolan)
    Emre Duff
    Duff Butt
    Butt Smith

    We have lost all our flair, we are stronger at the start of the season!

  • James

    Jan 9, 2008 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #15

    Rich – All four of the players we sold to West Ham are injured. Thats good business for us in my books

  • Bosck

    Jan 9, 2008 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #16

    james – how many times to we have to say this to people…. good as he is, carrick is not an attacking creative midfielder he is a passing defensive midfielder. by all means we should sign him if possible, but we still need to sign an attacking midfield.

  • aaron d

    Jan 9, 2008 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #17

    yeah basically had in Barton, Smith and Geremi and lost Parker, Solano and Dyer. I would probably prefer the later.
    Parker was a good player for us in my opinion, Solano you can’t doubt his ablilty, and Dyer had the pace and was able to beat players.

    Smith ain’t a midfielder, Barton will be missing the rest of the season and Geremi was never going to be a superstar just a squad player.

  • LiamBirchy8

    Jan 9, 2008 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #18

    chimbonda 6.5m
    nolan 5m
    diarra loan
    laursen 1m
    ashton 10m/kitson 5m

    ameobi 3m
    emre 5m
    martins (only sell for 15m min to a club abroad)

  • Bosck

    Jan 9, 2008 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #19

    rich try actually putting the players that havent changed alongside themselves instead of trying to make out there have been more changes than is actually true

    Dyer Barton
    Solano Geremi
    Parker Smith
    Milner Milner
    N Zogbia N Zogbia
    Emre Emre? Going(Nolan)
    Duff Duff
    Butt Butt

    so in reality out have gone parker solano and dyer. in came barton smith and geremi.

    dyer never played and was quite disruptive and like emre never fulfilled potential. was sad to see solano go, but parker is not really much different to smith or butt.

    so yes we have lost the flair of solano but we never really had much flair constantly available even before sam signed.

  • Steeley

    Jan 9, 2008 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #20

    Dear God, I hope we dont get Kevin Nolan – it really could be a dire affair if that happened!! Smith, Geremi and Nolan at our heart…..it would mean TRAGEDY because we just wont win any games!

    I really like Emre, however, if Sam isnt going to play him then its a waste of wages, and quite frankly, an insult to Emre with the like of Geremi and Smith (and Lua Lua!) keeping him out of the squad….we might as well sell up and get some cash.

    I really dont have a clue what Arshavin is like, but have heard rave reviews all over this site so it may be a good buy.

    As mentioned in various threads though, I’m not convinced that Mort/Ashley will release any funds as I dont think they expect FSA to be at the club come Sep 08!

  • James

    Jan 9, 2008 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #21

    Bosck – I don’t expect Carrick to be the Creative Midfielder. We would still need one of the those. But it’s better to have a Defensive Midfielder like Carrick who can actually pass the ball as well. Instead of Butt who constantly gives the ball to the opposition. Even Owen was yelling at Butt for wasting passes against Stoke.

  • Josh

    Jan 9, 2008 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #22

    Did you see that article: I HOPE THIS RUMOUR IS TRUE. Was the boltons saying that they hoped we took Nolan off their hands, that isn’t exactly a good sign is it. Forget about that nonsense. It isnt the players names that are the problem, it is the attitude, and it spreads like a disease thruout our new signings. We could buy messi, carrick, ronaldo, and alves and we would get the same result as plundering the bargain basement.

    We need to sort our current players the f***k out

  • nightfall

    Jan 9, 2008 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #23

    iain – smith as midfielder? did you watch any of NUFC matches? if smith will play as midfiedler we’ll lose 4-0! mark my words!

  • Bosck

    Jan 9, 2008 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #24

    james – ok then we’re definately in agreement on that just thought you meant get him as attacking mid instead of arshavin, sorry.

    would love to sign carrick and diarra. yes both defensive mids but can sometimes play together sometimes rotate depending who we are playing against.

  • lee

    Jan 9, 2008 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #25

    arshave is a good player but we need cmsnot wingers

  • Josh

    Jan 9, 2008 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #26

    Did you see the article, I HOPE THIS RUMOUR IS TRUE. It was saying that the Bolton fans cant wait for us to buy Nolan. The truth is we dont need new players, we need to sort out our current ones.

    This terrible mentality spreads thru our players like a disease, we could buy messi, alves , ronaldo and would be little different from raiding the bargain basement.

    Sort these players out!

  • stk

    Jan 9, 2008 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #27

    i don’t trust the fatty incharge anymore, he obviously can’t handle the pressure, or live up to his “big” reputation. he hasn’t a soddin’ clue!

    i’d like to see between now and august playing for nufc: brown, hutton, riise, diarra, crouch, diego, huntelaar, these are the types of players a club like nufc needs and can attract! look at duffs recent comments about staying and the foundations of the club are there. we are massive and we need someone to unlock that potential and stop pissing around with kevin bloody nolan!

    ugh, gets me angry, hope ashley gives him no money

  • James

    Jan 9, 2008 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #28

    Bosck – I really do believe if Mort went after Carrick in the summer he would get him. For a number of reasons :

    1 – Fergie only bought him because he couldn’t get Hargreaves at the time. Now that he’s got Hargreaves he plays him instead of Carrick in all the big games.

    2 – Carrick wants to be playing week in week out so he can prove to Capello he should be playing in the England midfield instead of Barry

    3 – He’s a Geordie and has suported us since he was a boy.

    4 – His Brother still works in the coaching set up at Newcastle

    This kind of signing would be a huge lift to the fans and players and show our intent to compete with the big boys.

  • Leo

    Jan 9, 2008 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #29

    why would fergy sell carrick for 12 million when he signed him for much more than that

  • Tom_Toon

    Jan 9, 2008 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #30

    Emre in a swap deal for Schlaudraff would be good and very realistic, huge presence and a great goalscoring, attacking midfielder, can also play as the big striker.

    I’d love Arshavin though.

  • LeazesEndLoyal

    Jan 9, 2008 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #31

    Sam wil never buy creative players! Stop dreaming!

  • lee

    Jan 9, 2008 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #32

    or we should sign berbatov n yes he would come b4 any1 starts dissmissing it (only if martins leaves)

  • iain

    Jan 9, 2008 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #33

    nf – if butt is suspended, emre injured/leaving, geremi and faye away to ACN, barton unavailable.

    who else do we have to play cm the next few games ???

    smith/zog and one of roz or cacapa.

  • Toon Al

    Jan 9, 2008 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #34

    berbatov wouldnt come

  • scott9

    Jan 9, 2008 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #35

    i really think we need to sign 2 midfileders but at the moment i cant see us signing nay midfileders or anyon ein that matter 9 days have passed now and u would have thought allardyce would have had his players he wanted sorted out a month a go.
    i definatley dont think were gonna go for arshevin we havent heard anything about our interst until a month ago it doesnt look good i hope sam proves me wrong i hope we sign
    these would be great buys a also think a striker would be good dave kitson but doesnt look like were intersted in any strikers

  • scott9

    Jan 9, 2008 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #36

    o and i no arshevin can play in cm or on either wing but does anyone no what his 1st position is were does he play for russia and zenit at the moment

  • Tom_Toon

    Jan 9, 2008 at 3:09 PM

    Comment #37

    just behind the front 2

  • cathal

    Jan 9, 2008 at 3:57 PM

    Comment #38

    plays centre mid. great player. wud cost nearly 15mill tho. with diarra for 6m from arenal he wud b very good.

  • Bosck

    Jan 9, 2008 at 4:03 PM

    Comment #39

    iain – midfield for next couple of games will probably be smith and zog centre with duff and milner wide i think.

  • big pea ov the weab

    Jan 9, 2008 at 4:54 PM

    Comment #40

    berbatov has already said that he would love to play for newcastle but i dont think he would come just yet i think meybe a few years b4 he comes here


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