Newcastle Squad Has Quality But Still Too Small

It’s clear that the Newcastle team has more quality now than last season, but we’re still too small a squad,  and injuries are already affecting team selection for manager Kevin Keegan.

Michael Owen – only fit striker right now – and he’s just returned

Michael Owen said after the game last night:

“We’re a lot of strikers down.” “I’m the last fit striker and there are some important games coming up.”

“But I’m building all the time and hopefully I will start against Arsenal on Saturday now.”

Keegan played James Milner and Jonas Gutierrez up front, out of necessity, and they were all over the Coventry defense, with Gutierrez seemingly everywhere and Milner getting the MOM award, for another glittering display.

News that Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neil was in the crowd last night, but there’s no way James is leaving Newcastle United, unless the club wants a full scale fan revolt.

But we need at least another four players in, before next Monday night, otherwise we can kiss a high league position goodbye.

After the game last night, Kevin Keegan gave credit to the Coventry players, who played their hearts out, although the Newcastle manager was unhappy with the amount of injury time added to the game.

Kevin said:

“I couldn’t even ask the referee because of the Respect thing.” “It was a cracking cup tie and maybe he was enjoying the game too much – he didn’t want it to stop!”

“We had to win that game three times. There were a lot of pluses but we had a bit of a death wish at the end of each half.”

“We played some fantastic football and missed a few chances but Coventry never stopped battling.”

Sky Blues boss Chris Coleman was proud of his players, and rightly so, as he said after the game:

“We were much more in their faces in the second half – and then they bring on Michael Owen. He showed his worth when he came on.”

If we had any thoughts of signing Russian striker Roman Pavlyuchenko before next Monday, we’ll have to forget them, as he agreed last night to join Spurs in a ? 12M deal – he would have been great at Newcastle United.

But there’s just 5 days left in the transfer window and the Newcastle squad is just too small.

There’s a meeting today between owner Ashley, manager Keegan and recruitment head Wise, although we don’t expect to learn much about what is discussed.

We expect transfer targets and contracts to be just two of the items on the agenda.

Comments welcome.

35 comments so far

  • ko_p

    Aug 27, 2008 at 9:17 AM

    Comment #1


  • ko_p

    Aug 27, 2008 at 9:18 AM

    Comment #2

    3 more player please….

  • lesh

    Aug 27, 2008 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #3

    Ok they’re meeting today and unless deals are lined up waiting for Kev’s ok, then we’re at the mercy of the selling clubs.

    Realistically, is there any chance of four signed, sealed and delivered by Monday?

    Why oh why couldn’t Ernie and his London- based cronies do the business when the transfer window opened..

  • Tore Torell

    Aug 27, 2008 at 9:24 AM

    Comment #4

    If I was Ash I’d file a bid of 14m to Zenit for Arshavin. He’s wanting to leave, and Zenit just bought a replacement for 30m euro in the portugese Danny.

    Playing Arshavin behind Martins is like a wet dream 😉

  • bettyswollocks

    Aug 27, 2008 at 9:27 AM

    Comment #5

    according to the journal this morning KK doesn’t seem overly confident of getting any more in –

    “My optimism gets less the nearer that you get to the deadline. I’m still hoping that we’ll get a couple in, but if we don’t we’ll just have to soldier on,” he said.

    brace yourself for deadline disappointment lads

  • lesh

    Aug 27, 2008 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #6

    Thought I’d commented but nothing to be seen. Server problems back?

    Given KK’s meeting the London mafia today, let’s hope it includes MO’s contract offer and a list of deals 99.99% in the bag and subject to Kev’s final approval!

    Realistically, if they’re still window shopping at this late stage, the club’s gonna be at the mercy of the sellers. What chance for three of four by Monday night?

    Why couldn’t Ernier and his cronies do the business before or when the shop opened rather than as the shutters are going up on the window??

    Ho hum, happy days

  • Apples

    Aug 27, 2008 at 9:29 AM

    Comment #7

    I know it was only Coventry but the tempo and way we controlled the match shows promise. I havent seen us like that for a while. Even if we did throw away a 2 goal lead!

    If we get 4 in I will be extremely suprised. 2 at best methinks. Transfer are such long drawn out affairs thanks to agents these days that to get 4 in a less than a week would be a miracle.

  • Chris F

    Aug 27, 2008 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #9

    but every team is in the same boat, the market hasn’t been overly active all summer.

    it’s been like this since transfer windows were implemented, selling clubs try to hang on until the very last possible second, it’s not just nufc who are stuck in this boat.


    Aug 27, 2008 at 9:41 AM

    Comment #10

    Lets get some deals done because if we dont all the good work that has been done will be eroded by the lack of activity.. Spurs have managed to get pavelchenko through shear ashley has to decide what he wants..we need more players it is plain to see for every one.. we have had since the end of may to identify and secure players that we wanted, now we are heading into the last five days of the window still needing at least 3 players. Come on lets get the deals done because are squad is paper thin!

  • WesToon

    Aug 27, 2008 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #11

    Just as i thought,i knew this would fekking happen!!
    A couple weeks ago,things were looking up for THE TOON….now its back to where we were!!
    OK so we are playing much better football(Thank God) BUT without a squad we are PROPER F###ed 🙁

  • Dave

    Aug 27, 2008 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #12

    Definately need at least 3 more players. LB, Creative Midfielder and a Striker

  • Matt

    Aug 27, 2008 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #13

    Arsharvin is a mercenary that I want nowhere near our club. Nice to see Owen back on form and playing again!

    I was in the pub watching last night and literally every 2 minutes some pissed up prat stood up striahgt infront of the screen. There’s only so many times you can politely say that you’re trying to watch the footy, ended up shouting at the to get the f out the way which went down well…

  • James

    Aug 27, 2008 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #14

    I agree about Arshavin on both counts, in terms of ability that is exactly the type of player we need at the moment. That central midfielder who can attack and unlock defences. But in terms of attitude he is everything we don’t need. Given time he would ruin the great spirit KK has installed in the dressing room.

  • k-man

    Aug 27, 2008 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #15

    How can you say Arshavin is no more than a mercenary? He is said to be paid £50-60.000 a week in Zenit. If you didn’t know, Zenit is a very very rich club. If he were to leave for Spurs, as he previously said he would like, he wont be making much more that he already is.

  • Danso

    Aug 27, 2008 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #16

    O’neill can sod off!

    I understand that Ashley had to pay out a large debt at Newcastle, and the new signings have been awesome to say the least.

    I think as a team they will do well, but injuries will destroy what could have been a great season, well better than last..

    Ashley needs to pull his thumb out of his pud and give Keegan some dosh!

    To be honest I dont see 3 players coming in, I dont really see 1 comng in..

  • Bill F

    Aug 27, 2008 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #17

    Looks like the youngsters may be getting a lot of games, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Still time for that “PROMISED” wow signing Mr Ashley.

  • 35yrsofhurt

    Aug 27, 2008 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #18

    It’s obvious guys, there are no more players coming in. Why call a meeting today when only 5 days remain of the window?
    If any potential targets are identified it will take our lot weeks to negotiate.
    Last night was a great spirited performance which should encourage “Cashley” (scrooge) to back KK to the hilt.
    There is real potential with this current squad and 3 or 4 more quality signings will elevate us to at least mount a serious challange for Europe.

  • JP from The Rock of Gibraltar

    Aug 27, 2008 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #19

    ED There seems to be a problem with the site at the right hand side of every comment I am missing at least 2 words!

  • su4

    Aug 27, 2008 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #20

    so sick and tired of the transfer rumours…ashley pls spend your cash NOW!!!

  • 35yrsofhurt

    Aug 27, 2008 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #21

    The Daily Mail states we are interested in Marouane Felliani from Standard Liege. Who is he?

  • Joey

    Aug 27, 2008 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #22

    look on wikipedia everyone and search up Stéphane Mbia it saids that he has joined newcastle.

  • Joey

    Aug 27, 2008 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #23


  • 35yrsofhurt

    Aug 27, 2008 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #24

    Ed, is the server down again?

  • bigted28

    Aug 27, 2008 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #25

    I am becoming less and less optimistic of us bringing more players in. I saw Mike Ashley last night at the bar and wanted to shout “Get your money out!” but thought better of it.

  • Sav

    Aug 27, 2008 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #26

    Andy Surman at Saints plays midfield and LB. Just gone 22. Could be good for us.

  • Matty

    Aug 27, 2008 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #27

    milner has written a transfer request!! i did not see that coming? im gutted

  • Andylongs

    Aug 27, 2008 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #28

    Breakin news,
    Official website posting that Milner has handed in a transfer request, no wonder he played out of his skin in front of Martin O’Neil.
    Surely he can’t be allowed to go for less than £10 mill

  • Sav

    Aug 27, 2008 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #29

    Milner is good. But not irreplaceable. However at this late stage in the transfer window we may not have time to get a replacement in at the right price. If Owen’s timing in the box and in transfer dealings is ‘spot-on’, then Milner’s is equally ‘off target’.

    I hope the club take a ‘duly noted’ stance and then do what is best for nufc. Disappointing that JM doesnt not see his future as part of the KK revolution, whatever that says about him or us?
    With a 3-year contract, I don’t see he has much to gripe about and if he gets knocked back, I expect he will just knuckle down for the season.

  • craig chisholm

    Aug 27, 2008 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #30

    ED – GET A BLOG GOING, JAMES MILNER HAS HANDED IN A TRANSFER REQUEST!! this is shit timing with six frigging days left to get a repalcement – twat! maybe we can get SWP, we simply CAN NOT let a player of his quality go without an equal or better replacement. this stinks – he has been tapped up for sure, no question about it.

  • Toon1978

    Aug 27, 2008 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #31


  • silverwear this year

    Aug 27, 2008 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #32

    thought we played well last night. all 4 new signings proved there worth, and enrique definatly put any ideas that he wsnt good enough to bed.

    thin we will struggle to sign 4 players before monday – but if this wow signing b*llox is true then arshavin may well be it. but i may be just daydreaming… like the ref last night in injury time.

  • chuck

    Aug 27, 2008 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #33

    Does`nt look good guys.
    As per Ed.” a paper thin squad”
    A horrendous history of injuries at the club does`nt help any, did anyone check out the bench players at Coventry, pathetic !
    Hate to sound pessemistic but without help this team is destined for another mid table finish, unless MA opens the purse strings .
    Seems this club just goes from crisis to crisis
    which is reflected in the recent fan and corporate refusal to renew both seats and boxes.
    Get it to gether folks, we are becoming the favorite premiership joke.

  • Guinea Mag

    Aug 27, 2008 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #34

    Interested to see who else comes in for Milner and for how much he is eventally sold; if in fact we do sell him!!

    Squad is too small and need additional players soon if we are to improve on last season……

    I’m ever the optimist and anticipate more excellent signings before the transfer window closes.

  • bear pit

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:49 PM

    Comment #35

    The thin squad is worrying but could be a blessing in disguise. KK will have to use the young guns and we might get a pleasant suprise from them. Edgar is excellent cover for Beye and I would partner Bassong with Colo and use Taylor as back up or rotate the two. Then theres Lua Lua, Kadar, Carroll, Donaldson etc. I watch these kids every other week without fail and all these are capable of doing a job if they get a bit experience.


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