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Sebastien Bassong Has Surpised Us All

10:38 am, Monday, December 1st, 2008 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 62 Comments

Chris Hughton today has said that when young Seb Bassong was brought in during the summer, they thought this season would be an adjustment season for the young Frenchman, but Seb has come on in leaps and bounds and has surprised even the Newcastle coaching staff.

Seb Bassong – a welcome surprise on the upside

Newcastle Assistant Manager Chris Hughton said today:

“Every week we look a bit more resilient, a bit more solid and a bit more confident. That’s what we’ve had in the last couple of games.”

“Sebastien has come off the back of two very good performances – he played well again. We brought him in in the summer and he’s a very good center-half who can also play left-back.”

“When he came in we felt he was just underneath what we already had. We needed to lift the quality of what we had, but his progress has been a lot quicker than what we thought. “

“You could say he’s surprised us. There can be a risk throwing a young player into the kind of environment we’ve been faced with, but Sebastien has thrived. It’s a welcome surprise.”

“With any young player, particularly when we’ve had periods when things haven’t done well, there’s trepidation around the place – are they going to do well, are they experienced and confident enough?”

“But the reality is that you only know when you put them in. He has certainly risen to the challenge.”

Dennis Wise may have his detractors at the club, but we’ve got to give him and the scouts credit for bringing in Bassong, Coloccini, Guthrie and Gutierrez to the club in the summer.

Four great signings who cost around £13M total,
and all four are starters right now.    😀

Comments welcome.

Tags: Newcastle News · Sebastien Bassong

62 responses so far ↓

  • 1 WesToon // Dec 1, 2008 at 10:49 AM

    I must agree that in respect to the players he has brought in Dennis Wise has done a really impressive job… I saw Bassong play a couple years ago(youth match on the box) I remember him,just the way he is playing now(Strong,quick,good passing,calmness & suprisingly VERY good in the air)

    Keep it up Seb
    Ho’way NUFC!!!

  • 2 Stamford Toon // Dec 1, 2008 at 10:53 AM

    I think Bassong is great, better than Taylor. Just what we need. I hope he will stay as CB and not be put in at LB just to accomodate Taylor.

  • 3 Sav // Dec 1, 2008 at 10:55 AM

    …And Keegan for taking him after a 2 week trial? Come on, Ed, this is starting to look like an agenda on your part.
    ut no doubt, the boy (Bassong) done good.

  • 4 Spyro // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:00 AM

    He was obviously recommended to KK, who then took him on a two week trial because he had probably never heard of him. KK said he was on efor the future despite him being far superior to Taylor. Any idiot could have seen Bassong is a talent. KK deserves no credit for that.

  • 5 Spyro // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:01 AM

    Ed Harrison

    Please write an article about the racists chants made towards Mido on Saturday. This needs to be discussed.

  • 6 Marguerite // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:02 AM

    Well said Sav, that part is being overlooked.

    He certainly is pretty impressive and his speed / strength can often get him out of trouble

    I am a little concerned though, after Phil Thompson was eulogizing Seb on Sky last Saturday that the big boys may be sniffing around pretty soon.

  • 7 Mimo // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:02 AM

    Totally agree four excellent buys all brought to the club through the much derided management setup. Talking of agendas the one that various so called supporters have against Denis Wise is both despicable and dumb.

  • 8 Doctapaul // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:05 AM

    Not me.

    I always have had Bassong ahead of Taylor and over recent games, he’s currently ahead of Coloccini….

    Keep it up Bazza!

  • 9 Jack // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:05 AM

    There’s always someone who lets you down though, or a few people, in the case of the racist fans.

    *sigh* I’d hoped at least us Newcastle fans would be able to go to a game without having one group of us shouting racist remarks.

    Really are some pathetic people in the world.

  • 10 KK never again (Timberhead) // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:07 AM

    At the end of all the trouble stirred up after KK left us in the learch again is wise has done as he was told by his boss and appears to have done a good job along with Venture and Jiminez the main criminal for me appears to be Llambias not wise and not Ashley. Oh and the Bed sheet Mob

  • 11 Nick 69 // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:07 AM

    yes we have to give them credit for those 4 signings, but we also have to take some of that credit away for the signings of xisco and nacho

  • 12 Jack // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:07 AM

    Oh, and yeah.. Keegan deserves no credit what so ever for this. He didn’t even give Bassong a squad number for his first game. And said “he’s one for the future” implying that you wouldn’t see much of him for now and he didn’t think he was good enough right now.

    How wrong he was.

  • 13 broon ale // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:09 AM

    whats racist about singing a song that refers to Mido’s resemblance to richard reid the shoe bomber. What has that got to do with the Religion he chooses to follow? When people sing about Jonathan Greening’s resemblance to jesus christ we dont have christians around the world up in arms.. I am sick of this country walking on egg shells when it comes to Muslims!

  • 14 Mimo // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:09 AM

    Why take any credit away from anyone for two players who have hardly been giving a chance yet?
    Sounds like someone else has got an agenda.

  • 15 Heavy hitters // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:09 AM

    I also thought Bassong was one for the future and was gutted we hadnt signed a top CB but he has proved to be awesome at CB in place of Taylor who is nothing short of a liability. We will need to keep Edgar, even though he will want to leave as soon as he can, for cover, because Taylor WILL spit the dummy out and want leave, sooner the better I’d say !!

  • 16 Kevin Nichol // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:11 AM

    I’m not going to get into any more arguments with anyone on this Blog; at the end of the day we are all newcastle united fans and we all want the same thing; sucess for our beloved club (except AO; another of whom i shall now choose to ignore rather than bite)

    Right now Seb looks a wonderful buy! It’s far too early to jump on the band wagon and say the boy is a world beater just yet; but he sure looks a special player from his last two performances! Let’s hope he can keep this up for the rest of the season; lets hope he keeps his feet firmly on the ground and goes about his business quietly the way he has done in the past two matches!

    On sat he looked composed, calm, quick and strong! The way he used his strength on several occassions to fend off Alves was a pleasure to see. Keep it up son and you will stay in the team in the centre of defence (I fully expect taylor to start at left back v stoke for his arial ability as stoke are a big strong side and we will have to win the battle before we win the right to play our football: Enrique’s distribution on sat was again shocking and we cannot afford to keep giving the ball away so cheaply)

    On The keegan arguments…at the end of the day had Keegan taken SEB on a two week trial and decided not to sign him then he would not be here! So KK shouldnt be swept aside from all memory. KK…will live on forever in my heart and i will never ever forget the good times we had with him at the helm!

  • 17 NotAGhostToon // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:12 AM

    I think sebs main asset is his calm concentration, almost all the defenders we’ve had in the past decade could put in a good tackle, but their concentration went missing.
    Now we have a solid defender in bassong, and i think itll bring collocini’s game on a lot as its shown, because he doesn’t have to worry about whose next to him.

  • 18 lezb // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:12 AM

    Is this the same player that was derided by the manager and coaching staff as being an inferior player to Cacapa.For me from day one his enormous potential was there to see.Pleased to see his worth being recognised

  • 19 DanToon // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:15 AM

    Bassong, Bassong!

    Him over Taylor all day long…

    Broon ale – I agree with your last sentence on comment 13.

    We need a left back, attacking midfielder and a holding midfielder!

  • 20 Spyro // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:16 AM

    Broon Ale

    Considering the recent terrorist situation that have occurred over the last few years it is bound to be a sensitive issue and most fans with half a braincell have been sure to avoid it. No other fans have said such things so why should Newcastle fans? It is idiotic and no one but those fans have dragged NUFC fans name through the mud. How dumb does someone have to be to repeat something that caused such controversy last year? Honestly, it is stupidity at the highest level and they should be punished accordingly.

  • 21 Tom_Toon // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:16 AM

    ED, this is definitely no suprise.

  • 22 Mimo // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:17 AM

    Making a comparison between a footballer and a bomber at this particular time is not the same as making one about someone looking like Jesus Christ. The first is calculated to stir up hatred which could result in the deaths of untold numbers of innocent people while the second is a joke and considered no more than that by anyone with half a brain. Broon ale you are a moron and the weakest link goodbye.

  • 23 HeronMag // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:17 AM

    I’m going to admit something I never thought I’d say. I was wrong about Dennis Wise. Looking at the players he’s brought in (Bassong, Jonas, Ranger, Spear, Coloccini, Xisco and Nacho) they’re all good buys apart from the last 2, who I’m still reserving judgement on. I give KK the credit for Guthrie.

    I’ll stick to my guns in saying that if Keegan’s management was undermined by Ashley and Wise then I don’t blame him from walking.

    But as far as judging Wise as a scout I don’t think he’s done a bad job.

  • 24 Ausgeordie // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:18 AM

    I dont think enough of our youngsters are given a shot. Look at what Bassong has managed and whilst he is a newcastle player and therefore bound to make a few clangers in his time he has loads of potential and will hopefully be strong for years. I still think he has a lot to learn. I mean though they were not goals both chelsea and borough managed to put the ball in the back of our net.

  • 25 Spyro // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:18 AM

    Kevin Nichol

    I think we should stick with Enrique through his rough beginning. I am confident he will improve throughout the season. However, If we are to replace him for the Stoke match, i would like to see Beye at LB and Taylor at RB.

  • 26 lezb // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:19 AM

    Tom toon
    Could not aggree more

  • 27 Spyro // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:22 AM

    I will give or take credit from Wise for the Xisco signing….when i have SEEN ENOUGH TO JUDGE.

    Bassong is miles ahead of Taylor for two reasons. Natural ability and his reading of the game. Taylor has neither and that is why he is exposed time and time and again. Yes he is good at clearing with his head, but that doesn’t make up for his faults.

  • 28 broon ale // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:27 AM

    mimo. cheers for the insult.

    its simply a play on words. it certaintly isnt islamaphobic. I never said I agreed with it!

    is the timing wrong? yes, is it morinic?, probably!

    is it islamaphobic? absolutely not.

    mimo, keep your insults to yourself.

  • 29 Stardust // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:28 AM

    Taylors main fault apart from his love of basketball – (well Im sure he thinks he’s playing that not football) is his love of creating his own back line – dropping off 5 yards 2 seconds too early allowing the opposition to one two our defence and pull everyone else out of shape and all over.

    Bassong keeps it simple, plays his line – Taylor is miles off and until he starts playing for the team instead of himself he will never reach the potential some claim he has.

  • 30 Stevo // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:32 AM

    Spyro please keep your misinformed tripe about the chants to yourself – it is sensationalist know-nowts like you that tarnish the reputation of toon fans.

    Good to see JFK keeping Bassong in the starting 11 ahead of Taylor.

  • 31 Sav // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:37 AM

    I don’t think the coaching staff ‘derided’ Bassong by initially preferring Cacapa. Didn’t Hughton say he was also surprised at Bassong’s performances? And wasn’t Bassong being touted around other clubs? – I think Everton had him last year and spotted nothing special in him.
    I’m not seeking to make every thread an Ashley v Keegan debate. Just in the light of all these articles cosying up to Ashley and ‘My kids wanna watch’ , I’m not for being taken in by some spin via Kinnear that FatAsh can’t get his price and everything in the garden is rosy. Its not. I want to see some money for starters.

    Lo and behold now that Kinnear is offered a begrudging contract it emerges Swindon were after him. I’d rather he stayed footloose until after the window to keep the pressure on FatAsh to spend. The tenor of articles like ‘Kinnear will improve the squad even without any funds’ leave me unimpressed.

    Lastly, in the light of Bassong’s ‘discovery’, can anyone tell me what David Edgar has done wrong when he’s played at LB for us?

  • 32 kukubird // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:37 AM

    yea imo he’s better than taylor, who we know is often prone to making mistakes

  • 33 broon ale // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:40 AM

    sav, david edgar looks out of his depth.

  • 34 Spyro // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:40 AM


    I dont think Everton had Bassong, i think they had Zayatte who Hull signed in the end.

  • 35 JoshNufc91 // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:43 AM

    found a little gem in bassong like, hes a rock at the back.
    wahts that coming out of the smog is it a paedooo is it a paedooo (8)

  • 36 Spyro // Dec 1, 2008 at 11:43 AM

    “it is sensationalist know-nowts like you that tarnish the reputation of toon fans.”

    Yes you are absolutely right. It is ME in the papers today causing embarrassment for all the decent NUFC fans isn’t it. I clearly am misinformed, i was under the impression it was the Mido chants. My mistake. Idiot.

  • 37 Mimo // Dec 1, 2008 at 12:09 PM

    Broon ale you are welcome to the insult and I offer the same insult to other morons who indulge in behavior which fosters hatred. By the way lad, even though I could have, I never actually mentioned or even implied you were being Islamaphobic because that requires a modicum of joined up thinking. No you were just being a moron which does not require a brain.

  • 38 bakerman // Dec 1, 2008 at 12:18 PM

    I am a Muslim Newcastle Untited supporter in South Africa. Have been supporting the toon since I was 12, which was around the time that Alan Shearer joined. Came up to Newcastle to visit family, was taken to a Toon game and fell in love that instant. I’ve been following Newcastle ever since and am as passionate as any about Newcastle. Despite the majority of my relative, colleagues, and friends being Man Utd, Liverpool & Arsenal supporters – I’ve always been a die-hard Toon supporter. Despite the taunts and the consant teasing I’ve always remained a fan. I have to say though that the action of certain supporters and their chants againts Mido have left me with very little ground to stand on when defending my beloved club!

  • 39 j_7as // Dec 1, 2008 at 12:21 PM

    Well said Mimo!

  • 40 Frankieboy // Dec 1, 2008 at 12:24 PM

    Bassong could prove to be a good a buy as Colli given the cash involved.
    He is a class above Taylor who will have to bide his time.
    For the first time since the days of Albert we now have quality central defenders at this club to build foundations of good team performances starting from the back 4.(for a change) which will bring us many valued points in games we would usually lose.

  • 41 azim // Dec 1, 2008 at 12:39 PM

    agree with spyro…u need to write an article about racist chants made to Mido on that day

  • 42 Punk Skunk // Dec 1, 2008 at 1:00 PM

    Bassong has not surprized me one little bit!..
    …It was patantly obvious from his 1st game out in spain(friendly) that he had what it takes, a cool head, the ability to keep it simple, pace & strength!..
    …How the hell did KK need 2 weeks to see that?..
    …Phew!..Fank thuck we got him in, him & Colo look great together!..

  • 43 Punk Skunk // Dec 1, 2008 at 1:04 PM

    Islam is a superstition(religion) not a race!..

  • 44 nightfall // Dec 1, 2008 at 1:19 PM

    how much do you think taylor’s worth? 🙂

  • 45 bakerman // Dec 1, 2008 at 1:30 PM

    Islam is a religion Punk Skunk. I think it would be unfair (and quite insulting) to classify it as a superstition. By implying that, you would also be classifying Christianity or Buddism as superstitions – which I also feel is incorrect.

  • 46 Toon_Ksk // Dec 1, 2008 at 1:32 PM

    Bakerman, don’t be too upset. Sensitive things have always been chanted out in a game of football just to unsettle the opposition players. However, I do agree that this “terrorist” thing has gone slightly too far. It’s not even funny. It’s childish, but I do not think they really mean it.

  • 47 bakerman // Dec 1, 2008 at 1:38 PM

    Toon_Ksk, I totally understand but have to add, I’m more disappointed than upset. I do understand though that due to the sensitivty around the topic, it could be blown out of proportion. I just wish that we didn’t have to deal with this in the first place.

  • 48 Tom_Toon // Dec 1, 2008 at 1:41 PM

    All religions are myths.

  • 49 broon ale // Dec 1, 2008 at 1:44 PM

    BAKERMAN. no one singing those songs cares about whether Mido chooses to read the Koran or pray 5 times a day. it was simply a song highlighting his resemblance to Richard Reid.

    they were not racist chants.

    I think some people will want to beleive the songs are racist to satisfy their own small minded agenda against the club (journalists etc) and some people will want to beleive the chants are islamaphobic so they have an excuse to talk about their religion.

    i am sure Mido’s bank balance will cheer him if he feels at all upset about being told he looks like Richard Reid.

    Mimo, azim and bakerman. the songs are silly but they are NOT racist or islamaphobic.

    Mimo, keep the insults coming. In fact why dont you sing it to me. Be warned, I might suggest your insigting hatred towards morons though!

  • 50 broon ale // Dec 1, 2008 at 1:55 PM

    Tom_Toon 🙂

  • 51 broon ale // Dec 1, 2008 at 2:00 PM

    also, I recall during my younger days hearing Dave Jones and Graham Rix geting tons of abuse for their dalliances with minors (Jones not guilty), nobody cared about that. I also recall Leeds going to Villa park a week or so after two of their fans were killed in Turkey. Fans all around the ground stood and sang “I’d rather be a Paki than a Turk” and again nobody batted an eyelid. , every club has songs like this, and although it’s only a minority of idiots that sing them (usually) if one club gets punished for it then we all probably should

  • 52 Mimo // Dec 1, 2008 at 2:23 PM

    So broon ale now knows all of those singing the song personally, how else would he know how it was meant? If there is one thing sadder than a moron it is someone who tries to defend the actions of morons but can’t say why he’s doing it. Broon Ale Broon Ale ,
    he tries to argue but is sure to fail.
    The reason is not hard to find, that is true, because it’s easy to see he hasn’t a clue.
    Being a moron can be such a limit,
    cause talking b******s only makes you a dimwit.

  • 53 broon ale // Dec 1, 2008 at 2:48 PM

    mimo. you are insighting hatred towards morons!

    crap song by the way.

    I prefer the Mido one! sing that one instead.

  • 54 kid in toronto // Dec 1, 2008 at 3:08 PM

    i knew we had a gem when we signed him; anyone who graduated from Clairefontaine is no muppet; Nicolas Anelka, Louis Saha, William Gallas and Thierry Henry just to name a few.

  • 55 Punk Skunk // Dec 1, 2008 at 4:25 PM

    exactly what i mean!..

    …All religion stems from superstition, & yes, i class ALL of them as such…
    …It’s insultin’ to the rest of us that have to put up with their constant bitchin’ about each other, eventually turnin’ into wars…
    …Everyone has the right to believe, support, whomever they choose, but i don’t see why we have to listen to it!..
    …Any proof that ANY of it ‘actually’ exsists & i’ll believe it exsists, but still won’t kaotow or praise it!..

  • 56 Punk Skunk // Dec 1, 2008 at 4:36 PM

    i’ve just read back what you wrote & realized that you actually missed my point!..
    …I said Islam is a religion( ie a ‘superstition, yes, i said it the other way ’round last time, for comedic reasons!)…It is not a race, therefore not racist…Soz mate, just wanted to clear that up!..
    …&, for the record, if that seems ‘insultin’ to ALL religions…Good, that’s what i meant!..
    …They insult our intelligence & we don’t try & convert them to atheism, do we?..
    …Like i said, each to their own n’all that, but they should stop cryin’ whenever it’s mentioned…

  • 57 Macas // Dec 1, 2008 at 5:37 PM

    Sigh. The Keegan haters are still here in force it seems. Who’s to say that Wise had any involvement in this at all, its entirely possible that Bassong’s agent was touting him to other clubs and Keegan decided to have a look at him. At the end of the day it was Keegan that gave the green light to the deal. And to the poster who says Bassong wasn’t given a squad number for his first game, it was a bloody friendly for god’s sake and the lad had just arrived on trial!

  • 58 Heavy hitters // Dec 1, 2008 at 10:24 PM

    Broon Ale, Edgar has almost no first team experience compared to Bassong’s 80 odd games for Metz. He’s had no loan deals, played out of position when he has been introduced aside from the few games where he played well at CB but got a serious head injury at West Ham. He was also carrying a bad hamstring injury those few games he played recently and asked to come off playing one of those games. Dont get me wrong I’m not having a go at you’re opinion, all I’m saying is we have never seen what the kid is really capable of and I’m sure we never will as he will be off as soon as he can.

    Take note youngsters !!! Be careful coming to our club and DONT do what Edgar did hang around with no loan deals under you’re belt then realize at 21 you’re career is in jeopardy. An ex NUFC striker told me this was going to happen to him and he was right !!!

  • 59 Guy-Incognito // Dec 1, 2008 at 10:29 PM

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong but was it not Tony Jimenez who scouted these players, Wise negotiated the contracts?

    If so – can we f’ing stop giving Wise so much praise?!

  • 60 Graham // Dec 2, 2008 at 7:26 AM

    Living on Teesside but a Toon season ticket holder the weekends game was a big one for me a draw was probably the deserved result, Friends of mine who were sat in the Smoggy end said that Bassong had a great game, I would agree with the comment about the real Villian being Llambias, I would be surprised if Chris Mort would have let this happen.

  • 61 samthecat // Dec 2, 2008 at 10:32 AM

    The Bassong deal was how it was supposed to work-whoever brought him to the club, Keegan had the final say, isnt that how it was supposed to work.

  • 62 LATINAMERICATOON // Dec 2, 2008 at 1:12 PM

    joining the chants debate. Since when has islam been a race… Islam contains all the races on earth. you even have ginger muslims lol… No one is born a muslim they decide to be one. So , no Ed shouldnt write an article about racist chants as there weren’t any…!!

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