Newcastle Squad Not Big Enough For Premier League

Chris Hughton has come out today and said that the loss of key players to Newcastle is one reason why we are again in a relegation mess, for the 3rd season in a row.


Michael Owen – finally back after being injured in late January

But we know our squad was too small for a while and Kevin Keegan had mentioned this at this time last year, but nothing was done last summer to correct the situation.

Let’s see what Chris said to the Newcastle Journal this morning:

“The very simple reason we are in the position we are is because we haven’t won enough games. If I look at the season, there have been changes in the season.”

“It has been a very challenging season, as I am sure everyone would agree.”

“We have also had the problems of having a lot of key players out who are valuable to the squad and that’s one that people appreciate and understand.”

“When you have a squad like ours, with the quality we have, I feel that, if we had more of those players available, for more of the season, then we wouldn’t be in the position we are in.”

“So I feel it is a combination of factors, but we are in the position we are in. The league table doesn’t lie and there is only us that can get ourselves out of it.”

Having top players missing this seasons sounds too much like an excuse to us, and a rather convenient excuse too.

All teams have important players missing during a season, but the difference with them is that they have a big enough squad to combat those difficulties.  

They ensure they have big enough squads so that when key players are injured good players are available to come in, and get the job done.

Not so at Newcastle United this season or even last season for that matter.

We just don’t have a big enough squad and we knew we didn’t on the last day of the transfer window, and it’s come back to haunt us again big time.

As we’ve said before, that’s an excuse, and one we shouldn’t allow, given what we all know happened last summer.  We just didn’t get enough players through the door, and that’s one reason Kevin Keegan was rightly upset at the end of the transfer window  – he just didn’t get all the players he had been promised.

Yes, that’s water under the bridge we know, but if we do survive this season, the club had better learn from its many mistakes this season, and ensure we not only have a big enough squad for next season, but one that is at least good enough to avoid another relegation scrap next season.

Small ambitions indeed.

Comments welcome.

33 comments so far

  • Stuart79

    Mar 13, 2009 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #1

    We must be the only team in the world that has had injuries in the last three years then!

    Don’t make excuses, the players love excuses!

    Do something about it!

  • Dan4Toon

    Mar 13, 2009 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #2

    yeah but Stuart say if Sunderland had the injuries we have had a mean if Cisse and Jones had not of scored the goals they have they would be in bottom 3 and we av had Martins and Owen have been if they had of been in more we would be higher in the league !! think about it though, Sunderland never ever get the injuries we get !! :\

  • Stardust

    Mar 13, 2009 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #3

    ED – I posted a basic analysis of players in and out under Ashley post FFS.

    I truly believe we are 5 first teamers better off under Ashley than FFS.

    When the club was left in the state it was its remarkable that we have strengthened – I know many will disagree but there have been relatively few quality players out compared to those coming in.

  • Toon Graeme

    Mar 13, 2009 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #4

    Heard it all before….

    I had a dream we got beat 3 nil and were relegated! That woke me up at 430 this morning.

    THAT is how bad things are in my mind and this is unheard of!!!

  • geordie jock

    Mar 13, 2009 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #5


    Only one reason we are in this mess with a small squad MIKE ASHLEY

  • sahota

    Mar 13, 2009 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #6

    Toon Graeme- Looks like there are many people not just me who is very scared. Frankly speaking I can not wait match to start and finish with us winning. Otherwise it will be one of worst days I have ever felt as bad as I will tomorrow. I am just killing time today in office. Time just not moving forward….

  • Toon Sweden77

    Mar 13, 2009 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #7

    Maybe KK saw this comming and didnt want to be the one to took Newcastle down.


    Mar 13, 2009 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #8

    You cannot have a squad of 33 just because 10 players are always injured-the key is to put some research into why we are constantly at the top of the Physio League and then do something about it.+ you must balance the squad-2 players every position.

  • Toon Graeme

    Mar 13, 2009 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #9

    The Magpie – it seems to be a combination of injured in action and the training pitch!

  • Sav

    Mar 13, 2009 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #10

    Not enough quality was brought in when we had the chance. Instead, Ash chose to listen to the managerial expertise of Dennis Wise over Keegan. It was his call because he owns Newcastle United, lock and stock.
    And now he is to blame if we are relegated.
    Can’t have it both ways.

  • MickMack

    Mar 13, 2009 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #11

    Does anyone remember the Philipe Albert Chip?
    Or when when we lost the title against the Mancs the season before – the game where Cole got the winner for them, that whole match was more aless played in their area, people like Cantona defending for their lives. When was the last time Man Utd were battered like that (even though they won)?
    Yes I know I maybe living in the past, but towards the end of last season I could see glimpses of that magic possibly returning (like when we drubbed Spurs). People are now quick to jump on KK’s case but i believe he could of got us back up there, yes he was always liable to walk out – but only if things were done behind his back or against his wishes.
    No wonder Keegan left – how could anyone work with Llambias – who rightfully admits he knows ‘F’ all about football. Who continuously gets the fans backs up, how he handled the NUSC – going on about membership fee’s – just because it wasnt lining his pockets.
    I dont wear Keegan tainted spectacles, Im just a fan who knows the difference between someone who is passionate about Newcastle United football club and someone who wants to run a business. Im also not stupid enough to think Llambias and co want to fail, obviously they dont, they just havent got a clue what this whole club is about.
    Apologies for that, turned into a bit of a rant, no doubt someone like Stardust will probably pick this to pieces.

  • spiderpig

    Mar 13, 2009 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #12

    we all know that we have had loadsa injuries for years now,before mike ashley even thought about newcastle.we probably lost 10-15 points when keegan left which would have us in europe,and thats with all the injuries.our 4 best players missing most of the season.oba.owen.barton and viduka.take away just two from liverpool gerrard and torres,they struggle to win,now take rafa walking out.and the fans protesting.they would be as bad as us.toon we need to get a grip,our players are back ,get behind the team.i did the predictor on bbc website today.i had us to beat hull,fulham,pompey,boro and spurs.draw with stoke and arsenal and get beat by liverpool and chelsea.we finish 11th on 46 points.we need to be positive and stop treating this hull game like if we lose we are down.

  • Stardust

    Mar 13, 2009 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #13

    Lol Mick Mack – I read the first part smiling away – who could forget those times.

    Yes they were great and of all the posts i have ever read I think yours summed up exactly what I have been advocating – You are “grieving” for what could have been. I thought we are on the right track too.

    Thereon those grieving need to look for blame or justify why it was taken away, or it was someones fault.

    I took the other road and still cant accept why KK walked irrespective of differences.

    But there are too many good things to igmore at the moment, but I believe folks who are grieving will only see them when we take bigger “visible” steps forward.

    Onwards and upwards.

  • Micky Toon

    Mar 13, 2009 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #14

    MickMack – Good times eh? I’ll add Tino -v- Barcelona to that.
    I’ve made it clear on here that I’m no fan of what Keegan did to us last year, but I do believe that his man management skills would help us out more than any experience JFK et al can bring to the table.
    As for Llambias and his knowledge of football, I don’t really see that as a problem. The Chariman isn’t there to oversee the playing side of the club, he is there to run the business. I think we’ve been used to Shepheard sticking his beak in everywhere that we expect Llambias to be doing the same.
    I just wish that the NUSC and all the other people who just want MA to do one would have shown so much concern with the previous encumbents, if they had perhaps we wouldn’t have been in this mess. I can only recall one website publicy decalring Shepheard should go and that was Everyone else just lapped up the token superstar signing and flowed through the turnstiles every year.
    I wonder which washed up superstar Shepheard would have signed this summer to get everyone back through the gates?

  • Stardust

    Mar 13, 2009 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #15

    Spiderpig – “46 points” are you Llambias in diguise – lol – good post fella

  • Stardust

    Mar 13, 2009 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #16

    Micky Toon – “I just wish that the NUSC and all the other people who just want MA to do one would have shown so much concern with the previous encumbents” Spot on fella.

    I also pay respect to the person behind during that time, they were showing in pound shillings and pence the daylight robbery -“with fans blessing” that was occurring.

  • Micky Toon

    Mar 13, 2009 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #17

    Stardust – the problem I currently have with “the bigger picture” is that if we are relegated it’s all meaningless. Ashleys grand five year plan will be rendered null and void. We don’t have the guts to get back out of the Championship at first go. We would be there for a couple of seasons at least. Secure premier league status and then start talking about five year plans and the future. At the moment we need to concentrate on the hear and now and forget anything that is apparently going to be put in place. We might be in a better position off the field than we were under Shepheard, but we are a damn sight worse on it. Something your posts often fail to recognise.
    First and foremost we must perform on the pitch, that is our bread and butter, everything else is currently a nice to have.

  • Micky Toon

    Mar 13, 2009 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #18

    Stardust – Not to say that you don’t recognise the status of the playing staff, but you just seem to concentrate on what is happening at board level.

  • Micky Toon

    Mar 13, 2009 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #19

    When I said status, I mean state. I’m off for a coffee.

  • Toon Sweden77

    Mar 13, 2009 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #20

    Oh, the Philipe Albert chip, what a day that was! 5-0 trashing of the Red devils. Darren Peacock scored the first and Rob Lee made Cantona look like a silly little lady..

    Those were the golden days of the KK era!

  • spiderpig

    Mar 13, 2009 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #21

    dont think people realise how hard everyone elses run ins are.that predictor had us winning one more time away and that was at spurs,where we always do well.oh yeah i had us for a draw at villa on last day

  • Stardust

    Mar 13, 2009 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #22

    Micky believe it or not I posted a week or so ago – a table of players in and out under Ashley – I think we are five geneuine first teamers better off – with a higher quaility than what was here previously!

    Agreed we need to get though these 10 games though, there have been amny contributing factors to where we are, culpability lies everywhere.

    But heres to the next 10 games, I am up for it and positive, we will do it.

  • Stardust

    Mar 13, 2009 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #23

    I ran a number of variances on it – always had us staying up – fingers crossed

  • MickMack

    Mar 13, 2009 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #24

    Good reply Stardust.
    There are things the club are doing which they should rightly take credit for, the youth system they are setting up seems exciting, also not paying stupid money for has beens etc.
    I also agree with there slowly slowly step by step approach, but I cant see Poor Joe Kinnear as the man to take us there, maybe he could be part of a team that takes us there, but not the main man, although hats off to him for putting his whole heart into it (and on the line for it).
    This step by step approach could go seriously t*ts up if we were to get relegated, which i like most fans believe is a serious possibility.
    I personally would give Llambias and co a chance but they come across as sneaky. Everything they say contradicts what they have said previously, what wrong with just being honest, even if he came out and said “we’re in the Sh*t – give us time – this is what we are trying to do”.

  • Matt

    Mar 13, 2009 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #25

    Ed seriously, our squad is NOT too small. It’s just weighted in the wrong area.



    What other team in the prem has SEVEN first team strikers? The squad needs a re-balancing towards midfield and defence. We need a backup winger or two and another full back. So ditch 3 strikers, pick up cover for LB, RB and a LW/RW depending on where you want to play Jonas.

    You don’t want more than 2 players per position with a couple of utilities because it’s impossible to keep the squad happy like that.

  • SpartanChris

    Mar 13, 2009 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #26

    Matt – of those 7 strikers, at least 5 have spent a good part of the season on the injury list. Numbers are not the problem its the individuals.

  • Toon Sweden77

    Mar 13, 2009 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #27

    Seven first team strikers.. but who scores the goals?

    Owen is injured most of the time.

    Viduka is always injured.

    Smith cant score.

    Caroll is still young and learning, not yet a first choice.

    Lovenkrants has done ok so far.

    Oba, our best forward, could score alot more if given the service from midfield.

    Shola… no comments

  • Stuart79

    Mar 13, 2009 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #28

    The only people at a club that get you relegated are players! Not managers, not MD’s, not supporters and not owners!

    We haven’t had good enough players for a while, but this squad is probably the poorest we’ve had for a long time.

    The very fact that Hull, Stoke, Sunderland, Fulham and Blackburn are ahead of us proves just that.

    Forget whoever the manager is, we’ve brought in p1ss poor players and over the last 3/4 years we’ve slowly but surely reduced the quality.

    If we stay up this year we’ll end up going down next year if the trend continues!

  • Matt

    Mar 13, 2009 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #29

    I never said they were seven top strikers but I get so angry when people just talk numbers and say rubbish like our squad is too small. It’s huge compared to some we just have a batch of bad/broken players who need replacing.

  • coyote

    Mar 13, 2009 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #30

    tie a couple of £50 notes on his fly and chuck him in a brothel and smith still wouldn’t score!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • bennytoon

    Mar 13, 2009 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #31

    Its not to small, its just full of rubbish.


    Mar 13, 2009 at 3:58 PM

    Comment #32

    Matt exactly the point i was making-you cant buy another 3 strikers because the 7 you have are always injured but that comes down to proper scouting-ticking the box where it says is this player injury prone.

  • Brutooon

    Mar 14, 2009 at 5:46 AM

    Comment #33

    we got small squad then BUY MORE playersss….

    there are thousands for players that cost minimum FREE transfers


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