West Brom Game Shows Newcastle Can Take Nothing For Granted

WBA played extremely well last night at St. James’ Park, and that was following  their last game, in which they were almost played off the park at home, by the other automatic promotion candidates in the Championship, the surging Nottingham Forest.

Chris and Colin – still have a job on their hands

Our usually sound defense was put under constant pressure by the fast counter-attacking of the West Brom side, and our midfield of Smith and Nolan was over-run, especially in the first half.

WBA are perhaps the only other side in the Championship with some Premiership class players, and it took Newcastle all they could muster not to lose their first game at St. Jame’s Park this season.

In fact, on the night, the lads did well to come back twice to get the draw, testament to their new-found spirit and fight.

The game told us at least two things.

  1. The automatic promotion places are still up for grabs between ourselves, WABA and Nottingham Forest
  2. We are still not a Premier League side and should we earn promotion we will need to significantly strengthen in the summer.

To gain promotion we will need to treat every single team with great respect, and have a game plan to get all 3 points – draws are just not good enough if we are maintain our promotion challenge – and Chris Hughton seems fully aware of that.

The Newcastle fans’ expectations during the January transfer window have been very low, and that’s turned out to be good, because they will not be too disappointed when we bring nobody in of any significant class before the end of January.

We just don’t think Mike Ashley is willing to spend much money at all, and after loosing out on our top two targets of  Kilgallon and Beckford, we expect 3 players to come in on loan until the end of the season.

It would not surprise us if those players are Danny Simpson, Marlon Harewood,  and Zurab Khizanishvili or Mike Williamson of Portsmouth.

The only interesting signing could be Nobby Solano, and because of  Nobby’s undoubted class, still there at 35 years of age, he could add some creativity to the side, especially as he already appears to be super-fit, after training with Colchester United.

How many goals can Nobby score against second division teams with his free kicks and penalties?  Lots we think, and while it’s a risk – we think it’s worth taking.

Since these players will be signed on loan only through the end of the season, we’ll need to do some significant strengthening in the summer – at least 4-5 good players – and by our estimate Chris would need something like £20M, to suitably strengthen the current squad. We could also try to capture season-long loan deals for players from clubs like Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United.

We have to hope that Mike Ashley sells the club early in the summer, and someone comes in quickly for the club – because we just cannot stand another 4 months of doubt and uncertainty, when and if the club is put up for sale for a third time – we have to pray it will be third time lucky – and the that a sale goes through quickly.

We think Mike knows he will never ever be able to mend the lack of trust the Newcastle faithful have in him – after the completely scandalous way he has run the club into the ground.

One good thing he has done is to put the club on a decent financial footing, but the sooner he sells up the better, and we have to hope by the end of May that we are again a Premier League club – since that will help the sale go through.

Comments are welcome.

6 comments so far

  • MacToon

    Jan 19, 2010 at 6:20 PM

    Comment #1

    It was a close but open game and either team could have won it so a draw was probably fair.

    As for expectations with this owner, well we expect nothing but gambling with the clubs status on a shoe-string. He lost his gamble last season.

    Should be another good game this weekend, I’d try with Pancrate starting on the right maybe and Carroll on alot earlier than in last nights game.

  • NewcastleMole

    Jan 19, 2010 at 6:32 PM

    Comment #2

    The Future scares me if we get promoted.

    Harper, Krul,
    Coloccini, Enrique, S.Taylor,
    Nolan, Smith, Gutierrez,

    Only Memebers of the 1st team i’d keep.

    Its not just the lack of real quality i’d be concerned about its also whether Hughton could step up to the demands of the premiership. We’ve performed well and are top of the league but its more down to the quality of the players we have than the tactics, as we seem to do “just enough” in matches.


    Almost a year since Ashley & Co’s infamous 5-Year plan:


    We hope to be like an Aston Villa. There was a time not long ago when we were better than Aston Villa.

  • Robby Bobson

    Jan 19, 2010 at 6:43 PM

    Comment #3

    Ed you say you hope Ashley sells early….well its either that or states he is NOT selling early. We cant afford another transfer window where we don’t sign anybody.

    We have a lack of quality and yes i have reservations about Hughton, but he does deserve a crack.

    Last night WBA’s game play was simple and we played right into it. We would flood forward to get a goal then they would hit us on the break and attack down our right where Thomas had Simpson everytime. In fairness to the defence they were often faced with a mass of WBA players when everybody else had gone forward.

    Simpson was not good enough last night and Guthrie didnt provide the support he needed against Thomas on the counter attack.

    Nolans defending on both goal was awful, for the first goal allowing the cross in and on the second goal not closing down Dorrans, but instead preventing him from cutting inside which he didnt want to do anyway.

    I think we should have approached the game how Forest did, who closed out WBA first and foremost then attacked. WBA struggle against an organised team, but when we flooded forward, they loved it.

  • scrotty

    Jan 20, 2010 at 7:55 AM

    Comment #4

    Should the toon get promoted I think it’ll be a long summer. The club will be back up for sale.

    That’ll mean no inbound transfers and even a question mark hanging over Chris Hughton.

    I just hope the f*t s**t h**d has a buyer already sorted should we go up but out of spite he’ll sell on the last day of the transfer window.

  • Graeme

    Jan 20, 2010 at 8:02 AM

    Comment #5

    The one thing the WBA game proved is that our current team is unlikely to survive in the Premier League, if we get promotion.

    There is a serious rebuilding job required to try and replace the players FCB sold to cover his costs in the previous 4 windows. It cannot be denied that the squad we have is woefully equiped to play a full season in the league above.

    Without an injection of maybe 5 or 6 quality players, there is every likelyhood that we will come back down within two seasons.

    Maybe thats the new “Masterplan”!! Play a season in the Premiership, get relegated. Pocket the parachute payments, keep the cheapest players, get promoted.

    Sounds stupid enough to be just up FCB’s street!!!

  • spiderpig

    Jan 20, 2010 at 9:01 AM

    Comment #6

    just seen that beckford has agreed to go to everton at the end of his contract and also killgallon is going there too for free.you cant blame them for going there really.you cant even blame ashley and hughton for this.these players will have been tapped up by bigger clubs offering better pay and playing with better players.lets face it ,we are out of the big league and we would be better off blooding our own youngsters.like forest are.


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