Newcastle’s Strengthened Squad Pleases Chris Hughton

Newcastle have definitely strengthened their squad this summer by bringing in five new players and losing only two senior players in Nicky Butt and Fabrice Pancrate, whose contracts were not renewed.

Chris Hughton – team spirit will be important

And today Newcastle’s manager has said he thinks he can change the way Newcastle United play, when he finally has all players available for the first team.

It looks like four of those signings will be available for the game against Blackpool on Saturday, and three of them,  Cheick Tiote, Sol Campbell and Hatem Ben Arfa will be available for the first time.

However, since Cheick has not been at Newcastle at all since he signed it’s doubtful that he  will make the squad, although he could be on the bench to get into the swing of things at the club.

Dan Gosling is out until January with his cruciate ligament injury to his knee, but the Newcastle manager still believes all of his new arrivals can make a big difference.

Newcastle will no doubt go on the attack against Blackpool on Saturday, and it will be interesting to see if Hughton starts two strikers, which he has never done so far this season in the league.  We expect Ben Arfa to play some part against the Tangerines on Saturday.

Chris talked this morning about how pleased he is right now with the new arrivals at Newcastle:

“I was delighted to sign those players and what that gives us now that we didn’t have before is options,”   “What we have to have this season is a good enough squad to serve us in every game we play and Hatem Ben Arfa and Cheick give us something different.”

“Hatem is a flair player and he is a little bit different to what we’ve got and that gives us options.”   “Our squad is definitely stronger. It isn’t just about what we’ve got today or the next day, it is about coping when we’re stretched with injuries and hopefully we are better equipped to do that now.”

And of course as well as having better players now at the Newcastle club, the team spirit will be all important this season, as the lads can battle it out with the best of them for those hard to win points.

Chris talked about the team spirit which is so evident on Tyneside these days:

“The spirit will be key,”“I think we are conscious that there are a lot better teams in the division than us and we’ll need to work hard to take points off everyone that we come up against.”

“But we have quality as well and if we are able to keep the team spirit that we had last season, we can go a long way with that.” “I am certainly conscious that played a big part in our success last year and I think the lads are too.”

Newcastle have already shown at Wolves that they can be a match even away from home, against the teams in the bottom half of the table, as they had enough chances in that first half to have wrapped up the win.

But they still came back from one goal down to get a vital point at Molyneux.

Newcastle will be expected to take all 3 points against Blackpool on Saturday, but it will not be as easy as it looks on paper, but a win will give Newcastle 7 points from their first 4 league games, which will be a great start for the Magpies this season.

Comments welcome.

9 comments so far

  • jesus was a geordie

    Sep 6, 2010 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #1

    It’ll be interesting to see who gets dropped/left out next week.

    I can honestly see us starting with the 4,5,1 that we have done all season, with the same sort of tactics as we had against Villa (flood the midfield) and allow Jose/Gutierrez/Routledge to get down their flanks.

    Then, at half time/60 minutes – bring off Nolan and Smith/Barton, bring on McLoven and Ben Arfa and turn on the style!

  • G

    Sep 6, 2010 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #2

    I would go along with that jwag.

  • ginkoh

    Sep 6, 2010 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #3

    Same as jwag but swap sub Routledge instead of Barton because we still need good passer in midfield.

  • Edd Case

    Sep 6, 2010 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #4

    Got a feeling CH will play Ben Arfa from the start.

    If you think of it this way, if CH fully intends to make the deal a full time one, then he’ll want to get as much football out of him as possible.

    There’s no point in putting Ben Arfa on as a sub when that will count as 1 out of 25…
    Better to play him from the start and get 60-70 mins from him if he’s not 100% match fit than to bring him on later on and only get 20 mins…

    Even if he only plays 1 minute of a game, that will be a game closer to us coughing out the transfer fee.

    I actually think CH wants him full time but how he plays Ben Arfa will tell you a lot about that.

  • SGToona

    Sep 6, 2010 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #5

    interesting to see what hoots will field as his starting 11, we have plenty of tactical options now … 451, 442, 4321, 4231, 4141 … the possibility is endless …

    nonetheless, i think hoots will most probably stick to 451 for starters and see how the team play develops …

    and at st james park this weekend against the tangerines, there is no better venue for our new recruits to make their debut.

  • G

    Sep 6, 2010 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #6

    That would be interesting Edd Case (starting with HBA), but I think I would start him from the bench, as he is coming from a league where you get plenty of time on the ball, so it might be cautious to use him sparingly to give him time to adapt. I honestly don’t think we will see the best of HBA for a few months yet. As always, happy to be proved wrong though.

  • jesus was a geordie

    Sep 6, 2010 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #7

    Edd Case,

    I have to disagree mate, I understand your reasoning behind start HBA, and yeah, later in the season we’ll be more conscious of his starting ratio (although if Hughton truly does want to keep him long term, then triggering the ‘must buy’ clause isn’t a bad thing)

    My issue, and the reason i doubt Hughton will start him is squad moral…He has only just arrived and Routledge, Smith, Barton and Nolan have all been playing really well. Therefore dropping one of them would be a bit of a kick in the teeth, I have no doubt Ben Arfa is a better player, but he has to earn his right to start. Let him do that on merit by coming on in 30/45 minute bursts (then maybe a full game in the cup)!

  • Oztoon

    Sep 6, 2010 at 12:32 PM

    Comment #8

    By seasons end i believe the starting 11 will be something like this (well would be if i was gaffer)


    Perch Williamson Collo Enrique


    Afra Barton Nolan Jonas


    Subs from…, Campbell,Harper ,Simpson,Lovenkrands,Guthrie,Gosling,Kadar,Routledge,Smith,Shola,Xisco,Taylor. As you can tell from the bench CH has strengthened the sqaud considerably. (the selected bench comes down to the quality of oppisition and wether we are home or away ect…)

  • Oztoon

    Sep 6, 2010 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #9

    Would love to see a midfield of Routledge,Barton,Afra,Jonas with Tiote playing in front of the back 4 and Carroll up front. But just cant see CH dropping Nolan. Nolan has become the heart and soul of our team and whilst i think Afra is better suited to the middle of the park, Routledge is the guy who misses out as Nolan is Undroppable!!!


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