Competition For Places Heats Up At Newcastle – Good!


Joey Barton is happy to be back playing regularly for Newcastle United,  and is even looking forward to the huge competition for starting places that has already started at Newcastle.

Joey Barton – huge competition for places

Newcastle have new signings Ben Arfa, Cheick Tiota and Sol Campbell all now fit and ready to play for the Newcastle first team.

Add to that  the fact that Danny Simpson and Danny Guthrie are expected back soon from injury, and center-back Steven Taylor is set to return in about 4 weeks time from his long term shoulder injury,  and there will be even more competition for places in the Newcastle side soon.

Joey turned 28 on September 2nd, and will face competition from Ben Arfa, Danny Guthrie and Cheick Tiote in midfield, in addition to Alan Smith and Kevin Nolan, but Joey has so far started in every league game so far this season.

But of course, so have the other 10 players that started the game Saturday, because Chris Hughton has started the same side in all 4 league games this season, but we expect that to change on Saturday at Everton, simply because the lads didn’t get the job done against Blackpool, and lost 3 valuable home points.

Chris Hughton has made it clear that not one player is guaranteed a starting place on Tyneside, and that goes for Joey too.

The Liverpudlian talked about the competition for starting places on Tyneside:

“We have competition for places and it’s up to the lads who get the starts to hold on to that shirt,” “And that’s the same for everybody here.””

We’ve got new players coming in and they are coming into a strong squad.” “I’m fully fit now and had the full pre-season under my belt. I’ve got the chance to prove it in a good team.”

“My disciplinary record isn’t that bad on the pitch, I’ve only been sent off with straight reds twice,” “I’ve had a few second yellows, but that comes with when you’re a midfielder – it is part of the territory.”

“I told Wolves boss Mick McCarthy I thought they had targeted me, and he told me I was no shrinking violet myself.” “That’s part of the game and Mick is a good football man – it’s by the by, it’s gone.”

That was a comical conversation after the game at Wolves, because Mick had Joey laughing when he told him he was hardly a shrinking violet himself, when Joey was complaining about the rough tactics of  the Wolves players, at the conclusion of the 1-1 draw.

But we are pleased there will be tough competition for places at Newcastle, because the good thing is that when the team doesn’t produce, as they certainly didn’t on Saturday afternoon, then other players can come come in and be given their chance.

We have to hope there are at least two new players starting for Newcastle on Saturday afternoon, because if Chris Hughton doesn’t shake up the side after losing at home to Blackpool, he never will.

Comments welcome.


77 comments so far

  • JerseyGeordie

    Sep 14, 2010 at 6:00 PM

    Comment #1

    if joey gets dropped and nolan keeps his place then i will be very disappointed in hoots….

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  • Toon XI

    Sep 14, 2010 at 6:25 PM

    Comment #2

    You’ve got that right JG! If CH makes that mistake then he’ll prove my comments regarding his lack of strategic awareness/prowess as being correct. I hope CH proves me wrong..believe me I do.

    CH is such a quality and loyal individual. It is almost a fault to be such a highly loyal person and try to be a gaffer at the same time. He’ll find it hard to bench some of the squad that helped get NUFC promoted. He has some difficult conversations ahead.

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  • jimiley

    Sep 14, 2010 at 6:27 PM

    Comment #3

    When Smudger scores his first goal, he will get a bucketload. Look at his record elsewhere. Keep the faith in Smudger and Nolan in midfield.

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  • Toon XI

    Sep 14, 2010 at 6:29 PM

    Comment #4

    I still like Nolan. I think he adds toughness on the pitch and is a leader. Although, I think Barton contributes more overall to a match at this time.

    Smith on the other hand is deadwood. We’ve been waiting how many years for that first goal in the Prem?

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  • Toon XI

    Sep 14, 2010 at 6:31 PM

    Comment #5

    If I recall correctly, I don’t think Jonas has scored for us in the Prem either. Granted he officially has just over 1 season in the Prem, but nevertheless I would expect a few goals from a winger in that time. Thoughts?

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  • toonster88

    Sep 14, 2010 at 6:35 PM

    Comment #6

    theres one good thing about fighting for places.everyones gonna give their best which might have positive results.play poorly,you’re out…

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  • stk85

    Sep 14, 2010 at 7:05 PM

    Comment #7

    i am really impresssed with this new barton attitude, its first rate and his shrink needs to be given the nobel peace prize for his work, not least for the peace that now exists on that liverpool street infront of that particullar mcdonalds! going teetotal helped i reckon.

    i sincerely hope smith has the confidence one day to have a bloody shot on goal, i dont understand why he hasnt just got in these positions and had a go, its like he’s fearful of something. i hate to say it, coz i think the guys class and his attitude is also first rate, however that alone wont cut it in this league, having a DM who can only tackle and not start moves and spray the passes around. go on chris, move smith upfront and get him to have a few shots on goal!!! if tiote has the confidence to be a ball player too, then he has to get ahead of smith.

    cant wait for guthrie to come back, he is a solid midfielder. just look at our results last year when he played in the middle, the guys probably more consistent than nolan

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  • TOONTOONTOON

    Sep 14, 2010 at 7:05 PM

    Comment #8

    Toon XI ha ha you a funny man chris has more strategic awareness/prowess in his little finger than you have in ya whole body.Chris has 15 years coaching experince how long have you worked in football doh

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  • Toon XI

    Sep 14, 2010 at 7:21 PM

    Comment #9

    Toon3,

    Honestly, you have to be consistently one of the most rude, immature and insulting individuals on this board. Your comments almost always tear down other posters. The point of a blog is to have a discussion and points of view without acting like an absolute a$$. Someday you may realise that, but I wouldn’t bet on it based on your actions.

    My point about CH is that he may be a great coach and ally to his squad, but may not have the cold heartedness that is required to make tough selection and substitution decisions.

    My conversation with you ends now.

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  • TOONTOONTOON

    Sep 14, 2010 at 7:26 PM

    Comment #10

    Competition for places can only be a good thing keeps the players on there toes.Season is still early yet the players need 6 or 7 games to really get back to there best, at the start of a new season,so i wont judge any1s performance til we hit the 7 game mark, by which time i think the players will be right back in the swing of things.Still think we will have a decent season myself.

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  • toonster88

    Sep 14, 2010 at 7:27 PM

    Comment #11

    15 yrs..???really..????that should give him him enuff talent to strategize tatics to win a home game against blackpool…

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  • TOONTOONTOON

    Sep 14, 2010 at 7:30 PM

    Comment #12

    Toon XI what really gets me is some1 like you who sits in his armchair thinking he knows better than a man whos been in the game over 15 years, i think that comment alone is a insult to our manager.By the way how long you worked in football.

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  • Toon XI

    Sep 14, 2010 at 7:34 PM

    Comment #13

    @ toonster88 // Sep 14, 2010 at 7:27 PM

    Valid point. That has been my concern. Working in a profession for years doesn’t necessarily make you good at specific duties within that profession. No way we should have lost that match…with all the created chances or not.., no way.

    As I stated this past week – I’ll reserve complete judgement on the future of our season until after the West Ham match in late October. We’ll know pretty well where we stand with respect to our dropzone competition by then.

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  • WesJameson

    Sep 14, 2010 at 7:41 PM

    Comment #14

    @ Toon XI // Sep 14, 2010 at 7:34 PM

    i agree mate, but i must also say that im 100% with the team, till the bitter end, only thing that miffs me out a bit, is fat ash…… a bit more expenditure was needed, but who knows, maybe some of our targets went elsewhere, no one really knows what happens behind the scenes……. i will reserve my further judgment on the team until after January

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  • Rotonda heights

    Sep 14, 2010 at 7:43 PM

    Comment #15

    Jsmiley

    You’re being ironic about Smith – right ??

    Toon x 3 (from yesterday’s thread)

    For 3 points you should always look to win home and away. What’s the point in playing for a draw away from home and getting caught in the 90th minute ?

    Also, yes CH has 15 years coaching experience, but it is sometimes hard to be totally objective when you are very close to the players, possibly in the case of Nolan, Smith, and Harper, too close. The world wouldn’t come to the end if they had a rest. Smith & Nolan both missed large chunks of last season and we didn’t exactly fall apart.

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  • Toon XI

    Sep 14, 2010 at 7:45 PM

    Comment #16

    Wes,

    I am with you too on supporting the team 100%. I am gutted when we lose and on top of the world when we win. I love blogs like this as fellow supporters can voice their opinions and have an honest discussion regarding the team and it’s future. I have been around long enough to know that no one is perfect and we all can improve in many areas. I feel CH needs to sharpen his gameday tactics. Has he earned the right to the manager – Absolutely! Will I support him and the squad – absolutely!

    No to mention that my opinion means nowt in the world of NUFC, so what I say and think is exactly that – just my opinion and nothing else. 🙂

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  • WesJameson

    Sep 14, 2010 at 7:46 PM

    Comment #17

    we needed a proper right back, and a proper quick deadly finishing type striker, maybe someone like gyan, that went to scumberland FFS….not too much to ask 😉

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  • WesJameson

    Sep 14, 2010 at 7:51 PM

    Comment #18

    i must admit, i agree again, no way in hell you can 4-5-1 @ home to Blackpool, can you? but i have huge respect for CH & what he has done for NUFC(basically saved us from the abyss) & he deserves a chance to shine again, in the big time

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  • toonster88

    Sep 14, 2010 at 7:55 PM

    Comment #19

    we all have valid points.its all ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ now but realy 1 single loss realy means so much.if u all have read the blogs these past few days its all ‘relegation’ talk.what im tryin 2 say is its ssoooooo important towin ‘easy’ home games.guess it wasnt that easy.now we’re all hoping for a draw against everton.sheeesh.look we dont mean to disrespected CH.but somtimes he must stand up to make tuff decisions.look @ alex ferguson.as for opinions on this blog,dont like what i say DONT READ

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  • TOONTOONTOON

    Sep 14, 2010 at 7:55 PM

    Comment #20

    So what ya trying to say now is chris aint a good coach is it.Well i will tell ya now a coach that was no good would not last in football 15 years, and what ya really saying is you think you know better than chris.

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  • Toon XI

    Sep 14, 2010 at 7:56 PM

    Comment #21

    toonster88 // Sep 14, 2010 at 7:55 PM

    Your last statement was classic! Made me laugh. Thx. 🙂

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  • toonster88

    Sep 14, 2010 at 8:15 PM

    Comment #22

    to any1 out there(except toontoontoon)
    whats the real thing about aaron spear?give me somthing good to hear?is he premier league material?the next wayne rooney

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  • slazberger

    Sep 14, 2010 at 8:31 PM

    Comment #23

    i kept of the blog for a few days hoping all the knee jerk reactions would have calmed down, but i see there are still arguments/debates.

    at no one particular i would like to point out i didn’t read one comment on here leading up to the game against blackpool that said we shouldn’t play4-5-1 and we still created chances to win the game with that formation. its easy to say after the match that we should have played 4-4-2.

    on CH i will support him all the way but to be fair coaches rarely have to make decisions so his 15 years as a coach doesnt mean he will make a good manager. he deserves all the credit he gets for getting us promoted but he will have harder decisions to make this year than he did last year as we probably wont string results together like last season.

    he will have to learn quickly and maybe he will think he could have changed the formation earlier in the blackpool game. its a learning curve for him and i will support him all season.

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  • CT

    Sep 14, 2010 at 8:37 PM

    Comment #24

    Slaz!! Well said, he will learn quickly but didn`t he already said this himself that this season will be tougher! 17th or better will be acceptable! Like you he still has my vote!

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  • balubas1

    Sep 14, 2010 at 8:39 PM

    Comment #25

    Smith needs to be dropped for good.

    Nolan dropped.. maybe, but the one taking his place needs to step up. Until someone does, I’d go for Nolan. He is still quality to have in our squad for some years.. more than I can say for smudge.

    About CH: He’s got to show he can cope on this level now. He made an excellent job with less means in the championship.. now he’s got to prove the same with some real competition in the squad. But he’s the one that made us look like a team again.. he can live long on that, but not forever.

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  • TOONTOONTOON

    Sep 14, 2010 at 8:43 PM

    Comment #26

    Hes got my vote as well didnt 99.9 percent of bloggers say he should have the whole season to prove himself,some have very short memorys of what they have said in prevous blogs.

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  • slazberger

    Sep 14, 2010 at 8:46 PM

    Comment #27

    this is where it will be tough for CH. he will have to pick the team up after defeats and i would imagine all the players who where on the bench will now be knocking on his door saying we lost can i have a turn now. but saying that the subs should be coming off the bench and proving in however much time is left in games that they deserve a starting place. as you mentioned balubas1 they have to step up, whenever they get the opportunity.

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  • WesJameson

    Sep 14, 2010 at 8:54 PM

    Comment #28

    Aaron Spear…..thats the Lads name, was thinking bout him earlier this week, where is the Lad?? he should be knocking on the first team squad door, shouldnt he?

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  • balubas1

    Sep 14, 2010 at 8:56 PM

    Comment #29

    yeah slaz.. its gonna be tough for CH.. but its also tough for A.Ferguson.

    Now that CH has some more choices he will need to show some managerial skills. He’s also got the opportunity to play more formations now. This will be a different challenge for him, as motivation and teambuilding has been his main priorities in the championship.

    I hope he can cope… Don’t misjudge my confidence in CH, but he is up for a new type of challenge now.. fingers crossed he’s the man.

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  • TOONTOONTOON

    Sep 14, 2010 at 8:57 PM

    Comment #31

    WesJameson he wasnt given a number so dont think he ready to step up just yet

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  • WesJameson

    Sep 14, 2010 at 9:01 PM

    Comment #33

    TOON3 i know he hasnt been given a number, but with the hype surrounding him, i was kinda hoping he would of been there & there about

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  • slazberger

    Sep 14, 2010 at 9:01 PM

    Comment #34

    I don’t know anything about spear. there were a few people on here saying he was banging the goals in for the reserves in pre-season and thought he should have got a couple of opportunities in some first team friendlies. I was hoping he would have been involved in the cup game against AS after what i read. i suppose that the problem when we have so many who can play up front. Owen only got into the liverpool team to start with because they had injuries up front, he started banging them in straight away.

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  • slazberger

    Sep 14, 2010 at 9:03 PM

    Comment #35

    big injury in the man u game tonight. they won’t even show a replay of it on the link i’m watching.

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  • WesJameson

    Sep 14, 2010 at 9:09 PM

    Comment #36

    yea, valencia has had a nasty injury, looks like a broken leg 🙁

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  • TOONTOONTOON

    Sep 14, 2010 at 9:11 PM

    Comment #37

    WesJamesonThink this could be the year for ranger myself and hopefull a few of the young lads i saw there can push themself closer to the 1st team squard.I heard the hype about Aaron Spear and hope hes as good as they say.

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  • slazberger

    Sep 14, 2010 at 9:18 PM

    Comment #38

    yeah i like ranger, he has a lot of qualities apart from missing the obvious at the moment for a striker.

    if he had scored more last season when he had the chance i think he would be guaranteed a place on the bench ahead of shola if not a starting place. but thats a big if.

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  • WesJameson

    Sep 14, 2010 at 9:18 PM

    Comment #39

    Danger Ranger 🙂 i really like the looks of him, now lets hope CH doesn’t play Best in front of him 🙁

    time will tell it seems with young Aaron, only thing that scares me,is that NUFC isn’t exactly renowned for playing youngsters

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  • slazberger

    Sep 14, 2010 at 9:27 PM

    Comment #40

    WesJameson@39 – about Aaron. i remember reading a interview with Alex Ferguson about kids at manu. he said as soon as they show they are the best at whatever level, say under18’s he would start training them with the first team as he thought it was better they progress and learn from playing/training with the first team rather than run rings around the rest of the youth squad in training, don’t know what our structure is but would certainly see that as away of finding out if they could cut it.

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