Scouting Work Goes On At Newcastle

Alan Pardew went to see the Switzerland 3-1 win over Bulgaria in the European qualifying game earlier this week.

Leon Best – two great goals against Fulham

One long term target Pardew could have been after is 23 year-old Bayer Leverkusen striker Eren Derdiyok, who Newcastle have been watching since he was a 19 year-old at the last European Championships,  in the summer of 2008.

But the player we think Alan went to make a personal check on,  is 19-year-old  Xherdan Shaqiri, who scored a hat-trick, and is apparently being tracked by some top clubs like Manchester United.

Of course there were scouts from many big clubs at the game on Tuesday evening, and Alan Pardew was just  one of them.

Alan talked about the game:

“I took myself away from the club this week. I went to see a player who has great potential. That process continues.”

“We will continue putting players in front of the board and hoping that they will get across the line.”  “Hopefully we will get one or two good players in.”

“In some ways it would have been superb if we’d got the No 9 jersey filled. I can’t say how disappointed I was.”

“But we’ve made a good start, got a good squad, the bench is certainly stronger, and we have some good pace in the team which we lacked last year.”

“I made that very, very clear to all and sundry.”  “By the same token, I get my staff and players motivated to carry on what we have been doing – without the striker, which hasn’t been bad.”

“That’s what we are all focused on now.”

Newcastle missed out on a top striker, and we’ll have to move on from that very soon,  and  we have a sneaking suspicion that Leon Best can keep scoring the goals for Newcastle, much like he did earlier this year immediately after Andy Carroll left.

And Demba Ba also looked quite sharp when he came on against Fulham in the last game, and he had an excellent shot in added time that hit the post, so he could also come through for the Magpies.

Things may not be as bad as they look right now and after all the lads have won their last three games, and that’s not too bad.

Comments welcome.

47 comments so far

  • alex84

    Sep 9, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #1

    Xherdan Shaqiri is unreal!! i can’t see us getting him, we would have to actually spend pretty big to land him.

  • boater

    Sep 9, 2011 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #2

    Also where is barton’s replacement? Pardew explicitly stated with a week to go “a left back, striker and replacement for anyone else who leaves”….

    These things go under the radar because everyone’s lamenting the non-striker… still money saved for the club, and talking about scouting players for January is a funking insult I’ll tell you…

  • toon6toon

    Sep 9, 2011 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #3

    It would be ashleys biggest transfer sum so I can’t see that rumour coming to something as we didn’t even offer an acceptable price for people like pieters who had a 6 million price tag and wages of 35k so no way would he suddenly splash the cash on arguably one of the most promising youngsters in europe

  • AndyMac

    Sep 9, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #4

    If we widened the scope of our search for a striker to include South America, Asia and Africa then maybe we wouldnt be priced out of the market every time we bid for a player whose valuation we dont agree with ?

  • spitfire_

    Sep 9, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    Comment #5


    You joking, right? Marveaux, Obertan… how much wingers we must buy to replace Barton? When Hatem is okay, Obertan goes to the wing… or Marveaux will be there. We have plenty of options in the middle. Gosling also can play on the right side. Who else do you want? Pardew said that we will have new number 9 till september 1st. He is head coach, he’s not manager you should know that.

  • atom

    Sep 9, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    Comment #6

    Scouting is all well and good, but if your scouting bears no fruit in terms of your target actually coming what is the point? Surely the net spend would be less in stumping up the extra quid in order to sign someone than continuously having to spend to scout for the same need.

  • Dannyo

    Sep 9, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #7

    It’s official!!
    Pards name is “Alan OverTheLine Pardew” now.
    Jokes aside, it seems during the press confrence he “vented” what it was possible for him to do without stepping on toes.
    I like to think that Pards is using code words when saying “The financial side just didn’t happen”. Transelation: “Derek Llambas was too incomptetent to get it done”.

    There is one thing that gets my spirits up, ALLOT, and that is the caliber of players we’re targeting.
    Young, exciting player, with a winning mentality and a reputation that preseeds them.
    Be it that they may be unproven in the PL, but there’s still a change they come through.
    We scout players for lengthy periods of time and pounce at the right moments to get them on the cheap.

    I like and respect Pardew, i really, really WANT him to help us succeed.

  • geoff777

    Sep 9, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    Comment #8

    Come on …

    If Ashley was in the least bit interested in the club, keeping Pardew happy, or seeing the fans have a new No9 to worship.
    He’d have sanctioned that extra couple of million that would have got one of the targets “over the line”.

    He didn’t, and the fans face watching Best, Ameobi and Lovenkrands.

    Who may do okay against mid to bottom table sides but don’t stand a hope in hell of scoring against a top, well organised defence.

    Season ticket holders have the right to be fuming.

    Turnstile supporters may feel they don’t want to lay out a lot of cash to watch a strike force worth about 5M as a job lot.

  • boater

    Sep 9, 2011 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #9

    Spitfire – wow the board must love you. Through a few crumbs and you get all worked up, telling us about how players that you have never seen kick a football in the flesh will perform.

    I didn’t realise you had a crystal ball, my apologies.

    I repeat – Pardew even said himself – Obertan was Routledge’s replacement, anyone else leaving would be replaced.

  • boater

    Sep 9, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    Comment #10

    geoff777 – and why should they?

    I was praying Pardew didn’t come out with “now it’s down to the famous geordie passion to help us get to january”… so in other words, we – the board failed to deliver BIG TIME, and ended up pocketing your heard earned cash – but please continue to shout and sing, and get behind the under-resourced squad to make up for that short-fall… we know you will, that’s why we could afford to make a nice little earner on your star players…

  • Dannyo

    Sep 9, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #11


    Aye, Pards said that when Wayne left, there was a spot open, and Obertan was slotted in.
    In terms of natural wingers we have Obertan, Marveux, Gutti and possibly Sammy.
    Wether players “can” play those positions is not the issue. It’s about having natural cover and going from strength from strength on that.
    There are other areas i’d focus on first, such as a proper CB backup, an LB or RB and a striker.
    After that it’s basically about getting players of a higher caliber to replace who’s lacking.

  • Isaac Hunt

    Sep 9, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    Comment #12

    Good grief! Talk about cliches. AP’s outpouring are rubbish. Why can’t he talk properly?

    @ 7: I like it, but bear in mind he took himself away last week.

  • pinkorbrown

    Sep 9, 2011 at 3:21 PM

    Comment #13

    Seems like a good idea to scout players a week after the window closes doesn’t it? If we are serious about buying new players, why didn’t we scout them in the summer and have them “over the line” now? Or does that sound too easy?

  • Dannyo

    Sep 9, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    Comment #14

    Lol, i get your point, but if we got the striker, should we just stop watching players?

  • AshtreeKid

    Sep 9, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    Comment #15

    boater, I think what spitfire is saying is there are more pressing needs in a round about way

  • Ollieh51

    Sep 9, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    Comment #16

    @ Geof777 – Not directed at you, more an open question to all.

    Why do you think that Best and Ba ‘won’t have a hope in hell’ of scoring against decent defences?

    Almost regardless of who it is, the pair of them have delivered for us and WHAM and look like they can pair up with one another in their movement etc.

    If you watch that second Best goal vs Fulham, the difference in styles of play is very evident.

    Ba breaks Right after winning the ball whilst Best bursts forwards and finds himself in a great position for any cross/shot. (still don’t know which of these Ba’s ball was!)

    Best lacks a bit of pace but can jump really well, has decent feet and decent movement as does ba but in different disciplines and runs into different areas.

    I think it’s really unfair how they have both been written off as ‘not good enough’ by so many fans because they are not bigger names perhaps or becuase they were cheap?

    Yet their goal scoring records are better than a lot of other strikers were with the same experience in the PL.

    If they maintain their repective records they are looking like 15 goal a season players?! (Chances are this won’t happen but they are capable…)

    Why is there this doubt over them?

  • GeordieToon89

    Sep 9, 2011 at 3:46 PM

    Comment #17

    sure Basel wanted £15million for Shaqiri would love him though he’s immense, he’s the swiss messi

  • spitfire_

    Sep 9, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #18

    @ boater

    Do I defendig the board? Show me in which line I defending them that they must love me. And don’t even mentioned Routledge, he was benchwarmer. It’s like to say that Ba is Quqi replacement… it’s ridiculous. I have two tips for you – first is read Dannyo post (NATURAL WINGERS!!!) and after that try to love Newcastle more than you hate averyone above Pardew. And good try to be funny with this “crystal ball”… but out of place… no one said one word for this how good are they – all was about that we have barton replacements. So long.

  • toonfan76

    Sep 9, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    Comment #19

    I think Best and Ba will both score goals, They have to be given ample playing time together to gain an understanding of each others game. I for one think that Ba and Best should have been backup players for our number 9 who should have been playing up front on his own in this new formation that has yet to materialise.

  • toonfan76

    Sep 9, 2011 at 4:01 PM

    Comment #20

    With regards to wingers, Lets not forget young Shane Ferguson as well. I was chatting to Angryman earlier and we both thought that a Pre-contract agreement on a Striker and on Pieters would be a good idea. That way, when Mr Pardew says we will definitely be getting a Striker and a LB, he can be certain that he is right. Pieters at LB, Santon over to RB. Simmo can be RB cover. Pieters can also play CB so if a CB gets injured we can move Pieters in and Santon back to LB and bring Simmo on. If Pieters is the injured one do the same thing with Santon and Simmo, If Santon is the one who gets injured then it’s a straight swap for Simmo. Flexibility is the key.

  • ToonDownSouth

    Sep 9, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #21


    Problem is that agreeing deal for a player between windows is very rare. Especially for players who start for their clubs..

    Why would PSV agree a deal with us for Pieters now for instance? They have no need to sell.

    It also causes problems such as his motivation in playing for PSV, and the way that the fans treat him if they know he has moved to another club..

  • Twatter

    Sep 9, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    Comment #22

    @4 AndyMac

    True, but then you’d need a much more extensive scouting system (more £) with no guarantee that you would get a saving. I know MA is a gambler but when you think about how saturated the transfer market is now, I doubt it would make that much difference.

    Although you did mention Africa, I reckon that region might have quite a lot of potential in it.

  • Ollieh51

    Sep 9, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #23

    @ Toonfan76 – I get what you’re saying but they have both scored as consistently as any ‘Number 9’ would be expected to already?

    If it had been that we had got them for £15 million, I bet everyone would be going mad about how good they are?

    Leon best has played fewer games, scored more goals and cost less than 1/20th of the price yet he’s not rated as a decent forward? : S

  • geoff777

    Sep 9, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #24


    I didn’t think Fulham had a decent defence.

    I really don’t know about Ba & Best as a partnership, as only time will tell.

    If I had 40 quid in my pocket on match-day I’m not sure I’d want to give it to Ashley knowing he’s sitting on a pile of cash instead of putting better players on the pitch.

  • Dannyo

    Sep 9, 2011 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #25


    Agree 100%. Getting the foot on the inside of the door before other clubs is key.
    But this is hard, VERY hard. U have two big factors working against u.

    1. If they are on 2 or more years contracts with their clubs, then the clubs knows if one club is interested, then others will be. They’ll wait until a window opens, so they can push for top dollar on the fees.
    2. If the player is eligble for a bosman or similar, then it’s up to the agent and/or player to see where they can get the best deal and where they would actually want to play.

    If the player is free, and he wants to move to Newcastle, then it should be doable. But the factors pointed out are pretty substantial.
    But i agree, if we could sort these things on a verbal agreement, then go for it, it’s the best way.
    It usually only happens with fairly unrated youngsters tho. If an established player is good, he’ll know he’s good and won’t be swayed as easily as a youngster.

  • geoff777

    Sep 9, 2011 at 4:34 PM

    Comment #26


    Buying talent from outside the EU is difficult as you run into the problem of work permits.

    Players need to be internationals to get permits which means they are not undiscovered raw talent. Although they may well still be cheaper options.

  • toonfan76

    Sep 9, 2011 at 4:43 PM

    Comment #27

    To be honest I rate Best, not so sure about Ba, but we will have to wait and see. I can just see the scenario unfolding, they are both on about 7 or 8 goals each by the time the Jan transfer window comes around so the Board will say we don’t need a Striker after all. To be honest I think we need to get Ranger and Loverboys wages off the books to keep Ashley happy, In fairness, Loverboy is not good enough any more and Ranger is his own worst enemy. Get them off the books and we have space for two more Strikers. One for the first team and maybe a player of potential to grow with the younger team and fight for a start. Bottom line is we still have some dead wood to get rid of, e.g Perch, Smith. I have to say I think we will be playing a better brand of football with the type of players we brought in and I’m looking forward to it but the puzzle is far from complete!

  • toonfan76

    Sep 9, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    Comment #28

    Thanks for the feedback Dannyo, Partof the reason I mentioned a pre-contract agreement was due to the fact that Maiga seemed desperate to join our club, He went about it in the wrong way a little but my point is if he is really that desperate for the move then surely it could be done in these circumstances. Deep down I know it won’t happen though.

  • geoff777

    Sep 9, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    Comment #29


    I’d send Ranger out on loan for a year or two.
    He is a talent and given time to mature may become a real star.

    Let him do his maturing elsewhere though.

  • toonfan76

    Sep 9, 2011 at 4:54 PM

    Comment #30

    I suppose that could work, It just seems to me that either Pardew or the board have lost patience with him and want rid.

  • Ollieh51

    Sep 9, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    Comment #31

    @Geoff777 – He’s had a few chances already to mature but still fails to realise the opportunity he has?

    @Toonfan76 – It will take a big player to come in to the PL and start scoring like those two have don’t you think?

    I agree on us needing another striker as they are all we really have, but you’re talking about a serious spend to get us that calibre player in to displace the two of them.

    There are so few players that have as much success as the both of them have done in their 1st season in the PL.

    I’m not saying that we should make do with them, we need a back up but I think two decent development players could do it if they show until December that they’re capable?

    Two sides to the coin though, luckily they were cheap so if someone does come in, we’re not sitting on dead wood…

  • geoff777

    Sep 9, 2011 at 5:13 PM

    Comment #32


    You don’t need to be given chances to mature, you need to be given time to mature.

    It’s a change in brain chemistry that happens slowly as we transition into our adult lives.

  • Hoovernose

    Sep 9, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #33

    I have to say I am getting really bored by all this now. Pardew is a total nob for his last interview, “we have lost momentum” that is just stupid and unprofessional for a manager unless he is off. What he should have said was, “I think everyone is underestimating the strength up front we already have. The spirit in the team has never been better and Bestie, Ba and Shola are going to burst the net at every oppurtunity”. The horse has bolted d85khead, back the team, numpty! I give up, I honestly do. I don’t even think we need a manager. Our players are all right and I am sure we are a top half team. Sack him and make Collo player manager.

  • Dannyo

    Sep 9, 2011 at 5:36 PM

    Comment #34

    Wow, this’ll be a VERY interesting read tomorrow lads:

    They’ve responded to each and every question, and Ryder says it’s not a generic statement…
    Is the board learning?

  • Hoovernose

    Sep 9, 2011 at 5:36 PM

    Comment #35

    sorry mate but Lovencrantz is class. He will stay because he can play the wings, up front and poach. One of our best players. Tricky guy, sets up and scores goals. I am a fan. 100 percent every time he plays. Never stops or gives up.

  • toonfan76

    Sep 9, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    Comment #36

    Loverboy is not even in the reckoning in my opinion, He should be doing a lot more with the ability he has. Of all the Strikers we have, he should be the most suited to the new style of play we are trying to adopt but it just doesn’t happen.

  • Dannyo

    Sep 9, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    Comment #37

    Are u two saying Loven is doing a good job?
    My word, i think i just saw a pig fly by my window…

  • Hoovernose

    Sep 9, 2011 at 5:54 PM

    Comment #38

    I appreciate your comment there and you are right man. For me he should sneak right in there and grab something. I think he will do that soon. Because he is all we have got from his ilk. So don’t sell him, cheer him. Right or not?

  • Hoovernose

    Sep 9, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    Comment #39

    You guys forget so quickly how the likes of Loven and Guthrie got us promoted so quickly. Who do you want? Teves and De Sulva? Get real.

  • Hoovernose

    Sep 9, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    Comment #40

    De Sulva, by the way plays for Scotswood under elevens, and is no relation to De silva.


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