Newcastle Still Have Better Squad Than Last Year At This Time


The Evening Chronicle today are putting a slightly different twist on the Debuchy news of last night, and they are saying we thought we had agreed both a fee and personal terms with Lille last week for right back Mathieu Debuchy, until the French club this week began to back away from the deal.

Alan Pardew – has better squad now than last year at this time

We may never know what exactly has happened, but one thing is clear,  and that is the transfer window does not have too long to run, and it’s good that Newcastle have not lost any of their senior players this summer.

The staying of Demba Ba on Tyneside has been a big boost this week, but new players still have to arrive to fortify the squad further.

It’s not like we cannot wait for new players coming through the door, even if they now arrive in late August, because the acquisitions of Romain Amalfitano, Gael Bigirimana and Curtis Good have all been good signings, and the first two have looked good, very good,  in pre-season.

Newcastle have lost players like Leon Best, Peter Lovenkrands and Alan Smith, and this is the current situation on the ins and outs at Newcastle this summer, and we are currently up about £3.6M.

PlayerClubFeeStatus
Romain AmalfitanoReimsFreeIn
Alan SmithMK DonsFreeOut
Peter LovenkrandsBirminghamFreeOut
Danny GuthrieReadingFreeOut
Ryan DonaldsonGatesheadFreeOut
Tamas KadarRoda JCFreeOut
Leon BestBlackburn Rovers£3MOut
Fraser ForsterCeltic£2MOut
Gael BigirimanaCoventry City£1MIn
Curtis GoodMelbourne Heart£0.4MIn
Vurnon AnitaAjax£6.6MIn

We were very sorry to hear of Leon’s ACL injury, and that’s a very difficult injury to recover from – and we hope the new Blackburn player has a good recovery.

And as an aside – our inside information on the Messi deal is we are still trying to make the deal, but Barca are playing hard ball, much like Lille with Debuchy. 😀

The three excellent youngsters Newcastle have brought in, plus the coming through of youngsters already at the club,  like James Tavernier, Sammy Ameobi, Shane Ferguson, Mehdi Abeid and Haris Vuckic show that Newcastle have a better squad than they started with last August – so that cannot be too bad.

It’s very frustrating that Newcastle haven’t yet brought in some additional senior players this summer, that’s true, but the squad still looks better than it was at this time last year, and we didn’t do too bad last season did we?

It’s good to keep things in perspective.

Comments welcome.



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57 comments so far

  • MagpiesFlyHigh

    Aug 3, 2012 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #1

    We do need to sign a couple of senior players at the very least. We need more strength in depth in the squad.

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  • MagpiesFlyHigh

    Aug 3, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #2

    Now that doesn’t happen very often.
    Whatever happened to Indian Magpie ?

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  • spitfire_

    Aug 3, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #3

    “Newcastle Still Have Better Squad Than Last Year At This Time”

    I don’t agree at all.

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  • MagpiesFlyHigh

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #4

    Need a Guthrie replacement. Anita would do nicely.

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  • ashwin say's

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #5

    no transfer yet!!!

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  • Beardo Ameobi

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #6

    On Van Der Wiel, don’t want him. I have a friend who lives in Amsterdam and goes to Ajax matches, he says the consensus amongst their fans is that VDW is nowhere near as good as he himself thinks he is and he’s one of these footballers more concerned with his image than winning football matches, not the type to throw himself in front of a ball and is likely to shirk tackles/headers if he’s going to get clouted.

    Personally from what I’ve seen of him, he reminds me of Bosingwa, good going forward but a chocolate teapot in defence, basically the reverse of Simpson.

    There’s a reason his star has significantly dimmed and I don’t think it’s a confidence problem like Santon had , actually the opposite.

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  • Beattie25

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #7

    I don’t agree either

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  • AMEOBI

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #8

    The deal for messi is taking a while mind Ed

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  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #9

    Don’t we have more of less the same team as this time last year, hence why people are annoyed we’re not conducting our business as quickly this window?

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  • markmac

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #10

    We have a younger and less experienced squad….im not sure id class that as being stronger myself, even if i like the look of 2 or 3 of the young lads i think it would be too soon to throw them all in at the deep end and depend on them in the PL every week,

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  • rainrix

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #11

    I reckon amalfitano is guthries replacement. Different types of CMs but still a CM replacement none the less. We need a replacement for lovenkrands and best. 3 strikers is nowhere near enough for a team playing in europe. At best i reckon we need maybe 3 players for starting positions(RB CB and maybe centermid).

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  • Hatem's better than Messi

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #12

    @spitfire

    Agree 100%.

    How are we stronger?
    We haven’t signed anyone and lost Guthrie, Best, Smith & Lovenkrands, Forster. (Yes I know the last 3 were peripheral).

    IMO we need a FB, CB and top striker to challenge Ba & Cisse, plus a young striker with bags of potential.

    Only then will we be stronger.

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  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #13

    Beattie… Van, France, Time, Place?

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  • ginkoh

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #14

    This time last year we still signed Cisse yet.

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  • Beattie25

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #15

    We have not got a better team than this time last year.

    After releasing so many youth players and then allowing the experience of Lover, Smith, Forster, Guthrie etc… I think our team is currently weaker.

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  • RobertNufc25

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #16

    Lets be honest.
    Lee Ryder knows as much as me or you.

    Which is basically nowt. lol

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  • rich_toonfan

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #17

    This time last year we had Guthrie, best, smith, forster and loven who we not don’t have.

    And we have brought in cisse, Amal, bigi and good.

    Also players like perch and Taylor have shown they are decent squad players.

    To me that is a significant improvement. Seein as the only players we have lost who got on the pitch were Guthrie and best. Both of which don’t offer much.

    Guthrie was rarely fit and tired after 60mins, beat barely played and when he did he didn’t contribute much. Smith, loven and Forster barely played a game between them

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  • jamesnufc86

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #18

    Please , this is killing me , I’m that sad I wake up most mornings with my eyes still burning and check on my phone if we have had any transfer progress , I admire us being thrifty , but this is being ridiculous !!

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  • MagpiesFlyHigh

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #19

    rainrix

    If that is right we have got to get used to the idea that senior players are going to be replaced with very cheap junior players who will get brought on very quickly.

    I guess Bigi could feature as one of these, maybe Tav, but do you think Amalfitano is up to doing Guthrie’s job next season ?

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  • wingspan

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #20

    Ed i respect you greatly for the time and effort you put into this blog, but i have to disagree with you here mate.

    Loosing guthrie best and lovenkrands – who were proven prem players (prob not the best but could hold there own) And replacing them with 2 kids and a lad from the 2nd division in france that have never played in the prem before leaves us in a a significantly weaker position in my eyes.

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  • Beattie25

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #21

    Ibiza

    I’ve made edits to the plan and after picking you up in the bealerics we will drive to carrefour to get a few snacks for the journey.

    Once in France we will assinate Rudi Garcia, steal Debuchy and head for the border.

    I have allowed a diversion to the French cash and carry so we can get wine, cheese and some strawberry syrup for Demba.

    By this time the police will be on our tale. We’ll aim to get onboard the eurostar and that way we can drop Simpson off at reading and pick Carroll up from west ham.

    Overall I expect the mission to last at least 7 weeks so we’ll probably moss transfer deadline day but if we can’t have him nobody can.

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  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #22

    Well, this is all a bit to civil for me. I’ll be back later and hope to return to a blood bath. Enjoy 🙂

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  • rich_toonfan

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #23

    Amal is only a year or two younger than Guthrie.

    Just cause Guthrie has more experience doesn’t make him better, he was never fit.

    Best and loven are not up to prem league standard. Best had one good spell when Carroll left and that’s it.

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  • wingspan

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #24

    i should prob elaborate on that, in 6 months or a yr or however long i takes the lads weve bought in adapt then we may be in a stronger position, i think they could turn out to be great signings. But at this moment in time we are in a weaker position for sure because they are unproven

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  • dave 1961

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #25

    i have to agree that throwing kids into the deep end’s not the way to run a successful football club.

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  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #26

    Beattie…Sounds splendid..we have a carrefour express down the road, will that be adequate for snacks?

    Apart from that, it’s clear to see you have thought the plan out well. Perhaps if we have a doctor with us in the van we could complete medicals as we go? Just a thought, but you’re right, if we can’t have them, no one shall!

    7 weeks….so should I bring me Scharner sleeping bag as well?

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  • spitfire_

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #27

    I’m on waiting for the next Pardew interview in which he will said about that the transfer summer is a hit for us because we didn’t lose anybody.

    The newbies has a bags of potential but they are not even close to Guthrie at this very moment.

    One CB, one FB, one central midfielder and young striker… but we will not bought CB and a striker… in best case.

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  • clinath@ed

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #28

    I blogged a few months back, that how we performed in this summers transfer window would define how successful last season really was. On the premis we need to push on from the good start….improve where weaknesses are identified and strengthen in depth. The depth issue seems to be taking care of, but I still fear about our back 4. Mainly the lack of pace and heading ability. We’re into August now, and still no serious money has been spent (£25M budget was muted) what exactly are we waiting for? Not to improve on last season because of lack of investment and/or ambition will be a crying shame and an opportunity lost.

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  • rainrix

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #29

    MFH ….. I would say guthrie was never really threatening to start. I think senior players would get replaced with quality (anita for example) and the backup players replaced with backup quality(amalfitano).

    Regarding amalfitano is he ready to fill guthries shoes? Honestly i haven’t seen enough to make a soid judgement. But as the saying goes in carr we trust 😉

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  • Beattie25

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #30

    Scharner is driving the van

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  • Super Magpie

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #31

    We dont have a stronger team, but Cisse > Best.
    Also did Marveaux and Ben arfa play that much up until christmas.
    ( obviously marveaux got injured).

    Our line up against arsenal (H)
    Krul
    Simmo– Saylor–Colo- Raylor
    Barton– Cabaye– Tiote– Jonas
    Ba—– Best

    Compared to potential line up v spurs
    Krul
    Debuchy/VDW– Saylor–Colo– Santon
    Ben arfa— cabaye —Tiote— Jonas/marveaux
    Ba—- Cisse

    Sorry for the long post, but that line up is miles better than it was last year and the players from then have improved massively over that time.

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  • Nick 69

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #32

    don’t agree with the headline. I think we’re slighty worse off now that this time last season. We’ve lost a lot of eperienced players, and brought in a couple of unproven youngsters, who although they look decent, its only pre season, and a LOT different to EPL.

    What started off as looking like a very promising, eciting transfer window has become one of the most boring, frustrating ones ever.

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  • wingspan

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #33

    Yeah but you could trust danny to come in. I thought he played well when called upon last season. And i think experience counts for a lot to be honest, and we cant compare the two yet because we havnt seen amal play in the prem.

    And i agree Loven and best wernt the best but it would be harsh to say they couldnt do a job.

    Right now i would say we were stronger before, but like i said give it a few months, a few games even and the new boys may take to the prem like Cabaye did and we will of course be stronger then. But because thats unknown im not sure how it can be said that were stronger now than before.

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  • rich_toonfan

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #34

    We have the same CBs last year and added good. He might be ready for first team squad.

    Bigi is very good in pre season, rather have a young, hungry player like that than Guthrie who misses over half the season with injury and when he does play is paggered after an hour.

    Amal looks technically good but has been played out wide and not looked great. Against Gateshead he looked better through the middle. His touch and passing is very good.

    Just becaus splatters are young, doesn’t mean they aren’t a good.

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  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #35

    Beattie…Really? That is wonderful news. Would be sad to see him out of work.

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  • ToonDarnSarf

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #36

    Only Guthrie and Best are any significant loss really. I reckon we’ve doubled up on replacing Guthrie with Amalfitano and Bigi. Just need another striker to replace Best.

    Definitely will be better than last season, Ben Arfa and Cisse only came into the team halfway through the season, the likes of Santon and Cabaye have had a season to aclimatise, our young players like Krul and Sammy will just be getting better every year.

    So, we just need upgrades to Simpson and Best, plus Anita for DM, LB cover and we’re off!

    Of course, then it’s down the the lads to match last year’s performances. A tough ask!

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  • RobertNufc25

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #37

    I think were weaker like.

    But I thought the same thing last year too,and look how that turned out.haha

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  • rich_toonfan

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #38

    This is a bit of pointless argument really.

    I think abeid, bigi and Amal are easy capable of covering for Guthrie.

    But none of us can really judge that until we see how they get on in the premier league. I am happy with the squad, would like another full back but not too worried if we don’t get one.

    Have to just see how we get on in the first 6 games.

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  • ToonDarnSarf

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #39

    Come on…how can losing Smith, Loverman, Forster, and Kadar be considered as losing 4 players? Both Smith and Loverman were excellent in the Championship, but I’d rather see young promising players (like Bigi and Sammy) on the bench than those guys.

    Good luck to them at MKD and Brum though. Worked damn hard for NUFC.

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  • Papiss_Myself

    Aug 3, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #40

    Ibiza Beattie

    I am more than happy to help in this stupendeous falt proof plan.

    I will act as the diversion for you while you head for the border. But I can’t do it alone, can I borrow Scharner. By myself I am a loan wolf, but with Scharner at my side we would be an unstoppable pack.

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