Fielding Weakened Sides Never Leads To Winning Anything


In the poll we ran at the end of the summer  transfer window, 76% of our readers were not satisfied with the transfer window, in which Newcastle essentially brought in one first team player – Vurnon Anita from Ajax for £6.6M

Alan Pardew – Premier League is number one priority again

Here’s the results of that poll and you can still vote if you haven’t already done so.

Are You Satisfied With Summer Transfer Business?

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Vurnon has looked very good and he’s versatile too, and can play in multiple positions, and the lad looks like another great buy for the club.

But reading through the comments of readers, most would have liked more players coming through the door, like maybe a couple of defenders and another striker.

We are currently a little light up front,  with only three experienced strikers and one of them, Shola Ameobi, has proved himself to be very injury prone throughout his career at Newcastle, and he has so far been out all season with another hamstring problem.

And with the mediocre start to the season and injuries to Ryan Taylor, Danny Simpson, Cheick Tiote and Fabricio Coloccini, our squad seems already under pressure,  and we have 7 games coming up in 20 days starting next Monday at Goodison Park, which will further test the squad.

But Alan Pardew was upbeat this morning as he had this to say to the local press:

“We did most of our work in the transfer market last summer. That was the important period for this football club because it was either going to take us forward or take us backwards.”

“Fortunately we made the right selections and it took us forward, and then we have secured the top players as well.” “You could argue that it was probably better than we might have imagined, so to secure them again was great.”

“You have to look at six-month segments in this football world now. It goes from window to window and so from now until January we are stable again – and hopefully we can fend off our rivals or the bigger clubs in the next window so that we get to the next period.”

“I am looking forward to working with the players on the training ground. It is important for the development of the club seeing that the big players are still here and the younger players can learn off them all the time.”

Alan has always made it clear that the Premier League is the number one priority, and that’s presumably because there’s more money to be made in that competition, and of course it leads into Europe if we can finish high enough in the league table, which we did last season.

But fielding weakened sides in the two local cups and in the Europa League will make it difficult to make progress in them.

And we’ve seen mediocre teams like Birmingham City two seasons ago win the League Cup – now called the Capital One Cup – by essentially fielding their strongest side in that competition, while most other Premier League clubs don’t.

Maybe one strategy for Newcastle is to take a cup – the Capital One Cup is the easiest – and field our strongest side – and see if we can win something this season,  for the first time in 44 years, and get that monkey off our backs.

It would be worth a shot, and last year at this time Alan was talking about trying to win something for the club  – but we don’t hear that from him nowadays.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

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17 comments so far

  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Sep 13, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #1

    “and reading through the comments, I ask myself, when did I start a day care?” 🙂

    Morning Ed.

    This really is a tough one. What is more important at this particular time given where we are and who we have? PL stability and continue to build the platform for sustainable progress (not all agree this is what is happening of course) or to bring in some silverware a.s.a.p.

    For me PL has to be priority, however, depending on the fixtures, it would be nice to keep an eye on a cup as well, but this will be tricky imo and even fielding our strongest 11 is still only an outside chance.

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  • bobby_ollox

    Sep 13, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    Comment #2

    but then again -i s doing well in the PL an end in itself, or is to to gain entry to prestigious international tournaments – so surely you want to do well in theose tournaments when you get there.

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  • Markaccus

    Sep 13, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    Comment #3

    I want to know, how come, when we have a euro game thursday night, we draw the monday night game on sky. Disgraceful. Its almost as if its being done on pupose.

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  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Sep 13, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    Comment #4

    bobby…Absolutely. Is it this year though? We clearly still need to improve the squad and in attracting new players of the quality we’re after, what will they want to see? A team that won say the League Cup, but finished outside a European spot or a team pushing top 6, perhaps even top 4 and are continuing to grow. I just feel a push for silverware this season at the expense of our league standing may be shortsighted. But that is me and maybe I don’t appreciate the great need for silverware, whatever tournament it comes from, like others do.

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  • jesperfuglsang

    Sep 13, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    Comment #5

    It seems once again I was stock in the past and y’all had moved on 😉 so what are we talking about this fine Thursday morning?

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  • toonarmydownsouth

    Sep 13, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    Comment #6

    I think that the PL absolutly has to be number 1 priority you need to be consistant in this league to improve not drop a couple of places, on the cups i think we shouldnt be looking to hard domesticly as much as we would all love some silverwear on tyneside! I think we should be really pushing in the europa league though, i mean wheres the point in battling all season to qualify to only field our youngsters just because it hasnt got a huge prize pot?

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  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Sep 13, 2012 at 9:18 AM

    Comment #7

    Mark…If you think you can do a better job than Rupert Murdoch may I suggest you start your own TV company – oh wait a minute, I think I’m getting carried away here 🙂

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  • spitfire_

    Sep 13, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #8

    After “we did most of our work in the transfer market last summer” why we even try to buy new players this summer? Just screw the transfer market but before the summer gets started you should say that to the fans… not to say that you will want to bring 5-4-3-2 aaaaand 1 new player in this order… and then to say proudly that you’re just fine with the transfers and now that we made our transfers for summer’12 in summer’11.

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  • jesperfuglsang

    Sep 13, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #9

    To be honest I don’t think Pardew has his eyes on the Carling Cup (or what ever its name is now) or the FA Cup, we simply don’t have the players for it at the moment. The priority is the PL ’cause that we keep our cashflow intact and maintaing our capability to attract high quility players 🙂

    The EL is a bonus so to speak, but there really isn’t any prestige or money in it – it’s good old fun for the club (myself are really proud we are in the EL and find it very important). We are trying to bring forward our youngsters, so I am sure they’ll get I run out in either cup or in Europe 🙂

    January could be very importnt for us; where are we as a club, we might be bringing in a few players depending on that very question 🙂

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  • jesperfuglsang

    Sep 13, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #10

    Spitfire…I think Pardew wanted more players this transfer window, but was told he had to sell in order to bring in other players. Mike didn’t want to break the bank to bring in our targets – I think what we were offering was quit fair (most of our suppose targets has stayed put).

    I problem I see is that no club were willing to pay anywhere near what Mike wanted for our stars – hence no money for Pardew to use (maybe a little but not enough to bring in out targets).

    I have raised a fair question before about revenue – revenue is the most important part of the FFP ruling and what Mike values the most. If that is so, and Mike wants to sell the naming rights for SJP why didn’t he pay for it himself? That would give us the required £10M to bring in a few more faces and it would make sure NUFC broke even.

    That for me is hypocritical 🙂

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  • wynsleap

    Sep 13, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #11

    So now you are saying you did all your transfer business last summer Alan?
    Are you going to be saying the same thing again when the next window comes round too?
    Is keeping our best players going to be the top ambition for that window as well?
    Stand still and you go backwards bonny lad. Whatever happened to all that pre-window stuff “We need more players for the first team and a central defender who can score goals” etc.?
    More b******t from the puppet pulled by his strings from his master above.

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  • jawballsaswallwell

    Sep 13, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #12

    I couldn’t give a rats ass about the cups.

    Another tilt at the top 4.

    NO LESS. I FORBID IT!!!!!

    (Caveat, – might start taking a shine to the idea if we make the quarters of something)

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  • Sav

    Sep 13, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #13

    Its all about the money. Premier league placings and ideally a top 4 finish. Had we won a cup by fielding a strong side it would have put us in exactly the same situation – in the Euro, which clearly, nobody wants – except the fans, who count for very little. However, that route would have cost us some extra placings and perhaps a few less Sky appearances with some loss of revenue as a consequence.
    Is that what it was all about when we swapped player-cards and went along to St. James’ for the first time wearing a black and white scarf and hat? We’ve swapped a bit of romance for pragmatism and marvellous facilities but you can’t help but think sometimes, we’ve lost sight of the point.

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  • jawballsaswallwell

    Sep 13, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #14

    Very good post Sav. I now feel suitably ashamed of the previous one.

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  • AmericanGeordie

    Sep 13, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #15

    Sure Ed, Birmingham City, a mediocre club, won the league Cup two years ago, AND THEY WERE RELEGATED in that very season.

    Pardew is right to prioritize the PL. We need to qualify for Europe EVERY YEAR to eventually build up a big enough side to compete on multiple fronts. We are not there yet.

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  • puretoon

    Sep 13, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    Comment #16

    @wynsleap 9.43 I couldn’t agree more-well said! I read the same way-was last summers window THE one-lools like it doesn’t it. Yes Pardew’s Ashleys puppet alright and yet another ‘ yes’ man. We thought Pards might have stood up for himself at end of last window and asked Ashley were all the new players were who he’d listed, but no.

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  • 89Norcal

    Sep 13, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    Comment #17

    Am I the only one who thinks we would likely garner MORE aspersion for ending our silverware drought with the Carling Cup? I’d rather not see Pards pursue that too heavily. FA Cup perhaps..

    I see all the competition as an excellent chance to get our youngsters, subs and reserve players some valuable playing time. In the case of Europa League, it would be against worthy opposition.

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