Newcastle Linked With Celtic Striker – Is He Good Enough?

Liverpool may come after Demba Ba in the January transfer window, although they may find it difficult to agree terms with the Senegal striker, but another striker that’s on Liverpool’s radar screen is said to be 24 year-old Gary Hooper of Celtic.

Gary Hooper – are Newcastle interested in this striker?

Newcastle United are also said to be interested in the striker, and it’s the not the first time we’ve been linked with this English striker, who was born in Harlow, and moved to Celtic from Scunthorpe United in 2010, but we’ve never rated the lad too highly.

The Scottish Sun is reporting that Hooper has 18 months of his current deal to run, and he has been in contact with the Celtic hierarchy about an extension to his contract, but it seems that Celtic are balking at his wage demands, which are said to be £25K/week.

The Scottish paper is reporting that both Liverpool and Newcastle United are interested, and we knew Liverpool were interested in the player, but this is the first time Newcastle have been mentioned.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon obviously wants a new deal for his striker, who was signed for 2.4M,  and Lennon said this recently:

“We’re hoping to talk to his agent soon about a new deal but he’s just put £25,000 a week on his wage.”

Newcastle may be interested in the player in the hope of getting a good deal,  with Gary’s contract having only 18 months to run, but Celtic will want more than the £2.4M they paid out for him a couple of years ago.

Hooper has scored 60 goals in 100 appearances for Celtic, but of course we’ve seen strikers with fantastic goal scoring records at both Celtic and Rangers, not be able to cut it in the English Leagues, with Kris Boyd being a good recent example.

While at Scunthorpe, Hooper scored 50 goals in 95 appearances in the lower divisions of the English Football League.

Newcastle do need to bring in a new striker in January, and may be forced to do so if Demba Ba moves on via the release clause in his contract, but we have our doubts about whether Gary is good enough for Newcastle – what do you think?

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51 comments so far

  • mattyNUFC

    Oct 14, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    Comment #1


    ok ok ok

    been gone, i know i’ve been missed

    BUT, i want to posit a real question to everyone here:

    seeing as we’re in whichever year of our five year plan which will inevitably turn into an 8 year plan, how long without CL football and/or a trophy will we stand by the board’s side? pardew’s side?

    how long before we’re all in agreement that it’s not working? how long before the notion that perhaps indeed we’ve been taken for mugs is assumed by all?

    i don’t think many people have thought about this. everything has been ‘we’re taking baby steps’ and i feel i’ve been a pretty ardent supporter of MA but these latest comments from DL are pretty disheartening to say the least

    basically, how long until each of you would break and say ‘time for a chance’

  • mattyNUFC

    Oct 14, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    Comment #2

    oh, and on gary hooper:


    didn’t DL just say we can’t afford anyone without selling? If we sell Ba (our best striker in the past ten years on form) my level of consternation would skyrocket

  • Quasi.modo

    Oct 14, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    Comment #3


    Best striker in ten years? Aren’t you forgetting someone?

  • mattyNUFC

    Oct 14, 2012 at 11:48 PM

    Comment #4


    knew someone would point that out. ba’s record speaks for itself though

    sure shearer was better but after the dross we’ve been subjected to, i’d hate to see him go. BACK TO THE QUESTION, MINION! i’m curious, really

  • Quasi.modo

    Oct 14, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    Comment #5

    I’d agree that, on form, he is the best striker we have had since Shearer, and on that note I will now attempt to dissect your question.

    Well the truth is that none of us can really know until the so called 5/8 year plan is over, or when Mike sells up or if Pards leaves the club etc. I am one of these people who think that we are taking baby steps, setting solid foundations for sustainable success, which is not going to happen overnight. I genuinely believe that MA wants us to be challenging the top 4 on a regular basis but he does not want to stretch the finances to do that. We must open up revenue streams to compete with the “bigger” clubs and try to find good value for money in the market to try and improve the squad.

    The key to this long term plan is the development squad, and I think in the next 2/3 years, we will see a large number of our younger players assert themselves in the first team, if this policy doesn’t work out then MA’s plan will ultimately fail, but we have to wait and see with regards that one.

    A lot people want us to kick on and build upon our successful season last season in order to really push the top 4, but look at the teams around us, Chelsea and Spurs have spent crazy money, even Arsenal have opened the purse strings to shore up their flagging side and we cannot compete at that level if we wish to run things sustainably, which is incredibly frustrating but necessary in the long run.

    I do think that there are brighter days ahead for us as a football club but I am open minded enough to admit that if it doesn’t turn out the way I think it will then I will be first in line to give MA/DL a hammering and join the “neggers” (not saying you are one I was merely making a point) but in the mean time I am willing to accept what they are saying and hope that the current crop of players we have at the moment are good enough to propel us, or at the very least keep us in the 5th/6th/7th range.

    Hope I have answered your question 🙂 (BandB the smile is merely a polite sign off, not an assertion of how smart my comment has been…)

  • beefman13

    Oct 15, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    Comment #6

    We played three games in the coca cola, where we drew three games in a row, two of them at home one was against bristol city i think.

    All hell broke loose, that was the end of our premiership dream, this man in charge is taking them mick, hes a clown, hes a tightarse, no more of this i wont be coming back to watch this garbage i heard around the ground.

    Scroll forward to the seasons end and 105 points and cakewalked the championship, big celebrations, followed by the ahhh but we will get relegated next season thats a knocking bet, we have not the players to compete in the premiership and we wont strengthen.

    scroll forward the next season and a very good one at that were we had 5-1 wins against the mackems 6-1 wins against aston villa and 5-0 against west ham and but for a second half collapse v west brom we would have finished 8th pretty good i reckon.

    Then at the start of last season most saying we would be fighting relegation but be ok in the end, we were 5th in what was as good a season and a unexpected a season in prem history by a team forcast to get no where near the champs league. And double manager of the season as well.

    So we start this season a bit of hit and miss but only loosing to man utd and chelsea in games we put up a good show in both and missing the core of our team as well.

    We are a fifth of the season in, and fans are saying whats the point if he isnt going to invest even though we have many many cracking players now built up over the last three seasons.

    Respected all over europe as a team and the way our club is being transformed

    Indeed sir alex ferguson claiming we are a massive handful only last week and that was still with our core missing.

    So is it worth it for me to continue being positive and believing we are going forward, more so than ever.

    Quite a few on here have said i dont see the other side of the argument ie he should be spending more and should have got left back right back in to the club etc i seen that, i would have liked that, i still think we will sterngthen in those areas as well so i do see that.

    But for me there is just no negatives so i wont adhere to or support them.

    We are doing well indeed with the whole club believing right the way through, im following them in their genuine belief,

    In a strange way the less positive drive the club on in a way, as the club again will prove to them they are moving forward.

  • Quasi.modo

    Oct 15, 2012 at 12:20 AM

    Comment #7


    I advocate a more positive approach to all things NUFC but to say that there are no negatives is not quite true. MA renamed SJP, which may have turned out to be a shrewd business move but that is a massive negative in my book.

    We have needed another CB for the last 3 seasons, and have yet to sign one, we have Perch and Willo who do a good job but neither are of the requisite standard to really push us on. I am willing to accept that Remi Streete and Curtis Good could be excellent long term CBs for the club but we have needed a stronger CB pushing both Saylor and Colo for a while.

    Other than these issues, I agree that on the whole there has been a lot more positivity emanating from the club than there has been negative, and that hasn’t been the dynamic for a long time but that isn’t to say that all is rosy. Time will tell whether this period of our club’s existence will yield success, all I know is that we deserve something as supporting this club is wonderful but it doesn’t half take it out of you! haha

  • mattyNUFC

    Oct 15, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    Comment #8


    whats that they say about a thousand words? 🙂

    but really, it was to you too. why circumnavigate it by announcing your unrelenting adherence to ‘the plan’ instead of answering it?

    how long will it take without either of the aforementioned achievements before you question our current policies, assuming those policies do not divert?

  • mattyNUFC

    Oct 15, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    Comment #9

    quasi @ 7

    a really well stated point. you get two nufcblog point redeemable at my soon to be inaugurated (for those in dire need of psychoanalytical assistance due to incessant badgering on

  • mattyNUFC

    Oct 15, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    Comment #10

    and to answer my own question:

    it would depend on one factor; the type of football we’re exhibiting. the one aspect of all of this is that this is entertainment. this is an attempt at script with something that frankly can follow no plot. if we are entertaining, giving a good account of ourselves with the football we play and CHALLENGING for those achievements, i will be content

    now, let’s say we were to carry on in the same vein of inconsistency and the upper echelons of club keep telling us this is all part of it, well, i’d say probably in about two years time i’d be well and truly fed up if we weren’t realistically knocking on the door. unfortunately a knock and a tap, a brazen shout can all be argued to be commendable.

    pardew, that’s a different story for me. don’t like him as a tactician and sure as hell don’t respect him as an individual, but that’s me personally

  • jawballsaswallwell

    Oct 15, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    Comment #11

    Surely the juries out on Ashley’s ownership, but I think one thing that we can count on is that he’ll do it his own way. Simply put, he won’t throw money at it, but he will explore other avenues.

    I also think he’s a quick study, even so he’s been sadly disconnected from the mindset of the clubs fan base and how this relationship with the fans develops will I believe increasingly influence the way he runs the club in the future. He is an outsider and he doesn’t buy into the club the way we do, obviously, that needs to change, and the longer he’s around the greater the chance it will, in me ever so ‘umble opinion.

  • beefman13

    Oct 15, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    Comment #12

    Ground renaming saga, a bollocks for everyone.

    CH getting sacked was bollocks for everyone as well.

    WE have now our beloved name back and a manager who is a double manager of the year, a fell who came in under extreme circumstances and has proved he can do a job many thought he could not poosibly do. i had serious doubts on that but for me has done a job here i dont think anyone else couod have done better.

    He is still positive in his belief for the club he gets what is happening transfer wise he has stated it is not a disaster that we did not get that centre back inthe window and has no regrets.

    He believes his players can again deliver a near top 4 finish even with us in europe he says we are going to go for it,thats positivity and that instills to the players as well, he puts a belief in to players and if in life you have a strong belief and desire anything is possible.

    Just look at cloughs teams they would walk through fire for the bloke and were transformed a lot of the time from average/good players to very top notch, our own frankie clark left us and went on to be a european cup winner later in his career who would have thought that.

    So with the belief desire and hunger you can achieve anything, we have got these things throughout NUFC, i am with that.

    AP has that especially and he has that big time with his players and staff and scouting staff, which i have also.

  • mattyNUFC

    Oct 15, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    Comment #13


    another great point

    still think MA has vivid memories of fans’ treatment of him for most of the past 4 or so years. whether you agree with or agreed at the time with the berating, it doesn’t change the fact that he and DL are very, very stubborn men and above all else, impossible to read

  • mattyNUFC

    Oct 15, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    Comment #14


    thanks again for not answering the question. i’m sure you were probably too wrapped up in writing your latest thesis

    but to compare our team to clough’s average lot, as you say, is dead wrong. we have internationals galore. we have the best young goalkeeper in the league. a very promising italian international. two great CBs, blah blah blah. i can go on but don’t feel like it.

    point is, we do not have an average team and we do not have average players. that we can thank MA and Carr for. my qualm is with pardew still not getting them to play together.

    compare our team to any other team in the league and, bar one or two outside of the regular top 4, we are light years ahead of anyone else.

    this is my ear. and this is it deaf.

    please answer the question. i’m curious, especially to hear a response from someone as Nazi-Germany esque in your adherence to all things in the club. how long would it take?

    i’m assuming never because your next post will still be trying to shine a light on just how much of a blind adherent you are

    good night

  • Mister Tuff

    Oct 15, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    Comment #15

    Beefman and Quasi.
    I must say a couple of reasonable posts.
    B. Putting a historical perspective over the last few years into the mix does I suppose show progress as to how we are currently doing (in comparison to where we have come from after being relegated). Fans I suppose want to better last seasons position and fear it might not be
    achieved but applying the historical perspective probably should bring us back down to earth.
    Q. I agree with your comments re CB –its obvious for all to see that improvement is needed rapidly –this can only come with a purchase.
    I personally think several players will be bought in January. Also, the way it should work in a well versed outfit is that AP (and AP alone) should be speaking about football matters (players/selctions etc) and Dastardly should restrict himself to policy etc and not talk about individual players and their abilities. They need to be better at PR –what you should/can say and what should be kept private.

  • Quasi.modo

    Oct 15, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    Comment #16


    I don’t think Mike will ever buy into the ethos of NUFC, and in reality we don’t really need him to. He will never be the Roman Abramovich type who will fall in love with the club and spend whatever is necessary to buy success, nor do I think he was naive to the damage that he was doing to the fanbase; I think he was very aware of the impact the renaming fiasco was going to have on us as fans yet he went on ahead with it for financial reasons that will ultimately benefit us as a club and him as a businessman, MA and us fans will never see eye to eye, he has made some absolute howlers in the past (recent past) but has also made a huge commitment to getting this club back to where it belongs.

    There is never one side to MA, just one big rotund circle with differing opinions on him. His legacy has yet to be determined, but I think a lot more fans will warm to him if we win a trophy while he owns the club, and I think we are laying foundations for that feat.


    Strongly agree that outside the top four we have one of, if not, the strongest team and by right should be pushing on and cementing our status as “the next in line” to be pushing for top 4, and who is to say that at the end of the season we will not be there again? At the start of last season we were not playing gorgeous football, we happened to go on an 11 game unbeaten streak due to grit, hard work, and a little bit of luck, both in games and with regards to injuries.

    We haven’t had the same luck with injuries this season and our football has been a bit patchy but that isn’t to say that it won’t come good. A lot of people have been slating both Man United and Man City’s starts to the season and they both put in performances to silence their critics, I prefer to think that our critic silencing performance has been saved for the unwashed, wouldn’t it be great if we went to their dump and spanked them, with Cabaye, Cisse and Tiote all having stormers?

    Stranger things have happened. As for Pardew, I think he has done a sterling job, not perfect, strange tactics at times but always seems willing to learn from his mistakes but also stick to what he thinks is right. A good balance between the two and there you have a good manager. SAF and Wenger weren’t great managers from the get go and in managerial terms Pards is still young so let’s cut him a little slack, after all he did get us to 5th. Only my opinion though.

  • brian kilclines pony tail

    Oct 15, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    Comment #17

    im pretty sure arsenal waited about a year to get wenger as their manager as he wouldn’t break his contract with the Japanese team he was managing at the time.
    This was because he was already a top manager.
    If memory serves they sacked george graham for dodgy dealings and then got bruce rioch from bolton who was manager when they signed dennis bergkamp. it later came out that bergkamp only signed on the condition that wenger would be the future manager so the whole time rioch was the manager arsenal were waiting for wenger.

  • Quasi.modo

    Oct 15, 2012 at 1:51 AM

    Comment #18

    Seems like a pedantic point to take from what I was saying, he was a good manager, but he has only became a top top manager during his time at Arsenal. SAF was a good manager at Aberdeen, but only became a top top manager while at Man United. In the same vein, Pards was a good, if unspectacular, manager before he came to Newcastle, what’s to stop him from being a top top manager while at our club?

    At the risk of getting into a debate about Wenger, remember that my points are in reference to Newcastle United not Arsenal or Wenger.

  • jawballsaswallwell

    Oct 15, 2012 at 2:03 AM

    Comment #19

    I think that Ashley has modified his attitude depending on how he perceives the club at any given period of time. Which seems only natural. He came in behaving like a fan, then developed a siege mentality, now oversees a prudent stewardship that is gradually becoming more communicative. I expect Ashley to continue run a tight ship while he’s here, but equally if we continue progress and if his relationship with the fans continues to improve then I would expect the austerity to lessen.

  • karasu

    Oct 15, 2012 at 2:59 AM

    Comment #20

    So, why is nobody talking about the linked striker Gary Hooper? Isn’t he supposed to be the topic of this blog entry? I say give him a go if he costs 3 million and under. SPL is not without its stars y’know? Nikica Jelavic and Steven Davis are some of those pretty talented players who hailed from SPL.

  • Santon03

    Oct 15, 2012 at 3:28 AM

    Comment #21

    Ba should learn from past records that moving to Liverpool = career killing move. He should take a long hard look at AC and Jose, what happen to them now.

    IF we really honestly want our youngsters to progress, we shouldn’t buy anymore first team players, probably just one or two senior players in a season depending how many competitions we are in.

  • jesperfuglsang

    Oct 15, 2012 at 5:51 AM

    Comment #22

    I do find it very hard to believe that we are interested, but then again if he is cheap nothing would surprise me 🙂

    …I don’t really rate him but that is just me!

    Oh and by the way, morning everyone 🙂 rise and shine

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Oct 15, 2012 at 6:23 AM

    Comment #23

    Deceny striker yes
    Acceptal replacement for ba No he’s a world class striker and should be replaced with another world class striker IF he goes which i hope he doesn’t

  • jesperfuglsang

    Oct 15, 2012 at 6:29 AM

    Comment #24

    TADS…you and I need to have a talk about punctuation 😉 lol

  • Santon03

    Oct 15, 2012 at 6:40 AM

    Comment #25

    If Ba decides to go, I’d rather have Adam Campbell and Sammy to play along side Cisse, I don’t care if most people said they are not old enough, need more loan experience, blablabla. We only get 7m for Ba probably half of that, I’d rather buy CB.

  • jesperfuglsang

    Oct 15, 2012 at 6:50 AM

    Comment #26

    Santon…I think if Ba leaves the club is going to have to spend some money whether they want to or not 😉

    …we even have another problem to attend to and that is Simpson (his contract is running out so we need a new RB)

    The club gambled with players this season and I think they all know by now that is was too risky a gamble…

    If they don’t then they really need a reality check!

  • toon_army_redlichtie85

    Oct 15, 2012 at 6:54 AM

    Comment #27

    Without a doubt the best striker in Scotland atm and without a doubt he gets the service at any club he can be successful anywhere! Has anyone actually seen his goals or his work rate ? It’s immense! Doesn’t matter what team or league you play in when your off the ball work is brilliant! The goal net is the same in every league to! So as I said he would be perfect for the toon! The next Alan Shearer!

  • jesperfuglsang

    Oct 15, 2012 at 7:09 AM

    Comment #28

    I don’t really rate the Scotties PL it is about the same as the Danish Superliga and miles behind the Belgian and Dutch Eresdivision

  • Santon03

    Oct 15, 2012 at 7:12 AM

    Comment #29


    I don’t think the club gambled with players, it’s just that the players the club wanted are simply overpriced. The club management must have consulted with Carr, for example the club didn’t pay for Debuchy, but we paid for Anita. It’s Carr’s job to give inputs to the management if the player is worthed or not, overpriced or not.
    The club also has changed their youth policy, I’d rather have the promising youngsters to get more experience with our 1st team rather than training with other teams on loan.
    I believe the club will spend more money to get new players in January, probably more defenders especially CB and more youngsters. Too many defenders injured and I hope Simpson will sign a new deal.

  • jawballsaswallwell

    Oct 15, 2012 at 7:47 AM

    Comment #30

    Just scouted him on a 3 min youtube clip and recommend we sign him forthwith on a 5 year deal for no less than 50 000 quid a week. Get to it!

    Actually, no joke, on a 3 min highlight vid he looks outstanding!

  • Conaldo (The Wizard)

    Oct 15, 2012 at 7:50 AM

    Comment #31

    Jaw – I’ve watched him a few times on tv, and he looks an outstanding player. If we get him cheap I say sign him up.

  • jesperfuglsang

    Oct 15, 2012 at 7:57 AM

    Comment #32

    Santo…why wait until January to spend when we needed a few more bodies in August 🙂

    About the youth that is where is disagree with the club. most of them should have been loaned out this season; the gamble for me is in fact that we use so many of them!

    Whether players are overprized or not is not my area of expertice – I’ll leave that for the club, but maybe Carr should have put a different list together then? one we could afford!

  • jesperfuglsang

    Oct 15, 2012 at 8:00 AM

    Comment #33

    *should have said Santon sorry mate 😉 lol

  • Pushy Pardew

    Oct 15, 2012 at 8:12 AM

    Comment #34

    Hear you know what it is like being a goalscorer. I’ll pass though on your match report. On Hooper was impressed with him following his showing against us in our Championship season. Only watched him since for Celtic on tv but he looks a natural goalscorer and hard working. Not sure where he woukl play in 4-3-3 because not a wide man .

  • FatmanJoe

    Oct 15, 2012 at 8:16 AM

    Comment #35

    I really like hooper and for anything less than 5m should definitely be considered!

    Pushy – I think he would be the spear head in a 433, someone to get on the end of things. But we don’t tend to play 433 often so he would also suit our 442 system.

  • FatmanJoe

    Oct 15, 2012 at 8:20 AM

    Comment #36

    And matty to answer your question

    We’ve been waiting pretty long for a decent trophy anyway (intertoto etc of course dont count) so I’m not sure many of the older fans are ready to start lynching ma if it doesn’t happen in the next few years. It would be nice but patience is a virtue and nufc fans have had to learn it.

  • Pushy Pardew

    Oct 15, 2012 at 8:26 AM

    Comment #37

    Pardew wants to play 4-2-3-1 but circumstances have made it impossible. As an alternative 4-3-3 with Marveaux featuring. Has not happened yet be patient. He wants a passing not hoofball style of play.

  • Santon03

    Oct 15, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    Comment #38


    We are currently playing in Premier League against Premier League quality opponents, loaning youngsters to 2nd or 3rd division clubs probably help a little bit with their development, honestly I don’t know how much it will help them against Manu, Manc, etc. unless you loan them to teams in Eredivise, Bundesliga, ligue1, etc.
    I don’t mean any disrespect to 2nd or 3rd division clubs, but I think our reserve team quality is above them. 🙂

  • Santon03

    Oct 15, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    Comment #39

    Btw if we are looking for another strike ( a target man), why not sign this guy Lacina Traore, he is 22 yrs old, 6ft8.

  • Santon03

    Oct 15, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    Comment #40

    I don’t know 18million euros is true or not


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