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News and Commentary On Newcastle United Football Club By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Do Newcastle Want To Become A Top Club Or Not?

9:59 am, Sunday, November 18th, 2012 by Ed Harrison · 31 Comments

Newcastle’s inability to fortify the squad last summer for European competition is now coming back to haunt the club, because with the extra games in the Europa League, we didn’t strengthen the side other than bringing in  Vurnon Anita from Ajax over the summer months.

Mike Ashley – will he fund deals in January?

And with not strengthening the squad we’ve also had long term injuries to Ryan Taylor, Haris Vuckic and Dan Gosling, and injuries to Coloccini, James Perch, Jonas Gutierrez and Yohan Cabaye, and we’ve had three game suspensions for red cards for both Fabricio Coloccini and Cheick Tiote.

But those injuries and suspensions are what happens every season to any club, which is why the top clubs have bigger and better squads, so they can see themselves through the difficult times that come up in any season.

But that’s not so with Newcastle, at least this season, and the extra games have put significant stress on the small playing squad, which has been decimated.

Newcastle will probably still be in the Europa league come January, and we’ve been told if that’s the case then Newcastle will attempt to fortify the squad.

But even if we get knocked out of Europe, why wouldn’t we still fortify the squad the try to help climb the league table – we are now in 12th place in the league?

What Newcastle do in January will be a clue as to what kind of club Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias want at Newcastle, and whether we are really trying to become a top club in England and Europe.

We don’t expect Newcastle to vary much from their current policy of bringing in bargain buys, which is good, but if we see three good player come through the door in January, that may tell us Newcastle have ambitions to become one of the top clubs.

But we’ll have to wait and see on that one.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

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Tags: Coaching · Europa League · European Champions League · European Competition · Newcastle News





31 responses so far ↓

  • 1 catchy in norway // Nov 18, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    26 nimo

    crap

    i try my very best to back my arguments up

    a few games last year we were poor,, you would be in a minority to think we played well in a lot of games last year, and most do agree with that,

    most ppl where look at the table we are 5th, but never said look how good we are playing, we could go higher,

    as for stability, this club has been going backwards since CH left, only some ppl carnt see that because of that false position last season,

    now to contradict myself

    we finished 5th, and played poor, but i think the team si good enough to finish higher than that,
    i just think pardew , with what ever his style of play is

  • 2 nimo // Nov 18, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    5th wasn’t a false position though was it… who in the league last year should of finished above us.. winning a cup can be luck but over a season no..

  • 3 Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand // Nov 18, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    Catchy…If a new manager of your choosing did come in. How long would you give them to get the team playing the type of football you want to see and breaking into that top 4?

  • 4 catchy in norway // Nov 18, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    32 Ian Toon

    ian

    yesterday, i missed the first half,, but for the first 10 mins in the second half i was happy with what i was seeing, then it all went wrong

    again, i felt his subs were wrong

    anita left back,, he has played right back,, so why LB, after all it was simpson that went off, why switch it all around,, who picks up who (second goal)

    the after match chat,he said

    we had a young side out there, ( as an excuse) then said 1 min later , we were beter today than west ham game,,

    now how can he blame it on a young team when he also said they did better than the older team of last week

    i hate him,, he dosent think about anything befroe he speaks

    last sub,, marv, why was the defensive one done first, for me he should have went on not long after shola,, but he came onin the 81 min

    he got it wrong again,, admit it

  • 5 woolerbill // Nov 18, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    I don’t think many quality players will want to join a club in the bottom half of the table in January. Maybe if Pardew started to use his brain, not his mouth and kick some ass we may survive.

  • 6 catchy in norway // Nov 18, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    ibiza

    if we played better football id be happy with pardew, but we dont,

    as for a new manager, id normally give him a week or 2,,

    it would depend on the job that was in front of him, if it was a total rebuild, like CH did, then he would be given time, but pardew had a good team, not a great team, now i think he has a better team than he started with and still can not get the best out of them,

    i think if laudrup had our team , he would be much higher than us right now, with suspensions and injuries included,

    but you have to admit,, pardew has no real pattern of football, unlike most other teams,, do you not ask yourself why

  • 7 Super Magpie // Nov 18, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    Ian

    In no way was it as bad as West Ham. I thought it was a much better performance in the first half. We just lacked the final ball. I feel we rely on HBA too much. We expect him to carry us and he can’t do that. Nothing needed to be changed at half time. If anyone was going to come on it should’ve been Obertan or Marveaux, not Shola. Even in the first half we missed a few chances but none of them were guilt edge chances. If teams sit back against us we don’t know what to do. As we pushed further up we got picked off. We needed to get the first goal,but we didn’t. I think we would have went on to win comfortably had we took the lead because the roles would’ve been reversed and we could’ve picked them off, but it wasn’t to be.

    It’s clear now that we need players brought in, nobody can argue with that. But whether Ashley and Llambias have the ambition to do this, we will go further backwards if we don’t.

  • 8 catchy in norway // Nov 18, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    be bak soon

    work :(

  • 9 tarie4 // Nov 18, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    Catchy

    “as for stability, this club has been going backwards since CH left, only some ppl carnt see that because of that false position last season,”

    Pliz do explain this further, I don’t see it, but clearly U do. So open my eyes old chap

  • 10 catchy in norway // Nov 18, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    tarie4

    i have to work, but i will explian,, im not ignoring you

    :)

  • 11 Super Magpie // Nov 18, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    Catchy

    So going from 12th – 5th is going backwards?
    As much as I admire Hughton he would never have got us to 5th.

  • 12 Graeme // Nov 18, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    I was at the game yesterday and the reality was eye opening. In the first half, no matter how many shots the stats say we had, their keeper had to make ONE save.

    The movement by our players, when pressing forward was woeful, there was nobody to pass to, so it was crossed, booted into the box, purely in hope. In the end Ben Arfa was having to come into his own half to pick up the ball to try and do something on his own. Ben 10 was the one outstanding display from any of our players – at least he showed some desire and passion!!

    Yes, we applied pressure, wave after wave of it – but what did it produce? Jack squat. Swansea could have had 4 if their No 9 had been a bit more alert; our CF – Ba – got nothing like that service. WHY??

    For all Pardew’s “disapointment” HIS team are just not performing and haven’t been all season. He can put forward all the excuses he want’s – and they really are just excuses – the reality is plain to see.

    He is allegedly, a “Proffessional” working with “Proffessionals”, allegedly with a common goal. There was very little evidence that the players he used yesterday understood the concept of “Teamwork” of actually working for each other, to create space, give the player on the ball some options – it just didn’t happen.

  • 13 blew // Nov 18, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    Its the so called bargain buys who are partly responsible for club being in the present league position. Simply not good enough, the strategy has to change, however, does the owner want this? I suggest no. Otherwise Mr Ashley would have strengthened the team in Summer. Have Gosling, Oberton, Marveaux, Abeid and Anita for example, given the side anything? All dead wood, Graham Carr needs a change of mandate to bring in better players, but is Mr Ashley interested ? Doubt it.

  • 14 Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand // Nov 18, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    Catchy….A week or two to deliver the football you crave from a new manager? Love it.

    No disrespect intended, but where are you coming from on this? I don’t know where to begin. One or two weeks? Is this just for a few promising signs?

    I have answered your last question before, I think Pardew knows what he wants to do, but doesn’t feel for whatever reason he has the right players or the players we have aren’t ready. He may be wrong, but that is what I think is happening. As I accept this as a transitional period, it doesn’t wind me up like it does you.

    I also think you’re being way too over critical oh his post match comments.

    Did we have less of our bigger players? More or less, yeah. Does that usually make games harder? Yep. Did we play better this week? Well i missed the West Ham game, but it sounds like we did.

    I accept sometimes he can talk utter rubbish, but most of them do from time to time. He’s not the Messiah (He’s a very naughty boy – sorry), but I believe he can take us forward. Where to, no idea, but given the rubbish since Sir Bobby, I can give this guy some more time.

    Anyway, it’s Sunday, the sun is shining, so I might go back to bed :)

    Take care y’all!

  • 15 Super Magpie // Nov 18, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    Greame

    100% spot on, totally agree with that.

  • 16 Klam3r // Nov 18, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    Catchy

    Agree with you, and i’ll add this after watching him in many interviews since he replaced CH. Pardew is inedible. He’s all talk, blaming this and that with an overbearing tone. Take it on the chin man, open your eyes and akcnowledge that you are the man that’s responsible for our fieldplay. I don’t care about points now. A loss where we lost 3-0 and played some good dominating football would be more comforting than a lucky 1-0 win and hoofball. Our manager is outdatet in his filosophy.

  • 17 Ian Toon // Nov 18, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    Super Magpie- I accept the inevitability of not scoring first and the mountain to climb coming back our record speaks for itself. The crowd were shocking. There was a nervous tension in the air not helped by some of our prima donna fans who stopped supporting ( by their vocal comments) once we went behind. A bolder substitution would have been as you suggested but we did create a number of clear cut opportunities largely wasted by Ba. Pardew does have a mindset of battering with Sholarather than the craft approach that certainly Marve provides. We’ve come closer together in our thinking. Thanks for coming back.

  • 18 Ian Toon // Nov 18, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    Super- Can we save the. Ashley etc debate for another time.

  • 19 south coast toon // Nov 18, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    i dont see ashley splashing 30 mil on hassard or 50 mil on cisse, or whatever man city or united spend,he thinks he can do it on the cheap or cleverly,he going along the new spending rules for club and getting us finanilly sound,if we can finish top 6 for 3 or 4 seasons then we will attract more players, but it should have been done last summer i cant see to many wanting to come here in jan and then we might wait till 2 r free in the summer.so my answer to the question is i dont think they want us in top four at to bigger cost however i do think they want us close to it ashleys still learning this game, he needs to learn to spend when your stock looks good. as an old man once told me you dont go fishing and catch em all to start with, you got to learn sun shine

  • 20 jimiley // Nov 18, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    Newcastle is a top team. Best support in the country and one of the best grounds. How can we compete with 30 million signings? We need an Arab owner. Until we get one, just enjoy the Toon for what it is and forget about winning. Tactics and bargain basement buys to compete against multi billionaires will not cut it. Keep the faith and enjoy the odd upset when we put egg on the faces of the big boys. I would not want to support a team whose players are earning a MILLION quid a month. Its disgusting and immoral when many people are on the dole or earning 6 quid an hour.

  • 21 Ian Toon // Nov 18, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    Catchy- Good Day . Haven’t got the energy for a discussion on the strength of emotion required to hate someone. In relative terms it was a better showing than against the hammers So. Look on the bright side were making progress. Pleased you had a good family day yesterday. Catcher later Catchy geddit. I am just a silly callow kid . What do I know about anything. I Just have questions and very few answers.

  • 22 Ian Toon // Nov 18, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    Geordie Dan – spot on mate. I was beginning to think I had dreamt the whole thing. Yes we do need to kick on and be positive. HWTL.

  • 23 nico // Nov 18, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    The problem we are seeing at the moment is we don’t have a knowledable football man in charge of the club. They look at stats and think we can achieve the same results as we have the same team. They don’t think about other teams improving and other variables such as injuries, suspensions, form etc.
    If we really wanted to move forward, or establish ourselves as a top 6 team we had to strengthen our squad. Instead we bought cheap young players who aren’t ready for the first team.
    We let IMO at really good player in Guthrie leave for free. We only spent money on one player, Anita. And IMO he is poor.
    It really will be interesting to see what we do in January, thing is it will be to late by then.
    I said this at the start of the season, we will finish 10-12th with squad we have. Watching all the games this season, most of them their in person, I don’t think we have a good enough team to be in the top half.
    I feel for Pardew as he’s not being backed up by those above him. Imagine if we had brought in Debuchy, Douglasan established attacking center mid and a proven centre forward. Yes, it might have cost us 20 milllion but we would have been challenging for top 4.

  • 24 Munster Mag // Nov 18, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    Do Newcastle want to become a big club? I dont think so. I’ve said often before, we are no more than a vehicle for Sports Direct . Ashley will do enough to keep us in the premier league, but thats about it. So after ballsing up so many things, he got a manager that suited him and pulled a masterstroke by getting a great chief scout. In reality, when it comes to spending money, as I have explained before, we will be fast as hell in for the Bigi’s of this world, but spending 10-15 mill on 2 really decent players was a pyschological step too far, so we got Anita, who can do a few jobs instead of one. I have to say though, Pardew fell badly in my estimations yesterday. Hiding behine the Cisse excuse was pitiful. Has it been Ba, or Colo, or Ben Arfa, I could accept his point. But he knew that many fans watching would think that Cisse is key to out form, but we all know, that he isnt these days. It was a sad effort, and we should have been stuffed,. Trouble ahead.

  • 25 terencelim // Nov 18, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    I think each fan define “Top Club” differently. I myself give it a simple term- to win a major cup.

    That’s the reason I don’t often look seriously into things like youth development, bargain buy, good sponsorship deal etc. These things often distract your vision for the ultimate goal- win a major cup.

    That’s what a club with this size, with this fan base and this financial status should at least aim for. How long do we still need to wait for that? Centuries?

    I call Liverpool a top club despite the fact that they’re no longer the solid contender for league title. They still somehow, win cups once in a while even during their poor performance in the league, that’s what the big boys do. Like it or not, Jose Enrique and Andy Carroll both have already achieved that last year, with only a year time at Anfield. Criticize them as you like, they’ve already moved a huge step forward in their career.

    I don’t see winning a cup as a big concern from the current club owner. All his actions clearly tell me he tries his very very best to save every penny and squeeze as much money as possible with the name of the club. He couldn’t even make a $20m net spending in transfer window since he owned the club (and use youth development as an excuse).

    As much as I want to see our young players make it to the squad, I don’t overate them. The likes of Bigirimana, Vuckic, Sammy and Tavernier wouldn’t even close to 1st team if they’re in Liverpool. They’ve huge potential, but clearly not ready yet.

    Strange though, I could see the likes of Spurs, Liverpool, Everton, Stoke City and even Swansea win a cup sooner than us, though the last one stadium capacity isn’t even half of St James Park.

  • 26 terencelim // Nov 18, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    And I sincerely hope more fans in this blog talks more about the club, rather than other fans. No matter who you’re, call yourself a optimist, pessimist, moaner, back by popular demand bs whatsoever, discuss about football, please.

  • 27 Darling27 // Nov 18, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    I hope we bring in 3 players in January. Douglas, Remy and a left footed left back of Santon’s quality.

    4-2-3-1 is the way forward.

    GK Krul
    LB New Left Back
    CB S. Taylor
    CB Coloccini
    RB Santon
    CM Tiote
    CM Cabaye
    RW Remy
    AM Ba
    LW Ben Arfa
    ST Cisse

    We’d shoot up the league with that first eleven!!!

  • 28 Dog Metrics // Nov 18, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    Hello everyone, I am new to this forum so go easy on me. I have been a Toon fan for about 18 years now but never thought to visit any of the forums. I am an adent fan and not afraid to say I shed a tear or two when we got relegated a few seasons ago now.

    In terms of the answer to the subject matter, I think Ashley does want us to be a big club. Unfortunately, I think he is going about it the wrong way in some instances.
    I agree we did better than expected last season because nobody expected us to be in that position in the end. However if you look at this Toon squad it is the strongest squad we’ve had since the late Sir Bobby IMO.
    Our recruitment has been good under Ashley and really we should now be challenging for champions league positions. This team is filled with good international players so we should be higher up. So what’s the problem?

    For me Padew, I know some may not agree, is not a good coach and his backroom are not tactically astute. I dont know if anyone noticed last season that we lost nearly every game when the opposition scored first.

    What was obvious also was a lack of plan B once we’d gone behind. Padew in my opinion is working with a talented set of players and currently is under-achieving given our squad. I also dont like the excuses coming out of his mouth(a la Wenger). Now he is saying we lost because we didnt have Cisse. I think that’s insulting fans’ intelligence considering Cisse has been off-form.

    We lost because we can’t take chances and our defending is poor(we’ve not kept a clean sheet for how many games now?). Padew IMO is a mid-table manager at most and is in the job because of his London connections and is practically a yes man to the likes of Ashley. How else can anyone explain the 8 year old contract he has been given? That for an unproven manager at the top end?

    It was obvious to many last season that we needed cover in defence, but instead we went out and bought a load of midfielders, positions where we had enough cover! I dont think we will move forward until we also have a coach who can stand up to Ashley and ask for what we need. Padew for me isn’t the person.

    Just imagine this team being managed by someone like Dave Moyes, a man who makes little excuses.

  • 29 GeordieLadMick // Nov 18, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    @Darling27, That formation will not work. We have tried to play Ba behind Cisse but he always ends up alongside him anyway. Remy would want to play centrally if he came here, and personally I think that’s where he plays best. I watch a lot of French football with my missus being an avid Lyon fan (she’s french) and Remy would be quality down the middle with Ba.

  • 30 south coast toon // Nov 18, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    i,d love to see that team darling, we are only 5 or 6 good players away from a pretty good squad ,hopefully ashley has seen his mistake in the summer and will want to sort it now as pards can probably keep our best players hear janurary, but there not going to listen to anyone after that if quality signing arent in place,last season they really dug in and scrapped for every point as they wanted to play in europe, not many have had that chance really, i know i,d feel a bit let down,lets hope we get 3 in jan and 2 or 3 in the summer

  • 31 veto // Nov 18, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    we are no worse than last season , just the fixtures are reversed .
    we had a decent run at the start last season then had the harder teams , this time we have had the tougher games first and should really be picking up the bulk of our points in the last cpl and next few games .
    last season we played poor alot but picked up 3 points , we are just not getting that same luck this time round , but generally the football is no better or worse , we are still a team coming of the back of alot of transition and waiting on some players maturing into the squad more .
    futures bright , lets not take our eyes away from the longterm goal here , without proper investment there was no way we were going to retain last seasons position , the fat controller wants todo it slow and steady so we have a cpl years yet before we can start placing some real expectations on padrew and the squad .




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