Lots Of Clubs Wanted Newcastle’s Best Players Last Summer

Derek LLambias has opened the lid on some of what happened last year, and while we now know it was a big mistake not to bring in more players last summer, it seems the club had a hard job keeping the good players they had with clubs and agents pestering Newcastle for a number of our top players.

yohan cabaye at Euro 2012

Yohan Cabaye – will be in big demand this summer

This is what Derek Llambias, in an exclusive interview in the Evening Chronicle today – had to say about last summer’s transfer window:

“We were so fundamentally tight on the model maybe we should have taken more of a risk in the summer.” “I do not think it is the cost. We just thought we had enough depth and that is where we went wrong.” “We just did not give ourselves enough slack.”

“There have been three stages to the season.” “If we go back to the summer, we had a fantastic season last year, it was way above our expectations.” “We worked really hard to keep our players.” “We had interest and pressure from agents and clubs wanting to buy some of our players.”

“People perhaps do not realise it can be a difficult task to retain them all.” “We kept them and kept them happy. We brought Vurnon Anita, who I think is going to be a star.” “Then we had the horrendous injury list – and you cannot have a working model that is set up to withstand such a horrendous injury list.”

“So we found ourselves in a worse position than we expected. We had too many top players out for too long.” “I think it was a massive plus to keep our star names.” “We do not give ourselves much credit because that is not what we think we should be doing.”

“For us it is a big plus to keep those players.” “When you look back, and we always do, Mike and I always look at where we are as a business – but did we make a mistake in the summer?” “I think we did.”

If we had trouble last summer keeping our top players at the club, you can bet your life the same thing will happen this summer, with stories already doing the rounds that top clubs will be wanting Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye,  and we wouldn’t t be surprised if some clubs came in for Moussa Sissoko too.

Newcastle will need to keep their best players on Tyneside, and in addition to that bring in a new recruitment of young Development players, and two or three top players for the first team – and then we’ll be in great shape for next season.

But we must keep the good players we already have.

Howay The Lads!!

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20 comments so far

  • blew

    Feb 7, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #1

    To have a good development squad a reputed coach is needed, we do not bring on young talent.
    DL says Anita will be a top player and I agree, but he wont sitting on the bench, when he has earned a first team spot.

  • Kyo

    Feb 7, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #2

    I don’t expect to keep HBA or Cabaye forever. And I don’t expect them to be sold for pennies. If they go, we’ll get good money which will then be re-invested in the squad.

  • Troy Stavers

    Feb 7, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #3

    Good to see that he admits his mistakes. If only they had listened to the fans who shouted from the roof tops that a Centre Back was an absolute priority and had been for 2 seasons or more.

    Anyway, lets hope they learn from this and the same mistake doesn’t happen again.

  • toonincheek

    Feb 7, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #4

    I reckon MA and DLl are taking a bit of stick for not bringing in more/some players last summer.
    Unfair, I think.
    The stated intention was to make sure we kept our top players and kept together the team that had done so well last year. And give the younger players a chance.
    That was done.
    Unfortunately, the younger players generally didn’t come up to the mark when they got their chance.

    If we had brought more players in – and not given the youngsters a chance – there would surely have been criticism.

    Easy to ctiticise with hindsight – but what we did last summer did have solid logic behind it.
    (as well as being cheaper!!!)

  • Troy Stavers

    Feb 7, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #5


    We need to be aiming for a top 4 spot next season if we want to keep the wolves away from our door and the players not wanting to leave.

  • Beattie25

    Feb 7, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #6

    More than anything this Summer I hope that we see the lack of quality in depth and solve that issue.

    We need to allow Willo, Gosling, Simpson and Ranger to leave and add decent younger alternatives.

    Then we can concentrate on Colo’s replacement, additions to the 1st team and youth.

    The numbers in thee squad were never in doubt this season, the quality in reserve has let us down.

  • Troy Stavers

    Feb 7, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #7


    But surely they should have seen the young players were nowhere near ready. Pardew has to take the blame on that front.

    Pardew manages the football side and certainly should take a big heap of the blame. However he could not have foreseen the huge slump in Cisses performances.

    The board and Pardew made mistakes by deciding the squad was strong enough. I’m pleased they’ve seen the light and done something about it.

    Onwards and upwards. 😉

  • TorqToon

    Feb 7, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #8

    Marcus Maddison, Michael Riley, JJ Hooper and Dennis Knight all released.

  • Kyo

    Feb 7, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #9

    @Troy Stavers

    As much as I would love a top 4 spot, I don’t see it happening next season. I would *Keegan voice* LOVE IT! though.

  • toonincheek

    Feb 7, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #10

    Yohann Cabaye is EXACTLY what ManU need to replace Paul Scholes.
    Said that before.
    And ManU pay BIG money, TOP money for the right players.
    Going way back, think Rio Ferdinand.
    More recently Phil Jones.
    I’m worried.

  • toonincheek

    Feb 7, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #11

    Troy –
    I don’t think there is any surefire way of telling whether a young player is up to it or not.
    The youngsters he played last season all came up with good cameos.
    Apart from injuries per se, I think Yohan was carrying on but playing with a niggly injury that really affected his form.
    Yohan is so crucial to making the rest of the team tick.

  • rwpoynter

    Feb 7, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #12

    It has to be a good thing that the much maligned Derek Llambias has had the courage to admit that mistakes were made in the summer window. It is very easy to be wise after the event, particularly when you are not making the decisions and also when you are not in the know as most fans are not. Anita and Bigiramana were excellent purchases and what has happened in January has , I would be fairly sure , surprised most of us. It is an inevitable consequence of buying in good players (from wherever) that we are going to get the big money boys fuelled by the greed of agents, trying to prise them away from us. However, a contract is a contract and much as I sympathise with the emotional dilemma that his wife is putting him in, Colloccini and she did decide to come here to earn 3 million a year, which after one year would set most of us up for life, let alone five years. That money largely comes from the 52,000 who fill SJP every other week who justifiably want something in return. Ashley is right in not giving in to it. What FIFA and the FA need to do is get a grip on agents who only profiteer when players move, therefore encouraging them to be the eternal journeymen.
    It has taken only two wins to turn this club’s gloom to optimism. I have great faith in Ashley, Llambias and Charnley and the great treasure of NUFC, Graham Carr to get us back on track.

  • Jonas's better than Messi

    Feb 7, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #13

    Cabaye will go unless he’s happy to be a hero at Newcastle with his French friends.

    If he wants to win the Champions League then he’ll have to move.
    We can then invest the 30M+ on new signings.
    We’ll probably end up being even stronger.

  • ballerfan2

    Feb 7, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #14

    Toon in cheek is absolutely right. If we had bought in players in during the summer (apart from a central defender who we definitely did need) then there would undoubtedly be the usual half empty mob coming on here complaining that the youngsters were never going to be given a chance. Llambias has recognised the mistake in not strengthening, believing that the young talent was sufficient to fill any injury gaps. What they could not have foreseen was the lengthy absences of our main players, Collo, Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Taylor. To expect these to be replaced by youngsters was a huge mistake but understandable – if it was one at a time, but not en bloc. As Troy says, the damage has been rectified. Onwards and upwards.

  • ArtyH

    Feb 7, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #15

    Unfortunately Derek Llambias has just revealed that he knows nothing about football and squad depth, most peeps on here knew that last summer. He needs to listen more or read more blogs. But hey when he was smacked in the face with the reality of the situation he and the board reacted, so in a way fair play to them. From now on though ignorance cannot be tolerated.

  • Blaydon-Toon

    Feb 7, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #16

    Re-post from last thread Good post Dom @ Colchester ! Ps I live in Ipswich do you go too many games ?

  • Oleg G

    Feb 7, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #17

    30M+ for Cabaye? I don’t think so. He is a great player so, 20M-25M, not more than that. No way. Man U pay good money, but not crazy big like Liverpool or Man C or Chelsea.

  • scout

    Feb 7, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #18

    Didn’t Man.u pay 32m for Rio in 2002??

    Personally think its more important to keep Cabaye than Tiote, unless of course these new arrivals spur him on.

  • scout

    Feb 7, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #19

    The money that City have spent they should be walking away with the Premiership. To think Man.u had Ronaldo and Tevez leave the side and be this far clear is either a great feat by Fergie or a gross under achievement by Mancini

  • Jamesthefirst

    Feb 7, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    Comment #20

    Cabaye is the ONE player Newcastle should refuse to sell at any price.

    Not since Shearer have I seen a player so influential in how the team play.

    How many times during a game do you see the others look for Cabaye with their first pass so he can get the move going?

    For me, the only truly world class player in the first 11. Cabaye could play for Barca he is that good.

    Cabaye is our leader. He is our engine. He gives us tempo. He makes us great.


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