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These Improvements Should Make Newcastle Very Competitive

10:40 am, Thursday, August 8th, 2013 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 39 Comments

There seems to be some disagreement among Newcastle fans about just how strong our squad will be this season, compared to say two years ago, and it’s good that we got Loic Remy through the door, because at least we now have one more striker than we had in the second half of last season, and we’ve finally replaced Demba Ba.

jonas gutierrez at Ibrox

Jonas Gutierrez – a handful for Rangers in first half on Tuesday

Nobody at Newcastle is guaranteed their starting place, and that’s how it should be, and that’s true also of new signing Loic Remy.

Jonas Gutierrez had his best game in many moons for Newcastle on Tuesday night at Ibrox, especially in that first half, when he was simply outstanding for the side, and the Argentine International has today warned Remy that everybody at Newcastle will be fighting for a starting position:

“Remy’s going to be a good striker for us, but it will be hard for him to play, because Papiss Cisse has been doing the right things and has been working hard.”

“There’s going to be more competition this year and all the strikers are going to have to work hard because players will arrive and they will want to go straight into the team.”

“We are always going to give a good welcome to any players that come in. We are keen to do our best and every player wants to be in the starting XI. All the players want the same and if new players are going to come in, we have to work harder to keep our places.”

Hopefully we can look forward to Newcastle players being a lot fitter than they were last season, and with a lot less injuries picked up during the season, and that was one major reason we struggled last season, because we had so many of our best players out injured.

And it was an excellent move by the club to hire renowned Performance Director Faye Downey to improve the levels of fitness of our players, and cut down the number if injuries.

And so far it seems to be paying off with very few pre-season injuries, but it’s probably too early to judge.

If Faye can help reduce the injuries at Newcastle, that will be a huge plus for the club.

Increased fitness, fewer injuries,  more competition for places and  an improved strike force is exactly what we needed after last season’s huge disappointment.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

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Tags: Fitness · Jonas Gutierrez · Loic Remy · Newcastle News · Transfer News and Rumours

39 responses so far ↓

  • 1 The puppy formerly known as prince // Aug 8, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    Competition for places at our club only exists in that as long as your in the Pardew click, you’ll play – form doesn’t matter

  • 2 surreytoon // Aug 8, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    Most of the French press are saying the signing by the weekend of Khlifa by OM should end their interest in Gomis. In any case from what I have read OM were looking for a January bargain or pre-contract for Gomis which would mean they can have him for “free”. The lack of a transfer fee would be a boon to Gomis and his agents as they could request hefty fees and a golden handshake. No wonder Lyon are annoyed. It could still be the case they want rid of Gignac for a good fee and will take Gomis in Jan or next summer to partner Khlifa.

  • 3 numba9 // Aug 8, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    Sounds like guti believes we will be playing one up top again aaarrrggghhh

  • 4 Jail for Ashley // Aug 8, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    How many times, it’s not on board or through the door, it’s over the line.

  • 5 toonarmydownsouth // Aug 8, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    Spread agree and disagree
    I don’t think Ben Arfa is any way suited to play the number 10 role, and has looked overwhelmed every time he has played there, I actually think he is better suited to the wing
    Marveux I agree is much better suited to the CAM role very good range of passing

    The problem, I feel, is pardew has made a rod for his own back with the freedom he gives his players, he has said he wants cabaye in an advanced role, but Marv benny and sissoko have all said they prefer the number 10
    So given our lack of creativity I’d prefer to play 2 advanced midfielders with only one holding midfielder, especially at home, can’t stand to see to CDM’s when were at home

  • 6 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 8, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    So, Lyon have just sold Lisandro Lopez, and reports say that could mean Gomis is staying.

    What fun it is being a toon fan!

  • 7 Rainrix // Aug 8, 2013 at 10:47 AM


    It’ll be interesting to see whether faye and pardews new intense training sessions have a tangible effect.

  • 8 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 8, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    Gradual improvement is fine, but I don’t think it necessarily means it’s shaping up well. Goalkeepers are definitely weaker, and probably the weakest we have been in that area since Hooper was back up.

    I’ve heard various reports on the formations, so not really sure what, but Pards did say he was looking to play 2 up front this year.

    Like I said, so much is still up in the air this summer, which, whilst being a worry, means it can also still be resolved so no need to panic just yet.

  • 9 Indian Magpie // Aug 8, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    we need a new Banner

    Remove Simpson, Perch and Shola

    don’t know if we can put remy or not.

  • 10 Spreadthetoon // Aug 8, 2013 at 10:49 AM


    Some very interesting points of view. If AP does give all the players freedom, then we loose our shape and become congested in the center and woefully vulnerable to the counter attack, which was all too clear last year.

    I prey that AP has learnt from his mistakes. But as far as pre-season preparations have gone……there is little evidence of that. Actions speak louder than words.

    As for Marveaux I believe he is our best CAM option, had the greatest volume of assists last season and could partner up well with Cabaye. Problem with Marv is he does not track back so you would need either Tiote or Sissoko sitting behind.

    Lastly HBA is great, he’s an enigma…..but I’m still not convinced he is best out on the flanks :0)

  • 11 yo-yo // Aug 8, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    “Remy’s going to be a good striker for us, but it will be hard for him to play, because Papiss Cisse has been doing the right things and has been working hard.”

    Reading between the lines that is a bit of a worry because it looks like it is either Remy or Cisse in a 4-2-3-1 ,and a lot of us were hoping 4-3-3

  • 12 Rainrix // Aug 8, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Actually i wonder if jonas is the only person who’s had these new harder training sessions. He complains training was too hard last year and suddenly he has his best game for donkeys. It would be a typical pardew move if so much time and resources where being spent soley on jonas.

  • 13 clinath@ed // Aug 8, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    TADS….100% agree with using a single DM, especially at home. Everyone seems obsessed with playing 2…I’m yet to be totally convinced.

  • 14 toonarmydownsouth // Aug 8, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Sorry mate just seen your reply!!!
    Completely agree mate!
    One thing that is for sure is that given the volume of midfielders we have, who are all fit, who are all now bedded in, there should be no excuse to drop players if there not on form like tiote last season
    Our midfield should be the heartbeat of our team, if they play like they did last season it’s going to be a long painful season, especially for cisse!

  • 15 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 8, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    I ouldn’t worry too much. Pards has said he wants 2 up front, and Jonas doesn’t pick the team, Kinnear does…oops, meant Pardew!

  • 16 ToonDownSouth // Aug 8, 2013 at 10:53 AM


    Not sure that’s the case – it’s likely that Jonas isn’t really aware of what kind of player Remy is, and simply sees him as an out and out CF.

    Or Jonas just knows that whatever formation we play, that left sided position is his ;D

  • 17 toonarmydownsouth // Aug 8, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    Maybe jonas knows his days and position are under extreme threat and is actually upping his game
    Something a few of the other lads could do with doing

  • 18 Spreadthetoon // Aug 8, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    Completely agree. Didn’t AP state last pre-season “control the midfield you control the game”. Well I did not see a single match last year where we controlled the game, where we dominated, where we dictated play. Lets hope for some form of resurrection……we need it! LOL goota go, laters 🙂

  • 19 cyprus // Aug 8, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    Wonderful picture that for Jonas haters to put up on their wall 😉

    On the wingers issue: I honestly think we will be going back to that ‘classic’ formation. ManU, Spurs, Bayern and others are showing the way. Defenders are getting fitter-better and harder to break down with little width.

    The flying backs (or wing backs or…) was (is?) a wonderful idea but it works well when opponents are ‘pinned’ back, in defense mode, there’s a high ‘line’ and opponents have little chance of countering. Otherwise, they get caught in no man’s land, with people like Terry, Colo being embarrassed by superfast forwards.

  • 20 toonarmydownsouth // Aug 8, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    It drives me mad!! Honestly were the home team, we should be on the front foot, not sitting deep with a gaping hole between midfield and our forwards

  • 21 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 8, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    I’m not sure why we should ever play a designated DM at home, maybe against City or Chelsea, but really, I don’t see a need. We have three midfielders who can tackle, control possession, get forward and chip in with goals.

    Play Anita, Sissoko and Cabaye in there and they should be able to create a fluid unit allowing us to play good football and cover one another without any hassle.

  • 22 wynsleap // Aug 8, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    Jonas may have had a good game against Rangers but the way he is talking it sounds as if he’s nailed on for a first team spot whilst Remy has to fight for his.
    Jonas gets weaker and weaker as the season goes on yet Pardew insists on playing him. No way should he expect to be automatic choice.
    We should play two strikers not one or we’ll have the same non-season as last time out.
    As for this new fitness guru – we have only played two or three pre-season games and we already have Colo and Alnwick injured.
    With our crocks record I’ll believe it when I see it this season.

  • 23 numba9 // Aug 8, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    Remy is only a loan player and we prob won’t sign him we need to pay up today and snatch gomis it is taking 4ever come on joke in here man

  • 24 clinath@ed // Aug 8, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    TADS it gives out the wrong message to the opposition as well….

    “We are playing 2 CDMs because we are not confident in our centre halves, they’re not quick enough against your forwards…etc”

  • 25 toonarmydownsouth // Aug 8, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    Ah thank you!!!!!
    I’ve said soooo many times I would love to see a midfield of cabs Anita and sissoko who can simply rotate through the game!
    Two go one stays back, then can swap over control the tempo keep the ball moving dictate the pace etc
    We can only dream!

  • 26 croftus5678 // Aug 8, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    i see blanc is trying to unsettle cabaye today (lost so much respect for him now)

    so we need a keeper (need to watch krull as when he came on there was a fair bit of long balls again and when elliott played it was all nice build from the back material) and that will be great depth there.
    a cb of quality (i’m really scared everytime saylor/williamson play)
    a winger that can play both sides or 2 wingers if not.

    as we should be set 🙂

  • 27 Rainrix // Aug 8, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    Tads… I suppose thats one of the arguments for having a stronger squad all round. Tbh if he did actually up his game and played well consistently then i think most people wouldn’t have a problem with him starting. Still i think jonas would have to take up skinning puppies alive before pardew would even consider dropping him

  • 28 clinath@ed // Aug 8, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    LIL I had a discussion with BandB about playing a holding DM, which you countered with using a floating/rotating 3 man midfield……I must admit you converted me.
    Keep it quiet though!!

  • 29 clinath@ed // Aug 8, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    ps but not with TIOTE!!

  • 30 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 8, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    Spurs play 433. Bale very rarely plays as an actual winger anymore. Man U’s width is mainly provided by Evra and Rafael. Valencia is the only real winger there nowadays.

    Haven’t seen enough of Bayern to comment on them… 🙂

  • 31 cyprus // Aug 8, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    The fitness guru is still fit though 🙂

    On Jonas and others playing. AP has to rotate the team so that there are like 18 ‘first-teamers’. Crap players in the first half should be substituted, with one – Shola? 😉 sorry Indian, that’s for you, I know you are reading 🙂 for the last 10 min.

  • 32 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 8, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    Ha, I won’t tell a soul! 😉

    Yeah, Tiote can’t play that style. That for me was one of the reasons he was so poor last season, he was trying to do too much and change his game. He should break up play, and play the simple pass. He is outstanding at that, and has a superb pass completion record despite his poor season because of it.

    Discipline wise, I think people overstate it. Less yellows (only 7) than Cabaye last year, and just the 1 red. That isn’t a bad record for a tough tackling DM.

  • 33 Brutooon // Aug 8, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    AP should learn from Sir Alex Ferguson, SAF didnt guarantee his player a starting eleven even if he is RVP or Rooney

    This will make healthy competition for players during training and will benefit the team.

    Imagine if you are marveax, you assist 3-4 times but still in the bench while jonas who got no END product is starting week in week out

  • 34 jimBOB // Aug 8, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    Jonas, giving us an insight to the fact we wont be changing the formation?, competition for places would mean we had an abundance of Prem class players….I think we do but will AP play them in the right positions is the question. my team
    Debuchey Colo Mbiwa Santon
    HBA Cabs Marv/Gouff




  • 35 Rowan Milsted // Aug 8, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    Is Jonas Pardew’s official spokesman now? He seems to be doing a lot of interviews!

  • 36 bobby mango // Aug 8, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    Improvements we need are tactics – correct formation, players picked on form and played in their correct position, set pieces sorted out (both defending and attacking) and most importantly stop those effing long balls.

  • 37 nufc 11 // Aug 8, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Never mind replacing BA why not try get him back on loan forget Gomis and Bent, and get rid of some dead wood around lst seasons worst defence and 1 or 2 we all know who you are and bid for Shawcross of Stoke, and a Loan deal for Sinclair if we could get him and wed be in very good shape everyone seems to be missing how bad our defence was last season we need a monster of a comanding CB.

  • 38 spudzzz // Aug 8, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    cant get my head around all these jonas and Cheik haters…

    for Jonas
    – with confidence flowing and goals hitting back of the net….you can leave jonas on the bench and try more adventurous but useless defending players such as marveaux/obertan and the lot just exposes us
    – without confidence….there is no doubt that he should always start….he helps keeps us a float….

    he has good games and bad games but like every single other player we have…difference is…he is probably the one that shows he cares the most over a whole game every game…back him to the hilt

  • 39 toonicle // Aug 8, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    Guti is afraid of losing the LW spot. Maybe if he played better there he wouldn’t have to worry so much.

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