The Newcastle United Blog

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

The Newcastle United Blog header image 2
Howay The Lads!!

Newcastle Squad The Strongest For Nine Years

9:32 am, Friday, August 9th, 2013 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 41 Comments

We could be wrong, but if Newcastle can get one more striker over the line this summer, and keep the players we already have, Newcastle’s squad should be the strongest since Bobby Robson was managing the club in his last season in charge from 2003-2004 – when we finished in 5th place.

Alan Pardew at Rangers shouting

Alan Pardew – right preparation so important

Alan Pardew thinks the squad is in good shape at the moment, as he had this to say in the local press:

“The point of pre-season is to work hard to really start the season well, and try to get the legs fresh for Manchester City, because at this time in pre-season you need to start and feel the ball, whilst at the same time still working hard.”

“I would say seasons are always different. Last year we didn’t expect to finish in that position, but we had the Europa League and that was the first time a lot of our players were involved in that competition and a league.”

“It was hard and something new for a lot of players but the good thing is we stayed in the Premier League and we have time to look forward to the new season, and make sure we don’t make the same mistakes again.”

“To have the right preparation and to have all the group fit is key, because last year we started without some players and we finished without some.”

“We had to sign five players in January because we had a lot of players injured. We know in football injuries are going to happen so now the most important thing is to get everyone fit and make sure if somebody does get injured, someone else is ready to come in and do the same job, if not better.”

Here are some the reasons we think the Newcastle squad is very strong for next season:

  • Newcastle have already signed six new players this year – all Frenchmen as it turns out and four of them Internationals
  • We have finally replaced Demba Ba with Loic Remy – who was our number one striker choice in January
  • Newcastle will have a lot less games next season with not being in Europe, and we have a bigger and better squad – the squad we had last season just couldn’t handle both leagues
  • Hiring Performance Director Faye Downey as a fitness consultant should help reduce the injuries that decimated our smaller squad last season

It looks like Joe Kinnear wants one more striker and one more player brought in this summer, and if we can get Bafe Gomis, and either Scott Sinclair or Tom Ince, we’d probably even have to call this a successful transfer season, even though it hasn’t looked that way.

What do you think?

Comments welcome, but please keep them civil and on football.

Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and +1 us on Google+:

You can also reach Ed at

Tags: Coaching · Friendlies · Newcastle News · Pre-Season · Premier League


41 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Pizzicato The Arizona Geordie // Aug 9, 2013 at 9:35 AM

    Strongest team… not sure yet, but for sure this team has the best potential in nine full years. There are still growth ahead of these strong players.

  • 2 Pizzicato The Arizona Geordie // Aug 9, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    Transfer rumour of today:

    JFK is going to sign a Chinese player called Au Wei Win, but the pronunciation problem comes back, and call him Aw we weep.

  • 3 BuckLuck // Aug 9, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    Strongest team yes. Think what an attacking manager would do with this squad. Now THAT would be in Sir Bobbys spirit. Do it Ashley!

  • 4 Sir Braveheart // Aug 9, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    Let’s all have a bit of positivity around here guys?


  • 5 richyg01 // Aug 9, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    Strongest starting XI maybe, but it is when players start getting injured that the wheels come off, we dont have the strength and depth.

  • 6 nut meg // Aug 9, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    Beardosfacedouble @31

  • 7 Yorkgeordie // Aug 9, 2013 at 9:42 AM
    I’ll go along with this

  • 8 richyg01 // Aug 9, 2013 at 9:42 AM


    Yes, think what AVB or Mourinho would do with this squad.

  • 9 sparky55 // Aug 9, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    YAWN YWAN YAWN…blaming Europe and injuries and not taking any responsible for any of his glaring mistakes of last year…just wanna puke every time I hear this constant drivel.

    It’s not too late Ashley…sack him now and all we be forgiven

    …or at least I will anyway! :-)

  • 10 richyg01 // Aug 9, 2013 at 9:44 AM


    Surely Mapou over Saylor tho!?!?

  • 11 bzak12 // Aug 9, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    I notice there is no notice of the manager listed amongst the credits.The poorest in living memory.

  • 12 Pizzicato The Arizona Geordie // Aug 9, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    @richyg01, according to Mr Duffy, that’s only for a short while. Mapou needs time to settle that’s for sure. It depends on how fast he could get used to it, then Saylor is out of the picture.

  • 13 Yorkgeordie // Aug 9, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    No, every time I have seen him play cb he has been error prone

  • 14 Pizzicato The Arizona Geordie // Aug 9, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    you guys know Remy is number 12, right?

  • 15 Rooster // Aug 9, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    The auas that was. Hairs breath from getting us relegated now minus certain players and one brought in, decent one at that fair enough but AP stop the bulls..t we need two more in at least, remember last summer, if you’ fcuk this summer window again, you better build an air raid shelter asap, im bloody sick of this fellas crap already,

    Oh the previous article about Sir Bobby, this man Pardew is a world away from the one and only Sir Bobby Robson not only literally either.

  • 16 Rotonda heights // Aug 9, 2013 at 9:48 AM


    I would dispute that. To begin with Anita and Marveaux can’t get starts.

    Pardew will bleat for England about injuries and the Europa because it masks his coaching deficiencies and 10 players behind the ball philosophy.

    I don’t think we can continually blame Ash for everything. Yes for appointing JFK and Pardew, but statiscally we are reportedly the 7th strongest / most expensive squad in the league but with the 20th rated manager who has the honour of being rated number 1 to be sacked by the bookies.

  • 17 Rotonda heights // Aug 9, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    sparky 55
    are you my twin lol !!!

  • 18 yo-yo // Aug 9, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    Patoon – previous

    I titally agree that we should play Anita as ‘regista’ – deep lying playmaker in front of the back 4. BandB and others have also suggested it. Whether you then play Tiote in as enforcer as well depends on the opposition. No reason why a skilled speedy guy like Anita with better positional sense and distribution than Tiote can’t play that role. I don’t agree that Tiote is useless though his form really dipped last season for sure.

  • 19 NUFCarter // Aug 9, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    I think Remy should have been no. 14.

  • 20 Rotonda heights // Aug 9, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    As some one said Spurs had Dempsey, Bale, Defoe, Dembele, Essou ekoto (wrong spelling), Huddlestone and Dawson out injured for long spells but they made the Europa again this year and we didn’t hear a peep about injuries and extra games.

    Pardew was negative about being in Europe from the start and what should have been a lot of fun was always referred to as a burden. Joyless football is Pardew’s watchword.

  • 21 Pizzicato The Arizona Geordie // Aug 9, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    @NUFCarter, it’s just something I have found from the pictures on the official website that’s all. no. 14 is still unoccupied, waiting for Gomis to get it (dreaming).

  • 22 NUFCarter // Aug 9, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    No. 5 as well. Should really be mapous number but too late now.

  • 23 NUFCarter // Aug 9, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    Jonas doesn’t know what its like to have competition.

  • 24 croftus5678 // Aug 9, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    imo tiote and marv are half players ! yes they are great for the 30% of the game where they are active (mostly) but ask them to do anything but that 1 thing and they stink at it and cause problems for the rest of the team.

    the likes of cabaye/sissoko/anita/bigi/vukic hey even gosling ! can do all job’s and not just purely defend or attack and would be better in the team imo.

  • 25 Toon-Prodigy // Aug 9, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Here is a canny little read lads,

    Getting an independent viewpoint is invaluable and the excellent twohundredpercent website have just published their review of Newcastle United’s position. The twohundredpercent website is about ‘the politics, culture, financials and history of football’.

    ‘This team is still only two or three players and a handful of good luck away from reaching a mid-table position or better.

    Suspicion remains though that there are too many people with too much control at St.James Park who are capable of creating a drama or a crisis where none previously existed.

    A scatter-gun approach to senior management…stumbling over their successes on the way to a more perpetual feeling – imminent “CRISIS.”

    Most frustrating thing about Newcastle United is that the potential is so clearly, obviously there.

    There are enough of them (supporters) that will turn out to watch anything approaching a winning team. St.James’ Park holds over 52,000 and Newcastle could easily fill that week in week out, if club was handled with the care and attention it deserves.

    Unless Mike Ashley and Joe Kinnear can stop acting like bulls in a china shop with regard to their treatment of the club, it is likely only a modest improvement on last season may be the very best that Newcastle United can hope for this time around.’

    Visit twohundredpercent to read their full excellent review.

  • 26 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Aug 9, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    I might regret asking but what’s up with the #14? What’s so special about it?

  • 27 Rotonda heights // Aug 9, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Beattie25 // Aug 9, 2013 at 9:30 AM


    That is an outrageous claim that is entirely incorrect.

    Bobby wouldn’t have hated him because he was a special human being but he wouldn’t have liked/respected him given all the tired excuses, poor lies and terrible management he has brought upon the club.

    Bobby was an honest man, Pardew is not.

    _ _ _ _ _ _

    Never heard truer words

  • 28 oldbobaycliffe // Aug 9, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    sorry but what planet ed are you on last year we finished in 16th position with one of the worst defences in the pl we have let 3 players leave 2 defenders and a g/k before you say it was only simpson and perch you have to remember that simpson was our right back for most of the season before last when we finished he couldn.t have been that bad perch was an asset to this club.all we have brought in is a striker,no defenders so 3 out 1 in in an already understrength team.

  • 29 NUFCarter // Aug 9, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    ive always thought no.14 is more of an attacking number other than no.12 which would normally be on the bench but then again he is on loan. HBA got no.37 before going to no. 10 when he signed permanently.

  • 30 Rotonda heights // Aug 9, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    It would be hard to imagine anyone more removed from the image of SBR than Pardew.

    Despite his little speech re – SBR, Pardew’s miserable football can never reflect SBR’s vision of how the game should be played or the generousity of spirit SBR exuded.

  • 31 North Atlantic Magpie // Aug 9, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    We still need a central defender.

  • 32 NUFCarter // Aug 9, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    Wow! unlucky I can’t imagine they’ll be pleased with that.

  • 33 numba9 // Aug 9, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Disagree with this statement I only see us as having one striker papis the other is not our player and shola has proved he is not premier quality. We don’t have a threat from corners from cb and have not got a Solano type that can put fine delivery in consistantly

  • 34 // Aug 9, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    pardew is dreadful.

  • 35 veto // Aug 9, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    despite all the trials and tribulations , we have a cracking squad .
    shame the same sentiment is flying around as the last time we had a squad worthy enough of playing in black and white .
    that ended in us sacking one of our greatest ever managers due to the armchair pundits being rather vocal .

  • 36 Sir Braveheart // Aug 9, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    Newcastle Magpies? Don’t put it past them…

  • 37 wynsleap // Aug 9, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    How can we have a better squad when we’ve signed one and let four go?
    That’s not including a year older Shola who’s pretty useless anyway and a captain who’d rather be back home in his mind.
    Methinks you’re clutching at straws Ed.
    Give us three more signings – another striker, top winger and a good keeper and I may agree with you.

  • 38 nufc 11 // Aug 9, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    Sounds like a whole lot of excuses for alot of bad mistakes, misjudgements, bad tactics and playing players regardless of form.

  • 39 JCT // Aug 9, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    We have a good team ( on paper) but we aint got a good squad by a long way 1 loan player in two or three out dose not build a good squad no cover in loads of positions. Just hope we don’t get a few injuries early doors or it’s going to be a struggle for sure…

  • 40 toonluvva // Aug 9, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    We might have a great squad, but we don’t have a great management team with Pardew as coach and JoKe as DoF.

    It’s not much use having good or even great squad if they are played out of position or the tactics are wrong.

  • 41 toonicle // Aug 9, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    Too bad management doesn’t seem to be as well. Pardew better change up the tactics(or lack there of) if he wants to last till Christmas.

previous post: Newcastle Should Always Be Inspired By Sir Bobby Robson

next post: Newcastle After Brazilian Wonder Kid