Our Squad Isn’t Big Enough, Good Enough Or Strong Enough

Former Newcastle center-back Steve Howey has been on talkSPORT today and has said that Newcastle’s squad at the moment isn’t big enough, it isn’t good enough and it isn’t strong enough.

Steve then goes on to say that apart from that we are well positioned to win the Premier League next season.

Just kidding.

steve howey

Steve Howey in his playing days at Newcastle

This is some of what Steve Howey has told talkSPORT today:

“It does depend completely on who goes and who comes in because at the moment the squad isn’t big enough, it isn’t good enough and it isn’t strong enough.” (picky picky)

“I’ve said that for a long time. That’s been proved over the last couple of seasons, I’m not being harsh there – it isn’t good enough because of where they have finished.”

“There’s been too many of those games at Newcastle. They had some highs – look they beat Chelsea at the time when they were top of the league – but there were too many times when they went missing,” 

“You could take maybe two or three players out of that criticism,  but there’s a lot of others who need to be looking in the mirror and wondering whether they did their best for Newcastle United and for those fans. The simple answer is absolutely not.”

“Everybody wants attractive football and to win,” “Sometimes you can’t have that. Sometimes you need to win ugly and there were too many times this season where the performance wasn’t there and the result wasn’t there.”

“The main thing is picking up results and not be looking at the team being right down there.”

Steve is right that our squad has never been big enough ever since Mike Ashley arrived, and the fact we get so many injuries each season means we are always struggling to field a strong side with so many players missing.

Newcastle already have essentially four new players coming in for next season with Jamaal Lascelles and Karl Darlow joining the first team squad after a year on loan at Nottingham Forest.

Siem de Jong and Rolando Aarons will also be like new players, because they made only 11 appearances between them last season due to long term injuries.

If we can in addition get six new players, and move some of the deadwood out of the club, that will help to improve the quality of the squad immensely.

Comments welcome.

61 comments so far

  • sparky55

    Jun 15, 2015 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #1

    Lilo…Zenden was a class player, he’s intelligent and is already looking like a very good coach. if you were running a team and had a choice between pardew and Zenden coaching a good set of players to play football like the spanish and french, would you rather have someone that’s actually played at that level or someone like SM or pardew who haven’t…and as a player would you rather be coached by someone who is recognised the world over as a classy midfielder whose played for the best club team in the world and numerous caps for Spain or by the old bloke in the corner with the brolly.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jun 15, 2015 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #2

    When have you seen him coaching? He is assistant manager for a youth team. I don’t understand why you put in a comparison between Zenden and Pardew, as far as I am aware Pardew isn’t on his way back to us as a coach, so there is no comparison to be made. A better comparison would be to one of the other potential appointees to the coaching staff.

    If I was a player, I’d prefer to be coached by someone who is a high level coach, has achieved the top qualifications, as well as qualifications outside of the game in other areas of coaching and development. Just because you were a top player means nothing when it comes to whether you are a good coach or not.

    I’m not saying Zenden would be a bad coach, I was merely asking for why you say he is a good coach, when there is little to no real evidence either way.

  • Rotonda heights

    Jun 15, 2015 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #3


    I think what sparky was saying is that Zenden will add a different dimension to the way our players have been coached up till now.

    PSV have one of the best youth set ups in world football and if he has had 2 years there that is gold, plus being in and around benitez’s coaching methods can only be a good thing, ie a fusion of Dutch and Spanish.

    Certainly far more productive than a Paul Simpson or Butt would ever be.

  • Rotonda heights

    Jun 15, 2015 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #4


    De Jong
    Dan Bost?

    Add Wilandjrum, Bruno Indi and van Dijk and the future is orange

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Jun 15, 2015 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #5

    I like the idea of a Sm/bz team.

    We get the benifit of a younger guy with a progressive attitude (hopefully) with the added advantage of having an experienced, yet still forward thinking (imo) guy to keep him in check if he goes a little too experimental.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jun 15, 2015 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #6

    Has Butt been mooted? Last I read on him was he was replacing Brian McClair at Man U. I agree on Paul Simpson, although before Derby he was working with a development academy on the continent, so is likely to have developed there since his managerial days. Still, underwhelming to say the least.

    McClaren will have learnt similar philosophies to those Zenden has learnt in his time at PSV. Again, not saying he won’t turn out to be a very good coach, but so far there is little evidence, and by this stage, former Dutch players have usually taken over control of a youth team, why is he still only an assistant?

    I’d prefer an actual well qualified coach, rather than just basing it on the famous name and a hope that he has learnt and developed well at PSV. A lot will realistically depend on the entire set up of the back room staff, it is difficult judging them as individuals at this stage without knowing the composition of the other staff.

    I didn’t mean to sound like I was knocking Zenden outright, but more just querying what he had done to make people assume he is a good coach, it seems to be based n his status as a player primarily, which Beardsley proves is no real litmus test for good coaches.

  • sparky55

    Jun 15, 2015 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #7

    lilo…that old chestnut…a good player doesn’t always make a good coach eh…well what about the ones that do!

    What about the 20 years he’s been coached by some of the best coaches in the world…do you think that could’ve rubbed off any?

    What about his 50 odd caps for Holland, his PSV upbringing, Barcelona, Chelsea, Liverpool…methinks he had good coaches to learn from there and at 38 years old he can be right in the middle of the coaching with the lads showing them exactly how it can be done rather than shouting from the side and not being able to control a sack of cement like Pardew Carver and probably SM.

    What makes you think he won’t be a good coach?

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jun 15, 2015 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #8

    I haven’t said he won’t be a good coach. I was asking why people thought he would be. Have they seen him coaching, have they watched a lot of Jong Ajax. As assistant, how much control does he have over Jong Ajax and their training regime? Those would all be far more inciteful then listing his playing achievements, which frankly don’t tell much as to his ability as a coach.

    I have seen zero of his coaching, and therefore don’t know, I’d presume those who think he would be a good coach know his style, techniques, methods etc.

    There are more good players that don’t make it as a top coach then do. Some do make it, and that is fine, but it isn’t a guarantee, and you are basing what you say on just his football career, not his coaching career.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jun 15, 2015 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #9

    Jong PSV, sorry.

  • John Tudor

    Jun 15, 2015 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #10

    this lot could not do a deal with the devil ffs

  • Slank

    Jun 15, 2015 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #11

    With regard to Zenden (and the same applies to Paul Clement) is that you don’t really know whether the performance of their previous teams were the result of their coaching or their boss or a combination of the two as it was at ManU with Fergie and McClaren.

    Given that McClaren has been thoroughly praised by former players and fellow coaches for his coaching ability it must be assumed that he knows a good coach when he sees one.

  • Jib

    Jun 15, 2015 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #12

    Bas Dost signing a 4 year contract with the Toon this week.
    It must be true.
    It’s reported in NUFC’s preferred media partner , the Daily Mirror.

  • Slank

    Jun 15, 2015 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #13

    Lil @ 8

    ‘…Have they seen him coaching..’

    Presumably to get a full appreciation of someone’s coaching ability you have to spend time observing the activity on the training ground which isn’t always available to the general public.

  • Sazzer

    Jun 15, 2015 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #14

    Lilongwe Geordie
    Mitrovic is not a dribbler and his goals/finishing, aerial duels, assists and movement without ball is worse than Dost. And the rest he’s worse or similar to Cisse.

  • Slank

    Jun 15, 2015 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #15

    Jib @ 12

    Yep I would go along with your assumption. If Sky report it, then its a done deal.

  • BandB

    Jun 15, 2015 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #16

    How depressing to see people steeling themselves to take it on the chin like brave little soldiers if we fail to sign people like Austin.
    Presumably they’ll be wetting their seats like One Direction fans if we do.
    Win-win situation for Ashley.

  • Jib

    Jun 15, 2015 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #17

    This article by someone close to SM last season , will give the anti McClaren brigade more ammo and the pro brigade pause for thought.


  • Toon Tang

    Jun 15, 2015 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #18

    True, true and true.

    Wor Stevie’s on the ball this morn eh.

  • stan anderson

    Jun 15, 2015 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #19

    Would anyone leave a job earning as much as he does for as long as his contract lasts,to come to a shambles of a club like us on a pay as you play basis.HAHA.
    We certainly get fed some shite dont we.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jun 15, 2015 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #20

    From what I have seen of them I disagree. As I said earlier, I haven’t seen much of Dost but when I have it hasn’t been overly impressive. Mitrovic has impressed me far more when I’ve watched him, and at 6 years Dost’s junior has far more potential to become a top class striker than Dost. Given the choice, I would choose Mitrovic each time.

    All about opinions though, and you are generally fairly balanced in your view of players, so maybe I am being unfair to Dost, and he was uncharacteristically poor in the games I have seen.

    Very true, but there are other indicators, and you can generally find out coaching info from assorted sources with a bit of digging, as well as finding various drills and training videos, particularly with youth teams, on a number of online platforms. I have struggled to find much on Zenden, so I had hoped those championing him as a very good coach could shed some light on it, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Jun 15, 2015 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #21

    previous thread
    ‘Newcastle-Amsterdam is a short hop of a flight for family and friends visits etc. Actually makes sense – happy campers etc’

    you’ve got it in one – not a bad idea buying dutch. All will probably live in Darras Hall which is only 5 minutes from the airport. quick flight home – flights daily makes sense

  • mickalfas

    Jun 15, 2015 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #22

    Checked Dost out on YouTube,seems like a lot of tap ins from very good midfield play.
    Not impressed,will he get the service here?,hopefully we can’t get him over the line
    Austin in !!

  • Chris

    Jun 15, 2015 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #23

    “As assistant, how much control does he have over Jong (PSV) and their training regime?”

    He doesn’t, because he isn’t with them any more (he left after spending just one year there as an intern).

    These are the current staff members at Jong PSV

  • mickalfas

    Jun 15, 2015 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #24

    Mitrovic seems a better bet for me,younger, for the sell on which our beloved leader loves so much
    Austin in !! With Mitrovic ,keep Perez and Arma ,sell Cisse to help pay for them

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jun 15, 2015 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #25

    Interesting that he isn’t on the Jong PSV site. Almost every article mentioning him for the last 6 months describes him as still the assistant for Jong PSV.

    Any idea what he has been doing since leaving, as if he stayed just one year, he will have been out of the game since Summer 2014. Would add further questions as to why he hasn’t had further coaching or managerial opportunities.

  • SuperShearer

    Jun 15, 2015 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #26

    What about Joel Campbell from Arsenal? He’s a good solid Number 9, good pace, young, strong. Gooners have said he can leave.

  • Jib

    Jun 15, 2015 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #27

    Sorry to pee on your chips chaps
    This article says Zenden has his EUFA “A” badge and is going to assist Rodgers at Liverpool and the clincher is , he and Henderson are big pals from their Scumberland days.


  • Rotonda heights

    Jun 15, 2015 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #28


    any good news at all?

  • Jib

    Jun 15, 2015 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #29

    800 years since Magna Carta
    Does that make you happy ?

  • jimmysmith

    Jun 15, 2015 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #30

    “It’s like Mike Ashley in his business. I’m sure in his businesses he gets his top people round, says ‘We’ve got a problem here’ and lets throw some money at it and it’ll be sorted.”

    “In the world of football it doesn’t necessarily and I think that’s what Mike Ashley finds hard to come to terms with.”

    And this Einstein has just been appointed to the board. I’m quite sure Mike Ashley doesn’t solve his business problems by throwing money at them, and I’m sure as shit sure he hasn’t removed himself from the board because throwing money at Newcastle hasn’t been working for him. Where was that interview given? Down the boozer.

  • Rotonda heights

    Jun 15, 2015 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #31


    It’s just I am always accused, rightly so, of being a miserable old git, but you’re making me seem like a ray of sunshine

  • Jib

    Jun 15, 2015 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #32

    We have our own King John sitting up at SJP
    “The peasants are revolting , the Barons don’t smell too good either”

  • lochinvar

    Jun 15, 2015 at 12:48 PM

    Comment #33

    1066 was a good year
    1966 was a good result
    I won £5 on a scratchie
    Is that enough good news for now or us it too much to handle ?

  • geordie157

    Jun 15, 2015 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #34

    So if Austin doesn’t come who will be looking at as an alternative? Don’t really want dost.

    Juami of purchased is more of a Perez type.

    Max kruse was linked a lot, gameiro possibly, take a chance on rhodes if the price isn’t ridiculous or some kind of deal for Carroll. I can’t see who else we’d be in for and to be honest if it’s not Austin I hope it’s some one better than those four I’ve just mentioned.

  • Sazzer

    Jun 15, 2015 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #35

    Lilongwe Geordie
    I think you might be bit unfair on Dost at same time see where you coming from. I wouldn’t say we are less ambitious if we go with Dost over Mitrovic though. Both players got goals in them but both need a lot of delivery.

    So yeah I think it would be best if we avoided both.

  • Sazzer

    Jun 15, 2015 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #36

    And probably Carroll as well.

  • lochinvar

    Jun 15, 2015 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #37

    Just wondering what the betting odds are on us scoring from a corner next season. If 6’5″ Dost arrives must be worth a punt !

  • Canny in Canberra

    Jun 15, 2015 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #38

    Said the other day with 1/2 the Dutch back line is up for sale. We have one. Why not get two of the other ones and the last one will be more inclined. Doodle really. Don’t know why everyone makes such a big deal of this management caper seems pretty straightforward to me. 😉

  • Lindisfarne

    Jun 15, 2015 at 1:23 PM

    Comment #39

    I am already feeling ill at the prospect of the ‘merry-go-round’ ride starting. Two weeks after the end of the season, an elevated Championship manager calling for togetherness when there has been no Fans Forum arranged and very little evidence of any momentum. A new man in charge and still directionless, apart from the circular repetition of the same events occurring, the same weaknesses and the same mistakes.

    I maybe a little premature in my criticism as the transfer window only officially gets going from the beginning of July. But the lack of a clearly working philosophy being implemented is only draining any encouragement that may have briefly surfaced from the sacking of JC. Like an addiction to nicotine, I am moderately elevated by an adverse occurrence. Like in inverse fair ground the enjoyment is being sucked out of the club.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Jun 15, 2015 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #40

    I realize I’m in the minority bit I’d take AC over Dost, that big gangly player who was with Brum would have scored as many goals as he has in Wolfsburg team set up and he was cr*p in the EPL

    oh for the days when we could shout down the pit shaft for a centre forward!


You must log in to post a comment.