Three Positions Newcastle Need To Strengthen In January

There was a Board Meeting last week between Lee Charnley, Steve McClaren, Graham Carr and Bob Moncur and the reports of the meeting were that Steve McClaren wanted to strengthen the side all over the pitch – and on yesterday´s showing at Bournemouth he´s right to think that way.

It was a poor performance yesterday, but also a massive 3 points for us which helps relieve some of the pressure on everyone  associated with the club.

rnon anita in action at bournemouth

Vurnon Anita in action yesterday – had a poor game

Center-back needs to be strengthened – that’s a given and we should have done that in January and maybe we wouldn’t have conceded a massive 22 goals so far this season.

But on yesterday´s performance Cheick Tiote and Vurnon Anita also struggled in central midfield against one of the weaker sides in the league and Anita had a poor game and almost gifted Bournemouth a goal in the first half.

Vurnon sent a wayward back pass to Mbemba who couldn’t control the ball on a slippery surface and it was only the alert Rob Elliot to the rescue – and not for the only time yesterday.

Jack Colback will be back but not before mid-December and we really need to get a top class defensive midfielder into the club and that will help stabilize the defense too.

We are also short of a striker and while the partnership of Perez and Mitrovic should improve we need an accomplished striker brought in during January.

So what we seem to need is the spine of the team strengthened, but we don´t appear to need a goalkeeper brought in with Rob Elliot again showing he can play (very) well for the Newcastle first team when he gets the chance.

There should also be no way Rob is allowed to go out on International duty in the next couple of weeks and we should have Karl Darlow back in training either this week or next week.

Newcastle is a team in the making and we haven´t started this season well,  but we do expect some big money to be made available in January to strengthen the squad so we are still a Premier League side in May,

And we will not sell any of our top players in January – there´s just no way Ashley would allow that – because there´s bigger money on offer to stay in the Premier League than sell a player for big bucks in January and maybe jeopardize our PL status.

And then in the summer we expect maybe three top players to be brought in to round off what we hope will be much stronger squad for next season.

That´s our hope – and that´s all it is at the moment,

The first job we have to do is to keep picking up those points – however we can do it.

7 points in the last 4 games after picking up only 3 points in the first 8 games suggests that we may be getting back on track.

We hope that´s the case.

Comments welcome.

28 comments so far

  • JDdubai

    Nov 8, 2015 at 9:41 AM

    Comment #1

    I think CM is becoming as big a need to fix as CB.

    Anita and Colback are squad players if we are really aiming for a top 8 team, they can fill in and do a decent job but have no real Impact in the big games. Tiote can fill that DM spot IF he gets back to his previous form though that was 2/3 seasons ago so jury is out.

    I think we have maybe 8 players who are good enough to be in a top 6-8 team, the rest are mid table squad players. Though if we get the same quality recruitments in this Jan and summer as we did last summer then we will be going the right direction.

  • colwell

    Nov 8, 2015 at 9:45 AM

    Comment #2

    The last thing we need is another Defensive midfielder, I bet McClaren can’t wait until he can play Tiote,Colback and Anita in the same team although Anita will probably be our LW.

    We need a CB,LB at least 1 winger with pace to burn and a striker with pace if we sell Janmaat then get a quicker RB in. Its crazy that other teams fastest players are out wide and our fullbacks can’t cope with pace at all.

  • cyprus

    Nov 8, 2015 at 9:47 AM

    Comment #3

    I’ll disagree. I think Perez is real class, scoring that goal did give us 3 points ( a detail, but someone has to do it) and, like Gray said, it was brilliantly made. Yesterday he was as bad as the rest, granted. But he never stopped trying and he did get bullied, twice being assaulted, as the slow mos confirmed.

    Of course, given our last performance, I’m concerned as so should SM be.

    I was way more relaxed after the previous 3 games.

    Still, I think Bournemouth are better than their position suggests. They have outrun everyone thus far…

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 8, 2015 at 9:47 AM

    Comment #4

    Another win and a clean sheet with our want away curly haired coward in the starting line up, when will toon bothered pay his bet ?

  • AncientC

    Nov 8, 2015 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #5

    We don’t need another defensive midfielder for a 442, we need a good central midfielder. A central midfielder shouldn’t need to be limited in scope and skill to defensive duties when they can have more to their game.

  • Transfer Sage

    Nov 8, 2015 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #6


    I think he is fantastic and a brave player.

    What I meant was he needs to commit and have confidence in himself. So when he does that turn to take two defenders out of the game really drive into the space, or when he decides to shoot really hammer it in.

    If that makes sense….I just think once that comes into his game he will move onto another level.

    I still think he is good and belongs in the side.

  • Transfer Sage

    Nov 8, 2015 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #7


    Gary Neville made a good point about that…saying now it’s rare you get that all round midfielder and too many are either attacking or defensive and not able to do both.

  • Transfer Sage

    Nov 8, 2015 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #8


    What was his bet?

  • the broons

    Nov 8, 2015 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #9


    I was the same with everyone else last season, thought he was comfortably our best defender.

    But he now bottles defending, would rather stay a good 10 feet away from the winger and let him get his cross in then try deny him getting the cross in because he is scared of being skinned again.

    The thing i liked about that mbabu that he was just all about raw defending which is what you need! dummet seemed to wake up last 20 minutes but the first 70 he was awful too.

  • Ron Knee

    Nov 8, 2015 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #10

    Where are the reports of last week’s Board Meeting? Any links?

  • cyprus

    Nov 8, 2015 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #11

    Agreed on all those. He must be included in our future plans, together with the ‘right’ salary – don’t know how much he gets now.

  • JDdubai

    Nov 8, 2015 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #12

    Defensive CM we are ok right now, Tiote first choice, Colback and Anita to fill in when required. Of course we could upgrade but priorities lay elsewhere.

    That Cabaye-type player is what we need alongside, someone who can defend but also pick a pass and get goals. Not many floating around but abroad there must be. Looks a bigger mistake allowing Deli Alli to go to Spurs!

    Wijnaldum may be the choice in the long term, but until Thauvin steps up, or Aarons gets fit then he needs to stay wide left. If also helps us attacking wise when he tucks in, though it means the LB needs to be comfortable overlapping which Dummett isnt.

    In Jan id aim for
    Shawcross clone
    Tielemens clone
    Vardy clone

    Then in the summer look at full backs, Sissoko replacement and squad filler.

  • Transfer Sage

    Nov 8, 2015 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #13


    Agree. I think the same of Ba if we’d committee to giving him a good wage on the grounds of removing that small release clause we might still have him. Chelsea saw him worth 7 mil for a squad player. Wouldn’t have paid £20mil plus for that.

  • Ian Toon

    Nov 8, 2015 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #14

    Post match review:
    Whoever said its a funny old game was right. This was all rather baffling- even after a post match reviewing session in the pub. But who cares we took the points in an awful performance- albeit with all the luck going. Mind having dominated the last two matches this was long overdue. At this time we’ll take the points and gloss over a forgettable match.
    Against expectations Macca ( only opposition fans give him the Brolly title ) set up to defend and to concede possession. Resulting in the fullbacks allowing Bournemouth to get in crosses at will. Wijnaldum had his poorest game in a toon shirt and Sissoko was amongst our least impressive players. They created little in an attacking sense and not because they were working back. Neither player did worthwhile tracking back and rarely put in a tackle. This put pressure on wide defenders who had poor games. Which in an away game against a busy side was inexcusable. Bournemouth just passed around Dummett and he is poor going forward. An inspired Elliott(( mom) plus the two CB’s( yes Collo was one of our better players) sticking to their task secured the points after one of our rare attacking moves put us in front. Little of note thereafter.
    In central midfield we really missed Colback as the game highlighted yet again that Anita can only play in a midfield three – he was totally ineffective and chasing shadows, rarely getting a tackle in, the game passed him by. Tiote is getting back to required fitness and showed an improving performance but a better pairing would be with Wijnaldum. On a wide pitch our play cried out for Thauvin to come on earlier but he briefly showed an ability to stretch play which was required to close out the game.
    Serious thought is required to win games at SJP – to improve our wide play generally – – getting crosses into the Leicester box for Mitrovic. He had a hand in our goal and showed his power in the air in our box but overall disappointing largely because we simply weren’t an attacking force.


  • dogfish

    Nov 8, 2015 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #15

    How can left back not be the most key area to strengthen. It’s the only position where we don’t have one decent player in the squad.

    That’s the priority, then CM, then CB then striker for me.

    Although I’m getting tired of sissoko running in to the opposition every week so flogging him and getting a new winger would also be good.

  • nightfa11

    Nov 8, 2015 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #16

    Im quite optimistic about our team..yesterdays performance was poor and we do need improvements in some areas, But we have a good core and weve seen team can deliver top performances..

    Anyway..As for reinforcements.. If we can get a quality CB and a DMC with killer passing I think we’re good to go.. I personally wouldnt spend on a striker..perez and mitro are already very good and after this season will be better..not to mention we also have armstrong..3 very good strikers.. We dont need more.. And in summer we should take a closer look at our wingers, weather they can improve or should be sold (thauvin, sissoko)

  • cyprus

    Nov 8, 2015 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #17

    he divides opinion, as did HBA I guess. Totally disagree. Siss on his game is unplayable, we just don’t have enough of those to flog. On yesterday’s showing we should flog many of them, including Wigi, who was equally poor.

    If we were Arsenal or City, maybe.

  • Transfer Sage

    Nov 8, 2015 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #18

    If be tempted to play a style similar to liverpool with sterling,
    suarez and sturridge.

    Have perez, Mitro and Thauvin up top with sissoko, Wijnaldum and tiote in the middle behind them.

    Let thauvin mainly be wide (like sterling did) then let perez and Mitro be mainly Central with perez drifting out wide. Sissoko and Wijnaldum can also get out there the odd time for support too.

    Just a thought, not sure if it would work….anyone’s thoughts?

  • lesh

    Nov 8, 2015 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #19

    But, and it’s a big but, do key players really want to stay with a club whose owner clearly has no real ambition?

    Will they want to continue working for a manager whose ability to motivate is suspect?

    The Chron, in business to sell papers of course, has started to fan the flames of discontent and I am concerned about Charnley’s ‘trust us’ plea about selling players, the plea he made at the last FF meeting.

    Trust him? I’d have as much faith in him as I would a one-legged man in an arse-kicking contest!

  • nightfa11

    Nov 8, 2015 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #20

    Oh and I must say getting perez was the best move by our club.. This guy is everything you need in a player.. Modest, determinated, skillful, very talented, and mentaly strong..Who leaves everything on the pitch.. Our best player..Who is still a kid and we got him for a million.. Some deal:-) every transfer window im afraid we’ll lose him, But thank god we have armstrong to replace him eventually..

  • Ashley Hole

    Nov 8, 2015 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #21

    Colo is answer for DM

  • Ian Toon

    Nov 8, 2015 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #22

    Transfer- I agree. We need to play an offensive game at SJP. I would much prefer Tiote paired with Wijnaldum and Thauvin starting to service Mitrovic. Leicester are a really hard working side and we need to match them.

  • danuneek

    Nov 8, 2015 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #23

    I think we need a left back who has an awesome left foot cross and can defend. Also think we need a centre back over 6ft to eventually take colocinis place. Also think we should try for Carrick again. I think we’re missing someone in the middle who can play deep and control the game with a range of passing. Also having another English/Geordie player with premier league experience would help the younger players.

  • maikelw

    Nov 8, 2015 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #24

    Serious why is everybody so fond of Tiote?

    He hasn’t been the player from 2-3 years ago and I doubt he will ever be that player again. He is more a liability with his fouls and yellow cards.

    McClaren wants to play a certain style of football but he has not got the right material for it.

    I also seriously doubt graham carr and lee charnley’s transfer policy?

    A few positions in the squad lack the depth for example RB and LB. Why get rid of santon as he can cover both positions easely.. I would have loved to see micah Richards next to mbemba as CB you not only have the strenght but also pace since we have lacked that the past seasons. Colo, Taylor, Williamson and Dummet were not quite the players you can press your oppenonts high up the pitch.

    For both Carr and Charnley it is a make it or break it season if Newcastle fail to stay up or end up in the top 10.

  • Crawfordladd17

    Nov 8, 2015 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #25

    We need a Centre Midfielder and centre back in January, then say we get a right footed winger, Charlie Austin on a free, a left back and an attacking midfielder, then who knows?

  • Carl819

    Nov 8, 2015 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #26

    Tiote is rubbish.

  • TroubledToon

    Nov 8, 2015 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #27

    To all those who have started saying we should get rid of Gini: Stop watching football or go get yer heads checked!!!
    Practically everyone was over the moon after his 4 goals, ppl saying we were lucky to land him et all… N just on the basis of 1 shite performance, suddenly he’s not good enuf to be in the team??? Seriously???
    Yes he’s had a horrible outing, but cmon guys, cut him sum slack plz

  • mkhalaf

    Nov 8, 2015 at 11:10 PM

    Comment #28

    def not a cdm,,, we have anita/colback/tiote,,, and sissoko can play there as well

    we are in desperate need of a CB and LB,, those I believe are our two weakest points,, Dummett/haidara/mbabu are all championship quality at best,,, I personally like mbemba and colo together,, but def need another CB to come in as well

    a striker would be a plus,, as we have mitro and perez who im impressed with and f*****g cisse on the bench,, and cant see us getting a striker until we sell cisse,,, austin for cisse and some cash would be epic


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