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

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Howay The Lads!!

It Could Be The Best Of Times Or The Worst Of Times Coming Up

8:26 am, Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 17 Comments

Newcastle are third bottom of the Premier League and we have made our worst ever start after 23 games played – and have only 21 points with a very poor goal difference of -16.

Newcastle fans are not happy, but the club has spent £81M in the last two transfer windows and the general opinion is that we did well last month in bringing in four good players.

steve mcclaren at watford 1-0

Steve McClaren – has brought some common sense to Newcastle?

Yes, we could have done better because we really needed a top class left-back brought in and another striker but we did well – and spent more than any other Premier League club.

So while we improved the midfield with Jonjo Shelvey, Henri Saivet and Andros Townsend and the attack with prolific goalscorer Seydou Doumbia – the defense was not strengthened and still remains Newcastle´s big weakness.

Of those four players we have a feeling Seydou could become the standout if he starts knocking in those goals for us – he could quickly become a hero on Tyneside this season if he can help save us from relegation.

And that´s the point.

If Newcastle can stay up this season it looks like the summer transfer window could be very exciting for Newcastle fans as we are almost certain to go all out to get some very good players like Saido Berahino, Jetro Willems and other top players in.

Gone seem to be the days when we only brought in players from France who were 26 years old or younger and Steve McClaren seems to be exerting his common sense influence with the Newcastle Board.

He wanted English Internationals Jonjo Shelvey and Andros Townsend and got them – but he missed out on Charlie Austin.

So we now seem to be willing to buy British players and pay the premium – and that´s because we have made some poor signings like Manu Riviere, Siem de Jong and Remy Cabella over the last 18 months.

We wont even mention Facundo Ferreyra.

And even this season new players from abroad such as Florian Thauvin and Aleksandar Mitrovic have struggled to get to grips with the Premier League.

Florian seems to have thrown in the towel at Newcastle and has gone back Marseille on loan.

We will be surprised if we see him back in the summer, but it could happen if we do well in our last 15 games.

If he does come back we need to give the youngster every chance to succeed – it would be a great story if Florian came back and became a success on Tyneside, but for that to happen he will need to show some courage.

So McClaren seems to have some backing that English players are worth that extra premium because they don’t need any bedding in time and we know exactly what we are getting for the money.

Newcastle are in a peculiar situation right now because relegation would be a complete and utter disaster for the club in May.

And to use a quote from the great English novelist Charles Dickens:

If we can stay in the Premier league this season it could be the best of times – but if we are relegated it could be the worst of times.

Newcastle never did do things in half measure did they.


Howay The Lads!!

Tags: Coaching · Newcastle News · Recruitment · Transfer News and Rumours · Transfer Target

17 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jail for Ashley // Feb 2, 2016 at 8:30 AM

    Ella Guru,
    I think you should do a repost.
    You have to say it was a good window as some exciting players have been bought/loaned and some good money spent. If you say it wasn’t a good window because of reasons I pointed out above then you are accused of never being happy, when the reality is we are desperate for a better defence and have been for five years now.

  • 2 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Feb 2, 2016 at 8:30 AM

    Ffs ffs ffs. We didnt take austin because of his wage demands. 100k pw??? Just NO.

  • 3 Jail for Ashley // Feb 2, 2016 at 8:32 AM

    Any way my thoughts echo Ella Guru’s except I think it was a good window/ sort of. Needed defenders badly!

  • 4 catchy in norway // Feb 2, 2016 at 8:34 AM

    no, i just think we will improve on where we are right now. we will finish around 10th, we will finish above Palace,

    as you are all aware, thats my goal for this season,, next year I think top 8-3 City. chelsea and spuds if they keep there best players will be top 3

  • 5 Wayayman // Feb 2, 2016 at 8:38 AM

    Ok, for the last time… Austin never wanted to come here. All of his family live near Bournemouth which is minutes from Southampton. He has horses down there which he is very passionate about plus he has a successful kids coaching set up that he attends most Friday evenings. Plus he was offered way more than we would go to per week.

    Also, how can anyone who has watched most of the games say Mitrovic has struggled to adapt? For me he’s been one bright point of the season with clever CF play allowing Gini to get in behind him. He’s probably been involved in 90% of our goals.

  • 6 jimiley // Feb 2, 2016 at 8:41 AM

    Mitro has to be one of the bet strikers in the league. Why we are even bothering to sign strikers is beyond me. Him and Perez are a lethal combination.

  • 7 Jail for Ashley // Feb 2, 2016 at 8:45 AM

    I’m going to repost this for Ella in case he’s/she’s gone,
    EllaGuru // Feb 2, 2016 at 8:26 AM

    Merson is not widely known as being a savant when it comes to .. well anything.
    I really can not believe that 90% of people on here believe that this was a good window. It would have been a good window had we bothered to reinforce the defense. We are one injury away (which is going to happen, we have Saylor in the squad) from a defensive crisis. Lascelles impressed me, but is too inexperienced to “slot in” if Colo gets injured. We have no LB cover (Dummett is a good defensive LB in my opinion, offers very little going forward) and no RB cover (Janmaat is the total opposite of Dummett). Anita and Colback are not LB/RB. We have been torn apart when they have had to slot in there.
    This is going to be a long and arduous remainder of the season. I truly hope I am proven wrong, but I really feel we will struggle to stay afloat.

  • 8 Jib // Feb 2, 2016 at 8:47 AM

    Ed has gotten all Dickensian on our asses.
    Better than getting Medieval I guess 😎

  • 9 firebug666 // Feb 2, 2016 at 8:48 AM

    I think we shipped a lot of goals because our defence has next to no cover, Coloccini has looked better in the last few games because the midfield have been pressing the opposition more and taking more control in the middle of the park.

    I now think that once the new players find their feet we will be stronger defensively, Saivet I reckon will be great at breaking up attacks, as he can tackle has a bit of pace and is a good passer and a forward thinking player, along side Tiote or even Colback/Anita I think we will be stronger in defence.

    As for the others, I think we will be playing higher up the pitch with these players, we now have pace upfront that will force the opposition to re-think how they play against us.

    In the past we have always been pegged back by teams, hoofing the ball out to their back four and waiting for them to come back at us. Now we have the players that are capable of taking the game to the opposition and the ability to stretch defences.

    The new look of this team is a little exciting for me, and I expect that if McClaren gets the set up right we might at last look forward to being entertained on a weekly basis.

    I think that being able to press teams higher up the field now will benefit our defence as will stopping the opposition playing a high line.

    Shelvey’s vision for a good pass, the pace of Janmaat, Sissoko and Townsend, the hold up play of Mitrovic and the scoring prowess of Wijnaldum and Doumbia for me offers a mouth watering 15 games to come.

    I gave 7/10 for this window, it could have been better but I’m happy none the less.

  • 10 Jib // Feb 2, 2016 at 8:50 AM


    I’m afraid you are making stuff up.
    We were never entertained by Austin for a nanosecond.

  • 11 toon kk // Feb 2, 2016 at 8:52 AM

    Have you ever thought of going to the opticians lately, yes Mitrovic has played well along with Perez, but how many goals have they actually scored? We need goals to win or we will go down.
    If Perez and Mitrovic were the best in the premier league we’d be sat well in the top half and massive bids would have been coming in for them.

  • 12 Toonfan8 // Feb 2, 2016 at 8:53 AM

    It was a good window, we lost nobody with EPL quality and bring 4 players, two English internationals, plus Doumbia (champions league level striker) and Saivet (nobody knows how he will adapt, but was good in Bordeaux)….We should bring one full back, even Debuchy as a cover, he can play LB position…and it would be very good window, Berahino would be top of that….but I think we have Berahino, Willems lined up in the summer as our priority, we just have to stay up…

  • 13 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Feb 2, 2016 at 8:57 AM

    Mark…that does seem to be the problem here. But it comes from not being well prepared!

  • 14 hibbitt // Feb 2, 2016 at 8:58 AM

    Jail for Ashley
    its a massive gamble the club are taking if the money was available why not get the players we need but this lot chose not to and have now gone for another spin of the wheel who do we blame charnley and carr are the names on my list

  • 15 sparky55 // Feb 2, 2016 at 9:00 AM

    Methinks Ed just likes to wind us up with references to the ‘loss’ of Charlie Austin…clicks of anger and frustration pay the same money to Ed as clicks for construction blogging.

    Ignore Ed…he’s only after your money

  • 16 Spoof // Feb 2, 2016 at 9:05 AM

    91% believe that it was a good window, I’m not so sure, if we look at what was needed and what we got then it doesn’t look brilliant, however there is some hope that it could be a good window

    We needed two proven strikers, we got Doumbia who is far from proven, prolific in poor leagues but when in Italy which is a higher standard he was dreadful, if he had been the second of the two which we needed then yes a good window as far as strikers go, however he is the only one we got so for me we have failed on the striker front.

    We needed a left winger, we got a right winger and are hoping that his PL performances as a left winger are better than his PL performances as a RW, it is a gamble and again as far as a LW goes then it is a fail but with an open mind as he may settle quickly and hopefully prove me wrong.

    We needed a FB, most wanted a LB, but with Haidara, Dummett and Colback who can play there I would rather we had got a RB as Janmaat is ok, not brilliant but ok but without him we are screwed as we have no cover at all, either way, LB or RB we got neither so again we have failed in what we really needed, Byram would have been ideal.

    We needed a CB, we all know this so again we have failed.

    We needed a deep lying midfielder who is capable of giving us an attacking edge, Colback and Anita as a pairing give us no creativity at all, we got Shelvey now assuming that SM can keep him calm and get his head right as he seems to have done with Mitrovic then we have succeeded.

    We then have Saivet, did we really need another holding midfielder, assuming only one will play alongside Shelvey then with Anita, Colback and Tiote then I feel we were well enough covered in that area, however if he proves to be as good as Kante is at Leicester and he can force Tiote, Anita and Colback out of the side then all well and fine, but for me he is neither a good nor a bad signing, even if Tiote goes as he probably will we still wouldn’t have been desperate for him, so unless he really is a class act then for me he was a needless signing.

    What the window has done is to let us know that SM does have an input and he has changed the transfer policy which is a great boost, the biggest boost of all is that we did not sell any of our top players, so we have strengthened the team and the squad so yes there are positives but was it as good a window as some seem to believe, time will tell, if Doumbia was just not suited to the Italian league, like Dennis Bergkamp wasn’t, if Saivet does allow us to dominate the midfield which in turn would hide our defensive woes, if Townsend does become a great left winger then we will be fine, however if they don’t do the above then we could be in trouble, so have we had a successful window, I have my doubts.

  • 17 TroubledToon // Feb 2, 2016 at 10:29 AM

    What the Dickens??
    I never knew ol Charlie D was a PL fan 😛

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