The Newcastle United Blog

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

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

Hanley Signs For Newcastle – I’m Over The Moon And Delighted

1:39 pm, Thursday, July 21st, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 125 Comments

Newcastle United have just put on their web-site that 24 year-old former Blackburn captain and center-back Grant Hanley has been signed by the club – after around three weeks of negotiations.


Grant Hanley after signing on at Newcastle United

Here’s some of that the club has just put on the web-site.


Newcastle United have completed the signing of defender Grant Hanley from Blackburn Rovers.

The 24-year-old Scotland international has put pen to paper on a five-year deal at St. James’ Park and arrives for an undisclosed fee.

Hanley came through the ranks at Blackburn before being handed his debut at the age of 18 in a Premier League fixture at Aston Villa in May 2010.

The centre-back remained at Ewood Park following Rovers’ relegation from the top flight and was appointed captain in January 2014.

In six years at the Lancashire club he made 201 appearances in all competitions, scoring nine goals.


This is what Grant has said:

“I’m over the moon and delighted to be here,”

“It is a fantastic opportunity to come and play at such a big club and one that I couldn’t turn down.”

“It is an exciting step in my career but it doesn’t stop there.”

“This is just the start and I am looking forward to helping Newcastle get back into the Premier League.”

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez added the following:

“I am very pleased to bring Grant Hanley to our project to add his hard work and potential to our squad.”

“It was clear that we needed another central defender and we were seeking someone with good experience in the Championship.”

“Grant is a young player with a lot of ambition to improve and keep growing with us.”

“He is also a strong defender,  fast and with personality, a player that surely will increase competitiveness in his position.”

This is another excellent signing by Rafa Benitez.

Welcome to Newcastle Grant!

Here’s our current signings so far this summer and soon we may have to update it for Gini Wijnaldum leaving.

Matz Sels£4.5MKAA Gent
Dwight Gayle£10MCrystal Palace
Matt Ritchie £10MBournemouth
Jesus Gamez£1.5MAtletico Madrid
Isaac Hayden£2.5MArsenal
Grant Hanley£5.5MBlackburn
Ciaran Clark£5MAston Villa
Mohamed Diame£4.5MHull City
DeAndre Yedlin£5MTottenham
Daryl Murphy£3MIpswich Town
Achraf Lazaar £3MPalermo
Christian AtsuLoan - seasonChelsea
Transfer Fees In£54.5M
Gabby ObertanReleasedAnzhi Makhachkala
Sylvain MarveauxReleasedLorient
Steven TaylorReleasedPortland Timbers
Fabricio ColocciniReleasedSan Lorenzo
Andros Townsend£13MCrystal Palace
Remy Cabella£7.5MMarseille
Papiss Cisse£2.5MShandong Luneng
Gini Wijnaldum£25MLiverpool
Florian ThauvinLoan - seasonMarseille
Siem de JongLoan - seasonPSV
Kevin MbabuLoan - seasonBSC Young Boys
Henri SaivetLoan - seasonSt. Etienne
Daryl Janmaat£7.5MWatford
Tim KrulLoan - seasonAjax
Gael BigirimanaFreeCoventry City
Adam ArmstrongLoan - JanuaryBarnsley
Emmanuel RiviereLoan - seasonCA Osasuna
Jamie SterryLoan - JanuaryCoventry City
Haris VuckicLoan - JanuaryBradford City
Sammy AmeobiLoan - JanuaryBolton Wanderers
Moussa Sissoko£30MTottenham Hotspur
Transfer Fees Out£85.5M
Net Spend-£31M

Comments welcome.

Tags: Financials · Grant Hanley · Newcastle News · Recruitment · Transfer News and Rumours · Transfer Target

125 responses so far ↓

  • 1 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 21, 2016 at 1:42 PM

    McClown is being interviewed for the Scumberland job, apparently.

  • 2 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 21, 2016 at 1:43 PM

    On to the next signing please

  • 3 gorgonzola ( former Pecorino former to gorgonzola) // Jul 21, 2016 at 1:44 PM

    On to the next signing please

  • 4 gorgonzola ( former Pecorino former to gorgonzola) // Jul 21, 2016 at 1:45 PM

    Wini is gone Sissoko will be gone in bad dire need of a LB.

    We need 3 players in minimum…Lots of money is the bank from Wini and Sissoko…time for some big time signings…

  • 5 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 21, 2016 at 1:45 PM

    There’s an echo in here 😀

  • 6 ROSHAN MAGPIE // Jul 21, 2016 at 1:46 PM

    rafa said hanley is fast most of you said he is slow Wtf

  • 7 gorgonzola ( former Pecorino former to gorgonzola) // Jul 21, 2016 at 1:49 PM

    Back to last nights game how on earth where we 2:0 down?!!?!? Against a bunch of amateurs, nothing has changed at Newcastle has it 🙁

    A bit depressed.

  • 8 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 21, 2016 at 1:49 PM

    Dummet gets an unfair deal on here. Ok, as a lb he gives very little goong forward, but is solid defesively, and is miles away from the liability some make him out to be. Yes, ideally we should buy a starting LB, but no way should people be all doom and gloom if Dummet starts there. He has given some decent prem wingers a tough time.

  • 9 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 21, 2016 at 1:53 PM

    British no-nonsense players like Dummet and Hanley will always be given the short end off fans, because they are not ramos, or maldini. Its a skewed view, imo. We need these players.

  • 10 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 21, 2016 at 1:55 PM

    *type of players.
    You cant have a team full of technical players who get forward all the time. You need a couple of “stoppers” who make life difficult for opposition forwards.

  • 11 Our Toon // Jul 21, 2016 at 1:55 PM

    Dummett has to improve going forward if he wants to nail down being a LB, his crossing is awful and he looks uncomfortable going forward. As a defender though he’s actually decent, he’s more of a 90s full back rather than a modern day full back

  • 12 Wayayman // Jul 21, 2016 at 1:56 PM

    Gorgonzola, don’t despair. I’s the 2nd game of pre-season and you always learn more when things go badly than after a 6-0 win over part-timers.
    Trust the bloke in charge to get things right come the big kick off. Two friendlies left, Southend next Tuesday then Vitesse on the 30th. We’ll probably have another couple of players in by then too, and the others will be two weeks fitter and sharper after having so many games in succession.

  • 13 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 21, 2016 at 1:57 PM

    The modern game is much more technical, and a 50/50 balance is not right, but its daft to abandon using a couple of brick walls all together.

  • 14 toon kk // Jul 21, 2016 at 1:57 PM

    Of course our best player’s will leave, we’re a championship club now.
    Don’t expect us dominating the championship it’s a very tough league, full of very hard working teams, something alot of our players aren’t used too.
    We have made some good signings but we need more or it will be a case of here we go again.

  • 15 Munster Mag // Jul 21, 2016 at 1:58 PM

    Rafa says he’s fast ….? Rovers fans say he’s slow. I am sure they know best…

  • 16 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 21, 2016 at 1:59 PM

    Our toon

    I agree with that. Thats a fair and balanced view on Dummet. Ideally he wont be our starting LB, and if the need arises for him to start, it isn’t the end of the world. I think a few of the games this season might give him the chance to work a little on his attacking game.

  • 17 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Jul 21, 2016 at 1:59 PM

    As I said last night…

    Hopefully RAFA learned a lot more about his players/team than he did against Bohemians.

    And what will the team be like without Gini and Sissoko.

    promotion – It ain’t going to be plain sailing all the way

    Personally I think they will be a big miss even if they did not play at their best last season. Both players had a touch of class when on their game and hopefully we can fill their void with the new players or it could be struggle what ever the odds the bookies make us.

    Shelvey – bloody enigma – Brilliant against West Ham – poor ever since.
    needs his heed sorting out.

    Great to see Handley – like to see a creative midfielder, left back and a goalscorer – then I’ll be a happy man!

  • 18 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:02 PM

    Larger players often appear to be slower than the actually are, it depends on stride pattern and other things. Sometimes you see a big lump and think “never gonna get there” and then he does, and you think “how the hell dod he het there?”.

  • 19 Wayayman // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:02 PM

    Mark @ 13 I totally agree. The Championship s a real mixed bag. Some teams are much more technical and others are old-school division 2 in style. We have to be able to combat both.
    It’ll be a much harder slog than the last time we went down as the level is higher now, but it’s shaping up to be an exciting season if we get off to a good start. Really looking forward to Fulham, it’s a great ground for watching a game too, close to the pitch and should be at least 50% Geordies in there with their ‘neutral’ end selling out before the official away tickets went on sale.

  • 20 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:02 PM

    *did he get

  • 21 hibbitt // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:04 PM

    Our Toon

    i spoke to Dummett a few months ago in M&S gosforth
    i asked him about playing LB and he said he was happy to play were the boss put him but he preferred playing CB and he considered himself to be a CB

  • 22 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:05 PM


    Are fulham still going through a rough time? They have been really poor in recent seasons.

  • 23 Spoof // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:08 PM

    At last this particular saga is over.

    Changing the subject completely, it was often said that Ben Arfa was a great player (which he was, one of the most gifted that we have ever had imho) but we never got the consistency out of him due to poor man management, we now have another gifted French lad on our hands but sadly he has had a nightmare for us but would you give Florian Thauvin a chance especially when you consider that we are short of natural wingers and it could be that Florian has here what Ben Arfa didn’t, that being a manager who could possibly get his undoubted talent on to the pitch.

    I doubt that he is anywhere near Ben Arfa but so what, that means nothing as Benny was unique, Thauvin could be a great player and I would give him another go, he does potentially have a shed load of quality which is something you can never have too much of.

  • 24 Hail Wor Ashley // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:12 PM

    My first choice defence as of right now would be:


    All 4 proper, combative defenders. Both fullbacks 6ft+.

    Importantly, a lot more vocal than we’ve been used to. Think they could form great camaraderie and become a very good unit.

  • 25 ROSHAN MAGPIE // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:12 PM

    I thought mbiwa had pace right

  • 26 Spoof // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:12 PM


    sorry mate that’s wrong, he is a personal friend of my wifes best friend’s daughter, they socialise together and I can assure you that he is a LB and that he always has viewed himself as being a LB, he like so many players can cover elsewhere with him being able to cover CB but he is a LB.

  • 27 jazzyp // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:15 PM

    Welcome Mr Hanley to Nufc. Hopefully Rico next at Left back

  • 28 ROSHAN MAGPIE // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:15 PM

    YouCouldn’tMakeItUp agree with you

  • 29 ROSHAN MAGPIE // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:17 PM

    158 – Grant Hanley made the most interceptions of any player in the Championship in 2015/16 (158). Assured.

  • 30 Mr Funk // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:18 PM

    LB – Rico Henry or Charlie Taylor

    AMC – Alex Pritchard, Tom Carroll or ???

    ST – ??

    Any other suggestions?

  • 31 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:18 PM


    And Lascelles looks decent and cool on the ball. At least he did toward the end of last year.

  • 32 Hail Wor Ashley // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:18 PM

    Thauvin will never produce anything like the quality HBA did whilst here. Such wishful thinking to believe otherwise.

    Hasn’t got the acceleration, strength, balance, technique dribbling skills, quick mind and ability to improvise to compete with HBA.

    Might do better at this level, but £10m+ and I’d be cashing in and getting a replacement. Robbie Brady would be my choice. If Mitrovic and Gayle need supply, at this level you won’t get better than Ritchie and Brady on the flanks.

  • 33 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:23 PM


    I am still waiting for Rafa to pull some kind of young spanish wizard out of nowhere to play as AMF. Even if its a loan at first, with option to buy if promoted. Clubs loke Barca often sell players with a “buy back” clause, so you can often have a player for a few seasons, and if you need the money, or want to alter your style, you sell them back to thier original club for a small profit. I believe this happened with Fabregas and Arsenal. I could be wrong, but i know it does happen.

  • 34 nightfa11 // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:25 PM

    so we basically got nothing from wini sale..

    got him for 15 mio + signing of fee + wages + agent, etc..

    sold him for 25 and we must give a few mio to psv..

  • 35 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:26 PM

    Fabregas was re-purchased by Barca from arsenal. I seem to remember there being a buy back clause. I might have comfused it with another player.

  • 36 Jail for Ashley // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:28 PM

    You might have missed my posts, what type of players were you expecting us to sign.

  • 37 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:29 PM


    No, thats incorrect, but the whole discussion on wage budget and agent fees has been done to death 500000 times on here, so please lets not 😀

  • 38 expatmag // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:31 PM

    Victor Moses being touted as a possible in some prees quarters

  • 39 outside the box // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:32 PM

    hail wor ash..
    ..agree and with memba in the mix could play rb and cb …gamez lb /cb…dummet lb/cb …with janmatt mbabu and sterry hairdrier seems defence is sorted…..i thought hanley was left footed anyone know??

  • 40 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:32 PM

    And i always thought a sell on fee was a percentage of any profit, not of the entire price. I.E 10 mil in ginis case?

  • 41 Graeme // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:33 PM

    Guinness sales in “The Warhorse” on Buckshaw will plummet lol

  • 42 expatmag // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:33 PM

    So we have signed Hayden Gayle Hanley and Ritchie…….all british players. Wouldnt mind seeing a couple more in

  • 43 jazzyp // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:34 PM


    I would hope Rafa has a quality replacement in mind Ycmiu said, Some talent that no one has hardly heard of.. As in another Perez would be nice

  • 44 cyprus // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:36 PM

    Agreed You Couldn’t. Rafa must now make a big signing. Now we are ready to compete but not quite to dominate. One wizard, cheap or expensive. The next HBA…

    Cyprus midsummer night’s dream

  • 45 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:37 PM


    Thats a name i had forgotten. Victor Moses. Is there still life left in him, i wonder?

  • 46 expatmag // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:37 PM

    Outside the box

    i think Rafa is keen to get Keogh in from Derby. I wouldnt mind Taylor from Leeds as well.

    Sell Sissoko…….buy Hughes and Moses
    Sell Thauvin……buy Sinclair

  • 47 Hail Wor Ashley // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:39 PM

    Janmaat welcomed Hanley at the training ground.

    Notably Janmaat, a grown man, wears velcro trainers! Janmaat OUT!

  • 48 Jail for Ashley // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:39 PM

    No worries Jazzy, not inspired by our signings but can’t give the names of any players we could realistically signed that might have made you happy. I would like to sign Erik Peters of Stoke but while in the Championship he might be difficult to persuade and he’s not exactly a stellar signing.

  • 49 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:39 PM


    Yes the next HBA, minus the attitude, and with the bonus of a manager who can deploy him in the best way. Carry on with that dream, its a good one 😀

  • 50 expatmag // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:39 PM


    He seems to get loaned out every season but yhis year could be the year he tells them to fux it.

    I think Rafa signed him on loan at Liverpool at some stage.

  • 51 Jib // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:40 PM

    The rules state
    25 players over 21, 10 of whom must be homegrown, by which the League means players registered in domestic football for three seasons prior to their 21st birthday.
    Players under 21 face no restriction.
    NUFC has
    31 players with numbers allocated
    16 without
    47 players on the books at the moment (I’m regarding Sissoko as gone)
    With Hanley we now have the 10 homegrown 1st team players.
    I’m expecting Rafa to name the squad of 25 soon, and there to be a few out on loan (as Mr Tuff said the other day) they now have to go out for longer , under greater restrictions on call backs.

  • 52 jazzyp // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:41 PM


    I agree mate a British core is always nice to have at the club.Young Rico at left back would be another good addition.And another long shot would be Reece Oxford who Man city have enquired about.
    A player who has impressed me has been Hayden.
    As it stands a definite starter for the season

  • 53 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:42 PM


    I think you’re right. He was at Liverpool, and it seems long enough ago for it to be under rafas tenure.

  • 54 jazzyp // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:43 PM

    Go through the posts, already stated who I would like at the club

  • 55 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:43 PM

    Ffs! Moses still only 25! He seems to have been around for decades 😀

  • 56 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:48 PM


    Just checked (via wiki so could be wrong) and it seems that it was rodgers who took moses to liverpool, 2013-14 season. Seems longer ago than that 😮

  • 57 jazzyp // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:48 PM


    I know mate. How many clubs has he had now ??

  • 58 Jail for Ashley // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:49 PM

    I’m in the passenger seat of a car on the A1 and Internet is a bit slow.

  • 59 U.S Magpie // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:50 PM

    Sky Sports has reported that Gini has signed for Liverpool.

  • 60 U.S Magpie // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:50 PM

    Ed must be walking his dog again this morning.

  • 61 outside the box // Jul 21, 2016 at 2:51 PM

    expat… i was hoping for a left footed centre back to balance defence ..cannot find out if hanley is right or left footed

  • 62 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 21, 2016 at 3:00 PM


    6 clubs since 2007 😮

  • 63 Wayayman // Jul 21, 2016 at 3:03 PM

    Jazzy, Reece Oxford is immense, he’s destined for great things that lad. Such fantastic timing in the tackle that he just seems to take the ball off the opposition when they try to beat him. He’s got everything i think, sadly I think he’ll move to a bigger club this summer and be wasted sitting on the bench as they scramble to make up the homegrown numbers. That’s what’s killing British talent as far as I’m concerned. Think of the young British players Man C and Chelsea have had on their books recently. Shame the agents dont advise these kids properly instead of blinding themselves with even more pound signs.

  • 64 Our Toon // Jul 21, 2016 at 3:10 PM

    Moses is on big money at Chelsea he won’t drop down to the championship, like Lucas and Ibe before him that people were talking about it.

    Wayayman – Young talent does indeed get wasted at bigger clubs but these youngsters don’t help themselves as they get loads of money and feel like they’ve already made it. Reece Oxford will learn more from Kompany or Terry than he’d learn playing for a team in the championship.

  • 65 jazzyp // Jul 21, 2016 at 3:11 PM


    Couldn’t agree more bud. I’ve always said if the FA value the future of the English team. Then there needs to be some sort of protection for our youngsters.
    A corporate client down south raves about the lad and cannot believe West Ham would allow him to leave.
    But such is the power of the English league and the amount of money banded about. The best players in the world can be attracted here

  • 66 Toon-Prodigy // Jul 21, 2016 at 3:12 PM

    Wijnaldum is at Liverpool now for medical. 5 year deal.

  • 67 Shadow_Shearer // Jul 21, 2016 at 3:15 PM

    I’m not impressed with the signing of Hanley, desire we really do need another centre back.
    At least there is activity in the transfer market.
    If we sell gigi for 27 million, & pay psv 20%, I believe that is 5.4 million to them. Leaving us with 21.6 million. We bought him for 14.5 so that’s a profit of just over 7 million.
    Time for a new left back, attacking mid & striker, & possibly 1 more centre defender, & we good to go!

  • 68 Shadow_Shearer // Jul 21, 2016 at 3:15 PM

    Despite we really do need **

  • 69 Hail Wor Ashley // Jul 21, 2016 at 3:22 PM

    Whilst there’s chaos at Hull City over the ownership, added to a lengthy injury list to key players, I’d also test the waters with Robertson, see if he’ll do a Ritchie, because right now with the state they’re in, Hull are coming straight back down and he might have similar outlook to Ritchie.

    Always a bonus for Scottish lads that we’re an hour away from Edinburgh too.

  • 70 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 21, 2016 at 3:22 PM

    Really hope Hanley has an exceptional season with us. I hope he makes a mockery of opposition attackers. I hope he is our player of the season. I know nowt about the lad, but it’ll be the only way to stop people being so down on him.

  • 71 Jail for Ashley // Jul 21, 2016 at 3:29 PM

    He is a proven Championship player, Blackburns player of the year and relatively cheap. Lewis Dunk might have cost 12M and not been able to step up to the PL. Rafa is trying to put together a squad for promotion not CL qualification, why can’t people accept or see that.

  • 72 ilovetoon8788 // Jul 21, 2016 at 3:30 PM

    Hanley is a Just an average signing. We need to move him on if we are the premier league.

  • 73 Shadow_Shearer // Jul 21, 2016 at 3:37 PM


    I’m not disputing his ability in the championship, it’s the premiership I can’t see him coping with.

    Personally I’d rather paid 12 million for dunk because I think he’s a better player & more likely to handle himself in the premiership.

    It’s just my opinion & I very well could be wrong, Handley may prove to be alot better than I think, but im tryna look at things from a long term prospective, past one season.

  • 74 Rotonda heights // Jul 21, 2016 at 3:37 PM


    worrry about that when it happens. for now horses for courses.

  • 75 LGFUAD21 // Jul 21, 2016 at 3:39 PM

    Funny how down on Hanley you lot are.

    You were probably gleaming about Gini and look how well he did.

    Reserve judgement. This is why the media et al thinks we have high opinions of ourselves.

    Sensible signing in my opinion. Much like all of them so far. We don’t need stars. We need reliable people that know the league.

    Welcome to toon grant.

  • 76 LGFUAD21 // Jul 21, 2016 at 3:40 PM

    Also funny everyone saying dunk can handle prem but Hanley can’t. Neither have played. These claims are just based on hype.

    Let’s get out of the championship first shall we?

  • 77 Jail for Ashley // Jul 21, 2016 at 3:42 PM

    Maybe Brighton are in a position not to sell and see the PL gravy train as the bigger picture over 12M. People have to stop worrying about the PL, we’re not in it.

  • 78 Mr Funk // Jul 21, 2016 at 3:44 PM

    Hanley has played 31 times on the premier league according to wiki

  • 79 Shadow_Shearer // Jul 21, 2016 at 3:45 PM

    Fair enough we’re not looking for champion league players, but we really do need players who can step up to the premiership if called upon.

    I have criticised Handley signing, I will put my hands up to that, but that doesn’t mean I want him to do bad. I hope he becomes a great signing for us

  • 80 Mr Funk // Jul 21, 2016 at 3:45 PM

    Lewis dunk has played in div 1 and the championship

  • 81 clinath@ed // Jul 21, 2016 at 3:46 PM

    judge him after 10 games….

  • 82 clinath@ed // Jul 21, 2016 at 3:46 PM

    …only kidding!

  • 83 Bobbybee // Jul 21, 2016 at 3:48 PM

    We either trust Rafa or we don’t. Rafa rates him, lets see how much he can improve him as a player, because his stated aim was to improve what we have with better coaching. We won’t be replacing like with like because for all the morney in the world, ego’s get in the way. Championship clubs don’t attract world class players, they need to produce them. I’d like to see Callum Roberts be given a chance because he is a creative player and he needs game time.
    Considering Arma hasn’t kicked a ball in anger for two months, he was impressive enough last night. His runs shows his brain is still working perfectly and given a game or two to sharpen up, those chances will got in. Anybody who’s ever played the game will know that your first game back after injury can be frustrating.
    We need to be more realistic in who wants to drop a league, but now is the time to trust Rafa to find quality players he can work on. We won’t all agree on who comes in, but beggars can’t be choosy. Plenty time yet and no shortage of money. Stay calm, support Rafa.

  • 84 Shadow_Shearer // Jul 21, 2016 at 3:49 PM

    I personally don’t see Handley been as good as lascelle or mbemba. But we definitely need depth in that department.

  • 85 Hail Wor Ashley // Jul 21, 2016 at 3:54 PM


    I think having watched Colo, Taylor, Willo, before them, Boumsong, Bramble, Cacapa, Rozenhal, Ramage and Moore, Toon fans have forgot what solid, mean defenders look like.

    There’s absolutely nothing to suggest Hanley won’t be a hit and that he can, under Rafa’s guidance, develop a level or 2.

    Some wildly overrate the PL defenders. Go on like they’re all Kompany at his best week in week out.

    Scott Dann has 5 years on Hanley and played alongside him at Blackburn, now he’s considered a solid PL defender at 29 and that’s under Pardew’s tutelage!

    Hanley has more about him and a much better manager to help him become the best he can be.

    Best defences always have at least 1 colossus and CBs generally don’t peak until 29-32 Terry, Vidic, going back a little further everybody admired Hyypia and the latest example being Huth last season. Hanley may not ever hit their heights, but his type is what we’ve been sorely lacking for a decade.

  • 86 clinath@ed // Jul 21, 2016 at 3:54 PM

    tried this earlier…
    49 points by Jan 1st
    91 points at end.

    any takers?

  • 87 Jail for Ashley // Jul 21, 2016 at 3:55 PM

    We haven’t had decent competition in that department for years now, Lascelles and Mbemba may well be the first pairing I don’t think the players he is signing are demanding to be automatic first choices. Watch Mbemba lack of concentration improve knowing Hanley will be pinching his spot.

  • 88 Jail for Ashley // Jul 21, 2016 at 3:57 PM

    116 points 110 goals 27 conceded.

  • 89 Hail Wor Ashley // Jul 21, 2016 at 4:00 PM


    Something we agree on. Think the ease we went up with last time and the fact Rafa has stayed has made some very arrogant about who we can sign and how we will do this time, before a ball has even been kicked this season they’re looking at next! Beggars belief.

    Like when supporters look at a home game as a banker and start discussing where we’ll be after the next if “this, this and this happens.”, only now they’re doing it with 46 games at a time!

  • 90 Bobbybee // Jul 21, 2016 at 4:01 PM

    Clint, top spot, couldn’t care about the figures! 😉

  • 91 Hail Wor Ashley // Jul 21, 2016 at 4:01 PM

    Mbemba is also wildly overrated.

  • 92 ToonRich // Jul 21, 2016 at 4:04 PM

    Bobbybee, I was disappointed that someone like Jonjo didnt spot some or Arma’s runs. I counted numerous times where there was a perfect through ball to him and Shelv chose to play sideways instead :/

  • 93 Shadow_Shearer // Jul 21, 2016 at 4:06 PM

    I suppose alot of ppl are disputing my decision to criticise the signing of Handley. Let’s just wait & see how he get on. I am hoping he does very well & proves all the other doubters wrong aswel.

  • 94 Tsunki // Jul 21, 2016 at 4:09 PM

    Before dumping on Hanley from a great height because he may in the past not seem to have demonstrated the calibre required of a PL nufc side, consider the following:

    1/ We aren’t a PL nufc side
    2/ Benitez may be a good enough football technician to spot potential
    3/ Benitez may be a good enough football technician to develop said potential

    I’d had thee blah before bombing the lads career just yet. 🙂

  • 95 Jail for Ashley // Jul 21, 2016 at 4:13 PM

    Not just that but people are not just expecting to be automatically promoted but ready to assault the CL as soon as we do. I honestly believe Rafa is here for the long term and will be targeting the top ten in our first season back, we will have sussed by then which players bought this summer can perform or not. Years of brutal mismanagement can’t be put right over night.

  • 96 Toon-Prodigy // Jul 21, 2016 at 4:17 PM

    Quality video coverage from the game last night. Missing some of the goals but the best coverage i’v seen so far.

    Armstrong looked sharp. Arrons lively also.

  • 97 Bobbybee // Jul 21, 2016 at 4:18 PM

    Toon rich, those runs through the channels are his strongpoint mate, he reads the game so well, but unless someone picks those runs they’re wasted. No doubt Rafa noticed that and will make them more aware. When de Jong played with Arma in the U21’s he picked his runs every time. As did young Callum Roberts. Ffs, even Coventry players did, so expect improvement as we progress. First time they’ve played together so next time they should be aware of those runs and pick him out. He’ll be sharper as well, so i expect the goals to start flowing. Plenty time yet mate. 😉

  • 98 Tsunki // Jul 21, 2016 at 4:20 PM

    Should the unthinkable not happen and we rise to the PL on first go, I expect a similar broom sweeping through the ranks for a shape that fits the new league. I wouldn’t expect any stellar signings atm, the so-called ‘stars’ many seem to be hankering for either wouldn’t come here or wouldn’t have the temperament for a sideways-rain November Wednesday night mud wrestle in darkest Lancashire. And lancashire is dark ha ha.

  • 99 magscar // Jul 21, 2016 at 4:25 PM

    I think the old adage “Rome wasn’t built in a day” got a lot of currency last pre and early season and then became a Nero situation and a lot of ridicule on those repeating it.

    Hate to preach more patience therefore but whilst Rafa is a good manager miracles are going to take him more than a season. No way round it.

  • 100 Jail for Ashley // Jul 21, 2016 at 4:29 PM

    Rafa must have known that Wijnaldum and Sissoko would want to leave and their transfers and subsequent fees discussed at length before taking on the job. Ashley must have been forthright in their talks and convinced a very streetwise, astute and very much in demand manager to sign up. I personally think everything is under control and I’m back in love with my football club.

  • 101 magscar // Jul 21, 2016 at 4:30 PM

    Whilst I am on sayings another springs to mind

    – Football Management like Politics is the “Art of The Possible”

  • 102 Spoof // Jul 21, 2016 at 4:46 PM


    We started a debate yesterday about making sure we have enough quality, Moses name has been mentioned, with him as an additional winger and Ings as another striker then for me that could well be what we need, those two and I would be a happy man as for me they are both too good for the Championship but with a good offer and some persuasion from Rafa then they could be tempted.

  • 103 clinath@ed // Jul 21, 2016 at 4:47 PM

    Bobby….coward 😉 but I like your style.

  • 104 Jail for Ashley // Jul 21, 2016 at 4:48 PM

    Rafa seems to be fond of these five year deals mind, I thought that would change, he obviously has a lot of faith in his talent spotting.

  • 105 Jail for Ashley // Jul 21, 2016 at 4:50 PM

    If we got Moses and Ing’s I’d be ecstatic!

  • 106 G // Jul 21, 2016 at 4:51 PM

    @104, I think 5 year deals are more to do with the potential escalation in prices of players in this country mate. Players will only get cheaper well into thier 30s now mate (unless they are trully sh1t!)

  • 107 Bobbybee // Jul 21, 2016 at 4:52 PM

    This will be a season where Rafa’s experience and coaching ability will be fully tested. Unilke the past, when he’s been in the position of being able to buy who he likes, he already knew that was never going to be an option. This is the season he shows just how good he is.
    Anthony Knockeart would be worth a go for. He’s a player who would step back into the PL with ease and who almost got Brighton promoted with his silky skills and set pieces. He definitely could be the difference and brings in the creativity we could certainly use. He’s already in the Championship so it would be a step up for him, with all respect to Brighton. Class act who would replace Wijnaldum with ease.

  • 108 Graeme // Jul 21, 2016 at 4:52 PM

    Jail @ 100 – Well said mate.

  • 109 Jail for Ashley // Jul 21, 2016 at 4:54 PM

    Ha ha like Riverie, Marveaux and Obertoroon.

  • 110 geordie157 // Jul 21, 2016 at 4:56 PM

    Moses would be a good signing.

    With Ritchie, Aarons and Thauvin we need another winger.

    Robbie Brady would be perfect, crossing for Mitrovic. But Norwich would be crazy to sell him to us.

  • 111 Spoof // Jul 21, 2016 at 4:56 PM


    It would be difficult to get them to drop a division, but if they were to drop a division then where better than with us, I feel it would be possible as Ings may struggle at Liverpool and what Moses needs is to find stability and be at a club where he knows that a long term future could lie, so far in his career he has been like a journeyman, time for him to settle and if with us then that would be great and that would be the quality that I was referring to yesterday.

  • 112 Tsunki // Jul 21, 2016 at 4:57 PM

    We ain’t kicked a competitive ball yet and still offloading and buying players so how anyone expects a cohesive unit in place right now is staggeringly naive. Patience will be tested. Personally I am half expecting a rocky start and a bit of adjusting in the winter. Got to be in Rafas plan to expect a bit of stormy weather, especially after the honeymoon he’s enjoyed so far. I hope the fans don’t turn on him too quickly if we have a rough patch, it would be a shame after the patience we showed that fidgeting wispy haired comedy act.

  • 113 geordie157 // Jul 21, 2016 at 4:58 PM

    On Ings, I can’t see him getting much game time at Liverpool, would definitely do the job for us.

    I was thinking Rafa might have asked for first option if he leaves on loan as part of the wijnaldum discussions.

  • 114 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Jul 21, 2016 at 4:59 PM


    Yeah would like to think with the money coming in from player sales we will now look to buy from our rivals in this league with a couple of their star players who can make the step up

    Knockhaert would be top notch always looked too good for the championship

  • 115 bettyswallocks // Jul 21, 2016 at 4:59 PM

    A bit of fickleness going on at the moment. Those that were resigned to the fact that some good experienced defenders were needed are now complaining that the likes of Handley may be a bit slow and cumbersome
    A couple of no nonsense defenders that are reliable on a regular basis will allow the attacking players to get on with attacking. We’re not going to build a team that can play total football in one window..

  • 116 Jail for Ashley // Jul 21, 2016 at 5:00 PM

    Thank you Graeme

  • 117 Bobbybee // Jul 21, 2016 at 5:02 PM

    Clint, it’s called hedging your bets. 😉 I think we’ll top the ton like last time, but before seeing the final squad i’ll refrain from making any solid predictions. Anyway, I’m such an optimist I’m sure to be way over the top! 😉
    It won’t be as easy as last time imo because there is talent down here, but i can’t stop being the optimist so will always go higher!
    The SJP crowd need to play their part massively this season and scare visiting teams half to death. Be cruel and nasty, so they’re not inspired by the crowd.

  • 118 Belfast // Jul 21, 2016 at 5:03 PM

    Yer right Buster! 🙂

  • 119 Jail for Ashley // Jul 21, 2016 at 5:04 PM

    Fans turn on Rafa, heresy, tie yourself to a stake with a pocket full of firelighters.

  • 120 Spoof // Jul 21, 2016 at 5:05 PM


    he may be a bit slow but I agree with you as I can’t understand why he is getting knocked, I can understand concerns about his lack of pace due to Rafa preferring to play a high line at the back but what Rafa certainly doesn’t lack is tactical nouse, I’m sure he will have a set up which won’t allow his lack of pace to be a severe problem, how long have we been begging for a big strong commanding defender to play alongside Colo which never happened and now that we have both Lascellas and Hanley who would have been ideal for Colo we have some who aren’t that happy about it, but never mind we are all entitled to our views !

  • 121 CAC // Jul 21, 2016 at 5:08 PM

    Don’t know the lad, but if Rafa rates him I am in favor of the signing. He us obviously a very good championship level defender, and if he’s not good enough for the premiership we can cross that bridge after promotion.

  • 122 hibbitt // Jul 21, 2016 at 5:17 PM

    some of the posters on here need to step back and look where we are it’s not about players we are buying being good enough for the Prem it’s are they good enough to get us out of the Championship because that’s where we are
    this knocking a player before he ‘s even pulled the shirt on when they have never ever seen him play is just not on
    its going to be a long hard season with no guarantee of promotion

  • 123 davis_toons // Jul 21, 2016 at 5:41 PM

    Wijnaldum is almost gone. Can’t be happy.

    Guess the stats between Wijnaldum and Shelvy.

    In terms of everything from off the field and into the field. (Wages, playing position, selling off value, the energy and attitude in training)

    Hope you guys know the answer :

    Which player is more valuable and more useful?

    Which player have taken more from the club then giving back?

    Glad Rafa knows Best, (fans like us won’t be too worried) ..just sad for some as it won’t be too long before SHELVY gets sideline again.

    Rafa is giving him the chance and at the sametime watching his performance and nothing good comes out of it. If he is good serious he should fit really well at Swansea playing the style of football.

    He is not English Andrea Pirlo and he is DAMN Slow. (too lay back to even try getting the ball back which the lease he can do when he is “off-air”)
    How i wish he would go back liverpool instead of Wijnaldum.

    What he come here for was to contribute but where did he ended up? ANS: ON THE BENCH…Which have obviously causes us as well.

    Rafa have played him in this friendly for a reason and roughly know by now if he needed an expensive new midfielder.

    Without much choice, the cash generated from Gini will get him a better midfielder.

    For me, nothing will change for Shelvy (even before he kick a ball? Yes!), is best to gives our motivated youth player a try than to keep this “hollywood star” on the bench.

    …going for 1 million counting down..anyone?



  • 124 Rotonda heights // Jul 21, 2016 at 6:04 PM


    i don’t think anyone is jumping up + down that Gini has gone, but market forces dictate these things. player wanted to go, monster fee, what can you do?

  • 125 goommy // Jul 21, 2016 at 10:13 PM

    Need one more LB and we are ready for a season coming!!

    Hope we get 60M from Gini and Sissoko deal soon 😀

previous post: Why Newcastle Wanted Exactly £27M For Wijnaldum

next post: England Crash Out In Surprise Loss To Italy