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
Banner created by Reilly - one of our readers
Howay The Lads!!

Manager Bemoans Newcastle’s Persistence To Sign Grant Hanley

9:49 am, Thursday, July 28th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 99 Comments

You never want to lose one of your best players and it was understandable that new Blackburn (and former Burnley, Bolton and Wigan) manager Owen Coyle, did not want to lose Grant Hanley, who was also the captain of Rovers.

But Grant wanted to join Newcastle and Rafa Benitez – in what the Magpies manager calls his exciting new project at the club – also called the Rafa Revolution or more simply the Rafalution.

Once Newcastle kept coming back, the Blackburn owners finally agreed to sell their star for around £5.5M, after bids of £3.5M and £4.5M were summarily turned down.

grant hanley newcastel strip

Grant Hanley – hopefully he will be smiling soon?

We are still surprised we got Grant so cheaply given his experience in the Championship – and that he can still improve a lot under Benitez, but there are probably some add-ons to that initial £5.5M fee.

Owen Coyle has today talked in the Lancashire Telegraph about his losing battle to keep Grant at the former Premier League Champions:

“It’s like anything else – we all know that Grant’s a very good player and I said that we certainly didn’t want to lose any of those players.”

“Newcastle were very persistent and kept coming back with offer after offer, and Grant told us that he wanted to go, that he wanted that move to Newcastle.”

“As a manager, you want players who want to be at your club.”

“He’s been here as a kid and he’s been a very good servant to the club, and equally, Blackburn Rovers have been very good to Grant Hanley.”

“That’s with giving him his chance and looking after him with contracts through the years.”

“So that’s the point it got to. It came to the offer they made and it was accepted by the owners and that’s where we are.”

It had been reported that Grant was keen to sign for Newcastle, but you never really know whether those reports are really accurate.

But it does seem Grant was keen to sign on, so he also acted professionally while still at Blackburn – that’s good for him and shows good character and professionalism.

With Jamaal Lascelles looking better in every game and likely to be Newcastle’s new (young) captain for the coming season, Grant will likely fight it out with Chancel Mbemba for the other center-back spot.

We now have three very good young center-backs at Newcastle and it will be surprising if Chancel cannot get his game this season, after he did so well last term after his £11M move from Anderlecht last summer.

But there are a lot of games in the coming Championship season, so all three center-backs will get more than enough playing time.

Rafa wanted competition for places at Newcastle and he’s starting to get that.

And finally, it’s great to have Grant at the club.

Comments welcome.

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

99 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 28, 2016 at 10:02 AM

    Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 28, 2016 at 10:00 AM

    Iheanacho is well out of our reach. He was looking for close to £200,000 a week in his new contract according to a few sources, which would have still left him down the lower end of the pay scale for City’s first team. I read somewhere his demands would make him the second lowest paid of those that made 10 or more appearances last season.

    I recommended him a few times in pieces I wrote around 2 years ago now. He looked a class act in youth football. I’d have loved it had we made any move for him, but I can’t imagine the club had even heard of him until City signed him.

    City work closely with Right to Dream of Ghana (who our under 18’s drew 3-3 with yesterday in the old Milk Cup) and they act as scouts in that region for them. They set up the trial with City, once RtD spoke with him, there was never any real doubt he would end up anywhere but City

  • 2 ToonRich // Jul 28, 2016 at 10:06 AM

    Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 28, 2016 at 10:00 AM

    Wow, didnt realise he was after that much! Thats ridiculous @ his age!!

    I still think Balotelli would do a job for us, but doubt he’d drop a league…although he seems quite happy training with the L’pool reserves! Imagine Mitro and Mario in the same team haha!!

  • 3 expatmag // Jul 28, 2016 at 10:10 AM


    A couple of threads ago re: Mourinho

    The year he won the CL with Porto, they beat Monaco in the final and that year, most of the yop teams under performed leading to an extremely surprising final.

    I watched a program recently listing the so called 49 players he has mentioned bringjng through from the various academies.

    You would be hard pushed to find 3 who have actually gone on and made a decent careerj for ghrmselves and one kf those would be Santon.

    Hardly a glowing indictment.

    If he signs Pogba and having already got Ibrahimovic and the lads from Dortmund and Brnfica, he is ONCE AGAIN buying a team.

    I honestly think they will fail to win the PL under this bloke.

    I wonder how he would cope in Rafa’s current situation?

    To be honest, he wouldnt have the “balls” to try.

  • 4 gorgonzola ( former Pecorino former to gorgonzola) // Jul 28, 2016 at 10:20 AM

    We are certain to lose those players..

    We are in dire need of a “star” signing/s 🙁

    We need a bit of pace and magic….Why don’t we look to South America for example etc.

  • 5 martoon // Jul 28, 2016 at 10:21 AM

    How does Owen Coyle think we feel with offers coming in for all our best players i.e. Wynaldum, Townsend & Sissoko – my heart bleeds for him. I’ve never liked him since I had him in my first Fantasy Football team and he was pants 🙂

  • 6 ToonRich // Jul 28, 2016 at 10:24 AM

    If Thauvin leaves that will be us needing 2 wingers at minimum? Who would you like?

    I see Pritchard is left footed, could he be used as the left winger of a 3 behind the striker?

    I’d much prefer an out an out winger, with pace and creativity though!

  • 7 expatmag // Jul 28, 2016 at 10:29 AM


    Good point about South America but there maybe issues regarding visas etc.

  • 8 expatmag // Jul 28, 2016 at 10:30 AM


    Would you pay 9 million pounds for a 23 year old reserve player who failed to impress during a loan spell at WBA last season?

    I certainly would not

  • 9 ToonRich // Jul 28, 2016 at 10:31 AM

    Gorgonzola, lets just use Gini/Sisokko money and bid for Barbosa? 🙂 *daydreamin*

  • 10 ToonRich // Jul 28, 2016 at 10:35 AM

    expatmag @8,

    No way…thats why I asked who else people would like to see us after! I dnt mind going for the younger highly rated first teamers like charlie taylor and Henry…but as you tightly pointed out AP is a reserve player at best in a PL side, I’d hope we’d aim slightly higher…get us excited with someone with a bit of ‘wow factor’. I dont expect a £30m signing, but lets show some intent if possible!

  • 11 Veltmann // Jul 28, 2016 at 11:10 AM

    I don’t give flyers who we lose.I have had enough after Wijnaldum!!

  • 12 Slank // Jul 28, 2016 at 11:20 AM


    ‘..How does Owen Coyle think we feel with offers coming in for all our best players, Wynaldum, Townsend & Sissoko..’

    Given the overwhelming sentiments by so many on this blog I would say we are pretty pleased !

  • 13 Blackley and Brownlie // Jul 28, 2016 at 11:21 AM

    Can’t believe NUFC are interested in Che Adams, as reported on SSN. He looked average when I saw him play at u21s at Bramall Lane. We need some quality additions and the clock is ticking.

  • 14 geordie157 // Jul 28, 2016 at 11:22 AM

    We’ll probably take pritchard on loan for the season with an option to buy.

    Given the fact thauvin hasn’t started a pre season game, would guess that Rafa wants to move him on.

    I hope we don’t go for Tom Ince, he was poor last season.

    Must be a young Spanish winger rafa can go and sign….vadillo maybe?

  • 15 Veltmann // Jul 28, 2016 at 11:37 AM

    Ha ha ha Sissoko is heading to Real Madrid.
    Oh dear oh dear oh oh why did you do that? 😀
    Boom jrrm jrrm boom jrrm jrrm boom boom..

  • 16 expatmag // Jul 28, 2016 at 11:38 AM


    Unfortunately, quality players are hard to attract at he best of times and near damn impissible when in the cgampionship.

  • 17 expatmag // Jul 28, 2016 at 11:39 AM


  • 18 robertsleftfoot // Jul 28, 2016 at 11:39 AM

    In terms of signing players, Robertson at Hull would be possible, decent fee to Hull whos owner just wants the money and he wont be on huge wages so we should be able to compete. Also think this lad could improve and be a premier league player.

    Midfield is a worry as it appears we are going to lose a couple more players yet. Will Hughes seems to have recovered from his cruciate injury quite well and think he could progress into a player. In terms of wingers we need a couple of quick and direct lads who can put a shift in. Aarons threatens to be this direct, quick winger but hasnt had enough game time and still seems to be living off his Man City goal.

    I think we are covered up front as Rafa will only play one up top anyway so we have Mitro, Perez, Armstrong, Gayle and probably Riviere.

  • 19 Veltmann // Jul 28, 2016 at 11:42 AM

    And Pritchard is coming.There are certain people who rate him.Let’s hope he comes good.
    Boom Jrrm jrrm boom jrrm jrrm boom boom.

  • 20 Jail for Ashley // Jul 28, 2016 at 11:56 AM

    How the devil are you welcome back!

  • 21 hibbitt // Jul 28, 2016 at 11:57 AM


    Lazio have reached an agreement with Newcastle for winger Florian Thauvin, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

    The report suggests the deal will be a permanent move with Lazio paying 12m euros to the Championship club.

  • 22 cyprus // Jul 28, 2016 at 12:04 PM

    Sissoko to Real, HBA to Barcelona? Man those teams don’t know what they’re doing we’re laughing all the way to the bank…

  • 23 cyprus // Jul 28, 2016 at 12:06 PM

    Anyway forget those.

    Now, Rafa, sign us a star player, man.

  • 24 cyprus // Jul 28, 2016 at 12:10 PM

    There’s a secret formula to signing star players, coaches etc when you are a second tier team. It’s called money.

  • 25 Bobbybee // Jul 28, 2016 at 12:12 PM

    I just can’t see Perez being happy sitting on anybody’s bench – even Barcelona’s – when he’s clearly a big part of Rafa’s plans for the future. We don’t need 15m quid and Perez has repeatedly insisted he wants to stay. It might happen – anything might happen – but the lad appears more than happy where he is.
    Not sure what Pritchard has done to warrant a price tag that high either. I’d sooner see us make Brighton an offer they can’t refuse for Anthony Knockeart, who’s one of the better wingers in his league.
    This is exactly what Rafa was talking about at the start of his new contract, when he said we simply can’t replace like for like whilst in the Championship. This is where he relies on superior coaching methods. Let’s not forget, those outgoing sent us down anyway. The only one I’ll miss really is Andros, because the others had stopped caring a while ago. He’s not finished buying yet so the squad’s not complete. He might have a couple of aces up his sleeve yet.

  • 26 Veltmann // Jul 28, 2016 at 12:14 PM

    Smelt usual suspects about to come..
    That’s it.Enjoyed the moment for the day.

    Boom Jrrm jrrm boom jrrm jrrm boom

  • 27 ToonRich // Jul 28, 2016 at 12:16 PM

    Robertson of Hull is a great call for LB, sure he could also cover the wing if needed. I’d say he’s already of EPL quality, and with international experience which doesnt go a miss.

  • 28 Blackley and Brownlie // Jul 28, 2016 at 12:22 PM

    Fine Jail, thanks. How are you?

    I’ve switched off from football for so long now, I can’t remember if I was pro or anti Ashley. Haha. I’m almost in the mood to give everyone at NUFC a clean slate.

  • 29 jimmysmith // Jul 28, 2016 at 12:27 PM

    If Madrid and Barcelona come calling they are off, and rightly so, huge opportunities for both players if it’s true, and even if we got 50 mill in return, in our situation, I doubt we’d be getting the better end of the deal

  • 30 Bobbybee // Jul 28, 2016 at 12:31 PM

    Toonrich, with Hull being in such turmoil right now, this would be the right time to strike for Robertson. Quality LB and nobody at Hull knows their future atm. It’s a cruel world, but their owner only has himself to blame for the situation. Smash and grab whilst their eye is off the ball.

  • 31 martoon // Jul 28, 2016 at 12:35 PM

    I think we are starting to see what it means to be in the Championship. Impossible to keep your star players if the big clubs come calling and also difficult to attract quality players.
    I am starting to become worried now as our squad seems to be shrinking quite rapidly but hopefully the Rafa factor will attract some decent players.

  • 32 Our Toon // Jul 28, 2016 at 12:39 PM

    To belittle Mourinho’s achievement in management is hilarious, if it a about how much Mourinho spends then where does that leave fergie?

    He did it at 1 club and let’s not forget he bought the league title every year by breaking record transfer fees year after year. He would have stayed on if Man utd were still the biggest force in the market but he knew that was slipping away.

    As for bringing players through, did fergie bring through the players at man utd or was it the youth coaches? Either way since they had that incredible influx it failed to materialise again. Even selling pogba as he decided cleverly was a better option.

    Mourinho love him or hate him has won the league in almost all the big countries and won the CL the same amount of times as fergie, he will surpass him and become one of the greats…..a fraud he is not as much as I think he’s an arrogant tw@t

  • 33 Our Toon // Jul 28, 2016 at 12:40 PM


    You and me both mate, don’t worry though because Rafa is in charge…..seriously underwhelming window so far, squad is not as good and less in numbers for a longer campaign

  • 34 Bobbybee // Jul 28, 2016 at 12:40 PM

    Jimmy, Perez has already turned them down once at least. Rafa won’t sell him, he’s under contract until doomsday. Rafa didn’t rate Gini. Had no choice wih Townsend. Will we really miss Tiote and Cisse? Or Thauvin? He might have to sell Sissoko, but we all know 35m is a steal for us. I don’t think we’ve lost one player we can’t live without. I think he’ll keep Perez simply because the kid’s happy here.

  • 35 Ibizatoon // Jul 28, 2016 at 12:42 PM

    In my opinion, the outgoings aren’t a surprise.

    I also am finding it hard to be downbeat about it. So far, of those who have left, it’s only Townsend that I consider a big loss. Perez would be added to that list, but I don’t see that one happening at this stage.

    I know Sissoko and Wijnaldum split opinion, but clearly neither wanted to be here. We’ve got good value for them, so I think it makes sense. We need players who want to be here and are up for the fight ahead.

    We certainly do need to make up numbers with some decent quality though. Offloading is only half of the issue.

  • 36 ROSHAN MAGPIE // Jul 28, 2016 at 12:46 PM

    Bids for Tiote & Thauvin rejected by#NUFC

  • 37 Siremre5 // Jul 28, 2016 at 12:47 PM

    Newcastle have knocked back a bid from Al Jazira Club for Cheick Tiote. Sky sources

  • 38 ToonRich // Jul 28, 2016 at 12:48 PM

    “Forward aware club have made contact, would be ‘delighted’ if Newcastle agree to move”…not a headline I wanted to read. I guess it’s a wait an see situation! I for one hope Ayoze stays put.

  • 39 martoon // Jul 28, 2016 at 12:54 PM

    Bobby & Ibiza – I understand we couldn’t keep the players you mention but I think we need replacements or our squad is going to be too thin for a sustained challenge for the title.

  • 40 Bobbybee // Jul 28, 2016 at 12:54 PM

    Is it any wonder nobody believes the press? The Tiote deal was done and dusted according to the hacks yesterday! 😉

  • 41 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 28, 2016 at 12:57 PM

    Would be disappointing to lose Ayoze. Given Ayoze’s potential I’d like to think the club will hold out for a value higher than the reported fee the club want for Sissoko.

    Ayoze might not have had the best of season’s last year, but he will be an important player moving forward. He did say he would stay earlier in the summer, but an opportunity to move to Barca may be too good to refuse.

    I wonder whether Rafa would be able to persuade some of Barca’s young stars to join as part exchange as part of the deal. If he could persuade Samper (unlikely) or a similar level player, then it would soften the blow significantly.

  • 42 jimmysmith // Jul 28, 2016 at 12:57 PM

    Bobby, I think it’s almost certain we will be weakened by those who have left, including Taylor, Colo, Cisse and even Obertan. We aren’t on balance bringing in better players. More committed players possibly, but even that isn’t certain either, considering it’s a new season, new league, new manager, fresh start and clean slate. Still, we’ll be very much up there, but I’m certainly not as confident as I was a month ago. Gamez I think was a great signing though, and losing players inevitable I suppose when you take the drop. That’s football.

  • 43 Ibizatoon // Jul 28, 2016 at 1:01 PM

    martoon…Fairly sure I’ve agreed with that already. Incomings are essential, but I’m not worried about the outgoings, other than Townsend, so far.

    Jimmy…Taylor and Colo have needed to be replaced for ages now. Cisse I could / can live with as a backup, but would find it hard to consider him a miss. It’s your mention of Obertan…are you on the wind up?

  • 44 Bobbybee // Jul 28, 2016 at 1:03 PM

    Martoon, he’s not finished yet mate. No point spending for the sake of it when the window’s still open for weeks yet. We’re a Championship club now, attracting top quality is beyond us just now. He’s bought players who not only know this league, but know how to get promoted from it. He’s said already that there’s talks going on, so I believe him. He knows he has to get us promoted or his credibility would shatter. He knows what he’s doing, look at his cv. Pre season nerves mate, you’ll get over it! 😉

  • 45 martoon // Jul 28, 2016 at 1:04 PM

    And from that sage known as Lee Ryder:

    Lee Ryder ?@lee_ryder · 36s37 seconds ago
    #nufc yet to receive acceptable bids for Sissoko, Thauvin, Tiote or Perez – despite recent reports

  • 46 jimmysmith // Jul 28, 2016 at 1:05 PM

    For a Championship campaign, not on the wind up for any of them. An epl campaign would be another matter entirely.

  • 47 clinath@ed // Jul 28, 2016 at 1:05 PM

    Jimmy…you could take those Four out of the side, and the remaining 7 would still be a better team for it

  • 48 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 28, 2016 at 1:09 PM

    I just saw a headline elsewhere that we rejected the tiote bid. Hope so, I think he is still the best combative DM we have.

  • 49 jimmysmith // Jul 28, 2016 at 1:14 PM

    Hahaha, yeah ok, but I do disagree. The problem is we are signing players to long contracts whoa aren’t better, and we will need to reshape again at the end of the year as a result. Boro have signed ten players to compete, we’ll probably need to do the same, and it might be hard to do, having done so much business now.

    Had we kept them, they could just have been released once the job was done. We can’t do that with these new signings, and frankly apart from Ritchie, we haven’t signed a premiership player to take us forward.

  • 50 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 28, 2016 at 1:16 PM

    reading back I see others have already spotted it.
    On Perez, I will be gutted if he leaves. The other players gone/going were expected to some degree, but perez will be a kick in the teeth. Hope it’s just paper lk

  • 51 expatmag // Jul 28, 2016 at 1:16 PM


    And no mention if bids for Krul and Janmaat either

  • 52 jimmysmith // Jul 28, 2016 at 1:18 PM

    I really hope Tiote stays too.

  • 53 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 28, 2016 at 1:19 PM

    Paper talk. Back to my phone for this site. The desktop site has become unusable

  • 54 Bobbybee // Jul 28, 2016 at 1:21 PM

    I’m not believing anything they say anymore. Why would he be so disrespectful to Newcastle? It would be totally out of character for one. It’s down to Rafa again, the lad’s under contract for years yet and I can’t see him letting him go. Just a hunch, nothing more. He’s not the sulky sort so he’ll accept a kb with dignity. One more season kid, then away ye gan, is how I imagine Rafa conducting that discussion. I’m surprised they’re interested tbh, because he was actually pretty average last season, unlike his first season. Imo anyway.

  • 55 jimmysmith // Jul 28, 2016 at 1:27 PM

    “Magpies Reject Bids For Tiote And Thauvin”

    ‘Cmon, thats more like it.

  • 56 Our Toon // Jul 28, 2016 at 1:30 PM

    Committed players will only get you so far, you need to have a mix of grafters that are committed and quality. At the moment we are lacking the quality

  • 57 Bobbybee // Jul 28, 2016 at 1:30 PM

    The press need to be sure of what shyt they write before being allowed to publish. Can you imagine the damage that might have done between the fans and Perez? There are some who don’t stop and think and might believe Perez said that. They had him almost begging to leave like sissoko. Perez should sue the bar stewards.

  • 58 expatmag // Jul 28, 2016 at 1:39 PM


    Most people rake what the press print with a pinch of salt.

  • 59 LGFUAD21 // Jul 28, 2016 at 1:41 PM

    I’m not overly concerned by Perez.

    Maybe Barca have the money and the pull, but the lad has always seemed pretty sensible with his career.

    He’s better playing week in week out in the championship than sitting on Barca’s bench or playing week in week out in the Segunda Divison.

    I honestly think, some of these lads could really develop in the championship. Slightly slower than the Prem and not as much skill should afford them the time to develop their play in England before taking the step up.

    I dont understand how more players dont get their step up from the Championship, Bournemouth have proven that it can be done. While people like Antonio also show it.

  • 60 Macas // Jul 28, 2016 at 1:42 PM

    YCMIU – You’re right about the desktop site, it is virtually unusable these days, no matter what browser is used. I wish Ed would sort it out, as it is what I prefer to use.

  • 61 Thump // Jul 28, 2016 at 1:45 PM

    If anybody has any issue with the desktop site, grab Ublock Origin. It pretty much decimates any ads, pop ups etc. And you can block specific elements too.

  • 62 Bobbybee // Jul 28, 2016 at 1:54 PM

    Expat, I know mate, i’m just annoyed with the whole siuation. Everybody blatantly breaching the tapping up rules and nothing said about it, then stirring it all up by printing blatant lies against a young player. Whilst on the subject, what makes madrid so confident they can get Sissoko for 30m? As i recall it, Rafa isn’t exactly best buddies with madrid is he? Right, calmed down now. 😉 bloody press!

  • 63 LGFUAD21 // Jul 28, 2016 at 1:55 PM


    Not necessarily true, I dont think we’ll need a wholesale clearout if we go up.

    Shelvey, Colback, Krul, Elliott, Janmaat, Dummet

    These are proven premier league players.

    Others like
    Lacselles, Mbemba, Perez, Mitro and Ritchie (only in this group on account of only 1 season) have shown promise.

    Others like Gayle, Gouff, Anita, have experience and could do well as squad members.

    Then finally we have Saivet, Hanley, Sels, Haydn and Gamez who are the complete unknowns. – I’d probably throw Aarons into this group as hes not proven fitness enough for me to feel we can rely on him in either league.

    I think we’ve been smart. We could’ve spent a fortune on these players that everyone is hyping like Lewis Cook and Dunk but lets face it, they’ve had 1 or 2 decent seasons in Championship and come with no guarantees they can step up.

    NOW – Lets grab Robertson from Hull, a winger (probs 2), CB and striker and we’re good.

  • 64 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 28, 2016 at 2:00 PM

    The press are horrible, yet, if I were to take a gigantic dump on a reporter, and set them on fire, I’D be the one to go to prison!!! Where is the justice?

  • 65 Bobbybee // Jul 28, 2016 at 2:02 PM


  • 66 Average_Contents // Jul 28, 2016 at 2:04 PM

    Just read that hippo heed has got mini hippo heed as his assistant. What a dream team THAT is. Talk about jobs for the boys.

    England are well and truly fcuked now (we’ve always been fcuked tbh but this is an all time low) even for us.

  • 67 LGFUAD21 // Jul 28, 2016 at 2:05 PM

    I also reckon Rafa may have driven the tiote bid being rejected.

    How can any money be too low. Not because his ability. But we signed him for £3.5m and he’s on crazy money I hear. Surely with one year left, we’d take anything if we wanted to.

    I think Rafa has said he can use him in the championship.

    Either way. We must replace with a like for like combative DM. We always looked better when he was at his best.

  • 68 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 28, 2016 at 2:06 PM


    Who’s mini hippo heed? I must have missed that one

  • 69 Rotonda heights // Jul 28, 2016 at 2:06 PM


    how the hell are we weakened by taylor and obertan leaving?

  • 70 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 28, 2016 at 2:08 PM

    I am horrified that Fat Sam has a mini-me 😮

  • 71 Average_Contents // Jul 28, 2016 at 2:08 PM


    Sammy Lee. I know….

  • 72 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 28, 2016 at 2:10 PM

    Sammy Lee!?!?

    Oh ffs. Can we not just shoot the entire F.A.?

  • 73 Average_Contents // Jul 28, 2016 at 2:11 PM

    I’ll get the rifle. Who’s driving.

  • 74 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 28, 2016 at 2:11 PM

    I think i might start supporting Iceland.

  • 75 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 28, 2016 at 2:12 PM

    We’ll hire a minibus and a driver, that way we can both shoot.

  • 76 expatmag // Jul 28, 2016 at 2:12 PM


    Sammy Lee?

  • 77 expatmag // Jul 28, 2016 at 2:14 PM


    Two players as yet, not replaced

  • 78 Tsunki // Jul 28, 2016 at 2:14 PM

    Doesn’t the small Fat Sam orbit the larger one, like a moon?

    On the Perez thing, I think these are the type of journalists who can barely drag their fat fingers across a keyboard. If Perez went to Barcelona he would be playing no better standard of football than we are in the championship, and much less. What a dozy, half-witted hackfest this transfer speculation lark is.

  • 79 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 28, 2016 at 2:17 PM


    Yeah i am sure Stephen Hawking could explain the physics of it. His voice would also be more exciting than the football England will be playing

  • 80 Spoof // Jul 28, 2016 at 2:20 PM

    I see the topic of quality is getting discussed again, I am on the side of concern, not panic but concern, if you look at how we finished last season and have a look at that side and then compare what we could look like this season then there is plausible reason to be concerned, keeper, defence and strikers are not of concern as I actually feel that we are stronger, the defence is far stronger for me as we now have Hanley to challenge Lascellas and Mbemba, those two have proved to be a very good pairing but they aren’t assured of a starting place due to Hanley and at right back we now have a specialist right back in Gamez, because last season our best form came with Anita filling in at right back so replacing him with a specialist right back has got to be a major improvement, so defence is much stronger and deeper in good quality numbers as well, and up front Gayle in with Cisse out for me is a strengthening as well, apart from that the only possible change is a returned Armstrong who a year older and with some much needed first team experience will hopefully make our striker position that little bit stronger as well.

    Then there is the midfield, look at the midfield which finished so strongly last season, for the best part of that run we had Tiote, Colback, Gini, Sissoko and Townsend, that midfield five were great and done a great job of protecting the defence and allowing us to be dangerous going forward, all areas of a football team are important but without a good midfield you are buggered, and out of those five who will remain for next season, I expect it to be the solitary one in Colback and there is a distinct possibility that he may not even start so it could be a totally different midfield five which is an alarm as we don’t know how good the new five are going to be.

    Hayden could be anything and its all well and fine saying that he has had a great pre-season and looked the part, sorry but that is meaningless and he could prove to be another who looked to have potential but it never matured, there is a risk with this lad as he is an unknown, his possible partner in the defensive two could be Shelvey and we do know that he comes with a risk due to his temperament, hopefully Rafa will get his head sorted and we see the best of him but again he is a risk, the attacking three replacing Gini, Sissoko and Townsend could very well be Aaons, Perez and Ritchie, first of all Aarons, full of potential but will he deliver and will he stay fit long enough to make a useful impact, if not then were looking at the Gouffran’s and his natural position is as an out and out striker so that is a concern, then we have Perez, I actually feel sorry for him due to the fact that he has barely played two consecutive games in the same position as he has usually been played to make the numbers up and has played left wing, right wing and as a striker, but now he is our leading contender if not our sole contender to be our number 10 and that has got to be a huge risk as he is not a number 10, so that leaves Ritchie, thank god we have Ritchie as out of the possible if not probable midfield five he is the only one who you can look at and say yes, you know that he will do a decent job for you.

    Yes I know it’s difficult to get top quality into the Championship, and I’m not criticising our transfer dealings all I am doing is looking at where we are and what we have and I am raising some concerns, which I feel are fair.

    In an ideal world Hayden will be a better DM than Tiote, Rafa will get into Shelvey’s head and get the best out of him, Aarons will stay fit and prove to be one of the best wingers that we have ever had and Perez will finally find a regular place in the side and go on to be the quality central attacking midfielder that so many of us seem to feel we lack, but then again they may not and that is why there is so much concern.

  • 81 Mag52 // Jul 28, 2016 at 2:25 PM


    Re. Mourino, over inflated opinion of himself by himself and by a number of the fickle newspaper hacks.
    Just wait to see them turn on him when the results don’t go his way at Man. U. (which they won’t).
    Win the league, not on your life. Finish in the top four, it’s got to be a big maybe.

  • 82 Bobbybee // Jul 28, 2016 at 2:26 PM

    Hippo heed and Sammy Lee? What concoction of mind bending drugs were they on? Hippo heed was bad enough. I thought Steve Bruce might’ve quit to take that job – which would’ve been horrendous – but compared to Sammy Lee… I had an old Northern soul record by somebody called Sammy Lee. It was called ‘What goes around (comes around)’ How very apt. 😉

  • 83 expatmag // Jul 28, 2016 at 2:34 PM


    Glad someone else can see through the”overhyped” one.

  • 84 expatmag // Jul 28, 2016 at 2:37 PM


    Sammy Lee always reminded me of an annoying little parasite, hanging on to the coat tails of any poor sod lumbered with having to employ him.

  • 85 Our Toon // Jul 28, 2016 at 2:39 PM


    Mourinho has been given 3 years to win the league, he said it’ll take him 1 year….so next season. He said the same for Chelsea and did it, as for not finishing in top 4, would you like to put money on that mate?

    Spoof – best and most sensible post of the day mate

  • 86 martoon // Jul 28, 2016 at 2:44 PM

    Spoof @80 – Good post mate – I think it sums up my feelings as well. Looking forward to next season but slightly concerned we are losing too much quality from the squad but hoping Rafa can replace them before the window closes.

  • 87 Jail for Ashley // Jul 28, 2016 at 2:46 PM

    How can you be over hyped with eight league titles, a UEFA cup, two CL’s gawd knows how many domestic cups and CL semi finals none of which have been won in Scotland, Holland or Belgium. He is in the elite of world managers hence his record and salary.

  • 88 Mag52 // Jul 28, 2016 at 2:46 PM


    I agree times are a bit worrying for us regarding the challenge of the season ahead.
    We look as if we’ll start the season without our ‘big guns’ from last season, and with an eleven who have played very little together in the build up.
    There’s talk of bringing in 4/5 players before the window closes, but the early matches will have an important effect on the position we achieve at the end of the season.
    Possibly after ten or so games our starting lineup will be stronger with the new arrivals, but if we happen to have lost, say, five of those early matches, this could even be enough to keep us out of the automatic promotion places come the end of the season( Brighton only lost 5 all season and finished in 3rd. place).

  • 89 Bobbybee // Jul 28, 2016 at 2:49 PM

    Spoof, i see the reasoning behind your concern, but I don’t share them tbh. Townsend apart, those who have gone or going seriously let us down last season. Had they bothered their backsides we would’ve stayed up easily. Bad management granted, but those players didn’t care. They took us down as much as McClaren. Would anybody honestly trust them to get us promoted? The ability is there, just not the commitment and fight. If they let us down again, we might get stuck. I wouldn’t gamble on them bothering to get us promoted, despite their undoubted ability. Rafa has decided to let them go when he doesn’t have to. He doesn’t trust them either then? Still more to come in and so far he’s bought players who desperately want to play for us. Don’t need players who want to be somewhere else, it never works. Hopefully when he’s finished you’ll see a squad that looks happy and balanced. We know what his coaching can do anyway and he’s choosing players he thinks he can improve with better coaching. I trust his judgement thus far.

  • 90 Bobbybee // Jul 28, 2016 at 3:00 PM

    That was fun, but gotta go now. Maybe later chaps?

  • 91 Mag52 // Jul 28, 2016 at 3:03 PM

    Our Toon,

    Mourinho’s going to be up against some serious opposing managers in the season ahead. It’s going to provide the neutrals with an incredibly fascinating watch as the big beasts of the management world battle it out on the big stage.
    Conte, Wenger, Guardiola, Klopp, – that could easily be your top four, not necessarily in that order.
    The ‘special one’s’ bubble burst on the touch line at Chelsea and his decline will be evident in the coming season.

  • 92 Shadow_Shearer // Jul 28, 2016 at 3:04 PM

    Some very good points spoof

    But let’s remember the last time we were in the championship, we got rid of all the big guns, Owen, smith, viduka. We still did fine.
    I do share concerns, cause I still don’t think we are the finished article, but a little bit of extra quality I would feel better. But we are expecting more transfers.

    I also think there is a possibility that benitez will 2 or 3 just now, & more in the January transfer window.

  • 93 Spoof // Jul 28, 2016 at 3:08 PM


    Desire and commitment are vital if we are to go straight back up, but lets not fool ourselves into thinking that fighting spirit alone will get us there as it won’t, you could have the best fighters and most committed bunch in the world but without the quality you will not succeed, look at how many times the fighting spirit of a lower league side has beaten the quality of a league side from a higher division, yes it has happened, and many times and it will continue to happen, but how many times do we see heroic losers who gave there all but they just didn’t have enough about them to beat there more accomplished opponents, we’ve seen a hell of a lot more gallant losers than what we have seen major shocks, if you have the quality you have a chance, without it, a very limited chance, now I’m not saying that we don’t have the quality, as I said with Hayden, Aarons and even Perez as a number ten we may have more than what we have lost but we just don’t know that and that is my only concern, better the devil you know than the devil you don’t, and this season we could be going into it with an unknown devil, but, and I repeat that it doesn’t mean that we are doomed to failure, look at when we had that twelve point gap under KK, initially Man U were written off because too many senior pros had gone and weren’t replaced and Fergie played a bunch of kids instead, little did we know that Scholes, Beckham and Neville would be as good as they were, it’s quite possible that Rafa knows about his unknowns what Fergie knew about his, but the thing is we don’t know, hence the slight apprehension.

  • 94 clinath@ed // Jul 28, 2016 at 3:13 PM

    Gonna have to pay this guy SPOOF a bit more attention….he talks sense.

  • 95 Jail for Ashley // Jul 28, 2016 at 3:25 PM

    I really can’t see the point that in being apprehensive. We are losing players, we knew we would and Bobbybee makes a great point in saying that Wijnaldum and Sissoko seriously let us down last year as they simply did not want to be here. We have a world class manager and a better team than Hull, Burnley and Borough. If we had another yes man in charge it would be very concerning watching these players leave but we know that weeks of talks went in to Rafa getting measures put in place to make sure the club shared his ambition of success. Go with flow, all is well unless Mikey throws a spanner in

  • 96 Our Toon // Jul 28, 2016 at 3:34 PM


    Let’s not belittle those that left, good luck to them hopefully it works out. Players have to accept responsibility completely agree with you on that but ultimately they can only play to the plan the managers set up for them. I find it amusing that gini isn’t good enough for us yet is for Klopp. McClaren failed the players with some backward tactics, the bulk of the blame lies with him. Seeing as we are on the subject of managers look at Inter under Mourinho and then how they performed under Rafa or Man utd under fergie and then under Moyes.

    Townsend put in some class performances but he was playing for a move incase we went down, he had nothing to lose. For me the squad is lighter in terms of numbers and weaker in terms of quality, last time we kept Jonas, Shola, colo, Enrique, Nolan and Barton including a very good Carroll. This time it won’t be so easy

  • 97 Our Toon // Jul 28, 2016 at 3:38 PM

    11 goals from someone in first season playing at a new club in a new league that didn’t want to be here. Yes please I’ll have that every season over someone that wants to be here like a Shola who managed that in 4 seasond

    As for ayoze, I like him but think he needs to improve his decision making, gets a lot of hype on here and he went backwards last season, he’s only just managed to get past 11 goals in 2 seasons.

  • 98 Our Toon // Jul 28, 2016 at 3:39 PM


    I’m surprised you included Guardiola in that list of managers, it’ll be tasty but he’s managed Barca and Bayern, now citeh. Still a top class manager but he’s achieved with clubs that you’d expect it from

  • 99 Jail for Ashley // Jul 28, 2016 at 3:43 PM

    Don’t think anyone is suggesting for one minute that Wijnaldum isn’t good enough for us but his attitude stank while here due to the fact that he was told from the very first meeting that if he done ok he would earn a move to a bigger club like Debuchy, Ba and Cabaye. He therefore had no pride in the shirt or our long or short term future, especially after scoring a few goals. Mclaren was just a symptom of a disastrous and failed policy. It is a completely moot point to say a better manager would have done better as a better manager would not have taken on a situation where he had zero control even over the prettiest matters of what he said and who he spoke to.

previous post: Newcastle In Danger Of Losing Top Young Player

next post: Newcastle Knock Back Bids For Two Players – Not High Enough