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Newcastle Activate £5m Release Clause In Ciaran Clark’s Contract

8:17 pm, Monday, August 1st, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 185 Comments

The Times are reporting that Newcastle have activated the release clause in 26 year-old Aston Villa defender Ciaran Clark contract and is said to be on the verge of a move to the Tyneside club.

The release clause is for £5M and was put there in case Aston Villa were relegated, so it will be interesting if he then joins another Championship club.

Ciaran can play at center-back, left back or in defensive midfield.

Clark has spent his entire senior career with Villa up until this time,  but the news suggests that Clark will soon become a Newcastle player.

ciaran clark

Ciaran Clark – Newcastle have activated release clause in his Villa contract

The news was put out by George Caulkin of The Times on his Twitter account.

Newcastle have also today activated the release clause in Mo Diame’s contract at Hull City and Newcastle are discussing terms with the Senegal International midfielder.

Hull City are keen to keep the player until they appoint a new manager and wanted him on the plane for their pre-season tour of Austria today for friendly games with Turkish side Caykur Rizespor and Italian club Torino.

But he wasn’t on the plane and club officials said it was because of an upcoming court appearance he has to make.

We’ll see about that.

Ciaran Clark has lots of experience in the Premier League having played 134 Premier league games with 7 goals, and he has played for the England U17, U18, U19 and U20 sides and has 19 International caps with two goals for Ireland.

He qualifies to play for Ireland because both of his parents are Irish and he pledged to play for them in October of 2010 and made his debut in February 2011 against Wales at the Aviva Stadium.

Clark came through the Youth Academy at Aston Villa and made his debut in 2009, in the 2–0 win against Fulham and he played 159 games for the club with 10 goals.

Ciaran has had a little bit of a difficult time of it at the Euros for Ireland and conceded an own goal against Sweden after 71 minutes and then had a poor game against Belgium – as did most of the Irish players in the 3-0 defeat, with all the goals coming in a poor second half for the Irish.

But the 26 year-old is a very accomplished player and Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez must rate him if has gone after the 6ft 2ins defender.

Indeed the Chronicle are reporting tonight that Rafa Benitez is a big admirer of the 26 year-old and wants to make him a big part of his plans at Newcastle.

Aston Villa manager Roberto Di Matteo obviously does not want to lose the player and he has been on the wanted list at West Brom this summer.

He would be a very good acquisition for Newcastle United and maybe Clark and Diame are some of the players Rafa has been wanting to get into the club over the last week or two?

It seems like this is the second release clause Newcastle have activated today – wonder if there are any more?

Comments welcome.

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

185 responses so far ↓

  • 1 JamesToon // Aug 1, 2016 at 8:21 PM

    Clarks release clause is £5million…

  • 2 Hail Wor Ashley // Aug 1, 2016 at 8:21 PM

    First signing of Rafa’s that I would be concerned about.

    He is pure shoite.

  • 3 Hail Wor Ashley // Aug 1, 2016 at 8:23 PM

    As I just read on Twitter. Bringing in Ciaran Clark to replace Steven Taylor is like bringing in Steven Taylor to replace Steven Taylor.

    Very similar players. Both clownishly bad at times.

  • 4 Average_Contents // Aug 1, 2016 at 8:25 PM

    A younger version of willo…yay.

    Isn’t he the one with the decent freekicks though or was that another villa defender?

  • 5 OneAlanShearer // Aug 1, 2016 at 8:25 PM

    I’m surprised at this one but as cover goes it’s sensible. I’m not convinced by him but perhaps rafa see’s something in him.

  • 6 firebug666 // Aug 1, 2016 at 8:25 PM

    SUTTY1978 @70 Previous

    I think we will sign Diame, even without a release clause as he is 29 years now, getting on for a midfielder after leaving us in a couple of seasons he will no doubt be off to America to wind down his career.

    Looking forward to Friday where we will record our first win of the season…….. hopefully!

  • 7 JamesToon // Aug 1, 2016 at 8:26 PM

    So…our transfer business may look like this when fulham game comes around:

    Cisse – £6m
    Cabella – £7m
    Townsend – £13m
    Wijnaldum – £25m

    GK – Sels – £4.5m
    RB – Gamez – £4m
    CB – Hanley – £5.5m
    CB – Clark – £5m
    CDM – Hayden – £2.5m
    CM – Diame – £4.5m
    RW – Ritchie – £12m
    ST – Gayle – £9m

    Still a £4m profit…

  • 8 WWSBRD // Aug 1, 2016 at 8:28 PM

    Well am game to bring the competition back mate

    Butler still comes on from time to time not as regularly though

  • 9 Tonytoon73 // Aug 1, 2016 at 8:33 PM

    WWSBRD 3_1 the toon Friday mate

  • 10 jazzyp // Aug 1, 2016 at 8:34 PM

    We already have 4 Cb’s. This I do not understand.


    Did we really pay 4 mill for Gamez

  • 11 lochinvar // Aug 1, 2016 at 8:36 PM

    Don’t know enough about Clark to comment other than he’s clearly has some experience looking at his various caps including Ireland. However he’s been involved with a very shaky Villa side scrapping in the Prem so must be fairly battle hardened while in a poor side.
    I suspect that Rafa is looking for some steel in his central midfield players to combat some of the more robust teams we will come up against…so street fighters are in his planning and that seems to make sense…so in Rafa we trust etc

  • 12 croftus5678 // Aug 1, 2016 at 8:37 PM

    i’m hoping for knockeart , diame and the young manure cb !

    shame if thauvin goes as i really do think he woul be great if given a run under rafa but tbh i’d take knockeart as a straight swap and the same with sissoko and diame tbh.

  • 13 WWSBRD // Aug 1, 2016 at 8:38 PM

    Oh I was going to say that! I will go a nervy 2-1 toon

  • 14 Belfast // Aug 1, 2016 at 8:40 PM

    5 million ? Sounds a bit steep.

    The familiar theme here is signing players who can play in a number of positions.

  • 15 Tonytoon73 // Aug 1, 2016 at 8:42 PM

    WWSBRD your pick next time, I’m off now speak tomorrow mate I’m back like Arnie haha

  • 16 WWSBRD // Aug 1, 2016 at 8:43 PM

    Have a good in mate

  • 17 JamesToon // Aug 1, 2016 at 8:43 PM

    now the guardian saying we’re closing in on a deal for anthony knockaert?!!

  • 18 Hail Wor Ashley // Aug 1, 2016 at 8:43 PM

    Least we’ll have a Welshman, Irishmam, Scotsman and an Englishman all competing for positions in defence, knowing their places aren’t guaranteed.

    Good potential for healthy competition and camaraderie to evolve.

    Just need a Northern Irishman now.

  • 19 ShirebrookToon // Aug 1, 2016 at 8:44 PM

    In the words of John McEnroe “you can’t be serious”!!

  • 20 lochinvar // Aug 1, 2016 at 8:48 PM

    Knockheart sounds like a great addition and step by step you can see a squad with depth , experience and youthful ambition taking shape …

  • 21 Jail for Ashley // Aug 1, 2016 at 8:49 PM

    Who are the four CB’s. Dummet can’t be the LB and the fourth choice CB, Rafa’s here now. McCardew and the purple posse are a thing of the past.

  • 22 Belfast // Aug 1, 2016 at 8:50 PM

    Hail Wor Ashley
    August 1, 2016

    Nudge nudge wink wink

  • 23 ShirebrookToon // Aug 1, 2016 at 8:51 PM

    Knockeart and Diame hopefully on their way. More squad depth and competition for places

  • 24 firebug666 // Aug 1, 2016 at 8:53 PM

    Don’t know much of Clark, but I suspect that if Rafa wants him he will also know what the lads needs to do to progress. If he has an extra 10% to give Rafa will get that out of him and maybe a bit more.

    I think Rafa coaches to an individual players strengths and builds his team from that, so I’m not worried to much over any signings we have.

    Going for us controlling the game on Friday and winning 2-0. HWTL

  • 25 jazzyp // Aug 1, 2016 at 8:54 PM

    Surprise surprise the stalker returns with his nit picking antics again

  • 26 jazzyp // Aug 1, 2016 at 8:55 PM


    Would be very happy with those 2 pal

  • 27 ShirebrookToon // Aug 1, 2016 at 8:58 PM


    Not to keen on Clark though. Hoping that it’s just a smoke screen for more incoming players

  • 28 Hail Wor Ashley // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:03 PM


    Need somebody that can focus on the ball first and foremost, you’ve one eye in Coleraine and the other in Dunblane, so I’m told.

  • 29 Jail for Ashley // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:03 PM

    Grow up ffs and stop acting like a little girl. I asked earlier who the fourth CB was. I’m just pointing out that we’re no longer making do with the CB as the LB and just because a player is a “purple” he has to play regardless of his position ie putting Mbwia in as RB just for the sake of playing him and ruining him. We do not have a fourth CB if Dummet is LB.

  • 30 jazzyp // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:03 PM


    Me neither mate to be honest. Out of all the signings as of yet this seems a strange one.
    I understand depth in numbers, But I’m sure there are better targets out there if Rafa is after another CB

  • 31 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:05 PM

    Is Ciaran Clark maybe being brought in as a left back?? He has played there a lot for Villa and does have good delivery with his left foot!

  • 32 geordielad880 // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:07 PM

    If rafa rates cairan clark, I trust his judgement, he is normally a good judge of defenders, clark was poor for ireland, but so was alot of the team, he can play several positions, its all about having squad depth, 46 games is a long season, and we need cover, if we sign diame, clark, knockaert, and bamford, which also is apparently a done deal

  • 33 JamesToon // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:09 PM

    There’s mentions that the clause is only £750k for Clark??

  • 34 JamesToon // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:10 PM

    Think this means we won’t be signing a left back, suppose Gamez looked decent there and Dummett is defensively sound

  • 35 SUTTY1978 // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:11 PM

    How can any scout have ever looked at Clarke and thought “now that’s the player I want”. Makes utterly no sense buying him, we have four CB’s so what’s the point? This will be up there with the Thauvin balls up last summer

  • 36 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:12 PM

    Just wondering when people say that we have 4 CBS who do they mean?

  • 37 jazzyp // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:14 PM


    Maybe if you lay off me every time I f@cking post and have a debate rather than belittle and nit pick then things might change.
    Strange how you bit straight away so you obviously know what your doing.
    As I have said before pal please feel free to skip over my moniker when it appears .
    I never pull you up on any of your posts so why do you mine all the time ??

    Strange how Our toon can voice the same concerns and you have a debate. Yet I say the same and get sh@t from you.
    For weeks now the constant question of uninspired signing quote re Gayle that I have had to put up with, Yet Tuffers.. Lilongwe… Beermonkey voice the same concern while your on the blog and say jack to them.
    So maybe you should heed your own words and grow up for f@ck sake and pick on another poor fella

  • 38 ShirebrookToon // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:16 PM


    Where you getting the reports its 750k

  • 39 jazzyp // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:16 PM

    Lee charnley

    Does Dummett by his own admission admit he prefers it at CB rather than left back buddy. So would say that gives us 4

  • 40 Beardsleys Love Child // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:17 PM

    Do people just presume clark is shoite because villa got relegated…who here can actually say they saw a single villa game last year..and now we have too many centrebacks..oh no too much strength in depth..hilarious..if Rafa ‘ champions league winner’ rates him so do i

  • 41 SUTTY1978 // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:17 PM

    We have five players who can play at centre back


    That’s plenty.

  • 42 Jail for Ashley // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:17 PM

    I’m not sure, unless they’re classing Dummet as one. Then, like so many times in the past what do you do of Mbemba is in AFCON and Lascelles is injured. Hanley as CB with Dummet and Haidara brought in as LB. You then have virtually a whole new defence which is entirely avoidable.

  • 43 colwell // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:18 PM

    If we do sign Clarke he’d be 4th choice CB why leave Villa for that?

    Mbemba,Hanley,Lascelles then Hayden,Dummett can play CB if we have a couple of injuries,

    Gamez,Dunnett LB

    Janmaat,Anita RB

    can’t see why we would spend 5m on a player that may bot even make the bench?

  • 44 Jail for Ashley // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:21 PM

    Grow a pair will you, I didn’t even look who posted the comment, just seen the bit about us having four CB’s. I don’t care what Dummet says he is, you can’t be the no 1 LB and the fourth choice CB.

  • 45 firebug666 // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:22 PM

    It may just be that Rafa is bringing in players who can play in more than one position so we don’t end up being short in a position as the season rolls on and injuries suspensions kick in, At the very least it will save having to bring in youngsters from the development and youth squads to fill up the bench.

  • 46 G // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:22 PM

    Clarke seems a reasonable player, but surprised at the link with us. Given the source of the story are we sure this isnt just an agent trying to conjure up his percentage?

  • 47 SUTTY1978 // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:23 PM

    Hate people saying “if Rafa rates him, so do I”.
    Do people not have opinions any more. I’ve seen Clarke play plenty of times, he’s woeful.
    Do people also not realise that Rafa hasn’t scouted these players? Unless they played against us in the last 10 games then he hasn’t seen them live. Rafa has even said he’s in daily contact with the scouting team. He’s an awesome manager but he doesn’t do everything at the club like some people think.

  • 48 Jail for Ashley // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:23 PM

    I suppose for the same reason Hanley as come, to prove yourself in a better team with better players under a first class manager.

  • 49 The overrated Frenchman // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:25 PM

    I’ll be hugely disappointed if we sign Diame and this plug. No justification for either. Might revise my prediction down from fourth actually.

  • 50 Jail for Ashley // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:25 PM

    He can play LB and midfield so would actually be quite handy on the bench.

  • 51 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:26 PM

    Beardsley’s Love Child,
    Even if you watched quite a few Villa games last year, you only had a 50% chance of seeing him!

    As it is, I saw a fair few Villa games, mainly cause a good friend here is a Villa fan. He doesn’t rate Clark at all.

    On the 4 centre backs thing, we have 3 main players who are primarily centre backs. Then we have Dummet and Hayden who have played there. On top of that, we have Gamez and Mbabu who can play there if we are down to the bare bones. I’d like us to sign a new centre half, but given the cover we have, I’d have hoped we would aim higher than Ciaran Clark, who is nothing more than further cover.

  • 52 manxpie // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:26 PM

    well everytime i watched match of the day he seemed to be the 1 player for villa that gave a shit so thats something i suppose

  • 53 jazzyp // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:27 PM


    Grow a pair you patronising tw@t.

    Go on then question colwell or sutty who have voiced the exact same opinion

    Again I ask you to skip over my moniker or respect my views as I do others on here.
    And what the hell do you mean you don’t care what Dummett says he is. If he says he’s a better Cb then I’m sorry then I’ll believe him over you any day sunshine

  • 54 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:27 PM

    I just wonder if the papers are just claiming that we are after every player with a release clause. According to the transfermarkt thing, hes only played LB seven times,and i cant see him coming here as 4th choice CB. We already have a CB who can play LB…a better one at that imo

  • 55 jazzyp // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:30 PM


    That was my whole point mate regarding Clark. Why would he swap a championship club for another to be 4th choice, It doesn’t make sense for any party involved.

  • 56 colwell // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:30 PM

    Jail for Ashley

    I’m sure more money would help too in leaving Villa, just he’s been there forever Di Matteo is decent and he’s a guaranteed starter he knows he wouldn’t get that here, but fcuk the Villa anyway if we can make them weaker i’m all for it.

  • 57 SPRINGY // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:32 PM

    evening all
    just thinking about this clarke deal….were we not interested in signing him 2,3,4 seasons back, when he was actually playing well and getting a bit of good press….i may be wrong,it might be a different player,but im sure it was him and villa rejected the offer…anyways he was at a poor villa last year if he signs,good luck and hope your better then what a lot think you are,cant comment as i havent seen enough of the lad….hope the rumours of these signings come off…very interesting week ahead.

  • 58 manxpie // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:32 PM

    these are the kind of players we should have bought years ago and actually had a strong squad and strength in depth
    cant see why people are complaining about cover tbh

  • 59 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:32 PM

    Yeah, it is all part and parcel of the euphoria at having a manager who has had success in the past. He had a pretty average transfer record at Liverpool.

    As for the scouting aspect, I’m fairly certain whilst he was at Napoli, Inter, Real Madrid, he wasn’t watching Villa, Palace, Bournemouth thinking Clark, Gayle and Ritchie are players I want!

    I’m fairly happy with the business so far, Ritchie in particular. Gayle is probably decent for this year, but if teams sit deep then it will negate his pace. Hanley is a solid signing. Sels and Gamez I can’t say I have seen or know too much.

  • 60 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:34 PM


    I agree cover is good, but in this case its cover for the cover. I’d rather the club signed a starting LB and use dummet as the 4th CB.

  • 61 colwell // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:34 PM

    Good shout at LB though he’s 6ft2 with him Hanley,Lascelles and Janmaat our defence would be huge reminiscent of Stokes.

    Rafa likes using zonal marking so having another big guy in there makes sense.

  • 62 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:36 PM


    Thing is, he hasn’t actually played LB that much. I am hoping this is just paper talk

  • 63 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:38 PM

    Yeah, I agree. I think if we are to sign a centre half, I’d prefer an older player for a year or two knowing that we will be upgrading in that time, or a young player that can develop and has the potential to be as good/better than what we have, but is also capable enough to cover now. Clark is neither.

    I remember people moaning about us being linked with Tomkins. Granted at the time £10million was probably quite a lot for him, but he would have been a good signing. Not sure I’d class Clark in that bracket mind.

  • 64 SPRINGY // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:38 PM

    jazzy p
    according to a few on here he only played a bit part/squad player for villa,so would signing for newcastle with a decent signing on fee plus probably better wages and possible favourites for promotion to be another squad player not be more tempting?….i think it would.

  • 65 SUTTY1978 // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:39 PM

    Lil, glad someone agrees with me, I was preparing for a torrent of abuse.
    I’m not disappointed overall with the signing, as you say Hanley seems alright, certainly like the look of Hayden & Ritchie.
    We started well with targeting players in the right positions but recently we seem to have gone back to buying players because the price is right, rather than because the player is right (or even needed”.

  • 66 colwell // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:39 PM


    Well that p1ssed on my fire ha

  • 67 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:42 PM


    Haha soz about that. It is marked down as one of positions, but Dummet has played at LB for us more than he has for Villa. I actually see Dummet as a better version of clarke, so no point signing him. Obviously if we do sign him, i hope i am wring and he turns out to be mint

  • 68 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:43 PM

    One of His positions *


  • 69 Jail for Ashley // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:43 PM

    I said that all last season that I’d like a LB brought in and Dummet used as a bench player as he can cover LB/CB. Dummet saying he is a better CB than LB has nothing to do with my point about him not being able to be first choice LB and fourth choice CB. A situation like that causes too much disruption to a defence, hence the -264 GD over the last four years.

  • 70 Jib // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:44 PM

    There is going to be a Feature Film about NUFC’s 16/17 Championship Season.
    Told through the eyes of the Fans.
    Keep up to date with it here

  • 71 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:46 PM

    I don’t think we are signing players because the price is right, it is a recognition of where we are and what we can attract. Clark has featured, although not regularly, all across the back 4 and in midfield, average cover in a few roles is possibly the attraction?

    We do seem to have signed a number of utility players – Gayle can cover striker and the wide roles in a 4231, he works hard, so he may well be our Kuyt in Rafa’s eyes. Hayden can play centre half or centre mid, Diame can play a number of roles, as can Gamez. Only Hanley and Ritchie are out and out specialists (and obviously Sels).

  • 72 manxpie // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:46 PM

    ycmiu well i think dummets a good LB and think he should be our starter and he’ll prove it this season imo especially if he actually has a winger to work with

    lilo aye there has been plenty of them same with townsend
    i remember saying if his name was townsendini people would be all over it, we are in the championship and i feel a hell of alot of teams will be very very jealous of the squad we are building now its looking good to me

  • 73 jazzyp // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:47 PM


    Point taken buddy. Every player takes there career in a different path. Some are no more than mercenaries and will happily sit on the bench just for the money. Others would sooner play week in week out rather than sit on the bench and waste there career away.
    Clark is what 26, So you would think he has the best days ahead of him rather than wasting it away as a 4th choice.
    But again mate that decision is down to Mr clark

  • 74 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:48 PM


    Dummet is definitely the best defensive LB we have. If he gives us a bit more going forward this season Id be happy to see him get plenty of games.

  • 75 colwell // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:51 PM

    Seems alot of Villa fans are glad to get rid but who knows Rafa could turn Williamson in to a half decent defender

  • 76 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:52 PM

    Ha, I’m not a big fan of Townsend, really didn’t want us to sign him. Not because he didn’t have ‘ini’ on the end of his name mind! I think Ritchie is likely to be the more productive of the two for us, so I’m quite happy with how that played out. He did perform for us, playing for Euro’s squad and to move back to the Prem mind.

    I’m not sure Dummet performing dual roles is why we had such a bad goal difference. Whether Dummet is a left back or a centre back is largely irrelevant I think, we will probably sign one or the other, which will give a clear indication of where Rafa views Dummet’s position to be.

  • 77 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:52 PM


    I suppose the real trick is finding a player who is more than just adiquate in several roles.

  • 78 Rotonda heights // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:53 PM

    was really hoping for forestieri, but sounds more optimistic on the knockaert front. amazing how people now actually want to come. Rafa in the championship is still more of an attaction than the previous knackers we’ve had in the PL.

  • 79 jimmysmith // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:53 PM

    Two good signings at the money being suggested. It’s been quite good recruiting altogether, if you do have to lose your better players.

    Tubby Taylor has got himself a top move there too by the way, in quality of life terms Oregon is amazing. Portland’s a very liveable city, and the state has a truly stunning coastline and all those remarkable big redwood forests of course. I assume he’s on a decent pay day too.

  • 80 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:55 PM


    Meanwhile, Sunderland are signing a Chinese player. Nee Wan Soon.

  • 81 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:56 PM

    That would be nice! Although I think certain positions don’t quite lend themselves to being more than adequate in several roles. Or it gives you a player with certain limitations because his primary role has focussed him to act in a certain way.

  • 82 manxpie // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:57 PM

    ycmiu yeah we’ll see but he has never had a winger ahead of him the amount of times he’s made himself available only for gini to instantly run inside was a joke,
    if you watch him he is always ready to bomb on but it never came.

    i want an out and out LW next as we havent had a decent 1 for years and aarons is to much of a risk to rely on hopefully this knockart fella is the one

  • 83 Rotonda heights // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:58 PM


    Rafa apparently has a database of over 13000 players at any one time, so i don’t think he just relies on old sweats like carr

  • 84 Rotonda heights // Aug 1, 2016 at 9:59 PM


    the old ones are the old ones…

  • 85 jimmysmith // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:00 PM

    Dummett will be a more than valuable player at either CB or LB in the Championship. Personally, I’d prefer he get his games at CB where he’ll be more useful as third fourth choice should we return. I’m a bit fuzzy on where Gamez can play, because if he isn’t good enough to be first choice left back he’s not gonna be the signing I thought he’d be.

  • 86 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:01 PM


    Yeah but they are still funny when its the mackems suffering instead of us. They are in a total mess.

  • 87 bettyswallocks // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:02 PM

    We were all moaning last season that we didn’t have enough defenders. It looks like we’ll have a glut this season but you can never have too many of the right thing. Trust in Rafa and we’ll be a PL side again next season.

  • 88 Toonces // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:02 PM

    Looking at Villa’s roster I wonder if Jordan Ayew has a release clause? Wishful thinking I’m sure. I think he has a touch of class and could score quite a few in the Championship and have the next level ability for the jump back up to the premier league.

  • 89 nufc 11 // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:02 PM

    Have a sneaky feeling mbeama could be off? Shane Duffy is a far better defender than Clark who makes a lot of very basic mistakes. 3rd goal of Ireland v Belgium in the euro’s shows that. Martin o Neil dropped him for Duffy after that. Maybe rafa can coax the talent out him?

  • 90 Jail for Ashley // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:03 PM

    I wasn’t blaming Dummet for the GD, I don’t even think he’s been in the team for four years? I’m blaming the system that would allow a CB to played as your RB cover and CB cover. Only having three CB’s as well. In an emergency you can’t help but have disruption to the defence but for too long now a slight injury problem and the defence just became a patchwork misfit. Ideally I would like Dummet as fourth choice and a better LB brought in, if Rafa has decided that Dummet is the LB then we still need a CB, at first I thought Hayden was the CB but it looks like he’s going to be DM.

  • 91 manxpie // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:03 PM

    saying that he seems to be a RW lol although his stats on the LW are better if you take the average

  • 92 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:05 PM


    Don’t worry about Gamez. He has been Athletico back up RB and occasional LB for a while. He has played at a very high level and been part of a squad that has managed to hang onto the coat tails of barca and real and compete with them on a regular basis. I think he’s going to be a top signing for us.

  • 93 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:06 PM


    Knockaert seems to prefer RW but is actually left footed (as is ritchie) so it will be interesting who goes where if we sign him

  • 94 Graeme // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:09 PM

    Some amazing NE History for those interested. I served my Apprenticeship at Stella South Power Station and worked there for many years afterwards. Stella South was built on the site of the fabled “Blaydon Races” but the history in this article was completely unknown.

  • 95 SUTTY1978 // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:10 PM

    Rotonda, you can probably get the same information online or using football manager. Scouting from excel doesn’t sound like the best idea to me! I think our scouting team have had a MAJOR input into these purchases, I’ve mentioned previously that Gamez is the only one I think is a Rafa signing. All the others fit our previous blueprint of under 27 with a resale value. Other than country of origin there doesn’t seem too much has changed.

  • 96 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:12 PM

    Yeah, I did get that. I would love us to either have a better left back or a better centre back so that Dummet can focus on one or the other. Do you think Clark is better as a full back or centre half than Dummet? It’s probably fairly close, but I’d like to see us shoot a bit higher than a lad who wasn’t even a mainstay of an awful Villa side….

  • 97 Ruddy Marveaux-lous // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:13 PM

    Anyone who genuinely sees Dummett as CB cover and in the same breath questions the signing of Ciaran Clarke needs their head examined.

    Dummett can barely play LB nevermind being considered for any other position. Why are we concerned about further defensive cover for a pittance?

    Are we doing Mike’s penny pinching for him now? Get a grip folks.

  • 98 jimmysmith // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:14 PM

    Well, I know we’ll almost certainly lose Sissoko, and probably Tiote and Thauvin too, but if Rafa does play hardball with Sissoko, and the other two decide to stay, and they must be tempted because they will both be given major opportunities to contribute, and we do sign Clark and Diame, we’ll probably have the best squad in terms of depth, balance and quality we’ve had under Ashley, and quite ironically we’d have it in the Championship. It’s not entirely out of the question either, because the owner will want to guarantee promotion as much as possible, and potentially carrying a few players won’t concern him you’d imagine considering so much is at stake.

  • 99 manxpie // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:15 PM

    aye it will hopefully assists galore from both side with whoever! i didnt realise how much of a midget ritchie was tho until i seen the video of the opening day today, unless he was on an unfortunate slump in the pitch?

  • 100 Jail for Ashley // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:15 PM

    I’d happily take on of the rich clubs young LB’s for a season. It worked out well last time with Van Arnolt. Not many seem to keen on Clark mind.

  • 101 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:16 PM

    Anyone who bought the last Football Manager game probably has a database of several hundred thousand! Rafa clearly hasn’t created that database and has worked with scouts to build it. To think he wouldn’t work with the scouting team at Newcastle is ridiculous. I’m sure he also gave an interview where he said that he and Carr had spoken a lot about recruitment.

  • 102 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:17 PM


    Dummet is defensively the best LB we have. Saying he can “barely play LB” would suggest the rest of us are not the ones who need our heads examined. Be nice. The blog is mostly a happy place now.

  • 103 jimmysmith // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:19 PM

    Yeah, Gamez is the signing I had been happiest about, because I saw him as a top quality first choice left back, and Janmaat at right back. But he doesn’t seem to have claimed it, and I wonder if he isn’t essentially a right back, which we need far less I think. We’ll see of course.

  • 104 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:20 PM

    I’d take Celtic’s young left back.

    I think most people’s point is that Clark and Dummet aren’t too dissimilar. Clark wasn’t a Villa first choice, we should be looking at either more than that with potential, or a shorter term signing who is just cover.

  • 105 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:21 PM


    I am thinking it’s more along the lines of settling in. It always seems to take foriegn based players more time to settle. If he is still pants 10 games into the season then i moght worry

  • 106 manxpie // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:21 PM

    “barely a LB” come on ruddy he a good defensive LB not many players get much change out of him

    unfortunately he has had injuries just at the wrong time

  • 107 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:23 PM

    Gamez has only played something like 30 games in his career where he wasn’t right back. He is primarily a right back.

  • 108 Essex Geordie Bill // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:25 PM

    I reckon that Dummett will be one of our best players this season and probably as a LB.

    The biggest problem I see with signing players like Clarke is that it is going to push the likes of Sterry, Mbabu, Barlaser, Haidara and others down the pecking order even though they are all potentially better players than he is. Actually not even potentially, they are!!

    Strange tactics from Rafa IMO

  • 109 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:27 PM


    I agree. Which is why i think this one is paper talk.

  • 110 jimmysmith // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:27 PM

    At 26, Clark has a fair amount of EPL experience, and this is the Championship. And at 5 million that’s not a bad signing. Villa have been rubbish for years. A merciless and unforgiving place for a defender to ply his trade. I remember him as very good when he broke through into a better Villa side. Even if it’s only to get us out of this league, both players look good value to me. We aren’t talking big money here, and they bring top level experience with them.

  • 111 jimmysmith // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:30 PM

    Yeah, I know he’s played predominately on the right, and only occasionally on the left, but did think he was comfortable on the left and had been brought in to start there. Now I’m less certain.

  • 112 Ruddy Marveaux-lous // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:35 PM

    Jesus lads, Dummett is bloody rubbish. Best defensive LB when the only other option at that position is either Haidara who’s been injured for an eternity, Mbabu (who looked better than him in the handful of games he’s played) and Aarons who looked lost (naturally because he’s a winger)

    Dummett as our best LB says more about the woeful shortage we have at that position as opposed to his ability. He’s a shocking defender in my opinion.

    Ciaran Clarke, whilst no world beater for Aston Villa, is a considerably better player than Dummett, and in a well disciplined side will prove that fact.

  • 113 Belfast // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:35 PM

    Markass the Birmingham press are reporting it and Ryder and co alongside sky and the usual suspects. I doubt this one is paper talk.

  • 114 SPRINGY // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:35 PM

    jazzy p
    we were never going to sign four quality first team cb’s…being where we are,we already had
    mbemba,21-22 yr old fairly good first season(one of the shining lights for me last season tbh)but still abit rough around edges but great potential,with international experience.
    lascelles 21-22 yr old captain of his former team i believe, was a breath of fresh air when he came into the side,captain material strong and decent ten games or so,still a little rough.
    hanley 24yr old captain of his former side vastly experienced at this level and an international,solid defender…some have queried his pace so we’ll see.
    clark(if he signs)26 yr old,a lot of premier experience,fairly mobile,international experience,possibly struggling with confidence and part of a relegated side.
    all roughly same age so they should be good competition for each other,all fairly new to the club so its fair game to who gets the nod to play,and all either experienced internationals or captains,yes they will do the odd cock up now and again that is a certainty…but i prefer to see these big, strong, fairly young lads battling it out,raising there games for the next few years,maybe more if they gel..5-10 yrs.. as to seeing some old cb for a few million legs on way out,still making mistakes but been forgiven coz he’s been around a while and on a short term contract…i think its not to bad a prospect with these lads,if they are given the chance.

  • 115 manxpie // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:36 PM

    no bias at all then ruddy?

  • 116 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:36 PM

    I think he was probably signed as a right back, with the expectation Janmaat was on his way out. Now Janmaat is staying, I’m not sure where he fits into a starting 11.

    I haven’t seen any friendlies this year, but he hasn’t been getting glowing reviews anywhere. I had hoped for more given we bought him from Atletico.

  • 117 Ruddy Marveaux-lous // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:37 PM

    I’ve seen him play in a well drilled Ireland team wherein he’s looked very solid so I’d say that’s first-hand information rather than any bias.

  • 118 Belfast // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:37 PM

    Ruddy hell!!

    Cheer up will yee 🙂

  • 119 martoon // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:38 PM

    Evening guys – still time to get your predictions in:-

    Final League Position
    Final no. of points
    League Cup round
    FA Cup round
    Player of the Season (Blog)
    Top goal scorer (TGS)
    No. of goals for TGS

    So far I’ve got:
    JP…from The Rock
    Our Toon
    Jail for Ashley
    Charlie in the Gallowgate
    outside the box
    one fine day
    southeast magpie
    nut meg
    The overrated Frenchman
    Oleg G
    Very Terry
    Essex Geordie Bill
    The American
    Rafa Revolution
    Back Door Man
    toon kk
    the white tino

    Apologies if I’ve missed you – if so please repost and remember to put martoon in the post so I can find it.

  • 120 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:39 PM


    Oh well. I suppose we will see what we will see. It’s a surprising move.

  • 121 Ruddy Marveaux-lous // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:39 PM

    Forgot, sunshines, rainbows all that shit…

    Just because we’ve been relegated and are signing 5 million pound British players and we’re all super excited for the season doesn’t mean Dummett can defend any better than he’s ever done…

    But you know…happy happy happy 🙂

  • 122 Ruddy Marveaux-lous // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:42 PM


    Final League Position: 1st
    Final no. of points: 110
    League Cup round: 3rd
    FA Cup round: 4th
    Player of the Season (Blog): Mitrovic
    Top goal scorer (TGS): Mitrovic
    No. of goals for TGS: 25

    How’s that for happy and ambitious bellyfats?

  • 123 jimmysmith // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:42 PM

    Dummett is basically just making up the numbers once he steps over the halfway line, I’d agree with that. Otherwise he’s pretty good. It won’t be the liability in the Championship that it was in the epl. He shouldn’t be in the mix for lb should we return though.

  • 124 The overrated Frenchman // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:42 PM

    I reckon Gamez was brought in to replace Janmaat if he went. Looks like he’s staying. I think we’ll see Janmaat at RB, Dummett at LB, and Gamez as cover for both. That’s looks OK to me. Sterry and M’Babu, Haidara and Gibson providing some depth as well.

  • 125 SPRINGY // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:42 PM

    dummett wants try an do what enrique did,when were relegated enrique was really poor that season but promotion season he grew in confidence and was outstanding duriing promotion and then after and thats why liverpool came,fair enough it went to crap there, but when he was here he was class from being shocking,so dummett may have to up his game this season coz if he does’nt, if promoted… a left back will be signed if it does’nt happen before then.

  • 126 Belfast // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:43 PM

    I can’t see no rainbows Ruddy

  • 127 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:44 PM

    Right. Off to bed. Catch you all tomorow when we have signed the Villa Maldini

  • 128 Belfast // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:44 PM

    Too optimistic Ruddy. I don’t believe anyone will break 100 point barrier.

  • 129 welshgeordie9 // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:45 PM

    So according to reports we have activated both release clauses in diame and clarks contracts, so if we are in talks with Clark why aren’t we in talks with diame, today he was training with hull.

  • 130 manxpie // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:45 PM

    he’s defended better than janmaat and hiadara by far better infact!
    we are building a young team but with vast experience in the english leagues which is a far cry from gambling on cheap foreign imports that have done us so well over the years! and finally having options in defence is only a plus surely!?
    we have had aarons and sisko playing full backs recently let alone simpson and perchinio as CB’s

  • 131 lesh // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:46 PM

    James T

    I’m a Guardian reader and would caution anyone taking it’s news as up-to-date.

    In this case, I hope I’m wrong.

  • 132 bettyswallocks // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:48 PM

    Martoon……… My predictions are:-

    League position. Winners
    League points. 98
    League cup. Quarter finalists
    FA cup. Semi finalists
    Top scorer. Gayle
    Gables goals. 28

    I also predict that Mr. Tuff and Jib will become lovers and embark on a serious long term relationship.

  • 133 SPRINGY // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:49 PM

    diame’s agents will be sorting it out,he doe’snt need to be there,and didnt someone earlier say he was at court tomorrow morning.

  • 134 Ruddy Marveaux-lous // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:49 PM

    We done it in 2010 with a supposedly weaker team and weaker manager so I’d be expecting more from this squad of supposed golden boys.

    Don’t care if the Championship is stronger this time around – though that’s arguable given that the current PL champions and 5 other current PL teams were in the Championship that year…

    Over to you Rafa…

  • 135 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:50 PM


    Dummet is miles better than you are giving him credit for. There are some good wingers who have got nowt from him

    And the “be nice” was because you questioned the mental health of everyone who rates dummet in any capacity. I am sure if anyone did that to you, you’d be giving it the whole “Thats libelous, take it back!!”

    Anyway. Goodnight.

  • 136 manxpie // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:52 PM

    belfast well if leicester can do then…………

  • 137 Ruddy Marveaux-lous // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:52 PM

    I assume you’re defending Dummett manx? I’m not advocating getting rid of him, I’m slating the guy as someone who is piss poor but my comment was aimed at those who deem Dummett good enough to cover CB and then question the signing of Clarke.

    Personally, I’d through Mbabu in there for the season and see how he fares. He was quality at LB against Chelsea and has a presence going forward that Dummett doesn’t have. Haidara when he was fit was twice the player of Dummett but he’s a write off given he’s never going to be the same again.

  • 138 Ruddy Marveaux-lous // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:55 PM


    As I’m sure you well know “get your head examined” is a common turn of phrase as opposed to legitimately questioning one’s mental health – which of course I’d have no issue with should someone aim it at me because I really don’t care enough.

    Yeah I’m sure Hazard, Mahrez, Sanchez et al are thanking their lucky stars they don’t have to face Paul Dummett this season…

  • 139 jimmysmith // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:56 PM

    Hull’s only down the road, so it’s not a big move for Diame, and it’s a reet dump if memory serves me, and with probably the most cynical ownership in the country, so I think it’ll happen, and swapping Villa for Newcastle under Rafa is also no brainer, they are a shambles.

  • 140 JamesToon // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:02 PM

    Id be content enough if Rafa didn’t buy an LB as Dummett is defensively solid, and Gamez may be first choice there.

  • 141 Munster Mag // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:02 PM

    No idea what we are doing going after clarke. Rafa we need creators, not more defenders who can play in a few positions.clark is not an upgrade on dummett as either a left back or centre back.

  • 142 Graeme // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:03 PM

    Clark is also a good LB!!!

  • 143 manxpie // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:05 PM

    was that the same hiadara that was caught out half way up the pitch time after time after time? oh and couldn’t put a decent cross in either
    this is wat i dont get a defender that runs up the pitch well gets plaudits but a defender that actually defends well gets abuse
    talking of simpson he’s just won the prem and got the same abuse when he was here
    dummet is a good defender who sured up our defence and balanced it when he came into the team at the end of the season

    on a side note steven taylor has joined portland timbers lol

  • 144 Munster Mag // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:06 PM

    Ruddy, dummett and clarke are pretty similar. Clark might, just might be a bit better but marginal. I was hoping we would get better players and win this league through having more quality but guys like clark are just padding to me

  • 145 Mister Tuff // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:08 PM

    woah – what’s this mischief – betty – me becoming involved with Jib Jibberish. No way Jose.
    Wouldn’t mind giving him a bunch of fives right in the mug though – shut him up for a while.

    No I would see Jib being kidnapped by Ian Toon and his aide Belfast. Held in a dark home made dungeon in their joint hovel hoose.
    Reminiscent of Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs.

  • 146 Tsunki // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:08 PM

    If it was one of the previous incumbents drooling over the purchase of a mediocre defender in one of the few teams worse than us last season, I’d be less than impressed. Given that it’s Rafa, if true of course, I would suspect he knows something we don’t about the lad. Who knew?

  • 147 Munster Mag // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:09 PM

    At least rafa knows that santon was shit. Wont be seeing him again. Whew!

  • 148 nufc 11 // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:10 PM

    Signing Clark is a mistake either lb or cb where will that leave mbabu? Stupid. mcnair is a better player than Clark.

  • 149 Tsunki // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:11 PM

    If you’re looking for a rainbow Belfast, it’s probably at the end of Ians bed. The shallow end. I’d grab top bunk if I were you 😀

  • 150 SPRINGY // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:11 PM

    haha from real madrid and zinadene zidane to cyrstal palace and alan pardew….palace trying to persuade sissoko that palace is the right move for him…..hmmmm.

  • 151 Munster Mag // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:13 PM

    Manx, too many kids on here play fifa and think they know it all. A defenders job is to defend, first and foremost. If they camt defend, like haidara ans santon, get rid.

  • 152 Tsunki // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:13 PM

    Lesh @131 so why do you read the guardian? Is it because you like the old times best? 🙂

  • 153 Ruddy Marveaux-lous // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:14 PM

    Considering we’ve spent the last number of seasons on the bones of our arses with regards mediocre CBs I’m happy to see more cover come in, especially if that cover has PL experience.

    Scott Dann got relegated twice with Birmingham and Blackburn, yet on the basis of his form last season people were touting him for England. Stephen Caulker was also relegated twice with QPR and Cardiff yet many would have been happy had we been signing him.

    Looking like a poor player in a sinking ship doesn’t make you a bad player. Clarke isn’t a bad player and is more than marginally better than Dummett in my opinion.

    We do need more firepower and creativity, agreed. I think we’ll see that in the coming weeks though.

  • 154 manxpie // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:15 PM

    mbabu has been injured mostly for 2 years how can you rely on that?
    we have tried to rely on injured players for years even buying them injured!
    its about time we had a full squad ready to play and step up
    it might sound a bit harsh but we’ve got 46 games plus cups this season i’d rather have a replacement who can come in instantly tbh

  • 155 Munster Mag // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:16 PM

    Springy i didnt think the dancing one would get our ex spurs winger either, but he did. In fact loadsof blokes in here scoffed at the idea of townsend going to pardew. And then it happened.

  • 156 manxpie // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:18 PM

    did no one pick up on the big news??

    saylor has found a club!!

  • 157 G // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:19 PM

    People knocking signings and potential signings ought to remember, our first choice strike partnership last time we were in this division were Leon Best and Shola. We also played Zurab K on 7 occasions, so those knocking Dummet should remember that things could be a damned sight worse. Night night all.

  • 158 SPRINGY // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:19 PM

    aye but townsend was’nt linked with madrid,barca,dortmund and psg…thats a hell of a bit of a climb down even if he does sign for them.

  • 159 Munster Mag // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:21 PM

    Ruddy, he’s not. Clarke offers nothing more than defensiveness and dummett has been noted for his pace. Both can do left back and centre half. Peas in a pod imo. I like rafa but his defence first mentality surely wont stop us from getting attackers with pace and skill? We need another ritchie and a big pacey striker.

  • 160 SPRINGY // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:22 PM

    heres ya left back lads….borthwick jackson on loan from man utd

  • 161 SPRINGY // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:22 PM

    considering a loan deal for him

  • 162 bettyswallocks // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:24 PM

    Mr. Tuff ……. I don’t think he would object too much to the bunch of fives. Apparently he likes it rough.

  • 163 manxpie // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:24 PM

    munster aye its ridiculous in my eyes ofcourse it would be great if we had 2 fullbacks that could do both but we haven’t apart from debuchy recently and he was snapped up pretty soon afterwards (although he did get the toon curse)

  • 164 Munster Mag // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:24 PM

    Springy i wud laugh if that french prick ended up in selhurst. But pardew is persuasive. It wud be another kick in the nuts if it happened but i doubt it

  • 165 Munster Mag // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:28 PM

    Springy, West Bromwich or Paliss.what a laugh. I have hated sissoko for about 4 years now and wud sell the overrated wranker for 25 mill

  • 166 SPRINGY // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:28 PM

    i would quite happily take 30+m for sissoko off anyone, and since i know what sissoko can be like and pardew i’d be happy for the pair of them,they deserve each other.

  • 167 Harley // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:32 PM

    The way I see it. Lascelles and mbemba are our first choice with Hanley third so we need a fourth choice and Clarke is about as good as we can expect. He’s played his entire career in the premier league and has a load of caps for Ireland.
    I think he’d be a cracking signing for back up.

    Diame would be a great signing for a ready made first team player. He’s got bags of experience in both leagues and imo is a true premier league player. We need as many premier league players as possible to ensure we win the league.
    Add knockheart to those two and I’ll be very satisfied.

  • 168 SPRINGY // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:35 PM

    rumours flying around earlier tonight that the knockeart deal is moving forward,dont know how true but like u i hope so.

  • 169 jimmysmith // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:48 PM

    I’m sure Rafa can be persuasive, and I’m sure the club does get under a player’s skin. But it must be said that for Sissoko, Tiote, Thauvin and possibly Janmaat, staying at Newcastle is almost certainly not in their best interests, so it is almost impossible for me to hold it against the better players for wanting out, because it’ll take us a bare minimum two full seasons to become a top eight epl proposition, if it happens at all, and these players have short careers and International aspirations.

    But still, in an ideal world I’d be happy for them to stay, along with whoever we have to still bring in, Clark, Diame for example, we’d then have a stonking Championship squad, and can only increase our chances of promotion, which really is the be all and end all, and I’m sure not at all lost on Ashley and Benitez.

    Not gonna happen I guess, but I think we could sign players while our potential wantaways mull over their future, and still be happy should they decide to stay. Even Sissoko, with a 30 million pound offer on the table. We are stronger if they stay.

  • 170 colwell // Aug 1, 2016 at 11:59 PM

    Knockaert not happening

    George CaulkinVerified account
    @NUFCPulse @StephNUFC I’ve checked again this evening and told it’s dead. Never say never this month, but nowt happening at the moment.

  • 171 manxpie // Aug 2, 2016 at 12:19 AM

    current squad so far

    very decent

    people still think it doesn’t need additions?

    defo need at least another winger but again decent

    could probably do with another back up imo but decent

    then we have sterry and mbabu,bigi maybe roberts who can step up, again maybe?
    so with these hopeful additions it will fill our squad nicely with vast experience and not just fillers but people who will add to this team
    if we miss out on knockaert then i’d go for snodgrass great in this league and again adds experience that know’s how to get out of it!

    just realised wat the last thread was about lol

  • 172 Essex Geordie Bill // Aug 2, 2016 at 12:34 AM

    It appears that Dummet has a strong marmite aspect, people either like or loath him.

    Personally I think he is vastly underrated, lets see how the season pans out before he’s consigned to the knackers yard.

    At least he does manage to stay fit enough to play games.

    Still don’t think Clarke is any better than what we already have.

  • 173 Laurent Robert 32 // Aug 2, 2016 at 12:44 AM

    One thing I like about Rafa is the way he uses the players in his squad to try and make a fluid and interchangeable unit over the course of the season.

    The term ‘best eleven’ is probably too rigid. He’ll use the squad wisely with plenty of time for subs to get a run out, as we’ve seen, player rotation etc. So that the ‘team’ is always fresh, and better still, a lot of the players are used to being involved and can integrate better into the system with the other players. Over a long season, this is vital.

    A starting eleven playing every week throughout the season is ideally the best option, but these days, it’s sometimes not a realistic or sustainable scenario. Changes will have to be made, but the core will remain similar.

    It can also help prevent injuries in the long run as players aren’t being worn down unnecessarily.

  • 174 Essex Geordie Bill // Aug 2, 2016 at 12:45 AM

    Reserve defenders:-

    Good, Sterry, Gillesphey, Satka, Gibson, Willams and Cameron.


    Heardman, Gillead and Roberts. Armstrong is still listed as a reserve. Toney isn’t listed anywhere.

    Point I’m making is that how will they progress if we are getting make do’s rather than quality.

  • 175 jimmysmith // Aug 2, 2016 at 12:55 AM

    Quality is very hard to acquire from the Championship. Kids can’t be relied upon in such a crucial season, even top ones. At least we aren’t paying over the odds, and the players and squad are shaping up as capable of getting the job done, and just as importantly one that can realistically be reshaped to compete in the top flight should we go up. I’ve felt keeping the group together with one or two key changes was the way to go, but failing that, which was a tall order, the way we are going about it seems well thought out.

  • 176 manxpie // Aug 2, 2016 at 1:11 AM

    essex well send them on loan then if they ain’t good enough to step up or release them
    i’d rather we had players that can perform for the team than hopefuls that just might regardless if they have been here a while its a harsh business football

    and most ain’t good enough and we need a squad that is good enough to get back up

  • 177 Blofal // Aug 2, 2016 at 1:13 AM

    I saw average players like Sissoko, Lascelles and Anita suddenly start playing out of their skin under Benitez.

    As when Hayden signed for us he said he was impressed with how much Benitez knew his game and the things Benitez told him he needed to work on. We need another CB and Clarke has premier league experience plus we weaken a rival team in the championship.

    Everyone take a deep breath and acknowledge that if Rafa is signing Clarke it’s because he has exactly the attributes he is looking for to fit his system given some good coaching.

  • 178 lesh // Aug 2, 2016 at 2:13 AM


    The only way is……

  • 179 DubaiMicky // Aug 2, 2016 at 4:54 AM

    Rafa (and his team) have forgotton more than us lot have ever known about individual players and football in general. Trust the guy, I’ve just backed the Toon at 1000/1 to not lose in the Championship this year – Paddy Power, and at 50/1 for the League cup – that’s also worth a tenner.

  • 180 Ian Toon // Aug 2, 2016 at 5:45 AM

    Viva La Rafalucion!

  • 181 Ian Toon // Aug 2, 2016 at 6:25 AM

    Paul Dummett has had a good pre season; a real trier as Jimmy said he’s good in our half. One of the most enjoyable games last season had to be the 3-3 draw v ManU who will forget his equalising goal. It was the third goal of his Newcastle career and the second in the PL. His debut PL strike was also at the Gallowgate End in a 2-2 draw with Liverpool in October 2013. He’s not going to be a regular and Jimmy is again right not PL class but he will feature and he’s one of our own. With Benitez I suspect we’re going to see ( as Lauren has said) integrationa a lot of team tactical and motivational changes. It worked with Shelvey because Rafa could see he was incapable of playing the game he wanted because he was out of condition. Seeing him at Southend where he ran the show he’s got the message and shed the timber. It augurs well.

  • 182 Kabul Fish // Aug 2, 2016 at 7:10 AM

    Martoon, can I play please?

    Final League Position – 2nd
    Final No. of Points – 94
    League Cup Round – Semi Finals
    FA Cup Round – Quarter Finals
    Player of the Season (blog) – Mitro
    Top Goal Scorer (TGS) – Gayle
    No. of Goals TGS – 21

    Obvs hoping for more success in the cups than normal but it has to change at some point….doesn’t it?
    Think promotion will be harder than it seems but we will still do it – maybe a second place with all the extra effort in the Cups ha ha
    Hoping Mitro will show what he is worth in play and passion whilst Gayle bangs them in and makes Pardew’s head turn….

    Lots of hopes and wishes but that is what my belief is built on. Even more outlandish predictions next year if we are in the Prem 🙂

    Top fun, thanks mate.

  • 183 Jib // Aug 2, 2016 at 7:26 AM

  • 184 martoon // Aug 2, 2016 at 7:32 AM

    Got them Ruddy, bettyswallocks & Kabul Fish thanks.
    bettyswallocks you have omitted your player of the season 🙂

  • 185 Jib // Aug 2, 2016 at 7:34 AM

    A “proper” offer for Sissoko this week is expected.

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