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Newcastle Squad – Quality Great – Quantity Not So Great

When all the dust settled after midnight last night, the facts were that Newcastle United had brought in two seemingly good players in 22 year-old Spanish striker Xisco, and a loan signing from Valencia – 26 year-old Inglacio Gonzalez, a Uruguayan on a one year loan deal.

Kevin Keegan – good news bad news – quality great – quantity not great

So we did what we had to do in attack, because we needed a tall striker, and we did what we had to do in central midfield, because we needed another play-maker.

But we really needed to replace James Milner – and we didn’t do that, and we needed more defensive players – another center back and left-back, and we haven’t done that.

So it looks to us we were three players short of what would have been a good squad – if still a little on the small side.

So our squad is as follows with the incoming and outgoing players and their approximate transfer fees:

Squad – Given Harper Krul Forster

Out Carr (free) Ramage (free) Rozehnal £2.8M Faye £2.3M Diatta (free)
In Coloccini (£10M) Bassong (£1.5M)
Squad – Beye Taylor Edgar Bassong Cacapa Coloccini Enrique


Out Milner (£10M) Emre (£4M)
In Gutierrez (£2M) Gonzalez (loan) Guthrie (£2M)
Squad – Gutierrez Geremi Gonzalez Barton Guthrie Butt N’Zogbia Duff

In Xisco (£5.5M)
Squad – Owen Viduka Martins Smith Carroll Xisco

Of course the above squad will be augmented now with some of our up and coming youngsters like Tozer, Kadar, LuaLua and others, in case on injuries in the squad. We cannot see too many of them going out on loan, until maybe January at the earliest.

We also think we will be doing some business in January, but by that time we have to be somewhere near the top six, and the Recruitment team have plenty of time to get any targets lined up.

But that’s what we said in June, and it looks like Kevin has a quality squad, no doubt about that, but there’s just not enough players to see us through injuries and loss of form.

Overall the Newcastle fans seem disappointed, but until January, we are just going to have to get on with it, and support the lads.

It also appears we didn’t sell Smith to Everton because we didn’t have any replacement for him set up, and it may still be possible to sell both Smith and Ameobi in January, but we need players coming in more than players leaving.

In terms of the money, we got around £19.1M for outgoing players and paid around £21M for incoming players so we are down about £2M net.

It’s all over now until January, but let’s support the team, and let’s try to keep upbeat, because we have some very good players, just not enough of them – good news bad news.

Comments welcome.

161 comments so far

  • The Entertainers

    Sep 2, 2008 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #1

    These are direct Keegan quotes:

    “The owner is 100% committed to this club. I would think there is a very good chance of getting three or four players in, but Mike Ashley can only give us the ammunition – that is the finance.”

    “With Dennis Wise, Tony Jiminez, Derek Llambias and Mike Ashley we’re working really well to get quality players in,”

    “I do not think we have ever been closer than we are now”

    “I haven’t got enough players. I have lost five forwards and I’ve not got any people to come in”

    “The fans shouldn’t be worried. I’m certainly not – and, if I was, I would tell them.”

    Well Kev, i am worried and you integrity has been called into question this summer. Prehaps this has been down to others, but as your the one the fans look to, your comments are what a lot of fans hang their faith on and have been let down.

    Now show yourself to the fans and please explain our summer of discontent……please someone, Mr Ashley you do need to explain. Particularly when you had the chance to sell to the arabs at Man City. Mr Llambias come out from where ever it is your hiding and please comment on the apparent FAILURE of Wise and his very expensive recruitment team!

    We know Kev will face the fans, he always has. Now we need the big boys to show some face and tell the truth……or it wont be long before Ashley will not be wecome at the home he owns, never mind have a ‘pint with the fans’!


  • Optimist

    Sep 2, 2008 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #2

    To those who say the squad looks good when there’s no injuries. Sure. You’re right. Unfortunately Newcastle are prone to injuries. You can’t go through a season just hoping that no one goes down. Take 3 out of the starting line up and we’re in a world of trouble.

    I’d say we could’ve had a decent cup run this year, but with such a thin squad we can’t afford to play our first team midweek, and we can’t afford to give them a break if we want to win anything. A massive catch 22.

  • kenny g

    Sep 2, 2008 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #3

    Ed, your figures are seriously tainted.
    We’ve actually spent about 5-6mil, not gained 10mil.

  • ed_speed

    Sep 2, 2008 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #4

    ‘mon the lads.

    keep the faith.

    ed speed

  • paulthepom

    Sep 2, 2008 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #5

    cant beleive the negativity ed.spiderman is on the right wing ,he has milners spot.duff and zog fight for left side.barton ,guthrie butt and nacho fight for other places .plenty of competion in all areas without having any big names sulking on the bench.

  • ed_speed

    Sep 2, 2008 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #6

    also nacho looks a tastey signing (no pun intended)


  • Fandi

    Sep 2, 2008 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #7

    Yes Big Mike,

    You have made a net profit on transfers for two consecutive seasons. Nice job done. We expect some good and honest explanations, as well as some concrete promises for January. Else prepare to face the biggest backlash of your life at SJP against Hull. Banners will go out, boos and whistles will ring out. Fans shall demand your departure. Fat Fred had the same. Do not think you are any exception.

  • Zero Cool

    Sep 2, 2008 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #8

    I never thought this was going to be a very active transfer season for us. January will be our time after the big boss pays down some more of our debts. In all fairness to mike Ashley, he promised us a “wow” signing this season, not this transfer window. So I’ll hang off on hanging him till February.

  • Rob Davis

    Sep 2, 2008 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #9

    Absolute joke, what happened to the Milner money then?!! It looks like Milner was sold to balance the books. I can’t believe that Keegan lied to all of us in front of the cameras. Very upset and can see us struggling in the bottom 6.

  • BenjiToon

    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #10

    Ed – pretty much agree with your assessment of the squad, youngsters not accounted for yet of course.

    What are the facts here?

    – 5 defenders gone, 3 who wouldn’t be near the first team except as cover (Ramage, Diatta, Carr), 1 who didn’t want to play for KK (Rozenhal), leaving 1 we might have played (Faye)
    – 2 replacements who will play (Colo a lot and Bassong some)

    Verdict: defence cleared of dead wood, world class addition at CB, still lack cover at FB

    – only Milner has left who contributed anything
    – 3 replacements of good quality (assuming Nacho is good, which he appears to be)

    Verdict: excellent additions on wing and at CM, still need permanent playmaker to sign

    – no departures
    – 1 new young sriker with growing reputation (Xisco)

    Verdict: when everyone’s fit one of the best strike force’s in prem

    Does this mean we shoud be happy? Well, if you thought we were going to spend stupid money to buy one player then no. But if you expected us to build up slowly and steadily then quite possibly yes. We are improved but still thin. But sooner this than one megastar who gets injured in his first match!

    Lads, back to Toon. We’re as good if not better than Everton, Blackburn, Spuds, Pompey and probably Villa (although maybe a season behind them). We can and should be in the top 8 and hunting for europe by January.

  • carl

    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #11


  • Michael

    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #12

    Let’s be honest.

    Newcastle Squad – Not Good Enough.

    The recruitment team has failed, there’s no doubt about it. We’ve signed some good players and two unknowns.
    Kevin wanted a left back and didn’t get one. We needed a creative midfielder but only managed a last minute loan. We sold a promising right winger and completely failed to replace him. If Coloccini were to get injured we have nothing of real quality to step in. If Butt gets injured or suspended, we have nobody who can play the holding role.
    I couldn’t watch SSN last night because it was too depressing to watch as Man City showed infinitely more ambition than us and became a bigger attraction to players in the space of a few hours. I was hoping to wake up and find out we’d announced at least an extra signing but of course we hadn’t. A season that started with such promise will most likely fade away because of our terrible squad.


    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #13

    can we still get loan signings in

  • The Entertainers

    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #14

    What also is a shame is when for the first time in a while we have some quality youngsters coming through our ranks and i believe thier progress will be hurt.

    In a coming season where we are painfully thin on the ground there will be no youngsters loaned out. So they be stuck in the reserves, prehaps picking up the occasional bench places. But niether of these options are better than learning your trade in the lower leagues.

  • cooldj

    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #15

    ok so we all knew about gonzalez the day before and the xisco rumour came through about 7.30am. so what the froop were wise and co doing for the rest of the day. it would be nice to know who else they bid for (if they did) becuase then at least we could gauge just how serious they are about this club. I’d say we’re 2 or 3 players short of a decent squad (a 1st team LB and DM and one more squad defender + a right wing cover) crap thats 4. oh well!

  • Andy

    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #16

    Why did Shola not take up any of the offers on the table!

    If he is thinking about dragging his heels in order to get a lucrative free transfer than I’m sorry to tell him that it will only be the likes of Ipswich, Norwich, West Brom & Stoke who come in for him (The teams he’s already turned down).

  • ed_speed

    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #17

    shut up all u negatives. (-)

    be positive (+) its mech better for the long term, and the press hate positivity from newcastle fans.


  • KevinHann

    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #18

    We are at least a player short to have a good STARTING lineup! I’ve been anxious to get a LB and we didn’t. Trust me, Enrique isn’t up to it! He needs some bench time, to learn from someone, to have someone pushing him for his place! At Arsenal, both the penalty and the second goal came from Jose’s area, and he wasn’t even present!!!

  • Baz

    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #19

    Another false dawn, i only hope keegan and owen dont walk. Who the hell is Dennis Wise and mike iam warning you Newcastle Fans won’t accept wise as a replacement. However you look at it the fans will follow the team but you and your cronies are under scrutiny.

  • WTF????

    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #20

    I sat from 7 esterday watching sky sports news praying for development in tranfer activity at newcastle…..we get a young squad player at depor (people say 12 goals in la liga) lets not forget if you look at ameobi’s stats when he was a youngster we could have said he was potentially a great) and the only other signing is to give a valencia player experience for a year….IS THIS WHAT WE HAVE BECOME???

    its fair to say i am digusted…..

  • cooldj

    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #21

    unless the window rules have changed we can’t get in any loan signings. however we can get in bosmans. freddie ljunberg isn’t that good anymore but a one year deal would at least be another body through the door. who else is still without a club??

  • carl

    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #22

    god- the thought of having to watch nicky butt all season is appalling, wyes we all knew that we wouldnt sign huge players for huge sums of dollar, but at least cover for what we need , and theve failed it. we have an ok defence and extremely shit centre mid.ashleys picked the wrong supporters to pi*s off

  • Kash

    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #23

    We’re really really light in defense and central midfield. We definitely needed a LB at the least, with possibly a CB. We desperately needed a CM as Barton will be banned for 100 years!!!

    MA is an IDIOT, WISE is an IDIOT, JIMINEZ is an IDIOT and KEEGAN is an IDIOT for believing these toss pots and getting suckered into coming back home!

    I feel sorry for KK, what has he let himself in for!!!

  • Neil B

    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #24

    Some really clueless people on here, as has been said time and time again, Keegan can only go out and sign players who want to play for the club and are quality, there is not point signing ‘big names’ for silly money and giving them massive wages – we’ve tried that before and it really doesn’t work.

    Doom and gloom from too many fickle supporters who jumped on the Keegan bandwagon when he was first here, and now are in line to push him off. Utter ridiculous, the club hasn’t been this stable for years, we have a few quality players and the potential to bring in some more either via the youth team or in January.

    Think we’ve signed astutely, if we give the club the right backing and stop reading the utter tripe from the red-tops, on SSN and from anyone with an agenda against the club I think we can shock a few people and turn some heads along the way.


  • Yorkie dave

    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #25

    Directed at the moaning support of NUFC.

    Do we have cover for every position?

    Do we have quality within the squad?

    Are we now safe from emulating Leeds Utd?

    Have we yet to see the 2 new signings contribute to the team?

    Funnily enough the answer to all these questions that ive asked myself is YES.

    I want an answer to the following question?
    How many of Keegans signings first time round did anyone know anything about?
    If this is all the support that you guys can give then Please go and suport Man Citeh!!!
    We are NEWCASTLE UNITED FANS we Sitck with our team and support them no matter what!!!!! Be proud that we have sold the club to Ashley and we are now financially stable.
    Anyone asking where all the money has gone from sky and other income MA will be putting that towards the £27 mill still owed for players!!!
    Please PLease stop moaning and start supporting the team!!

  • Kotzilla

    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #26

    Hi im Newcastle fans in Thailand.

    in my Opinion. im ok with our squad now.
    only thing to worry is injury of a player

    let them show us a performance
    on january is not too late to get some player in market


  • euanpolo

    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #27

    Agree with paulthepom, the negativety is a disgrace. We’ve got a quality squad with, like ed said, lots of good youngsters coming through. Robinho – what’s happened to Abramavich’s money? I know the new guy at Man City is meant to be richer but surely Robinho would have joined Chelsea rarther than City if they’d put in an acceptable bid. Bring on Hull! (After the stupid international break)!

  • Midsmag

    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #28

    Moan Moan, winge winge,
    We have a small but good side, we will be ok

  • Andy1

    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #29

    In – Jonas -2mil
    Guthrie – 2.5 mil
    Bassong – 1.5mil
    Colo – rising to 10.3mil
    Xisco – 5.7mil rising to 7.5mil
    Gonzalez – loan
    TOTAL = 23.8mil

    OUT – Faye – 2.25mil
    Rozehnal – 2.9mil
    Milner – 12mil
    Emre – 4mil
    TOTAL = 21.25mil

    We haven’t made profit but we have still kept costs down which can be quite frustrating when you see the cash being spent at other clubs.

    The price for Xisco already seems somewhat inflated as he is unproven and still young. This sort of overpricing on deadline day means you end up spending loads on players you might not really want. I thought we could have found players to fill holes at right and left back but perhaps the club wasn’t prepared to pay silly money for squad players. McCartney for 4.5mil is crazy, and what about Feilani for 15mil – I can understand why we wouldn’t want to get forced into buying so late.

    However the club had plenty of time to bring in Keegan’s targets and there is no excuse for not finding a cheap right and left back if we desperately need cover there. I would have liked to have seen us spend big on a quality central midfielder to take over from Butt, but if 15mil will only by you someone from the Belgian League its not worth it.


    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #30

    we could get ljungberg on a free transfer even thought hes not that good

  • Kash

    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #31

    Steven Appiah is still available. Ljungberg is crocked!!!

  • ed_speed

    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #32

    eactly my piont niel.

    well said.



    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #33

    Small squad anyway ,even kev admitted that before the transfer window ,now its closed we are one less than it began,beggars belief!Sorry to say but i believe kev has sold out this time knowing that this is his last big payday,he wont walk out,money talks.

  • kenny g

    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #34

    Entertainers… dry your eyes mate, your not doing anyone any favours

  • teamstoof

    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #35

    This sucks!
    championship here we come… look on the bright side next year we might have a chans of winning the championship,,

  • The Entertainers

    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #36

    I’m sure Keegans summer has been even more heart breaking and embarassing for him than the fans.

    why because he knows the truth, the truth about players turning us down and wanting nothing to do with us.

    Granted i dont wnat players here who dont what to be here, but thats not the point. Players are no longer seeing us as a top club.

    Etouba: Decided training was a better option

    Zayette: Chose HULL!

    Nasri: ‘Barton’

    Silvetsre: ‘Barton’

    Nasri aside, these are not even good players!

    And unfortunately i bet there were many, many others.


    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #37

    Ps .its ok too critize the club and its goings on ,it doesn’t make you a disloyal whinger like some of the militant supporters say.

  • lesh

    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #38

    I posted this earlier re the media…

    From BBC football gossip….

    Kevin Keegan’s future as Newcastle United manager was back in the balance after a summit with the club’s hierarchy. (Daily Mail)

    Why the southern media’s seemingly continuous mischief? Just get off NUFC’s back!!

    Can I suggest that the some of the doom merchants and so-called fans do likewise.

    If you are one and you’re reading this, your negatives are giving the Mail and the like the bullets to fire.

    Lighten up for goodness sake, it’s done ’til January, live with what’s gone by and support your team. Bring your banners to SJP by all means but please have positive and supportive slogans on ’em or you’ll be giving incentives to the opposition.

    Think aboout it, cold be worse eh….. Big Sam for example?

  • David Dutch

    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #39

    When will some of our so called fans ever learn. We are not the only team to not sign all the players they wanted, not even Chelsea with all their millions. Player power rules football today and no amount of look at the size of our club and the fans and the stadium count as much as money in their every growing pockets. We have to be realists and having got together a squad, albeit a thin one, we the fans have a duty to get behind each and everyone of them and lift them with our enthusiasm to believe that they are capapble of beating any team on the day. I tire of so called supporters bemoaning situations that they cannot influence, I know the defence is they have a right as they pay good money to watch. I would rather have aclub on solid financial grounds with a skillful set of players than one hopelessly in debt waiting for the creditors to call them in. As far as Barton is concerned in my mind he has paid the penalty for his crimes, in civvy street he would be helped to get back into society not berailed by a squad of morons who cannot think for themselves, I personally would take the season ticket off anyone who does not get behind him in the coming weeks. He is from a very bad background and that would influence anyone, give him a chance to make amends to the club and us the real fans. Regarding Ashley he is trying to get the club on a firm basis, buiding slowly at first achieving goals which they have set out, which may not equal the goals of overenthusiastic and unrealistic suppporters. We have a duty to fill the stadium with supportive noise for 90 minutes every game jsut like we did when SJP truly was a fortress, forget the dream of a golden era that is over let us work together to build a golden era that is to come. We can do it if we become UNITED!

  • Toon Toon 25

    Sep 2, 2008 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #40

    I’M SICK OF IDIOTS USING CAPITALS TO WRITE ABUSIVE TEXT> Calm down! Go and have a wash and wake up, all the above points about our team being good are right. If your so good why don’t you go and have a trial then? You’re deluded. Haway the Toon. Honestly you’re pathetic fans to not back what we have! Hull home, West ham away, Blackburn home, we can win all these games still!

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