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Defender On Newcastle’s Squad Being Big And Competitive

24 year-old Scottish International Grant Hanley has played five times for Newcastle – 3 starts and 2 sub appearances – since joining us from Blackburn Rovers in August after a few weeks of negotiating with Blackburn to agree a fee.

His latest sub appearance was late in Saturday’s game as Rotherham when the home side were going all out for an equalizer and Rafa put Grant into the fray and we held out well.


Grant Hanley in action against Cheltenham

Grant hasn’t played too many game for Newcastle so far this season, but he looks a really strong player at the back and very good in the air; he also has good leadership skills and was captain of Blackburn Rovers.

This is Grant has said in the Chronicle today:

“We have a big squad and have players who are itching to play. It’s good and competitive.” “The lads have done well so far so hopefully, we can carry it on.”

“It’s a long road. It’s too early to start looking at the table and worrying where we are.” “We are in touching distance and we just need to take each game as it comes.”

“It’s an old cliche but that’s the way it is in this league.” “That’s what this league is about, no game is ever easy. That’s what you get in this league.”

“Teams like Rotherham will offer that, they are organised and hard to beat. They have some big lads and they are organised from set-plays.”

“They had the long throws as well so it’s up to us to deal with that and make sure we are organised.”

“We’d have liked to have been a bit more comfortable but it is what it is. The lads worked hard.”

“We had to fight at times and we fully deserved three points.”

Right at the end of Saturday’s game from a corner the ball rebounded off Ciaran Clark and came off the post.

If that had gone in it would have been a real sickener – just like the previous weekend at Villa Park.

But it didn’t and overall we were the better team on Saturday although in the first 20 minutes and in the last five or ten minutes Rotherham came at us full-bore – but we held out.

I watched the game again yesterday on beIN Sports  and we did very well to get all 3 points with Rotherham playing extremely well.

It’s really surprising how good the Millers were – given they are bottom of the league.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

12 comments so far

  • Jib

    Oct 4, 2016 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #1

    NUFC had a scouting team in Belgium on 29th Sept watching Genk vs Sassuolo in the Europa cup.
    They were probably watching the young Jamaican left winger Leon Bailey who scored in a 3 -1 victory for the Belgians

  • LGFUAD21

    Oct 4, 2016 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #2

    But it really is the agents faults at the end of the day. I cannot see why any young player would join Chelski or City.

    City may start bringing through youth with Guardiola there and I know they have been planning for ages to switch to a Barca type model.

    There is only one big club I would probably join if I were a young lad and that’s Arsenal because you can see the difference in footballing education from players that leave that academy, plus you are going to get chances if you are good enough.

    Aside from that young players are better off joining a club with a solid footballing philosophy.

    It all stems from the money. Our league system is great in that it has relegations and promotions but I’d love to see more cohesion between the Prem and the rest. Some tight restrictions on wages and transfer spending.

    Soccernomics claims that it would make the game boring if teams were more even and that the appeal of football to many are those David vs Goliath moments but I disagree. If it was a more even playing field, we would see a lot more interesting tactics and varied playing styles because the game would be more reliant on outsmarting the opposition. It’d also allow individual talent to flourish because you would no longer be able to hoarde all the talent in one team.

  • Lindisfarne

    Oct 4, 2016 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #3

    Can Grant actually kick a ball with accuracy, from what I have seen he struggles to clear it.

  • magscar

    Oct 4, 2016 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #4

    magscar // Oct 4, 2016 at 1:57 PM


    Sorry have been off doing something – It isn’t’ just the money I think it is the ” big club” tag that does it for a lot even though most don’t get anywhere near first team.

    It would be interesting to see how many players are signed on as prospects and actually play regularly in first teams (Atsu and Yedlin are 2 casualties we are benefiting from).

    I had read that figure for Chelsea which Iantoon mentions somewhere and it isn’t just them. It is getting like all the pretty young hopefuls once heading for Hollywood stardom and ending up in Bars and Restaurants.

    There are some players who are prepared to put their immediate prospects and development ahead of a big club’s calling card but not many. More ambition than sense and Agents don’t help.

    The old days of the bootroom and cleaning boots are long gone but apprentices these days at even lower PL clubs are well salaried early on.

  • G

    Oct 4, 2016 at 2:05 PM

    Comment #5

    Lindy, in reply to your earlier question mate, no idea about the Under 23’s, mid table and mediocre from what I have seen. The under 18’s on the other hand have looked great so far, however, it’s early days. Lots of rumours about changes afoot, but nothing publicised yet. Been rumours that Beardsley is on his way out very soon that have been around since back end of last season. I have spoken to some of the U18’s families though, and I can confirm that his coaching abilities are not held in very high regard at all (To be fair, I don’t think he holds any coaching qualifications, I could be wrong though).

  • magscar

    Oct 4, 2016 at 2:09 PM

    Comment #6


    Arsenal are better than most of th big boys but even they have discards like Hatden.

    Buying up older more finished products like Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey and Chambers ( but he is out on loan) who are more first team ready has largely worked but costs more of course.

    Wenger has transformed the club but his continuation of his basic principles is causing their fans to grow more and more restless as the big honours elude them. Mind I can’t think of any fans of the bigger clubs whose expectations could be stemmed for as long either – it is the price you pay for success

  • magscar

    Oct 4, 2016 at 2:26 PM

    Comment #7


    Beardsley is my all time favorite player but as a coach? – well he remains my all time favorite player 🙂

    Mind could he help with likes of Gayle and Armstrong with some one to one spells?

    Some think Shearer could help Mitro in how to “professionally” deal with big strong defenders ( probably could and help his temprement) but not sure Beardsley skills can be coached. Then again could they be maximised with guidance from one of the best?

  • cyprus

    Oct 4, 2016 at 2:35 PM

    Comment #8

    When you know that beIN sports are showing a game even belatedly please give us a shout.

  • Bobbybee

    Oct 4, 2016 at 2:37 PM

    Comment #9

    The problem imo is that agents are only interested in their own earning ability and seldom have the players future in mind. It’s all grab grab grab. Sitting on their backsides earning a good wage suits the agents more than the player. A career in football is short and every player needs to be playing. Better off playing every week for a lesser team than wasting your career being forgotten in a big team

  • Mister Tuff

    Oct 4, 2016 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #10

    Off topic – Swansea appointing an American coach.
    I see Swans American owners have appointed one of their countrymen – Bob Bradley as coach.
    He has international experience and has managed in Europe.
    However, I think that this is a bit of a gamble -maybe too early to appoint this bloke.
    Yanks ARE progressing on the football front – 20 -30 years ago there was an innocence and naivety about their game – (pleasant enough to watch) but a massive gamble here. Might be a masterstroke but I would be inclined to say it going to go belly up.
    Bradley is the father of Michael Bradley – a very very good footballer with a non stop engine – we should have signed him a few years ago.
    So for me a thumbs down for the Swans.

  • Ian Toon

    Oct 4, 2016 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #11

    The football philosophy you mention is down to the manager, Arsene Wenger. He arrived in England in 1996 and not only revolutionised Arsenal but English football. He was one of few managers using statistics to analyse player performance, preached diet for footballers and he had a fad reaching knowledge of foreign transfer markets.

    LGF- Managers have the most influence and early influence on players. Many have development programmes which can make a difference. You mentioned Arsenal- Wenger soon after joining in 1996, identified Milan’s reserve Viera and Juventus’s reserve Henry as great players to transform Arsenal. Other clubs caught up and a number of clubs overtook them with larger transfer fees and bugged wages. Also Wenger had Ferguson to contend with. Wenger also changed his thinking to go for players who were gifted and fast rather than those that were strong.

    Carragher in his autobiography suggests that if you assemble a squad of players with talent and the right character and attitude, you’ll win more football matches than you’ll lose, irrespective of tactics and training sessions. He also believes that anything that gives you an extra 10% through diet, general fitness and the right word in your ear also has merit.

  • Ian Toon

    Oct 4, 2016 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #12

    For LGF


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