Who is the best signing of the last decade?

James Milner - He was good for us.
This article is the first of two articles in which I will look at the best and worst signings that Newcastle have made in the last ten (or so) years.

This should hopefully show that spending megabucks doesn’t always land you with top players. Some of these players may come as a surprise, but everyone has their own opinion and if you agree or disagree I’d like to know why. Similarly, if you have your own suggestions to offer up then let us know. Here goes;

Antoine Sibierski – Sibierski may not be a player that everybody thinks is worthy of a place in our best signings, and he may not be if he wasn’t a free transfer, however I feel he was a good signing.

Sibierski was initially brought in as cover but soon found himself in the first-team due to an injury to Michael Owen. Sibierski, who could be employed as a striker or an attacking midfielder, scored a total of eight goals during his spell for Newcastle, with four of them goals coming in our UEFA Cup campaign against teams such as Fenerbahce and Celta Vigo.

Sibierski was never one to leave the pitch with any effort left to give and was taken to by many Newcastle fans in his season with the club. Apparently he now regards himself as a Newcastle fan.

Sebastien Bassong – Bassong only spent a year at Newcastle but during that awful season for the club he was the only player who really shone out. Many people may be angry at him for jumping ship to move to Tottenham after our relegation, but it was good business for the club.

Bassong joined Newcastle for the small fee of £500,000 from Metz and 30 games later he was sold for £8 million to Tottenham. That’s a tidy little profit!

The Frenchman was steady in the season he spent at the club alongside a struggling Colocinni and impressed many with his strength and pace. Bassong was named 2008-2009 Player of the Season for Newcastle, although to be honest he didn’t have much competition to go up against.

James Milner – Milner was a player who was bought by Sir Bobby Robson in his fruitful reign as Newcastle boss and cost around £5 million. Milner started well but had his Newcastle career interrupted by the sacking of Robson and the decision to bring Graeme Souness in as Newcastle boss. Souness was far from happy with Milner for whatever reason and promptly loaned him out to Aston Villa.

Once Milner returned from his loan he seemed like he was very much ready to play first team football. New manager Glenn Roeder obliged and he was a starter for Newcastle throughout the 2006-2007 season. He then became a permanent fixture in the Newcastle team until his move to £12 million move to Aston Villa in 2008.

Milner will be fondly remembered for two big goals against Sunderland and Man Utd, the latter being a stunning strike from 25 yards out.

Kevin Nolan – Nolan wasn’t an instant hit on Tyneside when he first joined. He figured in the final few months of our relegation campaign after his £4 million January transfer from Bolton but he never looked comfortable in the black and white. Maybe he was a victim of the circumstances of the time?

However, in Nolan’s first full season he was the clubs joint top goalscorer with 17 goals in the Championship. His goals and on-field captaincy propelled Newcastle to promotion at the first time of asking.

He was given the club captaincy over Alan Smith in the 2010-2011 season which was fully deserved, and once again Nolan is Newcastle’s top goalscorer with 12 goals so far this season and has held the dressing room together brilliantly with help from other senior players such as Joey Barton, Alan Smith and Steve Harper.

Nolan has proved to be a truly inspirational captain who pops up with very important goals, and long may this continue. It’s probably one of the only good things that Joe Kinnear did for the club.

Jose Enrique – Enrique was a £6 million acquisition made by Sam Allardyce in his largely unsuccessful reign as Newcastle manager.

After struggling to make an impression in the Premier League he enjoyed a brilliant spell in the Championship scoring his first goal in an almost promotion sealing victory at home to Nottingham Forest. At the end of the season Enrique was named in the Championship team of the season along with three other Newcastle players.

Many questioned whether Enrique would once again struggle in the Premier League, but they were soon proved wrong and the Spaniards performances have had him linked with moves to Barcelona, AC Milan and Man Utd, unfortunately.

Enrique has been the brilliant for Newcastle in a position we have recently struggled in with the likes of Celestine Babayaro and a make-shift Charles N’Zogbia not making the grade. After a good two seasons it looks as if Enrique will leave in the summer with “bigger” clubs looking at him.

Although it looks like Newcastle will receive at least £8 million for him, I’d much rather he stayed. At the moment that, to me, looks unlikely.

Some of these players have been either great value for money or just all round great players. Unfortunately in these last ten years we have not been blessed with astute, sensible signings so this list was hard to compile. Hopefully with Graham Carr in charge we can bring more reasonably priced talent to St James’ Park.

I’ve had my say, now what about you?

36 thoughts on “Who is the best signing of the last decade?

  1. When I saw the title the first one I thought of was Sibierski 😆

    Bit of a cult hero. Not the best, but he tried his best 🙂

    Always thought Milner was extremely over-rated myself 😕

    Still do n all 😉


  2. biggest shock performer for me is nolan ,but ile go with chiek tiote ,goin back further rob lee was well worth the cash we paid for him 😉


  3. Tiote has to be there for me considering the price we paid for him, had no expectations at all and he’s our best player within a few month.


  4. On Bassong, I wonder if we paid £10 million for him whether or not people would still view him as a success?


  5. toonsy

    I wouldn’t say Bassong has done well for Spurs at all, he’s just a squad player for them now.


  6. Toonsy, I remember seeing a stat on SSN about him when he left and we actually had a better win % without him than with.

    Although that season we only won about 4 games 😆


  7. Toonsy – i suppose we would have paid the right price for him, it makes us like them more when they exceed expectations like Tiote 🙂


  8. Thought this was Dans article when I seen the title 😆

    Have to agree on Nolan being there – one of our greatest captains ever no doubt for what he’s done. After his goals against the scum this season he can do no wrong.

    Bassong was a class act for us when he was hear, remember Keegan saying he was going to be a reserve for us…Just shows how well he did.


  9. Dan – I just think peoples perceptions are clouded about players like Bassong and Milner because of the money we got for them.

    Bassong – Wasn’t actually that good for us. Being the best of a bad bunch hardly makes you worth that much money does it?

    Milner – People still harp on about him and how it was sad that he went, Ashley sold him blah blah blah. But we got 12 mill for a player that couldn’t cross, couldn’t take a set piece, rarely scored.

    He carried that on after he left. Take his penalties out of the mix at Villa and you’ll see how many goals he has really scored. It’s not impressive at all.


  10. Batty – True, Colo has been class, but then at 10 million you expect it don’t you?

    The reason people look at Bassong as a good player is because he cost us next to nowt and was sold on for a hefty profit. If he’d have been bought for 10 mill then how many would still look back at him and say he was a success?


  11. I think people were more upset with Milner leaving because the game before left he probably had his best game for us vs Coventry in the League Cup.

    I remember Milner and Jonas started upfront 😯


  12. I never thought Milner was all that to be honest, we got a good deal when he left. Didn’t we get a sell on fee when he went to City?


  13. dan4toon
    Posted April 17, 2011 at 10:05 AM

    “I think people were more upset with Milner leaving because the game before left he probably had his best game for us vs Coventry in the League Cup.”

    The bold bit says it all for me 😉


  14. Yeah, I never really rated him but I just think that was the reason why some people were upset.

    I remember after that game all the media were saying how good he was etc.


  15. Scott Parker syndrome:

    Dictionary Definition: A w@nk footballer, Who displays a form of tourettes on the football pitch by pirouetting, fist pumping and gurning into the camera.

    Looks decent in a shite team and for some reason rated quite highly by some supporters clutching at straws before relegation…


  16. Gosling said he’s ready for Man Utd, would have thought it would have been a bit early.

    “I would love to play against Manchester United, I’m available if needed. It’s not my decision, but if the manager, physios and coaches get together and decide I can, then I’ll make myself available.


  17. Is Irelands mrs ok then, Pardews seems pretty determined to use him on tuesday but he wont be ready to play if shes in intensive care or owt ??


  18. I found writing this one difficult, we don’t have many class signings in the last 10 years. mostly overpaid failures. 😛

    Toonsy- Some, like milner and bassong where financial wise aswell, for example i wouldn’t have put bassong in probably but we made a 7.5 million profit in a year.

    Was gunna put Nobby in but he joined for the first time in 1998


  19. CC – I dunno if she is in intensive care or not. Hope she gets well soon though. At the end of the day there are certain things that are more important than football.


  20. Alan Shearer was and will remain the toons greatest ever player signing. No-one has been better for the club in my opinion. Look at the goals he has scored for the toon and England, he raised the international stature of the club, was England captain, give Sir Alex a serious two-fingered salute, and stayed true to his roots. A legend never to be forgotten…pity he couldn´t save us from relegation but thats another story… 🙁

    Other greats who came in on the quiet and left there mark on the toon……….Rob Lee, Mark Hottinger, Kevin Sheedy, Micky Burns, Les Ferdinand, Alan Kennedy, Terry MacDermott, Tino Asprilla…..


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