Nearly there?

Shola Shola Shola....

Shola Shola Shola....
With all this wonderful news about all these “new” players we have and our hitherto unconsidered ability to now play that much neglected 1-8-1 formation, things appear to be moving forward-ish.

Surely there are only so many midfielders you can bring in?

But to put the icing on the cake we now hear that they have extended Shola’s contract for a couple of years. Perhaps this is considered something to try to calm the angry mob? We can sell Carroll, sell Nolan and even push Barton out the door for free, but no-one in his right mind would refuse to extend Shola’s contract. That would be like stabbing a baby with a pitchfork! The fans would be mortified.

Last night I was indulging in some gratuitous channel hopping when I stumbled across the Toon Vs the Brummies from the end of last season. What made me smile (and yes it does happen now and again) was the ease with which Steven Carr took Shola out of the game completely . This is the same Steven Carr that we shipped out a couple of seasons ago because he was too slow.

No surprises there. The beauty of Shola is you know exactly what you are going to get, and apparently we are going to get it for the next three years.

A bit like our defence. Is anyone else concerned about them, or is it just me?

We have brought in enough midfielders to keep us going for years, a couple of attacking midfielders and even an out and out striker, but we still have the same defence that legend is made of. And not talking heroic legend. I’m talking sore-sides legend.

I have referred on occasion to our defence being like either a box of clockwork penguins or like a swarm of ten year olds. Either way we very rarely seem to be in the right place at the right time.

It worries me that for the Centre Back berths we are currently limited to a choice of either Colo, Staylor or Williamson. That, to me, is a choice between MIA, giving away a penalty or , well, giving away a penalty.

I read a couple of days ago that someone claimed Colo was the best Centre Back in the Premier League. That was just before I read that Barton is now a goodwill ambassador for Manchester City Youth Team, and Andy Carroll wants to give up his 80 grand a week and come back to SJP as a ballboy.

I have to say that Colo is probably the best CB that WE have but not the best that everyone anyone else has. Or even anyone else?

As for Taylor, talk about not realizing your potential. There was talk a few years ago about him playing for England. At the moment the way he throws himself around the box I could see him possibly teaming up with Tom Daley off the high board, but not much else. Let’s face it, if you can’t get into the Toons back 4 you’re hardly going to have Capello banging down your door asking what you’re doing at the weekend. And despite wht Joey might think, what you think about your own ability isn’t what gets you into the England Squad. Apparently Capello does have a bit of a say.

I look forward to Tayl’s annual “give away a penalty and get sent off” moment where he handles on the line and throws himself to the ground clutching his gut as if shot in the stomach. That’s always good value for money.

I have never seen a defender throw himself around as much. Some people view it as heroism and dedication to the cause, I prefer to think of it as being symptomatic of always being in exactly the wrong place.

As for Williamson – well, the sooner he gets a slot on Strictly Come Dancing the better. There will come a time when referees start to clamp down on defenders hugging the opposition out of the game, and start giving penalties. When this happens it appears that Mike’s repertoire will be just about entirely spent!

Then if we move out towards the touchline, and back in again and back out, we have Enrique. It’s not that he’s bad, it’s just that he’s not as good as he thinks he is. I put him in the same category as Titus Bramble in that I see him as being only one small step away from a complete cock-up that will cost us a goal. He seems to have the required tools but rather than farting around quite so much at the back he really needs to learn the ancient Geodie art of the Welly. As Big Jack once said “nobody ever scored a goal from row Z!”

Danny Simpson, on the other hand, has potential. I think he could do well this season. Assuming we don’t receive a last minute bid from, well, anybody willing to pay cash.

Yes we all love to see goals goals goals but most of us prefer to see them “for” with not quite so many against. Our penchant for going gaga and losing the plot at the back is becoming a tad wearing. Yes , we were impressive 2 seasons ago but we were playing against teams who had all standing stadiums and turned up for away matches in a rented van.

One less dumb-arsed farting around goal conceded last game of the season and we’d have finished in 9th place, £2.4 million better off, but more importantly above the unwashed.

One more dumb-arsed farting around goal conceded last game of the season and we’d have finished in 14th place, £1.6 million worse off.

There’s always more than one way to peel a feline. If you cant bang ‘em in at one end, you could always try stopping them at the other.

Personally I’m optimistic that the squad is starting to shape up and I think that even as it stands we can improve on last season.

Living in the Middle East you certainly won’t see me at many games this season, but the satellite is paid up, the big fridge has been stocked and wheeled through from the kitchen and the new 55 inch LED TV is stuck to the wall.

It was expensive and is probably a luxury I could do without, but hell, what’s the point of having 2 kidneys if you don’t really need them both?

69 thoughts on “Nearly there?

  1. RE: bobby on other thread; it seems as though enrique is going and for once we are getting a replacement before selling….it seems!

    But to replace the bull with the current dutch international left back lets not forget that; and add in the lad will actually want to play for the toon…it could be a canny bit of business

    Lads if we get pieters who can say that out of ba, marveux, cabaye, obertan, abeid; these are not all good improvements to the squad regardless of who has left?


  2. Liam Southern Toon
    August 11, 2011 at 10:18

    “Lads if we get pieters who can say that out of ba, marveux, cabaye, obertan, abeid; these are not all good improvements to the squad regardless of who has left?”

    Bobby. Maybe Pootle aswell 😆


  3. Lads if we get pieters who can say that out of ba, marveux, cabaye, obertan, abeid; these are not all good improvements to the squad regardless of who has left?

    Anyone who is considered to be part of that god awful, blowing smoke up one’s own arse of a shit analogy – the f**king reality train.


  4. Toonsy – aye! 😆 but when you look at routs, nolan, campbell, kuqi, enrique gone the incomings you cant not argue they are improvemnets


  5. Does anyone actually know if this Pieters is any good? He’ll have to be good as Enrique wasn’t too bad really.


  6. Nervous times now! As its thursday! We play arsenal on saturday! We look to have lost a leftback with no 100 percent certain replacement and yes no new STRIKER which should be our number 1 concern!
    All that aside, do you think MA will ever speak publicly about his plans to settle the fans nerves?


  7. Enrique. It’s not that he’s bad, it’s just that he’s not as good as he thinks he is. I put him in the same category as Titus Bramble.

    honestly? I think he’s improved hugely. one of the best fullbacks in the league for me, links up well, very fast and is strong as an ox.

    Danny Simpson, on the other hand, has potential.

    I would of kept the Bramble statement for Simpson, I think he makes too many mistakes.

    Aye seems pieters is coming, hope its soon


  8. Liam – Wait and see. I think you’ll find that it will be argued 😆

    Stuart – Honestly don’t have a clue. I asked Axel on the last thread as he is Dutch so will know. He is a Holland international though so he can’t be shabby surely?


  9. @Stuart79

    lol good point, his name sounds canny 😯

    going off accounts of others, hes a cracking acquisition. + hes a full international, best of all, he’s FREE!!

    at this rate we should give Carr a 2mill thankyou payment for the stirling work he’s done, just please dont sell them nxt season..


  10. scott
    August 11, 2011 at 10:34

    “All that aside, do you think MA will ever speak publicly about his plans to settle the fans nerves?”

    Does he need to?

    I seriously think Newcastle fans have better wives syndrome. It seems some want to be constantly reassured and talked to.


  11. Weve already lost our best player according to the press (Nolan apparantly) and are definately relegated, Ignore the fact that a pedestrian team has pace and creativity out wide where we lacked it last season, A proper playmaker who can get box to box, create, defend, score goals and even run, We still have the lynchpins in defence (Colo) and midfield (Tiote) Plus we havent replaced Carroll properly just with Ba’s far suprerior and sustained goal ratio and are bringing another striker in.

    were doomed…


  12. Liam – See David @ 4. It didn’t take long. I had to edit out the swearing though as it seems some arseholes struggle to make a coherent point without using potty mouthed expletives 🙂


  13. Yeah nearly there!
    MA just needs the high earners out the door i.e Jose, Colo, Jonas & Joey with no quality replacements including Andy Carroll, then job done. Why do we need strikers when we have Shola, Besty,Lovenkrands & Ranger. Tayls & Williamson can play centre back every week with Perch as cover. We’ll have two experienced full backs in Simpson & Ryan Taylor (both right footed)with Perch as cover but don’t forget we have about 12/15 who can play in midfield & are now looking at 31year old Benayoun. 1-8-1 seems to be the best option.


  14. Toonsy i answered on last thread m8 and by the way i am not dutch just lived here for 20 years because i met a dutch lass . Born and brought up in Ashington m8 . 😉


  15. David – Nee worries man. Only pulling your pisser anyways 🙂

    On SSN now, Jose having medical at Liverpool according to David Craig’s sources.


  16. Axel; i could have sworn that was a dutchy sounding name so we all assumed….!! 😀

    Toonsy – i dont mind the swearing its the lack of cohesive response thats despairing; if you are going to refute a point refute it dont just grumble! 😀


  17. Toonsy & Liam – Just want to say that I was in actual fact agreeing with both of you. I was mearly having a cheap shot at the naysayers of the blog.


  18. The Journal are reporting we have been offered the chance to sign Nicklas Bendtner.

    I for one would take him straight away. has a lot to prove, been in and out of Arsenal side, but they do have quality in depth.

    He has prem experience which counts for a lot. not the speedy forward we’re supposedly after but he’d deffo do for me.


  19. I’m afraid not rating Enrique or Colo while recommending wellying it into row Z exposes your complete lack of football understanding. It proves you havent really followed their progress sufficiently.


  20. the Chronic are reporting Everton r interested in Barton again, for me, I’d be a tad dissapointed if he left.

    Chron – probably poop
    And despite baulking at the initial look at Joey Barton’s wages, Merseyside sources across Stanley Park claim that Everton are trying to look at ways of making a move for the boyhood Bluenose a reality.


  21. Liam me real name is Alex but there was too many alex’s on ed’s blog when i first started posting comments so when i started coming on here i changed to axel . never go on eds now ,as great as it once was its gone down hill .


  22. @Axel Meeeeoww 😆

    tell the truth I used to think they were the same blog 😯

    looked very similar for a while, just the posters are different, this obviously being the busiest and most popular.


  23. The Enrique transfer can’t be happening now…Bobby said it would be last day of the transfer window & no replacement 😆


  24. Pieters and PSV team-mate Wilfred Bouma, who has also been linked with a move away from Eindhoven, were both dropped to the bench for Sunday’s 3-1 defeat at AZ Alkmaar.

    But coach Rutten still says he wants both players to stay.

    “I’ve talked with Bouma and can say it’s a storm in a teacup,” Rutten told Dutch newspaper AD.

    “It’s resolved. I made one thing clear – he cannot leave. The same is true for Pieters.”

    He added: “(The speculation is) always the same, just before August 31st. It is restless, then on September 1st everything is quiet again.”

    Responding to alleged interest in 23-year-old Pieters, Rutten said: “No clubs have reported.

    “Of all those possible transfers in the newspapers, in reality only very few go through.”


  25. Like the article Toonsy, fair, although I think Williamson is a bit better than you give him credit for!

    Mark- I would take him too. Mardy yes, but would score and is young too…..


  26. scott
    August 11, 2011 at 11:02

    “Fair point toonsy, but a word from our chairman won’t go a miss you must agree!”

    In an ordinary world, yes. With Llambias and his general buffoonery and tendency to rub people up the wrong way, I’d say no.


  27. Mark – Just read that. PSV seem to have poured water over this one pretty quickly making me think that we’re not getting him. M’Bengue anyone?


  28. This is a pretty rubbish article. Colo is a top class centre back, Granted taylor and williamson arn’t fantastic but they arn’t that bad. Enrique is clearly a great player otherwise half the sides that have been interested wouldn’t have been. Sour grapes? I assume that the pieters deal is nailed on if jose’s off. If not who’s playing LB on saturday? Fergie fit yet? tavernier/raylor?


  29. Doesn’t that Pieters have a release clause anyway? That would kind of make it irrelevant what his boss is saying as long as we match the clause and the player wants to come.


  30. Rorycn – I’m kind of on the fence. I do think our defence is better than Archie made out, but I also think a lot of fans over rate this current defence as it’s the best of a bad lot, like Boumsong, Bramble etc……

    How many goals did we end up conceding last season with this great defence?


  31. if we sign Pieters and say Bendtner I’d be well chuffed with our recruiting/selling this season & will feel a little embarrassed that I didnt trust the board to deliver, but saying that we had our reasons not to trust.

    There has been a lot of complaining, hopefully for nowt. not there yet tho.


  32. David
    August 11, 2011 at 11:21

    “Naylor apparently had a release clause as well.”

    Nah. That was a “talk to him” clause 😆


  33. @49 I sincerely hope we didn’t pay £1million to talk to a player lol. If we get another LB and if the rumours are true re Bentner then I think I’d be happy.

    Bentner > Our current strikers imo.


  34. People keep saying where will the goals come from, the only player we’ve lost who scored post Judas was Nolan, he got 4 since the turn of the year, we’ve signed Ba who I’m sure even with his dodgey knees will beat that in half a season, I’d also like to think the midfield options we have now will chip in with a few more than in the past. 😉


  35. Brian C – I would never even suggest that they havent improved. From 3 years ago they have come on immensely. I remember looking at them then thinking WTF have we bought?
    I just think they have reached the top of their game, and they are sometimes just not good enough.
    Row Z on the halfway line may sound a tad neolithic but it has to be the preferred alternative to Enrique heading from the touch line in towards the penalty spot and then losing it.


  36. Toonsy, a bit scathing but in fairness only what must of us think about of defence and have done for years. Have to say though, a very well put together article. No sitting on the fence and get your opinion across with a great balance of realism and humour. Well done.


  37. Rorycn (Bottoms up) – sour grapes? For what, mate? Have watched them week in and week out for years. As part of my assessment for my reviews I watch each match 3 or 4 times noting who is where, who loses the ball who cant pass and all that other statistical stuff.
    Colo’s been caught out of position more times than George Michaels dick and the great Enrique could take a lesson from Tiote, who is very rarely caught in possession.

    As for “Half the sides that have been interested in him…” are you talking about the actual sides or the “reported ones”?
    Or are you just talking about the scousers? The same people who payed 35 million for for a knackered Andy Carroll.

    Despite all the hype, it’s offers and not interest that count. Thats why Barton’s talking to Stoke and not Man U , Everton, Arsenal, Spurs and all the others purported to have been “interested”

    Anyway – looking forward to the start of the season.


  38. lol our very own statto, I’m sure he also liked watching children too, he looked a right creep, not suggesting u do Archie. 😯

    ” I watch each match 3 or 4 times noting who is where, who loses the ball who cant pass and all that other statistical stuff.”


  39. i must say I thought the article was a little harsh.

    Colo has been amazing for us after a dodgy start to his career.
    Willo has been steady considering where he came from but has improved the squad.
    Enrique for me is a great player but let himself down towards the end of the season because his head wasnt in it.
    Simpson is the player id replace, potential maybe but he hasnt shown much.
    Carroll a crock? is he injured? yeah he’s a big man but he still has potential, last season was his first in the prem, I thought he did remarkably well for a young lad.


  40. Mark, I was referring to Carroll’s Barstool balancing act.

    Yes he’s still young, but 35 million?

    Toonsy hit the nail “right between the eyes”. We are so used to having such a bad defence that we are maybe over enthusiastic because this one is better than previous bad ones.

    We let a lot of goals in and played a lot of goalmouth pinball, which good defences dont do.


  41. Hopefully, with a better mobile midfield the defence won’t come under quite so much pressure this season…..maybe wishful thinking though 😕


  42. yes 35mil is a little steep, but if he played well for the next 10 seasons and bangs the goals in, 3.5mil / per season for a big proven player might seem a snip.

    We do have a better defence than usual, mixed with some cheap potential signings and some quality players.

    I expect us to concede more next season but will probably score more too.


  43. Oh yes CC(31) Do you not know by now that this is how FCB runs the club. He can now pocket another £6M & look for a freebie replacement
    I’ve heard were playing 3 at the back 6 across the middle and one up front against Arsenal after Colo goes to Valencia.


  44. A few months I spoke about our defence. Last season we were amongst the highest scorers in the league, in fact only 5 teams scored more than us despite us not having much class up front, so we were joint 6th in terms of goals for, out scoring the wonderfully creative Tottenham.
    Our top notch defence however managed to ship in far too many goals due to being caught in possession or out of position at key times. That left us 12th best in terms of least goals conceded and cost us far too many points. Ifwe had not have blown that lead aginst West Brom for example, we would have finished 9th instead of 12th.
    It is definately not as good as a lot of people think it is. Are we really likely to do much betterthan 6th top scorers in the league? I think not, but we can certainly improve on 12th best defence.


  45. “Lads if we get pieters who can say that out of ba, marveux, cabaye, obertan, abeid; these are not all good improvements to the squad regardless of who has left?!”

    Hate to be the one to spoil the party but…

    Ba: We know for a fact that he will at some point this season be in the treatment room and if by some miracle he avoids injuries then there is still the African Nations Cup.

    Marveux: He hasn’t played since November due to a groin injury and he didn’t sign for the Scousers because they offered him a pay per play contract.

    Cabaye: He has really impressed me in pre-season and hopefully he can continue to do so in the PL.

    Obertan: There’s a reason Man U let him go, he can beat the entire team but when he reaches the by line he doesn’t know what to do. I have my doubts about him but hopefully he can be a good addition.

    Abeid: No one has a clue how good or bad this Abeid is, I hope he is a decent player but he is unproven.

    So basically we still need a centre half, left back and striker.

    Pardew has promised us a left back and a striker in his press conference…BY THE END of the transfer window.

    So he’s basically writing off our games against the Mackems and Arsenal.

    Maybe I should go and calm down now…


  46. we,ll replace bully hopefully but replacing is not adding which is what we need, lets just let all our best players get peed off and leave. i saw bully on saturday gone and he,s cracking attacking as well as defending( ok, better attacking than defending!) but he ran his legs off! has anyone thought that jonas will prob want away now also which will trigger colo being unhappy …… where shall i stop!? cabaye looks good and vukic also but we need 2 defenders and a PROPER striker to even think we are ok.
    yours sincerely
    very worried mag x


  47. At the moment we have sold a good left back and have no replacement.

    Maybe the time to start spunking in your collective knickers is when we actually get in a left back who is at least as good as Enrique?

    After all Carroll has been gone a while and despite ‘having talks’ with lots and lots of strikers all we have manged to get in so far is a striker with degenerative injury concerns who needs to be ‘protected’. Oh and we’ve given an extended contract to a player who is lazy and only good enough for the Championship anyway. Although apparently its a good deal because he brightens up the place or something.


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