Have we got the squad to challenge for a cup this season?

Up for the cup? Or focus on the league?

Up for the cup?
The reason I’d like to bring this subject up is because of the Alan Pardew’s insistence that he has been tasked with a few challenges this season by the board.

The first thing that Pardew must do is guide the team to a top half Premier League finish. The second, a rarity at Newcastle, is to have a fairly decent cup run.

How realistic are these challenges? Do we have a squad capable of competing on all fronts? In my humble opinion I feel we have enough to get a top ten place especially as we were minutes away from it last season. However a decent cup run is never easy as we all know and don’t really need reminding of. Ahem, Stevenage. Sorry!

To have a decent cup run you need a decent squad and a decent balance between the squad so that you can shuffle the team but still keep the same brand of football and team spirit and commitment that would be needed, say, in a Premier League game.

This got me thinking; we are involved in the Premier League, FA Cup and still in the Carling Cup this year. Normally that is the order of importance to most top flight clubs. But do we have the squad to compete in all of them?

Now this is where I was interested to see how ‘deep’ our squad is and the results are actually quite surprising.

I have split the squad into three teams; one each for the Premier League, FA Cup and Carling Cup. I know that these teams will chop and change and it is likely we will use 25 players for the three teams, but I wanted to highlight that, if needed, we could call upon lesser experienced ones. The 4-4-2 formation seems to be prevalent at the moment so I’ve stuck with that for the time being.

Premier League: Tim Krul, Danny Simpson, Fabricio Colocinni, Steven Taylor, Davide Santon, Gabriel Obertan, Cheik Tiote, Yohan Cabaye, Jonas Gutierrez, Hatem Ben Arfa, Demba Ba

FA Cup: Steve Harper, Tamas Kadar, Mike Williamson, James Perch, Ryan Taylor, Sylvain Marveux, Dan Gosling, Danny Guthrie, Shane Ferguson, Leon Best, Shola Ameobi

Carling Cup: Rob Elliott, James Tavenier, Steven Folan, Tamas Kadar, Paul Dummett, Peter Lovenkrands, Haris Vuckic, Mehdi Abeid, Michael Richardson, Sammy Ameobi, Nile Ranger

Food for thought isn’t it? This is without loanees such as Kazenga LuaLua and Fraser Forster, but generally I feel that this is the best 33 in the club. As you can tell the Carling Cup team will probably not get to far and arguably the FA Cup side would struggle against tougher opposition but, this made me realise that we have a squad packed not only full of promise but youth and talent. I have even left out a full Faroe Islands international and an England u-19 international. Exciting times surely?

Back to whether we can really challenge for a cup… We will no doubt mix and match the Premier League team and FA Cup team together and I honestly feel that our best chance of silverware is the Carling Cup. If Birmingham can do it then why can’t we? We have the depth of squad to compete in the FA Cup at the moment but once injuries strike we may find it harder and harder especially as the bigger teams seem to want to win the FA Cup more than ever.

If we managed to achieve a Carling Cup trophy and finish 10th that would be a very good season indeed. We have to be realistic in our attempts this season but looking at the way we can potentially play there is no doubt that a Carling Cup challenge is viable one. FA Cup perhaps not so much, but we could always reach the quarters or semis and with a bit of luck, who knows?

As ever we are full of hope but for the first time I actually feel we will take the chance to get silverware seriously and there is no reason why it should be beyond our reach.

What do you think?

Thanks to Liam Southern Toon for sending this in for us to discuss.

141 thoughts on “Have we got the squad to challenge for a cup this season?

  1. Toonsy they do have to pass a ‘ Fit and Proper criteria ‘ don’t they ?
    how da fuk does he pass it, but then with big money there is always away round things.
    It will be the same with City etc when the Financial rules come in money talks and shit walks


  2. TOONSY super mac said it was not a loan so he gets nowt back,it would have gone under and the the fans would have had no club,they were canny fans too shame imo,anyway if he only payed a quid hes not gan give owt,i know he also gets the club depts but he knows how to waggle that bit 😉


  3. It’s all ower the German text that even though Cisse at Freiburg has signed a new 5 year contract and been given a muckle pay rise, he’s still pushing to leave during the January window. His head has obviously been turned. He scored a cracker at the weekend, and has really fast feet, I would have him at the toon…


  4. MM aye seems a canny player defo got pace to burn,give him a ring mate tell him we are waiting for him 🙂

    dave will pay you for the call


  5. Munich – i got the impression reading the comments from the chairman or whoever it was at the time that the contract was to keep him sweet until the summer when freiburg will let him go for as much as they can get


  6. Ice…I’ll get in touch mate, but do you reckon Big Dave will part with one of his old sixpences to pay for the call ?


  7. Anyway lads, I’m off to bed. Hope the team plays well tomorrow. I want all the info when I get back.


    Toonsy: Hope you got my email.


  8. Dub….Cisse’s heads been turned, he’ll be outathere come the winter break. Would like to think he’ll come to the toon, cos we were quoted on Jaarman text as being THE club who were persuing him.

    Watched him closely at the weekend, and he get’s stuck in, is fast and brave, and tends to score a lot of goals from inside the box….not a moocher though, fast and mobile, would be good for us I reckon…


  9. Toonsy…. lol I think the small ones are about right…. but will put a new one up soon!

    It’s either yoga pix here, or the yoga blogs getting Dreamboat Cabaye 😉


  10. Can’t believe noone else feels more passionately about Given being booed. He was 32 appearances from being our most played player ever and he’s being called a rat.
    He did desert us yes, but so did thousands of ‘supporters’. So did Keegan. So did ‘Ed’.
    He saw one last chance in his career to win something and went for it. I actually liked the fact that he wasn’t happy here or at City when he wasn’t being played/ It shows a genuine professional that wants to earn his wage. People call Harper a loyal servant. Tbh he wasted his career sat on the bench, no different to Wright-Phillips imo.

    It shows how fickle fans are. Someone can give you 12 years service and be booed. Do we expect every player that joins us to stay till they retire or face our wrath?
    He had to put up with shoddy Newcastle defences for decades. Anyone at the game were he decided enough was enough will have seen it in his face at the time.


    The only keeper to let in 5 goals and stil gett MOTM


  11. Dave, well I wasn’t sending any large ones just in case 😉

    Toonsy – it would be painful if you tried it! 😀

    Years and years of practice that took.


  12. Richie-

    Haha, now there’s a positive attitude! Btw- gutted to see the mackems win on the weekend. If them going down meant that we’d not qualify for Europe, I’d be havin’ a “5under1and Got Relegated… Again” party 😉


  13. Richie, rule number one is no yoga after drinking (including showing off in the pub)! Injury city…

    Although there is a good email thingy going around of drunks passed out in various positions resembling yoga postures, it’s called ‘Irish yoga’ hahaha (no offense Dave, I didn’t make it up!)


  14. So i’ve been tryin’ to get wor lass into proper football, and she wasn’t having any of it… until she saw a pic of Steven Taylor. Now she’s obsessed like. I tried to tell her that he’s a bit of a kunt, but hey, if that’s what it takes for her to support the Toon and watch proper footy, then so be it lol!


  15. It’s nice mourinho has given up ballon d or to the legend sir bobby robson for his charity that’s just pure class


  16. @solanos trumpet

    I’m with you on the Given point .

    He still had the talent to win things and it was never going to happen at the Toon.

    It just so happens it didn’t work out but that was a justifiable reason to leave IMO .


  17. Liam-

    Say what ya will about “The Special One”, but he IS a class act like! I was happy to see him pay homage to Sir Bobby.


  18. OH…..If she’s been with you I doubt tellin her Saylor’s just a “bit” of a cnut is gonna put her off 😉


  19. TroyS9-

    It’s true. Given is class. Gutted to hear some fans booing him. He didn’t deserve that at all. He had every right to leave under the circumstances at the time, and besides, I’d take Krul over Shay any day right now. Krul is already a very talented keeper, and he’s SO young comparatively.


  20. The Carling cup squad wouldn’t be good enough to get past the first round!

    As for the board tasking the manager to get a top ten finish it’s a joke! We may well achieve it but the board demanding it and giving him 500k to spend to achieve it is nothing less than a disgrace.

    The fact weve started well is due to the exceptional coaching from Pardew


  21. Moreno I’m not so sure … Man city are not a team yet they looked frail against napoli and fulham and their defence is suspect.

    They will still turn us over but not sure they will win all


  22. Liam…..that’s the thing though, City will get better as the players gel…..scary.

    Reet…I’m off to do some “Northern Irish” yoga 😉 later lads.


  23. Liam. The squad they have possesses enough quality to fight on all fronts. Plus they will correct any frailties in January no doubt…


  24. have we got the squad to do well in a cup this season??

    yes !!! our squad imo is the strongest it has been 4 a long time !!! weve sold good players but have replaced them with cheaper better players!!! cabaye is better than nolan and barton put together lol!!!

    cant wait to watch cabaye and benny in the same team , unreal class coming our way!!


  25. look at this bluddy team man

    raylor collo taylor santon
    gutierez tiote marveaux
    benny cabaye

    cant wait to see that mind!! cabaye and benny together is gna be summit to be seen !!!!


  26. Man City could realistically win everything this year with the squad they have. ———————–

    Apparently they are not deep enough…at least according to Mancini:)


  27. Some interesting quotes from Pardew about HBA:

    Pardew said: ‘He’s a character. He’s not going to be smooth running. I won’t say he’s high maintenance but he’s not low maintenance and we’re going to have our moments with him. I’m sure he’s going to fall out with me and my staff and my players and we will with him, but along that line we’re hoping to get some great performances and a lot of goals from him.

    More here


  28. Interesting quotes. This one as well: ‘He needs to fit into the work-rate of the side because we’re not so good that we can carry a player.”

    Not that this surprising- he’s had the reputation of being tough to handle at every other club he’s played for. Little surprised Pards was so blunt about it though. Still as Pards said he’s likely worth the drama in the end


  29. Yeah those were my thoughts too but surprised he came out and said it. He seems to be as good as any at putting an arm around a player and building them up (might not be HBAs problem) but making him feel wanted will hopefully reduce any tantrums.

    Seem to remember Pardew saying he was surprised and impressed with his workrate in preseason so don’t know what to make of that one


  30. The things that surprised me the most about that daily mail article were that Pardew said that we won’t carry him. So if he’s not putting in the effort, he’s off.

    Also at the end, why do Man City have a young striker on loan, who will only be on the bench for a carling cup game??!

    Mancini just makes no sense at all now


  31. Mancini would have to be the funniest manager in the world… I nearly choked on my mouth-full of port when I heard his comments on his lack of mid field options… Although it wouldn’t have been so funny if he weren’t deadly serious about it… What a world class wanker….


  32. Pardew should be talking HBA down a little me thinks…. Don’t go hyping him up too much… Every fan is already waiting with baited breathe for this fella to return… Let him work his way back into 1st team contention via solid performances, not via an outstanding reputation.


  33. Possibly because we have few defenders. Bearing in mind we won’t be playing with either 22 men or playing two games at once on the same pitch I don;t see the problem?


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