Danny Simpson has come under intense scrutiny over the past couple of seasons at Newcastle.
Many fans believe he is the weak link in an otherwise strong defence. Others believe he has come on in the past two years, still is improving, and should be given a chance to prove his doubters wrong.
Personally I think he, like a couple who have left, was a top player in the Championship and is a Premier League standard player, but a top six to eight full back? I`m not convinced. There are too many errors in his game which don`t show signs of improving.
Ability aside I think there is a number of subtle indications that Simpson may be coming to the end of his time at Newcastle. The main one would be the now long running contract negotiations. Still to this day there is no indication that a deal is close to being agreed upon and more often than not with these things the longer they run the less chance of a new deal.
It is merely speculation on my part but the logical conclusion to draw is, to date Newcastle have not offered Simpson a deal he is happy with. Whether it be length of contract or a money issue is unknown but based on the standard five year deals on offer to others I presume it is down to the financial aspect.
It was rumoured in the summer that he is currently on a modest £10K per week so no doubt he is looking for an improvement on that, but how much? Is he worth £40K a week? I don`t think so, and I don`t think Newcastle do either. Would that be what he is looking for? Who knows. Fact remains there is clearly something holding up a deal which, to my knowledge, still remains on the table.
Next indicator that he may move on would be deadline day and the rumour that only for Alan Hutton agreeing a deal with Aston Villa, Simpson was set to sign for them. Now of course this has never been confirmed and could be paper talk and nothing more but there is a distinct difference between a rumour about a player maybe moving and a player on the verge of signing for another club. It rarely gets reported in that context without some substance to it.
Next up is the signing of Davide Santon. Obviously as things turned out he has been earmarked for the left back spot given he played there for Inter, but ideal scenario for both himself and Newcastle he would be playing in his most natural position which is on the right. Add to that the attempts to secure a left back during the summer also and Simpson may be of the impression his days are numbered as first choice right back at St James Park.
This fire was fueled by the substitution made against Spurs at the weekend. I`m sure when Santon emerged from the dugout everyone expected Ryan Taylor to make way but it was Simpson who trudged toward the touchline, looking fairly displeased with being substituted. Not only that but Santon didn`t even switch with Ryan Taylor but remained as a straight positional swap for Simpson.
The there was this course case where Danny boy used the fact that he could be leaving Newcastle in an attempt to avoid a driving ban.
“There is a chance in the future that I will be moving, whether in the transfer window or in the summer, I have 18 months left on my contract and I don’t think it will go past that,” Simpson said.
Now given the club are unlikely to let any player wander away for free in the same way Jose Enrique looked like he was going to do, they will probably cash in their chips on the former Manchester United man.
Of course it’s all been denied and has, apparently, been taken out of context and is all one big misunderstanding. Really?
Finally, since the weekend there has been rumblings of Newcastle being interested in young Coventry right back Cyrus Christie. This would fall under the new philosophy of acquiring promising young talent and would be the type of player happy to spend a year or two developing as an understudy to the likes of Santon rather than a player like Simpson who may upset the dressing room harmony somewhat if not playing every week.
As far as Christie goes, it has been reported that Alan Pardew is said to have been impressed with the performances of the right-back and is confident that he will be able to persuade Coventry to part with the youngster because of the difficult financial situation at the club. Although the sources are not backed up with quotes I do know we have had scouts at Coventry games on more than one occasion in recent times and personally believe there could be some truth to this one.
With all the above taken into consideration and the obvious fact that Newcastle are an improving side with higher aspirations going forward than some may have thought, I genuinely think that both Newcastle and Danny Simpson could be assessing the situation for the future.
Simpson probably would move for a decent wage and the guarantee of first team football every week. I think Newcastle and maybe Pardew are beginning to look at Simpson and seeing that although he is a decent player, he is not and may not ever be up to the standard we are aiming to have in that position.
I don`t think any fans would be too upset to see Danny go. He seems a good lad, has had the right attitude and does give his all when he plays but maybe the time has come where unlike the last two seasons, his best isn`t good enough any more?
What do you think?