Firstly, let me say bonjour! I am Simon, or Raffo and have contributed on here since the breakaway movement last year so I like to think of myself as a fellow rebel!
I grew up in Durham and have lived as an expat in Yorkshire since 2001 when I left home for Uni. I now find myself down in Barnsley with a ‘reet pit yacker’ for a wife, and there’s plenty of stick to be had with the in-laws with all things Toon related. When we were relegated I came home to find a box of tissues left for me on my doorstep by a neighbour. B*stards! Suffice to say I put them to good use! My brother also plays for the monkey hangers so I like to think I have a little bit of knowledge, or at least an opinion!
Now then, I appreciate that it is not a subject that any of us really like if we are honest, losing a star player, but I had a thought this morning making the hour long trek to my oh so interesting job. If we HAD to sell someone, who could we lose and whose absence would have the least negative effect?
What I thought I would do is look at the two players who have been mentioned recently and also curiously seem to have the same potential value of £20 million. There seems to be a feeling that we may well have to sell to buy and I for one wouldn’t mind sacrificing one player to get four or five others in. Speculate to accumulate and all that.
Many will no doubt mention the £35million we should have, but I don’t think there’s very much of that around to be spent. Debts, wages, agent’s fees, transfer fees etc have taken a chunk of that which is fine in my book. As long as any money we bring in from sales is used solely for incomings, a big big IF I know, then lets try.
I am sure we would all agree that he has been a revelation this season since taking the No1 shirt from Steve Harper. I was actually someone that had advocated replacing Harp’s, but people may remember that I thought Fraser Forster should have the first crack. I will put up my hands and admit I was wrong. He has been nothing short of fantastic. It is rumoured that Chelsea and Tottenham, along with others no doubt, are hovering and want him in Jan. Well what would this mean?
Steve Harper could come back into the fray and resume his role as No1, but this is a very short sighted view in my opinion. I think we have made the change for a younger keeper and we shouldn’t go back. Cynics may view Rob Eliot coming in as a surprise third choice as potentially paving the way for Timmy to move on. Perhaps Fraser was sent to Celtic to gain first team experience with a view to always coming back to take over from Tim and play as our No1 from Jan?
Cheick Cheick Cheick BOOOOM Tiote:
The midfield powerhouse has been injured recently. Many eyebrows have started to be raised about the length of the injury time he has had, given that the initial prognosis was for a short layoff. There are rumours abound from local hacks that he is a shoe in to be away in Jan, Chelski the likely destination, but who could fill in?
Danny Guthrie has done a decent job in there in Tiote’s absence, but we also have Dan Gosling, Mehdi Abeid and Alan Smith to fall back on if needs be. He does collect an amazing number of cards a season and will be away for the CAN in the New Year too.
My thoughts: Well I think we will lose one of them and I pray it is only one. I think we would be ‘better off’ losing Cheik Tiote. We can cover his loss better in my opinion with Guthrie, but also a slight change in formation can see us play Hatem Ben Arfa behind Leon Best and Demba Ba.
A great keeper is worth 10 points a season at least. Krul has seen his value rocket this last six months and he is vital to us achieving our ambitions this term. There was a reason Harper was replaced as number 1 and I think we would be foolish to go back to him, or the shaky Elliot. Forster is playing in a two team league so would also be a big risk. I say we sell Forster and Tiote and we can go and buy three or four good players, scouted by Mr Carr Esq, to make us a stronger team and really cement our push for the top seven.
I would like to see us buy Pieters to cover left-back and centre-back, an orthodox centre-back who will cover us for the rest of the season but will challenge Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini when they are fit, a central midfielder, another winger and a striker (rumoured to be Maiga).
I think we were always going to see a left-back and a striker in January, so effectively the sale of Tiote could see us bring in a new spine to the team, a centre-back, a central midfielder and the winger. Maybe other sales of players such as Forster, Lovenkrands, Smith and possibly Ranger could see us able to buy another striker plus whatever Ashley decides to give us as a present.
I don’t WANT to see him leave but I think the benefits to the team and what Pardew can do with the money make it the only sensible thing to do. But what do you guys think?