What positions do you feel need strengthening?

Pieters would be first on my list!
With Europe looking like a real possibility for Newcastle this season it made me start to think where we’d have to strengthen to compete on all fronts.

I’m not saying it’s certain, but if Liverpool, Tottenham or Chelsea meet each other in the final it would only mean we need to finish 7th to achieve a Europa League place, which I feel is very possible.

Obviously being in Europe is a good thing, but we do not want to sacrifice our league form because of it, so we need to be strong enough to cover all bases.

Carling Cup could be a competition where we play a mix of youth and fringe players at the beginning and then if we progress to the latter stages we could start to bring out the big guns to try and win a cup.

Whereas I feel the other three competitions, the FA cup, the Premier League and the Europa League are competitions that we have to try and play our best team, or a slightly rotated team.

I’m not going to do the maths because you never know how well you’ll do, but basically if we have a decent run in every competition we’ll be looking at playing between 50 and 60 games next season, so we’ll need a decent squad with a mix of experience of youth.

Goalkeepers: Tim Krul, Steve Harper, Rob Elliot
Right Backs: Danny Simpson, Ryan Taylor, James Tavernier,
Centre Backs: Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor,
Left Backs: Davide Santon, Shane Ferguson,
Right Midfield: Hatem Ben Arfa, Gabriel Obertan, Sammy Ameobi, (Ryan Taylor)
Central Midfield: Dan Gosling, Yohan Cabaye, Cheik Tiote, Haris Vuckic, Mehdi Abeid, James Perch,
Left Midfield: Sylvain Marveaux, Jonas Gutierrez,
Strikers: Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse, Shola Ameobi, Leon Best,

Out of contract players: Danny Guthrie, Peter Lovenkrands, Alan Smith

Firstly, it looks like none of the three players out of contract will be getting their deals extended so I’ve taken them out of the equation for next year. As well as them it’s rumoured that we’re looking to sell Dan Gosling, and Danny Simpson may also be up for sale if his contract cannot be sorted out.

In an ideal world you’d have two good players for every position on the field, so four good centre halves, if you understand me.

So, where do we have that depth?

Personally I feel we’re well set up front, I’d like us to bring in a young forward seen as we have very little shining in the reserves, but the four players we have could do a job next season. Adam Campbell and other young players would be able to receive chances in the Carling Cup, to give the senior players a rest. We can also play Hatem Ben Arfa or Haris Vuckic off the forward if necessary.

I also feel we’re well covered in the wing department, our wingers aren’t amazing, but they’re all good options and all very different to each other. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Sylvain Marveaux and Hatem Ben Arfa’s increased work rate has shown he has a place on the wing, so I’m happy with that part of our squad.

Danny Simpson isn’t the most popular, but I also feel that down the right hand side of defence we’re set up well and have a mix of youth and experience to allow James Tavernier to improve as a player. Ryan Taylor is very versatile and can be deployed at both full back positions as well as right midfield. Also Davide Santon can play at right back if necessary.

Now I’m going to get down to the positions where I feel we need to strengthen.

Firstly it’s the midfield area, we’re going to have to replace the departing Danny Guthrie if we cannot get the midfielder to agree a new deal, and the rumoured replacement could be Barnsley’s Jacob Butterfield. Also with Dan Gosling’s United career looking down in the dumps he may head to the exit, so I’d like a more creative midfielder to replace him so we have depth after Tiote and Cabaye.

James Perch is good back up to Cheik Tiote and provides cover across the back four if desperate, which is why I feel he’s a good player, he’s also very unlikely to kick up a fuss. Mehdi Abeid and Haris Vuckic would benefit greatly from Carling Cup games and Haris would be able to play his part on the European scene.

The second area which desperately needs strengthening is the left back position, Davide Santon just doesn’t look comfortable there in my opinion and I feel we’d benefit from a left footer down that side of the pitch. A move for Erik Pieters has been mooted and that would strengthen us a lot, and give us a lot more depth as he can play at centre back as well.

The final area that I feel we need to strengthen is the centre back area. This is a position which I would like at least two players as I feel we’re very weak. Our first choice pairing of Coloccini and Taylor are good, but after that we’re scraping the barrel. Mike Williamson is just not good enough to be our third choice, and I’d be much more comfortable with him as our 4th or 5th choice stand in.

We need to sign a player who can play straight away in the back four, Douglas from Twente has been rumoured but any Carr signing would be fine by me, as long as he has a bit of first team experience. I’d then like us to dip into the lower leagues and invest in a centre half who could improve, and he could be our fourth centre back as Tamas Kadar has seemingly failed in his career at Newcastle, Lewis Dunk of Brighton has impressed me.

I’d also like Remie Streete to be more involved with the first team, and either get a good early in the season three month loan, or play alongside Coloccini or Taylor in the Carling Cup to get a feel for first team action.

So, after looking at our squad, I feel to have a good squad for next season we need to make 4 signings before any departures (apart from out of contract players). The players we’ve been linked with that could fill them roles are Erik Pieters, Douglas, Jacob Butterfield and Lewis Dunk. They’d cost around £10 million pounds for the 4 of them, and I read somewhere that we’ve got around that amount to spend.

Obviously if Mike Ashley was feeling generous I wouldn’t say no to another wide player and a young nippy striker, but the four are the bare minimum that we need and I feel we could get by on four if we had to.

Then anybody who leaves I would like to have replaced, so if Dan Gosling leaves I want a half decent midfielder brought in, but if Cheik Tiote leaves I want a much better midfielder brought in, it’s all relative really.

That would make our squad look like this next season:

Goalkeepers: Tim Krul, Steve Harper, Rob Elliot
Right Backs: Danny Simpson, Ryan Taylor, James Tavernier, (Davide Santon)
Centre Backs: Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor, **New Centre Back**, **New Centre Back**
Left Backs: Davide Santon, Shane Ferguson, Erik Pieters
Right Midfield: Hatem Ben Arfa, Gabriel Obertan, Sammy Ameobi, (Ryan Taylor)
Central Midfield: Dan Gosling, Yohan Cabaye, Cheik Tiote, Haris Vuckic, Mehdi Abeid, James Perch, **New Midfielder**
Left Midfield: Sylvain Marveaux, Jonas Gutierrez,
Strikers: Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse, Shola Ameobi, Leon Best,

(Brackets signify players who can play more than one position)

If you don’t want to deal in speculation you can ignore the rumoured deal for Erik Pieters that we’ve supposedly got lined up, I’m not sure it’s true, but I’m hoping we get it over the line as he’d be my most important signing of the summer. The other positions I’ve just put in a ** and said we’d have a new player in that position.

Tim Krul, Davide Santon, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Erik Pieters, Hatem Ben Arfa, Cheik Tiote, Yohan Cabaye, Jonas Gutierrez, Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse.

The team above would probably be our first choice, but we’d have a lot more in reserve for rotation and in case of injuries. That team looks exciting and we have players like Marveaux, Best, Obertan, Ryan Taylor and Best to come off the bench and make a difference, which is something we lack currently.

I know that’s all hypothetical and signing four players might not happen, but in my opinion without a huge outlay we could have a much better squad to compete next season.

What are your views? Who would you like to bring in? and what positions do you think we need to strengthen?

About Jobey07

Life long NUFC Fan. Living in Nottingham. http://twitter.com/Jobey07 HWTL

38 thoughts on “What positions do you feel need strengthening?

  1. Its obvious that the defence needs strengthening. Other than that just reckon we need to out the fringe players that we don’t need/rarely use/aren’t good enough, to be replaced by better, younger, more promising players. Would like to see Rhodes and J.Rodriguez sign for the club, aswell as that young dutch defender.


  2. good read mate,

    my ideal summer would be,

    release : smith, lover, guthrie
    Sell : forster – 2 mil, simmo – 3 mil, Gosling- 1 mil, ranger – 10 p


    Pieters, douglas, amalifitano, corgnet, rhodes, and possibly the 2 young dutch players we were linked to recently

    and if we sell tiote add marvin martin to that

    but im confident none of that will happen as we dont know who mr carr has been watching!


  3. I think we should try harder to keep guthrie,also i believe we will lose some of our big players. Giving carr with some money to work his magic


  4. Completely agree. We really don’t need to drastic a change at all, either left back or right back is the only position in our starting line up really that we need to consider.
    The rest is just fine tuning.

    Butterfield is a decent shout, young and already captaining in the championship. What about O’Hara? Possibly more an off the striker player, if he could play centre mid could be decent back up.


  5. Jobey another good read mate and well thought out.
    Apart from the obvious players we need I think we would need to wait till the summer incase there is any senior players need replacing, as I wouldn’t be surprised if we sell 1 or 2 as I think Lambastad was getting us prepared with his interview a while back.

    Andy what was the txt ??? 😉


  6. 2 cb’s dunk and douglas
    1 rb nathaniel clyne
    1 cm butterfield
    1 winger hoilett
    1 young striker guidetti
    League team:
    Clyne Taylor colo santon
    Hba tiote cabaye jonas
    Cisse ba
    Carling cup team:
    Tavernier Streete Dunk Ferguson
    Obertan Butterfield Abeid Marveaux
    Europe team
    Taylor Douglas Colo Santon
    Jonas vuckic abeid ferguson


  7. Big Dave
    They were talking about simpson so just said that i thought he was good but wouldn’t be gutted if he left. Also said I thought jonas should play LB and Santon RB in a 433 v Norwich.


  8. Foster, Smith, Lover, Ranger, Xisco (if possible) out

    I also think Dave i right and llambiase seems to have hinted at a major player possibly leaving as well- maybe Tiote

    Needs- a CM, CB, Winger


  9. For me, we definitely need a left back, I think Pieters would be a good call – know he didnt set the world alight in the England friendly but can’t judge him from one nothing game.
    We need an established CB and a younger one who is happy to develop and get occasional games. I’d be happy to see Yanga and Virgil come in.
    DCM – Diame from Wigan
    CM – I’m happy enough with the French lads we’ve been liked with.
    LM – for me, I’d break the bank to get Matt Jarvis from Wolves… I think the kid is real quality and if wolves are relegated I think a 7-8 mil bid may get him (when I say break the bank, I mean our bank, not Liverpools or Citys)
    RM – I’d consider Matt Phillips from Blackpool or Redmond from Birmingham

    Personally I think we need 2 CFs with Ba and Cisse going off to the Africa cup every year. Hiollett is a cracking player but fear he may end up at one of the top 4 or abroad with the form he’s showing at the moment.
    I really like Rodallega at Wigan who is also free in the summer and who really fit our team well.
    Further to him I think Rhodes could cope with the step up, or the young Swedish lad from Man City currently on loan at Feyenoord.
    I’d worry if we didn’t get 2 CFs in as there’s not many goals between Shola and Best and both can be injury prone.

    I’m not suggesting we go get all of these players but I do believe that any of them would improve our squad.


  10. Andy @ 11 sure what does Ando know 😆 😉
    I would be happy to keep Simmo to cover for a while but can’t see him being happy with that, and Willo could cover for one or 2 games if we were really stuck.
    But I think we need better back up for CB


  11. A lot of people want Willo out, but I’d retain him as a squad player. Also want Guthrie to stay. Reminds me a lot of Rob Lee. That being said, I’d love to have Hoillett on the books, but I think he’ll go to a ‘bigger club’. Anyone agree with me in thinking that Moses would be an interesting player to acquire since Wigan look like they’re going down?


  12. fernando666 good to see you on mate 😉 Yeah I like Guthrie but I think he wants regular footie and tbh I can’t blame him. As for Moses I wanted him before he choose Wigan but from that I haven’t really been that impressed with him


  13. Fernando666 – Moses can certainly run with the ball but would be worried about how few goals he has.
    I think any midfield recruits this summer have to either be goal scorers or goal providers. I don’t see Moses being any better than say Obertan or Sammy really.
    Wigan do have a couple of players who I think would be canny buys though, McCarthy and McArthur in CM are canny, along with Diame who I think is a real talent. As mentioned earlier, I’m a fan of Rodellaga aswell. Can’t believe Wigan are where they are and Hugo hasn’t actually started a game for them yet this season? 😕 he’s a top player


  14. I strongly agree with the author. We need to change Santon into DR and buy Pieters for DL. With the above squad, we can reach at the top 4 next season and Champion League as well ^^ Howay the lads…


  15. alright lads!! havent been on much lately with the kids but pleased to get on 2night!!

    for me there are four main positions that defo need strengthend

    right back
    center half
    right wing
    center midfield

    right back – i like danny simpson as he gives 100% every game but i also have alot of doubts over him!! he tends to back off far too much every game since last season and its not good!! i think getting a strong right back in would defo improve the squad!!

    center half – we defintley need a center half in as i massivley doubt williamson!! it has shown the last few games that he is the weakness of our team!! he is imo a championship player !! getting a good center half in too partner colo or saylor would be a big help!!

    right wing – benny boy is doing a mint job imo at right wing but he isnt a right winger as he likes to play just behind the striker!! i think getting a right winger eg adam johnson who bombs down the wing all game and can give alot of service to the strikers would be a massive help!! the past few games we have lacked service for our strikers and i feel getting a good winger in would help that!!

    center mid – guthers is on about going so we will need another strong center midfielder to fight out a place with cab and tiote


  16. very canny indeed dave 😀 cheers for asking !! its just exactly the same as before really but with a ball and chain round my foot 😆

    hows yasel anyway mate? are you still doing the tattoos??


  17. Army…you should get on here more often, now that you’re married this is the only place you’ll be allowed to express your opinion without getting grief 😉


  18. Moses is decent on the ball but makes terrible decisions – massive no from me, he has no footballing brain at all and doesn’t score


  19. – Back up GK
    – LB and RB (it’s funny how people go on about Simpson… yet Santon is far dodgier)
    – 2 CBs (1 to challenge Colo+Saylor, 1 to replace Willo)
    – attack minded CM
    – 1 proper winger with pace and decent crossing ability


  20. The article forgotten to mention Xisco. 😆 😆

    In fact,if danny simpson does left,i am sure santon will be playing RB next season onwards,which means. We might need a new left back again.

    Also we need a playmaker. Hasn’t had one at all. 😯

    A new CB.


  21. Moses has improved no end. When we were linked in the Championship he didn’t interest me as he was too raw. Now though I reckon there is something there.

    He plays for Wigan and is just about their only creative player. Its not his fault the rest are crap. Put him around better players and he will improve more.

    He’s better than Rodallega, who is hugely over rated.


  22. Looking at the table we have scored too few goals, a dozen or more to few. However if we have a formation that includes Cisse & HBA as well as BA, and with Marveaux coming back we will be in a better place next season.
    We have also conceded too many and that is where new personnel are needed. I suggest switching to
    GK – 1 Krul/Harper/Elliott
    SW – 1 Colo/M’Baiwa
    CB – 2 Saylor/Douglas/Pieters/Willo/Streete
    WB – 2 Raylor/Santon/Jonas/Simpson/Fergie/Tavernier
    DCM – 1 Tiote/Perch/Abeid
    AM – 2 Cabaye/HBA/Obertan/Marveaux/Vuckic/Gosling
    ST – 2 Cisse/Ba/Ameobi/Best
    That should do it. 3 defenders, one on a free, one from January’s budget and one summer signing.


  23. Obviously defence is key to be sorted as our early form shows how much difference it makes if that’s tight. I would want that sorted befor anything else as a weak backline just means everyone else is preocuppied with protecting them instead of attacking For me I wouldn’t mind Nathan Clyne and possibly Pieters though he looked a little off the pace against England ,but we have to take into account he’s just back from injury. Would love Rhodes ,i know he’s lower league but what is it 32 goals so far! good height on him too and would make great cover for Ba and Cisse when at ACON . If we could get Hoilet too that would be great .Looking forward to Marv coming back too . Also want to see some fringe players step up in maybe the CC games too next season .


  24. Kimtoon given the success of our previous championship buys, willo, perch, etc why would we want clyne? isn’t simpson better?


  25. Toonsy – one of those rare occasions where we disagree mate, Moses has improved since being at Wigan but that’s coz he is playing week in week out for Wigan and wouldn’t get that opportunity for us – he certainly isn’t better than what we already have in Oba or Benny. Wigan who want daft money for him have sold Zog for something like £9m. Yes Moses can run with the ball but doesn’t score enough goals and as has been said, his decision making is very poor.

    Regarding Rogallega, he’s isn’t the best forward in the league, but he certainly isn’t rubbish by any means!
    The point I’m making about him is that we have our first choice strikers in Ba and Cisse, but they leave for the ACoNs and I think Rod is better than Shola and Best who struggle for goals and both are quite injury prone. While we have Ba and Cisse, Rod can warm the bench and come on and change games – offer something a bit different. I honestly think he would fit our team well.


  26. would like us to have a go for sturridge and adam johnson,players who have a point to make,then a centre back,right back and right winger.can see about 6leaving including tiote so cash should be available


  27. Bring In the following
    Back up keeper Harper is 37 so he will retire soon and we will only have 2 keepers then, so Henderson I would buy Henderson from Portsmouth around £500k.
    Douglas On a Bosman with only 3 good centre backs at the minute(including S.Taylor).
    M’Bwia same reason as Douglas we need 4 or 5 centre back would be cost around £5m.
    Erik Pieters £5m we don’t have a natural ready left back, I would put Santon at right back to compete with Simpson.
    Drenthe can play left and right winger on a Bosman aswell as Douglas.
    Moses would be available for £3m.

    That is around £13.5m spend on 4 different players, and 2 bosmans and possibly 3 if Guthrie leaves which I hope he doesn’t then I replace him with Jacob Butterfield who is a free in the summer.

    Then Sell/release

    Loverkands not going to get a game he is pass his best on a Free.
    Ranger just terrible never should play for this club again I think we could grap £1m from the useless cunt.
    Forester I think we could get £2.5m for him I really hope he joins Celtic he is useless and I am a Rangers fan as well as a Newcastle supporter.
    Xisco maybe £1m we spend £5.7m he is 1/6 of that.
    Gosling maybe £3m he is a good player but would be better at a Bolton a Blackburn or whatever


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