Have we made any mistakes by letting these players go?

Was letting Best and Co go a mistake?
So far it looks as though we’ve been having a bit of a summer clearout here at Newcastle United.

A lot of the confirmed news has been about players leaving whether they be out of contract or whether they be by means of an actual transfer.

We’ve seen Peter Lovenkrands, Alan Smith, Leon Best and Danny Guthrie all shorn from the United squad over the last few weeks with only one man confirmed as coming in as a replacement in the shape of Romain Amalfitano. Granted there is a lot of speculation linking us with new names to bolster our numbers further but as things stand have we made any mistakes by allowing any of the aforementioned to be shown the door before we’ve got players in to replace them?

I suppose that one will only be answered when the transfer window slams shut and we can assess what we have to go forward with. Obviously Alan Smith is one I’m not exactly bothered about leaving. He was on huge wages, which wasn’t his fault of course, but he’d also become a player that just wasn’t good enough to feature for us any more. Age and injuries catching up with him perhaps?

The other three I’m not exactly over the moon about seeing leave St James’ Park. This is not to say that I think they are the best players we can get as, quite simply, they aren’t. However they can and have done a job for us in the past and would have continued to do so again until we got the players in to effectively make them a redundant option in team selections.



This is the part that is worrying me more than anything. Lovenkrands, Best and Guthrie have all been forced to step in at one time or another and whilst the best solution is to just sign better players I think we all know that it isn’t quite as simple as that. I’m not overly enamoured that we’ve let three players go who could still contribute in a limited capacity without having any replacements through the door first basically.

This is one season where we need numbers and even though the likes of Best, Lovenkrands and Guthrie wouldn’t be first choice they could have proved useful in the event of an emergency. I do have a feeling the club have something lined up however, but at the moment we are looking a bit thin on the ground.

And that needs sorting before the season starts!

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

46 thoughts on “Have we made any mistakes by letting these players go?

  1. Only Best was under contract so he was the only one the club has “let go”, Loven did a decent job but we can hardly offer him another contract “just in case” we don’t sign someone else and Guthrie was offered a contract but wants regular football so agai out of club hands.
    It’s a bit of a “chicken before the egg” scenario, what if you sign the replacements first and then deals to sell the out going players fall through?…you’re stuck with players on the wage bill you don’t want and may not be able to even name in the 25 man squad!!….ain’t going to happen with MA, the majority of the time the player will leave first before anyone is brought in imo.

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  2. I don’t think we should be looking at this from a negative point of view. We all assume that the outgoings are going to be replaced but if the worst happens and they aren’t then surely its better to use the youth in our squad and give them a chance rather than using some ageing, highly paid average Joe.

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  3. It seems as though we have replacements lined up;
    Loverman – Hoilett?
    Best – De Jong / Guidetti?
    Alan smith – Amilfanto
    Danny Guthrie – Anita?
    Kadar – Douglas?

    Same size squad just more strength possibly?

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  4. The ones I would have liked to keep were Fraser Forster and Danny Guthrie. But they both were at an age and ability level where being a squad player just didn’t cut it for them – so I wish them both well.
    Although we’ve only brought one in so far, others will follow – and we’ve gpt the likes of Ferguson, Ameobi etc coming through the ranks.

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  5. Im not too worried with letting Guthrie, Smith and Lovenkrands go, as we have plenty of cover in midfield, especially with the youth coming through.
    Lovenkrands was deployed more as a left winger and we have Shane Ferguson coming through the ranks there.
    In the center of midfield we have got cover in the likes of Perch, Gosling, Abeid, Vuckic etc..

    I think our priority is to get in 1/2 strikers, 1 RB and a covering CB

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  6. Toonsy a few good points made, the way I see it is we were short of a couple of players last season but now were already down by an extra 4 , now if we replace them with quality players thats good but I just can’t see that happen.
    So it looks like me might have to rely on the younguns who imo arn’t ready yet and need to be loaned out for regular footie for them to progress.
    But I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

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  7. Well ,it’s sqeaky bum time now isn’t it ,with just Shola and waste of space Ranger as strike back up ,that’s assuming Ranger isn’t off like. Now everyone knows how much we need forward back up the prices will shoot up πŸ™„ .It’s no good hopeing the youngsters will fill in it’s too much pressure on them what with Europe as well imo. Really hope MA has signings in the bag or we could be in deep doo dah come August. Also we STILL need a defender in lest we forget.

    Anyone seen the reports the Dippers out to snatch Ba up ,how bloody predictible that is.

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  8. See who we bring in and who comes through the ranks. Just hope we hold onto Colo, Krul, Tiote, Cabaye, Ben Arfa and Cisse. I don’t see anybody offering for Santon or Jonas. We expect Ba and Simpson to leave.

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  9. Agree with Batty and Richie,

    Only time can answer that question. As Richie said, Best is the only player we have had any say in leaving so far, and I think Β£3m was a good fee. Forster and Simpson could also yet leave and of course Ba is still not committed to us – and now it’s suggested Liverpool are sniffing.

    If we replace the players who have left with better quality players – and I think most we’ve been linked with are – then I dont believe we will regret loosing these player. I see them doing a good job for the clubs they have joined but I don’t believe we have lost players who are destined for greatness.

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  10. Ba won’t leave for the dippers, he saw what happens when you go down that particular path πŸ˜‰ Does he want to end up 2-0 down and playing in goal? πŸ˜† Or getting laughed at by 50000 people as you skulk off the pitch πŸ˜†

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  11. we have to keep hold of ba but need a couple of strikers to cover when ba cissi r away proven goal scorers also a attacking midfielder that can find the net as the midfield we have now r not going to chip in with enough goals to keep us in the top 6 so attacking midfielder a must and 2 strikers that can score with douglas and a right back could be stronger than last season in defence we will have to be if we havent the players to put the ball in the net we kneed a strong defence

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  12. ive seen on sky that the bindippers r after sturridge for 10 mill could we get him for that amount would any one like to c sturridge in a black and white shirt

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  13. JonR – I know your making a joke, but I think – if the report is true and Liverpool have a genuine interest- that we could well loose Ba to them.
    It’s a similar level of football he’d be playing on a much higher wage (I’d have thought). As The Kid pointed out the other night, if Ba leaves for Β£7m he gets half the fee!! He pockets Β£3.5m just by signing on the dotted line, and then could double his wages.
    Liverpool were one of the few clubs I felt could turns Ba’s head, and I think it would be only the medical that could stop it going through.

    Ba is starting to piss me off abit now like, he still hasn’t committed himself to us, and if he does join Liverpool, I think it’s fair to say he won’t be my most favourite player in the world like!!

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  14. Sharpy – yeah I was just joking. Although if he joined them it could only be for the money imo. If you remember in Pardew’s radio interview on Total Sport he said something like “with Demba it’s absolutely not about the money”, which surprised me having read the stories about his alleged clauses, signing-on fees, etc. But Pardew knows him better than us and he did definitely say that. I guess agents play a big part in it πŸ‘Ώ

    Also you have to remember the source of that info about him getting half the fee. Wasn’t it that smut-peddling twat at Upton Park? I got the impression that he was just a little bit bitter that they couldn’t stop Ba leaving.

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  15. Think we should lay of Ba really. He has comitted himself to us, did so this time last year when he signed a 3 or 4 year contract whatever it was. Has another contract been offered to him for new terms without the clause? As far as I know, dont think it has, sure I read somewhere that the board thinks its too early to give him a new contract. Cant say I agree with the clause being in there, but thats what was thought anyway. So really think we should give the lad a break, he has signed up and played, scored goals and set some up, just done what has been asked of him.

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  16. Jon – your right mate, we should only deal in fact.
    The fact is that Pardew did say those things but he also said that Carroll wouldn’t be sold!. I’m not calling the bloke a liar, just pointing out that something’s happen that are out of his hands.

    The fact is that Ba still hasn’t came out and committed himself to Newcastle. I don’t believe that WE would have chosen to include this clause into his contract and therefore he was never really committed to us even when he was signing up. If it wasn’t about the money, I don’t know of many (if any) other clubs where he will get the football and support he experienced last season.
    I’m starting to get the feeling that he is only bothered about team Demba Ba and would think nothing of leaving Newcastle to any club ready to pay him what he’s wanting.

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  17. You could be right Sharpy, but I still think he will be with us this season, things will just go on as before, just got to hope we have some cover coming in soon

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  18. we de-listed Loven a couple of seasons back when we were relegated and then offered him a life line and re-signed him for our run in the championship… going by that, he might be one of our new signings in a few weeks time 😯

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  19. Sharpy…very few players are really committed to us, he has said he was looking forward to coming back to Newcastle, other players linked with big moves don’t constantly come out and say how much they love Newcastle…..Andy Carroll however did πŸ˜‰
    The club signed him on a free, that gave him the power to demand a bigger signing on fee, some reports said he’s on a pay as you play, so not exactly a big “committment” from NUFC to him there(if true), it’s give and take, the club “took” with pay as u play” and Ba “took” with the release clause”….the club were more than happy to sign it and it’s their choice not to have it taken out (yet). If he goes he goes, his situation is different from anyone elses as he could well have a shorter career than the rest of them, him coming out publicly and professing his undying love for NUFC won’t make a blind bit of difference as to whether he stays or not…a private conversation with Pards however, “might”.
    AS it stands, almost every top foreign player we have will see us as a stepping stone to bigger and better things, we aren’t a boyhood dream for any of them. They’ll all be off at sometime…..unless we get regular CL footy and/or win trophies, that’s just the way it is for everyone except the select few πŸ™

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  20. Have heard next to feck all about Tiote leaving… I thought he was going to be one of the big names dominating the press this window… been really quiet on him in truth… πŸ˜€

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  21. I really believe the thinking behind this is that we were so successful last season, and did so well with our new French boys, that they are absolutely confident of bringing in quality players from abroad

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  22. ‘Have we made any mistakes by letting these players go?’

    Simply, no.
    Our issue hasn’t been squad depth, but squad quality. Every player in our squad needs to be good enough to push for a first team place, and every player brought in needs to be better than the player[s] who play in that position.

    This is how you build a good squad. There is simply no logic in buying players to ‘fill a gap’ or having squad players who can ‘do a job’ if you want to progress. And i’m afraid Best et al, try though they did, just aren’t any better than what was a head of them.

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  23. Not fussed about Lovenkrands either really….he was a great professional and helped us out in the CC but he’s just too old for the Prem really..he actually looked half decent in a front 3 on the left and its a shame he didn’t get much time there due to injury but it can’t really be helped…

    Guthrie and Best though, they were good squaddies and seemed to be well balanced individuals…both would have gotten plenty of playing time next season with cups and Europe.

    I guess we did at least make a profit on Best…but guthrie for nowt, some club will be on to a winner.

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  24. This talk of Liverpool taking Ba got me thinking. Are there any of their players that we would want?
    The only ones I would be happy with are Skrtel, Kelly, and Lucas. Everyone else on that squad is too old, not good enough, or a shite human being

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  25. i worry about the numbers. We may well replace ‘journeymen’ with better quality (hopefully) – but one player in doesnt equate to 3 out.
    my own feelings are that we need another year before promoting youngsters (abeid, vuckic, ferguson, ameobi). really – they should go out and get league playing experience – rather than be thrown in at the deep end.

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  26. AndrewT-if things hadn’t happened the way they had, I’d take Jose πŸ˜‰
    In fact maybe if he came out and appologised and then said Liverpool would never challenge in Europe again….. πŸ˜†

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  27. See ,now I like Carroll ,feed him the ball and he’ll do the job and rattles defences. How ever our style of play don’t suit him anymore and Pards as already come out and stated he wants us playing a more passing game next season ,ala Spain . Thing is everybody wants to be Spain and it takes very talented players to pull that system off .We can only hope Pards has a few lined up. πŸ˜‰

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  28. Kim, then maybe we can play more like France could. We have Cabaye and Ben Arfa, as well as Colo, Santon, Jonas, Cisse, Ba, and other players that have skill on the ball. Marveaux, and even Obertan, could end up being really influential this season!

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  29. I’d be open to getting Caroll back, if it got to August and Liverpool still wanted Ba then we could tell them to give us Β£8-10m + Caroll and test their resolve. Caroll could be a good impact sub and one fill Cisse’s position during the ACN.

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  30. Don’t understand how losing smith and loven affects our depth considering they hardly played. Guthrie already been replaced. Need a striker to replace best and a cb…that’s it IMO unless someone else leaves.

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  31. Richie – Thats honestly the first I’ve every heard of Ba being on a pay as you play contract?!
    I’m not sure how right that, I mean, Simon earlier suggested that Ba was on a 3-4 yrs contract, I can’t imagine many players Ba’s age signing a 3-4 yr pay as you play contract (even with his dodgy knee). Besides, if that was the case and Ba was looking forward to coming back, and Pardew wanted him to stay, you’d have thought they’d sort a salary contract without the clause.
    I understand you agreed to the clause, I just don’t like the uncertainty of it all. I know he done a good job for us last season and I am grateful for that, but he would have been paid well for it. The club and the fans have shown loyalty to him and just want the same back I suppose. I just want him to come out and say what his intentions are, if it’s to go then balls him, if it’s to stay then commit yourself by waving the clause.

    On a different note, I see Lille are after the Bordeaux rightback, which could hopefully mean Debuchy heading our way.

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  32. Sharpy…..It was mentioned at the time, don’t know if it’s true or not, but it’s not really owt to do with the point of my comment which is why should he feel the need to come out publicly to say he’s staying? whilst it’s nice to hear it means feck all. He shouldn’t have to justify himself weekly because fans get their knickers in a twist everytime a story(that’s usually bollox) does the rounds in the papers, why should he have to do it but not other players?, what if he did come out and say “I’m going nowhere” then the next day PSG come and offer him a mad amount of money to play for his boyhood club?…of course he’s going to go but then everyone on here would be calling him worse than shit for professing his love of NUFC then fecking off. Constant stories in the press aren’t his doing therefore he doesn’t have to come out and defend his position everytime, other players don’t why should he. He’s said often enough how much he likes it here…as I said it means feck all. πŸ˜‰

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  33. Richie – thanks for that mate, first I’ve ever seen of that. In which case, fair play to Ba, it’s up to us to approach him with a new salary contract so he has some security with us, and from what I’ve read, the board decided against that, so I think that’s a stupid risk!!

    Just shows how ya opinion can change armed with fact! 😳 πŸ™„ πŸ˜€

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  34. Sharpy….there in lies his problem, NUFC won’t re negotiate the contract at all in the first year(allegedly)…so why would he waive the only thing that benefits him?
    Mind they said Colo wouldn’t have “new” contract talks til “summer” and look what happened there, also Jonas’ came out of the blue so who knows they may be renegotiating as we speak. He may well have already told Pards his intentions, hence the big offer for LDJ, I just don’t believe players have to respond publicly to paper talk, we’d get sick of them responding and they look like liars when a big club comes in and they go whether through their choice or the clubs. For all we know, he may have been told he won’t be first choice next season, what then?
    We just don’t know what goes on behind the scenes….ignorance is bliss….they don’t come more blissful than me πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜†

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