The irreplaceables?

Key men, but irreplaceable?
One of the keys to success this summer will hinge on our ability to keep hold of certain key players at St James’ Park.

Whilst the focus will understandably be on just who we bring in to the club and how much money we spend, I would argue that as long as the squad is strengthened it doesn’t really matter how much we spend. After all, that has been our problem this season – a lack of quality in depth – so if we can get that quality in numbers in without spending a penny it wouldn’t bother me, even if they were all free. That depends on keeping hold of some of our current players though.

Talk of contracts has been put on hold, quite rightly, until our Premier League status is assured. Personally I think we’ll be fine for survival, just about, which is why I’m looking beyond that to our summer exploits. A negative result against Wolves at the weekend would probably change that and I ‘d more than likely start looking a little less in advance, but call me an optimist if you like as I think we’ll do fine at the weekend.

Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, contracts. We don’t have a bad starting eleven when everyone is fit, but beyond that we are looking thin on quality. That needs to be addressed of course, but it can only be addressed properly if we can keep hold of our current key players.

You’ll have probably guessed which players I’m on about by now, but just in case the penny hasn’t dropped I’m talking about Joey Barton and Jose Enrique. Sure keeping hold of these two would be great, but are they really as irreplaceable as is being made out?

Great players who have been important for us no doubt, but if they did upsticks and leave would we really not be able to replace them? Probably not, especially Jose, but would it be that important? Just how important is a left-back?

Now before anyone pipes up with how I’m happy to allow Jose to leave, let me clarify – I’m not. I’d be gutted if he left as he is one of my favourite current NUFC players. However, I’ll certainly not put him on an untouchable plinth on that basis of 20-odd Premier League games where he has looked like the player we should have signed back in 2007.

There are other Jose’s and Barton’s out there, so if we did lose either it would not be the end of the world. You heard that here first! Yes it would be a blow, but we would live on and fight another day and try to get the next Jose or Barton.

Personally I don’t want either of them to go and would prefer it if they stayed. If they left it would mean that we would have to dig deep and find replacements just to stay where we are in terms of squad quality, which would be tough to achieve of course, but are they really, truly irreplaceable? I don’t think so….

Now it’s your turn to answer!

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.

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