A new look midfield for Newcastle?

Could we get along without these two?
Given the things that have gone on in the last few weeks you could be forgiven for thinking that maybe NUFC are up to something.

I mean all of a sudden, from the relative harmony of last season, we’re seeing two of our perhaps most influential midfielders locking horns with the club which has caused speculation to be raised about their future. Then there is Alan Smith, I best not forget about him….

So what if the worst does happen? What if the players or the club have enough and one or the other decides it’s time to look for pastures new? Of course it will be a blow, but how much of a blow will it really be? What options would we have left to fill the void left by one, two, or even all three of them? It’s a purely hypothetical question, but lets have a look anyway.

First off, and this is my disclaimer bit, but first off I actually think only one of them will leave, and that man will be Alan Smith. The other two, I think, are in the middle of a game of chess with the club regarding their contracts so I think they’ll still be around come the start of the season and beyond.

Without them though we still have a very good midfield, especially in the centre of midfield. At the moment it’s Kevin Nolan and Cheik Tiote who generally do the work in the middle of the park. If Nolan was to go then who would fill his space? With the imminent arrival of Yohan Cabaye from Lille it kind of answers the question so it looks as though our central midfield could very easily be a partnership of Tiote and Cabaye.

Barton is a different story though. He has been played out on the right for god knows how long now because we actually don’t have a right-winger, well not one that is good enough to oust a central-midfielder who is playing out of position on the right anyway….. Or do we?

What about Dan Gosling? He has played on the right before. Could he be a potential answer? Obviously the preference would be to sign someone, whether that be a left-winger that will push Jonas to the right, or whether it be a dedicated right-winger will remain to be seen. Perhaps this is where talk of N’Zogbia comes into the equation?

So based on losing Nolan and Barton but signing no other players aside from Cabaye, we could have a midfield next season that mines up like: Gosling, Tiote, Cabaye, Jonas.

Add N’Zogbia into that aswell and we’d have a line up of: Jonas, Tiote, Cabaye, N’Zogbia.

That second one looks interesting doesn’t it?

A new look midfield for Newcastle? Maybe not, but it does at least show that despite all of the stories surrounding Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton we still have a very competitive midfield. Hopefully it doesn’t come to it and both of the players stay on next season, but at least we have a backup plan.

What do you think?

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.

63 thoughts on “A new look midfield for Newcastle?

  1. @Bris

    A couple?!? With our injury luck, we’ll be fortunate if the 4 reserves for these positions are fit and able!


  2. Pardew has already said hba will play as the second striker. But yes he does give us another midfield option when we have injuries.


  3. Why isnt ben arfa included in this equation? Surely once he is fit he’ll be in the side


  4. Nolan and Barton are both excellent player but I think it is better if we keep only of them because both of them play same style of football and earn high wage. For me I rate Barton higher than Nolan because of his involvement he has with the game. Nolan of course got a lot of goals for us this season but he hardly involve with the midfield area. If he plays in the forward area, then that wil be another case. Of course Alan Pardew wants to keep both of them of course because they are players that play with passion but if we want to success like the old time, we need a type of midfield like Tiote who is capable of doing everything like Kieron Dyer used to do for us in Sir Bobby’s time not a midfield who can only cross or tackle or a midfield who can only score goals in the 6 yard box.

    That’s why Pardew want Nzogbia back because now he is not just a left winger but now he is a type of player who can do everything in the central area. I dont know about Cababye but he surely has some class because he is in France national team at the moment and with 5 M it is worth to try.

    So if we can get Nzogbia in then we will have a type of midfield who knows about the game and can create more creativity.

    FW – Gamerio or Anybody who caused around half budget of Carroll’s sale
    AMF – Benny Arfa
    MF – Nzogbia Tiote Cabye Jonas
    (Shane) (Barton) (Guthrie)

    This team can go to Europe


  5. Nzog—cabaye—tiote—-jonas

    ————-ben arfa————-


    Best unless we sign another forward!! Looks good to me


  6. I agree with toonsy saying Nolan or Barton wont leave club. These things happen with contract talks all the time. Its not very pretty but I imagine they will work it out.

    I have no idea who we are going to end up signing. Think young shane ferguson performance at the end of last season will give Pardew some food for thought. If he has a good pre season ( Pardew is giving him his own traing regieme to help him bulk up a bit n too improve fitness ) i can see him pushing for a starting spot.

    It would be great if the other youngsters ( lualua vuvkic to name but two ) got a chance but they need to prove it in training and on the pitch if given a chance


  7. @JamieDalton82 rekons that Arsenal will sign both Gervinho and Hazard. I rekon Gervinho is never going to sign for us.


  8. Interesting game of chess Barton and Nolan are playing with the club that has come to an impasse. It seems like the black and the white sides need to unite on this one with some kind of compromise. The club needs their talent and experience at least for another season or two, and to provide depth in midfield, but cannot afford to keep them on the long contracts that they want. Common sense needs to prevail on both sides. Hopefully they will all see this, shake hands, and get back to the business of helping the Toon without greed or niggardliness getting in the way.


  9. lol a big story and u forgot HBA? D’oh… ๐Ÿ™„

    I bet u say u didnt and u expect him to play up front.. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ


  10. ‘And then a couple of them get injured โ€ฆ’

    This is why Danny Guthrie is a very valuable player at our club. I notice there is not even a passing mention of him in the thread. ๐Ÿ˜•



  11. Good article and I agree. I don’t know what’s all the fuss about. I still feel Barton and Nolan will stay and if they continue in good form maybe in January we could offer them another extension and lets see if they accept it this time. Either way we should keep signing players.


  12. well i think the possibility of our french line up is making me lick my lips , but i do hope we keep hold of nolan hes like a guru in the genetic make up in the dressing room and joey has come into his own hope it all gets sorted soon either way


  13. We keep going on about stuff nobody actually knows the facts about. Everyone agrees that the club don’t talk to anyone and thats why nobody knows nowt yet all i read all over the interweb is people claiming to be in the know and its all ******* we’ll see what happens in due course. Stop wetting yourselves in case we lose Nolan etc cos its all speculation until it actually happens.


  14. What!?!?! no Guthrie or Perch that is shocking to leave out the two best players at this club ๐Ÿ™„


  15. I still think Nolan is better playing as a deep lying striker. I don’t see what he does in CM to warrant his inclusion over a more mobile player. He was a box-to box player in his early 20’s and then he became more of an offensive player. Furthermore I think he’s wasted in a deeper position. He gets the sort of goals tally that a true CF would be proud of if he gets the chance. But he has to be in and around the box in dangerous areas. I don’t agree when people incorrectly say ‘but he would get marked’. Bollox, he is a VERY sneeky, clever player and he gets goals regardless. He has the ability to find space as a forward that is very rare and valuable. He is a very difficult player to mark and some defender just don’t have the strength.


  16. I left Ben arfa out as pardew says he wants to use him as the no10. I thought that was pretty widely known….. Apparently not.

    Yes he gives an option in midfield if needed, but if he is going to play second striker (the words of the man wh picks the team. Not my words) then isnt it kind of pointless trying to put him in a position where he isn’t actually going to be played (again, not my words)

    Makes sense to me. Can someone dig up the quotes from pardew saying he’ll be the no10 please. I covered them in an article earlier in the year ๐Ÿ™‚


  17. Ryan Taylor, Perch, Tiote and Ferguson, that will be our midfield next season with Shola and Best up front.


  18. Toonsy.

    I still think Ben Arfa will spend more time as a winger next season than upront. I divn’t care what Pardew has said in a moment of procrastintion. We shall see.


  19. for me the solution is to buy zogs… i know he is a bit of a bell end or at least he used to be.. but he has been as quiet as a church mouse at wigan and he seems to indicate he had probs with kinnear and not nufc.
    if we get him we have cover for lb, lwing, centre left and it allows jonas to go over to the right to fight it out with gosling on the right wing. Barton has to go now alas. Nolan will stay and will swap around with tiote and cabaye for the two central berths, with guthrie and vukic backing up. HBA can go in hole up front as that is better option of us playing two of our donkey strikers. just my ideas like lol lol !!


  20. DJG – fair enough, but I guess all we can base it on is what he says. Personally I think it will be a shame if Ben arfa is played on the wing. I mean he has done most of the good stuff we saw against Everton when he was in the middle roaming free. Would be a canny shame to stifle that by shackling him to a wing.


  21. i think that the LB thing is a done deal for jose goin to liverpool too. there is a sparky who has just come onboard out here (saudi) and he says that jose has already been around melwood looking at the set up. That coupled with the fact that pardwe said thatjoses people were coming to the toon early last week to look over the deal and hopefully sign it he said, makes me think they looked at it and said no thank you. Its now 10 otr 11 days since they met up and if we had bagged jose nuf would have been shouting it from the rooftops without a doubt. clearly jose is a goner now. the silence is deafening with regard to that one. He is naffing me off aswell tbh. i want him to sod off now as i have devoted too much time thinking about it…. he should man up and just say he wants transfer instead of doing an owen and shay given and carroll… wanting to leave and engineering for it but at same time wanting to appear great infront of fans.


  22. craig chisholm
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 4:48 PM
    ‘for me the solution is to buy zogsโ€ฆ i know he is a bit of a bell end or at least he used to be.. but he has been as quiet as a church mouse at wigan’

    Craig, I think having the spell at Wigan has given him a good grounding perhaps and made him appreciate just how good he had it. (at Newcastle)

    I have total respect to the way he has performed for them, starting to fulfill that potential and being their start player by a long way. That would suggest to me he actually has a work ethic and an improved attitude. Some players would have got there at Wigan and spat the dummy out. If you look at the money being spent for the likes of Henderson I think it would be worth bringing him back, (although we have alternatives in Benny and Ferguson). He did play LB for us without too many complaints. If this superstar that is Enrique had been good enough in his first season I think Zog could have played in his proper position and we may not have lost him. ๐Ÿ™


  23. nope….i guess not and above all, we are all nufc mad and fans, we may have some verbal battles sometimes but hey, thats life. i am still no fan of ashley and everyone in the world knows that but i am getting arsed off with some of the players.. i mean, nolan has said he loves nufc and even sh1ts black and white turds etc but when getting offered a 2 year extension – making it a four year contract – he knocks it back cos its not long enough. FFS.. a four year guarenteed job on 55 k a week.. thats not bad. he is 29 this year so it means we are giving him high dollar money til nearly 33. If anything bartons deal was the raw one. the enriquegate saga … well, tbh, i am over it… i will even help pack his bags.


  24. I’d have no problems brining zog back. we desperately need pace and creatively and he provides it. Zog and cabaye would be a great start to the window.


  25. Craig

    The day that Nolan was well pleased about Carroll going to Liverpool. That made me realise what mast Nolan’s colours are actually nailed to. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  26. DJG…. exactly man… even at 12 million i would buy him as if carroll is a 35 million quid man, zogs is a snip at that price. it would solve many issues within the squad for moving people around and getting slots covered, just buying him alone helps us out alot and i would nopt bat an eyelid at jose going . The money we would get for jose would cover zogs anyway so its a no brainer in many ways, same ages, zogs is as good as jose but in slightly different way, he knows newcastle and i think you are right… he misses the place. Like we said before.. there is not many leave us and get better or more fottballing fullfilment at least. It appears given is happy sitting on his irsh ar5e getting paid double the money but when they put money over football its time to say good bye anyway.


  27. Plus I think Zog could be about the best signing we could achieve at our current level. (And it would cost aswell)

    People keep going on about Gamerio and Gervinho, well I think we need a couple of seasons pushing the big boys before players of that stature would entertain coming here. Thats the way it is unfortunately, doesn’t mean we can’t build and get there in the end with players like N’Zog and Benny who have things to prove to the big clubs.


  28. Toonsy / les authors. Does anyone fancy doing a thread about Krul’s 2 caps for Holland and should he be out no.1 from now on. Or is that old news. You could include the penalty shootout against Uruguay. He seemed to dive the correct way every time but only saved one.


  29. DJG @ 52 its not often I agree with you but in this case your spot on Lad ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Craig nice to see you on this side of the fence, and you make a few good points ๐Ÿ˜€


  30. With regards to Barton and Nolan, I agree, it’s just a game of chess! However, I’d like to see Sturrage as a striker at Newcastle, especially after what he did for Bolton last season, and I think we could get him outright for a good price! Like all the midfield options, there’s plenty to work with there.


  31. To remove Nolan and to a lesser extent Barton will be removing the core of the team. Both were instrumental in pulling everyone together and making the rally call to any player “that didnt want to be there” after the 6-1 Leyton Orient defeat. This is the team that dragged the club back to the Premier League, even with all the bad feeling and even worse decision making of incompetent Ashley & Co.

    Then to bring N-Zogbia would be paying ยฃ12 Million takes us back to bringing in players that think they are too good to be there and waiting for the next call from their agents that another team are wanting to take the mercenary for another season.

    That second one looks interesting doesnโ€™t it?…it looks frightening!


  32. Imagine this:

    Simpson, Williamson, Colo, Jose
    Nolan, Tiote, Cabaye
    HBA, Sturridge/Gervinho, Zog

    Thats a team to challenge for Europe, pace and skill up front and power in midfield!


  33. I agree with many above that point out we need more players in midfield not to be shipping players out, especially two of our best performers last year (no, I’m not talking about Smudge!).

    I also think that HBA will be playing on the wing as I don;t see us getting a right winger in. I’d love us to get Zog back and move Jonas to the right, but don’t think we’ll bother for the money now quoted unless we fail to get most other targets and have cash to burn and a need for a ‘big’ signing.

    I wonder if HBA will be the player everyone expects him to be. I’m doubtful! He obviously has class but will he show it week in week out? A game against Everton is not evidence of this. I can see him only playing a bit part next season, thus again we need to keep our midfield.

    I also don’t think the likes of Guthrie, Raylor and Gosling are good enough to play important roles in the season when inevitably wse have an injury crisis. All Guthrie showed this season is that he’s not good enough, though Gosling may come good.

    What happened to the Gameiro agrred and Gervinho imminent stories huh? a little quick off the mark huh?

    That said, many anti-Ashley times will spew the ‘told you so’ routines when we don;t sign any of these big targets and instead get the smaller cheaper versions. This is something I;ve been saying will surely happen due to our unwillingness to pay big fees and wages and not offering European football. Sorry, but playing in front of 50,000 does not match the above things for players.

    Our real problem now is where are we going to get strikers that can do a job for us? I can see us maybe getting Long, but nothing better. So Bet/Ameobi and long up front next season. Doesnt sound crash hot, but what do we really expect?


  34. * The point I was trying to make but got side tracked from what this:

    We might not get the quality signings that have been mentioned and not splash as much cash as fans have wanted, but there is ample evidence that we have been trying to do just that!

    The club have gone after some great players and are willing to spend the Carroll cash. Whether they can entice these players or not, has been the problem.

    Some credit has to be given for the plan and willingness even if nothing good comes out of it.

    A lot of paople have been saying how great Cabaye is. Who has seen him play regularly? Is he really that good? I haven’t seen the lad. And if he is, why is he signing for us? surely they’d be other teams in for him.


  35. @clinta i have seen him play and hes better than most of our midfield, excluding tiote, hes a great passer of the ball and does the basics well and with tiote breaking up play and cabaye feeding our attacking players the times ahead look good if we can get the right mould of attacking players in who can get behind the defence i can see us pushing for europe. Our main problem is defence we concede far too many stupid goals, we need some experience to play along side colo, someone who can command the defence, williamson is a decent centre half he just lacks experience and experience counts for alot in this league


  36. clinta – “What happened to the Gameiro agrred and Gervinho imminent stories huh? a little quick off the mark huh?”

    Not really. Just peddling more speculation that I pick up from around the web ๐Ÿ˜‰


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