After a very long day at work yesterday, in which I battled on through the harsh symptoms of man flu I’ll add, I’ve been catching up on bits of news.
When I’m on my long shifts I don’t get much of a chance to get on the web and see what is going on with regard to NUFC. Put simply my phone battery doesn’t last long enough.
Add two successive vehicle breakdowns, a situation which involved an assault to what should have been a 13 hour shift if everything ran smoothly and you end up with a day from hell. Only one more 13 hour shift to go today though. Clouds. Silver linings.
Being honest there really wasn’t a lot that I missed yesterday in terms of news. The one thing that instantly flicked a switch however was the bit about Danny Simpson and his new deal, or lack of a new deal I should perhaps say.
The story suggests that the club and Danny Simpson have reached an impasse with regard to a new five-year deal for the former Manchester United man. God knows why they are even contemplating negotiating a new deal when the player still has two years to run on his current one. Even stranger is the fact that they are negotiating one with a player who, in my opinion, doesn’t actually deserve one at the moment.
You see for all the criticisms of the board over the contract discussions and subsequent departures of Jose Enrique, Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton over the last few months, there was at least a case for suggesting that the players in question had earned it. Maybe not at the levels they wanted depending on your opinion, but they were most certainly deserving of a new deal through their performances on the pitch.
To me Danny Simpson can’t be counted in that same bracket unfortunately. If anything he has gone backwards as a player and has looked rather shaky so far this season. You know it’s bad when I’d consider playing Ryan Taylor at right-back at the expense of Simpson!
Opinion on Simpson has been split from day one. Some rate him whilst others don’t. Me? I think he is decent but I also think he has glaring flaws, such as backing off attackers as if they are thrusting a knife at him nearly every time he comes up against an opposition winger. I finished my playing career at right-back. Having been a striker I hated it, but even I knew that there are times to go and have a go and there are times to stand off your attacker. That time, unfortunately for Simpson, is not all the time.
Many people have looked at our squad and have said that we’ve lost a lot of experience and goals. I believe that, once everyone is fit and once they have all gelled, this team could be very good. the one weakness in our starting XI (assuming we make use of our string midfield and with our lack of strikers) is Danny Simpson. To help put it in perspective have a look at this.
Time Krul, Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Davide Santon, Gabriel Obertan, Yohan Cabaye, Cheik Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez, Sylvain Marveaux, Hatem Ben Arfa, Demba Ba.
All internationally capped in some form or another, all highly rated, except for Simpson. Incidentally it was the calls of Simpson for England last season which heralded his downturn in form.
Now I don’t want him sold. I don’t think he is a bad player. I do think that he needs to up his game though, especially if he really wants to earn a new contract that will take him up to the age of 29.
I do have sympathy for Danny though. His baby was born premature and it can’t have been easy for him to stay fully focussed through it all. For me though his dip in performances happened long before that though.
Does Danny deserve a new contract? In these days of incentives and “earning” a deal at Newcastle, not in my opinion.
What about your opinion though?