What’s all this ‘development team’ spiel?

Past potential?
Past potential?
After our humiliating FA Cup defeat to Brighton, Alan Pardew said he was forced to put out youngsters that should really be in the ‘development team’. I don’t follow though…

Now Pardew has actually mentioned these players belonging to the ‘development squad’ a few times this season. One of the main pledges made by Derek Llambias and Mike Ashley since they joined the club was to build a youth set up that will carry the club moving forward – however I’m not seeing it.

Our line up on Saturday looked like this; Rob Elliot, Davide Santon, Mike Williamson, James Perch, James Tavernier, Vurnon Anita, Gael Bigirimana, Gabriel Obertan, Sammy Ameobi, Mehdi Abeid and Shola Ameobi. Subs used were; Sylvain Marveaux, Paul Dummett and Nile Ranger.

Santon, Williamson, Perch, Anita, Obertan, Marveaux and Shola – even Elliot – are all part of our first team squad. That leaves Sammy, Ranger, Dummett, Abeid, Bigi and Tavernier.

Sammy Ameobi is supposed to be one of our brightest young talents. He’s 21 in May. He has played 14 times for the senior side this term, averaging 45 minutes per game. He’s only played twice for the U-21’S. Compare that to our 1st team squad player Gabriel Obertan, who has played 18 times averaging 54 minutes per game. Not a lot of difference really. So is Sammy in fact a First Team squad player?

I know what you may be thinking – ‘You’re missing the point Shamrock. Pardew said these players should be in the development squad. Meaning his hands are tied. Fine, but Sammy is no spring chicken anymore! He should be making inroads into our first team squad by now. Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke and Andreas Weimann are 22 and 21 respectively for example. They are well on their way. Davide Santon – our 1st choice left back has only just turned 22. Should he be in the ‘development squad?’

Look harder at these ‘youngsters’. Nile Ranger, Bradden Inman, James Tavernier, Shane Ferguson, Paul Dummett – all 22 this year. Dan Gosling is 23 this year. Romain Amalfitano is 24 this year! Is he a ‘development player?’ If that’s the case, lets throw Vernon Anita and Gabriel Obertan in there too. They are still 23.

Why oh why did we sign Amalfitano?! A complete waste of a place in our squad. If he’s not good enough for us at 23 years old, he never will be. Mehdi Abeid was awful the other day. No fight, no passion, no effort. Did nothing of note. He’s 20 years old. If he is not hungry for a cup match and chance to impress at this stage of his career, when will he ever be? I thought our scouts were meticulous when shopping abroad? What happened here then?!

The youngest of all of these is Gael Bigirimana, who is 19. He has 10 Premier League appearances to his name already this season, averaging about 36 minutes per game. He has 10 other appearances in our cup competitions, averaging 75 minutes per game. He has played for the U-21’S just once this season. Bearing all this mind, you would have to say he is actually part of the first team set up. In fact, take away Adam Campbell (18), Curtis Good (20 in March) and Remi Streete (18) and he is amongst the youngest genuine ‘talents’ on our books.

Look around the Premiership and you will find young examples of according to Pardew at least, development age players making huge strides all over the shop:

Age 22; Benteke, Ramsay, Gueye, Allen, Henderson, Ramirez, Rose, Kyle Walker, McCarthy, Miyaichi, Hazard, Moses, De Gea, Rafael, Welbeck, Balotelli.

Age 21; Wilshere, Weimann, Clyne, Caulker, Romeu, Oscar, Macheda.

20 or under; Oxlade-Chamberlaine, Barkley, Shelvey, Sterling, Lukaku, Phil Jones, Powell, Nastasic.

By the time you get to Dan Gosling’s age you should be a nailed on first time regular. The likes of Gibbs, Walcott, Bannan, Sturridge, Gunter, Rodriguez, McClean, Colback, Meyler, Neil Taylor, Sandro, Bale, Sigurdsson and Tomkins have pretty much all been around their respective first teams for a long time. Gosling was supposed to be a huge talent, but he has stagnated with us. I know he’s been unlucky with injuries – but he just does not look like he is capable of bringing an ‘A’ game to a match anymore.

I know the above list is not exactly massive, but almost every club in the league has better genuine squad depth than us – so they can afford to bring on the odd youth and it actually benefits them because they are good enough. We are playing a bunch of youngish pro’s that would likely struggle in League 1 because we have not invested in our squad – using catchphrases like ‘development squad’ and ‘youth strategy’ as a distraction technique.

Clearly if you are good enough, you play. Santon and Bigi demonstrate this, as do countless other players strutting their stuff in this league. The time for developing is in their teens. If they get to 21, 22 and 23 and have not made a serious impression, they are not good enough!

My perception of what a ‘development team’ should be is a bunch of under 20’s. Players like Streete and Campbell, who we should send off for a couple of years on loan at GOOD clubs before being eased into the first team – or shipped out. We’ll let Good off, who has only just joined from the other side of the world. Don’t waste them on loans to League 1 and 2, or pack them off to poor Scottish sides. If these are supposed to be future Premier League stars then put them in the Championship for a year, somewhere they get relevant experience playing alongside hungry, talented pro’s chomping at the bit to make the next step up and hit the big time. So Curtis Good aside, what excuse does anybody else from this group have? Where does Pardew get off calling them ‘development squad’ players?!

This club’s bigwigs have been working on our fantastic youth set up for five years now. Pardew has had two years overseeing it. What are the results? A bunch of ‘kids’ you can’t really call kids, who will never make it in the Premiership with the exception of Bigirimana and maybe Ferguson and Vuckic.

Whatever our club have been doing with our ‘youths’, it’s not working. They need to change their ways before they ruin the careers of of our actual development players such as Adam Campbell and Remi Streete. Stop pretending these are ‘development players’ and just admit they are squad players that are not good enough. Our youth strategy is still as poor as it ever was. What is the reason? Are they all lazy? I doubt it. Were they never good enough? A few of them, probably yes… Is it bad coaching? That might explain the general lethargy, lack of organisation and work ethic displayed by our entire squad this season. If our coaches are not getting the basics right in training with our senior pro’s, then how can the understudies possibly be learning anything?

Unfortunately these players are taking up spaces in our squad that should be given to players with real ability. They have had whatever raw talent they ever possessed ripped out of them and wasted by a board unwilling to invest properly in the squad and a manager that does not seem to know what player development actually means. Keeping them at the club playing in pointless reserve games well into their 20’s and dragging them out in high pressure top of the range games for the odd 30 minutes every few weeks is not how you nurture a young pro. They should be wheeled out a couple at a time on a regular basis if not on loan – playing alongside a near full strength side so that they actually learn something. They need continuity via regular competitive match practice at a high level.

The board and Pardew took a gamble on this lot to see us through this term instead of making signings and it backfired. In the meantime they have pretty much destroyed the careers of your Sammy Ameobi’s and James Taverniers. Pardew said at the beginning of the season he was happy with his squad and would be pushing for the top four. Was he lying? Did he actually believe the words coming out of his mouth? Now he is bleating on about how they are not ready and how we ‘undercooked’ it in the summer. Either he was happy with his squad in August or he wasn’t. If he was, like he said he was – then I worry for us. If he wasn’t, then he has willingly destroyed the careers of these young pro’s just to toe the line with the Board. Spineless if that’s the case.

Lets stop making excuses now Pardew and start producing results. Have a nice big clear out in the summer of all these players who have not ‘made it’ and give us a proper squad – then take more care developing the next batch of youngsters. Fair enough, you had no other options – but don’t dress them up as youngsters. Say it how it is – our squad is woefully short of genuine competition thanks to the results of a poor and wasted youth strategy combined with a board using it as an excuse to not invest in first team playing staff properly.

About Shamrock

Like everyone here, support Newcastle United. Not the easiest side to feel good about at times, but it's our side!

341 thoughts on “What’s all this ‘development team’ spiel?

  1. We are £30m in the black on transfers since A$hley took over the club. Lets have that spent on 3 good players this January please and get on with being a football club again.

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  2. Actually make that 4 or 5 good players. If our scouting is that awesome then they should manage 5 good players easily on £30m. Try and make a couple of good British signings amongst that lot too. TBH I have no issue with Championship players as long as they are good enough. They dont have to be pedigree names – just effective.

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  3. The fat one did say he would spend £20M a year on player reinforcements, but seems to have renaged on that promise.
    To a billionaire owner of a football club, thats little more than my season tkt renewal is to me.
    I dont expect to watch for free. Thats my commitment to the club. He has a similar resposibility imo, but is short changing each and every one of us.
    Its not my fault he got his fingers burnt with our debt. He should have done his homework. Just as I would do when buying a 2nd hand car.
    I also understand it costs me money to run it every year. I dont expect to get that money back when I sell the car in a few yrs time.
    I dont say that I have spent £x thousands keeping the car on the road and the car owes me. But I wont charge it any interest.
    Its barmy, but typical of a clueless owner like ashley.

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  4. DJG – agreed mate, just getting those 2 back would make a big difference – add Benny to that and who knows, we might even win a game or 2.

    Shamrock – yeah, there’s reports that Lpool are after Tom Ince. Bpool want £6m but Lpool will only offer £4m – let’s go meet the £6m for a 20yr old English player who can win games of football. While we’re there, pick Matt Phillips up aswell, then move down to Bham and take Nathan Redmond. There’s about £12-15m of young British talent added in 3 players.

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  5. I mainly blame the coaches and the management. Look at Nile Ranger, maybe a bad example, but any ‘potential’ he had has gone. Apart from that decent goal he scored for the reserves once and the championship games where he held the ball up a bit he has done nothing. He actually looks worse now that he did when we got him. He couldn’t control the ball on Sat and flicked it up in the air instead of bringing it down. In contrast look at LuaLua and what Brighton have done with him. I can remember Hughton flirting with bringing him on in a few games and trying him out and he had potential but wasn’t good enough to play in the big games. I remember him playing on the left wing in the Carlisle friendly and he was like one of our typical wingers trying to play the obvious all the time and not being good enough for that. Look at him since he has left to play regularly at a decent level and with a young talented coaching team. His control looked better, he tried different moves, sometimes inside, sometimes outside, sometimes dropping off. He practically tore Santon a new backside. Says it all for me. 😐

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  6. Yep Sharpy – Get it done. Phillips in particular for me.

    BB after 5 years I’m getting really sick of this ****e. What else is there to say?!

    Good comments from all today, thanks for all your contributions. I look forward to reading other people’s work in the coming days 😀

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  7. DJG – I mainly blame Pards & his coaches too. They backed the board this summer by publicly declaring they were happy with the squad and Pards said we’d challenge the top 4. There is a difference between being positive for morale purposes and blatantly over the top lying.

    Right from our youth team to the 1st team we have been flat, lacked a plan and got the basics wrong all season – before the injuries struck. That comes down to Pardew and his staff. It’s no coincedence that 90 percent of our players have suddenly lost their mojo and regularly get the bread & butter stuff wrong. I reckon they are confused by whatever Pardew is trying to make them do? 😕

    Anyway, Goodnight. 😀

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  8. Our youngsters are of an average PL standard, and Ashley seems confused as he plans to run a club on a youth policy that will only buy players over 18?

    If the right player is found, get him in. I think that’s what they’ll do, I just don’t know why they put out these soundbites as it makes them look stupid when they inevitably, and usually rightly go back on it.

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  9. Good point DJG, our coaching standard is horrendous. It’s shown by the set pieces and our apparent lack of fitness.
    Curtis flipping Good, he’s going to win a trophy before us isn’t he, the *******.
    Good luck to him though. I think.

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  10. I actually find it sad that we put so much effort into finding these “gems” at cut price and “potentials” only for us to ruin their careers by employing coaches from the bottom level up who clearly don’t have a ****ing clue what they are doing!

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  11. Really wish they would sort of this striker now so that can concentrate 100% on a defender.

    Both Loic Remy and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would be massive improvements to what we currently have and both are capable of playing on the right wing if needed.

    A front three of Ben Arfa, Cisse, and Aubameyang is very exciting. Marvaeux could compete with Ben Arfa or Aubameyang, and Obertan is decent cover. Still think we’d need another striker in the summer but it’d do us till then.

    Cabaye, Anita, TIote and Bigirimana can fill the defensive midfield positions behinds them and with Santon and Debuchy we have good width and balance. Its amazing what difference on player can make. IF WE GET HIM IN…

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  12. The major problem we’re going to have with this transfer window is that we can not wait for players to drag out their transfer. We cannot afford for players to be making decisions in the last week of the window and then actually not choosing us. For that reason I don’t believe we’ll get Remy. He will want to take his time and drag it out – we will need to give him an ultimatum probably next week but he’ll want to wait for other clubs also.

    The other issue is that the selling clubs know we need players and will add a couple of mil onto the price – we of course will not pay then. A major issue.

    Our board/owner only seem to be bothered about saving ££’s rather than improving the team – they understand money but not football. A big problem.

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  13. Marnin’ all. Just thought I’d jump in… out of sheer procrastination from doing any work. Agree with the stuff above about getting players in, but can’t really see what the club can do to improve things. They’ve clearly relaxed their constraints on age and money already – but good striker transfers in January are like penguin tusks.

    Going all the way back to the article, while I kind of get Shamrock’s point, I think it’s very one-sided. First of all, let go the idea that they didn’t recruit enough in the summer to compete in Europe. Nobody disagrees with that. So that’s led us to this point where players are breaking down and we end up with a field full of kids. Shamrock says they should be good enough by now.

    Two counter-points:

    1. Santon and Bigi are good enough NOW but neither was until they’d had a big run in the side, with senior players all around them. The Brighton match really was a 2nd string, with no experienced core to provide the structure and stability for the younguns to work within.

    2. Out of about 10 young players mentioned, you could argue that Santon, Bigi, Ober and possibly Fergie and Sammy have delivered or look like doing so. I’d argue that to be a pretty good return. Shamrock cherry-picks the best young players from across the prem as if that proves that ALL young players make the grade. That’s meaningless unless you then compare it to those from the same clubs that DIDN’T make it.

    If NUFC could reliably recruit young players that go on to become first-teamers, we’d be the richest club on earth. Slagging off a youth system that’s probably better than most is, IMHO, counter-productive and missing the point.

    There’s one glaring reason for the problems, and every one agrees on it: too small a squad for a team competing in 4 competitions. Ashley gambled, and for the first time in years it’s gone bad. Simple as.

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  14. Newcastle United: Alnwick, Logan (Riley), Streete, Satka, Ferguson, Miele, Abeid, Maddison (Hooper), Ranger, Campbell, Amalifitano. Subs not used: Kitchen, Mitchell, Knight.

    Well thats the development side which lost to Bedlington last night. including Ranger and Campbell up front and backed by Abeid, Amalifitano and Ferguson, so thats 5 fringe 1st XI players, who are not good enough to beat bedlington, no dispect to bedlington. But the main point is that they were beaten by players who’d previously been let go as not good enough. Ranger and Campbell are probably on the Bench on Sat and they didn’t manage to score against Richard Pell, (again no disrespect pelly, but you’re no spring Chicken)…

    perhaps we should ring Bradford and offer a swap deal, our whole development squad for your 1st team + 10m, at least they put some effort in when they are on the pitch. Our kids act as if they are superstars and just have to turn up to earn their money, we should stop giving them our money and find some other mugs to pay the wages.

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  15. So now Remy wants to wait, meaning he doesnt quite fancy us…even if we managed to put in a bid..

    So much for “identifying players’ which was a year ago.. why didnt we start sounding out these players last year when interest regarding Ba first started. We’ve knew for ages this could of happened. Same at centerhalf. we always react too late despite Carr being here, there and everywhere..

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  16. Hang on – everyone’s suddenly a recruitment expert. We know NUFC have been after Remy for ages and probably sounded him out years ago as per Carr’s normal approach. The stuff that’s causing problems now – basically other clubs coming in – is what happens, and there’s nowt you can do to stop it. Remy is being sensible in taking a bit of time – but I hope he realises that this club won’t wait around for long.
    There is only so much a recruitment team can do in advance – like it or not, the intentions of agents and other clubs only come to light once the window opens, and then all the familiar ****e starts up. Inevitably the only consistent winners are the agents.

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  17. ok, we identified Remy when ?, Ba left when ? and reports that we have still not made an offer or we are expected to in the near future.
    You cant blame agents, other clubs, the player. If we’ve not put in an offer there is only one place to blame, thats us.
    If we put in a “serious” offer (not £3m) and its turned down or he wants to consider options, fair enough, but we have still not actually got round to deciding if we want him yet.
    Perhaps there is another meeting planned for next week where we will decide if we are going to put an offer in or not, then the week after it will be passed to Mike for signoff then on the final day of the window we will make and offer, it will be turned down and then we will get the “we tried, but just couldn’t get it over the line”. reports.

    took 2 days for Chelsea to get Ba if you believe Ba saying he only got the call on the morning of the Everton game.

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  18. Whumpie at 166 agree , the biggest winners in the transfer windows are the agents. I think until players pay their own agent fees there will always be this type of circus. Players can get their union the PFA to neogitate on their behalf for free.
    In regards to the article , think its will written and makes some good points. However I do think Ashley has improved our youth set up. But like a lot of things under his stewardship it could be better. I think we do need more coaches but you can lead a horse to water but you cant make it drink it. Players do need to take responsibilty for their development too. You can have all the tools to be a good player but be a ****head and not do anything with it. Ala Nile Ranger. No matter how much coaching you give him he doesnt have the right attitude for it and wont make it.

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  19. The silence from the club and even the lack of journo info is becoming deafening. I’m starting to believe that when Pardew said we’d sign one player he actually meant it. Then he said if we lost one he’d make that two. Probably end up saying well we tried but (whatever).
    My blood has stopped boiling at the disarray we’re in but my god it’s been a depressing couple of months.

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  20. Agree on Ranger. I was actually hoping he’d not score to keep us in the FA Cup. It would just be wrong.

    It took Chelski 2 days to get Ba because they’re the European Champions and he knew nobody was going to top their offer. As he said himself: no-brainer.

    With Remy he has options, and in case nobody’s noticed, the other clubs haven’t signed him either. An offer at too early a stage is meaningless; there are a lot of thing that have to happen beforehand, and you don’t show your hand too early. Right now the club will be studying the rival clubs, their finances and squad, and trying to guess what they’re likely to run to, what terms they can offer and so on. Hopefully those clubs will blink first and make an offer so they know what they’re up against.

    The idea of just making a massive offer to a club and player right from the off (thereby losing millions on each player) are the preserve of clubs run by blood money, oil money, or both. Hopefully the FFP rules wil cut it down too.

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  21. Georgio – agree that Pardew’s rhetoric has been worrying. I’m just hoping it’s BS to help in negotiations. Spouting about how desperate they are is hardly going to keep prices down.

    (That’s my rose-tinted theory and I’m sticking to it for the sake of my sanity…)

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  22. Whumpie – How you can think Ameobi and Fergie have delivered is beyond me! Santon was bought as a 1st team player, not a development player. Bigi is debatable too.

    Obertan? HaHaHaHa!!! 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

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  23. Good posts, Whumpie. I largely agree on most fronts.

    I think we could do with a few more coaches but you can cite failed youth players at every premier league club. None of us know how many players are signed at 16-18 for our rivals, hyped by fans and promptly fall short.

    I can’t think of anyone at Chelsea or Man Utd recently that have really broken through that weren’t bought at a similar stage in their development to Bigi. Josh McEachran at CFC maybe looks the most promising, and even he’s only really proved so far that he can hack it as a regular in the fizzies.

    For every Cleverley at Man U there’s at least 5 Obertans, Bebes and Machedas. I think Sammeobi is a write-off, but Vuckic has a chance if he can shake off the injuries, and that would give us as good a recent return as Manure. The only difference is that their first team and bought reserves are of a higher standard than ours. Their ‘development’ squad seems just as prone to donkeys as ours.

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  24. Think its very harsh to write off Sammy just yet. IM not saying he has set the world on fire ( or is going too ) but still too early to write off his whole career just yet.

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  25. Don’t get me wrong – I think it needs to improve, but judging our youth output by comparing only to the very few good individuals and ignoring the others – plus judging performances in a ‘youth’ starting 11 versus the like of Wilshere when he’s playing with 10 first-teamers – is just trying too hard to be pessimistic.

    Incidentally, I do think Sammy may yet come good (50/50), and I’m pretty sure Fergie will. Tav needs playing time with a more experienced back 4, but could be ok. The rest? Too early to tell.

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  26. Whumpie if we got 3 players from our current set up such as Sammy Fergie and Tav , we would been doing very well. I think you could add Vuckic to that list ( if he stayed injury free ) and we look like we have 4 decent prospects.

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  27. Whumpie – I think Ameobi and Ferguson will come good and be good players but at the moment they are looking way out of their depth. They should be playing regular for a Championship side but due to the inadequances of the regime they are being forced to play in the PL and not looking up to it.

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  28. How’s everyone else feeling at the moment?? I’m pretty much ****ed off with everything as it stands.

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  29. Totally agree – if you’re good enough, you’re old enough.
    If you can’t nail down a regular spot at 23 we should be shipping them out

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  30. (THIS IS A GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING. THIS POSTER IS LIABLE TO DISAGREE WITH YOUR POINT OF VIEW. ONLY ENGAGE IF YOU AREN’T SENSITIVE AND DON’T TAKE HISSY FITS)

    @BD

    Even those that criticised us for being neggars are now more negative than us. 😛

    I’m surprised people are surprised that we haven’t done anything more than, one in one out.

    I believe that those who think we will spend more than £3m -£5m after all the trading has finished at the end of the window, will be shocked.

    I expect to see a couple of cheap buys and if we do splash out on Remy then we will offload.

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  31. @Aussie Magpie Fan

    me too… same old ****. we identify, we visit, we wait, we miss out…

    other teams secure players straight away without having a billionaire chairman, club in the black and 52k fans every week…

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  32. @Troy Stavers

    u said at the start of the season you were content as we didnt lose anyone, same as most ppl really..

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  33. I think I’m ready to jump back on the Erik Pieters bandwagon. Obviously his injury history is a concern but that should lower the price, especially since he only has a year and ahalf left on his contract. I’m willing to take the chance for a 24 year old dutch int’l.

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  34. lets just kick out Pardew and tap-up Laudrup 😯 . Not many fans enjoy Pardews football so lets get sexy football back on the menu… he’d bring the best out of or French stars and can work on a shoestring…

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  35. I like it how everyone speculates WHO we will sign on tweeter etc…haha!!

    For me the question is WILL we sign ANYONE?

    I personally believe no. We will rely on the players coming back from injury to lift us out. They’ve done this before and the fans wrath has been water off a ducks. Expect it again I say. Hope I’m wrong mind.

    (I am not counting Debuchy in this by the way before some clever un pipes up 😆 )

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  36. Mark @ 188 or 189 I cant remember Troy saying that as I thought he was in the same neggar camp as me and a few others 🙄

    Troy yeah they are just a bit slower to see what some of us seen back in the summer 😆 😆 😆

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  37. Mark @188. I was “OK” with the summer business at the time if I’m honest. Had we gotten debuchy over the line then plus signed a CB I would have given the window a very high grade indeed. The lack of a CB was my only real concern because I have never rated Willo even a little bit, but hoped the return of STaylor would see us through. Obviosuly that wasn’t the case….

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  38. Aussie – pleased (is that even the right word) to see I’m not the only one the situation’s getting down. That Brighton performance was truly awful. Anyone notice that Lua Lua was way better than Sammy and Obertan?
    Dummett looked a great improvement on Willo too.
    Sick as a parrot with every thing to do with the club even down to Lee Ryder who can’t even compose a headline in correct English. Jesus.

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  39. The utter silence from the club and press is deafening. Mark my words Debuchy is our lot as we obviously have to sell to buy . Sorry state of affairs for such a big club.

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  40. I think we’ll see one more, but that’s probably it. 2 fewer than we need, but probably all that we’ll get. That’s still 2 players more than most clubs will get, I suppose – but most clubs haven’t gone from 5th to relegation fodder.
    No complaints about Debuchy, btw – it was quick, decisive, and showed flexibility and realism in recruitment. Just need the same done for a striker and a CB.

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  41. The BS Pardew will spout, will be along the lines of “I’m happy we have kept our great squad together and not lost anyone”
    “I’m happy to finish the season with what we have got”
    “We just need to get a couple of our crocks back and we’ll have more quality on the pitch”
    “Mikes supported me very well in this transfer window, I cant thank him enough”
    “Dereks tried so hard to get a striker and Defender over the line, but it just wasn’t that easy”
    “we will have another look at it in the summer”
    “once we start winning a few matches we’ll be fine”
    Blah Blah Blah.
    👿

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  42. Dave @ 198 ,aye, good old Jabba ,never lets us down. 🙄

    Whumpie @ 199 ,Debuchy should of come in ,in the summer and I honestly think we’d still be waiting on him until next summer if it wasn’t for the fact we are stareing down the barrel now. It’s also interesting he wasn’t comfirmed until Ba was comfirmed as a Chelsea player ,which shows we have a one out one in policy which is madness as it still leaves us woefully short at the back and up front as we were in the summer .

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  43. It seems we’re desperately short of both attackers and defenders for the Norwich game. Shola is suspended so it’s probably Cisse to start with Ranger on the bench? Perch, Saylor, and Simpson all injured and Colo has a slight knock. So Colo may be in there with Willo but no bench depth. Very underwhelming. Rumours we’re looking for a CB but any real bids in? No. So in other words we’re approaching clubs with hand out looking for a cheap bargain CB. Pathetic doesn’t even begin to describe it. Really our defence has been a shambles for some time. Thank god we should have Debuchy to start. Weak in the midfield as well with both Cabaye and Ben Arfa still out and a poor performance from the Reserves with 5 players with first team experience in the lineup. Other than that everything’s rosy.

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  44. Without Saylor ,Benny and Cabaye and god forbid Colo too ,we will get nowt at Norwich and quite honestly if the club don’t get a shift on with these signings it’s no less than the lot of em deserve. How many whippings we got to get befor those brainless f*@$s sort us out . 👿

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  45. Except we haven’t kept our great squad together BB, we’ve lost our best striker Ba. We probably will bring someone in but will the replacement give us the goals we need or at least supply them for Cisse? I hope so or we are really in deep. And if we spend on a striker there will be nothing in the kitty for a CB in all likelihood. It’s a dicey game we’re playing but Ashley has always been up for a gamble. What he will do if it fails is another question. Can anyone see him wanting another battle in the Championship with half the squad gone (the good half no doubt)?

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  46. Whumpie, Santon was a 1st teamer in his teens. Bigi was at Coventry when he was a youth, he’s still only 19. Younger than pretty much all of our own ‘youth’ products and better than them.

    Obertan was not developed by us and he’s rubbish anyway. Santon was not deleloled by us either, so you cannot count them.

    Will Ameobi ever be able to score, tackle or cross consistently? I doubt it. You cannot argue that he is there or there abouts. He would struggle in the Championship.

    Fergie & Vuckic might make it, but they are not there yet and are in their 20’s. we do not have 1 current player from our youth set up that is a 1st teamer. That’s why I compare to all of those names above, who are all streets ahead of anybody we have moulded ourselves.

    That said, this is only mynopinion at the end of the day and we all see things differently 😀

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  47. So with no true development prospects that we actually brought through our own system except perhaps Campbell, Dummett and possibly Vuckic if he could ever stay fit (which is looking increasingly unlikely) what have our reserve and junior coaches been doing exactly? We have brought a few more younguns in like Good, and Hooper but is it enough to give good competition for senior places in the future? I can’t see it and now I worry that we actually impede the progress of many young players. Is that why we needed a cleanout last season? Is it because we actually ruined several young players then had to get rid? It’s a horrible thought but what evidence do we have to the contrary? Good seems to be prospering but he is out on loan as was Dummett. What use is our Reserve team? All it seems to be good for is injuring players.

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  48. Aye Premand it’s good to mention the few positives like Saylor and Krul. The jury is still out to some extent on Saylor though with all the injuries and many seasons already ruined for him. But at least there’s Krul. But will they be the only ones for years to come unless Good, Dummett or Campbell make it?

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  49. Why have we never seen Brad Inman even on the bench? He is in his twenties now and from all accounts has been a very handy player over the last few years. What is going on there? Is he not getting good comments from the reserve coaches? If not why is he still with us? He has been relatively injury free compared with Vuckic and Gosling yet no first team opportunities at all that I can remember. We need someone in the press to start asking questions.

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  50. To be fair, Krul was developed by the current set up – I’ll give them that. Saylor was developed prior to Ashley.

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  51. So disappointed with Sameobi over the last few appearances. To me he has regressed quite a bit. Another worry is whether Fergie will ever be big and strong enough to be a decent Prem player. I don’t know what to think of Ranger either. Has he finally turned over a new leaf as far as behaviour is concerned and is it too late for him with us? We have a lot of big question marks for a team who were supposedly going to build a great squad for the future.

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  52. GeordieTwo says:
    January 9, 2013 at 17:20
    But will they be the only ones for years to come unless Good, Dummett or Campbell make it?
    —————-

    Spme people seem to be high on Streete as well….

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  53. I’ll be impressed if anyone can name a significantly more successful youth setup than ours over the last three years. Carroll and Krul alone speak volumes, and if just one of the ones we’ve been discussing above make it, that has to put us on a par with the best.
    What’s not appropriate is judging these players by a game when they all played together; you have to do what we’ve done with Bigi and surround them with experience – otherwise of course you’ll get reserves standard; it’s a team game.

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  54. GeordieTwo – agree on Sammy; has gone backwards a fair bit. But the ability’s there. Perhaps he is more susceptible to squad mood than others?

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  55. I don’t think we have enough information on Streete MDS but would love to hear more from others about him. We have seen a fair bit of Tavernier and I haven’t been impressed so far. Whumpie @216 I’m not sure what to respond there. Carroll isn’t exactly a great success however. The only real standout is Krul and he represents several years of the entire development side of things. Is that really that impressive? Not so sure. We seem to turn over a huge number of players without success. I know a very good success rate is considered to be 1 player a year but I don’t really think we are achieving that at the moment. It’s always better to ask questions and strive to improve anyway and if I were in the club I would be asking questions.

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  56. I see we are being linked with Mevlut Erdinc again
    Seems like the Regime are getting desperate now.
    Or maybe its just the press regurgitating any old news/targets from years ago

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  57. Aye Whumpie mate we need first team players now and we need to know the development side of things is under proper management. This is a time for questions with us sitting 15th and the reserve and youth sides underperforming by all accounts. Silence from Ash/Llam and the board isn’t exactly reassuring at this point either.

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  58. Why are we being linked with Tomkins again, when he isn’t wanted by Wet Spam. Are we really that desperate. ffs

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