34 hours to go…

Will we see a top striker come in before the deadline passes?
Will we see a top striker come in before the deadline passes?
Well we are in the final stretch of the window having so far signed a pacey winger, a midfielder with an eye for a pass and a French guy that may or may not be any good. So what can we expect in the next 35 hours?

In the last few days there have been numerous reports linking us to both a left back and a striker.

For the left back the initial report was that we had approached Gary Neville’s Valencia with a view to taking their tough tackling twice capped 29-year-old Argentine Lucas Orban on loan. That rumour quickly subsided with the news we were on the verge of securing the services of Brazilian born but Italian and Spanish eligible Guilherme Siqueira from Atletico Madrid. I was concerned about this one because be is described as an attacking full back, better going forward than back. I feel our back line is screaming out for a solid presence and with Townsend able to do the attacking on the left, it makes sense for us to employ a ‘limited’ full back concentrating on protecting our third of the pitch.

Now it transpires Valencia are about to scoop up Siqueira on a permanent deal, so I’d not be suprised if it was just the media putting 2 and 2 together and it was always Orban that we were going to sign. Watch this space. We had a successful Spanish left back in Jose Enrique not so long ago, but he did take a long while to warm up, which is always a concern with overseas purchases…

Up front we have been heavily linked to Loic Remy, Saido Berahino, Seydou Doumbia and Bafetimbi Gomis.

I won’t bore you with the specific stats but in terms of records in the PL, Gomis contributes a goal or assist every 3 games. At 30-years-old I don’t feel he is the man for us. His record this year mirrors Alexander Mitrovic’s almost exactly in terms of direct goal contribution, chances created, attacking moves etc with Gomis winning more one-to-one challenges.We need a significant improvement in our front line and Gomis does not fit the bill.

Seydou is an Ivorian with an impressive record in Russia, who can play up front or as an inside forward on either flank. If he comes in on loan, then we have little to lose – but he is unproven in the best leagues and is somewhat of a journeyman – again I’m not convinced.

So that leaves Remy and Berahino. Both of these players have directly contributed 1 goal every 2 games so far in their time in the English top flight. That makes them by far the better of the prospects currently available and we should move Heaven and Earth to secure one of them if we are serious about doing all we can to avoid the drop.

At 29, Remy would want a long contract as it’s likely to be his last big pay day. We know what he can do from his previous time with us, but with Leicester keen on him, we stand little chance of securing his services given their position in the league. I’d also be cautious about pinning our hopes on a man that has a track record of spurning us.

So that leaves Saido Berahino as the only realistic, available player capable of immediately significantly improving our front line. He is English, proven in the PL and only 22-years-old. It is rumoured we have offered in the region if £25m whilst the Baggies want in excess of £30m. Before I did my thorough homework on him, I though tbat price was steep given his questionable attitude this season. However, his stats are not in question and we don’t know what happened behind the scenes last summer. He might have been promised a move away only for West Brom to change the goalposts at the last minute. Who knows?

Andy Carroll was a young prospect that the Magpies managed to get £35m for several years ago way before this £5b TV deal was on the agenda. When you consider that and what is at stake for us this season, I’d say £30m for Berahino is actually a fair price and our board needs to cough up if they are serious about keeping this great club in the big time where it belongs.

Any of the other options are simply a cheap gamble….

About Shamrock

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

563 thoughts on “34 hours to go…

  1. KIM

    Gullit was a great player but he seemed to think it was a good idea to play Robinson over Shearer…I’m just saying that great players don’t necessarily make great managers or judges of players.

    We let some players go but there are also quite a few other players who have been let go from other clubs. It’s not an exact science judging the potential of a player.

    I agree that Darlow doesn’t look ready to play every week for us, but that’s why he’s our 3rd choice goalkeeper. How many other clubs have a 3rd choice goalie better than him?

    Yes, I’d be concerned if Elliot got a long term injury. I hope that we’d get an emergency loan in that case and let the new guy fight it out with Darlow to start.

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  2. NEWKIE

    Agree. It’s nice to have some threat from distance. It’s good to be able to offer goal threats from multiple positions. Make the defence question themselves so they make mistakes and open up gaps for us to exploit.

    Anita seems too lightweight and inconsistent for us. Occasionally has a decent game but just frankly not good enough. I’m not desperate to get rid of him, because I always like a strong squad, but I’d rather we can blood a youngster than someone who will never be good enough to start.

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  3. Stu – the stats are bad, but i’m still not convinced Perez, Mitro or Gini can’t score regularly for us if they get the right service, hopefully signing those two will actually add some creativity that people like Colback, Anita and Goof just don’t provide whatsoever. Of course, it means Steve has to use them correctly, but I firmly believe the tools are there for him to do that.

    As for the defence, we could have used an upgrade at LB but Dummett is hardly the worst in the league. And as for CB, as we’ve discussed, Colo would have been got shot of last year – but because Steve has kept him and kept him as captain, we were never going to get a first choice CB in. I don’t blame the scouts/board for that, we’ve clearly been willing to spend – Schteve obviously thinks he can work with the current partnership. If we had bought another CB then I guess he’d have just left them on the bench.

    Kim – it’s been the same in a lot of them though, we’ve outplayed them in most of the matches at least until the first goal goes in, sometimes even afterwards. I rememebr David Vaughan scoring an absolute worldy against us. David friggin Vaughan, he’s useless ffs. I’m just surprised Cattermole hasn’t scored a 40 yarder. Still time though 😆

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  4. STUART

    As has already been pointed out, defence is about the whole team. Mind you, so is attack. We’ve added a defensively minded midfielder in Saivet to protect the defence. We’ve also got a playmaker to provide an outlet for the defence too. I think Taylor is back in training now? Colo and Mbemba have been in decent form recently and with Lascelles, it’s ok there. Surprised we didn’t sign a full back, but I reckon we did try for one.

    Up front, we may have only signed one striker, but Mitrovic could really hit form and start scoring, and we’ve added to the goal threat with Townsend and Shelvey.

    Honestly, I think it’s tough to sign players who blatantly improve the squad. Either they’re looking at European football only or the club they’re at just won’t let them go. Nigh on £30m for Berahino is incredible money!

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  5. TDS, Then in essence we are in agreement. I don’t think we’d be allowed an emergency loan mate cause they would tell us to play Darlow surely 😕

    Re- Guillit, I think the whole issue there was he wanted to be top dog, I think he was jealous of Big Al’s hero status and couldn’t get his head round how an old fashioned English CF was so worshipped, same with Rob lee for that matter. He effectively let jealousy rule his judgement which ultimately cost him his job after the Derby debacle .

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  6. TDS – Exactly. With Townsend, Gini, Sissoko and Shelvey we now have so many options compared to previously, that’s a strong pack of players in the midfield. We may have had cover in there, but it’s not like Colback, Anita, Goof or Aarons could do what Shelvey or Townsend can do.

    Agree re Anita, he’s more suited to playing a bit further, he’s just not got the phsique for a defensive mid in the prem. Unfortunately he is hesitant going forward and provides no threat at goal, and while he’s ok at keeping the ball ticking his incisive passing is just not good enough to warrant being played there. A handy squad player, but he is one of our “purples” so I’d get shot of him and get in a proper first team player.

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  7. we tried to get 4 left backs apparently and got knocked back on all, but we did try to be fair. My only gripe is that they possibly left it too late in the window to secure them.

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  8. Siquerira, didn’t turn up for medical
    Orban, went to levante on loan I think
    Enrique, wanted longer contract than we’d give and £65k a week 🙄
    Gibbs- Enquired but got told no.

    So yep, tried for 4

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  9. As good as I believe Townsend and Shelvey’s signings are for us, they don’t have particularly good scoring records so I won’t hang my hat on them all of a sudden to start scoring goal after goals.

    I don’t think we can expect much more from Gini in terms of goals so it’s going to be about the strikers. Essentially we are hoping this guy scores goals or Mitro starts to find his fit and all of a sudden starts scoring regular. Big asks on both accounts in my opinion. Either way, we’ve left oursleves an awful lot to do.

    I just hope we start taking the chances we create because if Doumbia doesn’t score then all we have is a team that will create more chances for us to miss. Or maybe they will create easier chances for the strikers to score. Here’s hoping…

    Also think tomorrow’s game is a really big game for us. There’s obviously momentum within the squad due to the new signings and if we lose tomorrow it could really set us back as were in a position now where every single missed opportunity will be magnified.

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  10. I was quite happy with this window with my only concern being that we did not bring in a defender , although we apparently tried to..
    I think we have enough up front with the addition of Doumbia – just depends how McLaren sets the team up. If he goes 2 up front Doumbias’ presence may get his partner , Mitro / perez , that extra half yard to get a better shot in at goal.
    With regard to the goalkeeper situation I can only repeat what I posted last year , and that is I know quite a few Forest supporters and they were surprised that we did not have Darlow as first choice ‘keeper ahead of Krul. So Darlow cannot be that bad.

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  11. KIM I think they put some work in on a new l/b for the summer,the PSV l/b has been spoken to I think,even word from Gino might help that was the reason they only wanted to loan,Orban would have been handy as he can play c/b as well,the defence is my worry to see us through

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  12. Ice, Yeah you on about Jetro mate, I know he’s had Manure and City watching him too. If they want him you can be sure we’ll lose out, hope not but a strong possibility.

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  13. Sidekick, With all due respect mate, your friends watched him in the fizzy pop where I’m sure he shined. The PL is a whole different kettle of fish, it will take time for the lad to adjust just like Elliot had too.

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  14. Stu – it’s not necessarily them banging them in for us on their own, it’s what they can create. Shelvey has two assists from two matches already – and even there, the fact we actually pose a threat from corners and more importantly, free kicks, will mean that the opposition know they can’t just haul our players down and get away with it knowing we would never ever net from a set piece (once we’d sold Cabaye). Townsend will open up games with his direct nature and his pace, even if his shooting/goal tally is very questionable…

    We may have left ourselves too much, but if the squad from last season coudl get to 30 points after the half way stage, how can this one be anywhere near relegation now? Which decent players have we lost? It’s up to the manager to work out how to nick the wins, that’s what Pardew did, and that’s what I expect McClaren to at least match.

    Agree about tomorrow – huge match. Everton are in terrible form, 1 league win in 9? They’ve played two matches while we’ve had a rest, and they have injuries to Besic and Mirallas and possibly Howard. Get at them with the extra energy we are bound to have, we know how vulnerable Martinez’s sides are when pressed effectively. Get the win, settle the nerves, get some wins together. If not i’ll be a moody ****er and convinced we’re getting relegated 🙂

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  15. The Ivorian striker has a proven scoring record for CSKA Moscow, but one must keep in mind that he has only been successful in Russia since 2010. His spell in Italy has been desperately disappointing, and he has not managed to prove himself for the national team, having been controversially left out of the 2014 World Cup squad.

    The main concern regarding Doumbia is his fitness. Throughout the years, he has been extremely fragile, missing countless games due to various injuries. Ankle, thigh and back problems seem to keep mounting at a very alarming rate.

    And according to sources at CSKA, Doumbia barely trained at all during his loan spell from Roma at the beginning of the season; kept complaining at different minor injuries and only took part in the games themselves. That was possible because coach Leonid Slutsky and most of his teammates have known the Ivorian for years.

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  16. Newkie – You know my feelings mate. I don’t rate the coach and I think we have a squad capable of being at least midway up the table but for some reason are 3rd bottom…

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  17. Will that niasse lad they signed be able to play against us tomorrow, anyone know if the signed him before midday?

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  18. Ashley is still trying to find a way to make us a mid table team. All the spending, all the thrashing around over the last few years and he we are, 18th. We should finish slightly higher but 9 years of Ashley to just escape the relegation zone each season? I see no real sign of intent for success. He talked about silverware last summer. Laughable.

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  19. What a surprise. Don’t tell me. Doumbia won’t be able to play for a month. Excellent. Just what we needed.

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  20. February 2, 2016 at 16:27
    KIM

    Often we’re not too far away! I hope they would allow an emergency loan. After all, if Darlow got injured in a match, we’d have to play a kid. Depends on how McClaren judges the 3rd and 4th choice goalies as ready I guess…

    Agree regarding Gullit though. Absolutely stupid. But does prove that top players don’t always make top managers.

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  21. NEWKIE

    Not just a strong pack in midfield, but a variety of threats. Long shots, threaded through balls, crosses, pace…all different ways to attack so makes it tougher to defend against. Add to that the option of just getting it to Mitrovic and having him hold up the ball and there’s real variety now.

    So we agree that Anita is an ok player…he’s just not very good at anything. I’d rather he was there than nobody but if we can spend his wages on a player who can offer more than a backup, then I’d rather do that. I’d rather we had young players or very experienced players as backup, not an ok player at the peak of his powers.

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  22. I just think Mito might do a lot better with service from both wings when Townsend is on the left well one should hope so he is strong in the air at least

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  23. This had better turn out well for everyone at the club’s sake. If we go down Ashley will go mad. Several of the executives will be gone. McCarver will be gone. Many of the more ambitious players will be gone. It would be a total disaster and still we’re left with the most incompetent one of all at the top. I’m hoping for 15th or 16th place. After that, who knows?

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  24. Just seen Micky Quinn talking saying so called pundits have no idea just how big the Toon are players like Austin just haven’t got a clue how big a hero you can become if they score goals it’s a great place to play football for any player

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  25. ICEDOG

    I can’t believe that any player with experience of English football doesn’t know that. I just think Austin wanted to go closer to home. It’s a bit of a hero or zero thing at our club at the moment. Cisse went to hero pretty sharpish with his run of goals and then was written off pretty quickly by many fans when he stopped scoring.

    Not every player can handle that pressure. I don’t blame Austin. I do admire any player that comes here and hope they can all become legends!

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  26. TDS Quinn was aiming his comments at pundits at bbc and Sky that don’t know the size of the club and pass silly remarks they no nothing of the club

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  27. I thought Perez new contract of five years would have been a little better he’s now on twenty grand a week,but he is happy with it,ime sure Mito,Gino Shelvey,Townsend will be on more than double that I know he’s just learning the game,just thought it would have been a little better

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  28. ICEDOG

    Sorry mate, you referenced Austin, so I thought you were saying he didn’t know either. I can’t believe that if he’s ever played at SJP. And I’m pretty sure he did…

    Pundits often talk complete rubbish. Anyone who doesn’t understand the passion of our fans and the opportunity to be an absolute legend at Newcastle, shouldn’t be passing themselves off as a pundit. Every decent football fan knows, so the pundits definitely should.

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  29. TDS anyone that watches those four pundits on sky for example,they live in their own goldfish bowl ie their own last club and know very little about other clubs other than what they read in the press but their insistence on saying what they say “is right” does my head in,cannot stand know alls

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  30. The pundits very rarely seem to tell anything remotely resembling the truth. I wonder if they have been warned off? To say nothing about Ashley’s tenure with the club. Usually in fact they seem to ignore us altogether. During the match they usually get around to a couple of comments about how wonderful our supporters are but no real insight except the obvious. That we continue to struggle on the pitch and off. Do some digging if you are proper journo’s. Or read The Official Club Journo report that I post each month. 😆

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  31. ICEDOG

    I agree! The only really good Sky pundit was Gary Neville and he’s now got a proper football job to really prove himself.

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  32. think a few are writing young Mito off a bit early hes scored 4 in 19 games big Al scored 4 in 36 games at the same age both have/had the same amount of pace,i think the lad will come real good given a bit more time

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  33. Stu – I am confident that 2 of those teams will finish below us this season (along with Villa & Sunderland)

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  34. Sharpy – Jeremy Peace has made it personal. It makes absolutely no point to keep a player on the bench when they could have had £20 odd million for him. Utter madness!

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  35. Are the stars lining up and the dark Side of the moon lighting up for us ?Has the world gone mad and Karma descended upon our fight for survival ? Or am i getting carried away 😀

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  36. Stu – it’s ****ing nuts mate. They would get £20m for him in the summer with only a year left on his contract & he won’t want to sit and rot for another season.
    Spurs doing the biz for us tonight. Could do with Pardz boys getting their fingers out now!!.

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  37. Was told today that Stoke’s record signing was a complete flop in Portugal and they couldn’t wait to get rid! That’s a shame…

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  38. It as all well and good results going our way, but we still have the small matter of having to get 3 points agai at Everton. Not an easy task especially given our form so far. Fingers crossed…

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  39. The Villa game is dull as dishwater and there is no atmosphere in West Hams ground. Seems like a training game.

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  40. SHAM @ KIM dont worry the gods of all Things black and white are coming too our rescue ,we Will beat them the morn . 😀 thats Everton of course ,We will never beat the gods 😉

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  41. Yes Kim an away draw is not bad at Everton. 3 points would be tip top as it would see us out of the drop zone and give us a mental boost. Well see.

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  42. Bmth will stay up. They have signed a good striker and have a progressive manager. Good for them too I hope they do well. If we do pull off the great escape then it will be very sweet to wave Villa’s fans bye bye!

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  43. KIM@513 they are a canny team i dont think they will be in danger,dont be shocked if they win this i really rate their manager

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  44. Everton have scored 40 goals this season only bettered by spurs 41, Leicester 42 and City 45.
    they have conceded 34 though to our 41

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  45. Ha yeah cheers Ice! Doing 12 hour days this week and really can’t be bothered but this thread is getting a bit long. I’ll knock one up if no takers.

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