As we now know exactly what group of players we have (until January 1st at least), it’s probably as good a time as any to look at the first team squad and what we can expect over the course of the 2013-14 season. I know I’m not expecting anything other than bare survival after another brush with relegation! You could argue that the lack of Europa League games could make the difference between a relegation fight and mid-table mediocrity, but the squad is so thin that suspensions and injuries would expose us enough to drop us right in it at any time.
Our undisputed number one and I personally think one of the best goalies I have ever seen at Newcastle United. He is better than Given and has come on so much I’m sure the owner and his lickspittle director of f***ball have a big Sports Direct price tag on his back. He could easily play for a top-four side and his performance during our 4-0 capitulation at Man City was as good as it gets. He’s only 25 and could be our keeper for ten years. We’ll sell him at the first opportunity!
Our back-up keeper and he’s OK. He has done all right when called upon but others doubt his ability. Typical of the kind of cheap alternative that hovers just behind the quality first choice in every position.
We chased this lad forever, missing out last summer but landing him early in the January transfer window. I like the cut of his jib but it has taken him quite a while to be comfortable in the Premier League; a rocky end to last season was followed up with a pretty awful performance at Man City. He did, however, have a good game at home to Fulham and may be another Enrique, who took a while to become a fans’ favourite. He also is a great mate of Cabaye, who has had a face like a smacked arse for ages, so this may have affected his mood.
Take away the fist pumping, badge kissing, rabble rousing antics and there isn’t much left with Mr Taylor. I for one don’t think he has really matured from the young lad who played at every level for England up to Under-21’s. He looks good with Collocini next to him but then Bramble looked good with Woodgate next to him. He is prone to the kind of rush of blood that gets you found out at centre half, like diving into challenges in the box and acting like a dick (Man City away) trying to show his opponent who’s boss. He only gets away with some performances ‘cos our fans have fallen for the “one of us” defence. His recent support of JFK was stupid and badly advised. He’ll lose any kind of credibility (if he has any) if he just keeps licking the arse of his superiors.
Another January signing who impressed in his first couple of appearances but looked right out of his depth at the end of the season, particularly in the Mackem and Liverpool nightmares. He is a talented footballer and comes with a great Champions League pedigree but still has a lot to learn. He needs time to settle.
I love Collocini. He is a fantastic player: cool, calm, and collected and one of those intelligent defenders who makes everything look easy. He is a great captain and probably the best centre half I’ve seen at United. It took him a while to settle but since he found his feet in WTCTSDTD, he has been imperious. I liked his nasty Argentinian side when he kicked the little buck toothed racist twat at Liverpool last year. In January, however, he tried to chuck it in and do one back to his homeland. I know there are circumstances we need to take into consideration but, in reality, he tried to turn his back on the club and fans and if San Lorenzo could have afforded him, he wouldn’t have looked back. He has committed to staying and the slate is wiped clean for me so it’s back to his genius self.
He cost under a million quid from a team going bust. What do you expect, Franco Baresi? Honest enough bloke but not really good enough for the PL. Had a decent little spell playing alongside Colo but when he doesn’t have him alongside he looks like he is absolutely shitting himself.
Signed from Inter and been with us for two seasons. Was used sparingly on his arrival and his slow integration into the side seemed to help him out. He is an asset going forward but, unusually for an Italian defender, he’s nowhere near as good in defence. He’s had some great games and looked good as we finished 5th but equally looked poor last season when we were shite. He’d be a better right back.
Signed as one for the future in January but looked good when he was introduced into the side. On the receiving end of a terrible challenge down at Wigan but recovered quickly. Currently out with an injury (believed to be a hamstring) and we could do with him back. The kid has real potential.
Will always be loved for his “over the wall” special at the Stade de Plop but has been unlucky with injuries. He was on the verge of a comeback at the end of last season when his knee went again and he will be out for all of this season too. Given a squad number for the 13-14 season; let’s hope that means he can get back playing rather than us just filling up the allocation of players ‘cos we haven’t got anyone new in and have a weaker squad than last year.
Another honest pro and if he had any consistent end product, he would have been worth £15m. But he doesn’t and he isn’t. Last season he was poor but he must have a picture of Pardew getting shagged by Ashley as he seems to be un-droppable. Pardew has even changed the complete structure of the team to accommodate other substitutions during the game. I don’t see how he is worth that loyalty based on last season’s performances.
Quite simply sublime at times and at others frustrating beyond belief. He is a mercurial talent; with that genius you accept there will be flaws. Scores some magnificent goals and sometimes looks like he is the only one who can change a game. The major down side is his injury record and he has missed large parts of seasons past. He needs to make sure he doesn’t use the Kluivert method of getting fit, where you just sit in Greggs eating pasties and drinking on Osborne Road, ‘cos that’s how it looked at the end of last season.
Spent the whole of last year with a face liked a smacked arse as he didn’t get a move last summer and then went on strike the day before Man City away when Arsenal made a bid for his services. For me, he acted like a complete cunt and while I would never boo him, I won’t be cheering him onto the pitch either. He can pay us back by putting in honest, hard-working performances. He is without a doubt the most creative central midfield player we have and he obviously has ability in abundance. If we can just get him committed to our just and righteous cause, all would be well with the world.
Had a magnificent fist season and was an absolute liability last. Needs a kick up the arse and to learn some lessons. He gives away needless free kicks and gets stupid yellow and red cards. PL refs may well be looking out for him, but he gives them every chance to act on it and he has to stop it. If he can get back to passing to a Black & White shirt and bossing midfielders that would be a bonus! Probably first choice alongside Cabaye in the centre of the park but could well find himself ousted by Sissoko if he’s not careful.
Made a stunning start to his United career at home to Chelsea, where he looked unplayable, and at £2m the bargain of the century. Inevitably, he couldn’t keep that level up and he faded, but that was to be expected. Pardew played him out of position and did him no favours, but with fewer games and a much better understanding of the English game, we could have a gem on our hands.
Bought for £6.7m from Ajax and a good player in the Dutch league. Tidy but not big or strong enough for the PL. I like his honesty and he can play when given the chance but you don’t get bucket loads of time in England and the physical side of the game is his downfall. I’d sell if we could get our money back. He did provide decent cover for Cabaye but he only looked good because we were shite.
Has shown glimpses of form and can pick a pass but anonymous for large parts of games. He is weak, but others think he is the mutt’s nuts. Been here for two years and still to get to grips with the demands of the PL. Keep him for when we need some creativity during one of Ben Arfa’s injury lay-offs.
Again, one for the future and has never let us down when he has been thrown into the deep end.
Looks like a baby Tiote but despite his tender years, looks more mature.
We tried all summer to flog him
but now he’s a first team member.
A perfect example of the lack of ambition.
Bought to replace Routledge and managed to be more expensive but a pile of shite. We have apparently tried to bin him and Williamson all summer but it’s no surprise there were no fuckers gullible enough to buy them.
Totally overrated. The same as Peter Lovenkrands although Peter would have scored the tap in on the goal line against West Ham or the free header in the six-yard box against Fulham. To be fair though, what do you expect from a £1.5m signing from Bordeaux?
I love Shola’s loyalty and he has scored some important goals,
but the fact that he was a first choice player at the start of this season is just depressing.
When he first came to us he was a stunning player. His opener against Vile was excellent and he finished that season with goal of the season at Chelsea. He was shafted in a vain attempt to keep Ba, and here Pardew really fucked up for me. He needs confidence but there is no way he can lead the line as his touch is awful. He is crying out for a striking partner who can do the link-up work.
Loan signing from QPR who our dickhead director of f***ball reckons will go back to QPR as a much more valuable asset if he does well for us. Just fucking depressing really.
A lot to prove and lots of them were given the chance to show their worth last year and royally fucked up. Dummett looks good but if Pardew exposes him like he did Shane Ferguson, his confidence will be shot to shit as well.