true faith : DISCUSSION DAY – Comings and Goings

by • June 19, 2015 • NewsComments (18)2282

One of our regular writers, Steve Watson penned this piece for us at true faith but instead of getting it into the next issue of the fanzine we thought it might be better used online to kick off another one of those true faith : DISCUSSION DAYS we are quite fond of.

Have a read of Steve’s article on the players he thinks we should keep and bin and let us know your thoughts via the comment boxes below.


Comings and Goings

After another season of complete mediocrity, our reclusive owner faced the TV cameras and announced that the club could punch above its weight in the transfer market. This led many to believe that new boss Steve McClaren will be given sizeable funds to redesign an ailing team; however, what do we do with the current squad? I’m going to crack out my best Dutch accent (see YouTube video of McClaren after getting the Twente job) and try to figure out who’s staying and who is leaving Tyneside this summer.

In the goalkeeper department, we have already released Jak ‘Hopelessly out of his depth’ Alnwick leaving us with Tim Krul, Rob Elliot, and Freddie Woodman. These will be joined by new signing Karl Darlow from Nottingham Forest.

Tim Krul – Keep

Must be retained and hopefully will want to stay and be a first team regular with the Krul1
upcoming European Championships looming. Tim reminds me a lot of Shay Given, excellent shot stopper but found lacking when dealing with crosses and requires work on his kicking. This season, despite many ricks, Krul has made some fine saves especially when left one on one with an opposition player. He may benefit playing behind a better defence whether that is at Newcastle remains to be seen.

Rob Elliot – Get Rid

Rob hasn’t played a massive part since his strange signing from Charlton and has been limited to cup game duty. In his 16 Premier League appearances he hasn’t exactly shone and was sent off needlessly at QPR last year. The arrival of Darlow suggests his time here is limited and a move to a Championship level side will probably materialise this summer.

Freddie Woodman – Keep

Emerging on the scene due to injuries, Freddie was pretty much our second choice keeper from Christmas but failed to make an appearance. A regular for England at Youth level, Fred is a highly rated young keeper and with a season or two of experience through loans under his belt; we could finally have a talent come through from our academy. The jury is still out on this one but can’t see any positives from releasing him at this stage.

Our defence has been much maligned this year, rightly so, but it is in defence where one of the stars of the season emerged. Looking ragged and without leadership, we conceded far too many goals and at times looked no better than a league two side. Do we need wholesale changes or can the current crop of defenders redeem themselves this year, we’ve already added Jamaal Lascelles to our squad but he has zero top level experience. I have no idea where Ryan Taylor’s best position is but as we’ve released him, I don’t have to worry about it.

Fabricio Coloccini – Get Rid

This was one of the tougher ones to call as Colo has been a loyal servant to the club, we’ll Colo1gloss over the whole wanting to go home saga. This season has been a nightmare for Colo, he’s looked woefully out of his depth and as captain has barely faced the press, this is almost unheard of from captains of other clubs. Colo doesn’t offer a threat from attacking set pieces and has done little to prevent goals at the other end; add to this a senseless sending off at Everton that left us without any recognised centre backs for a crucial period of the season means his time is up and maybe he can finally get his move home.

Mike Williamson – Get Rid

If Colo’s season was a nightmare then Willo’s was a bloody disaster, culminating in John Carver publicly stating that Willo got himself sent off purposely against Leicester to avoid playing in the relegation run in. The sole target of our set piece routine has barely got off the ground, let alone win a header this season. Lacking any sort of pace, which anyone partnering Colo would need, leaves Willo vulnerable to any attacker with a modicum of pace. Sent off twice this season and only notching once, Willo leaving would give us the chance to reassess our set piece options and not just lump it to Willo at the back post. Never really a Premier League quality player, I’m sure he would find a home at a mid table championship side.

Massadio Haidara – Keep

Missing since February due to injury, Haidara is another the jury is out on. The victim of some poor tackles has not helped his cause but in the few appearances made to date, he has looked a genuine attacking threat in an attacking full back role. I’d like to see how he fares with a full season of playing behind him. He has age on his side as well and will hopefully develop into both a defensive and attacking asset.

Daryl Janmaat – Keep

When I referred earlier to a star of the season I had Janmaat in mind. Already a big Janmaat1favourite with the crowd, I hope he remains at the club next season. I wrote about him at length in issue 119 (get it on back copy it’s a cracking article) so wont dwell too much on it here but he really has been a quality find and if we can sign more players with his quality, attitude and price tag we’ll be in healthy shape next season. McClaren will be aware of him from his time in Holland and should use him as one of the spine in which we build the team around.

Steven Taylor – Keep

A player who splits opinion amongst many but a player I reckon we should keep. Every side needs a defender who is willing to put his body on the line and with Taylor we have just that. Despite his limited skill set, he is an all or nothing defender and offers a scoring threat from set plays. There are several question marks over his fitness as he has suffered a string of season ending injuries over the past few seasons.

Paul Dummett – Keep

In a similar mould to Steven Taylor, Dummett should remain in the team. He has put in some decent performances and has the club at heart. I know loving a club is not necessarily a good reason to keep a player but we need players who will give everything for the club. I think Dummett gets a bit of a rough ride and could develop into a decent centre back given the time to develop and a decent partner accompanying him at the heart of defence.

Recently midfield has been the strength of the team with players like Cabaye, Nolan, Barton and Ben Arfa providing fight, goals an assists in abundance. However, we’ve become a soft touch in this area with opposition midfields regularly outfighting us meaning that there is very little support for our attacks or we are constantly trying to win back possession. Whether this has been through a dramatic loss of form or sheer knacker clenching inconsistency it’s an area that the club needs to ensure is strengthened during the summer. We’re already a man down having chosen to let Jonas go, I feel that we could have given him a years extension to ensure we are not light on numbers as we were this season.

Moussa Sissoko – Keep

Fecking frustrating is the only way I can describe Sissoko, sometimes looks like a world-SissokoFRAbeater other times looks like a league two player. He started his career with a bang but since then has been massively inconsistent, he doesn’t provide enough goals or assists but I still think there is a very good player in there. He can be our Yaya Toure at his best and funnily enough looked like it in our win at the Etihad in the league cup. Build a new midfield around him and we will see him shine.

Vurnon Anita – Keep

Not the most popular player heading into the month of May but committed and controlled displays in our final two home games convinced me that Big Vurn should still be part of our plans going forward. He does possess the technical skills you’d expect from a product of the Ajax academy but he showed a bottle for a fight and can play in several positions, which is an asset for any squad.

Siem de Jong – Keep

One of the biggest disappointments for me this season was that we didn’t see enough of Siem, every time he appeared he looked like scoring. A reoccurrence of a collapsed lung meant that the best part of nine months were missed and while it’s easy to look back and say things might have been different had he been available, I genuinely think he would have made a difference in providing an attacking midfield presence in the box. Hopefully next year we will see more of him and hopefully will see him running our attacks via the number ten role.

Yoan Gouffran – Keep

A shadow of the player we saw a season back and I’m still trying to figure out where it went wrong with him. He literally went through a spell where nothing he did came off yet he was continuously picked week in, week out. On form, his work rate is outstanding and he was always coming off the pitch knackered, he has goals in him and provides excellent cover for his fullback; if we can get him back to the type of form he showed when he first arrived then he would be a good squad player to have around.

Jack Colback – Keep

Another stand out performer this season and a pleasant surprise. I thought we were colback1
getting a defensive midfielder in the Tiote mould, covering his centre halves and fullbacks and breaking up opposition attacks with some crunching tackles. What we got was a box-to-box midfielder who covered every blade of grass and scored a few goals to boot. A definite starter next season and a contender for captaincy should Colo not be around, his passion for the club is evident and along with Anita he’s another player who can play more than one position.

Rolando Aarons – Keep

Another player I’ve done an article on and the brightest prospect we have had at the club since Kevin Gall; I’m talking crap here obviously, as Gall wasn’t very good. Give him more game time and we could see him develop into a player of some quality. Injuries also cut short his season but in the few games he played, he made a massive impression.

Remy Cabella – Keep

Deserves time to adapt to the league after a tough introduction to English football and, in his defence, didn’t get a good run of games until the latter part of the season. We need to see more from him next season though as he runs the risk of becoming an expensive flop, he looks like he could be a genuine match winner and his display against Hull was encouraging.

Cheick Tiote – Keep

Missed the majority of this season through injury and one of McClaren’s toughest jobs will be to try and get Tiote back to his best and McClaren should know this as they won the league together at Twente. I think Tiote has been guilty of trying to be a footballer ever since Barton and Nolan left. I’m not saying he’s robbing a living and should consider another career; I’m suggesting that he has tried and failed to fill the holes left by the aforementioned scousers by changing his game and trying to affect the game further up the pitch. Tiote is largely a destroyer asked to do the dirty side of the game and win the ball back before giving it to a player who can unlock defences. McClaren’s first task should be to try to get this Tiote back as by doing this he was a major part of the team that finished fifth.

Gaby Obertan – Get Rid

Surely, by now you would have thought he would have realised that he is quicker than most full backs and to beat them he simple has to just drive at them. He has loads of pace and a nice touch but he simply cannot fathom out how to beat his man repeatedly. It’s time to cut our losses on this one.

Sammy Ameobi – Keep

When writing this I realised I must have written articles about most of the squad and SammyASammy is another of them. Just like his brother he has an uncanny knack of being pretty good or unbelievably poor, but to keep the squad a decent size I reckon a short term contract would probably be the best option with Sammy.

Upfront we’ve struggled to hit the net on a regular basis, much of this can be contributed to a lack of involvement from midfield, but a large part of the reason is the fact that two of our strikers have had indifferent seasons.

Papiss Cisse – Get Rid

This would be the toughest decision to make and one that could undoubtedly backfire should we not adequately replace him; but Cisse has surely reached the end of his time here. He topped our scoring charts with eleven goals despite missing the start of the season and seven games for spitting at Jonny Evans, but he doesn’t look like the player who scored goals for fun in his first half season with us. His fitness has to be called into question as doubts are still hanging over his injured knee and he’s been one of the players constantly linked with a move away. Maybe it’s time to cash in on our main goalscorer.

Ayoze Perez – Keep

Outstanding this season and a breath of fresh air, infectious enthusiasm coupled with an eye for goal has seen him exceed even the expectations of the clubs staff. Originally signed as one for the future and offered to clubs on loan; Cisse’s knee and suspension problems meant the young Spaniard was thrust into the first team. Usually occupying the lone striker role Perez thrived in his first season and scored some wonderful goals. A player the club needs to retain and look after as he has all the ability to be a top, top player.

Emmanuel Riviere – Keep

Looked a complete donkey at times and managed to score a goal falling over his own feet. Emmanuel Riviere Close Up Newcastle UnitedHowever, there are little signs that he could a decent squad player, I thought he did well in our last few games and was harshly substituted; decent strength and able to hold the ball up well means he could be an excellent link man to the likes of Perez. Improvements to his finishing must be made as his confidence in front of goal looks shot. This is the man who outscored Falcao at Monaco, but after seeing Falcao at Man Utd, this isn’t saying much.

Adam Armstrong – Keep

Scores goals for fun at youth and reserve level, both for club and country, but only appeared a few times for the first team. A loan move looks the most likely option for him next season; a season scoring goals in the championship would not necessarily be a bad thing and would stand him in good stead for a push for the first team the season after. Another player who, if handled correctly, could turn into a decent first team player.

I think I’ve covered the majority of the first team and if McClaren can bring in decent backroom staff along with a further six or seven reinforcements then the future could, just possibly, be that much brighter.






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18 Responses to true faith : DISCUSSION DAY – Comings and Goings

  1. Bob says:

    Have to disagree with a couple on here.

    1) Tiote – since Cabaye left his limitations have been obvious. If we can get £5-£10m from him we should snap their hands off
    2) Sissoko – on his day he is our best player but his day is about 1 in 20 matches. Would much prefer a more limited but consistent player. Again, if we can get a good price, we should cash in
    3) Gouffran – he’s dogshit. Get rid.

    Priority has to be a striker and Austin would tick the boxes but we’ll probably bid £5m for him and then moan about how we couldn’t get over the line whilst Swansea pick him up for £10m.

    Would also like to see us go in for Will Hughes at Derby. Cracking young player and would like to see him and Colback in the middle together.

    I agree with sacking off Colo but only on the basis that we get someone decent in. Captains armband to Janmaat or Colback.

  2. Paul Brown says:

    The squad was too light last season with the 23 players listed above. I would suggest we need to sign 3-4 top quality players before considering getting rid of anybody and then only when better replacements have been found. If we ‘lose’ 5 out of the squad that’s 8-9 we will need to bring in. Can anyone see Charnley achieving that?

  3. Chris Nappin says:

    Decent earners at the club who are potentially sellable are probably Colo, Tiote and Cisse. S Taylor, Riviere and Gouffran are also likely to be on half-decent money as well as being potential sale-victims.

    In terms of transfer fees we’re not likely to get any significant coin for anyone bar Cisse and Tiote. The value in selling the others is therefore limited somewhat, apart from getting them off the wage bill. There are quite a few on the last year of their contract as well, but I don’t think it’s worth cashing in the £20k fee we’d get for the likes of Williamson when it would see us a man down squad-wise.

    Tiote is a twat but he could work well being reunited with McClaren – I’m fairly torn on him. I wonder how many of our injuries are down to him being a nob on the training pitch. If we could get £8.5m for him I’d let him go. Specifically £8.5m.

    I reckon we’ll sign 3 players, 4 if Tiote or Cisse leave. We’re desperate for a quality centre half, an attacking midfielder/winger and a decent centre forward. We also need a proper left back but as we have 3 players who can play badly there I’m sure that won’t be deemed necessary.

    Can’t see us spending more than £40m tops, but if we got Austin for £15m that would leave £15 for a midfielder and £10m for a defender. I reckon that would satisfy me, given my dire expectations.

  4. Keiron says:

    You’d keep Taylor ahead of Colo? You’d keep blooming Gouffran and you’d sell our top goalscorer. I need a lie down. Taylor doesn’t play anywhere near regularly enough and is prone to sendings off and other silly things. Colo had a poor season but that was inevitable as he’s carried our defence for years. Put someone decent in alongside him and he’ll be fine. Gouffran, gives you very little. Even in his very brief purple patch when scored a few, he looked limited. He has played a telling amount of poor games. Cisse needs to stay as his goals kept us up. Unless they buy 2 top drawer strikers.

    • Steven says:

      Yeah I’d keep Taylor as a squad player, Colo has been poor for a long time and obviously wants to go home. Cisse is nowhere near the player he was two years ago and I was asked who I’d keep or get rid of. If we buy decent strikers why keep Cisse? He’s bang average. And Gouffran again would be a squad player! Each to their own mate! Have that lie down now!

  5. @Calvin says:

    How come this “workrate” bollocks only applies to forwards?

    I cant recall anyone saying “aye, Willo is utter gash but by God he certainly put the miles in running after Aguero/Rooney/Costa all afternoon, good effort”

    Nope, Gouff and Riviere are wank and are in the Departure Lounge for me like, big time.

    As for selling Cisse, no chance, unless we sign a proven, tried and tested goalscorer. No argument that he doesnt look like he did at the beginning, but did anyone seriously think he would keep that going long term? If he had he would have been long gone anyway. This kid is the only thing approaching the real deal, in terms of goals, that we have in our ranks, so letting him go and expecting some Championship/French/German import to replace his goals could be extremely foolish.

  6. Chris Ord says:

    Janmaat is definitely our best defender and a good guy too but we need to strengthen the defence with more centre backs, Williamson is an embarrassment and Colo’s not really quite the player he once was in my opinion and Taylor can be very good but he’s injury prone and can make too many mistakes. Central defence needs strengthening otherwise it could easily be left in tatters if injuries/suspensions kicked in.

  7. Ali says:

    Wake up. I can not see Ashley spending anything. He will sell 2-3 players, or loan them out to save the wedge, but he will spend less than he gets in. He will turn in a tidy profit for himself and NUFC will struggle on like a zombie in treacle. It’s the same model as per his tatfilled shops – buy for £1, advertise for £5 will a ‘huge’ sale tag … now at the unbelievable price of £2.37. You know it’s true. If we get a few Colbacks and Perez, then yes it might work, but we are likely to be landed with the equivalent of whatshisname Ferreyra or worse. All very depressing, when you consider clubs like Swansea, Southampton and Stoke will attract better players.

  8. Steven says:

    Wake up??? I was asked to write about who we keep or sell, the article has nothing to do with who we may bring in. Might want to read it first before sticking in a silly comment that is nothing to do with blog.

  9. foggy says:

    I’d sell taylor, willo, revierie, gouffron. cabella, dummett, Elliot, obertan.

    I’d sign, 2 new centre backs, Van Dijk would be one of them and I’d hand him the captains armband.
    Never been impressed with dummett, he’s slow, can’t pass, can’t go past anyone, he’s just below average.
    reveirie and cabella I’d offer to Lyon for lacazette

  10. Andy bee says:

    I penned a comment when Big Mac was appointed that the faithful do not want a summer of bullshit from the chron and Sunday sun , unfortunately that’s what we are getting. Rubbish rumour stories that come to nowt …..can the powers that be explain how villa secure Micah Richards ? We don’t even seem to be looking to compete in the transfer market just peddle continual horseshit about the war chest whilst other , lesser, clubs go about their business . It’s a joke! Nice stories in the papers with exciting links will not stave off a another shit season…..Jesus Christ whoever is in charge sort the shambles out , jockeying to get steve mclarens assistant whilst other clubs secure players is an absolute joke!!!! Good luck steve Mac and coach working with gouffran obviously someone sees something I dont… of opinions and all that. As for sissoko ,after the sland away display he should have had his contract bought out.

  11. desree says:

    I’d keep them all as we wont be signing anyone better. certainly not austin, all signings will be under 10m and on 30 grand a week.

    I feel like walking into a sports direct store, trying on a pair of 150 quid trainers and then tell them I’m only prepared to pay 100.

  12. Tom says:

    You would keep Gouffran? Ha ha ha, I would drive him to the airport myself! He’s utter garbage. I would also get shot of Sammy, Anita and if a big offer (£15m+) came in for Sissoko i would get shot of him too.

    Not sure if some people realise the size of the rebuilding job needed at our club. It appears some people are looking through rose-tinted spectacles and we’re only in June!

    Vernon Anita has played about 3 decent games for us since he joined in 2012. That’s simply not enough if we want to finish higher than 15th.

    Gouffran shinned about 6 goals in and then all of a sudden couldn’t be arsed. Never mind this ‘grafter’ nonsense. It was ridiculous how many times he got caught in possession last season and strolled away without a care in the world….

    Sissoko has had about 10 (being kind) decent games for us since joining in 2013. That’s 2+ years of total inconsistency and cowardly performances.

    ALL of these players have gone hiding when the going gets tough! (and don’t use the game vs a half arsed West Ham as a come back!)

    They all need replacing. Under this regime i’m confident we will sign 6 players, however….. 3 will be loanees with no interest in staying, 2 will be development’ players and our marquee signing will never have played PL football before!

  13. Dan Wilson says:

    This is a piss take right?

  14. Ant says:

    I don’t think we’ll be buying anyone of note. The club is seen as too difficult/toxic; and McClaren is not really perceived as a developer of young talent. A few random signings will arrive and (with luck) one or two might “stick” (see Perez) but the rest will be journey-men.
    Completely objectively, if I were a semi-talented 22-year-old footballer with -say- Swansea, Southampton and NUFC after my signature, why on earth would I think that NUFC should be my next step up the ladder?!
    The best chance we have for survival next year, is to work with what we have and try to bring the best out of them. Let’s hope McClaren is the man to do this and let’s stop day-dreaming about £10-£15m signings. If Keagan could get Owen to play decent football, surely Gouffran and Anita cannot be beyond redemption with a bit of decent coaching and man-management.

  15. Peter Shearer says:

    I can not bring myself to comment on the players. All we need to concentrate on is what are we going to do to keep the pressure on Ashley.Anything else is irrelevant.


  16. Boomtown says:

    Lets buy Charlie Austin… lets tell everyone Charlie Austin is out top target… let show ambition by buying Charlie Austin…

    How much is he?? oh… 15 Million you say… hmmmmm…

    Lets buy Bas Dost!! Who??? Never mind who… he’s cheaper!