Date:Thursday September 1 2011
I have taken some time out to digest all that has happened during this summer window, I have to say despite some positives in the business that has been done I still cant help but feel let down at the same time, bored at work I decided I would take a gander over the squad at current and also have a look at who has come in and who has gone out:
n: Rob Elliot
ut: Fraser Forester (loan)
One area where we look pretty solid, Krul looks to have gone up another level and is deservedly the number 1. Forester has moved on loan to Celtic for another spell and probably wont be back, the plans for Harper and Elliot is anyone's guess and young Soderberg also makes up the numbers, the goalkeeping position is the least of our concerns and looks to be in good shape.
n: Davide Santon
ut: Jose Enrique
Losing Jose was a big blow, however I think that getting in Santon was an excellent piece of business and by all reports can turn out to be a very good player for us, if Stanton can slip in at Left Back then Ryan Taylor (who's early season form has been encouraging) can move over to the right where he and Simpson can battle it out for the right back spot, to help with squad depth we desperately need young Ferguson fit again to give us cover at Left Back,
t was pleasing to have been able to retain Colo as he along with Saylor in this early part have been rocks in the centre of Defence, if Colo were to leave we would have been well and truly up the shit creek without a paddle. As far as depth goes we are woefully short, Williamson still injured leaves us with Colo and Saylor as our only recognised Central defenders,
f reports are to be believed there was a late bid for Liam Ridgewell, it would have been a handy pick up if that deal had gone through but surprise surprise the club failed to engineer a deal.
n: Yohan Cabaye, Sylvain Marveaux, Gabriel Obertan and Mehdi Abeid
ut: Kevin Nolan, Joey Barton and Wayne Routledge
olan and Barton leave huge holes in not only talent but also leadership, Cabaye looks to be a very good buy and looks the part early in his Newcastle career, Obertan showed glimpses on debut against Arsenal but was largely ineffective against the Mackems, Marveaux and Abeid remain unseen. Tiote's slow start to the season may well have saved us from bids coming in during this window, he will need to play another big part this season (hopefully we can hang onto him through Jan). Losing Ben Arfa to injury during the pre season is a blow, we need to get him back into the side, has been pleasing to see Gosling in the side, hopefully he can build on that and stay injury free. Big question is whether we have the balance in the midfield to have both a defensive minded approach as well as some creative spark, Tiote will be hugely important for the defensive hard stuff, Cabaye and Ben Arfa (when fit) can hopefully provide the creativity along with Jonas and Obertan providing some dash and speed. Midfield is by far our strongest area.
n: Demba Ba
Our weakest link, up front we are to big and slow and lack any real quality that can consistently threaten Premiership opposition. The clubs inability to address this in the summer window is nothing short of disgraceful, several names have been thrown around throughout the summer but by 11:00pm last night none had joined, currently Shola, Ba, Best and Lovenkrands make up our first team attack,
n the first few games of the season it has been blatantly obvious that Shola and Ba cannot play up front together (despite the Shola's stupid claims that they would be able to), together they are both slow, look lazy and completely un-threatening, Shola or Ba could do a job as a big target to get the ball down but we really need a smaller quicker player to play at his feet, despite all the names thown around that we were 'chasing' perhaps maybe a Robbie Keane? Or even Craig Bellamy (despite his pitfalls) who ended up moving to Liverpool could have done the trick. A bit of pace with a sense for goal could have worked wonders playing under Shola or Ba.
eon Best has his critics but as it stands he is our only real decent avenue to goal, he has a decent scoring record in the Premiership (8 goals from 13 appearances), whether Best has the quality to continue scoring on a consistent basis though is highly debatable and no matter which way you try and put things the obviousness of the need for a decent striker couldnt have been any clearer, the club have had 7 months to address the sale of Andy Carroll and we are now stuck untill January where we will have to endure another month of probable false hope.
All in all I cant help but feel angry and deflated after this window, the fact that once again the money hasn't been made available to bring in what we need, the fact that our manager has proven once again that he has no spine or place in the decision making process at the club and the fact that we have sold so much experience and replaced them with so much inexperience is a massive gamble, the quality could well be there with Cabaye, Marveaux, Abeid and Santon but if these boys dont adapt quickly to life in the Premiership or injuries kick in to key players (particularly down back) we could be in serious trouble, it will be interesting to see if we begin to see a bit of some of the younger players in the squad, namely Sammy Ameobi, Haris Vukic and Dan Gosling, Sammy has shown some glimpses early on this season and as far as Vukic is concerned it is now or never for the lad, Gosling came on against Sunderland and looked decent hopefully we get to see more of him as he gets over his injury troubles
If it all falls over there is no question where the blame will and rightly should lie.....
Date:Thursday September 1 2011
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