Date:Thursday September 8 2011
The final squads for the first half of the season have been announced. Who looks good?
Newcastle United have announced the squad as follows:
Ameobi, Ba, Ben Arfa, Best, Cabaye, Coloccini, Elliot, Guthrie, Gutierrez, Harper, Krul, Lovenkrands, Marveaux, Obertan, Perch, Simpson, Smith, S Taylor, R Taylor, Tiote, Williamson.
By way of reminder, those announced are the players aged over 21 on 1st January this year. Clubs are not allowed to add to the squad unless it is with a free agent or in the event of an emergency with one of the goalkeepers.
Players under the age of 21 on 1st January 2011 do not have to be registered but any number are allowed to play. In order to qualify for the full 25 players to be listed, at least 7 must be home grown, i.e. to have been registered with a qualifying club from England or Wales for 3 years before reaching the registration requirement.
Tim Krul is an example of a home grown player from overseas who has made the 3 year rule.
Newcastle United have named 21 players. Only cash strapped Everton and young-player-rich Liverpool have nominated fewer.
Clubs to have named the full 25 include ambitious Stoke, Spurs, QPR and Sunderland, which can be argued to have restricted their opportunities to recruit in January.
In a change from last year, Manchester City no longer have qualifying players unregistered.
The four spaces in the Newcastle United ranks therefore mean that any purchases in January can be added without needing any shuffling in what appears to be a squad lacking in depth.
It was noted last year by ToTT that the squad then was announced in the order of contract renewal dates. Of the contracts that were due up this summer, Steve Taylor renewed.
Alan Smith is still here with his contract up in the summer of 2012. It may be that Smith has not been sold due to his high wages, having been rumoured to be lined up for a retirement position in the USA leagues. Peter Lovenkrands is also apparently in his last season, no bids seemingly received in the last window. Danny Guthrie is also left in limbo.
Of course, Sol Campbell has gone, along with several others. They include Nolan, Barton and Enrique, high paid players whose contracts were due to be up in 2012 or 2013.
The remaining first team squad whose contacts are up in 2013 are Coloccini and Jonas, both of who will be in a position to buy themselves out next summer. These were Joey Barton`s Twitter tips to be on the "for sale" list, with transfer value becoming negligible after the close of the January window.
Others on the 2013 list include current joint top scorers, Raylor and Best, Spanish outcast Xisco, the veteran Steve Harper and finally, a player who has received plenty of press speculation will be sold, Danny Simpson.
It would be cynical to suggest that players being sold are those who can attract value in the short term but with little residual value, as well as being a relative demand on the slashed wage bill.
After the actions of the temporary owner of Newcastle United and the excuse of a patronising and out of touch Chairman, it would be easy to be cynical. After all, the predictions from last December have proved incredibly accurate. This year`s plan may be to sell the better players in alphabetical order.
Date:Thursday September 8 2011
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