Newcastle United have finally confirmed their first senior squad signing of the summer with the recruitment of Stade De Reims midfielder, Romain Amalfitano.

He made his final appearance for Reims on Friday as they got the point they needed at home to Lens to ensure promotion to the French top division.

In his two seasons with Reims in total he has scored six goals in fifty eight league appearances and the attacking midfielder has five assists this season as well as three goals.

The player will shortly be a free agent at the end of June as when he signed for Reims it was only on a two year deal which is due to run out. So on 1st July he will officially be a Newcastle United player.

Exactly where he will be in the pecking order at St.James’ Park is open to question but it would hard to see him going from the French second division (albeit with a promoted team) straight into the Premier League. At only 22 he’s got time to develop and obviously we massively trust in the judgement of Graham Carr and Alan Pardew on what we’ve seen so far in terms of signings.

Whatever happens we wish him well and hope he’ll be as successful as some of his new French colleagues at Newcastle.

Though an interesting aside is that speculation in France suggests Newcastle could loan him back to Reims to enable him to get more games under his belt at a higher level.

Romain will be hoping to find a few more goalkeepers like this Scottish one playing for Metz back in March 2011 in this ‘from the terraces’ goal action, our new midfielder must put some spin on his shots…
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amacdee 5pts

Some sound thinking Dale and I agree that McWally has to take advantage of the players he's got and build a team around them and not shoving Goof into midfield because there's no one else ;-(

However I would take a leaf out of Fat Sam's book from Monday and go with 3-5-2 as we have more central defenders than full backs and Janmaat is better off losing the shackles of forward runs and gut busting retreats.

I chose De Jong to partner Perez but he'd probably be slightly deeper, prompting Ayoze and helping create some space with some intelligent play (Thats all he's got IMO). Colo still gets the nod if he's told to stay deep and read the game around him. Use the two younger guys as his "legs". 

Tiote or Anita is a sad indictment of where we are right now. I've advocated trying Colo in that role with Lascelles taking over at the back but its too big a jump to make in one week, a possibility though if things get much worse which, I'm afraid to say, is the only possible outcome with McWally in charge.   

amacdee 5pts

Ha ha ha just seen Tiote's out while Haidara is a tentative returnee for Saturday. Anita it is then ? ;-(

spacepyramids 5pts

A question: Could Janmaat, or Mbabu play as a central defensive midfielder in a diamond formation?         Janmaat could use his footballing nous and international pedigree concentrating on defensive responsibilities for a change. I accept we may miss his forays forward.  Mbemba could take over right-back for now.                  

Mbabu looks promising and seems to me quite an elegant player in the making. We would need Haidara  back at left back if Mbabu took this role (not sure when he is back, and I accept he has his deficiencies but hope proper coaching will improve his game.)                                                                                                                     Nothing personal about Colo' but I'd like to see him dropped and a more suitable captain named. Janmaat seems the obvious choice to me.Dummet or Lascelles into central defense. I'm happy to try almost anything at the moment.

amacdee 5pts

@spacepyramids Mbabu is nominally a right back. If pushed he can play central defence then if all else fails, and McWally's up shlte creek, leftback. 

jimbarb 5pts












Janmart is good going forward but his defensive play has been poor this season so try him and Collo in front of the defence.

The Nut Job
The Nut Job 5pts


        Janmaat  Mbemba   Dummy   Mbabu

 Sissoko   Gini   Perez   De Jong   Perez   Thauvin

                           The Mad Seb

it`ll never happen & neither will a win

Mark_Duffin 5pts

I have been wondering about pushing colo into the defensive center midfield role. I would also look at Sissoko,

Wijnaldum and Thauvin in a more fluid midfield where they swap around during the game.

So line up for Palace would then be

                       Perez                              Motrovic

Sissoko                            Wijnaldum                          Thauvin


Mbabu      Dummett/Lascelles              Mbemba               Janmaat


Leemo 5pts

Dummett ahead of Lascelles? 

Yeah, okay.

LeazesEnder 5pts

That is radical.... Elliot as centre forward and two goalkeepers!

Really though I think the problems at the club are more to do with motivation than formation.... how do you motivate a team that the owner has built to have no ambition other than mid-table security?

They are going through the motions of being a football club.... it looks similar to the real thing, I guess only us oldies can see the difference.

The fault lies at the top, the owner and his minions are a bloody disgrace, the coach can re-jig the formation to suit the opposition as Fred Flintstone at Sunderland has but until they realise they are in a drawn out relegation scrap again will the players pride take hold of commitment..... in those not looking to move on!

Deep midfield..... smash and grab..... is the best shot..... agonising to watch..... that's the way it is!

The Nut Job
The Nut Job 5pts


A nice cup of tea & some biscuits at half time plus a pep talk from McMuppet

and Bobs your uncle

Paul Patterson
Paul Patterson 5pts

I'm inclined to agree with the 'direct' approach. Not simply 'long ball', just 'direct'.

It doesn't have to be as negative as it sounds, just getting the ball forward as quickly as possible, ideally out wide, stretch the play and have Wijnaldum, Sissoko etc bombing through the middle in support.

The formation would be 4-3-3 (our last successful one).

      Mitrovic        Perez         Cisse

    Wijnaldum       Anita        Sissoko

Mbabu    Dummett    Mbemba    Janmaat