The Mag - Mathieu Debuchy (NUFC)

Swansea v Newcastle United
Saturday 2 March 3pm

The Swansea manager , Michael Laudrup, has accepted that, “There could be a hangover after Wembley”.

The Swans have celebrated the magnificent achievement of winning the League Cup after not many years ago looking as though they were going out of the league AND out of existence. Their story, and Bradford’s as well, shows the power of the cups is still there if you don’t get carried away by the brainwashing of today.

We all know how we would have celebrated if Newcastle United had won a cup, in fact most of would still be partying right through to this match at Swansea.

What Saturday does surely give Newcastle though is a great chance of a win against a team who have really impressed this season.

The Swansea players had a post-match party at the Wembley Hilton (we can but dream!) and then were given a couple of days off, followed by the traditional open top bus procession on Tuesday with a civic reception afterwards.

The Welsh club’s Ashley Williams has said that, “we have had three days to prepare for Newcastle United, so there are no excuses”.

Of course in their last league match they rested pretty much their whole team and were hammered by Liverpool, helped by the fact that with the cushion of 37 points already in the league they could concentrate on Wembley.

On the negative side for Newcastle is the fact that while Laudrup has rotated his squad at times, now he has only the Premier League to worry about he is expected to play his first eleven every match.

Moving away from what is happening in the opposition’s minds,  Newcastle are showing a new found resilience and ability to score goals.

Since the January recruitment, Newcastle have scored ten goals in four Premier League matches and came back to win from losing positions in two of them. Something that hadn’t happened a single time in over two years!

The fact that Coloccini, Krul and also Ben Arfa, are all certain to miss, is a blow. However, what would have been a crisis only five or six weeks ago, is now looking a manageable situation thanks to the strengthening of the squad.

Rob Elliot had a decent match as Tim Krul’s replacement and when Mapou replaced Coloccini during that Southampton match, it certainly didn’t look as though there was any weakening of the team.

So basically, it looks as though Alan Pardew has the luxury of fielding the same team that started against Southampton, with the exception of Mapou for Colo, and no reason why a similar outcome shouldn’t be targeted.

To have the likes of Cisse, Gouffran, Sissoko and Cabaye all looking capable of scoring is a massive reassurance for a team who at one time were so reliant on either Ba or Cisse having a scoring run. In addition, going forward both Santon and Debuchy are giving a massive extra element to Newcastle’s attacking play which was shown with an assist each against Southampton.

For the opposition, Michu is clearly looking an inspirational signing, while Nathan Dyer always looks handy and somehow Laudrup is getting any amount more out of Wayne Routledge than we ever saw.

A bit like the Southampton match I think it has all the hallmarks of a really good game of football and a clean sheet would equal three points as I just can’t see Newcastle not scoring at least a goal or two in their present mood.

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Top Tips – NUFC To Win 5/2Sissoko To Score Any Time In Match 7/2NUFC Draw HT Win FT 15/2

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mactoon 5pts

Good call but I don't think they want players they need money hence the fee and the reason why no exchange deal will work

Artie Fufkin
Artie Fufkin 5pts

Good piece, Villa have signed a striker today and is likely to get Adebeyor too. Austin may not have as many options as he hoped. 

ArtyH 5pts

£10m cash and take your pick from Williamson, Gouffran, Abeid, or Obertan , can't get fairer than that, take it or leave it, answer by next Saturday.

mactoon 5pts

Following his shoulder injury (dislocation which is highly fixable) in September 2010 he went on to score 17 in 27 games during 2010/11

In 2013 he failed a medical due to issues with his knee which haven't affected him before it happened or since. Before the Feb 2015 fixture between Hull and QPR Steve Bruce admitted he made a huge mistake in not signing him as he too had failed a medical due to a knee injury but still got signed by Man U without any more problems. Austin went on to score 20 in 31 games during 13/14 and 18 in 35 during 14/15

Do the board have injury concerns or are they predictably using it as an excuse to get a lower price?

Just pay the damn £15 million for a proven goalscorer with huge potential.

v0ices 5pts

@mactoon and add a pl experienced cb too, does not have to be a world beater solid and reliable will do.

mactoon 5pts

@v0ices @mactoon  definately. Willo, Collo and Taylor are just not good enough and we need a proven CB to raise the bar to make them fight for a place, historically all three have been woeful due to the lack of competition and if we buy a proven CB to play alongside Mbemba these three will be on the bench at best. Too long have we had players lacking the quality required playing because of the squad lacking the quality required.

Mal44 5pts

I'm with the posters below who are saying CB is the priority. It's very quiet and calm on that front; hopefully Charnley is paddling like hell under the surface.

yeahweekes 5pts

Its actually really clever business from Cashley to be fair. Austin's contract expires in a year, meaning that he would leave for free.... which would be a disaster for QPR.... they will be forced to let him go for around £10m or less if we can hold out for the last few days of the window..... 

1957 5pts

With the current contractual situation he's not worth £15m, he's good but not an exceptional player that would command that fee with only a years contract left. I also agree the first club to blink and offer the reported fee will be kept waiting in case a better offer comes in, by QPR and Austin.

For me spend the money on defenders, we are in greater need of not conceding than scoring, at the moment whatever we score the opposition can get the same or one more.

wor monga
wor monga 5pts

Good read, and shows exactly why clubs can’t just go in waving the price QPR have put on him as a benchmark, and the deal will be done…I think this will go on until late in the window, and possibly any action held off until an offer can be made that is too late in the day for QPR/Austin to knock it back, and also too late for any other club to come in and trump it… 

...If any interested party threw in the £15m now it would just raise the bar.

...Don’t know how much faith can be placed on the injury history…seeing as he got through 36 games last season, and that’s generally a good guide to show that there’s no recurring damage!!

DownUnderMag 5pts

I don't see any other clubs lining up to pay that fee either.  I suspect a deal could be done closer to the window closing and with Mitrovic on board already and no sign of Cisse leaving just yet, Newcastle can actually play hard ball on this one.

What is more concerning is the lack of apparent activity on any more defenders.  If the heirarchy think what we currently have will be good enough then we are in for another long season, unless Colo finds form again and Mbemba turns out to be the next big thing in centre halves.

IainElrick 5pts

He's 12mil max if he wasn't British he's be around 9mil

Dubaiexpat 5pts

I think the fact that no club has met the 15m valuation tells you it's not just NUFC who think he is overpriced.

There are clearly genuine concerns overs his medical fitness and personally I think we're right to be cautious with this one. 

Would I want him at St James - absolutely. Would I pay 15million for him - not so sure. 

Personally think we have more pressing priorities in defence.