No one minds a frantic transfer window, especially if you are a Toon fan, and more importantly if the rumours link you to some of the most promising prospects of recent times.
Gini Wijni is done, and by the time this article sees the light of the day, Austin will be done, 48 hour deadline to Mitrovic will be over and Daddy Ivica will most probably be convinced, and then the icing on the rumours cake will be the new defenders we are targeting!
What a build-up to the season! (Yeah I will get my head out of the clouds now).
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Somehow Steve McClaren has got hold of the management and the players in a different way than we have seen to date under Mike Ashley. There are also some recent innovative PR tactics which differentiate the current state of affairs from earlier, notably the club’s #Magpies24/7 video thing.
I don’t know about my fellow Toons in Newcastle, but as an Indian fan I cannot express how delightful it is to see the Club, the players, the staff, the training, and all about NUFC in this amazing video series! Kudos to Steve McClaren, or whoever churned this PR stunt. It works.
Time to repay these folks with some of our own insights.
I was reading a recent Mag article on who should be wearing the Newcastle Captain’s armband in the coming season.
Let me throw you my shortlist of probable candidates and then please vote at the end:
Even though the position of a Captain on a football pitch has been seriously underrated and loosely thought about, especially since Big Al hung up his boots, I expect Steve McClaren and his new staff to bring back some credence and some more belief in the role for the new season.
So, take your pick and hold that thought. Now, let’s look at it one by one:
The Old Guard – Fabricio Coloccini:
Not my favorite, even when he WAS wearing the armband last season. I have the highest regard for him for all he’s done and achieved with the stupendous mediocrity around him over the last 6 years or so. But, the time has come for him to pass on the burden, for the good.
He is not getting any faster, any sharper, any louder with each passing day. He even seems to have a mystery Achilles which has kept him out of our pre-season friendlies. So it’s weird for SMC to come out and say “…if Coloccini plays, Coloccini is captain.” Time for change and change it must.
The Crowd Favorite – Daryl Janmaat:
International quality, probably Player of the Season for many, Daryl embodies the true image of the hard work and industry Geordies crave. With more recruits from just across the Channel (and I’m adding Mitrovic from PSV too…), Daryl fits the bill perfectly as the common thread on the pitch so to.
But not all full-backs can live to be the Lahms or the Leighton Baines, and I would rather not see him take that extra burden which may restrict him to make his adventurous forward runs.
Remember that adage – “with great power, comes great responsibility”? Would hate that extra weight on his shoulders and let him not be himself more often, eh?
The Geordie Spine – Jack Colback:
Another crowd favorite, our own Ginger Pirlo. Jack is the star on the #Magpies247 and has been around more press conferences than most recently. Quite frankly, a central defensive midfielder, as well as being a Geordie, wearing the armband gives that extra lift to the 52000-strong SJP environment any given day.
Don’t be fooled by his size, I have little doubt he can give you the loud commanding presence in the centre of the park which we have been missing quite often.
Add to that little bit more controlled aggression and the guts to go for those tactical challenges when needed. And we have that flair and openings in the front now for him to distribute better from the back. So, why not?
The New Core – Siem De Jong:
I have always been a big proponent of a strong “Core” for our team. It has been amiss for ages now, again you can track that to the Shearer days. Pardew did try that with Cabaye, and it did work wonderfully briefly and sporadically, but that was that.
De Jong, if fit, can provide SMC with an opportunity to build a team around that man. He may not be that strong in communication, or may not be that well in organizing the defense, but what he can bring to the table is his maturity in the game.
Someone the youngsters can look up to, his skill on the ball, that extra bit of vision and insight to crack the opponent’s strategies, that attack-mindedness in our team to get the goals upfront which we sorely missed during last season. But the question remains – will he be fit enough, ever?
The Marquee – Georginio Wijnaldum:
Feel a bit strange to not discuss Sissoko or even Tiote and directly go for Gini. Well, for me, even if we land Austin or Mitrovic or Matip, Wijnaldum will remain our Marquee signing this window.
His transfer reflects truly the transformation NUFC want to achieve under SMC, and for me his form and his performance in this season will reflect NUFC’s season.
Again the perfect candidate to build the team around, and that team will be an ambitious, attacking, forward-looking team, which can take on its opponents with that bit more guile, catch them off-guard with that bit more speed and sharpness.
If he is wearing the armband it will be a statement from SMC and from NUFC. But will the PSV magic work here? How quickly will he settle down to English conditions and the game? Isn’t it a little too early? I say NOT.
So, there you go. Look at the options again, with the evidence and the analysis above with your own inputs, and give the poll another try. Did you choose differently? Let me know also below in the comments.
Vote here now:
(Now from New Delhi after having just moved 1,336 miles from Bangalore)
If not for the wonderful Black-and-white and Alan Shearer, I would have never got stuck with Newcastle. But then I fell in love at first sight, and the affair continues…. long distance….And one day, I will be there at SJP and I will cheer you on lads…