I know we still have an important last stretch of the season still to play out, with sixth hopefully being the very depths of our ambitions but….

…I think it is worth considering now how the summer transfer window might play out.

Newcastle United have one of the smallest playing squads in the whole of the Premier League, never mind in comparison to the clubs in the heady reaches they’ve climbed to this season.

I can’t see Mike Ashley changing that too much for next season, in terms of number of players in the squad, he will be determined to keep the wage bill down as much as possible even if we ended up in the Champions League.

I think to an extent Alan Pardew will probably want to keep the numbers from growing too much as well, only because he will have a certain level of wages that can be allocated and so the more players those wages are spread around, the more likely we are to be shopping lower down the food chain.

The obvious way to make space for new players is to weed out current players who aren’t up to the standard as we hopefully move forward.

As well as a host of kids who have already been told they won’t be kept on when their contracts run out at the end of the season, both Lovenkrands and Smith will clearly not be getting another contract.

So who else is surplus to requirements? Bearing in mind that whoever we keep is likely to definitely mean one less signing.

The players I think who are up for consideration are Williamson, Gosling, Forster, Guthrie, Harper, Ryan Taylor, Obertan, Perch, Simpson, Ranger, Best and Shola.


Steve Harper – Clearly out of favour and behind even Rob Elliot, only a year left on his contract and will be on decent money so would be a bonus if we could offload. GOODNIGHT

Fraser Forster – A player who is making a habit of picking up medals when out on loan at places like Norwich and Celtic, both clubs wanting to buy him. A promising Geordie who I think should be convinced to fight it out with Krul especially if we have Europe in our sights, use some of Harper’s wages to help convince him.  STILL IN TOON

Mike Williamson – Has put in a mixture of performances this season but never looks to really believe he is a Premier League player, will be on modest money and might just be worth retaining if he is fourth choice but on balance we could do much better….GOODNIGHT

Dan Gosling – A player Newcastle signed while he was still recuperating from a really bad injury, got him for nothing because of a contract slip by Everton so will be on good money. Injuries continue to play a part and Pardew doesn’t seem to fancy him when he is fit, for example playing Perch in midfield ahead of him. Maybe recent cameo appearances have in part being to put him in the shop window? GOODNIGHT

Nile Ranger – Total waste of a shirt. GOODNIGHT

Danny Guthrie – A player who for me flatters to deceive, often injured and seems to have severe stamina limitations, regularly coming off after the hour mark in matches. has got passing ability but for me has character issues and with his contract coming to an end it is….GOODNIGHT

Gabriel Obertan – A player who has certainly got pace and probably decent talent but seems to have severe confidence issues. has recently disappeared with no confirmation of any injury. I think cutting our losses might be the right way to go, not many players prosper after Old Trafford. GOODNIGHT

Danny Simpson – A player who is worth his place when playing at his max, think the club should try an dnegotiate a new contract but for me on the basis of bringing in another right back to challenge him. STILL IN TOON

James Perch – A versatile player who until recently would have been the punchline of the old joke of being able to play in any position badly! Still no world beater but showing good character and worth retaining as a squad player on what is likely to be relatively low money. STILL IN TOON

Ryan Taylor – A bit like Perch, a player who I don’t see as first team material but good to have around as a squad member…and for taking free-kicks against the mackems! STILL IN TOON

Leon Best/Shola – I think it is essential we free up another striking position so I think one of them has to go. Neither of them are first team material and can’t offer goals either, Best has only  a year to run on his contract and it would be extra funds coming in, so on that basis – Leon Best GOODNIGHT / Mackem Slayer STILL IN TOON


  • Tim_mcguigan

    i would keep best over shoal, besides that everything else is pretty spot on

  • i cant see Pards letting Guthrie go he has been great this season when he has played, i think if he is offered a contract he will stay 

  • i prefer best as well but its shola hes part of the furniture haha

  • Mickmago

    selling one of your three centre halves is lunacy. Williamson isn’t Coloccini but he isn’t Titus Bumble either.

  • Mr T

    Can’t see how an article that started saying what a small squad we had should end with us getting rid of 7 players! Most of the players above will be on a reasonably small wage and can help form the nucleus of a decent squad with the right players added in the summer. I would however agree with getting shot of Ranger and probably Best. Harper will probably go due to the reasons mentioned above but if Ashley can loosen the wage budget slightly and Pardew can bring in a couple of new players there’s a chance our squad can look pretty heathly next year. The reserve teamsheets lately have been made up of the youngsters so having perhaps Williamson, Ryan Taylor, Obertan, Guthrie and Gosling playing with them for a bit next year could help their development.

  • Pure Farce

    How can The Toon have one of the smallest playing squads as each Club can only name twenty five players anyway. It’s the lack of quality rather than the numbers that really matters. As some of our development players were included in the first team picture without affecting that situation the need for new blood is IMO not at urgent as you make out. Pardew has certainly got the best out of his fringe players and replacing some of them with others is no guarantee it will continue. Amazing you advocate get rid of Williamson but keep Perch, boot Best but keep Stroller, offer Simpson a deal but not Guthrie. The only two I would agree with are Gosling and Ranger, neither of which were named in the 25 because of their age.  

  • Tone Army

    if we do get into europe then surely we will need most of these players to cover injury’s & suspensions, also I think perch, willo, simpson, guthrie, raylor have done enough to prove they are worthy squad members to keep, shola may aswell stay for derby days :p

    maybe offload harps but secure forster first, deffo lose best & ranger but other than that I think a few wise signings adding to what we already have could prove to be enough, rather than dispupting a large protion of the squad and possibly unsettling the mood & momentum within the camp.

    the jury is still out on obertan, gosling & abeid (what happened to him is he injured?) but we have not seen enough of them to cast them out completley.

    also forgot about marveuax the lad looked promising if he can come back strong that is a signing in itself right there :)

  • Alex

    1) Will get a couple of mill for Forster, so may as well keep Harps for another season. FF doesn’t want to stay anyway – that,s obvious.
    2) Gosling, Ranger, Obertan, Best & Shola out.
    3) Rest to stay.
    Haven’t a clue why you’ve got it in for Guthrie. He’d be a very hard squad member to replace, I’ll tell you.


    out -alan smith,xisco,elliot,Ranger
    rest of them deserved squad players
    in – 1cb,1lb,1mf,1str….

  • tonygreen

    Good night to you graham porter. This article just reinforces the stereotypical image of us being delusional. Can’t praise ALL of the squad highly enough for their efforts this season, barring one!

    • Pete

      Totally agree with you, this article is sticking the boot into some of our top performers at the moment, mainly Williamson, why not just praise the lads for the job they’re doing during this run in, instead this article may hinder some players confidence. Not great when you’re being critised on your own fans website.
      And you clearly are deluded, who exactly will replace all these players by the way. There really is some terrible and pointless stuff on this website from people who claim to be toon fans

  • Brontosaurus

    >Williamson – Past it. He used to be good but he’s on the decline and clearly not good enough any more. OUT

    Gosling – I have every confidence that he can come good. With the exception of a poor game at Norwich, his few appearances haven’t been awful and if we stick with him we will make a profit. IN

    Forster – He’s a good keeper and should definately be our sub keeper behind Krul. IN

    Guthrie – No-brainer. IN

    >Harper – He’s retiring at the end of the season. OUT

    Ryan Taylor – No-brainer. IN

    Obertan – He’s been here a season and clearly has the ability. If he works hard on his reading of the game he can become a top class player. IN

    Perch – No-brainer, as long as he keeps this form going. IN

    Simpson – He’s played every match this season and is still young. IN

    >Ranger – OUT

    Best – Looked good at QPR and Brighton, as well as at the start of the season. He’s been in the shadow of Ba this season, but worth hanging on to. IN

    Shola – Really useful player – scores some great important goals (equalisers at Spurs and Scumderland), never misses penalties and he can run down the clock for the last few minutes of a match. Plus he’s extremely loyal. IN

    However, it seems that Guthrie and Forster want to leave at the end of the season, so if we have to let them go, so be it.

  • Mal

    The most pointless article ever. Where is the editor?

  • dan

    The mag? more like the mackam! wnt be coming here again.

  • Keith

    All those players apart from Forster out on loan have been very useful this season . I cant imagine any of them are on massive wages and there the kind of squad player every club needs. What would we have done without Williamson this season? were not a club who is going to have top class backup but who know if we continue upwards. Every player has served this club will this season when they’ve been called on, and fair enough some ate of limited talent but we’ve had more out of them than many of the big names we’ve spent fortunes in.

  • Anonymous

    I visit this website every day and think it is class but haven’t commented for a while. After reading some comments below I had to, are some people just thick or what?
    Can’t you see when you look around that there are loads of different people writing stuff, it’s a web magazine with all kinds of opinions. It isn’t the job of the editor (whoever that is, if they’ve even got one) to tell people what they can or can’t write. As long as it isn’t racist or whatever, what is teh problem!
    Anyway just because we are doing canny at the minute there is no reason to automatically think it will be the same next year. If we’d started that match against Swansea with the eleven that finished it there is no way that we would have won. Ryan Taylor couldn’t have done what Cabaye did for the two goals, never mind his class closing down all over the pitch. We need extra quality players or else we’ll go backwards.
    Wake up and smell the coffee!

    • glasshalfempty

      well said young man…it’s all about opinions and we’re all entitled to them no matter what other people think.  If you don’t like what you read you can always take your ball home!!!!

      • Tone Army

        “were all entitled to them no matter what other people think”
        lol cotradiction in terms there, “I’m allowed an opinion but you’re not”

        “If you dont like what you read you can always take your ball home”

        again no.. if I dont like what I read I can always offer my own opinion ;)