If you put Demba Ba to one side for a moment, you have Krul, Tiote and Cisse with five years left on their contracts, Coloccini, Santon, Cabaye and Steven Taylor with four years, while Jonas and Hatem Ben Arfa have three.
When you consider that most of those players, Tiote, Coloccini, Jonas, Taylor and Krul all had their contracts successfully extended in the last eighteen months then that is some switched on business.
It is really quite remarkable and certainly hats off to Ashley that pretty much all of our best players have been tied up on long contracts. A bit of a contrast to when those on big contracts and big wages ended up in jail (Barton) and/or happy to see out their fat contracts with nothing to contribute (Alan Smith).
Unfortunately the one big (Spanish?!!) fly still in the ointment is Xisco who has a foot in both eras, of absolutely no use and a year still left on his contract. I’d love to know exactly how that signing/contract came about, I bet it doesn’t make pleasant reading.
Newcastle United pay up to £7m for this up and coming Spanish superstar striker and give him a five year contract and big wages, then when it’s decided Xisco doesn’t ‘fit in’ (in other words, hopeless!) at St.James’ Park and offer him back to clubs in Spain with massively subsidised wages, he struggles to get a game. Hmmm. I smell a rat, or for those of you with memories of another great Spanish export (Manuel in Fawlty Towers), maybe more of a ‘Siberian Hamster’!