With the Euros out of the way, transfer business is cracking into action and just how close are Newcastle United to having a fit for purpose team and subs bench?

Fringe players like Guthrie, Forster, Smith and Best have headed out of the door but have we got 18 players you have absolute faith in, not just who will do their best but who also have the quality to win matches as starters or from the bench, not just fill a shirt.

I believe the following have more than proved themselves as deserving a place in our top 18, though with Marveaux I accept that is based on only a handful of sightings;

Goalkeepers – Tim Krul

Defenders – Danny Simpson, Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor, Davide Santon

Midfield – Yohan Cabaye, Cheick Tiote, Hatem Ben Arfa, Jonas Guiterrez, Sylvain Marveaux

Strikers – Papiss Cisse, Demba Ba

The rest of the squad you could divide in two – young players  such as James Tavernier, Shane Ferguson, Sammy Ameobi, Haris Vuckic, Medhi Abeid, Romain Amalfitano, then the other more senior pros including Shola, Mike Williamson, Ryan Taylor, James Perch, Gabriel Obertan, Dan Gosling and Rob Elliot.

I would say you have to have a solid first eighteen not including the kids because you want to include them in your first team plans when you choose, not out of necessity.

So leaving the kids to one side, I’ve identified twelve players who I’d be more than happy with, which leaves room for six more…assuming my twelve nominees are still here in September.

It isn’t a case of writing off the senior pros I haven’t automatically included in my first eighteen, more a case of I believe for the club to be moving forward I wouldn’t like to see more than any two of Shola, Williamson,  Raylor, Perch, Obertan, Gosling and Elliot in our first eighteen at any one time.

So two from that group plus the twelve I’ve selected, leaves room for, and the necessity of, four more players.

If the Douglas deals go through then that would leave three more needed and when you consider that Forster, Smith, Guthrie and Best have just left then in theory there should be at least three needed to come in to bolster the squad and take it to a higher level.

Saving the likes of Smith’s ridiculous wages won’t do Alan Pardew any harm as he wheels and deals with whatever budget Ashley has indicated.

My three for the first choice eighteen would be another goalscorer to go alongside Ba and Cisse, midfield cover/competition for Tiote and Cabaye, plus preferably somebody to go straight in as first choice right-back – Debuchy would be class if that deal became a reality.

I feel with that kind of squad strength Newcastle could really build on last season’s achievements and as an added bonus that level of squad strengthening looks more than realistic.

Alan Pardew could even pull this off under budget, a progressive squad and a smile on Mike Ashley’s face – no wonder our owner is rumoured to be more than happy with the job the manager is doing.

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  • Ss

    Is this the type of shite that gets into the mag these days? Perch, Williamson and Ryan Taylor all played pivotal roles in getting up 5th last season. Feel free to suggest 6 better players than those you named who would be happy to sit on the bench?

    • Pauldavison1111

      I must agree , what your describing is basic steady progress, a comin sense approach to building on last years shock good no brilliant season. The players identified for transfers in are not ronaldo or messi but are an improvement on what we have. I hope they are realistic transfer opportunities as with the demands of the euro cola cup what we are pondering over as improvement could turn out to be a huge backwards slip if we go into this campaign under strength.

  • I can see where you are coming from to a degree but “I believe for the club to be moving forward I wouldn’t like to see more
    than any two of Shola, Williamson,  Raylor, Perch, Obertan, Gosling and
    Elliot in our first eighteen at any one time.”

    Really? Do you honestly think that as a club we can sustain having 18 top drawer players? We couldnt afford it and even if we could then we would struggle to keep them all happy.

    I think every squad needs a group of players who are not on a big wage and who wont be expecting a start every week and are happy to battle for a place – ie the likes of Raylor, Perch, Williamson, Shola etc.

    I wouldnt like to see more than 2 or 3 of these players starting regularly every week but I think it is very wishful thinking to not have more than 2 of those players in the first 18 of the squad. 

  • Newcastle still have. and with the departure of players, get even more need of bodies able to fight for their place in first team. I would agree with the groups of players, and that we need to add severely to the 12 players. With the addition of Debuchy at right back, Good and Douglas in the center back positions and an new Left back have the defenders sorted. We would need another good Defensive Midfielder. Maybe Anita with his versibility could be a good player. But there are clear need of 2 strikers to add the the existing lot in the team. I pray on the day that we do have enough players, so that we do not have to see shola on the pitch each and every game….