Interesting times at St.James’ Park, I think we’ve pretty much got a great team but have we got a great squad?

Any rational person would say NO! but as football fans, especially Newcastle ones, logic/reasoning/rationalisation goes out the black & white window.

I’ve read articles on this class website over the last few days and been left shaking my head at the naivety of some people, are they safe to be let out?

Whenever anybody has pointed out that NUFC have failed miserably in the transfer window the knee-jerk response from a fair few is to slag them off for wanting to ruin the club with a mad mad spending spree, as though they’ve just claimed that Newcastle should have signed Messi, Ronaldo and the rest.

Surely there is a huge void in between signing those type of players and nobody, Vurnon Anita excepted.

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I’ve seen others listing pretty much every player in our squad as if it was evidence of strength in depth, even though some of those players have never even started a Premier League match!

Looking forward to this season there is not one club that that comes close to Newcastle in terms of fans automatically agreeing on what should be the starting eleven.

Krul, Simpson, Coloccini, Steven Taylor, Santon, Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Tiote, Jonas, Ba, Cisse

What that tells me is that we have got some very good players who you wouldn’t swap for anybody else in the Premier League but….it also tells me that there is very little pressure on them from within the squad.

Only the addition of Vurnon Anita has created even some small doubt and hopefully when we see more of him he will be giving both manager and fans a nice headache in terms of how to accommodate him when everybody’s fit, what about the rest though?

Ignoring the younger inexperienced players, the senior squad/fringe players would be Obertan, Perch, Ryan Taylor, Gosling, Marveaux, Williamson and Shola.

If Marveaux could rediscover his pre-serious injury French form then he would be a real asset but what about the rest?

This isn’t about doubting their commitment when they play but accepting reality, just like Lovenkrands, Smith, Guthrie and Best they’d almost certainly be looking at Championship football if Newcastle decided to get rid, or one or two might be lucky and get a promoted team like Danny Guthrie.

Perch has surprised everyone and given himself a chance of staying as back up at Newcastle but leaving aside Ryan Taylor’s exquisite free-kick technique which is Premier League quality, they are Championship players in all but name and almost certainly paid like them. The revelation that Danny Guthrie was on a Premier League pittance (in terms of general PL pay) of £4,000 a week says it all, I can’t see Perch, Williamson and Raylor on much, if any, more.

What last season told me was that if we had one or two injuries then these fringe players can come in and do a job, massively helped by what elite players like Colo, Tiote, Cabaye, Ba, Ben Arfa, Cisse and Krul can do to make up for their limitations.

Yes I’d rather have Perch or Raylor giving it their all than a Geremi, Owen or Alan Smith but that shouldn’t have to be the choice.

Newcastle were desperate for at least three players to help create a buffer between the elite first eleven and these fringe players, making it  a real hardcore of fourteen or fifteen, backed up by Raylor, Shola, Perch, whoever.

Instead we’ve been left short, I just hope we don’t get caught short.

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  • steve

    we were lucky last term in so much that we only lost S Taylor to injury in the middle of the defence. Imagine our plight if colo picked up a long term injury as well. Dont forget Taylor is prone to injury and the odd suppension.

  • Mal

    The only major ‘slagging off’ I’ve seen on this site is the guy who wrote that he was more depressed than when we were relegated, so he had lost all sense of perspective anyway. I think most fans agree that we’re now short in some areas and have probably missed an opportunity to strengthen the team, particularly in the case of Debouche who would have jumped at the chance to come. The striker situation is also a big worry, At the same time, however, we have to get behind the players we have and stop the constant moaning about what we should have done – the window is closed and it’s time to move on until the circus begins again on 1st january. Also, I think you are selling some of our young players short – they will surprise you. In the past (before Pardew) young players were rarely given a chance to shine and it’s great to see them being given their chance.

  • Toony tempah

    When I first read this I thought that you were arguing a good point. However on reflection I feel you are being slightly harsh on some of our squad players. Ok none of them are going to get big moves to bigger clubs than us but are you saying that marveaux, taylor, and gosling are not even good enough to start for teams like stoke or wigan or west ham. I believe they are easily.

    So maybe the article should be called can lower half premier league players fill the gaps, and the answer is yes definately-all teams have these players, no team except the man citys and the chelsea can afford to have players of the same standard to the starting XI on the bench, it just doesnt work. Depth in squads come from these squad players and youngsters, not players who expect to start. our squad players and youngster arnt really that different to any other premier leauge clubs, they are there to do a job not set the world on fire.

    For our youngsters the problem has been that they don’t develop fast enough simply because they don’t have much experience of the prem. This season with the squad we have will allow the likes of Vuckic and Tavernier to take there careers to the next stage by playing games, something they might not have done if players were brought in. Im personally excited about this season seeing how all our youngsters will get on as this is the first time since the championship where they will have the chance to play a lot of first team football.

    Its not all doom and gloom, just think a bit more positively.

  • Tone Army

    Sorry but you are arguing that players who have got us back into the prem (breaking the league points total along the way), kept us there and helped us back into europe, are not worthy of a place in a prem team & we should be unhappy to be stuck with them.. very short sighted, narrow minded & negative of you.
    Shola should not be in your list for a start, never complained about being the super sub, loves scoring against the mackems, has been involved in some of the best moments/goals in the clubs recent history, and the man is such a good role model around the club, his service to the club is appreciated by the real fans.
    Perch, Willo, Raylor, have done enough to convince me that they are commited to the cause, anyone who states that they “overplayed” in recent seasons are overlooking why they exceeded expectations, because they played with heart, drive & passion, now theres a few attributes missing from the many carlos kickaballs we could have signed on high wages who may or may not gel in in time or indeed ever.
    Marvaux, Gosling, Obertan & Anita still have a bit to prove but they show promise & they deserve a chance.
    The young talent we are adding is looking very promising too, Amalfitano, Bigirimana, Tav, abeid, Vukic, Campbell & young sammy ameobi are looking like good prospects for the future who can also do a job now.
    The draw for the Europa league is the reason I beleive we did not spend on transfer deadline day.. we have a easy draw without having to travel too far, if we had been drawn against 1 or 2 of the bigger teams I think we would have then looked to strengthen now instead of january.
    Its a gamble but the board have obviously thought that with the players that we have we have a chance of rotating the squad well enough to keep up in the league & qualify for the knockout stages of the Europa before January, the league cup is looking like it will be over in one match & if not thats a bonus.
    Early January is where I think we will move for reinforcments as the African contingent will be heading off & Prices/Wages are keener, we should still be in europe, could still be in the league cup & would still be in the FA cup, the prem is our priority and is where we will feild our strongest teams, the rest is just a nice reward for the players/fans to appreciate & hopefully excell in.
    Instead of moaning about what we don’t have lets look at what we do have.. Cabaye, Tiote, Ben Arfa, Cisse, Ba, Krul, Tayls, Colo, Shameobi’s, Jonas, Santon, loads of young commited talent, a squad that seems to be focused & harmonious for once, a manager who knows what he is doing & talks sense, a financialy stable business model that is the envy of the league…. ahh there the smile is back on me face..