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The latest 12 at risk in the 2015 Newcastle United calendar

5 years ago
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A month ago I wrote about the 2014 Newcastle United calendar.

In the article I talked about flicking through my son’s calendar and then having a laugh when I saw Mr.October was the sent out on loan Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.

However, then when looking through the other months a certain pattern emerged…

January – Davide Santon, February – Loic Remy, March – Fabricio Coloccini, April – Hatem Ben Arfa, May – Yohan Cabaye, June – Papiss Cisse, July – Vurnon Anita, August – Moussa Sissoko, September – Steven Taylor, October – Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, November – Mathieu Debuchy, December – Tim Krul

I might be wrong but the idea of the calendar is surely to pick the dozen players who sell the club the best and who are basically the 12 best players in your squad….?

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So by my reckoning Newcastle United have managed to come up with;

Gone – Remy, Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Mapou, Debuchy

Not In First Team – Anita, Taylor

Injured – Santon

In The Team – Coloccini, Cisse, Sissoko, Krul

Since I wrote that of course, Taylor has come into the first team due to Williamson’s injury.

Now I see that the 2015 Newcastle United calendar is on sale, have a look at who we have this time…

January – Fabricio Coloccini, February – Vurnon Anita, March – Mike Williamson, April – Jack Colback, May – Yoan Gouffran, June – Paul Dummett, July – Remy Cabella,  August – Emmanuel Riviere,  September – Daryl Janmaat, October – Tim Krul, November – Moussa Sissoko, December – Siem De Jong

By the time we get through these next two transfer windows it will be interesting to see if we’ve had similar style carnage on the twelve featured this time, as happened with the current 2014 calendar.

The action photos featured in the new calendar look to have been taken at the start of the season, which means that around August time it was decided which 12 players would feature, no doubt again they would surely be picking the dozen players who’d be most likely to play and who would best represent the new look squad.

In only two months you can already see that a number of choices are already looking dubious.

While Alan Pardew is happy to say now about how great the young players are and how he knew they’d come through etc., there is no sign anywhere of Rolando Aarons, Adam Armstrong, Mehdi Abeid, Massadio Haidara, Sammy Ameobi or Ayoze Perez.

Nor indeed do we have Papiss Cisse (top scorer), Steven Taylor (five wins in five starts) or indeed the ‘outstanding’ (according to Alan Pardew) Gabriel Obertan.

While the last couple of weeks have been a refreshing change, these calendar choices simply reinforce to me how massive a dose of serious luck Pardew has had, with injuries forcing his hand plus playing fringe players in the League Cup unexpectedly (for Pardew especially!) paying off.

Or else why have Riviere and not Cisse/Perez/Armstrong, Anita not Abeid, Williamson not Taylor and Gouffran not Ameobi, Aarons or Obertan?

Recent matches have ‘proved’ we have some grit and burgeoning talent amongst some of our younger/fringe players but I still see no ‘proof’ that Alan Pardew knows what he is doing.

Still, as somebody once said (possibly), better maybe to have a lucky manager than a decent one…

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