The arrival of Steve McClaren has brought much talk of clean slates for all the players, a new chance for all, opportunity to now show what great players they all are now that they have been released from the tyranny of Pardew & Carver.

It’s no different to any other club, a new manager is always going to take a bit of time and not make snap judgements…at least in public.

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Plus the reality is of course, even if the new boss doesn’t rate a lot of the players he has inherited, the basic truth is that you won’t be able to clear them all out straight away.

Especially when the ones you most want to get rid of, are the ones who have hung around far too long picking up wages in return for producing very little.

Which brings me to…Vurnon Anita.

He is just one of those who some fans are talking about having a second chance, opportunity now to prove himself, build on his display against West Ham in the final game of last season, now he has been ‘un-Pardewed’!

In fact the player himself has been saying much the same thing, although he didn’t mention Pardew…

Vurnon Anita:

“We have to start the new season the way that we ended the last one with the win over West Ham.

“From the beginning we have to start like that, we saw that day that we had everybody behind us, which is going to make a big difference.”

Those that want to see Vurnon Anita still having a future at Newcastle United will point to that game against the Hammers as the potential of what he can do.

On the other hand, those having the opposing view will think that it was about time the Dutchman had a decent game after three years at the club and it was against the only PL club who were on as bad a run as Newcastle, who had nothing to play for and already knew their manager was leaving.

Trying to be objective and I have looked at all our players to see if I can see them possibly bloom under Steve McClaren. Even with the likes of Yoan Gouffran I see potential, even if it is minute. After all the Frenchman looked like a workaholic with real purpose when he first arrived, as opposed to the mere spectator of the last 18 months or more.

vurnon anita

However, with Vurnon Anita I just see nothing.

I can imagine him being a canny five a side player but when it comes to the Premier League he is hopeless in the air, weak in the tackle, not quick and most tellingly, doesn’t create or score goals.

His record since arriving in summer 2012 is:

Played 95 (all competitions) – 2 goals and 2 assists

The thing is, you can get away with having maybe one midfield player with those type of stats but they have to be pretty amazing at other stuff – Vurnon Anita isn’t.

Cheick Tiote might have a similar record when it comes to scoring/creating but when at his best, he has been a superb combination with the likes of Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Ba and Cisse when United were at their best under Alan Pardew.

I can see that potential; Tiote sorting himself out and possibly doing a similar job with Wijnaldum, Mitrovic, de Jong and Aarons for example. I’m not saying it is going to happen and the odds are certainly against it, but a very good defensive midfielder can provide enough to compensate for their lack of involvement going forward.

Vurnon Anita has none of that, he can pass the ball 10 yards I suppose but I’m struggling to think of whatever else he can contribute.

Steve McClaren can’t change everything overnight and so we will need some of the deadwood to make up the squad this season.

However, if United end up with a squad still really weak in terms of numbers despite a few high profile credible signings, and players such as Vurnon Anita end up creeping into the team, it would totally undermine the investment been made in the team.

I’d love to see a ruthless policy of getting rid of players such as Anita, Gouffran, Obertan and Williamson, get whatever they can and ship them out. Even if it means it only creates room/funding for one other decent signing.

I would much rather see the likes of Aarons, Armstrong, Satka and Kemen making up the numbers in the squad than the players above, who we have seen time after time not being good enough.

Invest in quality and clear out as much deadwood as possible, it is what all decent clubs do and hopefully we’re catching on at last….



  • More Mag dross…

    He is a 5ft 6″ defensive midfielder and is being criticised for being hopeless in the air and not scoring goals – absolutely laughable.

  • Ryders_English

    That Jane believes Gouffran is potentially more useful than Anita says it all, really.

  • Billy Goat

    Quote  Roberts Grey PantsOh no lets not criticise him for those apparently trivial failings but how about he just isn’t good enough or physical enough to play in the Premier League.

  • PaulDent1

    I completely disagree. I think he’s a proper footballer that pardew didn’t know what to do with.

  • christopher87taylor

    Yeah I am reluctantly inclined to agree, although there is more to story in regards being played in correct manner and a shattered confidence from optimism of Ajax to meagre pickings of toon, sick of our recruitment policy of late where we end up with players we don’t know how to utilise and probably unsuitable for EPL and most crucially become largelly unsellable. Given a choice I’d open space for young players like kemen to let Anita move on, I can see he is an OK player but of course would be interesting if Schteeeve can whip fringe players into shape, it is possible considering James Perch.

  • brent_dog

    Billy Goat Roberts Grey Pants Claude Makelele was 5′ 7″ but he’s widely regarded as one of the finest defensive midfielders ever, so height clearly isn’t a determining factor in the role.

    Positioning, anticipation, timing of the challenge and having the right mentality to get stuck in are arguably more important than just being a big lump.

    Unfortunately I think wee Vernon lacks all of the above, particularly the mental aspect, but hopefully he can prove me wrong and show that the performance against West Ham isn’t the one exception that proves the rule.

  • Nutisbak2

    Doesn’t really matter what anyone thinks, as far as I am concerned and probably the club is concerned too, all the players of the previous regime currently have up to 1 season to prove themselves (the length of their contracts in most cases).

    Those that don’t show signs will likely be moved on or released at the end of their tenure.

  • Mal44

    He is a player who might benefit from a change to a passing style of game rather than hoofball. I’m happy to wait and see before judging. Why don’t we give the new coaching team a chance to assess the squad  and bed in the new signings. No doubt there are players who they feel need to be cleared out but it won’t happen overnight; it might be more difficult to get rid in some cases than it is to sign new players. I can’t really understand the need to write a whole article condemning one particular player.

  • Anita did have a good game against West Ham but lets face it, West Ham were a very poor team that day.Probably the worst the Toon played all season

  • PaulDent1 spot on mate. Also all comes down to what people expect from players but unfortunately many of our fans can’t seem to grasp that different players have different strengths and styles of play.
    If you read some of the stuff on here then it seems that every player has to be big, strong, fast, be able to take people on, ping 50 yard passes and score 30 goals a season and if they can’t do that then they are rubbish.

    Anyone with any sense can see that Anita is your kind of defensive midfield player that keeps things ticking over with short passes, breaking up play etc and moving the ball onto the more attacking players in the side and basically trying to gain and keep possession for the team.

    In the right system I think Anita could be a really good player for us especially if we hopefully go for a more passing style rather than hoofball.

    Even if not a starter then his versitility makes him a good squad player.

  • Chemical Dave

    What is “absolutely laughable” is that you’ve only picked out two things she’s mentioned yet the point is he’s not been premier league class in any part of his game so far. Instead of dismissing the article ad “more mag dross” why not write you’re own making s case for how the completely innefective Anita can prove to be a quality central midfielder in the premier league ? Go on, can’t wait to read it…

  • cwtoon88

    Imagine he is Ginger, born near Newcastle and had h his best games in a sunderland shirt and you might like him better Jane

    It makes me sad at times to read and hear the ignorance of some so called fans, Little Vurn has his issues such as he lacks physically and he doesnt have that killer instinct in the final third but to say he has less potential than some of our dross like Willo ( cant head the ball despite being 6ft+), Dummett (sunday league) and Obertan ( who runs away without the ball) is just plain ridiculous.

    The big problems with Vurn are firstly he isnt a DM, he gets compared to Tiote and the only thing they have in common is skin colour, Vurn needs to play next to a DM and not be the deep man.His best run of form was in the season before last when next to Tiote his inclusion helped put us on the run where we beat Man U away amongst others by keeping the ball ticking over and allowing the likes of Cabaye and Remy to shine.

    Its no coincidence that the West Ham was his best last year as it was the only game he played where he and Colback were in the right positions. We played most of the season with Colback pushing on ( whos best attributes are running and tackling) and Anita sitting deep ( whose best attributes are passing and moving) and it just doesnt work.

    The second problem Vurn has is that he is too nice he is always the one who was sacrificed game after game no matter how anyone else or he himself was playing just because he wouldn’t complain about it.

    I hope he does leave and goes somewhere he can flourish in a possession based team as no matter what he does a portion of our less educated fans will never appreciate him

  • AfshinAbedin

    load of rubbish, check out his time at ajax. Still think he has a chance

  • cwtoon88 spot on mate

  • jimbarb so you can only be deemed as having a good game if you are playing against a good team??

  • Chemical Dave i picked out those two things as they were the most ridiculous. What next, sell Krul because he is too slow and doesn’t score enough goals??

  • Michael Maximus Moose

    He`s Krap, Never been premiership standard Never will be

  • NottsToon

    No doubt Anita suffered from poor coaching, lack of confidence in him from his coaches, and being forced into positions and systems that did not suit his game.
    He still has a chance to make it if Schteve is going to play more possession based football. Worth another look perhaps, and I have also been guilty of criticising him in the past.
    What’s the worst that can happen? We hang onto him for another season and move him on next year if it isn’t working out.

  • 1957

    Clearing out players supporters consider deadwood isn’t easy, it’s not the fee that’s a problem for other clubs interested it’s the wages we are paying, hence I expect most of the players in question to see out their contracts before moving on.
    Anita was clearly unsuited to the Pardew/Carver style of play, he was supposedly a Carr selection that Pardew didn’t want just like he didnt want MYM. Can McClaren make a difference to his career, only time will tell, but he must have a better chance in a footballing team than in a kick and chase outfit

  • Jievo

    First thing, vurn and Tiote are not similar players AT ALL. Tiote is a DM, a warrior, and his role has been usurped by Colback, while Anita is going to be in competition with whoever plays alongside our defensive midfielder – Most likely Gini. Obviously chances are Gini is a much better player, but played in his correct position, in a system where that 2 direction midfield position is about passing, ball retention and playmaking from deep, Anita looks excellent as backup to Georginio – obviously, time will tell and if he continues in the same vein, he’ll be off next summer. Also, compared to Tiote, Anita has a number of positions he can cover – CM, LB, RB, probably DM and no10 in a real pinch. Tiote has the skillset for one role and one role only, as a defensive destroyer. That is why for me, Tiote needs to be cashed in, with Anita, Abeid, Bigirimana and Sissoko as cover for those two holding midfield roles. We desperately need a player who can effectively cover for Colback though, Abeid might manage I suppose but we need another player who can fight and protect the defence while being comfortable on the ball.

  • Billy Goat

    Roberts Grey Pants PaulDent1  Seen this type of assumption and analysis with so many average ex Newcastle players over the years. Assuming that the average supporter can’t see what is so bleeding obvious and somehow because a player plays well in one game, against a team that were clearly already on their holidays i.e. West Ham that miraculously he becomes Clarence Seedorf, sorry common sense has no place within wishful sentiment. Grasp the nettle by the hand and get shot of dead wood.

  • Billy Goat

    Michael Maximus Moose  A totally accurate and precise answer.

  • Chemical Dave

    Krul plays in goal but if he played in midfield I’d fully agree with your rather gormless analogy.

  • Chemical Dave

    Lets build our team around Anita, if we play to his strengths of kicking a ball three yards we’ll end our long wait for a trophy.

  • Chemical Dave it was a serious post and I think you may have missed the point. I wasn’t comparing Krul to Anita but If the author of this article is going to judge Anita on how good he is in the air and how many goals he scores then that is almost as sensible as judging Krul on similar things that clearly are not part of his game or are needed to be.

    For the sake of avoiding repitition the post above by

    cwtoon88 pretty much is my feelings on Anita.

    Don’t think he is a world beater but at the same time I think played in a team that tries to play some football with a manager that has some faith in him he could be a more than useful player for us.

    Certainly isn’t as bad as some people make out and I don’t agree with the rather easy criticism that physically he can’t handle the Premier League.

  • Billy Goat funnily enough my assessment of him isn’t based on the one game against West Ham and I can’t remember anyone claiming he is the next Seedorf either.

  • potski

    Roberts Grey Pants Chemical Dave 

    I have mixed views, and my point can be levelled not just at Anita, but Colback and others.  If we play football on the deck, then Anita can pass the ball and keep possession.  And he can do it far better than Tiote.  But there are two sides playing matches, and we have to play plenty of teams who either play direct up the middle, and we have to defend free kicks and corners.  Having too many small players who can’t win their one-one-one battles in the air means you are very vulnerable, as we have seen.  One player like Anita and he can go on the post, but Anita, Cabella, Colback, Perez, Armstrong, Perez ….

    I don’t subscribe to the view our CBs are rubbish on set-plays, the whole team need to pick up the opposition and at least challenge for the ball in the air.  The CBs can’t make up for the deficiencies of everyone else.  And the same problems will persist if we keep playing too many small lightweight players.

    Against a very direct team, then a fairly big/strong CDM will drop back just in front of the CBs to prevent balls being played into the opposition CF.  Tiote did it well at his best.  MYM could also do it.

    Horses for courses.  A squad is not just to cover injuries/suspensions.  The manager should have the flexibility to pick and choose players depending on home/away and the opposition.  We would need 2-3 Gini quality midfielders brought in before I would let Anita or Colback, Gouffran, Obertan go.  We already lost three midfield players who played a lot of games last season (Raylor, Gutteriez, Ameobi) but only brought one in so far (Gini).  We surely aren’t going to fill out the squad with more dwarves like Bigi and Marveux?

    I prefer to say Anita and many of the others in our squad are Prem players, you just won’t win anything with them in the side, and you run the risk of relegation if you then are relying on players like Cisse not to get injured/banned/swan off to ACON for a month.

  • PaulDent1

    I think it’s a completely different case to say someone like obertan. Obertan clearly looks like he could do something but never does where as anita goes about his business in a tidy fashion when the game isn’t played 5 feet above his head. Also I don’t think folk are particularly thinking of the west ham game. Where his was the only performance worth noting in almost a whole season.

  • Chemical Dave

    @rgp the ssimple fact is he’s been here three years, its not like he’s not had a chance. He may go elsewhere and do well but if he does, surely that would only confirm that perhaps he wasn’t up to the rigours of the premier league? Thomason was a very good footballer but he could sense an approaching defender 50 yards away and duly step aside rather than get tackled. It happens, some players aren’t cut out for the pl.

  • desree

    i would like to see an article written by the players we keep slagging off to hear their side of the story. For me every game the players we talk about look lost. players are anonymous, the southampton away game a terrific example where not a single player had a clue what they were supposed to do. i find it odd that pardew has got performances out of palace players?
    Anita clearly should be doing better and goufran was a far better player when he first arrived. My view is that as fans we will need to take a deep brief and be patient. I think we might have some bad performances and results. hounding the manager and players during this time(like pardew and allardyce) will only contribute to the club spiralling down.
    notts toon i agree with your observations, rome wasn’t built in a day, as we seen with liverpool, wholesale changes tend to have a detrimental effect.
    confidence is the key for a lot of these players. i am sure I would be prone to errors if every time i made a mistake 50000 voiced their disapproval. i can’t even handle notts toon abuse, imagine that x 50000 when you are trying to do your job.
    last season was a perfect storm of greedy/neglected ownership, lack of leadership, a culture of bullying, all in all we had a very toxic club. I believe that there are changes being made that should give the players no excuses and I am reserving judgement until may 2016

  • JohnGraham1

    I think Jane dislikes him because he’s not attractive… Like to think gouffran has more potential is a far cry of the imagination !!! But gouffran would argueably be more appeal physically !! His taller , girls like tall men, could argue he’s better looking too :P my comment is utter tosh
    My opinion is this article is tosh… Played out of position in an attempt to play all the big personalities similar to Sissoko who spends most his time playing wide right instead of central !! I like Little Ver playing in beside colback !! Claims he’s no pace … Really ?? Any game I’ve watched he’s no slouch !! He’s a tidy player, not going to set the world alight but he’s a good player!! Not every one in the match day squad can be a super star! He puts in his shift in chases everything down … And for the record I’ve seen him lash in to plenty of meaty challenges , probably not often enough but I’ve seen plenty! In a passing set up I can see him been the glue in midfield quietly going about his business avoiding the headlines, he will collect the ball an get others involved !

  • RichMilburn

    Chemical Dave A harsh opinion, yet possibly a valid one. Though, you have to remember that he has been getting his tactical instructions from imbeciles Pardew and Carver since he arrived here, who after all, managed to coach most of the talent out of players who looked immense for us when they arrived (Ben Arfa, Tioté, Cissé). 
    I’m reserving judgement on him until I can see what McClaren can get out of him. His Pre-season performances don’t mean much to be honest. I don’t think he’ll make the cut in the long run, but I’m of the opinion that everyone (except Gouffran, Williamson, Obertan) deserves a chance in the upcoming season.

  • Chemical Dave not really been given the chance to start games consistently in those 3 years though has he and rarely in a position that suits him. I remember one game where Pardew literally played him in 4 different positions in 90 minutes!

  • Willvenus1

    Leave him alone and pick on someone you’re own size

  • Aiders

    Can’t tackle, can’t pass, can’t shoot other than that he’s ok!

  • desree

    another great example of how intelligent and educated our fan base is.
    Jane I apologise on behalf of the male population for this moronic attack on your character.

  • Happyharrys2011

    WHAT?????? Obertan!!!!! looks like he could do something. I’m trying really hard not to swear. Are you having a laugh he is the worst player I have seen in recent seasons at newcastle and we have had some belters. Williamson is a better winger than him. I really can’t beleive you have just wrote that. My goodness do you watch the match?

  • Paul Thompson

    Have you ever thought that maybe they do want to shift them on but like many other clubs they can’t? Who is gonna want Obertan and take on his contract? Yes you’ve got it..no one!

  • Kazie23

    Ffs….Just sell Colocini,Williamson,Gouffran,Marveux,Anita,Riviere and Cisse and then buy Van Dijk,Sven Van beek,Will Hughes,Charlie Austin and promote the young players such as Kemen,Aarons and Lascelles into the team and loan out the two potential ones-Armstrong and Woodman to good League 1 clubs who will offer them plenty of game time and play well for them

  • Kazie23

    Just sell the dwarf

  • desree

    JUST! hahaha you have to be kidding, selling that mob would be almost impossible, i doubt we could give them away.

  • Duncan Ashwell

    I thought Overan had cracked it last season Thoma before his injury! He had more determination, creativity and a final ball (on a few occasions!). I would give him another season as he would be a decent squad player IF he can keep that up!

  • Paul Thompson

    Agree Dunc but it’s the other 2 year I worry about! Anyway he won’t be budged on his contract so he’ll be here to stay along with the titanic and guffran U0001f648

  • Aiders Can’t pass – are you for real??

  • desree if apologies are the order of the day then one from the author for such a horrendous article wouldn’t go amiss!

  • Chemical Dave

    He’s a great passer of the three yard pass like.

  • dav_art

    desree   Now that Alan Pardew has gone, Mike Ashley is seemingly changing his ways (though I’ll reserve judgment on that), it seems like The Mag is running out of puff.

    There’s only so many times that you can re-circulate the same bile so it’s time to have a go at the players  First Williamson, now Anita. 

    I think everyone knows they aren’t world beaters but there’s no need to rip them apart.

    I agree with you on this, we need to give this new set up a bit of time and like you I’ll reserve judgement on the players and coach until the end of the season.

    Cue faux outrage, accusations of being Wendy or an Ashley apologist, followed by a few hard case keyboard warrior insults.