I have been down in Leeds this week with work.

Out with some of the locals on Wednesday night, the talk inevitably turned to football.

They were keen to find out how things were at Newcastle United and especially whether we were at last going to see the end of Mike Ashley’s ownership.

The half dozen I was with were all Leeds fans, including a couple of season ticket holders, apart from one who is a very happy Sheffield United supporter.

Wolves lead the Championship with 41 points, newly promoted Sheff Utd five points behind in third, then Leeds way back in 10th on 26 points, 15 off the pace.

Having come so close last season to promotion, the mood isn’t great amongst the Leeds supporters.

I was interested in finding out how Vurnon Anita was getting on.

I hold my hands up now and say that I thought he was a really poor signing for Newcastle and never a Premier League player.

However, last season he seemed to find his level and did ok in the second tier, although I couldn’t believe some Newcastle supporters thought he was worth another contract to be part of our Premier League squad this time around.

Sure enough, when released no other Premier League club had any interest in the Dutch midfielder/defender and he ended up Leeds. About right I thought and I can remember he seemed to be doing relatively ok at full-back when I saw Leeds on TV a couple of times back in August.

I was surprised then to hear the lads last night, they absolutely slated Vurnon Anita. As one of Leeds’ top paid players, if not the top earner, they thought he had been woeful after doing the basics in those first few matches.

In fact, it turns out that after being dropped, Anita has only started one Championship match in the past nine weeks.

None of the five Leeds fans I was drinking with, wanted to see the former Ajax player back in the team.

Newcastle may be desperately short of quality in certain positions but for my money, there was definitely no future in keeping the likes of Vurnon Anita and Yoan Gouffran, another player who I was always surprised about when some Newcastle fans rated him.

Like Anita, the Frenchman is now struggling to get a game. He has also spent most of the time on the bench despite dropping down to the very low standard Turkish league with Goztepe, making only four league starts so far.

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  • S.G.M.

    Dear oh dear, reduced to slagging off ex-players now. what a [email protected]

    • TheNutJob

      Very true, we have enough rubbish still at the Toon for us to slag off, cant be preoccupied with ex rubbish


    They were both okay players for the standard of football we were playing, but never going to make it a higher level.

  • Paul Patterson

    I would say that he was ‘found out’ at Newcastle, but he at least tried and didn’t hide, unlike other signings we made.

  • Muz

    “Found out” is a bit harsh.
    He was ok for us as a full back, despite playing on the left and out of position, and hasn’t been given a chance in midfield yet.
    Very few of our players have been on form recently and Anita’s not the only one taking flack from the fans.
    Schadenfreude is endemic in football though, unfortunately.

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      It is harsh, he left on very good terms. He always stood up to be counted and didn’t hide. He was one of the best passers of the ball at the club and generally under-rated.

      • Wor Lass

        That one`s entirely true, Blobbi.

        • Danimal

          I know, even a stopped clock gets it right twice a day…not sure where that analogy leaves the ‘Monksaton’ one.

    • gallowgate26

      So there you have it from the horses mouth folks, this article is basically untrue and having a cheap dig at one of our top performers from last season. Where are Obertan, Marveux, Steven Taylor, Colocinni, countless others we knew how poor they were and that they would not get the same wages or standard of football elsewhere, let’s be honest. It’s amazing that we’ve only had two seasons below the PL under Ashley.

  • Dillon Tovak

    In the very few times I’ve seen Leeds this season he looked ok in their team.

  • Viru leckworth

    He was okay at full back in the champ’s.

  • Toonrobbybobson

    Typical immediate results reaction of most fans then. Surely Toon fans realise by now the amount of times theyve been too quick to jusge a player. Weve had many examples over the years. Anita just needs time at Leeds and its a club going through changes on and off pitch. Hard to influence at a new club when you just go in. I think he’ll come good there.

    While I do agree at time for NUFC he was a signing we didnt need but that wasnt his fault.

  • East Durham Mag

    Anita did’nt have an ego or attitude like Sissoko why have a go at him? Getting far too many articles like this on this site.

    • Wor Lass

      Completely agree!

  • Wor Lass

    Pathetic article.

  • Big Al 1967

    Garbage article. Despite his limitations Vernon never hid unlike others and as others have stated left the club on good terms.
    Would also like to point out that a little bit of research might not go amiss as Vern has on a few occasions been asked to play left back at Leeds, which is just square pegs in round holes and hardly likely to show Anita in a good light

  • Martin

    It is sad when someone seems to get some strange pleasure watching Anita allegedly struggle at Leeds because it vindicates their view that he was not very good when we had him. It’s not much of a victory. I thought he did well for us.

    • Peaky Magpie

      I also thought he did well for us and had he been Spanish I reckon he wouldn’t have been moved on as quick.

      • glassjawsh-got-banned

        Anita was replaced by Merino. Your veiled racism aside, how is that not a HUGE upgrade?

  • Peaky Magpie

    I remember the last game of the season against West Ham under Joker Geordie John when we were playing for survival,although The Hammers didn’t turn up that day and Hippo Heed jacked it in at half time both Jonas and Big Vern were outstanding that day.

  • Darren

    Sheer madness that someone wants to agree with dirty Leeds fans. Yes Anit
    a wasn’t great however he tried game in and game out. This is the same Leeds fans that should have been talking about how their team has fell to bits. So last 9 games he’s been supposedly dropped. This coincides with the rubbish run that Leeds have had. Obviously this bloke that wrote this knows more than Rafa after the gafa played him 27 times last season.

    • Rich Lawson

      Says more that Gary Monk,who was doing an excellent job chose to leave them to go to Boro who he may now take up ahead of them.Horrible club and supporters. ( Worst times away have always been with drunken Leeds fans )

  • Danimal

    In other words he hasn’t been in their team during their terrible run.

  • SH

    The Mag ( once great) has turned into the evening chronicle

  • Geordiegiants

    Anita was shyte, a bit like Mitro, he wanted to do well, but he fell well short (pardon the pun) of any real quality.

  • IAmYTM

    This is what I read:

    Title:Ahhhhhh I was right! Lololololol.

    Article: see above with inconclusive proof bent to suit my argument.

    Comments: shut the f**k up you ass hat.

    Maybe I’m reading between the lines?

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    What I find staggering is the lad somehow came through The Ajax Academy !
    Was his fatha slipping them a few quid ?
    He was terrible where ever he played in the side and good performances were at a premium.
    No surprises to see he cannot make the cut at Leeds so what does that say about Newcastle United ?

    • Rich Lawson

      That we have a questionable buying policy,surely not !!?

    • NUFCDan

      Mixture of his lack of size and physically making him unsuited to the PL and being royally Pardew’d.

  • Mrkgw

    Personally, I’d have given both Anita and Gouffran one year deals to stay with us another season. Granted, neither were best out there but they would have done a job. Lets face it, Gouffran or Joselu? At least Gouffran knew where the goal was. Both Anita and Gouffran were decent players and unworthy of undue criticism.

    • Dillon Tovak

      As a midfielder, never. But yeah if you’re going to play him instead of Joselu, Gouf probably would have been worth another year.
      What a desperate thing to say though.