When Danny Simpson left Newcastle United it wasn’t a case of fans taking to the streets in protest.

The right-back ended up leaving in June 2013 on a free after not being able to agree a new contract.

Danny Simpson claimed that Newcastle were offering him a really poor deal, far lower than players at other clubs were getting.

Mike Ashley was turning the screw on the wage bill and wouldn’t pay what the player wanted, then followed the usual ploy of using friendly media to drive the story that it was Simpson being greedy, rather than the defender not being offered a market rate.

Danny Simpson wasn’t the flashiest of players, a more old-fashioned full-back who rarely got forward and just stuck to his job in defence, how many times over the years have Newcastle supporters wished for that…?

It has been an expensive lesson in very short-term savings and longer-term pain.

Newcastle fans have seen the likes of Debuchy, Janmaat, Santon, Anita, Manquillo and Yedlin all turning out at right-back, none of them anywhere nearly as good as Simpson when it comes to defending.

He was excellent for Newcastle in the promotion (2009/10) season, very good on the return (2010/11) to the Premier League, then excelled when starting 35 games as Newcastle finished fifth in 2011/12.

Injuries mainly led to only 19 games in his final (2012/13) season, although with no new deal agreed that didn’t help either as the season got towards the close.

Joining QPR on a free, he played 36 times as they won promotion to the Premier League before moving on to Leicester where he was in and out the team in his first (2014/15) season.

However, he has been pretty much first choice ever since and started 30 games as Leicester won the Premier League and was a key part of the team that did so well in the Premier League the following season.

This season, the Mr Dependable has played all 15 of Leicester’s Premier League matches as Newcastle yet again wait in hope that DeAndre Yedlin gets the hang of this defending lark.

The sales of Carroll and Cabaye will always take the headlines when it comes to the Ashley era but the stupidity of things like the way Danny Simpson was treated, are arguably even more stupid when it comes to what a mess Mike Ashley has made at the club.

In the past, Aaron Hughes was another great servant who never let Newcastle down and Graeme Souness (what a surprise) sold him off for £2m whilst he wasted fortunes on the likes of Boumsong and others.

As Leicester have shown these past couple of years, you do need the match winners such as Vardy, Mahrez and Kante (in his own way) but you can also go far with the help of lesser figures such as Fuchs, Huth, Morgan and Simpson.

Hopefully Rafa Benitez will be given the time and backing to put together his own winning formula of real quality and dependables.

Danny Simpson speaking to Leicester’s official TV channel:

“We want to keep it going now.

“It’s confidence and momentum, especially in this busy period in December.

“To get a point at West Ham and then two wins (against Burnley and Spurs), it’s been a good eight days for us.

 “We’ve got two away games (at Newcastle and Southampton) coming up and they’ll be two tough games.

“It’ll be important to have a few days off now, because I think after that, games are every three or four days.”

“It’s always good to get back-to-back wins, especially at home.

“When you are at home, you want to use it to your advantage.

“Burnley are a completely different team to Tottenham – Burnley have changed their style this season.

“They are still a bit direct but they can play as well.

“It was great for the lads though because it’s always good to get an early goal (to beat Burnley).”

To feature like Jane Clark submit your article to [email protected] and/or for more info go here

  • TheFatController

    Good article – yes he had flaws but as you say, many others do too – good consistent reliable British players are vital in the PL

    Ashley probably offered him a zero hours or fixed term til Christmas contract.

    But then again, when you’ve got a low wage bill it saves you worrying about getting those pesky commercial revenues up…let’s moneyball 17th.

  • Paul Patterson

    Yet another example of how Ashley’s running of the club is severely flawed. You have a player asking for a decent wage increase (after doing well I might add) to put him in line with others, but instead you let the player go and then you have to actually go out and spend big on other players to replace him with no certainty in performance. Stupidity.

    • Clarko

      Fans did not like Danny Simpson when he was playing for Newcastle, he was the 2010 version of Paul Dummett, people wanted him replaced.

      • Paul Patterson

        I know, but look how that turned out. Simpson and Dummett are Steady Eddies, no fuss, no frills.
        We then went out and bought Janmaat, Debuchy and finally Yedlin for fortunes and we still haven’t got it right. It would have been far simpler to just pay the extra wages and keep a decent right back.

        • blackiegray

          Simpson, for me, was terrible, he was ok if you were running at him but if you stopped he backed off so much that it was far too easy to get a cross in, we use to point this out every week. Debuchy played well for us and went to a better team. Janmaat again was better, not great, but better all round and Yedlin I think already offers more but certainly not the finished article.

          • Paul Patterson

            Janmaat and Debuchy clearly didn’t want to be here though.

          • blackiegray

            True, but that doesn’t effect Simpsons abilities as a footballer.

          • Marveauxless

            But that’s true of all good players who play for a club beneath them. The best you can hope for is that those players can establish you in a higher echelon before bigger teams become interested. If we’d been able to maintain top 6 finishes after 2012 then Cabaye and Debuchy would probably still be here.
            Cabaye didn’t want to be here but Colback does. I’d take Cabaye over Colback anyday.

        • Clarko

          I never said that I didn’t like Simpson or Dummett, but the general consensus was/is that they’re not good enough.

          However, I would pick Janmaat, Debuchy and Yedlin over Simpson given the choice. Also, Newcastle have made a overall €5.8m net profit from the buys/sales of the right backs mentioned and we still have Yedlin, Newcastle have made money.

        • glassjawsh-got-banned

          all taken, Yedlin is worlds better than Simpson was.

        • Marveauxless

          Debuchy and Janmaat were both comfortably better than Simpson; we more than doubled our money on Debuchy in 18 months. Simpson was a decent back up but nothing more, which is why he could only attract Championship/Relegation-threatened Premier League clubs. I doubt Leicester would have gotten more than £5 million if they tried to sell him immediately after winning the title

          • gallowgate26

            Couldn’t agree more, replace Simpson with pretty much any other RB at the time in the PL and Leicester still would have won the title, possibly sooner. Mahrez, Vardy, Morgan, Drinkwater, Kante won the title IN SPITE of Danny Simpson, not because of him. He’s a VERY lucky boy.

        • Michael Lisle

          Agreed, Yedlin is following in the tradition of Janmaat and Debuchy of being not too keen on defending and so poor in the air that other teams target them.

      • The Newt

        Agreed! Simpson is a poor example as he was rubbish for us. Going forward he wasn’t great but defensively he cost us so many goals, he was clueless at times.

        Also of note is his tendancy to get very bad publicity (including assaulting his partner). I would guess this impacted on the decision too.

      • Geordiegiants

        F uckin hell Clarkoid, some thing I agree with you.
        You are aware that is an opinion though, and not a proven stat?

        • Clarko

          It can be proven, you would just need to catalogue social media posts, but the time is not worth the effort, especially when I knew that other users, like yourself, would prove me right.

          • Geordiegiants

            There’s a first time for everything.

      • Cuh

        Very true! I liked him though. Never liked Debuchy. Must have been the haircut

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    He went to Q.P.R a division down the fans were against him so surprised to here
    that he would get more at Q.P.R. If he was any good at the time a big club would have come in for him so he is taking rubbish. That said I thought he and Stephen Taylor were excellent one season when we went on a run of Premiership games unbeaten conceeding few goals. Plus Newcastle had one of the highest wage bills to turnover so it does not ring true at all.

    • Danimal

      Doesn’t help that your hero has stunted the turnover for the last ten years, while typical PL wages have continued to increase.

  • TheNutJob

    Just got a pair of Timberland boots at Scott`s were £110 got them for £50, Oh and a pair of Adidas superstar at JD Sports for £52.
    last week got a £110 top coat for £48.
    It`s Nuttyball time


    • TheNutJob

      Who cares about Simpson

    • Peaky Magpie

      A loaf of bread at my local corner shop is currently 25p cheaper than the nearest supermarket.

  • Toon Fan

    Simmo was average at best, we let him go because we got a significantly better upgrade in Debuchy. However it was clear from very early on that Debnuchy, along with the rest of our French contingent came to Newcastle as a route into the prem only – they had no intentions of staying (this was how the club was sold to them to be fair). He demanded first 11 premier league wages but was no longer a first 11 prem player… he then moved to a club in the championship..

    • Paul Patterson

      Then moved to a relegation threatened club and won the league . .

      • Toon Fan

        Indeed he did. Good for him, outstanding achievement.

  • Peaky Magpie

    Ex players with nowt decent to say do my head in.Average player at best.Tabloid fodder with his various dubious off field activities.Give him hell on Saturday.

  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    Silly article. Yedlin will be our starting right back for the next 3-5 seasons. So there is no real point in crying over this sort of perceived but not really spilled milk.

    • gallowgate26

      Exactly, I’d take Yedlin over Simpson any day of the week, even after this rough spell of form he’s had. (Partly down to Richie IMO). Absolutely no contest, just look at the way he tore Man United apart.

      • Mark Potter

        Yedlin is not a good defender. Cost us badly recently.

  • LanguedocFox

    I’m a Leicester City fan, and I’m delighted that we got Simpson. To be fair, he’s improved massively since he joined City, and he’s turned into a really solid defender who’s also pretty good at coming forward.

  • gallowgate26

    I never rated Simpson to be honest but you’re entitled to your opinion Jane. Disagree that he’s a better defender than Anita and Manquillo (on the right). Janmaat, Debuchy, Yedlin, Santon all had creativity going forward (some with a bit of flair or pace) Simpson offered virtually nothing going forward apart from a few rare crosses and goals. For a purely defensive full-back, I thought he backed off too much and invited attackers into the box. Just a decent athlete really, with a good engine but little else. He was about 4th choice RB at Man Yoo back in the day, Fergie used to play CBs there ahead of Simpson! He didn’t have the talent for big wages. Get Aarons or Murphy running at him on Sat!!!

  • Simon Ritter

    If you had ask 100 Newcastle United fans when Simpson left, I reckon most would have said they were not bothered. Whenever I watched, his default tackle seemed to be “grab the opponent and hope the ref doesn’t penalise me”. Good luck to him, he’s had plenty in his career so far.

  • Andy Mac

    Unless I’m thinking of a parallel universe, I distinctly recall seeing Danny Simpson clearing nailed on goals off the line on at least four occasions. The bloke was no worse than any of the past RB’s we’ve had and its typical of the Fatman knowing the cost of everything but the value of fk all !

  • Oooh bobbi fleckman

    Simpson was the fall guy and boo boy for the SJP faithful. Pardew was blasted for starting him week in week out and defended Simpson on the basis he had HBA in front of him.

  • Cuh

    Everybody is blaming Ashley now. It wasnt Ashley who refused to give Danny Simpson wages. Ashley most likely never even discussed the matter. Perhaps it was Linear or Charnley.

    And be honest, fleckman’s right. A lot of NUFC fans felt no remorse when Simpson left. Even here on the mag. Like they did Santon, Demba Ba, Gosling, and Facundo Fererya. Cue the present case of Mitrovic.

    Perhaps Geordie are deluded afterall