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10 Newcastle United players given new contracts when should have got rid – That is why we’re in such a mess

1 month ago

I’m just back from watching the Newcastle United players give their best against Manchester City but come up well short.

No shame in that and they actually did better over the 90 minutes than I was expecting, in terms of performance, if not the 0-4 scoreline.

Once again, a case of self-inflicted problems and the worst of key decisions from match officials, contributing to United’s downfall.

However, there is no getting away from the key underlying problem and guess what…?

It amazingly has nothing to do with Eddie Howe and the new Newcastle United owners.

Listed below are 10 Newcastle United players who were given new contracts when NUFC should have got rid – That is why we’re in such a mess.

Newcastle United players who were given new contracts either this year (2021) or in 2020.

Well actually, I am exaggerating ever so slightly, one of them got his (latest) new contract in 2018, though it was a six year one.

What he does though share with the other nine Newcastle United players, is that they are all Championship level at best.

Jamaal Lascelles

Six year contract in 2018, will be aged 30 when it ends in 2024.

Jacob Murphy

Six year contract in July 2021, will be aged 32 when it ends in 2027.

Ciaran Clark

Two and a half year contract in January 2021, will be aged 33 when it ends in 2023.

Matt Ritchie 

Three years and four months contract in March 2020, will be aged 33 when it ends in 2023.

Dwight Gayle

Thee year contract in July 2021, will be aged 34 when it ends in 2024.

Isaac Hayden

Six year contract in 2020, will be aged 31 when it ends in 2026.

Javier Manquillo

Four year contract in June 2020, will be aged 30 when it ends in 2024.

Paul Dummett

One year contract extension in July 2021, will be aged 30 when it ends in 2022.

Karl Darlow 

Five year contract in 2020, will be aged 34 when it ends in 2025.

Jonjo Shelvey

Three years and four months contract in March 2020, will be aged 31 when it ends in 2023.


It is NOT their fault.

Put it this way, if you are Jacob Murphy and you are offered a new SIX year deal at a Premier League club, rather than being released and looking for a Championship club on a fraction of the wages and at best half the length of this NUFC deal, what would you do????

Dwight Gayle, same thing, never gets a game but offered a new three year contract with a Premier League club that takes him up to almost his 35th birthday….bring it on!!!

Just look at our back four today…Murphy, Lascelles, Clark and Ritchie…if you didn’t look at that pre-match and think the worst, well, you haven’t been watching very closely.

You might pick out Paul Dummett and say he’s decent when he is fit. That is the point though, sadly he is never going to get AND stay fit, zero sense giving a new deal to a player that won’t be playing. If ever a club couldn’t afford to be sentimental with its squad, it was / is Newcastle United.

These last four or five transfer windows, Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce should have been herding these players above out of St James Park. Saving wages and getting whatever cash from transfer fees, to create space in the squad and help finance bringing in better options.

Instead we end up with these Newcastle United players above making up pretty much half the current squad, seven of the ten have started at least one of these last two games (against the PL top two!) and another two have sat on the bench in both matches, the exception is Paul Dummett – who is still…injured and hasn’t played a minute of PL football this season.

It gets worse…because as well as this host of Championship players who should have been moved on and replaced, we have seen as well the signing of players (by Ashley and Bruce) such as Hendrick, Gillespie, Fraser and Krafth, none of who are Premier League players either.

We want to like our Newcastle United players and to be fair, all of them above amongst the first ten, have given us some good moments. The only problem(s)…not enough of these good moments, not many of the good moments happening recently, whilst a fair few of them you’ll find a lot of their good moments were in the Championship five seasons ago.

As I say, we want to like those who play in black and white and it is then human nature to point to the odd good / decent thing they might have done in recent times. Bottom line though is that those above help ensure Newcastle United are now a total defensive mess AND there are almost no goal scorers or goal creators in the team.

Pundits now say that many of the Newcastle United players are not good enough, as though it is a revelation, cutting edge punditry. When the reality is that most Newcastle fans were repeatedly pointing out the warning signs for a long long time under Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce, as the ever widening cracks were there for all to see.

Unlike Steve Bruce, Eddie Howe isn’t going to throw his players under a bus. However, the new NUFC Head Coach must have looked around at his options that he had available today and immediately feared the worst.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 0 Manchester City 4  – Sunday 19 December 2pm

(Half-time stats in brackets)


Man City:

Dias 5, Cancelo 27, Mahrez 63, Sterling 86


Possession was Man City 74% (64%) Newcastle 26% (36%)

Total shots were Man City 18 (6) Newcastle 5 (3)

Shots on target were Man City 7 (3) Newcastle 1 (0)

Corners were Man City 6 (3) Newcastle 3 (1)

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Crowd: 52,127 (3,000 Man City)

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Murphy, Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie, Hayden (Longstaff 61), Willock (Saint-Maximin 45), Fraser, Almiron (Hendrick 80), Joelinton, Wilson

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Schar, Krafth, Anderson, Gayle, White

(3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Newcastle 0 Manchester City 4 – Read HERE)

(Former top referee rules on controversial Newcastle United v Manchester City incident – Read HERE)

(Alan Shearer speaks for all Newcastle United fans after these key incidents v Manchester City – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 0 Manchester City 4 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Sunday’s defeat – Read HERE)


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