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Ashley’s intent signals winds of change at St James’ Park?

Posted on March 21st, 2010 | 130 Comments |

Planning ahead?
Planning ahead?
Turbulent. One word to describe the roller-coaster ride of Mike Ashley’s reign at Newcastle United. But with various reports cropping up about players that we are looking at and with the return of the scouting system that brought us the likes of Tamas Kadar, Haris Vuckic and Nile Ranger, could this be the signal that Mike Ashley is prepared to stick with Newcastle for the forseeable future?

Recent reports have suggested that the newest addition to the scouting network, Graham Carr, has been a busy bee and is already compiling a list of players that would improve the team should we secure what looks to be a likely promotion. Names such as Jamie O’Hara, Pablo Hernandez from Valencia, Getafe’s Juan Albin, Yohan Cabaye from Lille aswell as youngsters like Adama Diakite, have all been linked with us in recent weeks, and all of these players fit the criteria which Ashley himself has talked of implementing.

We all know what that policy is, bringing in players under the age of 26 that will either strengthen the team or at least be sold on for profit. It sounds great in theory, just the job for a club that was known as being a big pay day for stars such as Michael Owen, stars that were signed on reputation, stars that ultimately let us down in our hour of need.

These players will undoubtedly add to the team. Hernandez is a winger on the verge of the Spanish squad, Albin is a playmaker who plays just behind the strikers, Cabaye is a combative type of midfielder. All players in positions that many of us have identified could be an issue in the Premier League, all players that could do a job for us.

Of course, we may not get them. Juan Albin could be a strong possibility, out of contract in the summer and playing for a team in European contention, could the lure of St James’ Park tempt him to Tyneside? I’d certainly hope so as a midfielder with craft and guile is definately something we have been missing. Something is definately going on though, perhaps in the background Ashley has been trying to get things right after all?

That’s the thing though, Ashley has made that many mistakes that it would take a lot, a hell of a lot to get some fans back on side, some fans just wont budge though. The whole Keegan-gate saga was a bridge too far, a bridge that has been burnt in their eyes, lies and deception being the catalyst to the fire.

Many fans overlook the money that has been pumped in by himself. Granted, if he wants to see a return on his investment it was something that was needed, although it shouldn’t be overlooked. As this season has progressed there have been clear signs that things are becoming more settled, both on the pitch and off it. Aside from the mutterings of Derek Llambias, thigs have settled down. The “get out of our club” chants have gone, to be replaced with the “all we care about, is NUFC”. Perhaps it’s due to a mellowing towards Ashley, grudgingly coming to terms with the fact he is here and here to stay by the looks of it. Perhaps it’s the willingness of the fans to get behind the team. Only those that know, actually know.

This isn’t me being an apologist for Mike Ashley. Many people know that I refused to set foot inside SJP earlier in season in the midst of the Moat saga, something I have stuck to. But even I am forced to admit, just a little, that it is nice to see our club being run properly, not having to worry about picking the papers up and seeing another story about us, not having to put up with players who couldn’t care less for the club.

Of course, this could all blow up in my face if Chris Hughton isn’t backed by the board in the summer. I didn’t really expect him to get backed in January, but he was. Sensible investment in a time of extreme financial difficulty. Sounds good, too good maybe.

Knowing Newcastle United, it probably is!

NUFCBlog Author: toonsy toonsy has written 643 articles on this blog.

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130 Responses

  1. All the right noises should they turn out to be true it will be fantastic.

    I have to say that we should all be cautious given what has happened in the past and not expect anything. I hope fat boy has seen the light and will put some money in but I will believe stuff when I see it, though the Routledge signing was a massive shock and he has been our best player since Jan in my opinion

  2. Or Williamson, for someone who was out of football for so long he has slotted in remakably well.

  3. Meant to say some good points you make in the article. I guess it wont be long now untill we find out what his intentions are, but I think he is here to stick around for a while

  4. you keep coming out with this bullshit about ashley putting money into the club,he has recouped between 65-80M in 3 years and sold the best players and best young players and brought in garbage like xisco on massive wages,it makes me laugh when people believe they are trying to reduce the wage bill,yes the wage bill themselves created.Get your facts right before spouting shit.

  5. toonsy i have too agree williamson is for me the find of the season . Him with S Taylor , Colo , Kadar & Enrique will form a solid defence for the next few seasons if all are kept and allowed to develope together . The 1 doubt is simpson , but time will tell .

  6. We still have that relative “big club” reputation and sometimes lure of premier league football for some players is too tempting.Though I’m unsure about Albin and Hernandez, as in my opinion they are too weak to play in PRM… and also the percentage of successful South American and spanish players in PRM is quite low..

  7. We still are a big club mate, still get a higher attendence in the champinoship than most prem league clubs get at home

  8. Axel did you not think Simpson looked a lot better at the start of the season ? I think I heard someone ( Ando ) I think saying he has been carrying an injury

  9. With the stability that CH has brought in this season , and getting back into the premiership surely we must be able to attract some decent players . As NUFCELITE says we still attract bigger crowds than most prem clubs , that alone has pulling power .

  10. yeh apparently he’s been carrying a knock to his hip for a while which would explain why he’s a bit off the pace Big Dave. Other Dave; I’m fairly certain Toonsy is far better informed, reasoned and just genuinely on the ball with all things NUFC than you are, so don’t offend the blog by claiming he’s spouting shit after writing a decent article for us to all enjoy.

    As for these players, I’m not so sure about Albin but Hernandez is definitely a big prospect, as is cabaye. Someone mentioned on Ed’s blog about us going in for that Baye Levekusen striker, Hermes I think he’s called. Now I’ve never seen him play in real life but according to Fifa 10 he’s absolutely top drawer and a big player in the making, so that’d be cracking! I also like the idea of us signing players from the Bundesliga, as as far as playing style and the physical demmands are concerned, I believe it’s the most similar league to the prem.

  11. Yes that really should attract the players axel,But feel if the players dont find it an honour to play for nufc i would not want them at the club.

  12. @just Dave – everyone keeps on mocking Xisco, but I’m still a part from the group that thinks he had never had a chance to prove himself, I think it was very foolish to loan him out as I’m quite sure that he would florish in championship, adapt to english game and bring the form to PRM ,same as Colo,Jonas ,Enrique you can’t expect a player who needs to adapt to a new league,country,culture to perform straight away. Xisco is the reason why I didn’t approve Best signing …

  13. NickyButtFan – I kind of agree, I think he was made a scapegoat for the whole mess going on behind the scenes. He didn’t help himself by refusing to play or traing though and he isn’t setting the Spanish league alight either.

  14. Big Dave I’d have him replace Best for sure, send Ranger out on loan to a lower premiership club who desperately need strikers or more likely a decent championship club, and keep Best for another season to let him get a look in every now and then as 4th choice striker, if he was good enough and wanted it enough he’d turn in a couple blinding performances whenever given the chance! Haha, a very harsh theory I know but he just doesn’t excite me the way a decent striker should. In terms of who he’d replace outta Carrol or Loven, that one’s tricky- maybe play just behind them Keegan styley… Doubt it’ll happen though so we dont need to worry!

  15. good article toonsy

    It all sounds reasonable. Hopeful, even.

    It would do the current regime no end of good to be seen to support CH’s building in the closed season – a start, at least, as we aren’t likely to see any benefit from the scouting related activity in the next year I would think.

    Barring another witless, provocative, cat-amongst-the-pigeons outburst from Llambias, I would say that things are looking up :)

  16. Worky I think NUFCELITE was a few of the other phantom characters not sure like but good ridiance to him.
    as for Xisco I allways felt for him I dont think he was treated to good and never got a chance, although as Toonsy say’s he isnt setting the Spanish league alight

  17. Big Dave says:
    March 21, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    “Worky I think NUFCELITE was a few of the other phantom characters not sure like but good ridiance to him.”

    I know who was who, Dave. The ones yesterday were from someone in Manchester, and NUFCELITE thought he would join in the fun today to have a go at Asim through a variety of separate usernames.

  18. devonmag dont forget we still have Strolla and I think he is much better than Best imo, I just haven’t been impressed with Best at all I think all he has done up to now is keep Ranger from getting a chance. As for Carroll and Lovens I just cant see why we would replace them as things are I know Carroll can be a bit of a lazy sod who can be missing for 70-80 mins of the game but he is banging them in. ;)

  19. @Toonsy – I agree he’s not scoring too much… 2goals ,one assist,something like that. But If we take a look at some other factors,he plays for mediocre mid table/relegation team,team that usually scores ~45 goals in league , it might tell us what kind of a football they are playing , top goalscorrer has scored 5 goals for them this season ,Xisco has earned 5 yellow cards,probably played out of position…

  20. If our three senior signings this summer were HELMES, CABAYE and HERNANDEZ I would be absolutely over the moon, with 5 or so u-20 up and coming players to add to the youth academy. Finish mid-table and push on from there!
    Reet see ya later lads I’m off for a Thai curry and a pint with the missus. Peace

  21. I suppose so Nicky Butt fan. At 50k a week or whatever I just dont think we will see him back at SJP.

  22. Worky excellent job mate as I said earlier this is my 2nd home and I hate to see people try to ruin it. can you say if you think Asim is genuine ?

  23. Devonmag @16 good call mate Patrick Helmes is a great striker, he scores goals out of nothing and is a bit in the Beardsley mode. I’d have him the morra if we could get him.. The bad news is that he is a German international and could win the league with Leverkusen which would have him in the Champs League next year. Add in the 10 million quid price tag (Rudi Voller aint gonna give him away) so we would be struggling to attract him. Couple of other Leverkusen players to mention…Gonzalo Castro, Tranquillo Barnetta or Eren Derdiyok would all do a great job for us. Leverkusen are a selling club, so perhaps it would work out..hope so !

  24. As for Batty I have been thinking off him I just hope all is good with him and the Family. He was the blogs resident WUM but a lovable one :lol:

  25. Very happy to see most of tonight’s blog is about the footy, was a bit shocked at some of the stuff last night.

    Promotion and being nervous about what Ashley & Co will do in the summer is still a million times better than being in the fizzy pop another season!!

    Great article, fingers crossed for players with some quality mixed with a good amount of endeavour to match what we have seen this season :)

  26. If Albin becomes as good as the player he is on 09 we are in for a treat(if OF course this rumour is true which i’m not sure it is.

    PS Toonsy god article.

  27. Some strikers hit the mark straight straight off, others like Defoe and Crouch, seem to struggle. It’s taken Andy several years to get where he is (ok he’s a lot younger than Best). I would say let Best get a few full games in before we consign him to the reject bin.

    It’s true that Ashley didn’t come out smelling of roses from Keegangate but Keegan wasn’t exactly exonerated either, I still think there was a massive teddy throwing.
    Big difference is that Ashley still has to live with it.
    He might not be the best club owner but there are much worse. He does (on the surface anyway) seem to be trying to get things right.
    So what if he buys a lot of talented youngsters and then sells some on for a big profit, so long as we keep the best ones who do actually want to play for us.

  28. Big Dave says:
    March 21, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    “Worky excellent job mate as I said earlier this is my 2nd home and I hate to see people try to ruin it. can you say if you think Asim is genuine ?”

    Dave, There’s a real Asim, and there’s been two people trying to ‘spoof’ him. They are extinct on this ‘blog now.

    Apologies for the idiots, Asim.

  29. yo Toonsy@37…Helmes is a wee bit better looking than wor Peter Beardsley…but thats not difficult !

  30. Good article Toonsy. I think Ashley could turn the tide of opinion even more by doing 1 simple thing; SACK HIS MATE DEREK!

    Surely Ashley can see that the fans really dislike DL, he could give him a nice pay off, even move him into another job with same wages, the fans wouldn’t care aslong as he appointed a proper chairman who ran the club properly and communicated well.

    I do have 1 slight worry, and that is i have a horrible feeling that there is some nasty surprise waiting when the club accounts are published, maybe not this years as that will be from when we were in the PL, but maybe next years accounts.

  31. I shall batton down the hatches now and wait to get harrased for perpetuating an Ashley love in :lol:

  32. A thai curry and a pint would just about do for me at the present, I caught the vomitting bug last week and am still on boiled eggs and bananas. Thought I was going to end up in hospital at one point, wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

  33. Thats good worky now I know I will try to have a chat with him as I was ignoring him as I was sure he was a wum.
    jay jay haven’t seen skunk on in a longtime but maybe with a name like that he has changed it :lol:

  34. Worky,
    Good to see you taking a positive stance against imbeciles, there is nothing wrong with healthy banter, but when it oversteps the mark i.e. racist comments etc then they have to be banned.

    All contributors should adhere to a code of conduct and show respect to other folks comments.

    Keep up the good work mate.

  35. Thanks for the info Big Willy, don;t let Chuck see that as it’s not football related and he’ll hoy his toys out the pram ;)

  36. Worky when you say extinct, you don’t mean “with the fishes”, do you? Bit extreme don’t you think! ;)

  37. Yeah sorry Toonsy, just feeling a little sorry for myself and after a little sympathy, the missus just doesn’t understand how bad man’s flu (or whatever it was) really can be. :)

  38. I really like Andre-Pierre Gignac,was immense last season for Toulouse,but has struggled to re-find his form, only 6goals and ~5 assists.. Got all atributes to be a perfect striker, fast enough, strong, playes well with head,good technique… 10 millions,might be his price :/

  39. Jay Jay caught some of that game, a Greek guy name of Gekens scored a good hat trick, seems to be a fair few good Greeks at present. The Liverpool one looks a prospect.

  40. I just think that some of the Frenchies are ready made for over here. I mean theur league isn’t crap, they still have teams in Europe in the latter stages.

  41. The French youngsters are always good technical players. They often also seem to be a bit to self opinionated and don’t always settle, we don’t have to look to far for examples!!

  42. toonsy @49

    “I shall batton down the hatches now and wait to get harrased for perpetuating an Ashley love in”

    No love-in yet, toonsy. Not for me anyway.

    MA has to WALK THE WALK before he gets so much as a peck on the cheek :)

  43. Shame that when we bought Bassong from Metz, that we didn’t also take Miralem Pjanic,top class player in the making, kicked Madrid out of Champions League :/

  44. Darth – You know what I meant, the ones who scream blue murder and wouldn’t even contemplate acceptance if he did “walk the walk” i was reffering to.

  45. JayJay, I was thinking about him as I wrote my comment. He was a real hero to the Greek Cypriots, I remember talking to a waiter in a Paphos restaraunt who was really chuffed I was a toon fan. We had great service that night and even a bit of birthday cake from a young lady who was celebrating with mum and dad at the next table.

  46. Toonsy, if you want some real flak, go on a ManU blog and write some nice things about their hierarchy, now they make Ashley look really fluffy and cuddly.

  47. I liked Dabizas as well. He was a strong quick player and a cracking header of the ball.

    I was sorry to see things start to slide for him in the last couple of seasons, and I think he was definitely lacking in confidence, rather than anything else, after a couple of fairly high profile errors.

    I remember the England Greece game at Old Trafford. He was absolutely outstanding.

  48. Just of to watch “Men who stare at Goats”, hoping to pick up some pointers that might help our lads out. ;)

  49. seems like the bouncer has cleared the room (worky)should be safe.would be a little worried if we brought in players from spain,france,etc,in our first season back in epl,they take a season to settle,which we cannot do ie colo,JE,even at the gunners,henry bergkamp.took a while and are great players,would pefer english for the first year in epl then move on imo.
    good post toonsy

  50. Sterling work Worky – Some real half wits in the world.

    I will see what happens in the summer before judging Ashley and his intentions.

    Good away point yesterday, sets us up well for a win on Tuesday.

  51. the games that have worried me for quite a bit have been donny away and reading now one is coming.might have to join toonsys nail biteing club

  52. seems quiet tonight,hope the last couple of nights has not put some of lads off for a while (knobs)

  53. Ourgame against Forest is the big one. Our season will be settled that night one way or the other.

  54. tell you what someone should do,
    start making a note of who we are linked with between now and the end of the transfer window, and at the end we can see just how many players we were linked with, probably be around 30 different players i reckon.

  55. Dunno Stu. They are all pretty big now. Forest and West Brom are at home on Tuesday, if they win and we lose it may give Forest a boost ahead of our game.

  56. stuart79 think we have few big ones m8,think forest will change tactics for toon game and thats where they will come unstuck,they have played the same way all season imo

  57. jay jay,here here,my last comment on this is,we have all had shit to put up with in our lifes,but when lads like toonsy,worky,bbb,do a lot of hard work,give up a lot of there time to get a good blog going,so we the fans can banter and get friendships it gets right up my nose rant over

  58. Damn right icedog. There is banter, then there is taking it a step too far. That looks like it’s behind us now so we can all crack on :)

  59. JayJay, now I find that offensive, cos I can talk crap as well as anybody. Er hang on a bit while I think about that.

  60. I think if in the summer,we still need to sell players,Striker department seems to be the only one needed.

    Shola,Xisco,or both???

    But the case is,even we want to sell Shola,does any clubs want him???

    I don’t think best will be ship out for just half-a-season in Newcastle right???

    Then Bring in one Good/cheap Striker.If can afford,i don’t think Ashley would mind paying 8Million-10Million right??Since he reported splashed out the money for Colo at 10Million???

  61. Rabster – I think they have reached the anesty stage of the season where accumulated bookings don’t count. Bloody good job aswell as far as Colo is concerned.

  62. That Messi looks alright, providing he is available at a reasonable price perhaps it’s worth a cheeky bid? :)

  63. I have been watching from a distance rather than blogging ,as at one stage I felt the Blog was being Hi-jacked by comments which had very little to do with NUFC and the Footy.

    Well done Worky for sticking to your guns and banning the WUMs and Racists etc .
    Well done Toonsy for the article . I dont regard this Blog as an apologist for MA , who is starting to see sense and putting in a plan which should see us progress in the PL, as long as he continues to put right the wrongs of the past .

    Every one has an opinion and it is great reading everyones point of view.

    I watched the match on Sat evening and thought the team was very slow and couldnt hold on to the ball at all in the first half . If they carry on like that in the PL I hate to think how many goals against we will let in .

    Re Danny Simpson , if he is carrying an injury why not rest him , sort out the problem and play say R Taylor . Cant see the sense in creating a chronic problem for the injury by continuing to play.

  64. Another thing . That L Messi player Toonsy probably wouldnt get into our team at present . Ha ha ha .

    Un believable player .

  65. I am not yet getting excited by players we are linked with. But personally I would prefer atleast 2-3 proven PL players rather than trying untested players in PL from other countries. Yes get 2-3 from players currently playing well in PL and then add around 3 from overseas. We need to do lot for work for PL. Current team is brilliant in Championship but we still don’t know how they will cope with PL. I would be very happy if we can finish Top 12 in PL next season.

  66. I dont think we are that much worse than the teams currently in the bottom 1/3rd of the Pl but I do agree Sahota, that there will have to be a blend of proven Pl players and some talented others signed early in the pre -season to create a squad capable of staying int the PL .

    However what is paramount are players who want to play for us and NOT for a big payday . Been there done that , no good at all .

    Priority 1st year is consolidation in the PL . Ever onwards and upwards .

  67. I wouldn’t even say that Toondog. 1st year has to be survival, then consolidation in the 2nd and kick on from there.

    jay jay – My mrs cant read :lol:

  68. anyone know if loverman will be fit for donny game? sure ch will bring smith in for this one, hope not like

  69. icedog – Not heard owt about Loverman mate. Smith is ruled out for tomorrow but should be back for Forest game.

    Reet, off to dentists!

    Back later.

  70. I still can’t see why a broken bone in the hand can keep an outfield player out for more than one match. There are casts available nowadays that are light and strong enough to protect without being a danger to other players.

    Well done to worky for getting rid of the scumbags.

  71. Dont’t want to sound like a killjoy, but let’s not forget it the time of year when clubs are selling season tickets and it’s usual for this club to fly kites about links with this player and that!

  72. i thought that like you lads one game at the most,as spartan says there are casts they can use,maybe with the break being on top of the hand it might be a bit dif

  73. Spartan Chris, I said exactly the same thing when it happened, I suppose with him being a defender a cast could be a bit dangerous to other players. Shouldn’t efect his mobility although falls could worsen the injury. I suppose we should leave it to the experts. One thing CH doesn’t seem to do is play injured players unless it is absolutely necessary as in Simpsons case (although as already pointed out there are options).

  74. Spartin, Jay Jay, Big Willy and anybody else who thought the same, think I might have an answer to why Williamson can’t play, mind you, don’t really undersatand it myself.

    A bloke who sits two seats down from me at the match is a former ref, he did some UEFA cup games in the past. Retired now, but still involved in the training of some of the refs now. He said that it all depends on the type of cast and even strapping thats used. He said no way he could play if it was a plaster cast, but even some of the strapping stops him. I would have thought the strapping would be ok, but he knows his stuff. Just have to hope he heels up quick.

    It’s good sitting near this guy. You can see when the crowd goes wild at some of the things the ref does and he agrees with the ref and other times where he joins in and has a right go at him or the linesman. More often than not, the crowd tend to get it right. His complaint is that refs now or in it for the money and not the love of the game. He told me he was one of the ones that couldn’t make it as a player, but wanted to be involved somehow. He also complains same as everybody else about some of them just wanting to make a name for themselves.

  75. Actually we have three young lads who are probably capable of playing and doing a decent job at right back. Tozer, Lough and Morris. Kadar has looked very solid in his games and there seemed to be quite a bit of reluctance to give him a chance. Tozer has played some first team football so he probably wouldn’t be that much of a gamble and it has to be better than playing a partially fit player plus he has trained with (one assumes) with the first team squad.

  76. Morning ladies and chaps.

    Back on the map after my sourjon to Brizzle and just about in one piece, although it was a pretty grim drive back home after the excesses of Saturday.

    Good article toons, sentiments are almost shared although you know my feelings anyway. As for the game, it was a tale of two halves by my reckoning and it was a satisfying result in the end, after going 2-0 down. Particularly as we were in a bar full of Bristol City fans. Thought it might get a bit tasty but with the Geordie equivalent of Ram Man in our ranks, the dominant force meant we got through unscathed.

  77. What happened to NUFCELITE then, must have been bad for him to be banned, shame really as i am all for free speech and different opinions.
    Spartan, saw your post about playing with a cast on, agree in a way but any broken bone in a limb is extremely painful and any knock would put him out of the game, play Kadar and go for a short term loanee like O’Brien.

  78. bigbadbob – Racism and duplicate accounts mate. Free speech is fine, but there is a line.

    Regards to Williamson, a bit of what Simon says is right, the rest of it that the club has to get an agreement from the league for the player to wear the cast so they can check it isn’t dangerous etc. Of course, Williamson himself has to feel comfortable with it on aswell.

  79. Lesh “March 22, 2010 at 9:59 am
    Dont’t want to sound like a killjoy, but let’s not forget it the time of year when clubs are selling season tickets and it’s usual for this club to fly kites about links with this player and that!”

    Youre never suggesting we have our PR in place are you! :lol:

  80. bigbadbob says:
    March 22, 2010 at 11:01 am

    “What happened to NUFCELITE then”

    He as warned for making racist comments, so then he started using several different usernames to keep on abusing his target. Not many people have been banned from here (3 now), but racism and harrassment will never be tolerated on here.

  81. Alright lads, haven’t commented for a day or two. If any of these young signings come off then we have to say fair play to Ashley and co, given their past record of already snapping up talented youth. Is anybody aware of vukic’s injury situation? Will he be seeing any game time before the end of the season?..my only other concern regarding youngsters is that of Ranger. We’ve brought Best in and granted his hard work has helped but I just really hope Wor Nile doesn’t get frustrated with his lack of action. He still has a long way to go and plenty of time but he’s a talent none the less, even now. However, Loven and Carroll are on fire ATM, so why fix something that isn’t broken!

  82. Ross – I heard Vuckic is back in proper training today although I cant find confirmation anywhere.

    With Ranger, I think it’s becoming more obvious why he isn’t playing. Head being turned off the pitch and that.

  83. Joey Barton is in the sqaud for tomorrow and williamson might be ready to make a comeback as well :)

  84. Whats the news on Strolla? Hate to tempt fate but we’re relying a hell of a lot on Carroll at the moment.

  85. sahota says:
    March 22, 2010 at 8:22 am
    “I am not yet getting excited by players we are linked with”.

    To be frank mate, I think you need to change your opinions or risk being severely disappointed next season. Williamson for £1m, had you even heard of him before we bought him? I hadn’t! However, this unexciting buy is 1. the sort of business which is sustainable and wise, and 2. the sort of player which would keep us in the Premier League.
    I foresee a few signings and a couple of frees, don’t forget, Ledley at Cardiff, £5mil was touted for him, he’s on a free, Beckford at Leeds, he is on a free, and these are just the players we know about. Everyone can see where we need strengthening and im sure it will be addressed.
    I said a couple of days ago, to progress in the Premiership, yes, you need to spend a lot, however to survive, no you don’t, you just need good, solid, consistent players, this is why I don’t think you will be, as you put it, excited by the players we have been linked with.

  86. I can’t help feeling that if we had the likes of Bale, Rodwell, Agbonlahar et al, that then we might see them getting only limited appearances. I was amazed that Van Aanholt was given as big a run as he did. We keep calling them youngsters but they are mostly around 20 years of age and hardly just out of school.

  87. ah, cmon, you don’t need to spend alot of money to progress in PRM, to progress fast, maybe, but look at Fulham, done very well on shoe string budget, has taken our place in PRM and doing very well in EURO cup, I had always thought that english clubs don’t do too well in Euro cup, but since Juventus game I started to think that Fulham might actually win it… Always been something of a fan of Roy Hodgson tho` :/

  88. Toonsy-hopefully vuckic has been progressing, I’m very much from the “if he’s good enough he’s old enough” camp. Regarding Ranger, Im hoping his lack of first team acitvity is purely down to the rich vein of form our other strikers have recently found. Maybe hughton feels Hejaz to play Best when the choice is there given his current situation? Might get hung out to dry for this but I’m also looking forward to seeing joey back also.

  89. Yep, it`s the time of year we are linked to every player known to man and some who aint !
    Be interesting to see who we go for, do we really have a scouting system, or is it all paper talk (after all we are victims of the suvern press init)
    It would be nice to see some authentic talent brought in not obscure for the future guys.
    Sure it`s ok to stock the youth system ,does`nt cost much and if a few turn out good, all the better.
    But the PL is beckoning and we have to get organized if we are to be competitive.
    If we find a new Bassong fine, but the present fixation on youth or concentration on those twenty six or under is not a smart policy, a certain amount of experienced players is a positive on any side