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Can Xisco prove his worth at Newcastle?

Posted on July 27th, 2010 | 128 Comments |

Xisco - Now drinking in the last chance saloon?
Xisco - Now drinking in the last chance saloon?
Spanish striker Xisco is back on Tyneside, and back in the black and white stripes, which has come as a surprise really as most fans expected him to be shoved out the back door over the summer.

It’s a match made from necessity rather than perhaps a match made in heaven, but now he is back from his season-long exile in Spain, can he make a good fist of it in the North East this season and prove his worth to Newcastle?

The former Spanish under-21 international played in last weekends pre-season friendly at Norwich and impressed despite the defeat.

Having said that, it’s easy to impress when there are no expectations I guess. He did give Shola Ameobi a massive hand for what was our equalising goal, and he played on the right hand side of midfield, something he is happy to do in the forthcoming season for Newcastle United. In fact he says he would be happy to play anywhere for Newcastle.

“If I have to play in other positions for the team, then I will,” Xisco told The Journal. “If the manager wants me to play on the left or the right, I can. All you have to do is do the best for the team. At Norwich, I played right wing, but most importantly it’s about getting fit for the new season.

It seems that Xisco has learned something since he has been away then, and that show of commitment is a far cry from his last stint on Tyneside where he feigned injury to avoid training, if I remember correctly. That is unexcusable in my book, but then on the other hand doesn’t everyone deserve a second chance?

Let’s look at things in perspective though. It was hardly the vibrant time to be coming to Newcastle, and combined with the fact that he got tied up in the whole Keegan affair, plus all the turmoil surrounding the club at the time, then perhaps you can see just how tough things may have been for a young man who had just moved to a new country, a new culture, a new way of life.

This is a different Newcastle though, a Newcastle that may not be as exciting for the press as the one of two years ago. There is very little turbulence around the club right now, well there is still some but compared to what it was like back then we are now sailing in infinitely calmer waters.

Perhaps Xisco can use these calmer waters to show us what he is made of? The guy cost £5.7 million and has the same goalscoring record as Fernando Torres at under-21 level. Perhaps now is the time to show that Torres isn’t the only player capable of bigger and better things? Time will tell on that, and he has three years left on his contract to prove it.

“I’m happy to be back – I’ve got three years’ contract here, and I’m looking forward to them. When I came to Newcastle United, it was a big opportunity for me in my career.

“Last season I was on loan in Spain because I needed to go back home for a year because of what was happening here. Now I’m back and happy. I’m very hopeful of staying at Newcastle and helping the team do whatever I can.”

Having Xisco back is almost like having a new signing. Ultimately he has fallen on another chance at Newcastle, and he will have my backing whenever he puts the black and white shirt on.

It’s up to him prove people wrong.

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

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128 Responses

  1. tgs,bang on,neither use nor ornament,we should have a whipround on this board for his plane fare.

  2. surely he has to be given a chance especially if we dont bring in another striker i cant see any1 else wanting him!

  3. So in other words he was happy to go to Spain while we dug ourselves out of the sh*t?

    Now we’re back in the promised land, he’s happy to be part of it again?

    Not good enough, poor attitude, bigger than average salary. Get him off the wage bill if we can, but I doubt it. The thought of him knuckling down and forming a prolific (sic) partnership with Leon Best is about the most disturbing development of pre-season so far.

  4. whenever the ball comes to him,it has the same effect of kicking a football against a brick wall,has no basic control over a football what so ever.

  5. I would get ribs removed and suck my own testicles if Best became prolific in the Premier League!

    Rather than signing that Brennn gadgie we should be sending Best over there, he might score goals.

    I know he hasn’t had much of a chance, but I still haven’t seen anything to make me think that Best has something in him to kick him on to the next level.

  6. then again xisco would probably love that,judging what people say about him playing for another team lol.

  7. Trust me… he’s awful! Terrible at Santander last season, he only played due to injuries, when he did play he couldn’t be arsed! He’ll probably want to play for us now cos we’re back in the top league and isn’t everyone forgetting that he faked an injury cos’ he didn’t want to play last season? Get shot ASAP!

  8. Best couldn’t score in the CCC and even if he has scored one in pre season there is sadly nowt about his game that says to me he’ll have any impact/cause any trouble in the prem next season. I also agree re xisco. Apparently threw a paddy when he was asked to play in the reserves yet he’s not exactly set the world alight since he’s been here and he’s happy to take the quite obscene salary he’s being given for his efforts. Is he not on something like 40k a week? Ridiculous if so.

  9. I struggle to understand how Xisco ended up on 40+k a week and Coloccini on 80k when in the same summer we signed Bassong and Guthrie on about 5k each.

    I’m glad the transfer and wage policy has some semblance of structure now, but those past mistakes will take a while to eradicate.

  10. get rid of him and smith we save are selfs 6mil plus in wages.! if we can get anything for them. buy some decent player for the money and pay him not even half their wages combined.

  11. Xisco’s on 60K I believe- you could sign 4 young players for that. Disgraceful…and the club paid +5M for him. Would be nice to have that money now.

  12. Asim- no one would buy either one. Xisco would be gone if there were any takers. For that salary he’ll have to have a huge year to even be sellable next year.

    Smith’s contract is up after the season though I think. But he is useful from a leadership and experience perspective

  13. we saved are selfs at least 7-10 mil on butt and germi and other players who went in the summer on wages. and they did say they would spend that.so lads we have got money to spend on 1 good player the rest loans from man city.

  14. ASIM/MDS,i agree with yous,but how do we get out of it cant see anyone takeing them off our hands,on xisco if we could shift him on for a mil we would save in the long run on wages over 3yrs,things comeing home to roost for some imo

  15. smith will end up at blackburn.with that fat loser who bought him here.stoke and sunderland his next teams.

  16. MDS says:
    July 27, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    “Smith’s contract is up after the season though I think.”

    August 2012, MDS. Still got time to score yet!

  17. I Ice- I think we will have smith for the year until his contract is up and then either resign him on reduced wages or let him walk and finish his career else where.

    As for Xisco, we couldn’t give him away, never mind sell him for 1M. Who would pay those wages for the next 3 years? We’re stuck with him. Best hope is to keep loaning him out and get someone to pick up at least a portion of his wages.

  18. thats the hole point! every1 laughed at me and i said nobody apart from man city will be buying.apart from city this will be the worst spending in the prem ever amongst teams.every1 buying free bees.like they are all saying nobdy can move until city buy milner if they dont good it means it puts us in a strong postion.

  19. MDS says:
    July 27, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    “Dammit Worky, you pissed on my silver lining”

    8O 8O

  20. I think the lad needs a chance.

    Anyone saying he’s shit and we should get rid are making these comments on what basis? How many games has he started for us? In fact how many minutes has he played for us? Leon Best has played more minutes for us and he hasn’t scored a competitive goal for us.

    Beyond me how everyone’s happy to give Ameobi ten years (and counting) but won’t give Xisco ten games!

    Double standards – Complete joke!

  21. Asim – It only puts us in a strong position if we are willing to spend whilst others aren’t, which we aren’t doing at the minute.

  22. always somebody worse off than yourself,ie b/pool only have 2 strikers,one out for season now other out for 3mths happy days

  23. dont worry toonsy a feel it in my waters! something is going to happen when we sign sol the big fish will follow.

  24. Icedog – Blackpool only have 15 senior players at the minute, including the injured ones! It will be a long hard season for them in my opinion. Shame like.

  25. Icedog – Aye, it’s pretty naive of Everton to think that just because they have dealt in non binding verbal agreements for years that eventually one wouldn’t bite them on the arse.

  26. toonsy says:
    July 27, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    Yeah, but I doubt were related as I am from a long line of the superior race.

  27. Stuart79 says:
    July 27, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    “I think the lad needs a chance.”

    Very fair comment, Stuart, until the bit about Ameobi. We’ve been taking the mickey out of the Fenham Eusebio for the best part of those ten years!

  28. he is shit for the wages we are paying him.it doesnt matter stuart he wont get a chance to do so.thats the hole problem he is down the pecking order.he wont get a chance unless all are strikers are injured.so what is the point in keeping him if we can get rid.any player who plays for newcastle say if he does and starts scoring goals all good for us but will he get a chance under ch whaen he is looking at strikers and loaning out ranger if the media is to believed.

  29. I fink he could do a job on the wing wit his pace n he has come back wit the right attitude n from what I’ve heard has impressed in training, did well for the goal on saturday

  30. Give the lad a chance I say. Surely the last 12months have taught us NUFC fans a lesson, a lot of us were pi$$ing our pants about doing a Leeds, we dug in, showed some spirit and walked the league. Some of us just need to shut up and accept our situation. The lad had limited chances in 2008/2009, I watched him a few times in the reserves and he looked on average better than most of our reserve strikers (OK, maybe not Carol). If he comes on and get a few goals its another option we have, all we need is a few injuries, Shola is hardly a stranger to the treatment table and premier league defenders are not going to take any prisoners with Bigger Lad. He’s not going to turn into a prolific striker over night but to start shipping people out when our transfer funds are minimal doesn’t seem right.

  31. He’s probably about Shola’s talent level, but at least Shola is on less wages and wasn’t a purchase. It is indefensible to spend 5.7M and 50K+ in wages to a striker that NEVER scored more than 5 goals for any club. I mean, seriously?

  32. On one side, you’d like to think we give young players the chance to prove their worth to the club.

    However, i’m wondering if there’s just too much water under the bridge in Xisco’s case. Faked injury to not train and be shipped out? You can’t help but think about the wages he’s on when money’s tight.

  33. Richy you make some sense. Got nothing against Xisco, just the bit of business in fee and wages that brought him here when he didn’t exactly have success in Spain before hand. I hope he bangs in 20 goals for us, but fact is he will likely be our 4th or 5th striker on 50K.

  34. ref Gosling I was talking to an Everton fan and he reckons that they delibrately didn’t give him the contract offer in writing as they originally thought his injury would keep him out for longer(potentially the season) therefore no other clubs would come in for him and so Everton could then renege on their original contract offer and offer him a lower payed deal until he proved his fitness.I don’t know if it’s true but if it is then ya reap what ya sow :lol:

  35. everyones complaining of his wages, but its not like he forced the club to put that kind of money out for him. it was offered, he accepted. same as anyone on here would do.
    if people did their jobs right, you would have to assume there is something there that warrants a nice pay package like that. hopefully this season he’ll get the chance to prove he’s worth it and starts earning the money the club have invested in him.

  36. eastcoast,ya right it’s not his fault about the wages and I hope he proves everyone wrong but maybe his signing was more do do with back hander with agents and Wise and his cronies.Who knows,like I say nows his chance to prove people wrong but as Asim said he’s probably going to be way down the pecking order.

  37. Eastcoast i’m not talking about being opposed to him personally taking the money. It’s the fact the general consesus about our very slow activity in the market seems to be based on the fact we’ve got hardly any dosh to be spending.

    So from purely a business sense I would just have rathered see us move out an unproven, high wage earning striker (where we’re a bit top heavy and crying out for more pace) and see that money and saved wages on a couple of players that we could probably safely rely on to do a job in areas we are short of (left back cover, left wing).

  38. Evening Lads I feel bad for Xisco IMO the lad has been treated like shit from he came 1st he had the burden of being blamed for KK going and from then I dont think he has had a chance there is no way in this world he can be any worse than Best and look how many games he has played from we got him, poor Xisco hasn’t had even quarter of the games, I know he faked an injury but can ye blame him after the way he has been treated surely he deserves a chance.

  39. was xisco not a d.wise sprat to catch a mackrell ploy,we would get first choice on up and comeing players over there if we bought him ?

  40. ice…was that not nacho gonzalez,we’d get the pick of the cream of the South American talent…….hows that working out by the way? ;-)

  41. BIG DAVE ok pal,reading back couldnt get toonsy a stab-vest,they dont do them that big in red ;)

  42. Then surely best should be out then, he got chances in the championship and did nothing, so why would he do anything in the epl? I think that to bring in Nother striker we have to get shot of someone, even ranger on loan as 6 strikers is too many. We need cover for BOTH wings and a no10, and maybe even another defender so I expect at least 1 departure to fund this

  43. I’m not a great expert on him with Deportivo, but I don’t believe that he was a ‘bad’ player when we bought him. I think that something went wrong after he walked into the car crash that was Newcastle United, possibly with his psychology. I think there’s still hope and that Uncle Chris may just sort him out yet.

  44. RICHIETOON aye your right m8 now i think back like, nay we havent got any might be some right smokers comeing then?.see someone was trying to beat you with wit today,nee chance

  45. A CCC team might take Best off our hands. Beyond that we are stuck with him and Xisco. I can’t see Xisco starting any PL games. As like last year, I would prefer we focus on survival in lieu of a long run in the Cup competitions. Therefore, Xisco will be available to rest our regular League starters come Cup time.

  46. Not sure Uncle Chris wants to sort him out, Worky. He stated previously that he was going to try and offload him.

  47. Alot depends on the next 3 weeks, and if and who
    weay bring in. There’s no reason why xisco couldn’t start games if he comes off bench to score? I see us playing with 1 up top alot anyway, which is another reason why he is mentioning his wing play as 6 into 1 just doesn’t go

  48. i say lets give both Xisco and Best a chance after all what have we too lose ? they are both here now . Lets face it Xisco played for the spanish u21 and Best gets picked for ireland , they must have some skills . Not that i am expecting them to set the premiership on fire but they could become decent squad players to bring on and shake games up . i will not forget that xisco faked injury but it was the wrong time for a young kid to come to the club and as for Best he did score goals for coventry before he joined us in january , maybe he is just a slow starter at a new club .

  49. Having seen some of the Spanish players in the full squad and youth teams it’s fair to say you need some talent to get in the their teams.

  50. Ice I had a feeling you would struggle to get Toonsy a stab vest in his size the only vest I can think of that would do him is a rab c nesbitt one ;)
    Stuart I think your right I can remember reading an article last year that basically meant that CH wasn’t interested in him and was trying to offload him. As Worky said he wasn’t a bad player before we got him but the min he got here he was ripped apart mentally.

  51. am i the only person wanting to give a chance hes a newcastle player so we should be suporting him,, no wunder he hasnt dun much ,, keegan had no faith in him ,, hughton never showed much,, a think hel get 7 to 10 goals now hughton is giving him a go,, as a sed hes anewcastle player so have faith in him n see wat hes like after a few goes then judge, enrique wasnt great, gutierez waznt, nolan waznt, and no1 wanted hughton wen we went down, but we showed owa support n luk at them now,,, legends,,the same could be sed for xisco

  52. BIG DAVE lol,well at least we have kept out of that footy fan game,we would just beat him,hate to see grown man cry.

    another player comeing thurs ;)

  53. Big Dave says:
    July 27, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    I have always said you have a far superior knowledge of football than most people.

  54. I will win. I’ll start kicking people out of it if it looks like I’m goning to lose :D

    Joking by the way ;)

  55. I will back him when he is on the pitch. I support all players who wear the Black and white. However, I am also realistic and believe that he is not our first choice attacker. Yes, let him come off the bench and see if he can influence a game or two.

    I am very positive this year about the squad. It will be a battle, but I think we need to be better than only one returning PL squad, as I feel West Brom and Blackpool are definitely headed south at season’s end.

  56. Ice enjoy your bath mate makesure he scrubs your back :)
    Stuart atlest you recognise talent mate ;)
    Toonsy it wouldn’t surprise me :lol:

  57. xisco the man derek llambias said at 22 years of age,was one for the future,these are the cupcakes we have running sports direct united.

  58. blackburn to go down with them to watch that smug tw..t go down.never going hate any1 as much as this scum bag.

  59. Asim you can actually write twat on here just not Scun_thorpe… ;)

    Big Dave apologies ive only just properly read what Stuart wrote before i thought he was talking up his football knowledge not your own.

  60. Asim the sad thing is I highly doubt a Sam Allardyce going down. Half of the teams in the league pander and play to his “highest percentage of danger areas” or whatever tosh he tries to pass off as football.

    He can keep a team up, but he’ll never take them past a mediocre stage.

    Putting his name in the hat for England manager after the world cup? Speaks volumes about his ego filled fat head!

  61. Trojan I dont think there will be many points separating the bottom 6-7 teams I just believe that we need to take every chance we get and no sitting back and relying on others to do the job for us

  62. big dave! dont think blackpool will get 20pts.the thing about the cc was that every team apart from ares and maybe west brom had 50%0r more loans playing for them and blackpool had more then any1.

  63. There’s no way of ‘getting shot’ of Xisco.
    Other than him getting into the team on merit & get himself in the shop window.
    Then he might turn out to be a decent player & not wanna move?
    Up to him now.
    I’m giving the lad a chance,
    he’s played no games, walked straight into a shit storm here,
    as a young player in a new country.
    Better off doing it that way if we wanna recoup any deng.

  64. deschamps has said they havnt got any money! he says they need to sell to get some decent player they are after. dont think they wont a loan but a sell on ben arfa. come on newcastle just dangle a carrot and get him on the drip for nothing.stop waiting be4 some body gets in first they are telling us to come. so why not.

  65. he would be a good buy Asim……his bust ups with team mates are a slight worry tho(if true)

  66. everton what a balls up! 17 kid can not agree anything on a hand shake agreement.every1 is having a go at gosling what for.this makes are mistakes look good.

  67. Can’t see him stepping out of line here Richie mate. Not with big Andy lurking about the training ground!

  68. I see that not all of the tickets against man ure sold out to season ticket holders, they are on sale to members now.

  69. toon1892 the lad never got a chance on the pitch as for faking injury after the sh1te he got I can understand I would be pretty fuked of if I was sold a dream then discovered it was a nightmare getting blamed for KK etc then being told to train with the reserves.
    Asim I take your point about Blackpool so I will change it to the bottom 6-7 times apart froom Blackpool ;)

  70. A friend form France said that Ben Arfa can be absolutely brilliant and put up a great show on the field, but more often he has some serious attitude problems and his performance on pitch is woeful. N’Zogbia, ring a bell?

    I’ve always said that Xisco should be given a second chance, actually he has never had a proper first chance… Past is past, if he scores goals or gives away assists like candy, he is more than useful.

  71. Waddles I agree I think he would be better than Best too, so just give him a chance then if he is shit get shoot but atlest give him a go ;)

    Daverism @ 99 dont forget Joey aswell

  72. waddles no chance! 4 strikers is what we need.he is not the 1.think about it we got enough strikers but not great.we have got to name 25 players.ranger can play so can airey dont need to register them we need loads of defenders becasue thats were we struggle with injuries the most.

  73. lol.true Daverism.
    Waddles…aye everyone deserves a fair crack,he came to a strange country,straight into a sh!t storm where the manager didnt want him.Foreign players can often take a season to settle anyway.I’m not saying whether he’s a good player or not,we may find out now tho lets see if he grabs the chance.

  74. cadbury this kid could be 1 of the best players in the world! he walks past players on song.take a chance thats what i am saying.he could be the difference between us doing great then struggling.dont wont to regret it with some other team getting him and then selling him for 30 mil.

  75. from The Times , “the Hammers are keen on Lyon defender Jean-Alain Boumsong” :shock: :lol:

  76. So how many of us change our Fantasy teams if Ben Arfa comes to SJP? Good lord I can’t wait for the season to get started…this Fantasy League has only served to build up the anticipation.

    I’ve not contributed much on the striker situation…mainly because you all are in your camps and keep beating the horses dead. So, allow me to get in a whack or two.

    As far as I can see, we’ve got a good enough striker core to survive the first season back. I’ve always felt that the problem with the relegation year stemmed from shite midfielders, service up front was gawd-awful. I have to say, that I am feeling better with Barton, Guthrie and Routledge in the midfield and have always been a fan of Jonas. I guess what I am saying is that I feel better about the ability to move the ball forward and get it to the guys who are paid to finish the play off. I think that all the lads we’ve got can do that. (Unsure about Best, but willing to give him the benefit of the doubt).

    My boggest worry is Defense and the midfield, I am actually quite confident with the guys up front, given that they get the ball, I think they will make us happy.

  77. oy…need an edit button….boggest = biggest…but I am sure you’ve all guessed that by now.

  78. I’d definitely take Ireland. He’s a quality attacking player and you’d expect his attitude to fit in well at our club.

    However the reasons he would never come here is we aren’t big enough for him, transfer fee, wages and above all we couldn’t play him!

    Where he played for City he could drift forward and link up play between midfield and upfront, currently, Hughton has yet to ‘loosen’ up his formations and allow for these roles.

  79. I’d tek Ireland fsotc.

    Hey NorCal your avatar pic came up when I googled NUFC images yesterday :-)

  80. Whoa…that’s odd. The avatar is a pic of my twin girls in Newcaste gear when they were but 3 months on…

    Cool… :)

  81. aye mate,cant remember exactly what I put in the search and it was on about the 20th page but recognised it straight away.

  82. You know…i think it’s titled something like girls_NUFC.jpg or something. So, I could see that being out there.

    Funny.

  83. NorCal- I like our midfield but there is no depth yet- an injury could crock us. Still, if Gosling and Vuckic come through, and we can add a winger, we should be fine. Sort of feel the same on defense, but hopefully we can add another CM (Campbell?) and hope players like Tavernier and Furguson come through.

  84. MDS, totally agree…injuries mess everything up. Just look at what happened to L’pool without Torres and Stevie G. last season. So, I agree, depth would be nice. I think when asked at the end of last season, I said the positions I was hoping to see strengthened were really just our wings (Midfield and Defense). But, barring injuries…I really like the make-up of the team now and have confidence in its ability to fight and survive, and actually do more than just survive, perhaps impress. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to add a few, but I am living in the “at this moment.’ Cash seems to be either tied up for something really “fan”-tastic or non-existent. I am leaning towards the latter, though hopeful on the former.

  85. I’ll support you on the Webbo. In fact…wasn’t he buster for doing something in a “Blue” place? Ok…that was a bit of a stretch.

  86. Yeah NorCal- we have to get used to having no money available. I like our first team, but no money means no experienced depth. So I think the real key will whether some of the youngsters can come along and be ready to provide reasonable cover. I think we can count of Kadar and Ranger- we’ll have to see if any of the other are ready for it but am glad that a few are getting some time in the friendlies. I really don’t have a problem of throwing one in the deep water and hoping he swims.

  87. MDS – I would love to see us get more depth and experience, but I dig this Sol move.
    I would love to see CH put a defensive back 4 of
    S Taylor – Campbell – Colo – Enrique.
    That back 4 excites me. You’d have Perch, Simpson, Kadar, Williamson and R Taylor all available to back up. Simpson, Perch, R Taylor, and Kadar can shift where needed on the wings quite easily I think. Kadar and Williamson can slot into CD as needed. I feel good there.

    Across the Mid I like:
    Routledge – Guthrie – Barton – Jonas.
    But, this is where we are hurting. I don’t like anyone slotting into the RW or LW position. Nolan, Smith, Gosling and Vukic can all fill the center. R Taylor can probably go out right, but I think he’s slow and honestly would like to ship him out…
    Also, i’ve never been fortunate enough to see Haris play, so I really can’t comment on him and where to place him. So, can you put Xisco and Lovenkrands on the LW in place of Jonas…perhaps. I am not sure it’s the best move, but I think it works.

    In a 4-5-1 scenario, Nolan in the forward mid role or perhaps Xisco…he’s fast, may be a good spot for him. I suppose when healthy actually…a good spot for Gosling or Barton.

    As for the strikers…well, I like Shola up front with Carroll whenever possible…but, I am a unapologetic Shola fan…perhaps my one and only flaw… :)
    I know everyone has faith in Ranger’s ability to eventually shine through, but I am less excited about that. Lovenkrands is great and with his pace, comes on as a sub in every game for me. The others fill in as needed.

    He’s not needed, but I just would have loved to see a move for Altidore…I think he’s got a lot of potential just waiting to be unleashed. Hull had crap service, but with our mids, I think he’d shine…I am probably way off, but it’s my feelings.

    I probably rambled on a bit too much there and all apologies for that.

  88. Before I catch hell for the Ranger statement, I meant to add that he needs more experience…would like to see him loaned out. And, given Blackpool’s situation…that may be the perfect place for him.

  89. Nah man, we can’t loan him to Blackpool, they are survival rivals next season, why help them?

    A top of the Championship team would do though. Nottm Forest ro somewhere like that. Although whether sending Ranger, a wannabe gangster and convicted accessory to armed robbery to the gun crime capital of the UK would be a wise move is debatable.

  90. NorCal – I like your back four and your midfield mate, though I would like to see McLovin with Carrol/Shola if we dont pick up anybody else. If we manage to get Ben Arfa then he could play the AM of a 5 man midfield, or perhaps he could go LW with Jonas playing in the hole. I think Jonas’ direct running would be an asset in there. Nolans slow and I just dont think he is an automatic choice, which is why I am happy to see he hasnt been given the armband (YET!)

    I also agree with your assessments on the wing. I think we need cover for both wings, and a utility player such as Van Arnholt who could cover the entire LHS would be a shrewd investment.

    We have 6 strikers and I simply cannot see another coming in without at least one being sold and Ranger going out on loan, we simply dont need 6 strikers in the squad of 25. I know we have young players who can come in outside of the rule, but the core squad needs more balance.

    I would love Cashley to put his hand in his pocket and get some Man City rejects, there must be some goodwill from the Given sale still. M Johnson, Onhua and Kompany would be my shouts with maybe even Ireland, though he will go to a top 5 club and get in their team.

    I think we can then afford to get rid of R Taylor who will be further relegated down the pecking order and I think the fact he can ‘backup’ Routledge is the simple reason he is still with us.

  91. @123 Nothing really to disagree with there, especially the back 4 and midfield. Shola is an interesting player for me this year. He looked like a different player at times last year- sure he could have just found his level, but he also displayed some skill I never thought he possessed. I prefer Loven up front or Nolan off the striker. Both seem to have away of cleaning things up in front of the goal. Could have some real chances with Carroll controlling the air.

    @127- I like Nolan. I’d play him off Carroll though because I think he is best there and I prefer a CM tandem of Guthrie/Barton.

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