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Santon nears first-team fitness and should Colo get a longer contract?

Posted on September 29th, 2011 | 38 Comments |

Davide Santon plays the full 90 minutes in a Newcastle United reserve match.
Nearing first-team fitness?
Davide Santon looks to be fairly fit after playing the full 90 minutes of a reserve game against Swansea and does Jonas’s interview indicate that Colo is angling for a longer contract?

Davide Santon completed the full 90 minutes of our reserve game against Swansea last night, which we won 5-3. Santon only had his knee drained earlier this week and it looks like he’s already reaching a level of fitness that could soon put him in line for a first-team start.

Nile Ranger – who, like Santon, had part of his body drained at some point in the past, although in Ranger’s case the part drained seems to be somewhat north of the neck – also played the full 90 minutes and scored from the penalty spot (the other goals were scored by Michael Richardson, Shane Ferguson, Dan Gosling and Greg McDermot). I’m not sure how much Nile Ranger figures in Alan Pardew’s plans after his recent spate of alleged misdemeanours but I suppose he’s another attacking option, albeit one that’s a fair way down the list.

And if Jonas Gutierrez is to be believed, it seems that Fabricio Coloccini will be keen to sign a longer contract with the club. After penning a new deal himself, Jonas said:

Colo and I love life at Newcastle and want to spend our best years here.

Since Newcastle returned to the Premier League, Colo has been in great form. This wasn’t a surprise for me because I played against him many times in La Liga when he was at Depor and I was at Real Mallorca.

He is a very important player for us. He is doing really well as captain and he has a big experience of playing in first-class matches.

Granted, Jonas never actually mentioned anything directly to do with contracts but the phrase “want to spend our best years here” could be interpreted as being contractually-related when looked at from some angles (perhaps the sort of angle you’d see from behind a yak with your head in a vice).

But Coloccini is currently 29 and his contract expires in the summer of 2013, by which time he’ll be 31. He is also probably our highest wage earner too. Even assuming he does actually want to remain at Newcastle, I rather suspect that contract negotiations could be difficult unless he’s prepared to take a wage drop and sign a short contract.

I could be wrong, but I’m basing it on what seems to be ‘club policy’ when it comes to older players. Who knows though: he’s our captain and if his good form continues until 2013 he may be rewarded by the club and, in any case, he may be tolerant of a short contract and/or a possible wage reduction.

Although I mentioned ‘club policy’ above, I have no idea whether or not there is an actual blanket policy that covers all players – I certainly haven’t seen such a thing if it exists – and I’m merely basing it on the evidence of recent ins and outs at the club. I’d like to think there’s flexibility when it comes to individual players.

Anyway, time will tell and a stitch in a camel is worth two in the bush.

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen

I’m a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called ‘scrumpy’. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he’s not worth 10).

Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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38 Responses

  1. Get Colo signed up till 2015, he will be 33 by then thats not bad for a defender. it also increases the bounty on him, and if you find a suitable replacement then OKAY

  2. It’s hard to tell what the policy on older players is at the minute really, cos as many players seem to manage to get a new deal as not. Sure nolan and barton didn’t get new long term deals in their late 20s, but gutierrez has, and so has shola. So I would suggest that maybe its not a blanket policy, more down to the individual. Maybe nolan just wanted too long so they said no? maybe they looked at him and thought he’s already too slow and he’s only gonna get worse, and obviously that’s not an issue with gutierrez, so they think he’s a safe bet cos he’s in much better shape, and he’s physically up to scratch? Maybe nolan was too big for his boots so the club wanted rid?

    Like so many other things we will most likely never know the truth of it, as we simply are not party to such things, but it certainly seems to me that there’s no all encompassing blanket policy, but that maybe its looked at on a more discretionary, individual basis.

  3. But in the case of Colo, as much as I like the guy, he’s already contracted til 31, and even though, he looks fit as a fiddle, its always hard to judge a players rate of decline past 30, so I’d consider waiting til a little closer to the time and seeing what he’s like then, rather than now.

  4. Both Jonás and Colo seem very fit and hardly miss a match from injury.

    A two year extension seems sensible.
    I hope Colo realises he’s being paid far more at the moment than any other club would pay him, and doesn’t hold out for similar wages on the extension.
    He got lucky, lets hope he isn’t greedy.

    There’s always a young international French CB to take his place …

    HWTL

  5. I just hope we dont get rid of experienced players who can pass on knowledge to other players like colo could. Age is not always a reflection on performance. There are plenty of players over 30 in the prem, giggs, scholes, ferdinand, terry, lampard, drogba, sherringham and even kevin phillips. Plus there are alot of older guys in the champions league too. Just hope we keep out talent and share the knowledge on the pitch rather than cutting players loose at 33. Still money and contract length are always stumbling points.

  6. I think there must be a policy, as there is at all clubs, but with flexibility to deal with players on an individual basis on certain criteria possibly along the lines of age, ability, attitude, fitness and wages.

    Jonas probably gets fouled and clattered into the most of all the players but rarely spends time in the treatment room. He looks pretty fit as does Colo. In fact it was mentioned on the TV by some pundit that Colo seems to be getting quicker with age.

    Not something that could be said of Nolan who was fairly pedestrian half of last season. There was no way that the club would offer him a lucrative long term contract based on his static displays especially as the club had probably earmarked younger, more skilled and cheaper replacements. Barton went because he showed total ingratitude to his employers who stuck with him when he was banged up, something which most employers would not.

    I bet Jonas and Colo have had a good chat about their intentions and it wouldn’t surprise me if we hear that Colo has agreed an extension to his contract, and he deserves it.

  7. I say get him signed up, he’s as fit as a lop and will be competing at the highest level well into his 30’s.

    As for Santon it bodes well that he completed 90 mins and I would pitch him straight in at Wolves. Things certainly looking up, competition all over the place.

  8. Sideshow Bob should be given an extended deal till at least 2015 no doubt about it! An excellent defender, trouble free, well liked and along with his compatriot Spiderman are real characters, the type of players Newcastle fans love.Now if we can just find a Superman to fill the No9 shirt then we could be on to something.

  9. Must agree with Davies (6)
    If Shola can get an extended contract when he is barely at walking pace now then Colo must be given similar.
    The guy is dedicated, a tremendous and talented athlete, is hardly ever unfit and uses his brain not his speed to maintain the highest standards week in and week out.
    In four years time if not a regular first teamer he’ll still be more than an adequate back up (assuming his wages are sensible and reflect that).

  10. Apart from woodgate he is the best cb I’ve seen at the toon, composure, confidence and class is what has got. An idea would be to hit the Argentina squad for the players that are keeping him out, the must be world beaters if they are keeping colo out. Nolan wouldn’t of got a game if he was still here now so it was a good deal to get rid of him.

  11. Toonanti @ 10

    Have you seen the highlights of the reseve game at Swansea and the performance of Santon? OK it was against a reseve team but, he looked something special. He was fantastic going forward. Lots of pace, sidesteps and can go left or right and can hit that ball with his right.

    I think Carr and Pardew have found yet another gem.

  12. @Sikovash 12

    Well that’s the stickler isn’t it – who’s to say in 4 years time he’s still a starter? And if he want’s to stay on £80k or whatever he’s meant to be on, with no real resale value at the end of his contract as he’d be 32/33, he’ll probably struggle.

    Having said that, I think it’s crucial we keep him. Give him a 1 year extension for now to see him up to summer of 2014, with an option of another 2 at a reduced wage, or perhaps his current wage but on a pay as you play – let him prove he still deserves a start.

    That way we’ll definitely be able to get a good price if somebody swooped for him, and we’ve also avoided the club having benchwarmers on stupid money a la Shepherd.

  13. Welshy1892 says: Apart from woodgate he is the best cb I’ve seen at the toon
    – yes, I wondered at the time why we didn’t go for woodgate as a backup, he would have made more sense than Sol campbell. Too old people said, then Jonas gets an extension – not that I’m complaining but I’d like to see consitancy in our policy.
    You need a wise older head as skipper – give Colo a new contract to steer the youngsters through.

    HWTL

  14. SJT, we have had enough of sh!t rummaging of our own without poking through other peoples, I’d vote a big no to a Bramble thread.

  15. John T says:
    September 29, 2011 at 10:36 am

    “Having said that, I think it’s crucial we keep him. Give him a 1 year extension for now to see him up to summer of 2014, with an option of another 2 at a reduced wage, or perhaps his current wage but on a pay as you play – let him prove he still deserves a start.”

    He’d just get his agent to get him a better deal at another club John T.

  16. workyticket says:
    September 29, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    “He’d just get his agent to get him a better deal at another club John T.”

    For £80k a week? Assuming we keep him til the end of his contract that would be at 31? Doubt he’d get many takers! Well, maybe QPR…though they’ll be deep in the Championship slog with attending financial crises by then.

    I reckon Colo will buy in to the new reality at SJP. Nobody anywhere, except the Stamford Bridge retirement home, pays players north of 31 80k a week. Nobody.

  17. John T says:
    September 29, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    “For £80k a week? Assuming we keep him til the end of his contract that would be at 31? Doubt he’d get many takers!”

    Defenders last longer John T. He’d be in his prime like Paulo Maldini, Tony Adams etc were at that stage in their careers. He’d also be on a free which would help him to negotiate a better deal too.

    BTW, Kolo Toure is 30, he’s one of the most highly paid players in the game and he doesn’t play for Chelsea. Frederic Kanoute isn’t even a defender, and he doesn’t play for Chelsea either. He’s in his mid thirties and he’s paid over £5 million per year at Sevilla, which would be a great club for someone like Captain Colo. There are more examples too.

    There’s no reason why Colo should put up with being paid a pittance at some provincial mid table backwater club when he’s perfectly capable of grabbing some of that!

  18. If we’re genuinely trying to compare Colo to Maldini or Adams we’re stretching out in to fantasy land, but even pretending Colo is of that quality, Maldini was fortunate in that the Italian league is a slower paced game than the Premier League, hence why Beckham was suddenly able to grab games by the scruff of the neck over there.

    Tony Adams was magnificent, of course, but check his appearence stats out – even he missed at least 10 league games a season from that age onwards though knocks or needing to be rested, and only made 10 starts in his last season.

    If Colo reckons he would be able to walk in to the starting line ups of a Man City or Sevilla at 31 and command the mega-bucks I’d say good luck to him. If he was genuinely that highly prized I think we’d have been fighting off potential takers with a stick in Summer.

    As it is, I reckon he’ll stick with us. I don’t think anybody would say we’d be paying him a pittance at £60k a week, and I don’t think he’d be able to get in to the teams of the 10 or 15 sides in Europe who are able to pay big wages for a player nearing the end of his days – and hey, maybe we won’t be a provincial midtable backwater by the end of next season. We can but dream ;)

  19. John T says:
    September 29, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    “Tony Adams was magnificent, of course, but check his appearence stats out – even he missed at least 10 league games a season from that age onwards though knocks or needing to be rested,”

    My friend, an Arsenal fan, once saw him on all fours vomiting into the gutter one night quite a few years ago. I also seem to recall him saying that it wasn’t that long before a game either.

    I don’t understand. If you think that Coloccini’s a mediocre player who wouldn’t be wanted by any good teams at what is usually the best time for a defender, why do you think it’s so “crucial” that we keep him?

  20. Yeah, but “thirsty Tony” came out as an alcoholic and gave up the booze before he turned 31.

    I never suggested he was a mediocre player who wouldn’t be wanted by any good teams. I think almost every defender in the Premier League today would accept they aren’t as good as Maldini in his prime. That’s why Maldini has gone down as one of the greatest defenders in the history of the game. You can still be a really great player and not be of Maldini’s class.

    What I said was that he wouldn’t be good enough for one of the 10 or 15 clubs who could afford to pay someone 80-90k to sit on the bench for a third of the season.
    If he was, they’d have come for him by now.

    He is at the level of a top 5-6 club, not a top 1 or 2 club. As Newcastle are not a top 5-6 club yet, he is a better player than our side in general. Therefore, it is crucial we keep him and build around him. It’s also crucial that we keep some stability in the team, and have a few experienced heads around the place.

  21. John T says:
    September 29, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    “I think almost every defender in the Premier League today would accept they aren’t as good as Maldini in his prime.”

    Aye, which included when he was in his thirties John, like many other defenders. Of course though, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the club got rid to take a punt on a cheaper, unproven youngster that they could possibly sell on at a good profit. They could always make Shola captain as he’s much cheaper.

  22. Where’s tweedle dee & tweedle dum nowadays? Far too much positivity about…time for a new set of voodoo dolls I reckon

  23. Witters says:
    September 29, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    “Where’s tweedle dee & tweedle dum nowadays? Far too much positivity about…time for a new set of voodoo dolls I reckon”

    Witters, I would hardly describe snide oersonal comments about other members of the blog as “positivity” exactly. Mind your manners and learn how to respectfully disagree with others without being abusive please.

  24. John T says:
    September 29, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    “Bit of an overreaction Worky, I think he was just joking.”

    He wasn’t John, he’s just trying to pick a fight again like his has several times in the past and it’s growing rather tiresome now. I’ve already warned him after a series of rather vile remarks about another member of this ‘blog. He seriously needs to grow up.

  25. Worky…I think that’s a bit rich given they’re are a pair of online bullies who abuse anyone who disagrees, myself included. Then again bullies usually don’t like it when people fight back…

  26. Witters says:
    September 29, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    “Worky…I think that’s a bit rich given they’re are a pair of online bullies who abuse anyone who disagrees, myself included.”

    Witters with all due respect, just cut out the nasty personal stuff, stop contantly spoiling for a fight and trying to pull the victim routine.

    Did your “bullies” post the following comments?

    Witters says:
    September 12, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    “Utterly amazing not to mention a complete fcuking disgrace that a certain someone is supporting JB tonight…not a surprise from a thoroughly predictable turd. Some people showing their true colours tonight…treacherous judas pr1ck, go support another team a-hole”

    Witters says:
    September 12, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    “Jimbob…I refer you to comment 50 but he knew who I was referring to.

    The following words are taken from the thesaurus & most apply to AndyMac:

    betraying, catchy, deceitful, deceptive, double-crossing, double-dealing, duplicitous, faithless, false, false-hearted, fly-by-night, insidious, misleading, perfidious, recreant, shifty, slick, slippery, snake in the grass, traitorous, treasonable, tricky, two-faced, two-timing, undependable, unfaithful, unloyal, unreliable, untrue, untrustworthy

    He comes on here cos he knows he’s relatively safe from criticism, calls others blogs & bullies people for having different opinions to his small & narrow minded vision of the world.

    He’s a complete cnut…;-)”

  27. With respect Worky…that comment had been coming for a long time & that’s my honest view. He’s an utter disgrace.

    But when I try to put my point across & I’m abused, I’m not the only one who’s received personal insults on here then I’ll give it back. Lets get one thing clear, I’m no bully, never have been nor am i playing the victim & I’ll give it back ten fold. If certain people are unable to discuss things like adults & resort to abusive then I’ll do the same.

    I appreciate your position & don’t wish to cause you any grief. Consider myself gone.

  28. Witters says:
    September 29, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    “But when I try to put my point across & I’m abused”

    Witters, I’ve just wasted more of my life going back through the last month or so to see if I could find anything that would justify the abuse above, and I could find absoluely nothing.

    If there is something, it obvoiusly goes back quite a long time and you will not let it drop. though I certainly don’t remember anything which would justify the spiteful stuff above, unless perhaps, your real name is M.Ashley, D.Llambias or A.Pardew? :-)