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Tiote, Cabaye, Maiga, Giroud? How will we look after January?

Posted on December 19th, 2011 | 34 Comments |

Will Tiote be at Newcastle after January 2011?
What's the odds of him staying at the Toon?
Reflections on Saturday’s game and a look ahead at what might and might not be happening in the January transfer window as far as Newcastle United is concerned.

How did we not win that game on Saturday? Swansea have one of the best defences in the league but luck was certainly on their side too, particularly in the first half where we were totally dominant throughout. I suppose it’s a case of what goes around comes around – I’ll be the first to admit we rode our luck a lot in the first half a dozen games this season.

The return of Colo was welcome and I thought he was fantastic on Saturday. Likewise I was impressed with Santon and Jonas. As to Obertan, Alan Pardew has been springing to his defence after he noticed the crowd getting on his case a bit. Pardew said:

That’s a bit harsh. Because he is so quick you always want him bursting down the outside. I thought he played well first half. He created three or four situations for us. He is a player who has only played 14 Premier League games, he is learning, his discipline was much better defensively but when you get a 0-0, there can be frustration from the crowd.

Overall, I though the crowd was very positive and I thank them for that. Yes, we want to win. We want the possibility of the top six. Don’t make me think I am happy with the draw.

I thought Tiote looked a little raw, as you might expect from a player returning from injury, but I still think we’re a better team with him in it.

Alas, I will be very surprised indeed if Tiote is still with us at the end of January. Press speculation now has Liverpool joining Man Utd and Chelsea in the hunt to sign the £15m-rated star. Chelsea still seem to be favourites though and there’s talk of cash plus a player coming our way in exchange for Tiote, but who would be that player? And would we be offering enough in wages to be able to afford a Chelsea player?

With interest in Yohan Cabaye being piqued too by some of his excellent performances for us this season, I’m more than a little concerned that the upcoming January transfer window could be a particularly active one for us, which could be very disruptive.

I can see why, under the current regime’s novel idea that a football club must balance the books, we have to expect a turnover of players, but that must surely be balanced against our footballing needs too and it’s not easy to recover from too much disruption in the middle of the season. Even if we bring in potentially good players, they need time to settle.

However, one player who won’t be coming to us is Modibo Maiga it seems. Apparently he failed the Newcastle medical, much to the surprise of his agent Karim Aklil, who said:

I am disappointed by the turn of events. Modibo is in perfect physical condition and this was confirmed by specialists. I am surprised by what has happened since his medical and the diagnosis was established by doctors authorised by the club.

And so ends one of the Toon’s long-running soap operas. Rumours abound as to who we’ll target now and here’s a selection of them from the last week or so:

  • Olivier Giroud: a 25 year old Montpellier striker with 70 goals from 169 games and 2 appearances for France.
  • Luuk de Jong: a 21 year old FC Twente striker with 26 goals from 75 appearances and 1 from 6 for Dutchland.
  • Moussa Sow: a 25 year old Lille striker with 29 goals from 48 appearances for Lille and 5 in 13 for Senegal.
  • Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa: a 22 year old Monpellier defender with 151 league appearances and 8 national appearances to his name.
  • James Collins: the 28 year old Villa defender.

There are others too and will no doubt be more over the coming 6 or 7 weeks.

The football continues though and a home fixture against West Brom on Wednesday follows hot on the heels of the Swansea draw. Cabaye will be missing as he picked up a fifth yellow card on Saturday, so we can expect at least one change for the West Brom game.

Which reminds me: if you’re in our prediction competition, note that the next set of predictions needs to be made by 19:00 tomorrow (Tuesday 20th December 2011). I had a terrible week with that on Saturday and picked up a measly 3 points, although I was carrying an injury by way of a side strain.

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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34 Responses

  1. I thought Swansea set their stall out and said break us down if you can, and we couldn’t. If we went to any of the top teams and did the same we would be full of praise. So well done Swansea. We will play worse and win.

    Highlights for me were Santon who looked really good and can’t see him losing his place now. Colo was his classy best. Tiote was a bit rusty but not surprised given his extended lay off, but still very effective. Cabaye was good again. Ba was a real handful. He is strong, two good feet and is a good header of the ball and also works hard for the team. Must be the bargain of the year. Who needs Carroll?

    What was missing on Saturday was a little bit of trickery and magic to unlock their defence. The game cried out for Ben Arfa. I find Sammy flatters to deceive. Obertan is frustrating. Perhaps we should play Ben Arfa instead of Obertan even though he will probably drift all over the place. I’m assuming Vuckic will play alongside Tiote.

    If we sell Tiote I am assuming that any club after him will know that Ashley will demand an extortionist price. Ashley holds all the cards. I cannot see a figure below £30 million being acceptable. I think a forward and a defender will arrive in January.

  2. Kamar, I tend to agree that Swansea did a good job of defending but they needed a little luck too and got it. Not knocking it though: as I said in my post, we’ve had our share a few times this season.

    I think Tiote will be sold if the price is right and I suspect Ashley would think £15-£20m is definitely right.

  3. hmm be interesting but just as we are about to blossom as a team and get full advantage of our players for nearly a whole season we go and sell them. this was much of the case last season when we were in need of a striker, if cabaye and tiote are to be sold in January don’t think they would succeed in finding a replacement and would go through the remainder of the season with guthrie and gosling.

  4. Toonale, it was my worst week. Although I insist that, where there’s a discrepancy between my predictions and what the scores actually were, it’s reality that has got it wrong.

  5. Had 13 points myself which i feel isnt bad for my first wk.

    Hope we dont sell tiote wont get cover or player as good as ashley wont spend the money to do so.

  6. Just found my old nufc cd and found the best xmas of all time (santa is a geordie) really got me in xmas sprirt

  7. I see ive opened a 7point gap at the top which suprised me quite abit considering results this weekend were poor… 13points is a really good come back to be fair, id kill for a 13 pont score in one of the next 3 fixtures. squeeky bum time.. :S

  8. All this Tiote will be sold talk, firstly it is all paper talk at the moment and lets not forget, the player has a 6 year contract and if he wants to stay at NUFC then the club can’t sell him unless he agrees to move.

    Why does everyone assume that he will agree to leave? just because Andy Carroll decided to go does not mean Tiote will as well. Tiote has already said he does not want to play in London and that he is happy at Newcastle.

    Probably grasping at straws here mind but you never know, after all he could have gone in Jan last year but did not and again in the summer, so lts just wait, see and hope.

  9. There is a lot of mention in various media outlets, of a race to buy Tiote. This has led to an assumption by our fans that there will definitely be a race winner – Utd, Chelsea, ‘pool and anyone else you can think of. I personally believe Ashley is of a different frame of mind now and as Pardew has said we are not in the critical financial position we were in pre Carroll sale. This suggests to me that Ashley might well be as stubborn with Tiote’s suitors as he has been with the club’s fans for the last few years and resist all offers. He really doesn’t need to sell any more and from reports is enjoying the teams new status/success. Ashley asking Pardew who he wants to buy in central defence is just an indication of perhaps a new direction from the top. I am hopeful of no headline sales in January, instead reinforcing our exposed squad with some Carr recommended quality – not necessarily expensive though. That’s the way we seem to do it now and before anyone starts rolling their eyes, just look at Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Ba, Santon – no complaints there surely. More of the same for me. Much better value than, for example, £35m for Carroll or £50m (Torres). Of course one outlandish offer (£35m for Carroll kind of offer) might still become irresistible (and understandably so) but that shouldn’t dismantle the good that is going on in the club right now. Incidentally, I doubt very much if Cabaye was sold in January.

  10. Yea really good song. I like the last verse the best tho.

    Maiga sayin he goin to make newcastle regret sighing him, will do tht ourselfs if we dont get another ST. Ino it not the upmost important behind getin CB bt apart from ba we lack any real quaility.

    HWTL

  11. glentoon says:
    December 19, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    “Yea really good song. I like the last verse the best tho.”

    Glen, the very thought of this one gave me the shudders. And where did they nick all those lights from too?

    Christmas in S________d:

  12. My phone wont let me use the link will have a look when get home on computer worky.
    Every1 in xmas mood then? I dont have much choice as my larl ‘en keeps runnin round screamin santa at top of her voice.

    Will make it good xmas if toon pick up some wins.

    “oh santa is a geordie”

  13. glentoon says:
    December 19, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    “My phone wont let me use the link will have a look when get home on computer worky.”

    Aye Glen, after all, Christmas is a time when we should think of those less fortunate. ;-)

  14. Yea true worky my local radio station is doing this thing at the minute where you buy a prezzie for kids aged upto 18 and take it in to local burgerking or bank and they gt handed out to the kids that will wake up xmas morning with nothing. Me and the missis where out shoping yesterday and done just that. Also while enjoyin a double whopper meal.

    Merry christmas to all. Or
    Happy holidays

  15. Some people are rightly pointing out that talk of selling Tiote is at the level of tabloid rumor. However, there are a couple points to be made on the other side:

    -The 6-year contract is irrelevant. AC had a 5-year deal when sold.

    -I see nothing to suggest a change in orientation towards transfer dealings from the club. AP has suggested that every player has their price.

  16. We all the clubs policy. If a bid is made around 20mill then am afaid that he is gone. I personally would sell him at all never mind the price.

    But what we dont no is. Has carr found a young,cheap talent lined up as a replacement. If yes then he might be worth selling if no then we souldnt sell at any price.
    Crnt think of any1 that would replace such a valuble player.

    Like others have pointed out though it is all tabliod specultion no bid has been made there for tiote is a nufc player.

  17. Dave C says:

    December 19, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    “Why does everyone assume that he will agree to leave? just because Andy Carroll decided to go does not mean Tiote will as well. Tiote has already said he does not want to play in London and that he is happy at Newcastle.”

    Dave C, it has already been established that Llambias is a compulsive liar, and that both he, and possibly Pardew, misled fans over the circumstances leading up to Carroll’s departure. Carroll had little choice one way or the other once Ashley decided he was on his way out, and the same will be true of Tiote if another club gets carried away and drawn into making an over the top bid.

    PS. One more thing: Even if Andy Carroll did say that he had been offered £80,000 per week by Liverpool and that he wanted a similar offer from NUFC otherwise he wanted tp go, this would have meant that Liverpool had already been given permission to speak with the player. If they hadn’t they would have left themselves open to charges that they were “tapping up” Carroll.

  18. If the money gets them slobbering at the mouth, Ashley and his Owl will do everything they can to make Tiote feel very unwelcome at the Toon, to the point where the lad will say “what the hell?” – just like they did with Andy Carroll.

    Just remember the Owl’s own description of events:

    Llambias on Andy Carroll: “Is he worth £35m?”: “No – he’s worth f*** all.”

    “It is about control. We had the control. We knew the Torres deal was there. We drew that f****** deal, perhaps the ultimate. So £30m? F*** off! Don’t waste my time and I slammed the phone down.

    “£35m? Everybody including Pardew all agreed. But the £35m they wanted to pay over four years. It was rubbish. Mike said – and he is a brave boy Mike I promise you – get all the £35m up front. We got it all up front and then they never paid us on time and we charged them 12 grand f****** interest.”

    No mention of the fact that maybe Andy Carroll didn’t want to leave?

    Llambias on Himself and Ashley: “You guys don’t ­understand how f****** ­horrible we can be.”

    Oh yes we do!!

  19. If manure, chelsea, liverpool, spuds et al want Tiote i can’t see why a bidding war won’t up the price way above a trifling £20m, seems a bit cheap like.
    That’s a starting bid!

  20. UTD111 says:
    December 19, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    “Oh yes we do!!”

    I don’t think all of us do yet UTD111. ;-)

    The stadium renaming scam is still working a treat too. There hasn’t been the slightest bit of interest so far (as expected), so it will just have to remain as a free publicity vehicle for Sports Direct for the forseeable future.

  21. Doubt if fergie wants Tiote and the rest may be paper talk, but if someone comes up with twenty big ones, grab it before they change their minds.
    It’s Cabaye that concerns me, would’nt be surprised to see some mega bids for him, some player !
    Love to see Samba alongside Colo, bit of muscle, an immovable object, then their is the young Brasilian playing for Tiote’s former side, Tomkins ? a decent enough young defender at West Ham.
    The permutations are immeasurable, just gotta get fatso to put his hand in his pocket.
    One guy mentioned HBA roaming about, hell i wish all three midfielders would roam about (with Tiote Covering)Jonas aughtta make up his mind if he wants to be an attacker or defender and Obertan should practice not running into crowds.
    Oh for a Couple of players of Nobby and Robers quality to link up with Cabeye and Tiote.
    I wanna see either HBA or young Abeid behind Ba, some flair and a break from the boring 4-4-2.
    But hey what do i know ?

  22. The Evening Chronicle today is reporting that center-back Douglas Franco Teixeira of FC Twente – known as Douglas – is a possible defensive target for Newcastle United next month.

    The 23 year-old 6’4″ center-back has been at Twente since he joined them back in 2007, from Brazilian club Joinville.

    And as usual Newcastle seem to be on the ball, as Douglas’ contract runs out next summer, and the defender could be signed for a decent fee next month.

    Other clubs, as might be expected, are interested and they include Aston Villa and Queens Park Rangers, and the player is said to be keen on a move to the Premier League.

    Top Dutch clubs PSV Eindhoven and Ajax are also interested in the player, and Newcastle will have watched him ever since they were tracking former FC Twente player Cheick Tiote, who has been a great success on Tyneside.

    Douglas is tall and plays in the style of a no-nonsense center-back, and is very good in the air, and reckoned to be one of the best center-backs in the Eredivisie.

    His basic and no-nonsense style will be appreciated by Newcastle fans, and Chief Scout Graham Carr will have watched him quite a few times, and certainly Ivorian Cheick Tiote will know the player from his time at Twente.

    Douglas recently gained his Dutch passport at the suggestion of Dutch manager Bert van Marwijk, and he is now expected to be included in the Dutch squad shortly.

    The right footed player has played 28 times this season for Twente with two goals, and the Chronicle is reporting that Newcastle were represented at Twente’s recent 1-0 win in the Europa League over Fulham.

    Italian club Juventus and Bundesliga clubs Hamburg and Wolfsburg have also been interested in signing Douglas in the past, and he is valued at around £7M, but not with his contract running out on 30th June next year.

    As usual, Newcastle seem to have found a potentially top player, and we expect the Florianópolis, Brazil born player will cost very little next month, and we have to hope that Newcastle’s name is again big enough to attract the player to Tyneside

  23. chuck says:

    December 19, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    “Jonas aughtta make up his mind if he wants to be an attacker or defender and Obertan should practice not running into crowds.”

    Chuck, that’s the way Pardew wants him to play. He wants wingers and full backs who can overlap and play both attacking and defensive roles. Obertan was better in the last game than he was against Norwich.

    Milner says:
    December 19, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    “Top Dutch clubs PSV Eindhoven and Ajax are also interested in the player, and Newcastle will have watched him ever since they were tracking former FC Twente player Cheick Tiote, who has been a great success on Tyneside.”

    That bit sounds like absolute bollocks for a start Milner, because Tiote was playing on loan with Roda in Belgium when the club started tracking him. If it was actually true, it could also mean that alot of the players coming in were actually being tracked before Graham Carr came into the club in February 2010.

    Lee Ryder? :-)

  24. just read that 113 Premier League players are out of contract at the end of this season – that’s 5 or 6 per club. And it looks like european clubs are also cutting staff. If I had a contract offer I’d take it now (no names) cos things are going to get interesting very soon, and it looks like the clubs will have the upper hand.
    If a club like NUFC put its mind to it we would have a good chance of signing a handfull of decent players – but also cash in with a couple of big sales.
    Who is to say we will not be better off?
    I wonder if its occurred to them?

  25. Pardew says “Our best team can compete with any team in this Premier League” – unfortunetly he doesn’t say what our best team is or explain why. A bit of honest PR would help cos some of his lineups & subs baffle me.

  26. Supermac, I would presume the one he kept playing every week at the start of the season before Gilmore and his groin came to Toon to wreak havoc. Perhaps one or two exceptions such as Santon, along with a bit of to Ben Arfa or not to Ben Arfa? that is the question Horatio thrown in.

    Anyway, any team can “compete” with any team, but it doesn’t mean they can beat them! ;-)

    But seriously, a team like Wolves or Wigan can “compete”, and even beat a team like Manchester United if they have their best team, the opposition aren’t having having one of their best days, the wind is blowing in the right direction etc. That’s one of the things that make football an exciting game and if it was impossible, games would be completely pointless. However it won’t happen as often as it does the other way ’round and it wouldn’t mean that they’re as good as them overall. If / when Pardew wins a few trophies like the top teams do, then he can say that he can truly compete with any team, otherwise he’s just blowing hot air.

  27. Workey
    In regard to Jonas and Obertan, they both lack any ability to either put the ball in the net or give it to someone who can.
    Now both Nobby and Ginola/Robert, had those abilities in spades and certainly Nobby could defend with the best of em!
    We can forgive the two Frenchmen for their lack of interest in defending, as their attacking abilities more than made up for it.
    Both Jonas and Obertan flatter to decieve, holding onto the ball until surrounded.
    Jonas’s act is to pick up the ball at the halfway line, attempt to beat everyone in his way and either cut in to get the ball on his right foot or become surrounded by defenders, aaaggghhh !
    As for Obertan if he ever lifted his head up instead of practising step-overs and trying to dribble his way into the box, he may see who is open.
    This is what Pardew wants ?
    I think not.
    But then what do I know ?

  28. Watched Wigan play Chewsea, great game, cant understand how Wigan are in such a spot in the table.
    They played such nice football and it came as no surprise when they got the draw, a hard working and young side, who lost a couple of decent players last season.
    With a young manager who has his side organized and giving their all, we should be so lucky!

  29. I would hate to see Tiote leave but if he was to go I think 15million plus Mikel from Chelsea wouldn’t be a bad move,he is still young and a very good player who isn’t first choice at chelsea,if Mikel would want to join us and his wage demands is a different story tho..jst a thought