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Toon to get attacking boost amidst defensive woes?

Posted on December 14th, 2011 | 21 Comments |

Newcastle United defender Mike Williamson nears full fitness.
Nearing full fitness
Newcastle United centre-back Mike Williamson nears fitness and, whilst an alleged bid for a West Ham defender fails, it seems that Modibo Maiga is actually heading to Tyneside.

With our central defence currently emptier than a Mackem’s head, there’s some welcome news that Mike Williamson managed 45 minutes for the reserve team against Bolton yesterday and apparently feels okay after it. Williamson said:

I feel completely fine. That was the plan today – to play 45, to get myself back in and try and get the cobwebs out and then train on Thursday and Friday.

It reminded me of what I’ve been missing. It was good and I enjoyed it. It was great to get the boots back on and now that I’m back, hopefully I can just get fitter.

Injuries are frustrating but it’s just part and parcel of football. It has been really good to see the team doing so well and enjoying the plaudits that they deserve for working so hard.

I’ll accelerate it as quickly as possible, but not to the detriment of anything. But my knee and ankle are completely fine now, so it’s just about getting the minutes under my belt. And I’ll try to get as much fitness and running as I can.

I still doubt he’ll be fit enough to play in the Swansea game though.

I’ve also heard nothing about Coloccini‘s injury and that in itself makes me extremely doubtful that he’ll be fit enough to play in this weekend’s fixture against Swansea either, so I presume it will be the makeshift partnership Perch and Simpson again.

Meanwhile, rumours in the press suggest that we’ve had a £2.5m bid for West Ham central defender James Tomkins turned down. Tomkins can either play at right-back or in the centre, has been signed up to West Ham for his whole career to date and has played 85 games for them (and 7 for Derby County during a brief loan period).

Allardyce wants to keep him at West Ham but I wonder if we’ll go in with a higher bid, particularly considering our defensive injuries and the recent news that Danny Simpson has not yet received a contract from the club that he fancies signing. Apparently Simpson rejected the latest contract offer this week and negotiations have now been shelved until the summer.

We seem to have been ‘nearly signing’ Modibo Maiga for about 50 years now, but if the press is to believed we’re now ‘really nearly’ signing him as he is apparently in London for a medical as part of an €8.7m (£7m) deal that will see him sign for us as soon as the January transfer window opens. What worries me about this transfer is that he plays for Mali, who are qualified for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, so he will not be able to cover for Demba Ba when he joins Senegal to play his part in the competition.

I’m still not sure what’s occurring with Cheick Tiote. Is he really still injured or is he being molly-coddled in preparation to be sold on? We could certainly do with him back this weekend as Danny Guthrie is the latest in a long line of Newcastle players to succumb to that troublesome groin of Gilmore and is likely to be out for at least the rest of 2011.

We do seem to have been hit hard with a lot of injuries at once, but it has exposed our lack of depth, particularly defensively. We not only need to recruit players to make up the numbers, but we need to recruit players who can step reasonably easily into the first team and do as good a job as those they replace.

Oh well, let’s hope for the best against Swansea!

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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21 Responses

  1. Eien’t I read the day before last that both Colo & Tiote were fit & playing on Saturday against the Swans??

    As for Willo, as long as he’s able to play any partin defence, we need him to get back asap or we’ll suffer with Perch or Simmo along side Colo & that won’t help any injury he maybe carrying…

    Not sure how well the Swans are playing but I hope it’s another win & 3 pts for us this weekend :)

  2. I do hope Tiote’s witch-doctor has sorted his knee out. With him back the makeshift defence might stand a chance.

  3. I think tiote has played his last game for NUFC a bid over 15mil m he is gone. Wilo sould play some part on sat as perch n simmo jus crnt cope.
    Will be interesing to see what MA does on jan.

    Will MA splash the cash?

    If so who do we want?

    HWTL

  4. I work with a bloke called Gilmore, he’s not the most popular anyway. But today I’ve decided to blame him entirely on our injury problems!!

  5. Yeah, the reported price has gone down from eight point five to six million, for Miaga.
    Two point five refused by the Hammers for Tomkins, hmmm!
    Good player, England U.21 good prospect, way better than Williamson, who should go with the rest of the deadwood.
    Hopefully the two football geniuses will offer Simpson a reasonable contract, not the same lowball crap they believe he’s worth (what would they know about any players worth ?)
    Question is ? who do we get to replace Tiote who by all accounts is heading for a top four side and we know Ashleys policy, buy cheap, sell at a profit, younger, better and definately cheaper!
    Hear one of his fellow countrymen ?
    Lots of rumors, should be an interesting window.

  6. chuck says:

    December 14, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    “Question is ? who do we get to replace Tiote who by all accounts is heading for a top four side and we know Ashleys policy, buy cheap, sell at a profit, younger, better and definately cheaper!
    Hear one of his fellow countrymen ?”

    Yaya Toure Chuck?

  7. Well if he does go to big 4 club probs chelsea thn hw about we take lamps he wantin away n surly crnt n wrth tht much now . Cash m lamps deal?

    Jus hope tiote stays he a hell of a player.

    HWTL

  8. What we need is: 2 strikers, at least 2 defenders and, if Tiote is sold, an equally proficient defensive midfield work-horse.

    Time for Pinky & Perky to get the chequebook out.

  9. Hugh de Payen says:
    December 14, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    “if Tiote is sold, an equally proficient defensive midfield work-horse.”

    And a plough Hugh. Or would we just leave him out for grazing to keep the keep the pitch at the right length?

  10. If we put that same back four out without Tiote, I don’t see us getting anything out of this game unless we hold on for 0-0 or if Ba goes off all by himself (possible).

    I hope we go back in for Tomkins-a good young defender. Simpson is obviously out because in the world of DL, solid fullbacks who can handle the PL grow on trees.

    I’m not just worried about Tiote at this point, but also Cabaye, Ba and Krul. Getting very nervous as 1/1 approaches…

  11. I’m not understanding the ethics of the board at the moment. I don’t think now is the time to sell and replace with younger and cheaper. Now is the time to get rid of dead wood and build on what we have.
    Tiote has already stated he is happy here so any sale of tiote will no doubt be subject to the usual helicopter spiel.

    Mike has this obsession of creating an arsenal style team. Which fair enough did win things but made small changes to an already strong squad. The invincibles were built on a defence that played regularly for England even their goal keeper, seamen. Arsenal made one or two additions and got rid of players like merson and parlour gradualy not en-mass.

    In my opinion any sale I’ve the next two years is not only foolish but can turn out disastrous

    Maybe I’m wrong but would it not be better free up millions of pounds worth of wages with the likes of smith and keep a decent team. What we lose on sales will surely make back in Europe tv revenue.

    Although I mentioned it before. We would never had made £35 million in the season we sold Carroll no matter where we finished.

    I think rough diamonds need to be polished and displayed rather than sold incomplete and polished off by the highest bidder.

    who knows we could get a huge sum for tiote and krul in 3 years to the likes of Milan, juventus, real Madrid or Barcelona when they need replacements.

    selling our players to wanna-bes like chelsea and spurs seem to be cutting ones nose off to spite the face.

  12. WORKEY
    Sure Yaya is the back end of a diamond, as is Tiote, but play opposing roles.
    One (Yaya) cleans up behind the attackers, scoring for fun, whereas Chiek just cleans up defensively.
    We have Cabaye to fill the Yaya role and he does it very well.
    Apparently the Ivory coast has a Tiote clone, playing in our favorite league, in France, dont recall his name ?
    Yes appears both Cabaye & Krul have attracted attention from some top clubs and i suppose we should be concerned.
    Certainly the Cabaye, Tiote, midfield duo would,nt embarrass any clubs midfield and suspect we will be receiving enquiries come the next window.
    Both Man. U. and Chewsea are beginning to get a bit long in the tooth and the recent replacements have turned out, just not the expected quality.
    In which case we should expect some checkbook action in the near future.
    Will Ashley resist, or will he prove to be as suspected more interested in the bottom line as opposed to the back or midfield lineup’s ?

  13. chuck says:
    December 15, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    “WORKEY
    Sure Yaya is the back end of a diamond, as is Tiote, but play opposing roles.
    One (Yaya) cleans up behind the attackers, scoring for fun, whereas Chiek just cleans up defensively.”

    Aye Chuck, Yaya Toure is a very complete midfielder who can do many things. I was kind of joking though, could you imagine Ashley paying his £221,000 per week basic, plus millions in tax free bonuses too? :-)

  14. WORKEY
    Yeah, sometimes i dont get the more subtle stuff, but realised Yaya is out of our league, as are a number of players.
    Either due to age, wage,or rage.
    We all know the score by now, we work by the rules of the retailer.
    Their wont be any 26yr.+ or over ten big ones spent on any player.
    Austerity’s the name of the game.
    Question is will he (Ashley) be able to resist a tidy profit ?