Of course though, these lists are usually at least as notable for the players are being released as much as those who are being returned.
Firstly, the once seemingly never ending saga which was Alan Smith at Newcastle United is finally over. The player who admitted that he would “never be the same player again” even before he signed a £50,000+ per week 5 year contract for Newcastle after (not quite) recovering from a horrific leg break is finally an ex-Newcastle United player.
However, he isn’t the only notable squad member to be given the push. As has been widely speculated in the football gossip columns for some time, Danny Guthrie and Peter Lovenkrands will also be leaving, along with the once much hyped Hungarian hog harrier, Tamas Kadar, who never quite lived up to expectations in a black and white shirt.
Of course, Danny Guthrie proved to be a very valuable squad member in the centre of midfield, especially so when Cheick Tiote was away for the African Cup of Nations. However the box to box midfielder, who made a total of 16 starts with 3 substitute appearences last season, had admitted to his frustration at a lack of first team action and coudn’t reach agreement on a contract renewal. The signing of yet another Gallic midfielder in the shape of Romain Amalfitano probably didn’t help either. Since he was signed by Kevin Keegan in July, 2008, Guthrie has made a total of 104 appearences for the club, scoring 9 goals.
Meanwhile, Lovenkrands, who, along with the abovementioned Smith and Guthrie were important members of the team that got us promoted from the Championship, was released without any new terms being offered. In his career at Newcastle United, the versatile striker and winger scored a total of 29 goals in 84 appearences for the Toon, not bad at all when you consider that quite a few of those were brief substitute appearences and he was also utilised on the left wing on occaisions rather than at the front. However, the arrival of players such as Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse on Tyneside, along with Lovenkrands’ looming contract expiration did not bode well for the great Dane’s United future, and so it has proved. Last season, Lovenkrands only made 2 starts (in the League Cup) and one substitute appearence.
Moving down the pecking order to the bairns, the club’s announcement is mostly a confirmation of the previous “Massacre of the Innocents” announcement in February, when a large number of younger players were told their days at the club were finished to make way for a new influx of talent as the Academy prepared for the Premier League’s “Elite Player Performance Plan.”
Full list of players who contracts were due to expire:
Peter Lovenkrands, Danny Guthrie, Alan Smith, Tamas Kadar, Samuel Adjei, Phil Airey, Ryan Donaldson, Stephen Folan, Jeff Henderson, Greg McDermott, Patrick Nzuzi, Paul Dummett, Bradden Inman, Conor Newton, Michael Richardson, (16).
Of those, the players which have been retained by the club are:
Paul Dummett, Bradden Inman, Conor Newton, Michael Richardson, James Tavernier, (5).