Pardew and Tiote switch emphasis to keeping existing Toon players – Why?

Posted on August 20th, 2012 | 163 Comments |

Alan Pardew points the finger.
Hands off my lads!
After the very welcome signing of Ajax’s Vurnon Anita, but also abject failure in the hunt for Lille’s Mathieu Debuchy, Alan Pardew, as well as Cheick Tiote have once again switched the emphasis on to keeping existing players at the club.

Looking at Pardew first, he has said in very recent interviews after the Tottenham game:

“We are on our guard in case some really big bid comes in and we need to react because if someone goes out, another player will come in. But success for me in this transfer window would be losing none of our stars.”

Also saying:

“I worry about losing all my players because unfortunately we’re not Manchester United or Manchester City. We’re always vulnerable. If you ask me do I sleep well at night, I’d have to say, ‘not always’. I’m looking forward to September 1 because by then we’ll all know where we are. We have match-winners in the side.”

He has said it quite a few times previously as well. But even if it is true, why does he say it in public, and why does he keep repeating it? If he’s losing sleep over it, surely these kind of pronoucements only draw attention to the situation, especially when he takes the trouble to remind other clubs that “We have match-winners in the side” for good measure. It’s rrather like someone walking around in a in a dodgy neighbourhood telling all and sundry, “Oh I do get worried about being mugged when I’m wearing this diamond encrusted 18 carat Rolex.”

What’s more, his Managing Director, Derek Llambias reminded everyone back in March of this year that Newcastle United are now a “selling” club, telling the local press:

“We’re not saying we are not a selling club. The reality is when we get the price in we have to sell our best players. You have to filter staff off to get a better quality build, you can’t just hold on to it. It’s not really the right way, from a business point of view I would have to trade.”

Getting back to Pardew though, he also said in his interview:

“I’m looking forward to September 1 now because by then we’ll all know where we are.”

But I sincerely hope that he’s also having the opposite and conflicting feeling of relishing the fact that there is still some time left to add to the squad as well as dreading the possibility of it being depleted. Despite the signing of the excellent Vurnon Anita from Ajax, Newcastle United still need more to replace at least some of the six, mostly squad players who have either been sold or released in this window. Arguably, this would still have been the case even if we weren’t competing in Europe this season, and we are.

Whilst it’s true that he may be responding to questions from the press and other media, he doesn’t have to answer it, or answer quite so explicitly. His predecessor, Chris Hughton, was a world grand master of the “dead bat” response to such questions from the media, and could also give Kwai Chang Caine and Master Po a run for their money at speaking in riddles when he sought to obfuscate. Obviously, that isnt the isn’t the case with Master Pard, but I’m digressing as usual.

Cheick Tiote has also been getting in on the action this time too, even repeating the same Pardew / Llambias mantra, “We are not Manchester City / United / Chelsea / insert very rich club here. He said:

“It’s a team thing and we are not Arsenal, [Manchester] United or Chelsea. We are Newcastle, so if we can keep our best players then it will be good for this club. Had we lost two or three key players then it would be difficult to do the same as last season. It’s good for the Newcastle family going forward.”

Now forgive me, I may be wrong but I have difficulty imagining Cheick Tiote speaking like that naturally. Guff such as “It’s good for the Newcastle family going forward” sound’s more like executive BS, or Public Relations BS than an African footballer speaking in a second language. It doesn’t smell right.

Could it be a case of a co-ordinated campaign to manage expectations amongst fans? Another favourite Silver Supremo saying is one he uses when there are mumblings of discontent about the squad being short of bodies and a player such as Steven Taylor, Sylvain Marveaux, or A.N.Other comes back from an extended injury. When this happens, it is usually only a matter of time before he utters the words “It’s will be like having a new signing at the club.” These sayings are becoming awfully familiar.

Finally, going back to something Pardew said in the comments I have quoted above: “If someone goes out, another player will come in, but success for me in this transfer window would be losing none of our stars.”

Well, I may only writing for myself, but I do sincerely hope that at least one more player will come in even if none of our first team players leave, and I also hope this isn’t really Pardew’s, or the club’s idea of “success” with our first European odyssey for six years beginning on Thursday.

Poll

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1055 articles on this blog.

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163 Responses

  1. Couldn’t agree more.We are at risk of losing one or two top players and all of this smacks of managing expectations.Pardew is covering all his squares – if we lose players its not his fault,if we dont,we should all regard it as a great success,which may deflect from the failure to sign anyone else.Yes we have bought some promising young players,but how many of these actually get a chance to step up to the first team – we have a poor history of bringing young talent through

  2. Worky>

    Good article mate.

    Can’t argue with your logic. It seems strange especially that Tiote has now started to say the same things.

    Really hope we can hang on to him though. He seems to love it at Newcastle and has always said he doesn’t really like the ‘bright lights’ of London etc. so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that any bid that does come in just isn’t enough.

    Man U can’t afford him imo, Man City don’t need him (but that doesn’t seem to matter to them these days) and Chelsea/Arsenal are London based so maybe Cheick would say no anyway?

    We’ll see soon enough.

  3. I must admit, i’m not one to worry about players leaving and was confident we would keep our best players until recently. Pards’ comments of recent have caused a concern and have provoked thoughts such as why was Anita signed, is this Cheiks replacement? Why is he almost making it obvious we have big players? Are the club trying to get a bid in to fund other buys? Why did we not increase our offer for Debuchy? A quality and proven player who would have fitted in perfectly with our style of play. Our net spend is something as little as £3m, for a team who pushed the top 4 all season, surely you would invest in the 3 or 4 players needed to compete again this season? It all smells quite odd to be honest, and with Arsenal losing RVP and Song, Chelsea looking to sign one or two more and also City wanting to buy a couple more players, i’m certainly nervous. I don’t think Tiote, Cabaye, Cisse, Ba or Benny would be looking to leave, because they have all come out and stated how happy they are at the club and in the City, they have all mentioned how they want to play for the club in Europe, so i genuinely think they would be happy to stay, even if an offer did come in and the club rejected it, i just don’t trust the board, they don’t have the will power to resist a bid and that is the difference between us challenging the top 4 season after season or battling for a top half finish every season. Fingers crossed we keep everyone and sign Debuchy and Douglas.

  4. How are we supposed to know that it isn’t a chocolate coin? :) If not a forgery, who would give away their championship winners medal? How sad. If it’s Nile Ranger he’ll probably win nothing else!

  5. I don’t want to stop you having a fascinating natter, but to be honest the way the club operates these days there’s no point speculating on who’s leaving – or arriving. I think they’ve been pretty honest with the fans for the last few seasons and the constant wondering about what they’re up to is a hangover from the Shepherd days when the club was always winding the fans up with promises of “astounding” arrivals etc. For me, if they’re saying that someone could potentially leave then that’s all that’s happening, and if they’d had any serious conversations with other clubs about Tiote et al we’d know about it. Every time one of our players starts to show something these rumours start up – the one about Tiote has been going on since before the end of the 10/11 season!

  6. Could it not also be the case that every time he talks to the press they ask him these questions? About transfers and if he intends to sell to buy? What is he supposed to do sit there and say, ‘next question’. I do agree with you that the Cheik Tiote verse does look suspiciously like a stock answer. That he is singing from the same club hymn-sheet is nothing new though and surely goes on at other clubs. Most will no doubt have dedicated PR departments. Ultimately I think all of this will be irrelevant because at the price Newcastle want for him, no clubs seem interested. If we put a price of say £10M on him, I would be bothered. But for £20M, I think Chelsea, United, City etc will look elsewhere. Partly because they know every million they give us from their swollen reserves will be used (properly for once) in our limited reserves.

  7. DJG says:
    August 21, 2012 at 12:10 am

    “Could it not also be the case that every time he talks to the press they ask him these questions?”

    I did cover that in the blog, DJG.

  8. Aidan Dunphy says:
    August 21, 2012 at 12:04 am

    I think they’ve been pretty honest with the fans for the last few seasons”

    Aye Aidan, and I’m the Duke of Edinburgh. :-)

  9. I’m pretty pleased Tiote and Pards are singing from the same hymn sheet, at least in public. Anything else looks unprofessional, and any sign of dissent from Tiote would effectively be a “come and get me” plea to Champions League clubs. I agree the wording is daft corporate speak, but as mentioned above that’s the world we live in now with PR departments etc.
    Regarding Pardew, I think he can’t win. He said Carroll wouldn’t get sold and when the £35M came in Pards got dogs abuse for being a liar/puppet/stooge etc. Then he’s asked about Tiote and effectively says “I hope not, but yeah it’s a possibility” and he gets dogs abuse for alerting other clubs to his availability/trying to sell the crown jewels etc.
    No wonder he takes out his frustrations on hapless linesmen!

  10. geordiedan says:
    August 20, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    “Worky>

    Good article mate.

    Can’t argue with your logic. It seems strange especially that Tiote has now started to say the same things.”

    Cheers geordiedan. Pardew is been using “Llambiasisms” in recent interviews too. Llambias uses rather curious turns of phrase sometimes which are quite distintive. When Pardew started gannin’ about “big chunks o’ money” in a recent interview, that was pure Owlheed. It wasn’t Pardew himself.

  11. DJG says:
    August 21, 2012 at 12:10 am

    “Partly because they know every million they give us from their swollen reserves will be used (properly for once) in our limited reserves.”

    DJG, according to the club’s accounts and going on what has happened since they were published, the club should have fairly significant reserves, largely from profit in previous player trading and Vigin Money commercial revenue.

  12. Aidan Dunphy says:
    August 21, 2012 at 12:04 am

    “and if they’d had any serious conversations with other clubs about Tiote et al we’d know about it.”

    Aye, just like we did with Carroll, Aidan.

  13. Whenever there’s an official statement from “the club” or they use Pardner to make one of his sound bites.
    I become a bit concerned.
    I get the impression we are about to lose one or even two of our top players.
    I have mentioned this before, why would we sign three defensive midfielders, Anita (great passing DM) can replace either Cabaye or Tiote, Bigi and Amalfitano the other two, with Bigi a Tiote clone.
    I thought perhaps Ashley was interested in winning something, but appears he is more interested in acquiring more wealth.
    Sad really as this is a time where we could win a bit of silverware if handled properly and instead of selling off our best players, add some help to the back four.
    We have the makings of a good side and could improve, it would be good for business and the fans, who are the club, cause they deserve it!

  14. Worky @14: I like Ed’s Blog. He seems to have a few more young-uns and foreigners on there. They text a lot more I think.

    Last week when we signed Anita, they went bananas. I was surprised their phones didn’t explode.

    If we lose Tiote or Cabaye their heads will explode.

    It is funny to read and you have to admire the enthusiasm. They haven’t had the 40+ years of hurt like a lot on here.

  15. GS, he was having a go at one of the headlines on this blog the other day in one of his “Uziblogs” (he can fire off 10 blogs per second). Apparently I was out of order for suggesting that Dubuchy “threw his toys” over not being allowed to join Newcastle for a pittance.

    According to Ed he was a “model professional” or somesuch and it was Lille who were at fault for backtracking on an agreement with Newcastle (that Lee Ryder bollocks in the Chronic where he couldn’t even translate euros into pounds Sterling). I’m not bitter though :lol:

  16. I skim Ed’s stuff, but the posters are sort of the manic depressives of the NUFC “blogosphere” depending on the news that day. Especially on match day.

    There’s a place for both and I even read Toonsy’s articles now and again, although I never venture into the comments as I like to keep my life Batty free.

  17. its a reality for any club outside of man u, city and chelsea that should a bid be big enough anyone of your players is technically for sale

    nufc are in the position where we don’t need to sell but should we sell tiote for quadruple what we paid for him id be sad to see him leave but its good business and makes sense as we have players already in that position

  18. Geordiedug: I slightly disagree. We should sell at peak value. In Tiote’s case I don’t think we are there yet. He has 5 years left on his contract and is only 26. We could sell for 15 million now, but I bet we can sell in two years for the same price. In the meantime we have him for 2 years at reasonable wages. So we get MORE value from him.

    The wildcard is if a bigger club comes in and taps him up/unsettles him and he then wants to leave.

  19. Totally agree why doesn’t pards just keep it shut and all the players until something happens its just promoting the matter more. Like someone said think it all might be an arse covering game so we don’t blame him if one of our top players go.

    I love tiotes passion, aggression and desire to win but he gives the ball away far to much sometimes and in dangerous positions would prefer him to stay but if a stupid offers comes in and it’s reinvested there do be it but please don’t sell HBA, cisse or Ba or I might just cry

  20. Don’t be surprised if Pardew on a performance related pay where he gets a slice of transfer money then it’s in his interests to sell a Tiote and get club to buy cheap so he can do it again.

  21. Almost all top clubs lose their most influential player(s) to other clubs at some time. There are many reasons why and it’s nearly always because the player wants to move and it’s not necessarily because of more money.

    ManU lost Renaldo. Liverpool lost Mascherano and Torres. Spurs lost Berbatov and Modric. Arsenal seem to lose all their captains and more besides. Chelsea appear to buck the trend, most be their wages.

    If a top Premiership club comes knocking (and it can really only be ManU, ManC, Chelsea and to a lesser extent Arsenal) and they can offer substantially more wages and a greater possibility than Newcastle of honours and trophies then there is every chance that one (or more) of our most influential players will leave. But I’m sure the board will extract a huge transfer price from whoever knocks on our door.

  22. Agree Kamar. Defining clubs as either “a selling club” or “a buying club” is out of date in my opinion, seeing as pretty much every club in Europe sells when the offer is right.
    As I said earlier, when Pardew said Carroll wasn’t going anywhere he was hounded when the £35M came rolling in. Now he admits he can’t guarantee we can keep our top players if a mega offer is made, and he gets grief for that too!

    As DJG said earlier, I doubt Pardew pitches up at a press confernece, says ‘good morning’ then launches in to a lengthy chat about how hard it’s going to be to keep Tiote and Cabaye. He’ll be asked “Do you worry about losing them” and he’ll say “yeah, I do”. Seems pretty straight forward to me.

    As for the emphasis changing, it’s probably just a negotiating tactic – if we say “Yeah we’re desperate for 2 more players this window” suddenly the players we enquire about get an extra £2M slapped on. Instead we say we’re pretty happy with what we’ve got and we can try and get a bit more value from the market.

  23. Bassong to Norwich. Wow.

    If we don’t get a CB in it will be difficult to see this window as anything but a failure to address the squad’s needs. We will struggle at points this season because of it.

  24. I’ve said before that I consider a forward the lowest priority but if AP insists on 4-4-2 then yeah, we need another. I’d be happy with something off the scrap heap there though if it meant getting the top class CB we’ve needed for several seasons.

  25. tunyc says:
    August 21, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    “I’d be happy with something off the scrap heap there though if it meant getting the top class CB we’ve needed for several seasons.”

    Aye tunyc, we just don’t don’t buy them anymore, the last one was Coloccini. Other clubs just won’t fall into line as far as selling them as cheaply as we want them. It’s possible that the club don’t take them as seriously in terms of their potential profitabilty on resale.

  26. DJG says:
    August 20, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    “who would give away their championship winners medal? How sad.”

    My father threw away all his medals from the Second World War once DJG, though I bought him some replacements many years later before he died. He nearly died many times to win them and many of his shipmates actually did die, yet he just threw them away with contempt.

  27. Didn’t we pay a fee (about 1M from what I read) for Williamson? I also think Perch cost something like 700K (again what I heard).

    I know you’re right about the club’s approach but this is particularly galling. Again, how much more cash would the club have if it were in the group stages of the CL? All we needed for that were a draw away to Norwich and wins against Swansea & WBA when Colo & Saylor were out. AshleyCo cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    As for these rules about the sale value/profitability of players by position-I just laugh. It’s made up crap. In my lifetime, a player in every single position has been sold for an outsize fee at least once. We made 8-11M in profit on Bassong depending on which numbers you believe. Pffft.

  28. tunyc, we bought Bassong for around £500,000 and sold him for around £8million.

    I know that both Jimbob and myself have mentioned it on here several times before (because we were both astounded) but Pardew himself said that he had to give Ashley alot of reassurance that he was getting enough “value” on Cisse at £7.5 million. That kind of puts Debuchy in perspective!

    However, I have to admit that Anita is perplexing in the context of other deals becuase as I wrote the other day, although the club have made an excellent invvestment in Anita, and his value should rise considerably over the next few seasons, the club have actually paid something approaching a reasonable fee for him as things stand. Perhaps his personal terms are £6.08 per hour wages with a canny bag of Tudor crisps as a bonus. :-)

    Both Perch and Williamson were signed for undisclosed fees, but they were allegedly £1 million for Williamson and £1.5 million for Perchinho.

  29. This weeks Euro game could be the litmus test as to whether we keep all of of our current squad. I assume it’s a two leg affair but a defeat might just sway the balance to some players wanting away or being ushered out of the door. :(

  30. Grumpy, if we do lose, there’ll be no prizes for guessing the word play that will be used. Expect lots of stuff like “Atrom bomb for Pardew / Toon!” or “Toon Atrom bombed!” and of course, “Greek tragedy for Toon!” :-)

    According to my homework, it should be something like playing Notts Forest in the Cup. Greece are a two and half big club country, with the best of the rest in the Greek Superleague (like Atromitos) being like middle ranking to lower playoff place Championship clubs down to lower Championship and League One clubs.

  31. Partridge is Ashley’s shop keeper – still not warmed to him or the cockney mafia.
    With sensible investment this season we could have really started pushing on but can’t really see us finishing any higher than last year or winning any silverware any time soon.
    Just seems like we are parading players to be sold.

  32. Oh Sh*t Worky @33: I was feeling pretty comfortable until you said that. Don’t Pardew’s NUFC teams always get knocked out of cups by mid-championship/League 1 clubs?

  33. Aye GS

    “According to my homework, it should be something like playing Notts Forest in the Cup”

    Ado Den Haag, Cardiff not taught you a lesson yet WT ?

    PS

    “Spuds claim Adebayor is on his way”

    Dodged a bullet there :)

  34. From Football365 team stats:

    * Newcastle have won eight of their last 11 Premier League games.

    * Hatem Ben Arfa completed five dribbles for Newcastle v Spurs and was fouled three times.

    * Centre-back James Perch recorded a rare 100% pass completion rate v Tottenham.

  35. Toonforlife says:

    “Does anyone know if there is any T.V coverage of the match tomorrow?”

    Yus!

  36. GS says:

    “Centre-back James Perch recorded a rare 100% pass completion rate v Tottenham”

    I mentioned that as well GS but dear old ZM put a dampener on that stat :(

    “On such a hot day, pressing for 90 minutes was always going to be difficult – so this might not have been the best game to judge Villas-Boas’ intention in this respect. It appeared Tottenham’s strategy was to press Newcastle’s midfielders and full-backs, but not their centre-backs. This explains why Newcastle’s pass completion rate overall was only 81%, but Perch completed 46 of 46 passes, and Steven Taylor completed 39 from 40 – 99% combined”

    http://www.zonalmarking.net/2012/08/20/newcastle-2-1-tottenham-pardew-switches-formation-ben-arfa-excels-in-both-systems/#comment-56606

  37. Just to illustrate the point I’ve been making about idiots not even bothering to check, or translate euros into pounds sterling figures when writing stories about transfers. This is something which writers like Lee Ryder and others have been doing all the time about Newcastle stories, causing confusion. This one isn’t him, it’s a story about Fulham allegedly bidding for Douglas.

    BTW, I telt yez aal that we’d never put a bid in for Douglas ;-)

    From “Cottagers Confidential”

    “FC Twente chairman Joop Munsterman has confirmed that both Fulham and Newcastle United are chasing his club’s defender, Douglas, with Fulham rumoured to have lodged a £5.5 million bid.

    And then in the same story

    “He went on to state that no bid has been placed from either Premier League club, yet, many Dutch sources have said that a €5.5 million (approx £4.4m) offer from Fulham has actually been accepted. These reports also suggest the player will arrive in London on Thursday to undergo the infamously strenuous Fulham medical.

    “Talking to Voetbl International, Munsterman said: “Both clubs [Fulham & Newcastle] told us they want to do business with us.

    “We [haven’t] received any offers yet, but when they want to pay a fair price, Douglas may leave the club. Because otherwise he will leave Twente for free next year.”

    http://www.cottagersconfidential.com/2012/8/21/3258242/fulham-bid-accepted-twentes-douglas-newcastle

    So firstly they’re saying it’s £5,5 million bid. Then, in the same story, it’s £4.4 million bid all of a sudden. Then, they’re quoting Twente’s chairman saying that there hasn’t been a bid at all yet! :lol:

  38. Toonforlife says:
    August 21, 2012 at 7:19 pm (Edit)

    Does anyone know if there is any T.V coverage of the match tomorrow?

    Toonforlife – Premier Sports (Sky channel 428) You will have to subscibe to get it on cable if you haven’t already. I daresay that there’ll be an internet stream or two of it as well. If there is, I will try to post links of them on here.

  39. I heard Darren Gough on Talkshlte tonight suggesting that Spurs would leave their transfers as late as possible in order to get the best deals ??????

    This may, just MAY, work when you have a player itching to leave with only one year left on his contract otherwise its a non starter.

    What stoopid feckin moron is gonna lose their star player at the very last minute with no chance of replacing him …. oh wait

  40. Good then Worky: Now some Bloggers will have Douglas in our team on Saturday ahead of Taylor, Perch and Williamson who are actually on our books, and Coloccini who might still be injured.

    Of course Jonas won’t play either as he will be replaced by the latest rumoured player.

    Lee Ryder must fiddle his expenses from the Chronic, spending Euros and claiming pounds. That’s the only explanation I can think of. It would be good to have his job. As I have said before, he writes the same article every time and just substitutes a name or two.

  41. AndyMac says:
    August 21, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    “I heard Darren Gough on Talkshlte tonight suggesting that Spurs would leave their transfers as late as possible in order to get the best deals ??????”

    That well known football guru, Darren Gough.

  42. workyticket says:

    “I heard Darren Gough on Talkshlte tonight suggesting that Spurs would leave their transfers as late as possible in order to get the best deals ??????”

    That well known football guru, Darren Gough.

    Straight over your head Worky ??? Who else waits until the last min………oh forget it

    GS says:

    “AndyMac: it was 35 million though, so c’mon”

    It was a huge gamble GS. At the time AC left we had Shola, Best and Loven as the remaining strikers.

    If the rest of the squad had got the hump from AC’s sale or Best and Shola got injured permanently we’d have been fecked without a replacement. Oh I forgot we got Shefki in and he did amazingly …….

  43. No more of a gamble than “Roy” Kinnear, Shearer, Hughton, Pardew though Andymac. Is there a pattern here? And we can’t do anything about it.

  44. Bugger: I am getting confused now. I am not sure if I am defending Ashley or not :) He really doesn’t make much sense and is probably playimg poker with NUFC.

  45. Dawson, an England international to QPR for £9 million.

    Good defender, and I bet they would have accepted a bid of £7 million for him.

    Anyway, why is it, and this hasn’t been mentioned much, that we had a very profitable season, through the league, tv, merchandise and match day revenue etc, but have spent Fcuk all? Have we really improved? Every club is a business, and in any business you get to a standard, then you have to do better and strengthen each year, you can’t stand still, otherwise you will fall behind.

    We still need a striker, I’m less panicked by centre-back, but we really are short up top. You would think tackling the Europa League would warrant extra bodies who are proven first-team players in top leagues. I am convinced we won’t even attack the competition, or take it seriously due to recent quotes from Pardew. So, if that is the case, what was the point of qualifying for it? We will field reserves, as Pardew said the league is priority. But why is it, we are not going to win it are we?

    I’d rather give the cups a bloody good go, and try and win a competition we have a chance in, than finish fifth again this year, only to do the exact same next season and field weakened teams in Europe.

    I dunno, just don’t see the point in qualifying for Europa to not take it seriously. But, at least it has it’s financial benefits…

  46. AndyMac says:
    August 21, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    “Straight over your head Worky ???”

    Not at all, Andy. I just hate the modern world where people are chosen to present programmes on the basis of their celebrity status, or “laddishness” or whatever rather than their in depth knowledge of the subject at hand. Next, they’ll be getting Baldrick to present a programme on Archaeology, or Richard “Hamster” Hammond to present Science programmes. Oh wait!…

  47. Jimbob says:
    August 21, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    “Anyway, why is it, and this hasn’t been mentioned much, that we had a very profitable season, through the league, tv, merchandise and match day revenue etc, but have spent Fcuk all?”

    Not on merchandise, Jimbob, and we still have a way to go on commercial revenue, though that £10 million Virgin shirt sponsorship is a respectable amount on it’s own.

    Sports Direct are getting the most money from NUFC merchandising now, and other potential sources of commercial revenue are frightened of being drowned out by free Sports Direct advertising, and their brands being made to look cheap and tacky by association. Virgin are an exception because they were desperate to bond with the Geordie public because they took over the Geordie bank (coutesy of we taxpayers). Still, it’s all good for Ashley, which is what matters at the end of the day.

  48. Mmmm, and shame we never sold them stadium rights. I’m sure Llambias really tried, because he said he was going too…

    And, Ryder did say (or at least the Chronicle did), that brands such as ‘Nike’ were going to bid.

    Funny how all the fuss just seems to go away after a few months, then it’s totally forgot about.

    But anyway, selling the name would have netted us that extra player. We were told by our MD it would.

  49. Worky, as you mentioned above about .com… Even though there was never a bid, it didn’t stop anyone writing several thousand articles that we had…

  50. Jimbob says:
    August 21, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    “Mmmm, and shame we never sold them stadium rights. I’m sure Llambias really tried, because he said he was going too…”

    Branson was never going to do that. Did you see him when that question was put to him?

    That Nike story came at a crucial time for Ashley and Llambias PR wise. The promise of “jam tomorrow” for the club got them through a rocky patch with fans, though it was always a fiction. You’d almost think it was dreamt up by a PR company.

  51. Jimbob-we’re splitting hairs but I don’t understand how anyone can see a CB hierarchy of:

    1. Colo – solid
    2. Saylor – PL quality but very often injured
    3. Perch – 5’10” utility man enjoying good form
    4. Williamson – tall and somewhat athletic but terrified of actually playing with the ball

    …is an adequate set of CBs for a club that is in Europe and supposedly “ambitious”. Especially when you know that Perch is also our only cover at RB and will play some at CM too.

    But I do agree that we’re short at forward as well.

  52. Yeah, really shocked we haven’t gotten at least one CB “over the line”. We’re quite thin there.

  53. Man utd getting that young dutch lad Buttner from V.Arnham.sort ov player i thought we were looking for(young,full back,cheap wiv possible sell on value)..just wish this window would hurry up n close coz its getting more n more depressing for us NUFC fans.Dawson looks set for QPR ffs.aye he’s had his share ov injuries,but all in all i think the lad is a good defender n would ov been a cracking asset to our squad.roll on sept 1st..

  54. Just getting in from Croft Park watching my 2nd team Blyth Spartans record a 5-0 victory.Phil Airey who was released by NUFC in the summer now plays for Blyth.he had a canny game but faded in the 2nd half.he scored in the 1st half but he was judged to be off side.shame coz it was a lovely lob from outside the box.
    I was shocked when Newcastle let him go n even more shocked that he ended up at Blyth.i went to SJP last season to watch the reserves take on the mackems.Airey was played out ov position that night at RB.for a striker playing at RB he done a good job n put in some great crunching tackles.with Spartans now playing in the evo stick since getting relergated last season(the 1st time in the clubs history they have been relegated).i think he will bang in goals for fun n get Spartans back in the confrence north.
    I know this has absolutly got nowt to do wiv the toon but thought there might be afew Spartans fans on here.anyway its football related.

  55. I am worried about the centre back situation too Tunyc. But more so the striking situation. Shola won’t score more than 10 this season, he may not even get near that! Also Ba’s knee is still a potential problem. I know he was fine last season but you never know.

  56. Jack72, I was thinking Dawson would have been a very good addition. But we’ll never pay that amount for him.

  57. Some of you idiots need to get real. We may be short of defenders and strikers, however this club can no longer be held to ransom on transfers. We aren’t owned by a billionaire and we can’t go back to the days of signing has beens like Geremi and Alan Smith on huge wages. Just look at Rangers and Portsmouth.

  58. GS says:
    August 22, 2012 at 1:55 am

    “You go from being sarcastic to stating facts.”

    GS, No. I go from being insulting to making a debatable but valid point. Then I descend into cliche and logical fallacy, rounding things off with a couple of extreme and irrelevant examples.

  59. OK, I’m going to try and predict the team this one time because I think it is a very difficult proposition. I hardly ever do this because I see it on other blogs and find it funny when they include players we haven’t even signed. Here goes:

    Krul

    Simpson Williamson Perch Raylor

    Anita Abheid Jonas

    Obertan Ba Marveaux

  60. Andy Carroll found out today that his girlfriend has been shagging a few Premiership goalkeepers.
    When asked about it he said,”I wouldn’t put anything past those bastards.”

  61. A man walks into a pub with a crocodile under his arm.
    “Do you serve Sunderland fans in here” he asks
    “Of course we do” Says the barman
    “Great” replies the man,
    “I’ll have a pint for me and a Mackem for for the crocodile”

  62. Dreampt we sold Cabaye to ManU for £19m..
    Won’t be able to catch this game tonight but I reckon we’ll go down 1 or 2-0 and be able to recover at home.

  63. Well here we are again, to-wards the end of the summer window, with only one decent signing and like the line from the song “sitting here in limbo”
    Without a clue as to who will be on the books come the windows end.
    As we are aware the transfer game is a long game, with most of the signings coming to-wards the closing days.
    A game of brinkmanship, with many clubs aware of who the targets and what the value is.
    With some ready to jump in and grab a player, reportedly chased by another side.
    Of all the players we have been associated with, appears there have been only enquiries, with no actual bids made.

    And from the mouth of the grey gaffer comes a “we are ready to sell our best players”, but bring plenty dosh as we buy cheap but sell high.
    The retailers mantra, now a part of the operating plan @ NUFC.
    Having had a good season with a fifth place finish and having dumped a number of players, opening up areas where a few signings could in fact make the side competetive with a bit of quality in depth, we are now
    looking at trying to repeat the Carroll deal, instead of going for a top four and the champions league.
    I’m afraid we are going to repeat last seasons situation, where we ran out of time and ended up making a panic buy (Santon)
    And ask yourself , who will play in place of Taylor if he is injured, “Williamson” ?
    For £4m we can have Douglas and if we keep the rest, a fairly competetive side, not a lot to ask!
    But then Ashley wants his money and lets not forget in the grand scheme of things NUFC is no more than an adjunct to Sports Direct, Ashleys real business.
    Ah well!

  64. So! do/did we really intend to sell the naming rights to
    the venerable “St. James’ Park” or was it always intended to become “Sports Direct Arena” ?
    And if it were the first choice, why has it not happened ?
    Obvious the plan was to hold out the carrott of earning money which was supposed to help the club and keep objection to a minimum.
    Instead Ashley and Sports Direct are getting a freebie and advertising SD, with nothing going to-wards the club.
    “Every mickle macks a muckle” famous old scots mantra, obviously well learned by Ashley and dont forget the £25 he is charging y’all season ticket holders, to help pay for the youth system(non existent-we sold those we could and told the others to take a hike)
    But Llambias told everyone “hey the money has to come from somewhere” guess from where ?

  65. chuck says:
    August 22, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    “So! do/did we really intend to sell the naming rights to
    the venerable “St. James’ Park” or was it always intended to become “Sports Direct Arena” ?
    And if it were the first choice, why has it not happened ?”

    One: You don’t mention a price to the media before a deal has been struck.

    Two: Naming rights deals don’t bring in as much as shirt deals, and £10 million is over double what it should be, that’s why the Man City deal is so fishy, it is totally out of line with other deals.

    If Llambias doesn’t know this, then he shouldn’t be running a football club. If he does, it’s a deliberate ruse to trick the fans.

  66. Worky, at £10 million a year and thats us into a third season with the S***** D***** rubbish all over the place, does this mean the club owe Cashley £30 million less than we did?

  67. Belfast Toon says:
    August 22, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    “does this mean the club owe Cashley £30 million less than we did?”

    Er, no Belfast. The club is in more debt under Ashley than it has been in it’s entire history. All Ashley has paid for the club is the £135 million purchase price for the shares. The debt he inherited from the Shepherds and the Halls has been transferred to the club and added to considerably because of relegation and such. This must either be paid back to Ashley by the club, or absorbed by a future buyer, who, in turn, will probably transfer it to the club once again in the form of another “soft” loan. That’s modern business for you.

  68. Aye I know Worky, you couldnt write this stuff!

    It was “Owl-face” who kept telling us how much money we could make and they have then gone on to continue to free-load their T-Shirt business all over the place!

    Wasnt it difficult to watch the game on Saturday with all the bloody flashing signs?

    It was like being stuck in a Japanese cartoon!

  69. Belfast Toon says:
    August 22, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    “Wasnt it difficult to watch the game on Saturday with all the bloody flashing signs?”

    Belfast, If I suffered from epilepsy, I wouldn’t go to St James’ Park anymore in case I had a seizure. I’d even have second thoughts about watching them on the TV. If you buy any NUFC trainingwear nowadays, they have Sports Direct logos on them now too.

  70. GS says:
    August 22, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    “Can you really see Arsene Wenger breaking the club transfer record for Tiote?”

    That would be something like £17-18 million, GS, and that’s a fair bit more than Tiote is worth. Man City might pay daft fees like that, but I’m not so sure about Arsenal.

    To put it in perspective, we are only willing to pay £4.7 million for Debuchy with three years on his contract.

  71. Worky: worth/value is a different thing to price. It has been said on numerous occations that we will only sell our top players for silly money. Whether this turns out to be true if Arsenal bid 12 million, say, I don’t know.

    At 12-15 million I think there might be a few takers including Spurs and Chelsea.

  72. Worky: I think it was Batty who said this on one of his visits to your blog “Lord Henry, you know the price of everything and the value of nothing”. Perhaps the same can be said of Ashley?

  73. GS says:
    August 22, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    “Worky: worth/value is a different thing to price. It has been said on numerous occations that we will only sell our top players for silly money.”

    Enrique, a £10 million+ player sold for £5 million? Frankenstein’s monster, not a top player at the club admittedly and on perma-loan to Celtic, but who has been hotly tipped for England in the future for only £2 million?

  74. GS says:
    August 22, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    “Worky: I think it was Batty who said this on one of his visits to your blog “Lord Henry, you know the price of everything and the value of nothing”.”

    Batty quoting Oscar Wilde? :lol:

    Er, right-oh, GS. Time for your medication I think.

  75. Anyone seen that squad for the Greek game? Can’t figure why Vuckic was left and can’t help but read into that. In midfield Amalfitano is preferred and up top, Campbell. Considering Vuckic wasn’t brought into the squad for the Spurs game even after Shola’s injury…

  76. tunyc says:
    August 22, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    “What do you think Tiote’s value is? I can’t imagine it being less than Song’s.”

    tunyc, Alex Song is worth far more than Tiote ATM. Tiote’s worth over £10 million, but all these stories about planned £20 million daring swoops for him are cobblers. Song’s value is more like £20 million.

    tunyc says:
    August 22, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    “Anyone seen that squad for the Greek game? Can’t figure why Vuckic was left”

    Vuckic is injured again.

  77. Why do you rate Song as more valuable? I really can’t make sense of that. Same position, same age, Song somewhat better going forward (probably just a matter of the system played) while Tiote is often held up as the best CDM in the PL and I’ve never heard that claim made of Song. I’ve seen them both plenty and I have no hesitation in my conclusion that Tiote is a better player. No offense, I think you may be a bit too loyal to transfermarkt here. They have Song rated at RVP money, which is actually laughable.

  78. No, but he could bring 4 tennis balls back at the same time. He sort of juggles them across the floor. Anybody who sees it can’t believe it. He’s sort of lost interest for now since he got sick.

  79. You know we could go on all day listing transfer mistakes, probably have a whole team from both City and Liverpool.

    It seems the more money a team has, the more indulgent the manager. What the hell are Chelsea doing loaning out Lakaku?

  80. Oh, and City SELLING Adebeyor for 5 mil and agreeing to pay half his wages. Is that allowed? How can you SELL a player and still pay his wages. Isn’t there some sort of tampering with the league type rule?

  81. tunyc says:
    August 22, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    “Why do you rate Song as more valuable?”

    Because he has done far more at the very highest level despite being younger. He was one of the top graduates from Clairefontaine and has extensive Champions League experience from a very early age as well as Premiership experience. He used to be brilliant with Fabregas at Arsenal, and that may have been a factor in his recent move to Barcelona. Also, despite being primarily a defensive mid, like Yaya Toure, he offers more as a playmaker than Tiote, and provided quite a few assists last season for Arsenal.

  82. Yes Worky, but as you said Barcelona got the Barcelona discount i.e. every player agitates for a move when they come in so the clubs have to settle for less than their true value. Maybe we will get the Ashley premium on Tiote.

  83. I’m seeing predictions that Harper might play tomorrow. Why would we need to rest a Goalie (Krul) after one match? They hardly ever get injured and it is not like Harper needs the experience, and do goalie’s need “match fitness”?

  84. GS says:

    “Oh, and City SELLING Adebeyor for 5 mil and agreeing to pay half his wages. Is that allowed? How can you SELL a player and still pay his wages. Isn’t there some sort of tampering with the league type rule?”

    Think you’ll find Citeh just paid up his contract so he could still get his vastly inflated wages !

    Email on its way WT.

  85. GS says:
    August 22, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    “Yes Worky, but as you said Barcelona got the Barcelona discount i.e. every player agitates for a move when they come in so the clubs have to settle for less than their true value. Maybe we will get the Ashley premium on Tiote.”

    GS, it was a similar situation to Enrique. Song was one of the lesser paid first team regulars, and, according to Song anyway, they were dragging their heels on offering him an improved contract before Barcelona became involved. Unlike Enrique though, he wasn’t entering the last year of his contract.

    What Ashley premium? That Carroll thing was because of Comolli the Clown being a clown, and Carroll wasn’t the only player signed at a great premium there. Can you name any similar examples of a Newcastle player being sold at a price which was so much more than their real value?

  86. They wont be up until tomorrow toonsg. Looks like there will be a stream or two as both Premier Sports (Sky channel 428) and Nova Sports 2 (Greece) are showing the game.

  87. toonsg says:
    August 22, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    “anyone has link to the europa match??”

    Check comment 43 above toonsg. If there are online links for the game, they almost certainly won’t be published until about an hour before the kick off anyway.

  88. Other famous Batty quotes: “Ich bin ein Berliner” Batty in Hamburg in 2002 , and “Oo’er Missus”.

  89. GS says:

    “AndyMac: it doesn’t make sense, they paid up his contract and accepted a fee?”

    “Tuesday 21 August 2012 the official Manchester City website announced that Spurs had signed the Togolese forward following last seasons successful loan agreement between both clubs. No fee was disclosed to the media.

    We understand that 12 months ago City requested Tottenham pay £15m for the transfer to go through, however both sides failed to agree. In the end Spurs took Ade on loan for a fee of £5m with the agreement that this figure would come off any subsequent transfer.

    Several days ago MCFC and Spurs agreed a fee of £6m with Spurs to pay Adebayor a signing on fee (compensation in loss of wages for two years), however the hold up was that the striker wanted a loyalty bonus payment from City of £2m”

  90. toonsg says:
    August 22, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    “got the date totally wrong. cheers.”

    Check out this site from about an hour / half an hour before the game toonsg. I’m pretty sure that one of us will find something and post it.

  91. AndyMac says:
    August 22, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    “That’s another fine mess you got us into Olly”

    Aye Andy, they do look a bit like those two. That’s “Slimmer of the year” Ashley, not the old fat bastad Ashley, so obviously quite recent.

  92. Very risky team selection for tomorrow. They’re not shite either.

    A few extra senior players would really help in Europe. I’m pretty much convinced we won’t bring anyone else in this window.

  93. WT says:

    “Vuckic is injured again”

    As far as Vuckic and Ferguson are concerned I’m beginning to think there is no longer a future for either of them at the club as they have shown themselves to be far more injury prone than the rest of the would be hopefuls. Unfortunately neither of them have really shown enough to warrant a first team squad place. IMO the best they can hope for is a loan spell

    “Vuckic – there’s a feeling that he was given the maximum pitch time in pre season in a make or break attempt to pull him up to the required level. We’re not convinced that he’s managed it though, despite featuring both up front and also in a deeper role”

    “Shane Ferguson’s chances of making it at this club continue to diminish due to his fitness issues”

  94. I don’t buy the “Barca discount” thing. Song sold for 12-15M. That’s his market value, not a theoretical number nobody will ever pay. Just like LFC can insist on trying to sell Carroll for 20M but it ain’t ever gonna happen.

    I wonder how good Tiote could be going forward (I suspect quite good) if he weren’t instructed to sit deep all the time. The goal against Arsenal was a volley with his left foot. I don’t think that was a fluke. It’s Pardew’s tactics that make him look like he can’t do anything up the field.

    RE: Chelsea and personnel mistakes-their two best strikers imho have been loaned out and used as a winger respectively. I still believe Chelsea would have picked up significantly more points last season by playing Sturridge through the middle.

  95. Very risky squad for tomorrow, Jimbob. If the squad players selected are still in preseason mode as much as the first team from Saturday we could go out of this competition very quickly.

  96. tunyc says:
    August 22, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    “Just like LFC can insist on trying to sell Carroll for 20M but it ain’t ever gonna happen.”

    tunyc, When has anyone from LFC ever said they are selling Andy Carroll, and that it must be for a minimum of £20 million?

  97. tunyc says:

    “Very risky squad for tomorrow, Jimbob”

    I understand what you’re both saying but when you consider the fact that there is less than 24 hours between the two games and the likely temperature in Greece, even at 6pm, is gonna be around 28°C then two separate teams (almost) is the only solution.

    We’re fecked because the Met wouldnt change the date of the Chelski game ahead of the Notting Hill Carnival and we’re also fecked because Fatman wants to keep his (or rather Sky’s) money in his pocket.

  98. Just watching Chelski, realising we’ll have to try and keep Hazard out of the penalty area for the entire game :)

    He had 15 assists for Lille last season, he’s already got three for Chelski :(

  99. Andy, would it not make sense to play a strong ish team on Thursday and be sure of qualifying, at the expense of losing to Chelsea?

  100. AndyMac says:
    August 22, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    “He had 15 assists for Lille last season, he’s already got three for Chelski”

    Mike Ashley should have put in a bid for him.

  101. Yes, 6 million euros should suffice if Ashley can be convinced he’s worth that very large amount of money.

  102. Jimbob says:

    “Andy, would it not make sense to play a strong ish team on Thursday and be sure of qualifying, at the expense of losing to Chelsea?”

    I thought of that JB but then I also thought about last season at Chelski and considered it a possibility that we could get a result there again. Reading are currently leading 2-1 so who knows ?

    Winning, or at least not losing, breeds confidence ! Sheesh I sound more like Pardwho every day :)

  103. Don’t compare it to last season Andy. People forget they had a huge fixture pile up, had a lot of key players rested and were focused on the Barcelona semi-finals at the time. It will be a lot different this Saturday, though seeing how Reading are doing, anythings possible.

    What are Reading playing formation wise if you know? Not watching the game.

  104. AndyMac says:
    August 22, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    “Pardwho certainly knows a crap player when he sees one”

    It’s funny how Wayne “not good enough” Routledge seems to be good enough for one of the greatest players in history. Laudrup picked him for Swansea and he got two assists in one game.

  105. AndyMac says:
    August 22, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    “Winning, or at least not losing, breeds confidence ! Sheesh I sound more like Pardwho every day”

    Andy, have you ever seen all the self help book slogans pinned up on the doors and walls at Benton?

    Please stop me, I’m starting to sound as bad as you now (and Jimbob)!

  106. Routledge only looks good, playing with mid-table club, although i admit he’s done better than i thought…i rated him Championship standard.

    But I’d take Amalfantano over him, based on what I’ve seen already…..and Biri over Gutherie (as crazy as that might sound, given he scored tonight and has an excellent passing range)…or at the very least, Anita over Guthrie.

    All I’d like to see is, Best replaced. And no tiote leaving.

    But i think we’re moving in the right direction.

  107. Milner says:
    August 22, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    “Routledge only looks good, playing with mid-table club”

    Milner, he’s scored 6 goals and provided 15 assists in a mid, and a lower Premiership team since he stopped playing for Newcastle. How many goals and assists has Obertan got with Europa League Newcastle?

  108. I liked Routledge, and don’t think we improved with Obertan.

    Can’t say I would take Amalfitano over Routledge yet because he hasn’t played competitively. Hopefully he’ll be a good signing. I’m sure he will be.

  109. Anyone watch the Chelsea game? Hazard and Mata will destroy us on Saturday! It’s a good thing we relish playing against these types of players.

  110. “How many goals and assists has Obertan got in the same period with Europa League Newcastle?”

    “But I’d take Amalfantano over him, based on what I’ve seen already…..and Biri over Gutherie (as crazy as that might sound, given he scored tonight and has an excellent passing range)…or at the very least, Anita over Guthrie”

    Dont disagree with either of the above but why does a player like Guthrie leave for nowt when clearly he had a value and why oh why did we bother paying anything for Obertan ? Enough is surely enough ?

  111. Milner: why is it an either/or? Why couldn’t we just keep Routledge and offer Guthrie a new contract. You might say that he wanted first team football, but just lie to him and say he would get it (he probably would anyway with Europe and injuries).

  112. Phisix, if we set up 4-4-2 against them they will kill us. I don’t think we will though, like he we did second half against Tottenham we will go 4-3-3 / 4-5-1. Hopefully.

    From Ba’s quotes at the end of the match, I picked up a kind of admission that he can play on the left of a three man attack, and that we need to play that way sometimes.

  113. Phisix says:

    “Anyone watch the Chelsea game? Hazard and Mata will destroy us on Saturday! It’s a good thing we relish playing against these types of players”

    Chelski were lucky to get that win albeit with Hazard, Oscar and Mata firing in the middle. Torres’s goal was clearly offside and the last one wouldnt have happened if Federici had stayed in goal.

    I’d hope that someone reminds our defenders not to go to ground as Colo has a tendency to do. Still as JB says we could could lose at Chelski and still have a decent season whereas if we lose in Greece………….

  114. The eternal pessimist thinks we will lose to Chelsea either way. If we lose badly in Greece too, to the point where the 2nd leg will be very hard to overturn then their will be a lot angry people. Even Mike might be pissed off.

    We might win both though, so who knows? Afer Saturday night we will know.

  115. GS, lying to Gutherie was prob a considered option :-) , esp after he came on ‘leaps and bounds’ last season, but as long as tiptoe and cabaye remained, he wud have smelt the brown stuff miles away.

    Be interesting to see where we’re at after tomorrows game, and who starts sat as a result, but i’m confident we’ll get a point at Chelsea…

    …i just hope tiptoe doesn’t excel in the shop window of Stamford Bridge.

  116. workyticket says:
    August 22, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    It’s funny how Wayne “not good enough” Routledge seems to be good enough for one of the greatest players in history. Laudrup picked him for Swansea and he got two assists in one game.

    After the absurd number of times logical fallacies get brought up here, I wonder if anyone on here is aware of cognitive biases? Can you name a cognitive bias involved where someone who has a negative view of a person would acknowledge only the evidence in support of that viewpoint?

  117. On the same point above, I can’t agree that it even ‘seems’ like Laudrup rates Routledge when the manager has only just arrived, has a thin squad without much money to spend, and played a lad in one game. As for Wayne’s performance, he got two assists on some great breaks by Swansea, but the problem with Wayne was more a complete inability to break down a set defense. Did you also see the assists? The second one would have been cut out by my nan, horrible defending IMO

  118. smudgey pants, i agree…and Routers prob only started cos there’s the very high likelyhood that Sinclair is departing.

    When he does, Laudy will be bringing in replacement – and then we’ll see Wayney riding the squad bench all the way to 10th in table.

  119. gs,

    I think they’re good for it, Michu chappy looked great for them in midfield, don’t think they’ll miss Siguarsson too much – he’s good – but still a season or 2 away from top quality.*

    *couldnt help laughing when he tried to recreate Demba’s stroked finish, and went spinning well wide – Leave it to the Pros!

  120. Free Scoring Smudge says:
    August 22, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    “After the absurd number of times logical fallacies get brought up here, I wonder if anyone on here is aware of cognitive biases? Can you name a cognitive bias involved where someone who has a negative view of a person would acknowledge only the evidence in support of that viewpoint?”

    Free Scoring Smudge says:
    August 22, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    “On the same point above, I can’t agree that it even ‘seems’ like Laudrup rates Routledge when the manager has only just arrived, has a thin squad without much money to spend, and played a lad in one game. As for Wayne’s performance, he got two assists on some great breaks by Swansea, but the problem with Wayne was more a complete inability to break down a set defense. Did you also see the assists? The second one would have been cut out by my nan, horrible defending IMO”

    Are you aware of irony, pretentiousness and trying (and failing miserably) to be patronising Free Scoring Smudge?

    Get back to your first year psychology text books (and yes, that was intended to be patronising too :-))

  121. Milner says:
    August 22, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    “I think they’re good for it, Michu chappy looked great for them in midfield”

    I thought he was more of a deep lying forward in a 4-4-1-1 in that game. Though he is supposed to be a midfielder, he can be more of a second striker or an in the hole player like he was for Swansea. He was my tip for bargain of the season so far at £2 million. I saw him playing for Rayo a few times before he came to the Premiership.

  122. AndyMac sez
    Shane Fergusons chances of making it at this club are diminishing because of his fitness level.

    Whatever made you make such a statemebt Andy ?
    I dont remember him as being constantly unfit, so what do you base your statement on ?
    I believe he is the one youngster with enough talent to break into this side, sooner than any of the others, that is judged on ability.
    His recent game for Norn Iron, was outstanding, even scored.
    Wheather the Grey Gaffer recognises his talent or not is another question, but on skill and ability, i certainly do.

    tuncy
    Tiote is probably worth in the region of seven or eight million, definately not the same quality as Song, why ?
    For the most part, he’s no more than a good ball winning DM, who sometimes overdoes it going into the tackle.
    Picks up too many cards, because he does’nt know how to ease an opponent off the ball or divert him to a non dangerous area, but only hit hard and put the guy in the stands.
    He has poor distribution and does’nt want the ball, therefor gets rid of it as soon as possible.
    Has little in the way of playing attacking football and yes his super volleyed goal was in fact a fluke IMO.
    I’m not saying he cant learn and with the right coaching could i believe become a good all rounder and possibly be worth big bucks.
    But right now, he is a one dimensional player.
    Appears our recent purchase Bigi is a clone of Mr T. with a few more skills and like Ferguson, (depending how he improves) could get a start in some of our European games.

    Workey
    Be nice, you really jumped on poor Smudge there, he was only trying to sound intelligent and he makes a good case in regard to Laudrup’s reason for using him.
    On the other hand we all have our biases, yourself included.
    You appear to take his comments as a personal affront, c’mon lighten up.
    But i have a feeling it was the way he stated it, using terms like “logical fallacies” and “cognitive biases”.
    Not to memtion knocking Routledge, who we are all aware is one of your favourites.

  123. Chuck: I think Ferguson was out most of last season and hasn’t been available for us yet this season. From what I have seen though, he has a lot of talent. He could save us a lot of money.

    I also think Sammy has great talent, he could be the player some people thought his brother would be. Plus I want to see more of the tactic of him blocking the goalie’s view at corners. What is he, 6-5 now? Some injury worries there as well.

  124. chuck says:
    August 23, 2012 at 2:38 am

    “Workey
    Be nice, you really jumped on poor Smudge there, he was only trying to sound intelligent and he makes a good case in regard to Laudrup’s reason for using him.
    On the other hand we all have our biases, yourself included.”

    Yes Chuck, I’m biased against patronising smartarses who look down on others because they’ve spent five minutes studying a psychology text book, and assume others don’t understand what the hell they’re blathering on about. As you should know, that’s my job. ;-)

    No, Routledge isn’t a great “favourite” of mine, I just don’t think that he’s as bad as some Newcastle United fans (and Alan Pardew) seem to think he is. However, Michael Laudrup IS a particular favourite of mine, just like Cruyff, Romario, Platini, Beckenbauer, Guardiola, Raul, Mourinho and all the other great players and coaches who know how special he was. He selected him to start over Scott Sinclair, one of Swansea’s best players.

  125. Saw your comments Worky, and it’s not that I assume others don’t know what I’m blathering about — although that’s always a possibility– but rather I hoped you’d evaluate some of your comments toward Pards, Lambias, and Ashley et. al. IMO this site is just as unbalanced as the Chronicle, just in the opposite direction.

    And yes, confirmation bias probably appears in first year psychology textbooks, but if you’re any bit of the expert that you purport to be, based on the insufferable ‘special pleading’ you blathered [ ;) ] on about a few days back, you might recognize how consistently pointing out the few mistakes made of late by Pards or the board looks to many readers on here. As far as I can tell, readers who oppose your view are either working for a PR firm contracting with the club, or are spouting “specious guff to those with any kind of capacity for logic.” To me, many people bring up fair points – the club had its most successful season in a decade and the clubs finances are also in order, so therefore the regime’s current transfer policy is the most appropriate way forward. That transfer policy does NOT involve paying full value for French internationals (see Cabaye, Yohan), but rather identifying undervalued assets so that our squad has a quality well beyond the club’s means. How else do we compete with Man City/Chelsea?

  126. chuck-this is going to be the last time I say this. I know you’ll ignore it again anyway. Cheick Tiote is not just a ball-winning midfielder. Last season, despite the games he missed, he attempted the 3rd most passes of anyone in the squad and had the highest completion rate. This in the center of midfield, where you’re under the most pressure to move the ball. He also appears to have no game going forward because he is clearly ordered to cover our center halves (which he does very well and allows all those forward runs by Colo) for the entire match by our very conservative manager and coaches.

    I agree that talk of 20M is nuts but I would most certainly point to Song’s deal and say that’s a starting point. (Cheick also isn’t in the last 2 years of his contract.)

    All that said, I know these valuations aren’t reasonably relative or Swansea would never get their hands on a player like Michu for just 2M.

    As for other comments-I have to laugh at the rationalizing spirit that says they’d prefer two players who have literally never kicked a ball in the PL over Guthrie and Routledge…not saying we had to keep them and good on ’em for wanting to actually play. I’m excited and hopeful for our new boys but tbh I have no idea what to expect from Amalfitano in the PL and I don’t think we’ll even see Bigi there this season. At best, jury’s out and we hope.

  127. tuncy
    Again i disagree with you, plus i dont lay much value on statistics.
    To say he completed any number of passes is really meaningless and only bolsters my argument, that once he wins the ball he then attempts to get rid of it immediatly, most of the time to the nearest guy in a black and white shirt.
    Resulting in positive stats, but not really contributing anything in the way of say a Cabaye, whos stats may not match up, but we know he can produce killer passes.
    Tiote i’m afraid is niether a good passer of the ball and contributes little as far as offense is concerned.
    What he does well is balls in the center of the pitch and therefor protects the back four, plus he instills an awareness of his presence in the opposition, none of which want to match up physically and tend to dump the ball when he approaches.
    If you want a good enforcer, he’s your man, but thats it, one dimensional (at present) perhaps Wenger can teach him the finer points of the game, because it appears our coaches have failed in that respect.

  128. Tunyc: agree with your points on Tiote and just when I agreed with some things that Chuck said he has to get it wrong again :) Tiote actually keeps the ball quite well in the middle and then mainly lays it off to a complimentary player such as Cabaye who can then make a “killer” pass.

    He does the patented Scott Parker run in a little circle thing but actually finishes the move with a pass rather than falling over. The point of a team is that they do not all do the same thing and get in each others way.

    Most teams do well with an “enforcer” who can cause the other team to rush their passes and give the ball away.

    One thing I wish would stop is the crowd yelling “shoooot” every time Tiote gets the ball on the edge of the opposition box. That is one thing Chuck got right.

    I think Wenger might be looking at Tiote because he is looking for a player like Viera who you might also say didn’t contribute that much going forward but made that Arsenal team tick.

  129. Worky, sometimes you take things too far. I didn’t see Smudge as being a “patronising smart arse”. He may have been a bit snide but that is not unusual on here. His point is still valid, or rather deserves a reply rather than a knee-jerk insult.

    If everybody agreed then discussion would soon die off.

  130. Right. Statistics can be overused. So let’s not pay attention to passes attempted or completed and rather evaluate players solely based on our “gut.” Right.

    “once he wins the ball he then attempts to get rid of it immediatly”

    Honestly, I wonder if we’re talking about the same guy. The main flaw in Tiote’s game I see is a tendency to occasionally hold onto the ball too long in defensive positions.

    For me he’s the best passer in our squad not named Cabaye. Not just based on statistics but also based on what I’ve seen for years. We’ll agree to disagree.

  131. For the record, Cabaye was our second most accurate passer and attempted more passes than anyone. Hell of a coincidence that stats seem to accurately reflect Cabaye’s effectiveness but not Tiote’s.

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