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Archive for category: Alan Smith.

Pardew’s double-edged “praise” for Hughton in patronising lecture to fans…

September 23rd, 2012 | 15 Comments |

Alan Pardew and Chris Hughton.
Pardew: Damning Hughton with faint praise?
With today’s game against Norwich City seeing Alan Pardew’s predecessor, Chris Hughton, returning to St James’ Park for the first time since his sacking in December 2010, there has been far more of the usual pre match words from the managers on both sides.

On the Pardew side, amongst other things, he has been anxious to remind we fans that we shouldn’t get too carried away with any kind of appreciation for the man who returned us to the Premiership, not to mention bringing former Tottenham colleague, Graham Carr, to the club as his Chief Scout in the February preceding his sacking.

As with much of what Pardew says, there was a whiff of some kind of underlying agenda in his comments. In some double-edged words of “praise,” he sought to diminish Hughton’s contribution to the club as he not so subtly reminded fans of previous smear stories which circulated about Hughton, saying that much of the credit for leading the club back to the Premiership should actually go to Joey Barton, Alan Smith, Steve Harper and Kevin Nolan as it was they who were really running the first team after Hughton’s appointment. (more…)


How was Newcastle United’s transfer window for you? Let us know!

September 2nd, 2012 | 47 Comments |

Vurnon Anita showing his new Newcastle shirt.
Little Vurn: NUFC's "marquee" signing in this window.
As you no doubt know only too well, the Summer transfer window ended at 11pm on Friday evening. But are you happy, or not, overall, with the comings and goings at the club?

Reviewing the ingoings and outgoings at Newcastle United during this particular window (see table below), nine players have left the club and four have come in. I have included Ryan Donaldson and Phil Airey in the nine outgoings as they both enjoyed at least one or two outings for the first team in the past, though I have omitted several other Academy players who were released by the club in the infamous “night of the long knives” at the Benton Academy, when at least seven young prospects were axed in one go, plus the slightly older Kadar.

Though the figures are approximate, the overall spend for the club seems to be a figure of around +£2.64 million to +£3.14 million. Looking at the individuals involved will always be something of a subjective thing, but having a bash at some kind of assesment, I would say that the club has lost three squad members who had been very handy for the club when the inevitable injuries occured, or when more regular choices were fulfilling international commitments in major competitions such as the Africa Cup of Nations. We also lost the all but redundant Alan Smith (and his huge wages), the talented but constantly on loan Fraser Forster, the once regarded as highly promising defender, Tamas Kadar, who never quite failed to live up to earlier expectations, as well the two bairns mentioned above. (more…)


Another “night of the long knives” at St James’ Park

June 1st, 2012 | 22 Comments |

Night of the long knives at SJP.
The night of the long knives at SJP.
Newcastle United announced their list of retained players (players who’s contracts have expired but are being renewed) earlier this evening.

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. (more…)


Mike Ashley vs Freddy Shepherd – Who’s better?

May 25th, 2012 | 64 Comments |

Mike Ashley and Freddy Shepherd.
"Satan's mirror has two faces."
Well, Newcastle United have finally managed to finish in the top half of the Premiership under current owner, Mike Ashley.

This is our first top ten finish, and qualification for European competition, since Glenn Roeder’s Intertoto “Dream Team” managed seventh, and Europe, after a storming finish in the 2005-06 season.

However, we fans are constantly reminded that this can only come at a very high cost, that the name of the club’s traditional home, St James’ Park, must be sacrificed to become a free publicity vehicle for Sports Direct, that we must also be subjected to a myriad of fit inducing signs publicising Sports Direct throughout games, that we must pay a £25 membership fee to purchase a season ticket, or even just one away ticket and so on…

Mirroring the spin department of the current administration at 10 Downing Street, everything is blamed on our previous administration for allegedly taking us to the edge of the financial abyss, with neither the world economic crisis, nor relegation to the Championship playing any part whatsoever. Even after five whole years, when controversial decisions are made, the spectre of the Byker Beelzebub himself, Freddy Shepherd, is constntly raised, and the club’s current owner is hailed as a messiah who has somehow led the club from the verge of complete extinction. So, now that the club has completed it’s fifth season under its current ownership, I thought I would put this to the test, measuring the performance of the current owner, both on the pitch and on the balance sheet, against his predecessors under the leadership of Shepherd. (more…)


Four or five players to join Newcastle in the summer?

March 14th, 2012 | 58 Comments |

According to press reports Newcastle may sign 4 or 5 players in the summer.
Corgnet still on the radar?
Newcastle United will look to strengthen the squad in the summer (according to press reports) but who are the ins and outs likely to be?

Much of the press is speculating that Newcastle will see a large influx of players in the summer, with some suggesting that as many as five new faces might be present in next season’s squad. The books will of course still have to balance, so what are the likely courses of action?

First, players will need to leave in order to free up the cash for fresh purchases and that will begin by getting Alan Smith – and his alleged extortionate wages – off the books. Lovenkrands’ contract is up in the summer too; I have no idea what sort of wages he’s on but I’m guessing his contract won’t be renewed.

I think two players who may make an exit are Cheick Tiote and Demba Ba. Tiote was signed for a fee of just £3.5m from FC Twente in August 2010 and I’d guess he’s now worth 2-3 times that amount with Chelsea apparently front-runners to sign him. Demba Ba was of course signed on a free and we’ve since heard Harry ‘Loudmouth’ Redknapp blabbing on about some sort of release clause in his contract and that might mean we don’t get too much for him, but his excellent scoring rate this season has certainly attracted attention. In fact, Demba Ba has just been voted ‘Best Signing Of The Season’ having accrued 56% of the vote from the League Managers’ Association (Phil Jones and Scott Parker were second with 13% each). (more…)