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Archive for tag: Nicky Butt.

Newcastle United player review 09/10 – Midfielders.

May 7th, 2010 | 88 Comments |

Has been a key player for us.
Has been a key player for us.
Having already taken a look at our goalkeepers and defenders, the focus for the next edition of our player review moves up the pitch again to see how our midfield have performed throughout the season.

It’s been a strange position for us this year. On one hand, some say the midfield has been our achilles heel, it lacks mobility and creativity. On the other hand though, it has been a position that has yielded a return of 30 goals from the season. Without checking, that is probably a damn sight more than what we have had in return from the past few seasons. Of course 17 of them have come from Kevin Nolan which has helped improve that figure, but despite the criticism that has been aimed at them from time to time they have chipped in with their fair share of assists aswell. After all, strikers need service from somewhere, right? (more…)


What do we think of the Newcastle engine room? – Part deux.

January 7th, 2010 | 66 Comments |

Looking and feeling a little rusty in the middle?
Looking and feeling a little rusty in the middle?
The previous review of the current squad, took a look at the Newcastle defence, an area that this season we’ve been surprisingly strong in, given our poor reputation in recent years.

Today’s review looks at arguably the fulcrum of a successful team, the midfield, the place that could and should control a game and dictate the style of play. Our midfield this season has been very much part of a strong defensive ethos, and while we have grafters in there, we’re also lacking some natural creativity and pace.

Looking at the current crop, it really makes you pine for some of our former midfielders who have graced the hallowed St James’ turf in the last couple of decades. Reminisce about the grace of French wingers David Ginola and Laurent Robert. Recall the guts, determination and drive of Robert Lee and Gary Speed. Consider the guile we had in Emre, albeit fleetingly, and the sheer brilliance of Nobby Solano. Even having pure pace a la James Milner, Keith Gillespie to worry the opposition. You can even look at some of the less popular characters. We would kill for the pace of Kieron Dyer and dare I say, I could forgive Jermaine Jenas. Possibly even Damien Duff is a big miss? Maybe that’s stretching it…

Anyway, that was the past, what about the present? (more…)


You’re not a loan? Hughton – “I don’t really expect to bring anybody in”.

November 25th, 2009 | 42 Comments |

Jus' chillin'?
Jus' chillin'?
Chris Hughton has admitted that he is pretty laidback as the hour approaches and the ‘temporary loan signing’ window shuts at 5pm tomorrow night until February.
It has long been reported that Leon Cort has been on Hughton’s radar but Hughton has been telling the Chronicle that he’s not in any rush to sign players just for the sake of it:

“You never know, but realistically looking at the squad I don’t really expect to bring anybody in during the next month or so.

“Of course, all sorts of things can happen in the next 24 hours, and phone calls will be made on Thursday with players potentially becoming available.

“Some clubs might make a decision that some of the players who weren’t available earlier in the season are now there for loans. But we’ll see.” (more…)


What do we think of the Newcastle engine room?

October 27th, 2009 | 60 Comments |

Looking and feeling a little rusty in the middle?
Looking and feeling a little rusty in the middle?
Yesterday’s review of the current squad, took a look at the Newcastle defence, an area that this season we’ve been surprisingly strong in, given our poor reputation in recent years.

Tonight looks at arguably the fulcrum of a successful team, the midfield, the place that could and should control a game and dictate the style of play. That doesn’t bode well for our side at the moment because arguably, we have a midfield full of players who are very similar and lack pace. Therefore, the pace is often pedestrian and the game often goes stale.

Looking at the current crop, it really makes you pine for some of our former midfielders who have graced the hallowed St James’ turf in the last couple of decades. Reminisce about the grace of French wingers David Ginola and Laurent Robert. Recall the guts, determination and drive of Robert Lee and Gary Speed. Consider the guile we had in Emre, albeit fleetingly, and the sheer brilliance of Nobby Solano. Even having pure pace ala James Milner, Keith Gillespie to worry the opposition. You can even look at some of the less popular characters. We would kill for the pace of Kieron Dyer and dare I say, I could forgive Jermaine Jenas. Possibly even Damien Duff is a big miss? Maybe that’s stretching it…..

Anyway, that was the past, what about the present? – (more…)


Keeping up appearances on a shift called Dignity.

September 12th, 2009 | 11 Comments |

Strength in numbers
Strength in numbers
The slant on this is two-fold. I’m talking both about the new found optimism and feel-good factor surrounding the team on the pitch, and also about our ability to keep that pitch chock-full of experienced professionals.

Clearly our start to the season has given cause for genuine surprise throughout the football world, none more so than up here. To land on our feet and start making progress in the right direction was probably the last thing we expected.

So we can also probably safely assume it was also the last thing the media and our detractors were expecting. Therefore a pleasant surprise, as it’s a bit of a two-fingered salute to them.

Sunday’s game against Cardiff City could well prove to be the biggest challenge yet but ultimately if we succeed, it’s yet another piece tacked onto our new-found and developing cloak of pride. Even if we manage a draw, our reputation will be upheld and so there is a lot to be look forward and much to be gained in that game. We just seem to have picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves down and started getting on with it, everyone putting in a hard, honest and decent shift. For every point we pick up that goes towards our tally in the league table, we also pick up a voucher of dignity that will hopefully be redeemed in the near future. A day when we hold our heads high and we’re regarded as a proper football club again, for the right reasons. (more…)