Barton on second season syndrome, Enrique’s future and Danny Graham

Posted on May 12th, 2011 | 14 Comments |

Danny Graham - potential Newcastle United transfer target?
Graham: Toon Target?
Barton expects next season to be tough, Pardew is keen to get an answer from Enrique and Danny Graham allegedly tickles the Toon’s fancy.

Joey Barton thinks that next season will be tougher for Newcastle than this one was due to that ‘second season syndrome’ (or ‘SecSSy’ as it’s known to those of us who have our eye in the circle). He believes that existing players will need to up their game and new talent will need to be hired.

Barton said:

We believed in the squad and the group that we could achieve what we have achieved and maybe if one or two things had gone our way we might have done a little bit better.

Next season is going to be as difficult a season, if not a lot more difficult because teams will respect you a little bit more and the Cup Final atmosphere of every game goes.

It is going to be a lot more difficult that what it has been this season.

The test is on us to improve individually and as a collective to move forward.

I must admit I’m not sure how badly this second season stuff will affect us given that we were only absent for one season, but the need for squad improvements is a given anyway.

Meanwhile, back at the bat-cave, Pardew is apparently keen to get an answer from Jose Enrique about whether or not he’s planning to move on in the summer. Although The Chronicle reports this without any actual quotes from Pardew, it’s probably true: I’m sure our manager will be keen to get Enrique’s decision so that he can plan accordingly early in the summer rather than having to wait until the deadline’s nearly upon us.

It seems that Enrique is still hedging his bets and waiting to see which clubs show a genuine interest in him.

There are also rumours (from Sky Sports) that we’re ‘keeping tabs’ on Championship top scorer Danny Graham who has scored 86 goals in 262 appearances for Darlington, Middlesbrough, Derby, Leeds, Blackpool and Watford. Last season he hit 17 goals in 49 games and this season he’s hit 27 goals in 49 games.

He’s a Gateshead lad – 6ft 1in high and 25 years old – who has previously had Premier League experience when he was with Middlesbrough, although he’s played most of his games in League One and The Championship.

Watford chairman Graham Taylor and manager Malky Mackay (and, no doubt, Elton John) will be keen to try and keep him at Watford and they got him to sign a new contract last summer which covers 2 years until 2012 with an option to take another year.

And finally, did you know that scientists have invested in ‘Panda Porn’? In order to urge Pandas to breed in captivity they are giving them Viagra and showing them videos of pandas mating in the wild. Another very little known fact about pandas is that they have 6 digits – 5 fingers and a thumb – which must be handy for operating the remote control on the porn videos.

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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14 Responses

  1. I think Joey might be right and it is a little warning to the ‘powers-that-be’ that resting on ones laurels could / would be a big mistake. The lads have done really well probably better than many of us thought they would do. The club needs to invest which I’m sure they will do. As with the case of Tiote, Simpson and Williamson it’s not how much you spend but the quality you buy.

    With regard to Jose it’s a case of put-up or shut-up in that the club should offer him a new contract and if he rejects it then the club should buy a left back. I would like to see Van Arnholt return.

    I think Danny Graham would be worth a punt. It looks like he has a natural ability to score goals as his record appears to show. Being a local lad it could give him an added boost. I wouldn’t have thought his and his clubs asking price would be very high.

    Ed Miliband has Panda eyes. Have you Hugh uncovered something that the tabloids have missed !

  2. Agree with you Kamar. We can’t afford to be pi$$ing about with Jose during the close season – he needs to be told in no uncertain terms that he’s either staying or going.

    Any offer must be a sensible and final one of course – no negotaations to muddy the waters!

  3. I’ve heard several people quoting £15m for enrique be it in the papers or on blogs but surely that’s completely unrealistic given he’s got just over a year left in his contract…I think offers will be around £5m-£7m mark (assuming offers come in)

  4. Witters, one of the Milan clubs have reportedly been scouting Jose and it’s speculating that intersest from them could spark a bidding war with a figure of £15M mooted.

    One thing’s for sure, if he is going, the club needs to decide and he (and our parastitic scouse friends) need to understand he ain’t going to another Prem outfit!

  5. Lifted from the rumour site:

    11 May 2011 18:44:31
    Pardew has been given all of the Carroll money to invest in the summer but we shouldnt get to excited as Ashley will not brake the current wage structure so it is unlikely that we can attract the big names we all crave.
    I have been told that the gaffer is confident of bringing in four or five new faces and will place bids for
    Robbie Keen (spurs)
    Jason Roberts (blackburn)
    Danny Gabbidon (west ham)
    Matt Jarvis (wolves)
    Dixon Etuhu (fulham)

    Robbie Keane? Robbie f@^£”!g Keane? For goodness sake!

  6. Lesh @ 6

    I think the club will stick with their policy of buying younger players that have a sell-on value which may mean that they have never been linked with the club in the past. Ben Arfa was the exception possibly because his French club decided to ‘spill-the-beans’ on the negotiations. All the other buys have been done in secret. I expect that to continue.

    The players quoted completely underwhelm me. I would like to think that Pardew honours his remark and gets players that excite the fans. I would like to see Taarabt and Sturridge.

  7. I read somewhere earlier that Pardew is currently in France chasing up transfer targets.

    If the club has any sense they’ll leak a few false names to the press to mislead other clubs.

    One club is always trying to take advantage of the scouting prowess of another club (it saves them the bother) and then they’ll try to swoop in and trump a buy. Apparently it gets a bit ‘James Bond’ sometimes.

    But without the Aston Martin.

    Or the Walther PPK.

    Or the totty.

  8. Hugh.

    You could live without the Aston and the Walther but the totty?

    Mmmm, given experience…. on second thoughts, gimme the Aston and the shooter!!

  9. Lesh, that has to be inaccurate. We’ve got scouts all over Europe looking for players, so why would we be going for players that don’t fit in with the club’s policy of buying under 26. True, we might be looking for young talent, but Graham Carr isn’t going to go to all the trouble of finding Tiotes and Ben Arfas and then watch Pardew buy Robbie Keane and Jason Roberts.

  10. Hugh – i tried for a while to be a kgb agent – feeding them secrets. it didnt work for long though. they werent really interested that my aunty pauline wore a wig, or that soaking 2p’s in coke made them shiny

  11. RE Youth Policy.

    I really want us to go down this road. Personally, It’s cheap, we make money. And, chances are (a 100% believe this will happen)… the real ‘stars’ will come back again when the club start playing in Euro and have a little bit more money. i.e Andy Carroll. I’m not talking silly money back, but if we are 100% positive towards them, who wouldnt want to come back.

  12. I think the NUFC acquisitions committee will try to bring in both English and off-shore players. The English signings having both experience and a reputation for being real bulldogs. These will help the off-shore signings make the transition to the English style of play.

    I fervently hope the committee will bring on training staff that can reduce the occurrence of weekday injuries. The cost of those lost bodies seems to cover half of the wage bill.

  13. lesh says:
    May 12, 2011 at 9:10 am

    “Lifted from the rumour site:

    11 May 2011 18:44:31
    Pardew has been given all of the Carroll money to invest in the summer but we shouldnt get to excited as Ashley will not brake the current wage structure so it is unlikely that we can attract the big names we all crave.”

    It’s tripe Lesh. For a start, when the club suggested that they would be ‘investing’ the Carroll money, part of the small print was that they would be factoring in new contracts awarded to existing players such as Tiote and the rest.