Newcastle in the Premiership: How do we measure up with the rest?

Posted on May 16th, 2010 | 93 Comments |

Will the current squad measure up next year?
Will the current squad measure up next year?
In this, the second of my series looking at Newcastle United’s return to the Premiership, I will be looking at how the squad as it is right now would measure up to other squads in the top division. There have been many voices crying that Newcastle will need to draft in lots of big name players merely to survive, harking back to the days of Fat Freddy, perhaps, when Newcastle would waste huge sums on superannuated has-beens and untested overseas players who never seemed to find their way in the Premier League, something we are still paying the price for, even today.

All the noises coming out of the club seem to suggest, well, more than suggest that the days of the NUFC retirement home for football gentlefolk has gone, with an emphasis on younger players and a much more careful and measured approach. It is time to forget the past though and move on. Of course, being relegated to the Championship also had a huge financial price, and many of these ‘big ticket’ players were offloaded ASAP. The rollcall including Michael Owen, Damien Duff, Habib Beye and someone who came out of nowhere (well, Metz actually) to make a name for himself amidst the wreckage of last season, Sebastien Bassong. Some key players were kept on of course, and Chris Hughton signed reinforcements, albeit on a budget that was somewhat less grand than in the past. So, as things stand at the moment, how does our diminished squad measure up to the rest of the sides competing in next year’s Premier League?

With the exception of our two fellow relegatees last season, West Bromwich Albion and Middlesbrough. it could easily be said that our squad was quite a still a long way ahead of the chasing pack, even after the removal of many of it’s supposed ‘Crown Jewels’ as mentioned above. So, will the Newcastle United squad measure up in terms of quality to the much higher standards of the Premiership? If this question means “will our squad be better than at least three other squads?” then the answer will probably be “yes”.

Firstly there are the two clubs who will be promoted with us, West Bromwich and either Cardiff or Blackpool. Being fellow ex Premiership casualties themselves, West Brom were one of the few sides in the Championship with a squad which came close to ours, with stars such as goalkeeper, Scott Carson, Gianni Zuiverloon, Abdoulaye Méïté, Chris Brunt, James Morrison and the up and coming Graham Dorrans, who had an excellent season for the ‘Baggies’. However, they do not have one single player currently valued at over £5 million, no players who are on quite the same level as Fabricio Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Steven Taylor, Kevin Nolan, Joey Barton, or perhaps most of all, Jonas Gutirerrez. It was Argentina coach, Diego Armando Maradona, who said that his Argentina side would be “Mascherano, Messi, Jonas and eight more”. We have only seen the first, faint stirrings of what he’s truly capable of in the Premiership. Along with his fellow Magpie and Argentina star, Fabricio Coloccini, he will blossom next year in the same way as Jose Enrique has in the preceding season. Along with the already mentioned Gutierrez, Coloccini and Enrique, West Brom also do not have any players whose Premierhip experience, and value, would compare with those of players such as Kevin Nolan, Steven Taylor and Joey Barton. Danny Guthrie is also proving to be a rapidly appreciating asset. As for Cardiff and Blackpool, do me a favour! Whilst there are some talented players within those squads, in terms of squad value and investmant, both of their squads put together would be worth less than Newcastle United’s first team squad, and even with the huge windfall that promotion to the Premiership brings, they will still struggle financially to invest in significant reinforcements.

So that’s two out of the way, lets look at some of the lesser squads who were already in the Premiership last year. All of the three teams who were relegated, Portsmouth, Hull and Burnley had squads which were estimated to be worth less than our own as things stood at the end of the season. Of the survivors with whom we will be competing next year, both Birmingham and Wolves, who managed to finish 15th and 9th respectively, have squads which are worth less than our own at this point.

Looking at our own squad purely in terms of it’s perceived monetary value, perhaps the closest examples in the Premiership are Wigan and Stoke. All of our first team squads are around the £60 million mark, and like Wolves and Birmingham, they were not relegated, with Wigan in 16th place, and Stoke, like Birmingham City, could be said to be thriving with an 11th placed finish at the end of the season.

Of course though, this is only part of the story. If that were the only issue, Newcastle should never have been relegated in the first place. However it does rather damage the argument that we will be immediately relegated unless we immediately spend huge amounts on players. Just as other teams, like the two midlands examples mentioned above have survived, and in Birmingham City’s case, even thrived with a less expensive squad than we have at this moment, so we have our own example from the 2008/9 season, that of a highly expensively assembled squad which should have been in permanent residence in the top half of the Premiership getting relegated. Continuing with our own example though, what we have lost in terms of star players, we have more than made up for through managerial consistency, good decisionmaking and co-ordination, and that phrase which is rapidly becoming something of a cliché at Saint James’s, “Team Spirit”.

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1092 articles on this blog.

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93 Responses

  1. There have been many voices crying that Newcastle will need to draft in lots of big name players merely to survive?

    Not heard anyone on here demanding big names at all-just sensible investment.

  2. Newcastle would waste huge sums on superannuated has-beens and untested overseas players who never seemed to find their way in the Premier League, something we are still paying the price for, even today.

    Errrrr Mr Owen by any chance?

  3. Someone has got a Dictionary for Xmas….

    superannuate |ˌsoōpərˈanyoōˌāt|
    verb [ trans. ] (usu. be superannuated)
    retire (someone) with a pension : his pilot’s license was withdrawn and he was superannuated.
    • [as adj. ] ( superannuated) (of a position or employee) belonging to a superannuation plan : she is not superannuated and has no paid vacation.
    • [usu. as adj. ] ( superannuated) cause to become obsolete through age or new technological or intellectual developments : superannuated computing equipment.
    superannuable |-ˈanyoōəbəl| adjective
    ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: back-formation from superannuated, from medieval Latin superannuatus, from Latin super- ‘over’ + annus ‘year.’

  4. we dont need big names just a centre half, striker,and midfielder who will fit in well with the current squad who will work there socks off and give us a good chance of staying up here are realistic players i think we should try to sign micah richards (on loan) peter whittingham kris boyd (bosman) them three players would give us a real chance of finishing 12th

  5. Who’s been crying for big name players?

    Don’t think I’ve seen one person on here saying we should spend millions and millions on bog name players.

    Worky, you’re gettin like a journo mate. Fabricating things for an article.

  6. Nobody has asked for big names on here Danny so I agree with what you are saying…SENSIBLE INVESTMENT.

  7. Agree Stu…I have not seen 1 fan on here say that or anywhere else.
    Maybe I am a superannuate blogger and missed it all.

  8. sirjasontoon says:
    May 16, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    “Errrrr Mr Owen by any chance?”

    One of several, Jason. The mysterious case of Geremi’s legs going missing just before he joined the club, and the warnings from Jose and Bobby is possibly a better example.

  9. There’s been a load of shite buys…players that did have some pedigree and never turned it on…Duff hardly had a good game in his time here,Geremi was just GASH.

    Barton could end up similar if he doesn’t stay fit and pull his weight next season….I want Joey to do well and my gut feeling is he will become our leader and thrive on the responsibility.

  10. totally agree jason sensible investment is the way forward for our football club owen, geremi, emre,guivarch,andreas andersson ,jon dahl tomasson (even though he could score 30 goals in serie a!!) marcelino i could be here all night all shite waste of time its time to consolidate not elaberate

  11. danny,
    Why do we need another centre half when we have Taylor,Colo,Williamson and Kadar?

  12. i agree i think barton and nolan will be the force next season as long as they stay fit they are both premiership class

  13. TGS – I agree. I think if anything needs tinkering with the defence it’s at right back, and cover for Jose, which Kadar can do at a push.

  14. “Consolidate not elaborate”

    Almost as catchy as evoulution not revolution :lol:

  15. it would be a gamble starting with kadar or williamson kadar has already said he wants to go out on loan in championship to start games so that tells me he isnt confident

  16. toonsy,
    RB,ACM and Pacey Striker (Proven EPL) required, but doubt MA will invest.

  17. toonsy says:
    May 16, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    “and cover for Jose, which Kadar can do at a push.”

    No he can’t, Toonsy. He just ends up in the middle.

  18. danny,
    Give me the link where Kadar has said that?
    As for Williamson, give the guy a chance. IMO he looks decent he will be ok, save facing Rooney and Torres
    Against the lower 9 sides I have absolute confidence in his defensive capability.

  19. The one immeasurable thing we have going for us when we try and weigh up how next season in the Prem will go is TEAM SPIRIT – just can’t be bought.

    That final day at Villa was embarressing, we limped out of the Prem.

    When we are having rough spells next season – and we will – at least they will keep on battling and not fold like the relegation season.

    I will support that type of attitude to the death.

  20. Aye, have to admit I haven’t heard about Kadar. There was a bit a while back about him considering it but Hughton said he would be staying put if I remember correctly?

  21. When fit the following players are NAILED ON CH starters:

    ????/s taylor/colo/enrique
    ????// carroll.

    routledge and guthrie for the right wing spot.
    S Taylor and simpson for RB (with either williamson and S taylor partnering Colo)

    Either Carroll and shola: target man, and loven plus (?) one other support striker.

    SO that said we have two men for every position apart from:

    Another left footer who can play defense or mid; riise, Zog, Pederson,
    And another mobile support striker – beckford, sigurrdson, adam, whittingham, etc.

    2 much needed players and we’ll be laughing all the way to 14th or whatever.

  22. Football is simple, no matter what formation, every player must do their own job and do it well, we have players now that will and do that exactly, in the past we have had players who couldn’t give a sh*t, wouldn’t track back, wouldn’t take ownership at the back and wouldn’t take the game by the scruff of the neck, of course we need investment, but not multi million pound marquee signings who just bother about a wage, we need hungry and talented players, whether they come from abroad, other premier league clubs or the championship, I’m not bothered. Even if we don’t sign anyone, which I can’t see happening, I would still be content and happy because we have a very talented and hungry squad with a good average age, the squad is small but it has quality. We also have good young players who can stand up and be counted when they are needed. We’ll do well next season, especially at home, we won’t roll over and have developed a grittiness and determenation which is refreshing to see. I think the lads are up for the challenge, the manager is up for it and I know for sure, we are!

  23. There have been many voices crying that Newcastle will need to draft in lots of big name players merely to survive,

    So who or where have you heard that from ? as I haven’t heard it, and if you get round to answering that, maybe you would have the decency to answer me on the last thread ?
    and tell me what im supposed to be at

    ” At it again, Dave?”

  24. Boater I think Shola will be a nailed on CH starter and Routledge on the RW but I dont think Guthrie is suited to the RW I think he has proved this year he should be in CM

  25. Big Dave says:
    May 16, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    “So who or where have you heard that from ? as I haven’t heard it, and if you get round to answering that, maybe you would have the decency to answer me on the last thread ?
    and tell me what im supposed to be at

    ” At it again, Dave?”

    Boring people with your stupid perceived insults that don’t exist, Dave, then asking the same ****ing stupid questions over and over and over again. You are quite possibly the most boring man in human history.


  26. Dave, Worky doesn’t answer if he’s been proved wrong. Thought you might have known that by now… ;)

  27. One potential problem is the striker position – and I am not referring to the “who do we buy?” thing everyone goes on about (Kris Boyd for free seems obvious to me – either a Lovenkrands like success or a future profit to SPL/Championship clubs).

    I am talking about Ameobi or Carroll. Logic dictates we stick with Carroll and Lovenkrands, who couldn’t stop scoring last season, but we then forget the fact that stats show Ameobi had a ridiculously good season. He is nearly a goal per start and not far from a goal per appearance either.

    It would be extremely unfair to ignore this, especially given Ameobi almost on his own started our season. Would we want Shola on the bench or do we take the huge risk of Ameobi and Carroll up front with Lovenkrands as a late match super sub or do we go Keegan style 4-3-3??

  28. Stuart79 says:
    May 16, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    “Looks like Daves hit a nerve”

    No, he’s just ignorant, stupid and boorish, much like yourself, Stuart.

  29. WWW – I don’t think Carroll and Shola can play together. Two big lumps up front and not much mobility. The question should be, who starts with Lovenkrands?

  30. Worky I may be in your opinion one of the most boring people in human history, But thankfully I am not some arrogant know all that accuses people of this and that, then doesn’t have the decency to answer them. I also have a bit of pride that if im in the wrong I hold up my hands and admit it, I am not one of these wee boys that hide away and wont answer because they cant admit when there wrong. Grow up OK

  31. I was thinking with the 4-3-3 idea, that Carroll knock the ball to Shola, who uses his skillful feet (he does have some ability) to lay it off to Speedy Lovenkrands, who zooms in and scores. We managed it with Viduka, who had less mobility than a goal post. We could do it with these 3.

    I do agree though, it has to be Lovenkrands + 1, but who the 1 is, I can’t decide.

  32. Worky I can guarantee I have never said anything to you on here that I wouldn’t say to your face, But im pretty sure you wouldn’t have the Balls to say im “ignorant, stupid and boorish,” to my face. As I said you need to grow up, you could start by stopping the childish name calling.

  33. Ameobi is one of the players that is frustrating as hell, but he can do something special even if he doesnt mean it lol. I would say it has to be Carroll though, Shola is too injury prone to be relied upon imo.

  34. It’s a good job everybody doesn’t draw conclusions about peoples personalities just from what they see on a blog. I mean some people would think you for instance is a boring, computer freak with no life who hates being wrong and looks a complete idiot when still proved wrong.

    I don’t think that though Worky, as I am not so rude to presume to know someone from a few words a day.

    Mwah! X

  35. Carroll has to be the main man with Lovenkrans.
    Shola is alright as backup. But he’ll never be any more than that… As nice a guy as he seems. He just doesn’t have the talent.

  36. WWW – surely it has to be Carroll. Ameobi is a decent back up but we have seen his level in the Prem and Carroll has plenty of improvement in him

  37. Big Dave

    Just ignore him…

    Thank goodness he has decent blokes like Toonsy keeping the blog interesting.

  38. 4-3-3 wouldn’t work.

    In that formation you really need two wide forwards with the ability to score goals. Jonas doens’t score enough and Lovenkrans isn’t good enough out wide. Don’t think Routeledge can score enough either.

    4-4-2 suits us far more. And perhaps 4-4-1-1 for certain games with Nolan behind Carroll.

  39. JJ – Arsekissing gets you nowhere with me man lol

    Alright, maybe a little way ;)

  40. Stuart just be careful you and I dont get banned just for questioning him. as I might be wrong but from what I can gather that is what happened to our mate Stardust ;) no warning just banned.

    Toonsy thanks mate that does mean alot to me ;)

  41. I think it will be the 4-4-1-1 away from home quite a lot next season in fairness.

  42. Toonsy…

    Did Worky’s las cheat on him, or did he just pee next to someone with a bigger c#$! in the urinal today because he seems to be getting on the wrong side of quite a few people today?
    Guess its just a matter of time before my comments go in the trash bin ;)

  43. Yeah, I would say Carroll and Lovenkrands does seem the best option. Lovenkrands is experienced enough that Carroll can learn about making runs off from him too, so its a young/old as well as a big/small team. It just seems to work.

    On a non-related note, RIP Ronnie James Dio :(

  44. I’m interested to know what people think is our best midfield pairing?

    For me its got to be Nolan and Guthrie in the centre.

    Barton has talent, but he has to earn that position back. I’d be very disappointed to see either of the other two dropped. Although I do see Barton playing a role in future as a midfield anchor man with decent pass. Say in a five man midfield.. which would give Guthrie and Nolan more freedom to get forward…

  45. At home, I think Barton and Guthrie, with Barton as the yob in the middle with Guthrie the attacker but away, I see Barton as the yob, Guthrie the central link up and Nolan being a pest behind Carroll.

    Again, after his heroics kicking off our season, its hard to see a place for Alan Smith outside injury back up. It’s a shame our most effective players last season seem the ones we want to leave out now.

  46. Ye, I’d still go for Nolan at home though. I reckon he’ll be captain next year so would make sense to have him on the pitch.
    He’s also our most likely midfielder to score goals as he is the only one that actually gets himself into the box regularly.
    Knowing our injury history though and small squad. Our team will select itself ;)

  47. Worky

    Why are you being so obnoxious to Dave? What you have said is very rude and insulting.
    Dave just ignore him.You’re a good guy

  48. Ultimately we will see how weak or strong Hughton is as a manager by how he deals with players like Best and Simpson. If I were the manager I would thank them for their services and then explain to them that they wern’t what we are looking for. This for me will signal whether Hughton is the real deal or not.

    Also I am interested in what sort of scouting Hughton did before signing Best. Surely he must have watched him play before offering him a 3 year contract. A contract till the end of the season would have been better for the club with the option to extend. Was the lad good and starting to get international games until he came to NUFC and is he another player that we have destroyed, he did score 10 goals in the first half of the season after all. I wonder why some players can’t do it here. I watched a compilation of Luque before he came to NUFC and he was fantastic.

  49. Hughton signed both Simpson and Best – do you honestly think he is gonna dump them after 1 season and in the case of Best, four months?

    And yes, Leon Best was a full international before we signed him. He made his debut on 29 May 2009. So maybe Giovanni Trappatoni has no idea what he is doing either?

  50. That is the problem, they are his signings.

    Do I think he will dump them? No

    Do I think he will still play Simpson as RB on the first game of next season? Yes

    Here lies the problem of what I am saying and whether Hughton has the balls to be successful or not. Remember success means being ruthlessness at time.

  51. I honestly think when Hughton watches Simpson play he thinks he is great and it is like he is watching a different player to you and me.

  52. One could also argue that CH can enhance his rep if he can get something more from Simpson & Best. Instead of just binning them.

  53. I’d like to see how Best does when/if he gets his first goal and gets some confidence back.When we signed him he had more goals than any of our strikers and that was playing in a poor team.I can’t see him ever being anything more than cover tho at best.
    If S.Taylor stays I can see him playing at right back possibly.

  54. I would like to see S.Taylor play at RB and Willo stay in the middle but I doubt very much Hughton would do that.

    Maybe if Best gets some pre season games and gets a few goals his confidence might increase but its like SuperMac Bobby Moncur ect say, the lad has a poor touch and doesnt look like doing anything at NUFC.

  55. It’s over then, cos some pundits recognize the traits of a striker going through a bad run of form since moving to a new club.
    An absolute rarity.
    Helpful comments there by a couple of legends.
    Good thinking=reverse psychiatry (?)

  56. He does have a poor touch but no worse than shola,like I say hopefully he may improve after that elusive first goal but then again maybe he won’t.Time will tell I guess.

  57. shola ameobi needs to be sold cant beleive your even bothering to think he can score goals or do a job in prem

  58. How can no one see that Danny Simpson’s drop in form matched the time Hughton kept playing him with a hip injury?

    It’s the only time Hughton kept playing someone when hurt and it isn’t a co-incidence.

    Why is Simpson hammered for this yet if Enrique had a bad game, any excuse would be found to defend him?

  59. Supermac used to write in The Pink how Shearer was finished and had lost it etc then later couldn’t stop saying how great Shearer was so I don’t have too much faith in his opinion.

  60. “i think it will be 4 4 1 1 away from home quite alot next season in fairness” no shit sherlock

  61. Could it be that most of this ‘Toon fans are deluded’ shite played out in the press is based on some of the tripe ex-players spout in the ‘press’?
    What a revelation!
    Na, couldn’t be, surely?

  62. Shola will score goals Danny,just not very many.His level is CCC in my opinion but unless someone buys him which I doubt he’ll be in the squad next season.

  63. tony green supreme you can get away with taking gambles on one or maybe two players in prem anymore and it will show and youl get punished i hope your right though mate you seem to have seen qualities in williamson and kadar i havent seen!! maybe you should be taking the england team to south africa instead of capello

  64. more than likely Danny,I saw him in Kingston Park around that time looked rough as owt.

  65. This is the sort of pathetic post which pisses me off who created this wage bill in the first place ashley,who spent millions on rubbsih ashley,look at the players who have came in since he was the owner and stop being thick.

  66. I wouldn’t say that term – but I think overly optimistic is more appropriate.

    We are relegation battlers for the next season or two. If we take the route Stoke have taken and then mature into Everton, I would be more than happy.

    Let’s get established in this league before anything else.

  67. People saying if Enrique had a bad game he wouldn’t get hammered is bollox. Erique has the odd bad game but is by and large a FAR FAR superior player to Simpson. There is really no comparison between the two. Enrique could play at any team in the prem with maybe the exception of Ashley Cole at Chelsea or Bale at Spurs. Simpson would struggle to get in most prem teams apart from the bottom few. He was 5th choice at Man United. Trust me next season he will be found out. If I am wrong I will admit on here.

  68. Having 2 players for every position in a 442 system is a bit of a furphy. What you need is 2 players for every position in a maultitude of systems.

    And not only that, but you need players who can come off the bench and be useful in new systems within the game itself. You have to be able to quickly change from 4411, say, to 352 or 433 with just one substitution, as well as having straight swap options in case of injury.

    And because midfield has such a variety of positions you probably need 2 of every sort – Box-2-box, creative, wingers, attack-minded; and probably a couple of utility players. So I’d say you need a squad made up of something like : 3 GK; 10 defenders; 12 midfielders; 5 forwards.

    For NUFC, there’s no probs with goalkeepers. I think we need 3 defenders (right wing back, left wing back, and FitHall-type back up). We probably need another defensive midfield player and possibly 2 creative players (Guthrie and Barton being box-2-box type and Nolan/Vuckic being the attack-type). Forwards? well, we might have to make do – or sell somebody.

    So I see 5 holes in the squad. Perhaps 4, 3 at a pinch.

  69. I am not saying Simpson is as good as Enrique. Where did I even imply that? Oh yeah, nowhere.

    My point is Enrique has two crap seasons – we hear “he isn’t used to England”. Simpson has a poor two months, with a hip injury, we don’t hear anything except “he’s crap, lets get Habib Beye back”.

    One rule for the person whose face fits – another rule for the others. Injury and a lack of first team experience isn’t a relevant reason compared to a different country, apparently.

    It’s exactly what Sam Allardyce was talking about. Fans have irrational grudges against certain players, for no reason, and never let it go no matter what. It’s borderline psychopathic.

  70. I haven’t said it in a while but it looks like it needs saying again. Increase the peace :)

  71. CLiNT, could it be that Bedt just isn’t good enough? God forbid!

    That doesn’t fit with your ‘nothing is wrong, everything is great and Hughton never makes any mistakes’ at mantra though does it?

  72. BrisVegas – Don’t forget the 25 man squad system comes into play next for next season.

  73. I’ve noticed a lot of people talking about our midfield of Barton, Guthrie, Nolan, Vuckic.
    Which leaves me asking, is Alan Smith really rated that badly.
    My fear for him is that as a hard tackling midfielder, next year he will be a touch off the pace and get sent off a lot or give away a large number of freekicks.\
    He is one player I honestly think we could dispense for a couple million, which would free up 50k wages a week.

    What do you think?

    If we managed to sell Smith for say 2.5mil and Xisco for 1.5mil. With the departures of Butt, Gerermi, and Pancrate and Hall.
    It’d give us about 4mil and 150k wages a month to play with with “new capital outlay” ;-)
    Use the 4Mil to bring in Hutton and a couple class loan signings.

    Back four of:

    Hutton S Taylor Coloccini Enrique – looks solid now.

    Our midfield is ok, as we can still play with Guthrie, Barton, Nolan, Vuckic, Jonas, Roulteledge, R Taylor.

    And someone like Vela on loan who could play on the left of midfield or up front as a support striker with Carroll, Ameobi and Lovenkrans.

    So I’m cutting my expectations from four signings to one signing and a loan signing…
    Next week it’ll be a freebie and the week after I’ll settle for nobody coming in and us only selling one ;)

  74. Could be Stuart,
    Too early to tell is my ‘mantra’ though.
    As it always is when a player joins the ranks.

    Bit rich trying to glue your assumptions onto my opinion like.

  75. Although i could adopt the ‘squealing like a stuck pig at every little twist or turn that i don’t fully agree with’ mantra, so long as it keeps everybody happy?

  76. wickywoowoo – When did Enrique have two bad seasons? Because it certainly wasn’t at Newcastle. He looked class when he first came, just he had the odd dip in form during his first season

  77. @82 JJ says:
    If we managed to sell Smith for say 2.5mil and Xisco for 1.5mil. With the departures of Butt, Gerermi, and Pancrate and Hall.
    It’d give us about 4mil and 150k wages a month to play with with “new capital outlay”
    Use the 4Mil to bring in Hutton and a couple class loan signings.
    What do you think?

    I think thats the most sensible thing someone has wrote on here for a while.

  78. It appears the standard attitude is buy cheap, no more big time “sick notes”,we want young up and coming players, for next to nowt.
    Well it`s a bit simplistic and unrealistic.
    A comb has been run over most available talent and a price attached, there are few if any Bassongs available.
    I`m amazed at how the majority of commenters on this blog have joined harmoniously with the belief that somehow Ashley is going to change the way business is done in the EPL.
    Sure Freddy screwed the club up, with many bad buys, with the probable backing of the Halls and certainly not going after the likes of a M.Owen makes sense.
    But it does`nt change the prices being asked for other players and face it 90% of the time you get what you pay for, just like in any marketplace.
    But if we are to become a top club,we have to buy quality players and that cost`s money.
    I`m not advocating buying four or five big money players, perhaps a couple a year suplimented by young loanees from the top sides, untill we have a competitive side in place.
    But to believe it can be done on the cheap, nah !
    Kidding yourselves.

  79. Geordie deb @ 51 Hows you Pet hope alls well, whats up we dont get you on that much now.
    Thanks for your kind words ;) But never worry about the childish insults from Worky.
    It doesn’t bother me I have 4 kids off my own so I am well used to them taking tantrums,
    But thankfully they have grown up now. So maybe with time the same will happen to Worky and then he might stop making a fool of himself.
    As I have said before its all to easy to sit behind a keyboard and try and make yourself look like a big boy,
    The only problem for them is everyone else see them for what they really are ( Keyboard Bullies )

  80. Big Dave says:
    May 17, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Dave, I am not going to tolerate your neanderthal insults forever, either shape up or ship out. The choice is yours…

  81. Big Dave is like a founder member of this blog and you’re going to turf him out?

    What’s the craic with that?

  82. bowburnmag says:
    May 17, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    “Big Dave is like a founder member of this blog and you’re going to turf him out?”

    Any excuse for you and Deb to stick your nose into something which is none of your business, so long as it undermines me in some way.

    If he’s going to keep trolling me, lying, insulting me and “demanding” that I apolgise when it is him that should be doing the apologising, then he’s gone because I am not putting hours into this ‘blog every day just to be insulted and lied about.

    End of story.