Campbell close to match fitness.

Posted on August 30th, 2010 | 153 Comments |

Campbell in line for debut?
Campbell in line for debut?
Sol Campbell could be in line to make his Newcastle debut against Blackpool in just under two weeks time.

The Sunderland Echo suggests that Campbell is in line to make an appearance in the reserve derby match that is due to take place at the Stadium of Light tomorrow evening.

If Campbell continues to prove his fitness then the Blackpool game could give Chris Hughton a selection headache, in a nice way, as he will have a lot more options available to him. For what it is worth, I don’t think that Campbell will feature against Blackpool and he will have to earn his place in the team ahead of Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson who have both looked rather solid on our return to the top flight.

Other senior players like Peter Lovenkrands, Ryan Taylor and Shola Ameobi are also said to be in line for the match at the home of the cheesy chip munching, trampy blue pop drinking, six fingered inbreeds of Sunderland.

I mentioned that there may be a selection headeache for Hughton earlier, but it won’t just be in defence. The midlfield will also have a lot more options that Hughton can call upon for Blackpool, with the new arrivals of Cheick Tiote and Hatem Ben Arfa adding to the problem. I say problem, but it is a nice problem to have in fairness.

The match against Blackpool is vitally important for Newcastle, and three points is a must. It isn’t going to be easy and I don’t expect to see a repeat of the 4-1 scoreline we recorded against them towards the back end of last season, but a win is surely what Newcastle have to be aiming for.

It is a home game, and we should be trying to win the majority, if not all, of them. It also allows all of our new signings to recieve a warm St James’ Park welcome, and hopefully a debut to go with it. I suspect that Hatem Ben Arfa will quickly become a crowd favourite if he can showcase the skills that a lot us know he can do.

With the imminent return of Sol Campbell, plus the new arrivals of Ben Arfa and Tiote and anymore that my come through the door before the window closes, the club now have options. There is no longer a need to go into every game playing the same players through necessity, which will increase competition between the players and hopefully spur our longer serving players on to an even higher level of performance. That is my theory anyway.

It’s all about the options.

NUFCBlog Author: toonsy toonsy has written 643 articles on this blog.

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153 Responses

  1. It all fits the time scale given at the time.
    2/3 weeks behind everyone else.
    He’ll play soon enough, it’s not like we’re desperate.

  2. I think he is here just for cover, have either centre back done anything to deserve being dropped?

  3. ILM,
    i reckon he’s here for rotation, that’s what CH does.
    He gives players a rest, through the medium of ‘injuries’.
    Which is the right thing to do.
    Let’s hope Saylor’s mind has been ‘focussed’ & signs up for cowboy’s & indians too.

  4. y du they never take the pictures of the new signing IN SJP animore ,, n wat time if that press conference today,, n hu is sol gunna b replacing,, a few weeks ago ad av sed williamson shud be cover but now a avent a clue

  5. He have to show what make him better than Willo and Colo. It’s not automatic first-team for Sol, I rock on Hughton will make the right decision for team.

  6. Harper
    —————-Ben Arfa——–


    With Gosling/Simpson/Vuckic/Kadar/Ranger/Ameobi etc waiting for a chance.

  7. Have to agree, colo and williamson are the best pantership, fully deserve to keep their places.

  8. CLINT alright m8?,i cannot gan with harper bud flapped twice at crosses on sat,beaten at near post between his legs naw m8 have my doubts like

  9. Alreet ice,
    each tto their own bud, no sweat.
    See, that’s how to agree to disagree, nee fighting.
    Did y’not think Krul was a bit slow off the mark for their goals in the week like.
    Corker first, but Krul looked a bit out of position.
    & was asleep for the second, great shot mind, but he didn’t antiipate it.
    Not much in it like.
    I’m well happy we’ve got 3 top keepers again.

  10. Must admit to being encouraged that the Keane deals looks to be off. I can see the appeal based on what we have already, but bearing in mind our positive start and the fact that Hughton likes the 4-4-1-1 shape, keane’s 1 yr loan deal signing could disrupt our momentum.

    Shola is in good form of late and looks a more than capable understudy to carroll, and with ben arfa/nolan/lovenk all pressing for the no.10 role we have nice options. Then there’s Ranger, xisco, best who are all decent enough back up.

    I’m convinced that had nolan gone off for shola (instead of carroll) we would have found a late winner against wolves.. but I understand it was an injury. Hope Hughton has the cajones to use 2 strikers to go and press for wins late on in games.

  11. Strongest XI if all fit and in form imo:

    Simpson Colo Sol Jose

    canny team like!

  12. ice,
    welcome to the mutual appreciation society mate.


    Lucky we didn’t pick up some nasty injuries saturday like.

  13. The midfield looks congested – I keep on seeing everyone’s ‘ideal’ team sheet on here but I’m not sure that they are realistic. Smith and routledge, won’t be banished into the wilderness over nights for tiote and arfa, and has everyone forgotten about guthrie? Our most intelligent passing midfielder last season? Anyways – that said – here’s what I can only assumer Hughton’s thinking – in the short term future.


    that will see routledge relegated to the bench – who along with guthrie, tiote, loven, shola, campbell, krul, simpson will make up the b-hitters from the bench.

    Isn’t that the realistic picture? Any thoughts?

  14. Clint at 8. what a difference a few weeks makes. Suddenly we have some real depth to the squad….

  15. Pop Robson – How about….

    Perch… Colo… Willo… Jose


    Routledge….. HBA…… Jonas


    HBA can move up with Carroll when attacking, which means Nolan can also move forward into the hole

  16. Pop,
    check my version ealier.
    CH does know how to leave Smith out.
    But don’t see him leaving Routledge out yet.
    Nolan/Barton is a tough one & i can see Tiote getting games as our only ‘real’ DM destroyer, with ALL the attributes.
    Though, i cabn see CH rotating & keeping it fresh & keeping everyone happy.
    Some of the new boys will probably get games in the cups too.

  17. That article on Ben Arfa is definitely worth a read. He is going to be a goddamn hero or something quite different. Hughton will be the first to consistently get something out of him if he does, but if he does it could be something special. I gotta a feeling that Hughton might just do it but too many stories of him picking fights with teammates to be too sure, one things clear, he would do will not to start anything with who we’ve got knocking about the squad.

    ps. Not sure Hughton will want to, or that it would be wise to drop Smith and Nolan straight off, he’ll ease the new signings in, hopefully in the second half if we doing well. Routledge might get a rest though.

  18. bang on CLiNT, options!
    We will get injuries and suspensions, so people will be rotated, rested and generally changed. What about going for all out attack?


    ———-Ben Arfa————



  19. Although Toonsy could be right with that one, especially with the article suggesting that Hughton could well give BA a more central role. Colo, Enrique, Barton, Ben Arfa, Carroll, maybe Nolan – pretty decent spine. Others to mix and match.

  20. ILM,
    that looks good, but CH won’t go dropping Nolan, Barton or Smith instantly, will he?
    & neither should he, he’s a good socialist/trotskyist so they all get game time.
    Different teams for different situations.

  21. If we get Ricky van Wolfswinkel, i’ll shit my pants….soo many formations!!……People forget our 8 mil bid for johnson last yr, i think Ashley will cough it up if necessary.

  22. Piers – If we get van whatever I will do the obligatory showing of the arse in Fenwicks window thing ;)

  23. Clint Flick and Toonsy, its gonna be hard to see Nolan/Smith on the bench, in the near future……they have done a lot by sticking with us.

  24. Piers,
    i agree re: Nolan/Smith.
    They can’t be left out indefinitely, but they should be rotated along with everyone else.
    Ask Trotsky, fair play to all.

  25. Anyone know why Ben Arfa seemed desperate to come to the Toon? Were we the only ones interested? Or is he just desperate to play on the global stage – EPL?

  26. yeah of course makes sense to bed them in slowly, and thats exactly what CH will do. Plus you dont want to mess with the team dynamics too much, especially after the canny couple of games we’ve had. Probably take up to christmas till we see an idea of our best 11.

    Problem with this is that we dont have time to be messing round with formations and players, if it gets points, stick with it I say purely because our run in is that difficult.

    Really we need to be safe come April as I cant see us getting many points from our final 7 games, hope im wrong.

  27. Could do with another striker imo. If Carroll gets injured we could be struggling.

    Carroll has showed more in 3 games than Ameobi has shown in 10 years.

  28. He came cos we have the balls to give him a chance, we’re a big team in the prem & we’ve stuck at it & not been put off by OM’s f***ing about.
    I think he likes & respects us & CH.

  29. 37 – Ya i guess thats football…..anyway this has been one of the best transfer windows in a long time….just for shits anyone remember a similar one??

  30. For me Benny has the no10 role nailed. Hoots promised him it during talks if the largely reported rumours are to be believed and tbh I can see them being true. I can also see smithy dropping to the bench for Tiote which is a shame given the fact he’s started the season well.

  31. If S.Taylor commit to the club, we can use him at Right back slot with Colo Willo Jose. what the strong defense line. Simpson and Perch will fight for their life.

  32. Piers,
    the last one did it’s job, if y’remember?
    Smith will get game time.
    & he’s a patient lad, we’re a team now, fank thuck, at last.
    Thanx Chris, diamond in the rough.

  33. Hi lads,

    Been away for the weekend so just got back to my laptop.

    Just wanna say Im so pleased that we have got Ben Arfa and all the waiting was finally worth it in the end. Great that we seem to be trying for Keane aswell. Just seen that we appear to be after others aswell. Even if they are just season long loans initially I think they would be great signings. Only the lucky win for the monkeys yesterday took the gloss off a great weekend, did anyone listen to Gary Roul, you would have thought they had won the fa cup of something! lmao.

  34. Hey All,,

    Anyone know if this press conference that was reported is happening, if so what time and if it is will it be shown on TV?

  35. Anyone seen Ciaran the Geordie lad on here recently? Haven’t seen him on for a while??? Just curious like…..

  36. CLiNT – How many we got now? HBA…. That is it right?

    So that is one more then. We can have four through the season but only two at a time, so if HBA is with us all season it leaves the one season long loan for someone.

  37. 45 – I would say this window is better than jan’s….Ben arfa definitely creates more excitement….apart from Jan?

  38. toonsy,
    aye mate, thought so.

    aye mate,
    just saying that was a decent window too, not saying it was better/worse, just good.

  39. I heard That Ciaran is suffering from despression and tryed to killed himself. Poor lad :(

  40. Clint Flick – I got you…..Lol i might take some slack for this but f**k relegation, in my opinion our aim for this club should be to finish in the top half….we should then build on that next yr……I know people think the main goal this year is too avoid relegation and anything else is a bonus…..i think thats a load of shit, there’s a reason why ben arfa was attracted us, there’s a reason we had 16 yrs in the prem before going down….a club with this fan support and quality should not have to reestablish itself in any league….just food for thought.

  41. 64 – Aye, I know. It’s a shame like as there is no need for him to do it like. Just confuses me why someone would??

  42. Are you saying im lying toonsy ? I have got him on facebook,Would like his Linkage ?

  43. Piers,
    what we’re aiming for ‘behind closed doors’ is the clubs business mate.
    We the fans have to be realistic & surviving is first up, if we do that with games to spare, sweet. But i’m not EXPECTING owt more.
    We’re starting to get things in place, but there’s a hell of a long way to go mate.

  44. Piers – It’s just a shame that having a large amount of fans doesn’t guarantee we have a good football team. I mean if we could play all 52,000 at SJP vs the 15,000 at Wigan or Bolton or wherever then I am sure we would win, but football doesn’t work like that ;)

  45. Clint@36, didnt take long for a crude translation of his name.
    I would be like a dog with two if he signs.

  46. piers, must admit my expectations have risen as well. Adding Arfa and Tiote to what I’ve seen so far has me on cloud 9

  47. ”The midlfield will also have a lot more options that Hughton can call upon for Blackpool, with the new arrivals of Cheick Tiote and Hatem Ben Arfa adding to the problem. I say problem, but it is a nice problem to have in fairness.”

    I would say we had problems before we had these players. :)

  48. Toonsy,I apologies for making two accounts i cant remember Ciaran’s Password.My Life has turn for the worse……… i wasn’t lying about suffering from depression.

  49. Ciaran lad, don’t worry about it mate. No harm was done was it? Just tell people after you have changed your name. They won’t be suspicious of it then ;)

    By the way, you don’t need an account to post on here. We are much more liberal about stuff like that and don’t make it too obstructive to comment ;)

  50. Toonsy….52000 gives us a huge advantage at home then Bolton or Wigan, 52000 lets us get away with more mistakes then both of those teams…disregard pts and all of that….i don’t understand why people read soo much into points… and the prem is simple, if you are not better than 3 teams you go down….i can pick 5 teams we are better than right now….simple as that…..everyone is just creating a huge deal out of nothing, we are in the premier league….Clint Flick…define a long way to go….as a team you look at game for game, nothing more. It’s easy to think we have a long way to go but in reality thats a huge assumption.

  51. WhoTheJoeyBarton says:
    August 30, 2010 at 3:34 pm
    Toonsy,I apologies for making two accounts i cant remember Ciaran’s Password.My Life has turn for the worse……… i wasn’t lying about suffering from depression.
    <<<<<some people have loads of nicks dont they roy :lol: and as for being depressed stop reading stuart79s comments and it will soon disapear bonnie lad

  52. Piers – 52,000 should give us a huge advantage at home, but it doesn’t always. The Premier League teams are used to it now. It’s not like a non league team coming and playing at SJP as most of them have done it several times before.

  53. LOL Batty !!!!! Doesnt help like :( Writing about Mike Ashley like no tomorrow.

  54. Piers,
    it ain’t over ’til the fat buer sings mate.
    We went down cos an OG on the last day, after a bad ref ruling out a good goal v fulham last time.
    Anything can happen between now & the end of the season.
    But don’t let me stop y’enjoying yerself mate, go for it.
    I know what y’saying, but i’m pretty sure y’get me too, yea?
    We’re all allowed to think what we want here.
    No prob with your opinion like.

  55. So Keane wants to stay in London, ah well his loss I would say, coz I can’t see him getting many games ahead of Defoe, Pav, Crouch ect.

  56. We should get rid of guthrie before tuesday deadline. Can’t play out wide and must 6th choice in centre midfield.
    A young un could do that role

  57. But would Keane get a game for us ? i doubt it,Useless Chris Hughton doesn’t play Kevin Nolan or Alan Smith……..

  58. MDS says:
    August 30, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    “piers, must admit my expectations have risen as well. Adding Arfa and Tiote to what I’ve seen so far has me on cloud 9”

    Didn’t the Doylums used to say “Chris Hughton will never be a manager and will never attract any top players to the club”? :-)

  59. CLINT,we went down because we were bloody poor for the whole season not just two games,but see your thinking like

  60. Cough cough Danny Guthrie is Class.Guthrie and Barton are the passer’s in the team,we need them for Ben Afra to get the service to be a play-maker. Enough said !

  61. ice,
    aye, what with 5 managers etc. But we woulda stayed up without those 2 things at the end, so, as i say, owt can happen mate.

  62. Worky, yes they did. Of course, I’ve always been a bit of optimist with the club, but even I didn’t expect to be this content after 3 matches. I think CH has earned our confidence in the last 2 windows and what we have seen so far on the pitch…

  63. Clint Flick and Toonsy – i feel that….i’m just a really optimistic person and hate seeing low expectations….playing college soccer myself…a big part of the game is mental, everything matters on and off the field

  64. Aye,
    CH knows he has to work within the parameters set.
    & has just gone about his business accordingly.
    If that’s not a ‘proper’ manager, i don’t know what is.
    It’s all very well being able to buy a title/cup etc. but to build a team mentality takes work & balance.
    Viva Hughton.

  65. It will be interesting to see how Arfa’s signing effects Nolan. To me, Nolan, is only effective playing off the striker and seems outclassed in a true CM role. If arfa really is going to be deployed in the hole, there just might not be a starting role for Nolan.

    Nevermind though. The season is long and Nolan will have a signficant role of the bench and, of course, Arfa can be utilized on the wing. But surely this must require the loaning out of Vuckic.

  66. MDS says:
    August 30, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    “I think CH has earned our confidence in the last 2 windows and what we have seen so far on the pitch…”

    We now have a very good scouting system with Graham Carr too, MDS.

  67. Piers,
    just cos people aren’t raving & making wild expectations doesn’t mean people aren’t optimistic mate or have low expectations. Some people are cagey & superstitious about sport & keep their true feelings to themselves…See CH.
    We’re better off keeping it down under the radar for as long as possible, keep ’em guessing.
    I’m sure plenty will agree.

  68. Piers – I get what you are saying, and I am looking less at survival now and more lower mid-table myself, but realistically if the league finished now and we were offered 17th and Premier League football next season then I would snap their hands off.

  69. LOL at 102. Well, I know it irritates the English to no end but that’s what it is generally called over here.

    Piers, where you play?

  70. Batty – I see Hitman takes every opportunity to slag us all off. Quite funny really as nobody is interested ;)

    Like the drunk tramp on a park bench rambling on, people just either tell him to shut up or ignore him :lol:

  71. I’d consider loaning Guthrie out to someone like Blackpool this season, would get him game time in the Premiership which he needs.

    I like him as a player and I think he could be class but he needs to address the two stand out weaknesses to his game, the first one is his stamina because he burns out later in games and the second one is his strength on the ball as he gets knocked off far too easily.

  72. MDS – It “soccer” doesn’t irritate me. We invented the word remember. We just chose to move on with the times ;) ;)

  73. MDS,
    the upper class twots at private school first coined the term ‘soccer’, that’s why it’s got nowt to do with the proper working class sport of football.
    They should stick to ‘rugger’, their name for it, not mine.

  74. Joey at 105. Not sure if you were referring to my comment or not, but I never rated him poorly, however, you must admit that he was unproven so we had a right to be a little skeptical. An unproven manager taking over an impossible situation was a recipe for disaster. He has instead done a fantastic job and may end up a legend at this club if it continues.

  75. What a lovely day to play some soccer,Bloody Americans……

    Posh Version Clint,I take it That twat Karl Henry cant play then.

  76. @114-115. I know it’s an English term but the “poshness” doesn’t apply to our use of it. What happended is that the sport didn’t become even remotely played over here until the middle of the 20th century. By that time, american football was widely played and popular so another name had to be used for it to avoid confusion. Most of us footy fans will refer to it as “soccer” with non-football fans, but will always refer to it as “football” with other fans…

    I know nobody generally cares but I thought I’d defend the use of it a bit:)

  77. Hey!
    I got nowt against Americans like.
    Just wolves cloggers & the upperclass tw@s.

  78. I know a Hit-man,Hes plays the wolves the Name is Karl Henry His Leader SAD Mackem Bastard Or the Eagle from the Muppet’s

  79. MDS – I don’t mind the “soccer” thing as much, probably just got used to it….but it a squad not a roster & its a game not a bloody match-up Grrr….oh ands its rounders not baseball.

  80. at 121- That’s pretty much it, Toonsy

    Clint at 122- I read those comments from the Wolves idiots..there’s a better chance of spotting a Yeti walking down the street than an American Wolves fan…unless it’s a Hahneman’s mother or something…

  81. Noir 9- Yes, and it is a pitch not a field…I got it…

    These terms are beginning to be used more properly as the country has become better educated on the sport

  82. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    August 30, 2010 at 4:05 pm (Edit)

    the upper class twots at private school first coined the term ’soccer’, that’s why it’s got nowt to do with the proper working class sport of football.”

    The game we now know as “Association Football” was developed at top Public schools such as Eton and Winchester, Clint.

  83. Sorry for the soccer drop i was born in England and should know better…..i walked on at louisville, studied Sports Adm in the hope of being a coach but i didn’t like it… just transferred….haha now im playing for kicks.

  84. worky,
    so they say.
    Although after the ‘game’ on satda, i’d say the origins were closer to one end of the town v the other in that ancient grab the ball & force it down the street with everyone involved ‘real’ football thing they used to play. & occasionally still do.
    All they did was conglomerate the 2 sets of rules mate.

  85. worky,
    & those schools are private mate, nowt ‘public’ about ’em.
    A misnomer if ever there was one.

  86. @Stuart79 –

    It really disappoints me when I hear people laying into our players like you do about Shola, for eg. Things are going well at the moment and hughton has been getting nothing but good performances out of the whole squad – including Ameobi. Dare I venture this says more about you and a long-standing prejudice, than the player himself who has improved again under HUghton and has scored a goal a game, also offering some individual flair with the ball at his feet. I have been going for 40 years to SJP and it seems there are still a few individuals who are hellbent on souring the atmosphere with their own disruptive agendas.

    I’m sure you’ll be one of the first to attack the various disloyal mercenaries we see pulling on a toon shirt. Shola has been a loyal servant and played 2nd, 3rd fiddle for 10 years – a bit of acknowledgement would be nice – and if you can’t manage that then just stop peddling your own lazy disrputive and persecutory agenda singling out players PLEASE.

  87. Reading these Guthrie comments, it seems his stock has fallen since he missed our encouraging start.

    It wasn’t that long ago he was single-handledly bringing invention and adventure to the middle of the park for us, so it makes me laugh people suggesting we loan him out. He is surely crucial to a central midfield which (barton aside) lacks any attacking guile or range of passing.

  88. POPROBSON,love stuart or dis-like him,he is allowed his views as you are,thats the way it goes

  89. I see Given is happy to sit out the team, whilst picking up his wages at City. What a morally bankrupt careerist that man really is!

  90. Poprobson, Stu is entitled to his opinion, i also think Shola has had his chance and after 10+ years at the club, he has not progressed.
    Yes, he has been loyal, but so would i on his wages, he is too inconsistent and was bloody awful against Accrington, time for change.

  91. Mr. Icedog, true. And my view is that the scapegoating of players is a problem which only serves to disrupt the progression of the club as a whole.

    It’s nothing to do exclusively with shola, per say, but more the need to villify one of our own on the pitch, that particular supporters seem incapable of refraining from.

    I hope this has made it simple and clear for you! Best wishes from Thropton.

  92. bigbadbob – he was awful against Accrington? Well he scored a goal. Carroll was pretty bad against Wolves, but again got the goal. Funny how you have to go to these fascistic extremes in your thinking. Like I say it says more about a jaundice on your side.

    Shola has been given a few closing minutes to go out and somehow convince the mob in our 3 prem games. He still managed to set up a goal, 2 other excellent chances, as well as nearly nearly scoring 2 for himself (one ruled out unfairly).

    Less bark and more careful thought please little doggy.

  93. I’ve always been a supporter of Shola as an “he is what is and at least he’s loyal” kind of player who certainly has had his good moments for us. But I thought he looked a litte disinterested at AS and right about that time said he had a heart to heart with CH about his role. He is the first forward off the bench so I’m not sure if he is becoming unsettled or what.

  94. Pop, steady on bonny lad, its a difference of opinion thats all, one mans meat is another mans poison and all that, keep your heed man.

  95. MDS – well said.

    I agree, we all have our views, but there is a difference between a view and prejudice.

    It sounds like some people aren’t open-minded. They prefer their wistful projections about certain players (ranger, Vuckic, etc) than the reality of how a player performs. Shola-bashing, for eg. is classic mob stuff. It’s a psycholigical jungian disorder knows as – Classical Transference. Seriously!

  96. Pop, you are obviously a superintelligentmegahyperbeing and coming from Thropton, you would do well to remove your head from your backside.