How will we line up and who else is needed?

Posted on June 23rd, 2011 | 81 Comments |

Who will be in Newcastle United's first choice team?
First choices?
Speculation as to how the Newcastle United team might line up next season, who will be the first choices in various positions and who else is needed.


With news that Fraser Forster may be the subject of a £1.5m bid from Celtic and given that he has intimated he’d like a move to the Scottish club it seems likely that he won’t be in contention for us next season. Forster may not eventually leave of course and there’s nothing to say we won’t bring in another keeper, but somehow I doubt it.

The first choice goalkeeping position will therefore most likely be fought out between Harper and Krul with Soderberg as a backup.

Is three keepers too few for a club?


Newcastle haven’t give up on Enrique yet, but I still think in all likelihood he’ll go, which means we’d need another left-back as a priority. Allegedly Newcastle are fighting it out with Everton for the signature of Neil Taylor, although Pardew has previously intimated that they’d recruit beyond him if Enrique goes.

Presumably our first choice defence looks like:

New Left Back/Enrique – Colo – Saylor/Williamson – Simpson

With Kadar, Naylor (if we sign him), Ralyor and perhaps Tavernier as backup. I still think we lack a bit in depth in terms of defenders and – beyond replacing Enrique if he goes – I wouldn’t be surprised if we strengthened our defence a bit more this summer.

I’m assuming Perch will be on his way as rumoured but I guess he’d be in there somewhere if he doesn’t leave. Maybe.


I’d guess that our first choice midfield would go something like:

Ben Arfa – Marveaux/Cabaye – Tiote – Jonas/Barton

Which leaves us with Guthrie, Gosling, Ferguson, LuaLua, Raylor and Vuckic as backup. Of course there’s a possibility that Barton may leave before the summer’s out and that we could yet bring in additional midfielders.

Furthermore, Pardew might just elect to play a five-man midfield with someone like Ben Arfa playing in the hole behind the striker. That could give us either:

—————- Striker —————
—————- Ben Arfa ————–
Marveaux – Cabaye – Tiote – Jonas/Barton

Or, if we got for a 4-2-3-1 sort of format:

—————- Striker —————-
Marveaux—— Ben Arfa —- Jonas/Barton
——- Cabaye ———- Tiote ——–


I would be very surprised if we didn’t buy another striker this summer who would, I guess, be first choice to play up front with Demba Ba if we go with two strikers in the team. That would leave Shola, Lovenkrands and maybe Best (if he stays) as backup.


In terms of needs, I think we could do with strengthening our defence and buying a top quality striker. If Enrique leaves then a left-back would be something of a priority anyway.

In the end of course it’s all up to Ashley, Llambias and Pardew!


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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81 Responses

  1. A valid point… however, I would contest your last line.
    Pardew has nothing to do with any decisions- hence the sales.
    He’s a puppet- a fat cockney’s puppet

  2. Jonas will be on his way i think it’s more likely this line up

    Simpson Taylor Coloccini Enrique/?

    ? Cabaye Tiote Marveux

    Ben Arfa


  3. I think we should get in a new striker provided were gonna sell Loven, i like the guy but he isnt good enough simple as… i think the team as a whole is lookin good provided we hang on to the bulk of the team….Maybe pick up a centre back williamson is a doubt to start the season an well Saylor has been subject 2 injurys

  4. I think we need to push the boat out to get Sturridge, he proved his worth last season and has by all acounts a bright future ahead of him. I also think that he and Ba would compliment one another well in attack. Failing to secure Sturridge I’d happily take on Erdinc or (as suggested by my “man in the know” Jimmy Briand, who we are supposed to have been watching last season).

  5. Newcastle are hoping to finalise a move for Paris Saint-Germain striker Mevlut Erding.reports in France suggest that Newcastle are winning the chase to land his signature and a deal could be finalised in the next few days

    Story just broke on TalkSport

  6. Rumours are pretty strong that we will buy Barnetta which would leave us with a very strong midfield.

    In attack it seems that we are still going for Erdinc, altho i would love the rumours about Sturridge is true as we would be immense with him in attack.

    In defense i feel that we could use a very strong defender with hight to play alongside Colo, such as Samba. Then we might need a replacement for Jose, which seems to be M’Bengue ig rumours are to be beleived. I also think we need a new right back to fight it out with Simpson as i think he has been our weak point a few times.

    In goal we are more than good imo.

    Barnetta and Sturridge for £20 mil? and Samba and M’Begue for £12 million to add to the 4 million already used… Net spend £36 million, with transfer income £50 million+ with sales of Nolan, Carroll, Enrique, Ranger, Best and Perch

    Might even leave enough for a right back like Aurier who we’ve also been linked with and that would leave us with an immense team imo.

    All speculation, but hey, thats the fun we get this time of year right?

  7. Newcastle are believed to be stepping up their interest in forward duo Teteh and Mohamed Bangura.

    up on skysport

  8. Good news on erding but would he actually fit into our much talked about 4-2-3-1 because of benny playing in the hole and ba pressumely playing up front on his own? From what I’ve seen erding would need a partner, unless he’s just played on his own or a tweeked formation to accomadate all of them.

  9. Please lets try out Forster in goal! From what ive seen from him at Celtic he’s a top up and coming keeper and a strong presence. Everyone keeps going on about Krul but he arguably cost us a few games, clumsily running out of the box at every opportunity like a puppy chasing a stick. Plus he wasnt as great in the international match as was reported- his teammates saved his back on more than one occasion.
    Cmon, lets give Forster a go, hes had loads of first team experience with Celtic this year and says he’ll go if he doesnt get more. Its harsh on Krul but I think Forster is the more promising keeper that id rather keep if they’re both threatening to leave for lack of first team play

  10. Krul
    Simmo Saylor Colo Enrique

    Tiote Matuidi

    Marveaux Ben Arfa


    I’d be happy with that, 2 holding players with Tiote & Matuidi. 3 attacking midfielders free roaming sort of.

  11. I’d definately agree on at LEAST one striker and some defensive strength.

    we lack the numbers at the back and the difference in level between those starting and those in reserve is far too great IMO

  12. I think we will play 4-2-3-1 and will play the ball on the ground as we will have a greater number of skillful players than last season. A likely team:


    Simpson – Saylor – Colo – Naylor (if Jose gone)

    Cabaye – Tiote

    Jonas – Ben Arfa – Marveaux

    A N Other

    I don’t think Ba will be an automatic choice to lead the attack. I think the club will buy a top striker. I would like to see Sturridge. I think Ben Arfa will be given permission to roam as a withdrawn striker. If Cabaye starts off well, then I don’t see Barton getting a game although I wouldn’t be surprised if we get another midfielder, possible for the right of midfield. I think central defence will remain Taylor and Colo.

    I think the bench may be Williamson, Kadar, Raylor, Barton, Gosling, Ameobi, Vuckic, Ba, Lovenkrands.

    However, I still think 3 more players will arrive.

    Players likely to leave are Smith, Perch, Ranger, Best, Lua Lua, Tozer and regretably Enrique.

  13. i think we are week in defence we were one of the weeker sides in defence we need a strong rb and big centre bk another lb and sturridge then watch us go look out gooners

  14. Reports are CH is lining up bids for Perch, Ranger, Guthrie and Best !!!! Suggest a Player swap i think haha Get Gardener and Roger Johnson give him a bitta cash as well !! den the back 4 would look alot stronger in deed :)

  15. Get your arse into gear fatman and BUY sturridge. We badly need a no 9 and he fits the bill. Experience of the Premier league young and hungry to play. Forget about loans and fannying on over in France get this guy signed up now!

  16. Talking goalies ! we missed out on a good deal, letting Sunderland beat us to Westwood and a free agent to boot.
    Cant figure how Ashley missed that one.

    As it appears Enrique is on his bike to bigger and better things, think it’s time we secured a younger, cheaper and better, replacement
    M’Bengue or Izaguirre would do.
    Just have to raise the offer for M’bengue and in Izaguirre’s case offer Forster as part exchange, as Celtic appear frantic to keep Forster.

    I doubt if the fans will ever warm to Perch,though i think he’s never been given a real shot, in which case Hughton may want him at Brum, but we badly need a backup RB

    As for Coloccinni, could be gone, bring back Bassong (he’s not getting time at Spurs) still young and a good CD.
    But we do need help on the back four and instead of buying more midfielders should concentrate on building a solid defense.
    Two fullbacks and at least two CD’s

    If we sign Erdinc,we are good both up front and in the middle.

    Who to dump

    Williamson, slow, on his ass for the part of the game he is not ball watching and for a big guy poor in the air, will never be good enough.

    Perch, not a bad little player, versatile and never given a chance, but unloved by the fans, ah well.

    Guthrie, Hughton wants him, better opportuniyies at Brum.

    Saylor, simply not good enough !

    Lovenkrands, seen better days, on yer bike !

    Shola, sorry mate, the business plan has no place for sentiment.

    Smith, do i have to explain ?

    Ranger, flatters to deceive, who needs a striker that cant score ?

    Who may also be going,

    Who may be comming still

    Who would i like to see comming,


    Talk about a clearout !

  17. chucky…why would NUFC want to buy a new goalkeeper, and why should we blame Ashley on missing out on a Coventry free agent goalkeeper ? Cannot understand the sense in that ?

  18. @ Chuck, Jonas and Colo are not for sale .. the only way they will be sold is if we receive a crazy bid for them 14m for either an they will be sold other than that they will be kept

  19. Everyone is for sale if the price is right.
    Carroll wasn’t for sale was he?

  20. sirjasontoon says:
    June 23, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    “Here Here Freddie!”

    I’m not usually an English language policeman, but I can hold myself no longer on this one.

    It’s ‘hear, hear,’ which is short for ‘hear him, hear him’. This has been an imperative to listen to speakers in the Houses of Pariliament since the 1600s, though it has been used mostly in it’s shorter form since the 1700s.

  21. Johnnygg

    Fact is Johnny, everyone on the squad has a price tag and some are marked down right now.
    Especially those over 27 and those earning over £40k per week.
    Vive le revolution !

  22. Chrissy Hughton managed to get into europe….well done that man. Done better than wor lot, Pardew….pfft….

  23. SJT …ok bud….seemed to remember summat somewhere, wasn’t sure where you were based…

  24. Ashley’s gig is easy (dealing with the Newcastle fans) in comparison with the Speaker of the House gig.
    How would you like to try and bring control to the rabble which makes up the Parliament, who’s main role in life is to blather incessantly and make themselves heard ?

  25. chucky…and to get freakin well paid at the same time….bit like Ashley…

  26. chuck says:
    June 23, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    “…who’s main role in life is to blather incessantly and make themselves heard ?”

    Chuck, how is that different from being a Newcastle United supporter? The main difference with Ashley is that he can hide away at his mansion in Hertfordshire and let his minions take all the stick.

  27. It appears the asking price for N’Zogbia is around £9m.
    If we could get around six or seven for Jonas, we could help fund bringing back the new Robert to the side.
    Face it with Enrique’s likely exit, the dynamic duo will become a “no end product” singularity.

    I still find it hard to believe, the present revolution going on at NUFC, “who woodda thunk it” ?
    Lets not stop now until the whole magilla has been spent.
    There’s still plenty deadwood to unload that could bring in a few bob and bunch of clubs sniffing around.
    The forthcomming season should be both an interesting and hopefully an entertaining one, hell we have a bunch of quality players.
    I dont doubt there will be those who believe the French players will take time to adjust, to both the EPL game and the fact it’s an almost completley new team.
    Well they are professional footballers and will IMO be capeable of adjusting to both situations, hell we might even win the league.
    Well at least a top six or seventh place.

  28. We need to keep Barton and Jose.
    Not bothered if Jonas goes just not got the final ball.
    Get Sturridge in and shift shola,ranger,lovvenkrands,perch,smith and loan Best to Birmingham if him and CH can kiss and make up xx

  29. sign the “little bull” shaqiri,who was playing for the swiss under 21’s,he’s a cracking player.i think he’s contracted to basle until 2014.

  30. MM,
    aye sturridge is ower rated mate, but he’s the only striker that everyone knows of & is possibly available.

    He’s alright, but the hype has now over taken the reality, dangerous place.

  31. Haha : )
    Well at least we had a colour telly back in the 70’s
    That was posh right?

  32. sirjasontoon says:
    June 23, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    “Well at least we had a colour telly back in the 70′s
    That was posh right?”

    Proppa posh people divven’t have telly SJT, they gan to the Opera instead.

  33. On the previous thread, Dreamer reckoned that LuaLua had been sold to Brighton but I see he is still being mentioned as one of ours, anybody clarify the situation?

  34. Also I see that Ji Dong Won might be going to Sunderland, I thought we were scouting him?

  35. Grumpy Old-Toon says:
    June 23, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    “Also I see that Ji Dong Won might be going to Sunderland, I thought we were scouting him?”

    He’d be a reet Dong if he went there Grumpy. I think that Graham Carr prefers the food in France anyway.

  36. No Opera in Howden not that I remember…we had a VG store and a butchers though.

  37. Worky, nowt wrong with stir fried poodle, thats posh in Korea isn’t it.

  38. jeffren suarez of barcelona has a 10million euro release clause.given he’s a barcelona bred striker who is young and injury prone i would say he would perfectly fit the bill.if he can overcome his recent injury problems he might just go on to be extremely successful.also given the fact that liverpool are interested all we need to hope for now is for jeffren to have a medical at merseyside.which means the very next day he’ll be signing on at tynside!!!

  39. sirjasontoon says:
    June 23, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    “No Opera in Howden not that I remember…we had a VG store and a butchers though.”

    Nee Harrods in Howden SJT?!!!

  40. Grumpy Old-Toon says:
    June 23, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    “Worky, nowt wrong with stir fried poodle, thats posh in Korea isn’t it.”

    Chuck’ll be down on me like a ton of bricks for ‘national stereotyping’ later if I answer that one Grumpy. :-)

    I’m even banned from making ‘Mackemist’ statements now, which is more than a Geordie can bear!

  41. Worky whats wrong with mentioning S. Korean cusine, it’s a fact not stereotyping. ;)

    As you have mentioned the Mackems, just when did they get the appellation the Black Cats attached to them, more like Black ……….., anyone care to finish the sentence, I think I’ll avoid the “Wrath of Chuck” as well. :)

  42. If Sturridge can score 8 goals in 12 games, for a mid table club, then I reckon he’s good enough to get twenty a season playing for us.

    He got very little service from his midfield in the U 21’s tournament whereas he’d get quality deliveries from the likes of JB (if he can stick around taking Fatmans money for another season), HBA and maybe even Barnetta ?

    Either play him in a 2 with HBA slightly deeper or as part of a front three with Marveaux (providing he can actually play for more than three games) HBA or Jonas, Barnetta or Uncle Tom Cobley ?

    As for the rest of the squad, if we start the season with twenty two senior players not including Perch, Smith or Lovenkrands then we’ll manage.

  43. Grumpy Old-Toon says:
    June 23, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    “Worky whats wrong with mentioning S. Korean cusine, it’s a fact not stereotyping.”

    Aye, it is Grumpy, though there’s little difference between eating dogs and eating pigs, as pigs are also highly intelligent, well developed animals.

    Someone gave me a piece of monkey to eat once.

  44. Monkey is supposed to be nice, actually.

    @AndyMac: Didn’t they have to vote for that nickname?

    Edit: nevermind, just read the article.

  45. Thump says:
    June 23, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    “Monkey is supposed to be nice, actually.”

    It’s illegal now Thump. It was very chewy, salty and intense like most ‘Bushmeat’. On a more topical note bearing in mind our recent signings, Frog’s Legs are very nice indeed, however I would never eat them nowadays as I am a huge fans of frogs.

  46. Never cared much for a lot of French cuisine. Went there when I was younger and made the mistake of ordering fish soup… vile. I especially don’t like their ‘cheese’, if you can call it that. Like Jasper Carrot once said: “Yeah I buy it! I hang it in the garden, it keeps the flies out of the house!”

    Wor lasses parents are proper foodies and went to France last year testing all the good stuff, Frogs legs, snails, you name it. Needless to say, her mother being the incredible cook she is tried to get us to taste some of the snails. When her eldest sister ran to the back door and started heaving like she’d been on the vodka all night, I figured it’s probably not a good idea for me to eat some of the horrible slimy gets.

  47. Thump says:
    June 23, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    “she is tried to get us to taste some of the snails. When her eldest sister ran to the back door and started heaving like she’d been on the vodka all night, I figured it’s probably not a good idea for me to eat some of the horrible slimy gets.”

    You were right Thump, I didn’t like Snails at all. Frog’s Legs are kind of like the finest chicken you’ve ever tasted. Alot of French Provincial cuisine is like the ‘orrible stuff my Grandparents used to eat back in the old days, like Pig’s Trotters, Tripe etc etc…

  48. Snails need to be cooked properly and the taste is very dependent on what they’re cooked in. I’ve had them many times and they’re ranged from disgusting to nice.

    Frogs’ legs are okay too, although I agree with Worky that some of the stuff they serve up is pretty hard to take. I remember having some sort of tripe pie in a village just outside Bayeux once and it had the texture of rubber and a taste to match.

  49. I’ve now got to set fire to my iMac since clicking on that link to, it’s forever sullied.

  50. aye i remember the old days as a kid,my dad eating,pigs trotters,tripe boiled in milk,sweetbreds,and a sheeps heed the eyes would see you through the week :),if you can eat those you can eat oot

  51. AndyMac, Interesting bit of history almost makes them sound like nice people. Actually before I moved to the deepest south I did have mates who were Mackem supporters and , Dare I say it went to some of their matches with them.

    Tripe , pigs trotters, cows heels and pigs head, my dad happily scoffed them all. We even kept rabbits that I thought were pets but every so often one of them would have an accident and end up on the dinner table.

  52. As for monkeys that scene from Indiana Jones (or was it the other one that was similar) where the heads were poked up through the table and the tops sliced off and the warm brains were eaten, is one to forget. Obviously haven’t though.

  53. YUK!

    Obviously, being a non meat grinder for a few decades ‘n all that.
    Can’t stand garlic either, puts me off me food.
    Sadly, french ‘food’ is cooked to within an inch, or should i say mm, of it’s life/death, absolutely no nutriments left in it be the time it reaches the table. Ower much titivation too, what a palarvor.
    If you want ‘food as art’ gan Japanese!


  54. I remember in a French restaraunt seeing a couple of french blokes eating what looked like a pig fat stew and smoking as they ate, looked really strange.

  55. Oddly enough, given the monkey-eating conversation of earlier, some Amazonian tribe on the telly was just eating a spider monkey.

    We told the tribe to get off the telly and go and eat their monkey elsewhere like.

  56. #68

    “Monkey is supposed to be nice, actually.”

    thats the best offer I’ve had all week lol

    only reason Dong has joined the great unwash is because of Brucie’s daughter – she loves a bit of footballing dong ;)