Another “night of the long knives” at St James’ Park

Posted on June 1st, 2012 | 22 Comments |

Night of the long knives at SJP.
The night of the long knives at SJP.
Newcastle United announced their list of retained players (players who’s contracts have expired but are being renewed) earlier this evening.

Of course though, these lists are usually at least as notable for the players are being released as much as those who are being returned.

Firstly, the once seemingly never ending saga which was Alan Smith at Newcastle United is finally over. The player who admitted that he would “never be the same player again” even before he signed a £50,000+ per week 5 year contract for Newcastle after (not quite) recovering from a horrific leg break is finally an ex-Newcastle United player.

However, he isn’t the only notable squad member to be given the push. As has been widely speculated in the football gossip columns for some time, Danny Guthrie and Peter Lovenkrands will also be leaving, along with the once much hyped Hungarian hog harrier, Tamas Kadar, who never quite lived up to expectations in a black and white shirt.

Of course, Danny Guthrie proved to be a very valuable squad member in the centre of midfield, especially so when Cheick Tiote was away for the African Cup of Nations. However the box to box midfielder, who made a total of 16 starts with 3 substitute appearences last season, had admitted to his frustration at a lack of first team action and coudn’t reach agreement on a contract renewal. The signing of yet another Gallic midfielder in the shape of Romain Amalfitano probably didn’t help either. Since he was signed by Kevin Keegan in July, 2008, Guthrie has made a total of 104 appearences for the club, scoring 9 goals.

Meanwhile, Lovenkrands, who, along with the abovementioned Smith and Guthrie were important members of the team that got us promoted from the Championship, was released without any new terms being offered. In his career at Newcastle United, the versatile striker and winger scored a total of 29 goals in 84 appearences for the Toon, not bad at all when you consider that quite a few of those were brief substitute appearences and he was also utilised on the left wing on occaisions rather than at the front. However, the arrival of players such as Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse on Tyneside, along with Lovenkrands’ looming contract expiration did not bode well for the great Dane’s United future, and so it has proved. Last season, Lovenkrands only made 2 starts (in the League Cup) and one substitute appearence.

Moving down the pecking order to the bairns, the club’s announcement is mostly a confirmation of the previous “Massacre of the Innocents” announcement in February, when a large number of younger players were told their days at the club were finished to make way for a new influx of talent as the Academy prepared for the Premier League’s “Elite Player Performance Plan.”

Full list of players who contracts were due to expire:

Peter Lovenkrands, Danny Guthrie, Alan Smith, Tamas Kadar, Samuel Adjei, Phil Airey, Ryan Donaldson, Stephen Folan, Jeff Henderson, Greg McDermott, Patrick Nzuzi, Paul Dummett, Bradden Inman, Conor Newton, Michael Richardson, (16).

Of those, the players which have been retained by the club are:

Paul Dummett, Bradden Inman, Conor Newton, Michael Richardson, James Tavernier, (5).


NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1091 articles on this blog.

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22 Responses

  1. Shame about Pat Nzuzi, saw him play a reserve game at right back and thought he was the best player on the pitch…

    …maybe we don’t need him cos we’re confident of getting Clyne as a spare RB?

  2. I also liked the look of Bradden Inman, btw, quite similar to Emre of old…with the body shape/gait of a young Beardsley

  3. The Metro has us in for Gael Birgirami, the 18 yr old Coventry player – voted young apprentice of the season – tidy little player,African origin i believe, looking at a £1m bid MADE…apparently.

    I’ve seen him play and i like him…

    he’s like a cocktail: 2 parts Tiote, 3 parts Cabaye, with a dash of Cisse for flavour.

  4. Milner, tut tut. You have just broken the cardinal rule of blogging by talking about a player when you have actually seen them play.

    Don’t you know you have to go only on press speculation, reputation and you tube clips?

    And the fact that Danny Guthrie is gone should scotch any talk of getting 3 million for him.

  5. Milner says:
    June 1, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    “I also liked the look of Bradden Inman”

    Well he’s not gannin’ anywhere Milner, they’re keeping him on

    Milner says:
    June 1, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    “he’s like a cocktail: 2 parts Tiote, 3 parts Cabaye, with a dash of Cisse for flavour.”

    I can’t remember seeing anything of him really, Milner, but from the liitle I’ve read though, they’ve tried to make him sound like a bit of a young Tiote-a-like.

  6. And Milner, you have to put up speculative team sheets replacing players that have done a good job for us like Jonas and Simpson with someone you caught one friendly game of for the Dutch.

  7. Me @7: if anyone didn’t get it that is a reference to Ed’s bloggers but in no way a slight on Ed himself.

  8. It’s a shame to see krands go, I thought he would have been a usefull tool in the box for next season, with the added possibility of Europa league it might have been good to have given him a one year extension .

    Not sure what happened to kadar, he seemed like he was making the step up, in comes pardew and he’s out of favour, was it the new coaching style or new coaches I guess we will never know.

    Guthrie was a god send, I wish him all the lucky in the world, a 100% true professional wasn’t willing to sit on the bench and claim his meal ticket like smith, he wants first team football and earn a living, great guy great inspiration, with a decent run in the first team he will make an England call up within the next two years, mark my words.

    One person I’m pleased we have kept, a guy called Big Tav, full back who is going to save this club millions, top class full back who is well tipped to make it to first team.

    With Ramadan quickly approaching who have we got for players until the fasting is over? If we keep both cisse and ba they will be out until later september and again in january, we have BA, cisse, Ben arfa, abeid and tiote all going to be out for a good stint through one reason or the other. Let’s hope the club bares this in mind and trys to move forward. De jong anyone?
    Personaly I think this summer is going to be another shocker, we will lose a few good names and think its the end of the world but we will be proved wrong again wi5th the little gems our scouts seem to find.

    When you look at the newspaper reports with abundance of players we are linked to. Imo I think they are all true, its all part of the scouting selection process, after all you don’t buy the first apple you see at the market before you buy it, you need to check it for bruises and maggot holes first. So when you look at the reports there has to be some truth in them, but only a small few will make the cut.

    After all we don’t want to end up like sunderland last season. Sunderland must have sold out of newspapers every day, they bought every player they were linked to, all 187 if them.

  9. I said the other day that we were 3 players short (and have been for 2 seasons) – so with extra games, how many are we now short ? 6 ? – and counting. Tell me again about stability & continuity.

    One puzzle is Kadar – what exactly is wrong with keeping him? We must pay him peanuts, he is young, and should have been given a chance even if only a sub in the league cup.
    There were days (and there will be more) when we were scrapeing the bottom of the barrel and needed lads like him – oh well, I’m not a pro coach, so it will remain a mystery.

  10. Just been looking at the England team – I can’t remember such a poor side for years. If they played in the PL they would be relegation favourites! Pedestrian, outdated & outclassed – probably win it !

  11. Went to the bar last night and engaged in some lively conversation with Mick the owner about the relative merits of Martinez and Rodgers. I was saying that they were trying to implement a new style of football in England that didn’t rely on the long ball and had lots of triangles and was an extention of what Cruyff started at Barcelona. He said that I had had a skinfull, what the f@ck are you on about and threw me out.

    So on to the kebab shop where they had no bloody idea who Junior Hoilett was and actually gave me a free kebab to “just shut the f@ck up”.

    Sensing a trend and free food, I went for coffee and donuts con leche, after stopping off in Europe for a week or two. Surprisingly, they hadn’t heard of Hatem Ben Arfa or that he was better suited to 4-3-3 and also told me to “shut the f@ck up”. After seven hours or so at the counter they called the police, but I did get free donuts.

    Was put in a cell with a very nice man and we ordered off the a la carte menu. Foie gras sandwichiches I think it was. Anyway, they forgot to take his belt away and he hanged himself after I explained that England were now being managed by a man who finished 10th in the premier league and was building his team around players who were 8th and 6th and some of them he had managed a year earlier into relegation positions.

    Dessert was great though and the cheese course was outstanding.

    So it was off home where I decided to surprise the girl friend and do some roll playing with me as Junior Hoilett. She said “never heard of him, what the f@ck are you on about” and called the asylum. Had tea and biscuits with a lovely man who coincidently hanged himself after I recited King Kenny’s last press conference for him.

  12. GS – I find it hard to believe that someone apparently as cultured and knowledgeable as you had both the desert AND cheese – I think you need to discuss this with a culinary therapist before you cause any further mayehem.

  13. GS – cancel the last criticism – I have just heard that someone posted your remarks on a Norwich website and that Delia Smith has just hanged herself, so some good has come of it!
    Now, who does Jamie Oliver support? is it chelski?

  14. Supermac: thanks for bringing that up, I forgot about Lambert.

    I actually had one of Gordon Ramsey’s cookbooks and threw it away because it was so pretentious. He had a 2 page recipe for “english peas”, which was take peas out of shell, boil, strain, cover with chopped mint.

    He had obviously never heard of a tin or freezer.

  15. Chuck says:

    “Fried chcken (southern fried, down home chicken) n’ gravy, with Creamy mashed potato’s n’corn, with hot biscuits, mmmm, mmm!
    Wash that down with some Amstel and you got yourself a meal.
    Some Cream Brulee, or tres leche’s, n’ a good cup of expresso to get the heart pumping, whats better ?
    Actually i prefer Oranjeboom on tap, which i believe is only available in Holland, they keep the best for themselves.
    New York dangerouse, you gotta be kidding, one of the safest cities in the world.
    Dont come looking for me during the period between June and Mid september, as i’m traveling and fishing in Europe then, plus catching the occasional game.
    Catch you in Aug. before the game in “Los Tres Toros” on Percy St., thats just before i go for a pastie in Greggs.
    I might even take in a game at “El estadio de la Luz”
    to watch your neighbors play.
    As far as asking me about Jr. in the local, hell they are the ones who turned me on to him, which means they are hipper about fitba than you guys are about baseball.
    And oh! by the way “GS”, get a life before it’s too late.”

    Just in case anybody thought I was rambling on about nothing.

  16. I waited 2 days and it is probably best if Chuck and I keep our conversations about food.

  17. Anyway, they have the young Belgium studs against the Chelsea and Liverpool pensioners (no offense Chuck) soon.

    I have no idea what to expect.

  18. Prophet Stephen C

    Ermm, Stephen!
    Though Ramadan is a time of fasting, it only takes place between sunrise and sunset, and following sunset in most countries where the islamic religion dominates.
    One can find stalls set up in the evenings, with all kinds of food available and areas filled by families who enjoy themselves in a carnival like atmosphere.
    In any case to munch down a big meal prior to the game is possibly the worst thing a player could do.