Archive for category: Sol Campbell.

Stoke City Vs Newcastle United match preview

October 30th, 2011 | 21 Comments |

Stoke City supporters
They have shirt hating weight watchers too!
Venue: Britannia Stadium, Sir Stanley Matthews Way, Stoke-upon-Trent.
Date: Monday, October 26th, 2011.
Kick-off: 8:00pm.
Referee: Mike Dean.
TV: Sky Sports 1, Sky Sports HD 1.

Well, The Magpies must pick themselves up from their disappointing capitulation against Blackburn Rovers in the League Cup and prepare themselves for a trip to another of the nation’s great beauty spots, Stoke-upon-Trent.

A game against Tony Pulis’s hard tackling long throwing giants will be no Vicarage tea party, that’s for sure, and though there probably won’t be much “Champagne football” on the menu, it will be a stiff test for the lads. Especially so after a gruelling extra time midweek thriller which ultimately ended in disappointment. As if that wasn’t enough, we could also be without our own head of enforcement, Mr T, but more on that in the team news. Consolation for us however is that whilst the Magpies were exerting themselves in the ultimately doomed encounter at Ewood Park, Stoke were also playing in the competition, suffering the same kind of disappointment when they were knocked out by Liverpool in a 2-1 defeat.

If you won’t be at the game, make sure to check out our regular “match banter” feature, which will be posted around an our before kick off. (more…)

Pardew’s happy campers

July 26th, 2011 | 22 Comments |

Happy campers?
Happy campers?
From what I can recall, at the start of last season, Newcastle United were seemingly going about their pre-season in reasonably quiet fashion.

We had of course, just dispensed of the Championship at a canter, and were looking forward to a return to the Premier League. At the start of that particular summer, we had a statement from the Newcastle board, citing mainly that:

“The first team squad that won the Championship this year will form the basis of the team for next season in the Premier League.

“There is no plan for new capital outlay on players.”

Well, that particular line certainly had a few people up in arms at the time. In the end though, Newcastle did do some business recruitment wise, bringing in Dan Gosling, Hatem Ben Arfa, Sol Campbell, Cheick Tiote and the majestic James Perch.

More importantly last summer, I remember the current crop of players being reasonably happy with life at St James Park. There was no moaning or bitching about the ‘politics’ of the club. This could be due to the explosion of ‘Twitter’ this past year (certainly in Newcastle United’s case anyway), with a fair few of our squad now signed up to the social networking site. (more…)

Sol upsets the club by insisting on his final £160,000

May 18th, 2011 | 24 Comments |

Sol Campbell, Newcastle United
160,000 reasons to smile
Sol Campbell will depart from Newcastle United in bitter circumstances.

It seems that Sol Campbell may be leaving Newcastle under a bit of a cloud.

He was signed in a free transfer last summer on about £40,000 a week and after 4 starts and 3 substitute appearances the club had rather thought he might just walk away at the end of the season.

It seems however that a clause in his contract allows him to draw another month’s salary and get paid for July, thus earning him another £160,000. Sol, apparently, is going to hold the club to this clause in his contract.

The ubiquitous ‘club source’ has said:

Sol has not really been involved and is clearly winding down his career, seeing out his time and being clearly unhappy with his injuries.

The club offered a settlement on his contract so that he could walk away after the season ends but he refused. Instead, there is a clause that allows him to take another month’s money and he is going to eke out his final pay cheque in July for another £160,000.

It leaves a sour taste. He clearly doesn’t need the money and, if he had any honour, he would go in June.(more…)

Can Kuqi come good for the Toon?

April 21st, 2011 | 22 Comments |

Like a swan, only more Yugoslavian.  And taller.
Like a swan, only more Yugoslavian. And taller.
The 34 year old Yugoslavian has barely had a sniff of a football, but can he do a job for us?

I’m probably in the minority when I say that Shefki should get more than 3 minute cameos here and there, but I was also in the minority when I backed Leon Best and look how he turned out for us. Of course, the 34 year old Finn doesn’t exactly have age on his side but he made more of an impact in front of goal in his 5 minutes on the pitch at Villa Park than young Nile Ranger made all game.

After being haunted by the turmoil of his youth and later seeing a tragedy strike his close friend, and fellow footballer, Besian Idrizaj who unfortunately passed away aged 22 after a heart attack. Kuqi’s face is weathered by age and experience, but the question still remains: can he do the Newcastle United shirt a service?

Alan Pardew has mentioned that Kuqi’s personality would be perfect to wear the famous number 9 but also concedes age and lack of ability would ensure he never wears the famous shirt and to an extent, I agree. Shefki Kuqi has spent most of his footballing life in the Championship with occasional spells in the Premier League and he has never and will never set the footballing world on fire.

Will the Sun shine on Sol?

March 15th, 2011 | 33 Comments |

Sol: Seasoned pro? Or past it?
Sol: Seasoned pro? Or past it?
There have been a few words out there in the press about the possiblity of Sol Campbell ‘coming in from the cold’ and getting a game at Stoke City.

I didn’t realize he was ‘in the cold’, but we all know how the press like to paint these things. He hasn’t played since our great 3-1 win v Liverpool earlier in the season.

To me, he’s a well seasoned pro with a great reading of the game. He also barks orders really well and organizes things at the back. With him, Joey Barton, Kevin Nolan, Fabricio Coloccini and Steve Harper on playing at the same time, it’s like having five captains on the pitch.

Some say he’s beyond his prime now, but I reckon he still does an excellent job, when called upon. After the last game v Everton i think it’s time to bring his experience to bear on proceedings. We looked messy at the back with Steven Taylor asked to do a RB job. He seemed drawn into the CB role all too often and we were exposed down out right by an in-form Arteta, who found plenty of space in which to maraud. I’m not saying Taylor is a bad player, he just looked out of place in that game. Plenty of us have asked for Taylor at RB for some time but it didn’t work out that time.

Can Taylor play there? Who knows? But if he does, he has to stay out right and focus.

Maybe he was trying too hard? (more…)