Sky Sports quotes Chris Hughton as saying that the team has now added enough stability to ensure a stay in the top flight. Toonsy says that Hughton now faces a "selection headache." The question of how to incorporate our new players into the formation will be a common one this week. I have some opinions, but I'm saving them for a post that will go up in the middle of the week. (How's that for a tease?)
Voting is now open for the August Player of the Month on the NUFC Official Site. The story announcing the nominees is here, while the actual poll is here.
Hatem Ben Arfa does not shy away from interviews. He told Steph Clark at The Northern Echo that during the time when his club future was uncertain, he trained with a personal trainer. He also insists that he is fit enough to play right away. On the BPL official site, HBA reveals that he would like to play more for France. At this point, they should only print these stories if the player says he doesn't want to play for his nation. Is anybody surprised by this development?
Ed Harrison wonders if Joey Barton has turned a corner personality-wise. Bad boy, good boy, whatever you want to call him - he's in excellent form right now.
Yesterday, we linked to Kazenga LuaLua's comments about being happy to play for Brighton. Apparently, there were some people who thought he sounded too eager, because they went back to him and asked him to clarify that his first priority was Newcastle. Obviously, he said it was. The poor guy is just happy to be getting playing time; of course he wants to play in the Premiership.
Finally, Ed Harrison is already thinking about who should be targeted when January rolls around. Let's just say that I'm no fan of the international break. Two weeks of no club footy leads people to dream of things that won't matter for 3+ months.