GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MARCH 25: Fraser Forster of Celtic reacts during the Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on March 25, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
It's a pretty good day of news on Tyneside today, weighted heavily by the news that the club have locked up Graham Carr for 8 years. Undeniably, Mr. Carr has been one of the best scouts in the Premier League and his reports and player recommendations over the last year have been spot on and well deserving of this reward. Tremendously awesome news here.
In other news, there is a bunch of the silly season "He/They will/won't" stories... another new name pops up on the Toon radar, a rival emerges for Mathieu Debuchy and Chris Hughton returns to the Premier League- Let's jump and read!
Catching Up On The Worst Ever XI
THE term "much maligned" and "Newcastle United defence" have gone together far too often as far as the Toon Army are concerned.
Saying that there's no shortage of candidates for a worst XI in the Newcastle defense is an understatement. I don't recall reading the name of David Rozehnal in this list... and I'm sure there are other players that I would be glad to put on the list without much hesitation. Eventually, one would think that the law of averages would place a tremendous defense in front of the Newcastle United goalkeeper... but historically, this has very rarely happened. Very interesting.
THEY came, they saw and they left Newcastle United with a whimper. Yes, we’ve reached the moment in which you vote for your worst midfield of all time.
If only the recent luck in the midfield area at St. James' Park could be replicated in the defense, then we could be dangerous. It seems that we tend to miss on midfield players (historically) far less often than other positions. Perhaps this is common across all clubs, though.
"Whilst out in business in the Congo I have found a player who has caught the attention of Newcastle, Sunderland and Liverpool," Hope said. "Hassan has already had 186 appearances for the first team and scored a whopping 105 goals. "I met with the player and after agreeing a representation contract I will be putting the lad to Europe whilst I await an official offer. "The 20-year-old international is a very special talent and we would have no need to obtain a work permit as he has an EU passport.
I tried to look Hassan up on the YouTube and there's really only one video of a rather spectacular own goal that he scored on International duty with Chad... not much else out there. He does have a sparkling goals-to-matches return, but this one has a bit of the feel of Jason Prior to me. There is a reason, however, that I did not receive an 8-year contract from the club to scout players.
Newcastle's failure to complete a deal ahead of Euro 2012 could prove costly, as Inter Milan have emerged as rival bidders. The Italian side sent scouts to watch France's final warm-up game against Estonia in Le Mans on Tuesday evening, a match that saw Debuchy produce a polished display as his side cruised to a 4-0 win.
Mathieu Debuchy would be a tremendous addition to the club. Yohan Cabaye's influence may prove key in his decision, and besides name recognition, Newcastle do currently have more going for them than Inter... but you never really know what factors will or won't influence a player. I'm hoping with all I've got that we land Debuchy... but I'm not going to be shocked if we do not end up winning the battle for his signature.
The Tyneside club have made no secret of their desire to bring in a new wave of talented youngsters to strengthen their development squad. James certainly fits the bill, and United sent coach and former Pools star Peter Beardsley to check on the striker back in February. However, the Gazette understands that the Geordies will not be pursuing their interest in the immediate future, although they will keep close tabs on James’s progress at Victoria Park.
This is a little sub-story to the transfer window to keep your eyes on. As you all know, the club have cleaned major house in the reserves/youth ranks and have great need to fill them in. I certainly understand an attitude of letting another club pay for a player's development... but it does seem a dangerous game when you're looking at a Swiss cheese setup outside your first team. Just something to keep an eye on.
The Chronicle understands that Forster – who spent last season on loan at Parkhead and is stalling on signing a permanent deal – has no interest in a return to Newcastle next term, unless he is assured of the number 1 spot. However, as long as Tim Krul, who signed a long-term deal last season, is around, Forster has little chance of claiming the gloves back from the Dutch international
I've said before that I don't necessarily rate Fraser's form on loan over the last two years when considering the Newcastle GK position... and I don't think that there's any doubt that Tim Krul is the #1 at SJP. I do think that there is something to Fraser, but the fact remains that he was called to preseason by Alan Pardew last summer, given a chance to compete with Tim Krul for the gloves and he did not seize the opportunity. It'd be sad to see a player with obvious talent leave the club, but you can't say he wasn't given a chance.
Chris Hughton back in the Premier League!
Despite a stirring fightback at St Andrew's, the Blues lost 3-2 to Blackpool on aggregate and, soon after the end of the season, Hughton was linked with the Norwich job vacated by Paul Lambert's move to Aston Villa. Birmingham gave him permission to speak to the Canaries, who announced his appointment on June 7, 2012.
Chris Hughton will always always have a special place in the hearts of Toon fans. Years on down the road, discussion will still be had about the season we went down, how Hughton led us back and debate will be had about his departure. While the decision will definitely be shown to have born fruit, there are those that will always believe that he was harshly done by. At any rate, I will always have affection for Chris- I'm just disappointed his return is at Norwich City... I guess it's easier that way, though. I certainly don't have to be concerned with any sort of affection for Hughton's new club when we play.