NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 05: Mike Williamson of Newcastle makes a challenge on Charles N'Zogbia of Aston Villa during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Aston Villa at Sports Direct Arena on February 5, 2012 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
The transfer windows are a terribly difficult thing to watch and surely must be a tremendously difficult thing to cover as a reporter. There is so much thrown at the wall in the hope that something sticks that it gets a bit tiresome, surely. Of course, on the flip side, you can almost never go wrong with "player x linked with team x" type rumors as long as you're talking about one of the best players on a top-half club linking to another top half club.
The newest rumors out there are new links to CBs so far as Newcastle is concerned, although one link is tenuous at best and the other has not been picked up by very many outlets, so may just be another link just being flung at the wall. I've got the Chron story about a link with want-away PSG CB Mamadou Sakho linked below, but will make notice of a very lightly suggested rumor that is out there regarding Newcastle United and Denmark international Simon Kjaer (currently trying to leave Wolfsburg). I've seen sprinklings of this suggestion around here and there over the summer and is again out there in "sprinkle" format- that is to say I've found one non-news site suggesting it today. I remember being quite impressed with Kjaer when I saw him in the 2010 World Cup. At 23, he is right in there with the preferred age of acquisition in our transfer philosophy and at £6m (allegedly), he certainly couldn't be considered too expensive. I'm intrigued.
Deschamps has succeeded Laurent Blanc in the post after the country’s disappointing Euro 2012 campaign. And the appointment doesn’t bode well for Newcastle United forward Ben Arfa, who faces disciplinary action from France’s football federation after clashing with Blanc during the tournament. A deterioration in Ben Arfa’s relationship with Deschamps during his time at Olympique Marseille led to his move to St James’s Park. Ben Arfa went on strike to force a move to Newcastle two years ago, launching an outspoken attack on Deschamps and the club in which he accused them of treating him like a "sack of dirty washing". "When (Deschamps) talks to me, I have the feeling that something else is going on inside his head," Ben Arfa was quoted as saying at the time.
Yeah... so this was probably worst-case scenario for Hatem Ben Arfa. He was always going to have a rough road to get back in the squad given widespread reports of his bust up with Laurent Blanc, but for Didier Deschamps to be the new man has got to be the nightmare scenario for HBA. Perhaps the good news for us is that HBA is going to have to be at the height of his powers to potentially even get Deschamps to look his direction... so there's that.
The fact that Cisse and Demba Ba could also be knocked out of the African Cup of Nations play-offs by Tiote’s Ivory Coast has reduced the pressure to sign a big-name striker. The big concern striker-wise was that the two Dembas could be missing for six weeks after Christmas if Senegal went all the way in the South Africa finals. Now, though, Pardew will know exactly who will be available to him by October in what has proved to be a fortunate play-off draw for the Magpies.
A couple of the stories today start under one headline and then end up covering two or three other stories as well... this is one. In reaction to the Tiote rumor... I get that Chelsea were linked with Tiote a lot when AVB was there. I get he's at Tottenham now... but... no.
Reaction to the highlighted quote: We're treading a very very very dangerous line if we allow ourselves to think this way. Yes, we may not lose Double Demba for January if they lose to the Ivory Coast. Here's the thing: although most would perhaps choose Ivory Coast to come through this match, what if they don't? If we fail to adequately address striker cover, you're looking at a very very bleak outlook in the new year. With the fixture not to occur until October when the transfer window is closed, do you have faith that we would be prepared to make a very early January move for a quality striker? I don't.
On the defensive front though, Taylor returns after a seven-month battle after rupturing his Achilles and will be hoping to rekindle his partnership with Coloccini. But Williamson was part of the team that helped United qualify for the Europa League and in his 25 appearances for the Magpies appeared in the Toon line-up on 11 occasions in which they kept clean sheets.
Again... if you're sitting there trying to talk yourself into thinking that we're currently ok with the squad as it is, then we're not ok. The fact remains that we are unspeakably thin at CB. Also, Mamadou Sakho is an intriguing name, but I'm going to go ahead and doubt that the club will stump up the cash that it will take to bring him over from PSG (who prefer one time desire of my heart Alex, it seems) as it's going to be at least £10m. Of course, I didn't have much faith that they would bring in Papiss Cisse in January, either.
MIKE Williamson says he is ready to fight to retain his place in Alan Pardew’s first-team plans this season. After recovering from injury, the centre-back was a mainstay in the United defence for the second part of a campaign that ended in European qualification and an impressive sixth-placed finish. While he would readily admit that there are bigger names in the squad, Williamson got on with his role with efficiency and regularly earned praise from boss Pardew.
I don't dislike Mike Williamson. He's a fine player, and I am aware that he was on the pitch for a lot of clean sheets. I will maintain that these clean sheets were in large part down to Captain Colo's effective cover of Williamson mistakes... certainly Williamson covered now and then for a mistake from Coloccini (and there were enough, for sure), but I think we're again trying to talk ourselves into thinking that the squad is ok as it sits. It is not.
LEE Clark is set to make former Newcastle United striker Peter Lovenkrands his first signing as Birmingham City manager. Lovenkrands was released this summer after three and a half years at Newcastle United.
I would like to wish Peter Lovenkrands every success with Birmingham City He played a huge roll in Newcastle's instant return to the Premier League, and as such should hold a special place in the hearts of Newcastle fans. He always seemed like a consummate pro and a top bloke and I hope that the goals flow for him at St. Andrew's Stadium.