Friday, 30 January 2015

Siem De Jong To Be Moulded Into Next Newcastle Utd Centre Forward

De Jong is back in full training and scoring in behind closed doors games. Question is when he is fully fit and available where is he going to play? Moussa Sissoko (assuming he's still here) has made the No.10 role his own this season and shoving him anywhere else on the pitch would be a step backwards. Most people would slot De Jong in the No.10 role and then shove Sissoko out wide or into central midfield. I don't agree.

Sissoko can not play centre midfield to save his life. Not because he can't get forward and do some damage from this position but because he can't defend. At all. He has no awareness of players around him and doesn't break his back to help out the defence like he does to get forward. The amount of times opposition midfielders just waltz past him into our box is embarrassing. We lost to the mackems because Sissoko was slipped back into centre midfield and it cost us big time.

He lost the ball in the centre of pitch, had no sense of bringing the player down for a professional foul to prevent the counter attack and then may as well had been invisible with the total lack of picking men up when he ran all the way back into our area. Just watch the Johnson goal again just focussing on Sissoko. Horrendous. He also has shown not to be the same player once put out wide on the right this season. He just doesn't have the same impact as driving through the middle like a wrecking ball.

So if Sissoko must stay in the No.10 role, where is De Jong gonna play? He isn't a disciplined central
midfield player, similar to Sissoko, so playing him there would cause more damage then good. He isn't a winger or even a wide forward designed to cut in to attack at goal. We have better players in this position like Perez, Sammy, Aarons and Obertan when they are fit. So the only logical thing we should do as a club is mould Siem De Jong into an centre foward. Here's why:

He's a finisher. He has proven over the years at Ajax that he know's where the back of the net is. That's why we bought him. People say he is a Cabaye type replacement, he isn't. He is more Kevin Nolan than he is Yohan Cabaye. Coming in from deep to score. There are no worries that given a chance he would stick it away more often then not.

He can hold the ball up. He is decent on the ball and if played up to him, you would expect it to stick. He offers this better than Cisse who can have no touch whatsoever on some days and Ayoze Perez is just too lightweight to play up front on his own. He's a battler and likes to run in behind defences, not chest the ball down with a big lump of a centre back up his arse.

He's good in the air. De Jong can head it, very well. He has scored his fair share of headers and gives us this threat in the box for any crosses that come into the area. Something Perez doesn't and Cisse isn't exactly Les Ferdinand when he get's up there. I think I only remember Cisse scoring a couple of headers since he has been here. De Jong will attack any ball in the box and hang there like Shearer.

Fact is we don't have many reliable strikers at the club and we won't be signing any in January, so
moulding De Jong would, in the words of Alan Pardew, be like a brand new signing. Centre forwards are hard to come by and are expensive. Even when we do go out and sign one it might not work like it hasn't with Riviere. De Jong is one of a few top class players we have in our squad and if we were to be able to play him up front whilst keeping Sissoko in his best position, then have the likes of Perez and Aarons around them, this excites me.

That could be an attacking line-up to give any team a run for there money. We always have the option of Cisse making his late sub appearance to add to that and others like Obertan and Sammy to mix things up. Our season is pretty much over. 4 more wins would see us safe so unless we have a meltdown of results and get dragged into a relegation fight, John Carver could show off his coaching abilities and have a go with De Jong up front. What exactly do we have to lose?

End of day...he can't be any worse than his brother!

@ToonBano

Saturday, 24 January 2015

PICTURE SHOCKER: Dennis Wise Ridiculous Hair Is Absolutely Hilarious - Must See

I'm not going to write too much about this as pictures sometimes speak for themselves.

Dennis Wise has appeared on television looking like this:


What in the blue hell is he thinking of? Fooling no-one there mate. Sweet lord. Reminds me of this:

This has made my year so far and has took my mind completely off the fact Chelsea, Man City, Spurs and Southampton all crashed out of the FA Cup at home while where are we? In Dubai training. Best chance of winning the FA Cup you could possibly hope for but yet we crashed out in the first round of asking. Pathetic.

But never mind that. Thank you Dennis Wise. Thank you.

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Friday, 23 January 2015

Mike Ashley To Be Owner Of Rangers By Start Of Next Season

There's no secret Mike Ashley is sniffing around Rangers like flies on (insert own word) and we all
know as Newcastle fans why he hasn't just stumped up the cash yet to become owner. They aren't in the Scottish Premier League yet. Ash doesn't like to part with his money until he is good and ready, so to own Rangers this season isn't something he is interested in. Just in case they manage to mess up promotion. He already has Derek Llambias in place and is just waiting for Rangers to officially be in the top flight again until he strikes.

For us, his inevitable ownership of Rangers will hopefully come with him releasing his stranglehold on our club with his interests purely focused on getting Rangers into the Champions League. Where he hope his Sports Direct empire will get the publicity he craves. Something he has given all hope on with Newcastle Utd as he has pretty much battened down the hatches and is totally contempt at having a Top 10 finish in the Premier League to keep the revenue it brings ticking over.

The Deloitte Money League released yesterday just shows how impressive the revenue streams are in being a Premier League team. Albeit an also-ran. I went into why these financial results are a total disgrace for our club which you can read here.

Now if Ashley has any sense then he will be open to offers to NUFC right now, to see what price he could possibly get in the summer if nothing else. There are small rumours around that Dubai based investors are having a look at Newcastle and that informal talks have been made with Ashley's representatives. Something that will always be flatly denied by the club if ever asked, so unless you were sat at the next table, rumours is all they will remain.

We know how Ash works. He's tight, he's cheap, he only gets his wallet out when he wants (reluctantly). He sold off for himself £117m worth of Sports Direct shares at just 2.6% the other day and it doesn't take a financial insider to work out what it is for. Directly or indirectly, his takeover of Rangers.

Now interestingly he has loans held against Newcastle for a very similar amount and whether this has something to do with it would take Columbo or Murder She Wrote to try and put together, so I wont bother going into that. All I will say is it wont take anywhere near that much money to take control of Rangers so why he decided to sell so much, which decreased the value of Sports Direct shares in the process, is up for debate. Is he prepared to right off our loans to make the club more viable to sell?

Everything is up for debate but what I have no doubt over is Mike Ashley will not allow any other
consortium getting in the way of what he wants. He wants his Sports Direct brand plastered all over Ibrox on a Wednesday night in the Champions League. He has even made moves to own Ibrox which tells you everything you need to know. Once Rangers are confirmed as a Scottish Premier League side again, Mike Ashley will be owner come the first game of next season. No doubt about it.

All we can hope for is come the first game of our season, he has already sold us to someone with a shred of ambition or is at least in publicly open talks to sell to best suitor. It's the only thing we as fans have to look forward to, because as long as he is here, we will never reach our full potential. Ever

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Thursday, 22 January 2015

Deloitte Football Rich List: Newcastle Utd Finances Are A Disgrace

Deloitte have released the 18th edition of their annual football money league to rank which are the Top 20 'richest' clubs in the world based purely on revenue. Which of course used to be a 'where about's are we?' scenario for our fans to look into since it started, rather than 'are we back in yet?' type scenario since we dropped out in 2007/2008. We made a brief appearance in the 16th edition in 20th place a couple of years ago due to the 5th place finish in 2012, however we soon dropped back out in last years list.

This year however we have made our return in 19th place due to the Premier League having a total shed load of more money pumped into it from TV rights, mainly from BT Sport taking on Sky. So as long as we stay in the Premier League we should be in the Top 20 richest clubs for a long time to come. Now what may surprise Newcastle fans is, it isn't purely down to our TV money as to why we are the 19th richest club. Our commercial revenue has never been so high in our history. We increased our commercial revenue by 50% due to the Wonga shirt sponsor and other deals with Thomas Cook (who knew) and kit maker Puma.

Here are the numbers:

Deloitte Money League: 19th place (out of 20)
Total revenue: £129.7m (35% increase)
Broadcast revenue: £78.2m (53% increase)
Matchday revenue: £25.9m (7% decrease)
Commercial revenue: £25.6m (50% increase)


Now given the fact we have all known TV money is injecting this club with more money than ever
before, with also the fact our commercial revenue has increased by 50%, the fact we as a club have such a mediocre, unambitious, completely out of touch mob running things from the directors chair is nothing short of a disgrace. Frank De Boer summed our club up perfectly recently when he described us as 'a sleeping giant'. Now this is a man who is over in the Netherlands doing some sterling work at Ajax, looking at our club from a far and he recognises this clubs potential.

We are a club with the 3rd highest attendance figures in the Premier League. Literally 89 of the 92 professional football clubs in this country would give a small fortune to have what we have. Liverpool & Spurs for e.g are prepared to invest heavily in upgrading their already impressive stadiums or say goodbye to their sacred homes and a build a completely brand new one, just to compete. Even though our fans have been mainly fed up with the club last year, they still averaged 50,000 for home games. A truly impressive fact that repeatedly gets swept under the carpet.

Our illustrious owner doesn't know how lucky he is. He is as clueless as he is cheap. This is a man who is able to sell just 2.6% of his Sports Direct stake and make himself a cool £117 million in the process. Now he still owns 55%. So a bit of quick scouse maths tells you he is worth somewhere in the region of £2.75 billion, until his sale reduced the price of the Sports Direct shares. Point being the man is worth an absolute fortune yet never puts his hand in his pocket to help build his already financially successful asset in Newcastle Utd FC.

The man has sold a very tiny amount of shares in order to help his ongoing power struggle at Scottish championship motley crew Rangers. Yet he still holds his Premier League, Top 20 richest club in the world, to loans which 'we' owe him if he ever ups and leaves the North East for a directors seat a bit more North over the border. If just 2.6% of his wealth is worth £117m then why the hell does he continue to hold our football club for loans for a very similar amount? Its small fries to him but has huge importance to us as a club and business. Fact is he doesn't care about the club. He can do what he wants, he owns it. Fair enough, but don't you want to do what's best for your asset? Or is that just nonsense?

Newcastle Utd are one of the healthiest football clubs in terms of revenue in the world. We have one of the best 'wages to revenue' percentages in the world. We have one of the largest match day attendance figures and fan bases in the world. We have a proven Premier League record of being able to compete for not just Champions league places but even the league title itself. We have represented this country in Europe on countless occasions and are one of a handful of clubs that have been in the Champions League more than once. We are not just a sleeping giant, we are a Juggernaut that are being gagged, held down with chains and drugged up to the eyeballs with horse tranquilizes by our very own owner.

All we want as fans is to at least try to compete. To at least try to reach out potential. We don't expect to win trophies, we expect to try to win trophies. We don't expect to play in the Champions League, we expect to try to play in the Champions League. Not having the financial muscle to try and compete is total nonsense. We as a football club are expected announce our financial figures in detail soon which are expected to show a £50million profit. A PROFIT. Yet we spend nothing on the team. NOTHING. 2 loan signings last season, no one bought. We then sell our best player along with his best mate and use that money to buy players. Net spend ZERO.

The times of being financially restraint as we have huge amounts for debt are over. Or they should
be. The only 'debt' we have is to Mike Ashley. As I touched on already, considering his worth as a man should this debt even be there? Should it even be considered or recognised as debt? If Ash ever wants to sell, then surely you will get more for your money selling a club that is in the high end of the football world rather than a run of the mill mediocre one we are right now? Freddy Shephard has stated that rich investors aren't interested in the North East, he's right. But what speaks above all is money. Money talks and we have it. Building a successful team would bring even more. It's common sense.

Some might say Ash has helped create this new wealth. Sorry but he has nothing to do with the TV money and the commercial income may have gone up, thanks to his Wonga deal, but we still aren't reaching any where near our potential. In fact,Wonga are one of the last companies we should be dealing with, Newcastle Utd can do so much better. What the hell is Sports Direct doing for our bank balance plastered everywhere? Nothing. Ashley uses our club as nothing but a tool to promote his own cheap sports shops. The fact he isn't prepared to get the club into the Champions League shows how gutless he is. He would rather buy Rangers on the cheap, get them in the Champions League and promote that way. Cheap and minimal risk (in his eyes at least). Sums us Ashley perfectly.

Ashley just doesn't understand how much potential this club HE OWNS has. Totally clueless. What exactly is he afraid of if we as a club invested some of this wealth in top players that can take it to the next level? We won't be relegated so what's the issue? What is stopping Newcastle Utd, the 19th richest club in the world, having more ambition then finishing 10th in the Premier League and going out of the FA Cup at the 3rd round every year? Nothing. Nothing except one thing. Mike Ashley. The man saved this club from financial melt down. However, that doesn't then give you the right to keep it held hostage in your home made dungeon, feeding it nothing but bread and water.

We have means to thrive but are rationing in ways to merely survive. There is no logic in how our club is ran and no Lee Charnley yes man is going to convince us otherwise. We are a club who are being out bid for players from Southampton, West Ham and Hull. What the hell is going on? How cheap do you want to be? Investing in players doesn't guarantee success. Look at Everton, they are struggling after spending £28m on Lukaku. Look at Southampton, they are thriving after selling £100m worth of their talent. Nothing is a guaranteed formula. What is guaranteed is if you don't have any ambition you won't get anywhere.

Southampton didn't sell out, lose their manager, then sit back and give the job to their academy coach whilst counting the profit. They brought in a highly rated head coach, spent large amounts of the money gained and dreamed of Europe and cup success. Even Everton fans can't complain at a lack of ambition even though they aren't performing. They have an underlined belief that their club will come back next season and fight for success. Newcastle fans don't. That is the point. That's why we are a disgrace of a football club and it needs to change. Especially looking at these financial figures. Fact is, we don't need Ash anymore.

All of the potential in the world, with the fan base and stadium most teams are crying out for, with the financial capabilities to compete at the top, for it all to be wasted because the owner of our club has neither the ambition, balls or interest in doing so. Mike Ashley is a total disgrace and the sooner he sells up and buggers off to Rangers the better. Only then can this football club have the chance to reach it's true potential.

Somebody needs to wake up the beast!

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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Things We Have Learned From EXCLUSIVE Newcastle Utd MD Lee Charnley Interview

Reading the Chronicle EXCLUSIVE!!! with Lee Charnley is somewhat a task. If you can't be bothered to sieve through the waffle here then here are the things we've learned in a nutshell:


  • We weren't expecting Pardew to leave so we didn't know what to do. That's why it's taking ages
  • 80 people have applied for the role. How many of these are chancers using there Football Manager profile is unconfirmed. Joe Kinnear may have applied several times after forgetting he already had.
  • A Head Coach means we want someone who doesn't bother us with asking for players he would like in the team to pick and will accept the players we give him. And like it.
  • We are not buying anyone in January.
  • Carver may be in charge until the summer.
  • We might know by the end of week if someone will be coming in. Or maybe not. We don't know. Not a clue.
  • We will not be bringing in a 'Yes Man'. Because he won't be asked anything.
  • We want someone who develops players and gives youngsters a chance. So someone who will have no problem when we sell the senior players and have to play the kids in their place, till we find someone cheap to bring in many months later.
  • We may sell someone in January.
  • We are going to communicate to the fans more. So expect more statements. Rather than talking to the media. As Charnley doesn't 'Do That'
  • Mike Ashley isn't going to sell the club. Unless he gets an offer he can't refuse.

So we have learned nothing.

Great. Moving on.

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Solano AND Robert Are In Premier League Greatest 10 Free-Kick Takers Ever!

ITV have been looking into who are the Premier Leagues greatest free kick takers ever (for no real reason) and have come to their decision based on nothing but stats. How original. To be precise, how many shots you have had to how many times it went in the net, then summed up into a nice percentage conversion rate.

Using this data they have come to a Top 10 and, of course, Newcastle Utd are represented in the list. By TWO men in fact, in the shape of Nobby Solano and Laurent Robert. Solano is actually 5th in the list and Robert scrapes into tenth place.

Now this poll, list or whatever it is has one unique failure in the fact it only considers data collected from the past 14 years. So all of those Beckham beauties, Shearer thunderbolts and everybody else from the 90's are not taken into consideration. Which is obviously a little bit ridiculous to call the winner of this list as 'the greatest' because he isn't. If Beckham came out on top then maybe it could be forgiven, but given the fact Juan Mata is number one....I suggest this list is somewhat a non event.

However that doesn't prevent me happily bigging up the fact two of our famous free kick specialists make the list, so here it is in all its glory complete with the 'data':

Top 10

1: Juan Mata: Shots 28, Goals 5, Conversion 17.9 (per cent)

2: Sebastian Larsson: 90, 11, 12.2.

3: Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink: 62, 6, 9.7.

4: David Beckham: 54, 5, 9.3.

5: Nolberto Solano: 78, 7, 9.0.

6: Thierry Henry: 144, 12, 8.3.

7: Danny Murphy: 67, 5, 7.5.

8: Ryan Giggs: 73, 5, 6.8.

9: Leighton Baines: 76, 5, 6.6.

10: Laurent Robert: 154, 10, 6.5.

Some big absentees are Cristiano Ronaldo, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard. 


We all knew Nobby could peel an onion with his right boot and Robert could smash one to pieces from 35 yards so it's nice to see someone, somewhere at least recognise it also.

Stats don't lie....sometimes

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Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Santon To AC Milan For £8million Plus M'Baye Niang In Part Exchange

A lot more reports are coming out of Italy calciomercato.com & forzaitalianfootball.com that long term admirers AC Milan are finally going to step up their pursuit of Davide Santon and make a concrete offer this transfer window. They have been tracking Santon for over a year now and since he has recovered from his long term injury which has meant he hasn't kicked a ball in the Premier League yet, they will make their move with a slight incentive thrown in.

Newcastle have been tracking someone of their own this season in the shape of Milan winger M'Baye Niang, who's contract is up at the end of the season, and have been willing to bring him in on loan. Milan are not keen on doing so and wish to off load him for a fee now before losing him for nothing in the summer. Given the fact both clubs are after one of each others players, 2 + 2 = around 10 million Euros with Niang in part exchange.

Mike Ashley doesn't let players go for cheap. When we signed Santon from Inter for £5million it was an investment as much as bringing in (what we thought) was a top full back. Santon has flattered to deceive in a Newcastle shirt and has made such quotes like he is 'the next Maldini' a little wide of the mark. In fact he has looked like the next Alessandro Pistone on more than one occasion. Given his age, the club will be looking for a 8 figure sum if they were to part with the (still) young Italian and if Milan want him then they must put up the cash.

To save a few bob they will throw Niang into the mix who is worth around £2million given his 5 months left on his contract, so we would be looking at a deal of around the £8million mark plus Niang which to be honest would be a good deal for Newcastle. If Santon then goes on to improve with playing in his native league at a club like Milan, then it could be a good deal for Milan also. For our sake I just hope Niang turns into a real talent and not a big tantrum waiting to happen...if you were to believe the hype.

I wont be that sorry to see Santon go as he has never convinced me as a full back. In my opinion he has never been a full back. There is one fundamental flaw to his game which will never make him into one of Europe's best and that is his lack of positional sense. If a full back needs one thing it's knowing where he is on the pitch, especially in line with his centre back. Not only does he show complete lack of this quality but he shows lack of any understanding of where his opposing winger is. Not exactly a great combination to have if you want to be a top full back. Where am I and where is he?

He has the stamina and running power with the ball to be a midfielder of some description or at the very least a wing back in a 3-5-2 system. Something I highly doubt Newcastle Utd will ever adopt. In Italy he has a chance of this however. A formation Serie A has made its own over the past few years and one Santon may flourish.

I wish Santon luck if he were to go and hope a manager plays him and trains him to his full potential.

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Top Class Players Available For Free As Contracts Set To Expire

As January is upon us, there is a transfer market addicts dream scenario that only seems to be taken advantage of in the FIFA or Football Manager gaming world, which is seemed to be slightly ignored in the real world. The sensation of the '6 months remaining on their contract' clause which enables clubs to pre-sign players for free as soon as the contract is up in the summer. For someone like myself I love trawling through the pool of players with such contracts and seeing the best players you could get for free.

This year seems to be somewhat of a bargain hunting paradise as the calibre of players with the option to sign for another club has never been so high nor in as many numbers. Two things that go together perfectly quality and quantity. So seeing as Mike Ashley is the type of fellow who only does his shopping from the reduced aisle in Tesco's, this possible line up below could be possible if we were to raise our wage bill to that of a Champions League team albeit not spending a penny on transfers.

Obviously we don't have to go and try to sign all of the below players however we could easily cherry pick the ones we want for specific positions and give us all, including whoever our new manager will be, something to look forward to in the summer. We all love a signing but there is something about getting a quality player for free that seems even more sweet. Now I have read Sam Allardyce saying that players can only sign pre-contracts to foreign clubs (if anyone can confirm this that would be great) so I will stick to foreign shores for now. Here is some of the talent available which would make a cracking teams for any league:

Summer Free Transfer XI:

GK: Victor Valdes (He is available now)

FB: Dani Alves (Barcelona),
CB: Andrea Ranocchia (Inter Milan, Captain)
CB: Fabian Schar (Basel),
FB: Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus, highest assists last season)

CM: Sami Khedira (Real Madrid)
CM: Nigel De Jong (Milan)

RW: Sebastien Giovinco (Juventus)
AM: Danny (Porto)
LW: Evgen Konoplyanka (Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk)

ST: Luiz Adriano (Shakhtar Donetsk)

Cracking team and mostly unrealistic for NUFC but a few of these could be tempted to come to the Premier League if none of the big boys come in for them.

A slightly more realistic team of talent is below that we could seriously have a look at:

GK: Sergio Romero (Sampdoria, Argentina keeper in 2014 World Cup is worth a punt)

FB: Ignazio Abate (Milan, again worth a punt)
CB: Niklas Moisander (Ajax)
CB: Carlos Zambrano (Frankfurt)
FB: Maxi Perriera (Benfica)

CM: Rio Mavuba (Lille)
CM: Jeremy Toulalan (Monaco)

RW: M'Baye Niang (Milan, already made a move so included him)
AM: Yoan Gourcuff (Lyon)
LW: Andre Ayew (Marseille)

ST: Andre-Pierre Gignac (Marseille)

Lots of French in here and also a mention goes out for Pazzini (Milan), Dzsudzsak (Dynamo Moscow) & Barnetta (Schalke) the latter being a name linked many times to us over the past few years.

Now I am not sure of the domestic capabilities of signing pre-contracts with another English club but it's an interesting read looking at the local talent available for free very soon, whether realistic or not:

GK: Tomasz Kuszczak (Wolves)

FB: Glen Johnson (Liverpool)
CB: Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa)
CB: Winston Reid (West Ham)
FB: Micah Richards (Man City)

CM: Mark Noble (West Ham)
CM: Fabian Delph (Aston Villa)

RW: James Milner (Man City)
AM: Ravel Morrison (West Ham)
LW: Bryan Ruiz (Fulham)

ST: Danny Ings (Burnley)

Just as a mention John Terry is also 'available' but not that we care. Adebayor is also leaving Spurs in the summer but he will go for a big pay day over in the UAE somewhere. Michael Carrick is also running out of contract but is a big player in LVG's team so not that likely he could come home...maybe.

Now most directors within large football clubs should be capable of snapping up one of these players on a free (perhaps except Joe Kinnear) so I urge the powers that be at Newcastle to get on it as soon as a new manager is through the door. I might send them this list as well as the following link Contracts Expiring List to make sure they know for a fact who is out there to get on a freebie.

Some highlights on the list for me are Micah Richards in defence, Andre Ayew from Marseille on the wing and give Danny Ings a go up front. He certainly gave us the run around the other week and is definitely worth a try.

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