Does the salvation of Newcastle United emanate from the Championship?


In recent years Newcastle have been getting worse and worse, and now Alan Pardew has left, they seem rudderless. John Carver has been left with nobody to fill the void of injured and suspended players, with backup/fringe players like Davide Santon and Yanga Mbiwa sold off – leaving 4/5 senior defenders at the club – and a couple of those injured.

Of those left, a fair few are not good enough. The likes of Steven Taylor, Mike Williamson, Yoan Gouffran and Sammy Ameobi are simply Championship/League 1 standard players. The legion of foreign players there have little to no backbone, the captain Fabricio Coloccini is missing in action, and setting a poor example after his recent red card for a horrid challenge – as was Moussa Sissoko. Tim Krul was pictured congratulating Jermain Defoe after his wonderstrike at half time, and laughing about it…how many players would do such a thing in the middle of one of the fiercest derby’s in the country? The concerning thing is that barely any of the players seem to actually care.

Newcastle are on 35 points – so are nearly safe, but things could go horribly wrong if teams below start to pick up points, which they are. I think some players are already thinking about their holidays this summer – 6 losses in a row, and 2 wins and a few draws since Carver took over seems to suggest I’m not far wrong. The club, along with Chief Scout Graham Carr pluck the best of the cheapest talent from abroad – allow them to play and then if they become too big for the club – make a few bucks. Yohan Cabaye and Mathieu Debuchy prime examples. There have not been many flops in that time – though Emmanuel Riviere and Facundo Ferreyra are looking like two. Ayoze Perez is the shining light from this season’s poor showing – the Spaniard who came in from Tenerife for less than £2m last summer.

He, along with Daryl Janmaat and Jack Colback are among a select few to come out of this season with their heads held high. Remy Cabella has been hit and miss, Siem de Jong has barely featured. Cheick Tiote has barely featured since being pictured in an Arsenal strip earlier this year and is destined to be moved on. Tim Krul could follow, after his performances have steadily gone downhill. The question being – where next for Newcastle? France has been exhausted, Germany could be too expensive, Holland has been hit and miss with the de Jong brothers and little Vurnon Anita making little to no impact. For me, as a fan as well, they must go British.

Jamaal Lascelles and Karl Darlow have been signed up – two excellent prospects. They already have Jack Colback and Adam Armstrong in their ranks too. What they need is a couple of young, talented players to come in from the Championship – to form a solid backbone that can be supported by a few flair players from abroad. Here are 6 players I think Newcastle should be after:

For me – Will Hughes has to be looked at. He could well be the next big thing in English football if given the chance at Premier League level – in his own words he has modelled himself on Xavi/Iniesta. A midfield trio of him, Colback and someone like Siem de Jong or Remy Cabella could be very fruitful going forward.

Some steel at the back, mixed with pace would be ideal. Sam Byram of Leeds looks the real deal, and after 3 seasons and over 100 apps for the Yorkshire club, he looks set for a Premier League move. The big teams are circling, but he would be better suited to a team where he would have the chance to settle, and not be under huge pressure to perform from the off. £8-10m could get him with a year left on his currently deal when the summer comes – a very good option for Newcastle, with Daryl Janmaat attracting interest from bigger Premier League teams after a season in England.

Tyrone Mings has also come through nicely after Aaron Cresswell left Ipswich for West Ham. The tall Left Back has only played around 60-70 games for Ipswich since moving from Chippenham Town, having been released by Southampton in 2009 and Bristol Rovers in 2011 – but he has impressed enough to gain interest from Arsenal and Newcastle.

A young, pacey winger is next on my list – Nathan Redmond. Someone to really run at defenders, which Newcastle lack at the moment. If Cabella could occupy the other wing, that could be very good. The Norwich winger could well be tempted to Newcastle given the right offer – and in fairness I’m shocked the club were not interested when he left Birmingham.

Lastly – a finisher. Papiss Cisse is a good option if given the supply, but someone like Charlie Austin or Danny Ings could be available should QPR/Burnley go down. Strong, fast, an eye for goal…a good old fashioned English no 9’s!

Look at Newcastle teams from the past – all a mix of foreign talent like Faustino Asprilla, Davide Ginola, Phillipe Albert, Pavel Srnicek and the likes of Shearer, Ferdinand, Cole, Gillespie, Speed, Lee, Barton, Given, Dyer, Bellamy etc from the shores of Britain. If you look back, the point where it started going downhill is when those players left, and none were brought in to replace them. Once Carroll, Barton, Nolan and Harper left – the dressing room was mainly foreign players with an English coach who was not very apt at managing such players. There was a spike of success with a Europa League finish (5th) but then there was no investment.

Since then, the club have been floating in the 10th-15th zone, making Mike Ashley a nice little return each year with no threat of attempting to do any better, or getting the fans hopes up. If Newcastle keep John Carver, which worries me more by the day – they need serious investment and I don’t think bringing in more foreign players with questionable commitment would change anything.

A team starting with Darlow, Byram, Lascelles, Coloccini, Mings, Colback, Hughes, De Jong, Redmond, Austin/Ings, Cabella is a very good start to building a team. In the background, they have players like Armstrong, Satka, Woodman and Calum Roberts + afew more promising youngsters coming through. They need to get away from buying cheap imports, and lay the foundation for a team for the next 10 years!

With new rules potentially coming in soon regarding the number of home-grown/English players – getting in a foreign manager would be counter-productive as he may well want to bring along a number of his compatriots. A young, English manager would be ideal – someone I would go for would be Paul Clement (R Madrid Assistant Coach). He is on the lookout for his first job, and with his know-how – it could be a match made in heavan!