Happy Wednesday! Grab a cup of coffee (or orange juice or apple juice... whatev) and get your news from around the Toon. Young players are prominent in the links today, and we've apparently been linked with some player named Modibo Maiga. Also, Newcastle get a do-over for the Gary Speed memorial match and interesting rumors involving Brazillian defender Alex. Then, to tie it up with a nice little bow, Mike Williamson talks about Saturday. Jump! Read!
Newcastle United Players Do Nice Things
Morgan Gibson, 11, from North Shields, had his appendix removed on Monday and is still sore, but the surprise visit from Magpie stars Cheik Tiote and Dan Gosling put a smile on his face.
This kind of thing is not uncommon, I know, not in Newcastle and not in the world, but the lift in spirits for these patients is inestimable. Glad to see everyone getting stuck in.
“A game of football’s great, but family and friends are more important and, hopefully, we can show them that against Swansea, and then put in a fitting performance,” said the 30-year-old Ameobi. “It’s only fitting that his wife comes – we know that his wife and family are the ones who are hurting right now and they need everyone around them to comfort them.
Emotions will certainly run high this weekend... here's hoping they get channeled in a positive way.
Newcastle United Young Players Looking For A Chance
The skilful Irish starlet was described by England and Newcastle United legend Paul Gascoigne as “one of the best” he had ever worked with during the Geordie icon’s work with the Academy two years ago whilst studying for his coaching badges.
If Gazza AND johnjmurphy17 are both sold, I'm sold. I'm not positive how one might justify him over Jonas at this point, but if you could, it doesn't sound entirely like a bad thing.
Toon boss Alan Pardew is sweating on Cheick Tiote’s fitness as the Ivorian looks to bounce back from a knee injury, but after several aborted comebacks the Londoner must keep his options open – especially with Dan Gosling banned for the next three games and Danny Guthrie ruled out with an ankle problem.
Aaaannndddd. . . another week of "Cheik's in" v. "Alan Pardew is sweating Cheik Tiote's fitness". Anyone want to open a book that we don't see him? I'll give the o/u on Cheik Tiote's minutes at 1. Over or under?
(although it has to be said, I'm quite excited about Mehdi Abeid. In the small amount of video footage I've seen from his Reserves appearances, the prospect of Abeid + Cabaye in the midfield is, shall we say, intriguing.)
He told Journal Live: "There is no need to start panicking or worrying because we're having a little spell. We've got massive talent in this squad and we'll be able to stay up there. "We've had a little bit of a rough patch, that's true. But which team in the league doesn't have one? Even Manchester City have lost a game now. "To be where we are, we deserve it. We've got the talent to be seventh in the league and the injuries won't affect us.
Does it seem like maybe the squad are getting "media coaching" to make sure a consistent message is reaching the fans? This all sounds like it may as well have come out of AP's mouth.
TRANSFER RUMORS TRANSFER RUMORS TRANSFER RUMORS!!!11!11!!!1
Reports in recent weeks have suggested that Chelsea are ready to pay up to £20million for the Ivory Coast international, who cost the Magpies just £3.5m less than eighteen months ago, while United have also shown interest. But according to The Journal, a source close to the tough-tackler told the Newcastle-based newspaper that he has no plans to quit Tyneside in January. Tiote, who recently moved house, is said to be "very happy" at St James' Park, although the same was said of Andy Carroll twelve months ago before he joined Liverpool in a £35m deal.
Yeah.. grain of salt and what not here. I've seen numbers as high as 25 million in connection with Cheik- both numbers are considerably higher than the mid-teens critical mass must-sell point that I had presumed in the Soccernomics piece a while back. Truth to the rumors? If there is, expect Cheik to be gone in January.
“We are not looking to sell any players at all,” explained Brands. “We are in the race for the title. We are in second place with one game in the Eredivisie and one game in the Europa League to go. “We want to finish with wins then we have a short winter break. I don’t expect something to happen to our squad.”
Looks like the price just went up on Pieters. Will we blink? If not Pieters, then who?
Maybe? I don't see that Aly Cissokho as a viable option... at 8 million, he's a bit high for what I assume we'll want to spend in January. Who knows, though. Maybe there's a surprise out there.
If this number of 3 million pounds is correct, I don't see that you could say no. Sure he's been dropped in favor of David Luiz who has been shaky at times, but sometimes it seems like AVB makes his squads selections in a vacuum. . . I dont think that we could go wrong with Alex at 3 million. He's certainly an upgrade over Perch, I would think.
So now that the deal is finally imminent, a number of fans are starting to question the move. "He's not a pure striker, he's more a striker/wing hybrid" is one argument that is surfacing. To be fair, though, that is the type of attacking player that we have been targeting these days. HBA, Marveaux, even Obertan have all been described the same way. What is of note: We were on this guy in the summer, and the move broke down. Over the months inbetween, we had a chance to move on and look at someone else, but Graham Carr and the scouting department are apparently sold on Maiga... and that's good enough for me.
And so it goes-- more days, more transfer rumors. Enjoy your Wednesday, folks, and I'll talk to you later.