With Manchester United set to invade St. James' Park, it seems a silly time for news, but news it shall be. It's a quick links morning with a couple of transfer rumors lumped in. I'll then be off to training to practice my "willing the ball into the opposing team's net from thousands of miles away" skill. Apparently I could use some development in this particular area. And so, here you are, the Tuesday morning links!
The Magpies have won just once in eight games but Pardew told the Chronicle: "For our fans, it is important we put in a proper performance. "It is a game under the floodlights and we know our fans will be roaring us on." Pardew knows that, after beating Sunderland, it does not come much sweeter than seeing off the team which nicked the title from the Magpies in 1996. He said: "John Carver has been talking about this game – it is a big game for our fans."
We're inching closer and closer to equaling our brilliant opening run with an equally miserable run of form, and if we don't get a result Wednesday, we'll be looking to break out of it without key men Cheik Tiote and Demba Ba. Stay positive. Stay positive. Stay positive.
The former Bordeaux wideman has shown glimpses of what he can do in a black-and-white shirt, most lately in the 2-0 win at Bolton when he made a darting run down the right and rolled the ball across for Demba Ba to net one of his 14 goals of the season. Yet that assist was only his second since arriving from Old Trafford to provide goals for Newcastle.
Gaby is polarizing sections of the Newcastle support like few players that I can think of in the last several years. At the very least, AP sees enough out of him to keep running him out ahead of Sammeobi. . . He did finally get his first shot on the frame against Bolton and fired in a nice cross to lead to Demba Ba's goal in the same match... perhaps a general turn of form to the better is on the cards?
Pardew had hoped to have Tiote – and Senegal interantional Demba Ba – available until the middle of the month. But Tiote is wanted for a training camp in Abu Dhabi, where they will play warm-up games against Tunisia on January 13 and Libya four days later.
I don't know why I'm surprised or depressed to find out we're likely to lose out in our bid to keep Cheik and Demba a little bit longer. It should not be surprising.
Butterfield’s situation has become the subject of increased speculation because of his failure to agree a new contract at Oakwell, where they have been looking to tie him down to a long-term deal. Come the summer, if his contract expires, any club wishing to acquire Butterfield would have to compensate Barnsley for the years he has been with their academy and predictions about his future worth, most likely through a tribunal. Newcastle assistant manager John Carver watched him on Saturday when Barnsley defeated Leeds United 4-1 and Butterfield turned in another positive display in the Championship
I'm not sure what to make of this one... Butterfield is a midfielder, and we're not likely to bring in a midfielder in January... but that tribunal and all seems a little bit of a rigamarole over the summer. He is a young kid that is drawing a lot of attention, though.
Dunk fits perfectly into United’s current blueprint of bringing in young talent and offering them a chance to develop on the big stage. Sources close to United once again ruled out a move for 27-year-old Blackburn defender Chris Samba after fresh speculation that the former Hertha Berlin man was in talks with the black-and-whites. At 27 Samba – who has also been linked with Tottenham – would be considered to be too old to fit into United’s current policy and would also command wages of around £60,000-per-week.
I'm not going to lie... I'd much rather have Christopher Samba than an U-21 international when considering the immediate future. For me the danger of the buy young, sell high model is that the future never comes. At some point, even teams like the Tampa Bay Rays who have specialized in a similar model have got to bring in at least one or two solid veteran guys to make a run. Then they sell off, suck for a couple of years until the new kids are ready. Also, they must wrap up key young players (see Longoria, Evan). I've not seen enough of the indicators that we're going to get this right to settle my nerves about this window.
The 31-year-old is expected to be released by Newcastle although manager Alan Pardew may hold onto him until the end of the window as he has a threadbare squad and is struggling to bring in reinforcements within his budget.
I don't know if we're that desperate at CM even with Tiote out... I'd rather get some £ for Alan than release him in February, though, that's for sure.
There it is- quick and easy. Check in later for more good stuff, though!