Good day to you! I have a fairly heavy set of links today-- since I was unable to grab links yesterday, I've kind of combined the two days. Predictably, with no match on the weekend, there are a number of human interest stories... I tried to pick up some of the more interesting ones. I also tried very hard to find a James Perch (oh no) story just to get that back out there in the consciousness, but there is nothing newer than 5 days ago. Let this, then, be my insertion of James Perch (oh no) back into the collective language of CHN.
Without trumpets or heraldry, we jump and read some news. At least I hope.
From the Department of "DUH!"
Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane believes the Red Devils could have been even more successful if they had managed to sign Alan Shearer.
That's all you really need to read from that story. The rest of it's there, and I have no idea what it says... but i reject the assertion that signing the most prolific striker in Premier League history would have improved any squad as being news.
Current Toon Players
Tiote is now back on Tyneside but having played four games on international duty – whilst Newcastle beat Blackburn Rovers twice, QPR and Aston Villa, but lost to Brighton & Hove Albion, Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur – he has been given a few days off. He reports back for training on Monday with Pardew assured he will be fully focused on his club, and delighted to welcome him to the fold.
I must be in a bad mood this morning. By my count, the lads who stayed on Tyneside have played seven matches in the time that Cheik has played four. Just get back, and let's get to work. Also, THANK YOU FOR COMING BACK, CHEIK! I LOVE YOU!
"It'll be interesting to see what the manager decides to go with, obviously on my current form I'd expect to be playing and I'm match fit, so it'll be interesting to see what happens," Guthrie said, speaking at a Newcastle United Foundation event at Newburn Leisure Centre to launch a series of free football Fun Days for local children in the city.
Danny has played well over the last seven matches... but I don't think that you can make any sort of case that he should play over Cheik or Yohan Cabaye. As he's had opportunities to play with both players, we know what we're getting, and it's not as good as the Tiote/Cabaye partnership. Unless we go 3-5-2, I don't see him getting the run that he wants.
But having penned a two-year extension to his existing deal in August, which will keep him at the club until 2014, Ameobi remains confident he still has a part to play under Alan Pardew. "I wouldn't have signed a contract at the start of the season if I wasn't going to be happy with fighting for a place," Ameobi said, speaking at Walker Central FC to mark the start of the construction of their new all-weather pitch. "I know the manager wants competition for places and I understood that when I signed my contract, it can only be good for us and for the manager that players are fighting for places. You have to up your game and be at your best to get in the team and that can only bode well for Newcastle.
I get it. I love Shola too. He's been extremely loyal to the Toon. I don't advocate shipping him out anywhere... but on the strength (or lack thereof, honestly) of his recent appearances, ... I mean... damn. He either needs to find some serious want-to, or he's going to slip down so far that he'll be starting in the early rounds of the domestic cups.
With Newcastle still just a point from the Champions League places, Waddle told the Chronicle: "Alan Pardew has put a good team together at Newcastle – on and off the field. "You have to look at his staff as well. "Johnny Carver has done well too, he knows the club very well and worked under Bobby. "He was a young pro at the club there himself and I remember him being there as a kid. "There’s other good former pros in the background, people like Steve Stone and Andy Woodman. "They’re all focused on what they want to achieve."
This kind of calls back to an idea that we linked way back... but the shrewdness of the Geordie connections that Alan brought in was one of the first of the good ideas that AP implemented.
"I would have to say that I have been surprised by Newcastle this season," said Elliott. "Not in the quality of the players, that’s always been there. "It’s just nice because they seem to be playing as a team and there’s a good fighting spirit in there. "I think the worry was that by losing the likes of Joey Barton and Kevin Nolan last summer, we might not have that. "But the players they’ve brought in have been fantastic.
Robbie is kind of going all Run, Geordie Run! except for on a bicycle. He'll be riding across Europe to raise funds for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, which is awesome. When back in Toon to promote that, he talked about the current squad and their season thus far.
Miscellany - Human Interest, Rumors and such
Newcastle United have shown interest in signing 21-year-old Zambia striker Emmanuel Mayuka, according to the player’s agent. The 5’9″ tall striker currently plays for Swiss side BSC Young Boys and scored three goals at the African Cup of Nations, including the vital strike that defeated Ghana and put Zambia into the finals where they won the competition on penalties.
If the club truly are basing their player recruitment on the Soccernomics principles, allow me to squash this one right away. Paraphrasing, one of the principles says "Ignore major international tournaments." Players, particularly strikers, will be overvalued on the basis of their performance in those tournaments, and will rarely play up to the amount the purchasing club will have to pay. There are many examples of this over time, but the one that pops into my head right away (though not a striker) is Rustu Recber, the goalkeeper for Turkey in the 2002 World Cup. He looked one of the greatest keepers on the planet during the tournament, was bought by Barcelona on the strength of that tournament and flamed out in pretty quick order. So no. This is just silly.
"Ossie Ardiles was really nice but I didn't have much to say to him because I couldn't understand him. "I didn't really have chance to get to know Sam Allardyce because he wasn't there that long. I just remember him being a big man. "Chris Hughton was a lovely fella. I never heard him raise his voice once. Everyone was sad when he left and I told Alan Pardew when he came that he had a tough act to follow. "But Alan has done fantastic. I get on with him really well, he is always having a crack with me.
Yeah... I would like to have this job please.
The LMA will wait to learn the reasons behind Clark’s sacking from Huddersfield before deciding whether or not to launch a case for unfair dismissal. The LMA added in a brief statement: "The LMA are in communication with the club with regards the reasons for the dismissal and how the club intend to terminate the contract."
It'll be interesting to see what ends up happening with this. Huddersfield are 4th in League One and have been in the playoffs the past two years. Odd time to fire a coach.
As has been observed elsewhere, such a supposedly comprehensive mode of inquiry criminally overlooks the intangible and unquantifiable. Stewart Downing is a decent enough player, but seems to have underperformed simply as a result of mental fragility rather than much else. No statistical breakdown could have predicted that.
I think that it's undeniable that statistical analysis has its place within the sports world. I also think that it is a shield to hide behind when you acquire players just based on the numbers-- "Look. We did our due diligence here. Look at all these numbers!!" I don't understand all the numbers... I try sometimes, but I probably end up on the complete other end of the spectrum. Whatever. This is a very interesting read... it gets my OSotP Seal of Recommendation. If you don't read any of the others, check this one out.