A splendid Thursday morning to you, O, my faithful linkers. After a relatively weak effort yesterday, I don't think you'll be disappointed today! Before I move on, let me say this: I am aware of the ZOMG CHELSEA ARE GOING TO BUY TIOTE AND KRUL FOR £30m!!!!11one!1! There will be a time to pay attention to it, and this is not yet it. That being said, I am going to post a player exit story because, in the words of the immortal Peter Griffin, it really "Grinds my gears." (I have seen this floating around in the comments, so thank you to whomever started it for bringing it back into my conscience). I've already said too much. Click past the jump and read it.
As an added bonus, I will try at least once to be a clever headline writer... you'll certainly not want to miss it!
Newcastle United Looking To Go Dutch As Close Season Approaches
NEWCASTLE United are understood to be set for talks with Dutch youngster Virgil van Dijk – according to sources in Holland. The Groningen defender is thought to be on the Magpies radar according to the Eredivisie club’s general manager Hans Nijland, who has confirmed Van Dijk is set for discussions with his agent Maarten Chin and United next month.
It looks like we can add the name Virgil van Dijk to the list of Dutch players that Newcastle are adding to the potential summer buy list. His name joins that of Erik Pieters, who is said to be "likely" to join the Toon over the summer, according to Elf Voetbal. (There is at least one story out there reporting this story, but I believe it was lifted from an interview that nufcfans did, so I'm not linking it.) Also on the Newcastle wish list is Dutch midfielder Adam Maher. Isn't my headline exceedingly clever?
On The Players Patrolling The Middle Of The Park
The Evening Chronicle says Preston wanted to take Abeid on loan last week. But despite Graham Westley’s interest in the Algerian Under-23 player, Abeid would rather wait for his chance at Newcastle – or go to a Championship club as opposed to dropping to League One.
It is interesting to me that Mehdi has refused a loan move away. I mean, I understand not wanting to go to League One necessarily, but it is clear that he is behind Cheik Tiote, Yohan Cabaye, Danny Guthrie, Dan Gosling, James Perch and Haris Vuckic in the midfield pecking order.
NEWCASTLE face a battle to hold on to Danny Guthrie, with the midfielder set to leave St James' Park in the summer in search of more regular first-team football. Guthrie is due to become a free agent at the end of the current campaign, but talks over a potential new deal stalled at the turn of the year.
I am a huge fan of the coverage that The Northern Echo, The Journal and The Chronicle provide. I just want to get out there right away. I also understand they have to sell papers. It irritates me, however, that frequently they have to turn to sensationalism to do so. The title of this article speaks clearly: Danny Guthrie is leaving. The first 40-45% of the story outlines with absolutely no solid information or quotes why this is the case. Absolutely nothing that forwards the premise that Guthrie is leaving. I understand that the title did exactly what it was supposed to do... it drove me to click to the site. I just think that it has been exhibited that these northern papers can be better, and it's disappointing when they are not. I suggest you not click this link, because it says absolutely nothing about Danny's situation.
Defensive Reinforcements On The Horizon
"That’s the key to everything. If their attitude is right, and they are prepared to grow up, they become good players." The 17-year-old, from South Shields, has been tipped by Alan Pardew, along with striker Adam Campbell, to push for a first-team place over the next couple of seasons. However, the dividing line between success and failure is a fine one. "Lionel Messi’s the hardest working player in the world, and the best player in the world," Donachie added. "If you have the two ingredients then you will be a success. "It’s down to lads like Nile (Ranger) and Remie to show how much they want it."
"My main aim’s still to play in the first team, and that’s what I want to be doing as soon as possible," Tavernier told the Gazette. "The more I impress the manager, the more chance I’ve got of getting into that team." Asked if he wanted to commit his long-term future to United, Tavernier added: "Definitely – that’s where I see myself. "When I was younger, that’s why I came to the club. Hopefully, I can fulfil that soon. "That’s the aim – I want to be here in the long term. Obviously, I want to play in the first team at Newcastle."
I really wish that we could just fast forward to the time at which both Tavernier and Streete are ready to step onto the pitch together. If they are both as "real deal" as they are being built up to be, that back line has a LOT of potential.
Nothing! Nothing! Tim Krul Is Fine, Nothing To See Here!
The Dutchman picked up a problem in his hamstring towards the end of last weekend's victory over Norwich and there were fears he could be facing a spell on the sidelines. However the scans have come back showing no damage and Krul should be fit to face the Baggies as Newcastle look to book their place in next season's Europa League.
I don't think I noticed it during the match, but I did see the Tweet from Tim that said the scan was clear, but just in case you hadn't seen anything about it, there it is.
On Europe And The Next England Manager
NEWCASTLE United are already a point better off than their tally for the whole of last season. And manager Alan Pardew’s confident his team can keep on over-achieving. Pardew’s players are in buoyant mood ahead of Sunday’s visit to The Hawthorns, the scene of Chris Hughton’s last game in charge of the club. Rivals Liverpool and Chelsea lost last night, and fifth place in the Premier League is still very much within reach.
We're a point better than last year with 9 matches left. Certainly if we'd been offered that at the beginning of the season, we'd have sold children or wives to guarantee it (well... perhaps not all that, but you know what I mean). Being a supporter, however, is a funny thing. We are in that exact situation, and much as expectations have been raised, the threshold for disappointment has as well. Results yesterday left Newcastle 2 points back of 5th place Chelski, 5 ahead of Liverlol and 10 in front of the scum. #LetsGetCarriedAway
(slight aside that I thought of while typing this... if we finish above Chelski, does it decrease the possibility that their alleged targets end up leaving?)
Ahead of the meeting with the former Inter Milan, Fulham and Liverpool manager, Pardew – who can lead Newcastle to their 1,000 Premier League point overall this weekend – told the Chronicle: "Roy is as good a candidate as anybody for the England boss for me. "I know Harry Redknapp is probably the media’s favourite to get the job, but Roy would be a great choice.
Alan Pardew... suuuuuppper geniussssss. Look at what happened to Tottenham in the wake of the Harry Redknapp speculation. We need to build this Hodgson for England talk, and fast!
Goals from United’s Jess Havelock and Stephanie Eadon, plus a first minute own goal, were just enough to hold off a gritty performance from Whitley Bay, who had O’Brien taken to hospital with a fractured tibia and fibula.
Thoughts should be with Whitley Bay's Amy O'Brien, who suffered a double leg break (tibia/fibula) in this NFA Cup semifinal match. Credit to Whitley Bay as well for giving NUWFC absolutely everything they could handle in this match. It should also be mentioned that the NUWFC ladies were commended for their class in how they helped to care for the injured player.
On the less unfortunate side, Newcastle WFC are through to the final, while NUWFC Reserves came through the other semi-final, setting up a NUWFC v. NUWFC Reserves final. Congratulations to the ladies as they go for the double in this tremendous season, having already locked up the league championship and promotion!