Greetings from the new OSotP Headquarters in sunny Lynnwood, WA- a veritable stone's throw from downtown Seattle as well as the Red Hook Brewery in Woodinville, WA. Let me just tell you that, if you're planning to move cross country, it's best to request heavy sedation and to be awakened when it's all said and done. Anyway, I'm pleased to be back and let's hit the news!
It's another day and another new player linked with the Toon today as Senegalese striker Dame N'Doye joins the Newcastle United rumor mill. After the news, I'll drop in a "goals and skills" video. Granted it's a supreme nit-pick of his best moments to be sure, but he certainly can provide a spectacular moment or two. Of course, this rumor hinges on the Demba Ba to (insert team here) narrative on which things have gone mostly silent it seems.
Also in the news today the Leon Best to Celtic rumors are back, but Leon will not rule out staying, the Douglas situation starts to look a little familiar and the Chronicle starts to look at the NUFC Worst ever XI.
Worst Ever XI - GK Edition
ASK any Newcastle United fan to name their best ever team and the debate could go on all night – but when it comes to naming a worst XI many wouldn’t know where to start.
The Chronicle is running this as a series, which will provide several days' worth of entertainment and banter, surely, as the close season activity stays... slow. I think that time will ultimately tell, but I am sure that you all know who I would likely at least add to this discussion at this point. . .
The Douglas Chronicles
"I still cannot say anything about it, but I hope soon to have my new club. "I have spent five years here and have done my best for the club. "I have won the title, the cup — it’s time for a next step. "I want to go abroad as I have outgrown the league. "I noticed this year that I am sometimes a little too easy going down, then you make mistakes. "I want to be tested every week."
The Douglas negotiations have been likened to the Erik Pieters negotiations from the summer window last year in which Newcastle refused to pay the asking price for the player after prolonged discussions. Players are players and rumors are rumors... if we miss out on Douglas in a similar fashion, it will certainly not signal the end of the world, but we will be left hoping desperately that there is another CB target out there that we can pick up in a non-panic situation.
Speaking of Douglas- is anyone slightly alarmed at the quote from the block above? Particularly at the center back position, I am very concerned by a player that can "shut it off" for any reason.
A source close to Best told the Chronicle: "Leon had the chance to go last January, but chose to stay on. "He’s expecting opportunities to go again this summer, but will wait to see what happens. "He likes it at Newcastle and wouldn’t have a problem staying on." Best was subject to interest from Celtic last January but turned down the chance to join the Scottish Premier League champions in a bid to fight for his place at St James’ Park. However, he has since dropped down the pecking order and even after recovering from a knee injury he could not add a single minute to his appearance tally of 21 games with both Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba proving undroppable during the run-in.
I was pretty hard on Leon Best at the beginning of the season. I'll admit it. I also came around on him as Demba Ba was going on his scoring binge in the first half of the season. While he did not score as much as you would perhaps like from a striker (let's face it... neither did Demba Ba after the acquisition of Papiss Cisse), I think he was the absolute perfect lever for Demba Ba to work from. I don't think that it's coincidence that Demba's scoring form sloughed off when Leon injured his knee. The conundrum if Leon stays and Double Demba cannot score at the same time is how you manage to revive the Best/Ba pairing.
The Once And Future Toon
Scoring sensation Papiss Cissé insisted he wanted to remain on Tyneside for "many years" despite being linked with a big-money move away from Tyneside after scoring 13 goals in 14 Premier League games. French midfield maestro Yohan Cabaye, who is set to face England next Monday in the European Championships, has also reiterated his desire to stay, which will reassure United supporters who are desperate to see their team build on last season’s fifth-place finish.
It's always a grain of salt kind of thing when you hear players saying they would like to stay where they are at, especially in the current football transfer climate. Also factoring in Ashley's willingness to sell any player, "I would love to stay in Newcastle" really means, well... nothing. BUT, it gives you a warm fuzzy or two to read it before you actually think it through.
"But he only uses 75 percent of his potential. He has just begun to understand football, which is also defensive and collective. At Clairefontaine, he could do more in tiring his opponent and recovering the ball, as he is starting to do now," Dussault said. "He is not a teenager anymore, even though he was for a long time."
I think that we can all agree that we don't think we've seen the best of Hatem Ben Arfa. We've seen glimpses to be certain... but if Alan Pardew can keep working his lock picks on HBA, he very well could release an all-time Premier League type talent. 75%. Can you imagine?
Toon scouts have filed glowing reports on £6m-rated Copenhagen hitman Dame N’Doye and the Geordies are ready to pounce should Ba move on. N’Doye, 27, scored 24 goals in 40 games last season and would jump at the chance of a move to England.
I will leave the discussion of this for a TROD post in the near future... but I think that you should see this. If Demba leaves, this guy could be a bit of fun to watch.
From The Department Of Bad News Department
Bradbury had a lengthy career of writing everything from science-fiction and mystery to humor. He transformed his childhood dreams and Cold War fears into telepathic Martians, lovesick sea monsters, and a high-tech, book-burning future in "Fahrenheit 451." He also scripted the 1956 film version of "Moby Dick'' and wrote for "The Twilight Zone.''
Ray Bradbury was a tremendously influential figure on my childhood... tremendously sad to read of his passing. If you've never read any Ray Bradbury, first let me say "Shame on you" and then go out to your local library, Barnes and Noble, Nook or Kindle and rectify the situation.