T-minus 4 days and counting until Newcastle United travel to the Etihad Stadium for their next challenge. In the mean time, we're still firmly within the grasp of the general International Week malaise that kind of overtakes the news cycle. . . although some attention is starting to round onto the weekend fixture. As we all know, when you have a content-hungry consumer base like you have in football, when you don't have much to say, you speculate! As such, there are new names connected with the Toon. We are only 6 weeks and some change from the January transfer window and rumor will be sifted from fact. Until then, I'll just pass on the names.
Could Be Magpies Section
Transfer news: Manchester City join chase for Yann M'Vila, Newcastle eye France striker Olivier Giroud and Liverpool face battle for Swiss starlet Admir Mehmedi - Rumours and gossip from Tuesday's papers - News - MirrorFootball.co.uk
This is a little catch-all of some of the most recent rumors regarding NUFC transfer targets. I touched on Alain Traore a little yesterday while Olivier Giroud is the newest name being connected. I'm not going to lie-- what I know about Giroud (which is not a lot), has got me pretty excited. One thing about rumors, however, is that they don't have to consider the whole story. Many many midfield players being linked with Newcastle, and not many many slots for midfielders in the squad, so either A) The rumors are completely random and off-base (which could be) or B) Newcastle are already in "replacement mode" (which could also be).
Current Magpies and Manchester City Week Section
Freddie Woodman, the 14 year old goalkeeper who played 15 minutes for the Reserves several weeks ago, has been called in to the England U-16s. Watch out, Timmy!
It was widely assumed that Yohan Cabaye was mostly on a courtesy trip with the France squad and would not end up seeing any action. . . it seems likely that he will be on the pitch for France today, however. A) If he is fully fit, good! B) If he is fully fit, DON't GET HURT!!
"That’s what he is, he’s a perfectionist. He’s very clued up on his stats, and we have people behind the scenes involved with the ProZone stats, and that’s very useful. "Then you can hear him all the time on the pitch – he’s always nagging at me!"
I've been hearing and seeing about Alan Pardew's dependence on stats and numbers a bit recently- could be a by-product of the neighborhoods I've been hanging out in, but it is interesting nonetheless. I think it's safe to say that some of the concerns about AP upon his hiring have been allayed to a large degree.
This is nothing that we are not aware of, but it certainly never hurts the credibility of a conclusion for someone like Nobby to confirm it.
From the Too Soon Department, it's a nice thought, but you know it and I know it and Newcastle in general knows it. . . as long as there is time ticking away and breaths are being breathed, there is always a chance for Newcastle to be a laughing stock. (See also: The Last 7 Days)
A pretty decent read here from the Manchester City perspective... complete with a well-reasoned conclusion about why Newcastle United are doing so well from Antoine Sibierski.
"People say Newcastle are the shock team but I knew they would do well – they have so many French players!" said the man who City brought in from Lens in 2003.
"Ryan’s Taylor’s goal was very special, maybe more special than mine against Arsenal!" However, Tiote accepts he faces a battle to win his place back from the in-form Danny Guthrie.
(emphasis mine - OSotP)
Since Mr. Tiote picked up his knee injury, I have been contemplating the idea that, with regard to evaluating players, experiencing football through Television broadcast is much different than seeing the same match in the stadium. The Danny Guthrie case is a prime example. I felt that he did a + but not spectacular job v. Stoke but did not come away impressed at all from the Everton match. People that were able to see the matches live are now in the "welllll.... maybe Cheik Tiote doesn't just walk back into the squad" camp. I am curious about the level of disconnect that broadcast football has, but I can't think a great way to retroactively evaluate. Regardless, for several reasons with regard to this weekend's match, I think it's a no-brainer for Tiote to walk back into the lineup if healthy.
Coloccini has two years of his current contract left to run, but has made it clear he is happy with life at high-flying Newcastle. It is also believed that one of the reasons Coloccini is paying careful detail to the finer points of his demands is due to the fact the South American funds an orphanage in Argentina for 160 children.
And finally, from the OMG OMG THE SKY IS FALLING! Department, Captain Colo has said he may not address a contract extension now until after the season. I'm not freaking out... yet. Reports are that he's not requesting a rise in base pay, and as such I just want to say to the Front Office- GET THIS DONE.