Without any action on the pitches of the Premier League over the next two weeks or so, focus shifts onto more individual-oriented stories and to gossip gossip gossip. Newcastle's surprising success and, to be fair, business reputation under Mike Ashley when added in to the form of our major players have put us square in the sites of the rumor mongers. On a very general level, my concern over all is that we cash in on players at high prices, and the money continues to not be invested back into players on the pitch. If, for instance, we were to cash in on Cheik Tiote for a £20-25m fee, that money is going to be on top of the £32m - agents fees and wages that still sit unused from the sale of the previous number 9 shirt. . .which either means that it is impossible then to spend all of that money or we're going to buy Lionel Messi. At any rate, it's all rumor at this point, and as I've mentioned before, January is going to tell us loads about what we will be moving forward. Links after the jump!
General Club Links
As we have discussed on this site, the number 9 shirt is not going to suffer from being open. I think that with the recent history, the club is going to be better served by treading carefully and awarding it to a striker that they intend to keep around the club for some time-- arbitrarily I would say it should be a 5-year commitment minimum.
It really feels like there is a little bit of a directive to puff up the fans a bit in the media. Watching the Everton match, my impression was that the crowd was every bit as nervous as I was watching, particularly in the second half and that the noise suffered accordingly. Twitter verified (as much as it can) as a number of people who were at St. James' Park on the day stated similar feelings.
Lee Ryder is someone I would like to meet and just bend his ear over how ever many pints it takes to download as much of what's in his head into my head.
Individual Player Stories
Danny Guthrie has impressed many who have been live at the matches in the last couple of weeks... I felt he was shaky versus Everton and passable versus Stoke... the limits of broadcast vs. live viewing perhaps? I'm willing to concede that. The underlying story here is that a couple of weeks ago, there was no movement on this front. . . add a slight injury and Manchester United to the mix and now Guthrie has an offer. I'm not going all Chicken Little here, but . . . the possibility is there, it seems.
It is still a ways out, and I believe that both of these players are going to be able to rest over the couple weeks... It'd sure be great to have at least one of them back in for City.
Tim Kul has been great, but AP is right that he is not the finished article yet. For me, he could be a little better off his foot and (particularly against Everton) he struggles from time to time with his decision-making on crosses that end up between the six-yard box and the penalty spot, especially the longer they go across the face of goal.
Pick me pick me pick me... oh, nevermind. Seriously, though-- Congratulations to Leon and Mrs. Leon!
I don't think that there are very many fans that are going to be aggrieved by Ba's absence. On the flip side, however, Demba Ba should understand that if he goes and whomever takes his spot in the lineup is banging in the goals, he may not just hop back into the lineup when he returns.
I haven't seen this reported outside the Sunday Sun so I'm a little hesitant to throw it out there, but there is some decent info in it.
Just after Shola Ameobi has his international affiliation switched to Nigeria, Sammy ends up in the U-21s. One cannot say it's undeserved, and it's not binding, of course, but interesting timing.
Apparently we're tracking Jordan Rhodes-- 21 year-old forward who is scoring for fun at Huddersfield Town at the moment.
What do you do with a player like Nile? Maybe Chis Hughton can do a rescue job on Nile's career. . . but you've got to think that he's approaching the end or his rope with Newcastle.
The newest Sky 6 raid being bandied about involves Sammy Ameobi to Chelsea. I don't know how much substance there is to this- it really feels like the Ameobis bleed black and white and I'm not certain that Sammy would want a move away. . . but the player doesn't always get to chose... so it's out there. That puts us here:
- Fabricio Coloccini rumored to Liverpool
- Cheik Tiote rumored to Manchester United
- Sammy Ameobi rumored to Chelsea
He has become a more important figure in the France set-up as a result and speculation has suggested that national team manager Laurent Blanc has alerted Sir Alex Ferguson to his abilities. Cabaye is aware of the Manchester United rumours but is not paying much attention at this stage as he focuses on playing as well as he can for Newcastle. "I heard about United's interest in me, but things are only just beginning," said the midfielder, who signed a five-year contract at St James' Park in June.
Yohan Cabaye rumored to be interesting Manchester United. Fun times!