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Newcastle United Thursday Morning Links: Vote for the WBA MotM Edition

Give yourself a hand, Demba.  13 goals in your last 12 starts... very nice.
Give yourself a hand, Demba. 13 goals in your last 12 starts... very nice.

If there is a good thing about the holiday programme in the Premier League, it is that if you're sucking butt, the next match comes quickly so there's not much time to dwell on it. Of course if said butt suckage extends over a period of nearly 2 months, well... I'll just leave that alone. Needless to say with the ACON looming, Newcastle have not been making hay while the sun has been shining. Take the jump and read the news-- we'll all move on together. Seeing as I forgot to put the MotM poll on the post game, I'll put it here... it may show up again if you miss it.

West Bromwich Albion Can Score More Goals Than We Can

Indiscipline cost Magpies win, believes manager Pardew (From The Northern Echo)

"The crowd were a little bit desperate for it, we were a bit desperate for it too. But you can't win Premier League games unless you're disciplined and controlled. At points we weren't - even though you couldn't fault their commitment to get back into it. "Mainly because we were so desperate to win I thought we lacked a bit of control of the game. Our discipline wasn't where it was normally and that worried me a bit. We need to make sure that's right. We turned the ball over and were exposed, which isn't like us.”

... There is some accuracy if you were to want to say that the central defensive crisis is contributing to some of our problems. If we had any depth at all at the position, it's possible that Captain Colo may not have needed to be in the lineup. He was a step slow to his normal self, and his normal self was likely a step slow of Odemwingie and Long anyway. Don't get me wrong-- the dude is tough and has been battling through some niggling injuries... but I think we're paying the price for his not being 100%. Against Swansea, he was good, and Perch was good next to him... but the problem is that when Colo was not good, Perch was awful.

Demba Ba refusing to panic after WBA defeat - NUFC Latest News - Newcastle United - ChronicleLive

Ba told the Chronicle: “I am not really worried to tell you the truth, when I look at this team and the spirit we have, the chances we create and the amount of bad fortune we’ve had. “We’ve had offsides and chances going against the posts recently. These are just little things and to tell the truth I’m not worried. But it’s another game without a win. “We have to stay realistic. It’s only our second season back in the Premier League. Having 27 points from 17 games then everybody would be happy. “I hope the whole stadium stays behind us because I don’t think we are doing too bad.”

I remember Kasey Keller doing an interview during World Cup '98 after losing to Germany in the United States' first group match, and he said "You can't expect us to beat Germany anyway," to explain away a very poor performance. It affected my opinion of him for the rest of his career. I'm some nobody out behind a keyboard and thus rather inconsequential... but I get nervous and I would warn against the squad getting in the mindset of "We were really good and we're better than you thought we'd be, so it's OK to have this awful run of form."

Haris Vuckic: We went for win but it backfired - NUFC Latest News - Newcastle United - ChronicleLive

He told the Chronicle: “At 2-2 I grabbed the ball and thought ‘we have to get the win now’. We went for it. “In football you never know, they had chances to score too. We just have to stick together and be patient.

Haris looked very very good, and he will be rewarded with a seat back on the bench. You can't start him over Cabaye, though, for sure. The amazing amount of depth that we have in central midfield just serves to frustrate me about the centre-half situation.

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew bemoans team's lack of discipline following loss to West Brom -

“Demba Ba was terrific - probably the pick of the bunch with two great goals and all-round display that typified his season,” Pardew added. “I felt sorry for Haris Vuckic because he was terrific. He showed everyone here that he is going to be a player for us. “As well as Haris played we missed Yohan Cabaye’s control and he will be important at Bolton on Boxing Day and will come back into the side. We go to Bolton and know it will be a big game and then we got to Liverpool so there are two good games to look forward to.

Demba was excellent... his strikes were the stuff that makes you step back and go - THAT'S a striker! I'll go ahead and bring it up since I'm sure it'll be coming anyway-- he should have had a hat-trick if not for Leon Best being in an offside position on a play in which the ball ended up in the net. I'm not sure that we would feel that much better if we had managed a point from this match anyway...

Transfers, Loans, Demonstrations And Other Things

NUFC loan youngster Dan Taylor to Ashington - NUFC Latest News - Newcastle United - ChronicleLive

But in a work experience loan deal for the Academy player he will now play in the Colliers’ festive games Bedlington Terriers, Norton and Tow Law. Newcastle will also looked to loan out more of their young players in the second half of the season. Phil Airey is likely to fit into that category. The Amble-born striker, who got a goal in the Kilmarnock match, is out of contract in the summer and has been told he has plenty of hard work ahead of him if he is to win a new deal.

Phil Airey may be on the way out of the setup at St. James' Park. I don't know that I'm getting worked up about it, but I wonder what is going on with that situation. He was loaned to Hibernian and had that cancelled... I wonder what's going on there. So far as Dan Taylor - Score, baby, score!

Ben Arfa backed to fill Demba’s boots - Black & White - Jarrow and Hebburn Gazette

“Hatem showed a few flashes, which was nice,” Pardew told the Gazette. “He’s picked up in training a bit, and he might be the man when Demba goes away. “We’re having to take care with him. I know the crowd are probably desperate to see a bit more of him. I don’t see him being far away.”

I'm not sold on this idea of HBA taking over for Ba... but we don't really have much other option. Although- Shola is usually good for a good stretch of 6 or so matches in which he scores for fun, so maybe we can arrange for that to happen during Ba's absence?

Newcastle want Jan Vertonghen from Ajax | Mail Online

Officials from the North East club have now contacted Vertonghen’s advisors about the 24-year-old, who has also caught the eye of rivals Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham. Vertonghen helped Ajax win the Eredivisie title last season with the Dutch giants due to face Manchester United in the Europa League in February. The defender, who replaced Thomas Vermaelen after he joined Arsenal for £10m in 2009, has made 201 appearances for Ajax and scored 23 goals.

Apparently, this Vertonghen interest is real. Robert said it would be a coup if we can sign him, and I agree. I still think that this January is going to show us what Ashley is ultimately willing to do with the squad... this would go a long way towards an Era of Good Feeling, for sure (although if it is just this one player, then...)

Newcastle consider Wanyama bid - Sports Mole

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is weighing up a bid for Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama, according to The Mail. The 20-year-old has impressed in Scotland after arriving from Germinal Beerschot last summer and Magpies head scout Graham Carr has formed a glowing report on the Kenyan.

I'm not sure about any rumor linking us with a young center mid. I have a hard time thinking that we need more of those with Haris Vuckic and Mehdi Abeid sitting there at 19 and Dan Golsing at 21 sitting at 5th/6th/7th choice in the pecking order.

Liverpool's reaction to Luis Suarez racism ban condemned by former Newcastle defender Olivier Bernard -

Bernard, now a campaigner for Show Racism the Red Card, told Sky Sports News: “I really didn't think it was fine to wear the T-shirt. “I can understand the club's side of it, but in society we can't accept racism and give support to a player who has used racist words. I just think it is a bit wrong. “It made it allowed for everybody to use racist words and it will be okay. It's not okay to use racist language and the message they sent out yesterday was a bit wrong.

There was much discussion about the Liverpool T-Shirt demonstration. Olly Bernard pretty much summed up the views of those that didn't like the demonstration.

That's the news that was-- Check out the MotM poll (read: Save my butt and vote, since I forgot to put it up on game day!)