Things were going pretty well for Newcastle this season. It started on a high with a 6-0 drubbing of Aston Villa that saw young Geordie No.9 Andy Carroll score a hat-trick. It seemed like that sunny August afternoon would never end. Fast forward 7 months and the dream, as John Lennon said, is over.
Carroll moved on in January, taking with him his 11 goals, leaving a team that has been treading water ever since. The words ‘roller’ and ‘coaster’ often come to mind when I think of Newcastle, and this season has been no exception. The good results against Arsenal, Sunderland and Liverpool were all counter-balanced by dismal away defeats to Bolton and West Brom, and poor home performances against Blackpool and Stoke.
But obviously, this is the Transfer Tavern, and you want to hear about transfers! Well, ok then! Here’s 3 players that I think Pardew simply has to sign in summer, if we have any chance of turning the club around after decades of miserable failure….
Apparently Newcastle have already agreed deals with two international players, and my money says that Gervinho is the first. I’m a big admirer of African players, and I think that Newcastle have missed a trick in not signing more of them. Look at Tiote. Unknown when he arrived from FC Twente, he’s proved to be one of Newcastle’s best players. Gervinho is an international team-mate of Tiote, and they’ve joined up with the Ivory Coast team a number of times this year. Surely, Cheick’s been talking about how marvellous it is to play for Newcastle?? He’s young, quick and scores goals. Not only that, but Gervinho can play on the left or up-front, two areas were we desperately need recruitment.
I can’t really believe I’m saying this. I don’t want to jump on the Jarvis band-wagon here, and I hate it when players get an England cap and suddenly become ‘flavour of the week’. But Newcastle need an out and out winger to play on the right. Barton has done a fine job in that position this season, and I still can’t believe he wasn’t given an England call-up. For me, that’s a huge snub. With Jarvis in the team Barton could move into the middle of the park, where he played initially for City. We’re going to have to compete with Liverpool for him though, and that could be a problem.
At the moment, Newcastle aren’t a better side than Wolves, and that hurts me to say that. It’s unlikely he’d want to grow sideways with us, then grow up with Liverpool. One thing we do have going for us though is the North East connection. Jarvis was born in Middlesborough (definitely not Surrey…ok!! Get that right…) so there must still be a longing to see the Angel of the North everyday. Mustn’t there??
Another African, French league based player who I think would be an absolute steal. He plays at left-back. Hang on, we’ve got a left-back haven’t we? A bloody good one in Jose Enrique! Come on. If they’d sell Andy Carroll, our Geordie No.9, they won’t quibble over the left-back. Liverpool are supposedly keen again, as well as United, and the player hasn’t done much to stop the rumours. I’m not saying he wants to go, but to be fair he is a quality player who really should be performing at the top level.
If we fail to hang onto him, then Taiwo would be the ideal replacement. He had a great game against Nani in the Champions League, and is an experienced international defender. He could be mystery international number 2? Aston Villa want him, but it could be a matter of who pays the most wages as he runs his contract down with Marseille.
I don’t speak for all Newcastle fans, obviously. But I like to think I’m speaking honestly. We need to recruit this summer, but we don’t need to start panic buying and spending money on Carlton Cole or Louis Saha or Nicklas Bendtner. But what do all you Toon fans out there think? Let’s hear the suggestions in the comment box!
Follow Peter Turner on Twitter @petermagpie