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Onwards and upwards for Pardew and his Magpies?

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Onwards and upwards for Pardew and his Magpies?

Post  1892NUFF on Wed Jun 01, 2011 4:55 am


THERE are a few reasons why Newcastle United could take a couple of steps forward next season.

Thirty-five million, to be precise.

But will the club have to take a step back first?

That’s the question in many supporters’ minds this summer, with Joey Barton’s career at St James’s Park seemingly at a crossroads after he was told last week he wouldn’t be offered a new contract.

Maybe, given the club’s recent history under owner Mike Ashley, the revelation that its player of the season could leave shouldn’t have come as a surprise.

Yet it did, despite manager Alan Pardew having insisted over the past few months that he was intent on keeping Barton on Tyneside for the long term, such has been his contribution to the cause.

The board, clearly, had reservations about handing a new deal to a player in his late 20s, though they have tabled an offer to captain Kevin Nolan, who, like Barton, is 28.

Nolan will have certainly paused for thought last week when he learned of Barton’s agent’s all-too-brief meeting with the club’s hierarchy, having gone on record to talk about the importance of keeping him.

Maybe Barton’s blunt talking doesn’t sit well with a hierarchy sensitive to criticism, especially from within, but in footballing terms, it doesn’t make sense to part with Barton, who is minded to see out the last year of his contract.

Jose Enrique – who will this week be offered a new deal – seems minded to leave, and the sale of striker Andy Carroll clearly has had a bearing on both sets of negotiations.

The way the £35m banked from Liverpool is invested will make or break Newcastle’s next campaign, but if United are to push on up the table, Pardew needs to add to what he’s got. Players come and go, and no doubt there will be departures, some unexpected.

But the best clubs hold on to their best players, and while the news of Yohan Cabaye’s imminent arrival is welcome, Pardew, realistically, needs to bring in four or five players at the very least if he’s to strengthen his squad.

And if contracts are also to be bankrolled out of that £35m, then it won’t go as far as many are expecting.

Charles N’Zogbia – one player Pardew is keen to bring to St James’s Park – won’t be sold cheaply by Wigan Athletic, and integrating a player as complex as the winger into one of the Premier League’s closest dressing rooms would be a challenge, to put it bluntly.

Certainly, many fans haven’t forgotten N’Zogbia’s behaviour in the last couple of years of his time on Tyneside.

N’Zogbia’s obviously older – and if his recent performances are anything to go by, he’s an even better player than the one which left two and a half years ago – but is he any wiser?

As well as a winger, Pardew also needs striking reinforcements, a left-back if Enrique leaves, and cover in other positions if Newcastle are to challenge for a top-eight place, a realistic target given the club came so close to ending their first season back in the division in ninth.

Pardew, it seems, has lost his battle with Ashley over Barton, but will he win the war and get the players he needs to take United forward?

As ever, there are more questions than answers at St James’s Park.
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Re: Onwards and upwards for Pardew and his Magpies?

Post  Fruity on Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:00 am

I hope pardew will win the war of getting some decent players for us, he seems to be making a good start
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