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Pardew in no hurry to name Newcastle's new No9

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Pardew in no hurry to name Newcastle's new No9

Post  1892NUFF on Sat Jul 02, 2011 4:07 am



Newcastle manager Alan Pardew will bide his time as he prepares to appoint a new captain and hand over the famous number nine shirt.

The £4million departure of Kevin Nolan to West Ham has not only deprived Pardew of last season's top scorer, but his skipper and a major influence in the dressing room, while the £35million sale of Andy Carroll to Liverpool in January left the short worn in the past by the likes of Jackie Milburn, Malcolm Macdonald and Alan Shearer vacant.

However, the manager will use the pre-season programme to assess which of his players he wants to wear the armband when hostilities resume in earnest.

He told the club's official website, www.nufc.co.uk: "I have ideas, but I will probably pick it with a week to go.

"We will see how pre-season unfolds and see how the squad assembles itself, how it looks and what shape it is in.

"I will then take a view from there because it is an important role, and possibly a few players could wear the armband during the pre-season friendlies."

Goalkeeper Steve Harper has led the side in the past, although the 36-year-old could face a fight with Tim Krul for his place, while Joey Barton's future on Tyneside remains in doubt as he enters the final year of his contract.

Fabricio Coloccini and Cheick Tiote have been touted as possible replacements for Nolan as skipper, and Pardew knows he has a big decision to make.

The identity of the man who wears the number nine shirt is perhaps not so important - it remained unused following Shearer's retirement until Obafemi Martins took it, and unoccupied again after the Nigerian's departure until it was handed to Carroll.

Striker Demba Ba has already joined the club from West Ham this summer.

However, Pardew said: "The number nine shirt is equally important. I will leave the number nine as late as I can.

"I know just what that shirt means to this football club, but there will be a few contenders who could wear that shirt and do it justice.

"It is an important shirt and I might think of giving it to a player who doesn't get weighed down by it. I will have to assess the characters of the players to make sure that doesn't happen."


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