soccernet blog
Newcastle United
July 18, 2012
Posted by Marc Duffy on 07/18/2012

Unless you've been on Mars for a few days, you will have heard that we have declared firm interest in re-signing our former number nine - Andy Carroll. This has split fans opinions on Twitter, Facebook, phone ins - every forum for opinion has been inundated.

The local paper polled opinion on whether the fans would like to see big Andy plying his trade on Tyneside once again - 67% voted in the positive. My thoughts? If the price is right (£15 million maximum) I would have him back straight away.

January 16, 2012
Posted by Marc Duffy on 01/16/2012

I hate the January transfer window. Ridiculous rumours, mental transfers, Redknapp describing other teams players as 'triffic, massively inflated fees and clubs like QPR madly scrambling for any over-rated player who might fancy a move down to London for a final healthy pay day. Not to mention the fact that new arrivals can disrupt - not because of personality but just because their new team mates have gone a whole pre-season and 22 games or so without having played alongside them!

The January transfer window in its present format was first introduced in January 2003 - we have been involved in some pretty amazing transfer dealings since then, not least last year when Andy Carroll left us to become the most expensive British footballer in history.....

We have endured a few up's and a lot of downs over the past nine January windows with surprisingly few players coming in and out - I expect this year to be much the same despite the ludicrous number of players we have been linked with. I would be happy of we brought one or two in. I would be even happier if we let no one go.

Let's take a look back at the January's in question (excluding players on loan who made their deals permanent, in or out):

January 4, 2012
Posted by Marc Duffy on 01/04/2012

2011 was a decent year for Newcastle United, especially when you consider the ups and downs of the previous few years.

Below I take a look back at the results and some of the off-field happenings from the whole year. I would love it if you added your favourite moments and any memorable incidents that I have missed in the comments box!


As far as league results went, January was not a bad month at all. Unfortunately we suffered one of our all time poorest performances causing us to exit the FA Cup at the very first hurdle. There was more off field turmoil too as, despite several assurances from the manager and board, Andy Carroll was flogged!

2nd: Wigan (A) 1 - 0 W (Shola) A comfortable victory with a nice goal from Shola claiming the points.

5th: West Ham (H) 5 - 0 W (Best 3, Nolan, Lovenkrands) I remember walking up to the ground for this one and hearing that Best and Lovenkrands would be leading the line with Carroll ruled out injured. Despite West Ham playing poorly in the league I just couldn't see how we would score. I was very, very wrong - Best was phenomenal, especially in his positioning and he netted a treble. Shane Ferguson also made a memorable appearance regularly skinning Tal Ben Haim much to the delight of the Gallowgate. Haim tried bully-boy tactics to stop it - and failed!

8th: Stevenage (A) (FACR3) 1 - 3 L (Barton) One of the worst performances and results in the history of the football club. To make matters worse, Pardew bizarrely introduced Tiote when we were chasing the game. Mr T had his mad up and got himself sent off meaning that he would miss the following game - the derby on Wearside.

16th: sunderland (A) 1 - 1 (Nolan) We were excellent in this one and but for a late, late Gyan equaliser we would have claimed a derby double. Special Agent Bruce made big noises before the game about how he could not wait to win to play a song over the tannoy that he had chosen especially for the occasion - he never got to play his song, but he did celebrate their equaliser like he had won an all-you-can-eat meal at KFC.

22nd: Tottenham (H) 1 - 1 (Colo) Sadly the late goal conceded six days earlier did not teach us a lesson. We played very well and should have claimed a win but for another late equaliser.

31st: Andy Carroll sold to Liverpool (£35,000,000) There was outrage on Tyneside as Carroll was sold so late into the transfer window that we were unable to bring in a replacement. Despite all of the promises to the contrary, our talisman was sold. Most of us were outraged and a lot of supporters were very, very upset. 12 months later I look back on this as the most mental transfer fee in the history of football. Pardew swore blind that we would see every penny of the fee. I am still waiting.....

We also agreed a deal to bring in Ireland on loan from Villa - what an absolute waste of space he was. Though some of Newcastle's bar owners wouldn't agree.

Hatem Ben Arfa was signed permanently despite still being a long way from full fitness. A huge risk, but hopefully a risk that will pay off in the long run.

P5 W2 D2 L1 F9 A5

August 26, 2011
Posted by Marc Duffy on 08/26/2011

I've gone through a wide range of emotions since it was revealed that Joey Barton was on his way down to Loftus Road to discuss terms with newly promoted QPR on Wednesday afternoon. They're still a bit confused, so here we go.....

Anger and (begrudged) understanding.

At first I was furious. Less because we were letting Barton go, more because he is another very good player that we have let go. You could build quite a side from the players that have departed the club during Ashley's quite ridiculous ownership:


I'm bound to have missed others and more will follow Barton out of the wide open door - that is guaranteed.

Perhaps the pull of playing alongside Clint Hill, Shaun Derry and One Size Fitz Hall in front of 15,000 at Loftus Road was just too good to turn down? Or maybe it was the passionate home crowd of 4,755 that watched QPR crash out of the league cup vs Rochdale earlier this week? Or maybe it's for security of a long contract. I keep hearing Newcastle supporters questioning his ambition but let's face it, it's hardly Barcelona that he is leaving.

In his defence the club made it painstakingly obvious that he was not wanted - they wanted to GIVE him away to a league rival without even asking for a penny in return. His next contract (the one he just signed at QPR) is his last big contract. It's easy to say "yeah but he should have played out his last year at Newcastle" - what if he opted to do that, broke his leg in January and struggled to find any contract at any club when he recovered? Sure, he's not paid peanuts and probably would be comfortable even if he didn't earn another penny in his life, but in his situation, all things considered, I'd have left too and I'm Newcastle born and bred.

This is when I get even more confused.

Why all the patter from Barton? The 'loving the club' and 'loving the area'? Absolute balderdash (expletives not allowed).

Joey appears to view himself as some sort of revolutionary character. He has vaguely aligned himself with all sorts of revolutionary figures from history over his past few mental Twitter-months. He said no one could force him out and that he would stay and see it through:

"Just because ur told to jump, it does not necessarily mean you have to. I may choose to stand perfectly still. It's my right...just a thought"

What he neglected to add to that was "until any club comes along and offers me some mega wonga".

He quoted Orwell in tweeting "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." Hmmmm.

He also tweeted "if only we as players could tell the fans exactly how it is, without them above fining us lots of money. There will be a time and a place."

Well Joey, surely that time and a place is now?

What we will miss is his presence on the football field. Last season we won 34% of the games that he played in and 0% of the games that he missed. The amazing Arsenal comeback was driven by him.

We can't just keep shipping these players out and expect to challenge for anything other than Premier League survival.

Confused of Tyneside

You can follow me on Twitter for football chat (and other random nonsense!) @MarcSDuffy

Follow ESPNsoccernet's Football Correspondents on Twitter

February 1, 2011
Posted by Marc Duffy on 02/01/2011

"This is my home, what I want to be doing, the club I want to play for, the shirt I want to wear. That's it, 100 percent, I've just signed a five year contract and as it stands, I want to be here forever."
The words of Andy Carroll 65 days ago in an interview with The Times.

"We have to have a big club mentality and hold on to our best players"
Alan Pardew 42 days ago

Andy Carroll sold to Liverpool
1 day ago

So what is going on? I doubt we will ever know the truth. Carroll claims that he was pushed and the club totally deny that they pushed him (as they would).

George Caulkin of The Times (the greatest footy journo that there is) summed it up nicely when he tweeted "Carroll was not agitating to leave. He wasn't unsettled. And, yes, the transfer request was a mechanism used by NUFC. But..... he signed it."

Both parties are culpable. It can't be a surprise to anyone that this sale happened so late that we did not have time to sign a replacement. The token gesture that was an 'attempt' to sign Charles N'Zogbia was an insult. Does anyone really believe that Ashley's bitter rival Dave Whelan was going to sell his prize asset to him minutes before the window closed? Of course not.

Pardew had his say on the matter today, ending his statement with "....the decision was right for the club." Quite a turn around in 6 weeks.

It is OK though because Pardew can assure us that all of the mental £35m fee will go towards players. Then again he also assured us that none of our key players would be sold in the window so personally I don't believe a word. Amazingly Ashley still has support amongst the fans and those supporters will be mentally considering how they (or Pardew) will spend the $$$$$$$. If you are one of those people could you do me a favour and remind me where the tens of millions from Milner, Given, Beye, N'Zogbia and then Martins, Bassong, Duff etc went. Thanks.

January 30, 2011
Posted by Marc Duffy on 01/30/2011

Sunday papers day so hundreds of mad cap stories doing the rounds!:


Did anyone mention that Tottenham were interested in Andy Carroll? *YAWN* :
We turned down £23m so they have turned their attention to Llorente (rejected), Aguero (rejected), Scott Parker (rejected), DJ Campbell (rejected)

Xisco returns to Deportivo:

It looks like the Xisco kid managed to avoid having to invest in an oxygen mask and has returned to Deportivo rather than moving to the Boro (subject to medical).

Liverpool and Man United to battle for Jose Enrique?:

I doubt this one is a runner - you can write Liverpool off straight away as they're not famous anymore.


Newcastle bail out Ireland (Confirmed subject to medical)

I am happy with this one - a better player than Danny Guthrie so strengthens the squad and the loan factor means that it is relatively risk free.

Newcastle to offer 500K for Coventry keeper Keiren Westwood (Sunday Mirror)

Never going to happen, unless Mike Ashley has a keeper fetish.

New bid made for Seb Larsson (Various)

So all in all not many fresh new links and our business is likely to be concluded soon. I was going to list a few internet rumours but there are so many and they are so wild (Lukas Podolski!) that it is pointless. I am just glad the jason Puncheon rumours were false!

Follow me on Twitter @MarcSDuffy

January 29, 2011
Posted by Marc Duffy on 01/29/2011

The Saturday before deadline day usually means hundreds of stories linking various players to various clubs. Not so this Saturday when it comes to Newcastle United - only one story has dominated the day:


Andy Carroll to Tottenham (Every media outlet going)

How likely? Redknapp does love tapping up other club's players. The media seem to be willing this one through too but it will not happen at £25million.
Sure, £25million is a lot of money for a young man in his first full year as a Premier League player - but we have all seen what he can do. He has a goal every other game, numerous assists, wins everything in his own area and theirs from set pieces and is a full England International. Even if he goes through a lean spell in terms of goals he will be a handful and a nightmare to play against for opposition players.
I have read one or two comments along the lines of "what if opposing defenders sus him out by next season?" Yeah, good luck with that one - sus out a 6 foot 4 battering ram and lets see where it gets you.
Carroll is our talisman. They say every player has a price and I fear that will probably be true of any player playing for Mike Ashley - but to those (few) of you who would cash in at £25m, we will not see a penny of it so why would you want that?
At least we have not just surrendered and sold within 24 hours like those just down the road.....

Carroll will still be a Newcastle United player when the window closes.

January 28, 2011
Posted by Marc Duffy on 01/28/2011

Well, it's that mad time of year again. Over the next few days I will be adding players that I have seen us linked with in the press.
Feel free to add comment letting us know of the thousands I am bound to miss! The likelihood is that we wont see any new faces!

The window closes at 11PM on Monday (Unless you're Spurs of course, in which case you can just whack the registration in the next day)


Xisco to Boro on loan? (Various)

How likely? 7/10 if Newcastle contribute to his hefty salary

AC Milan declare interest in Jose Enrique (Various Italian Press)

How likely? 0/10 I hope though alleged direct quotes from Galliano


Mutu mooted (Various)

How likely? 1/10 A non- starter

Woodgate to Wolves despite Newcastle interest? (The Daily Mail)

How likely? 1/10 We already have 5 centre back's

Newcastle and Spurs weigh up bid for Mauro Camoranesi (Various)

How likely? 1/10 Too odd to take seriously

The Stephen Ireland rumours continue (Various)

How likely? 8/10 if a salary agreement can be reached. Too widely reported to be false.

Bilal Mohsni from the Shrimpers (Sky Sports),19528,12874_6706897,00.html?

How likely? 4/10 Would fit the profile in terms of buy them young and relatively cheap, but as with Woodgate I don't see another central defender coming in

Follow me on Twitter @MarcSDuffy

August 27, 2010
Posted by Marc Duffy on 08/27/2010

Chris Hughton took the brave decision to drop all 11 players from the 6 v 0 Villa win to field a very young side in the League Cup 2nd round on Wednesday night. Not only did the gamble pay off, but it also showed the fans that we do have strength in depth, albeit through a very talented crop of teenagers.

The starting XI contained no fewer than six players aged 19 or under and only one player over 30 (Lovenkrands – though promising youngster Shola will hit the big 3 0 soon) and the average age of the side was 21. If Andy Carroll had started instead of Lovenkrands the average age would have been down to 20.

August 3, 2010
Posted by Marc Duffy on 08/03/2010

Here are some of the stories involving potential comings and goings from NUFC today:

Marc Duffy Marc Duffy is a National Account Manager in the alcoholic drinks industry - a career in alcohol was obviously the natural step after following Newcastle United for all of his 32 years. Marc blames his father for his obsession with Newcastle United - since attending his first game at the age of 4 Marc has endured many ups and downs, and despite the lack of silverware remains positive that a trophy will be won at some point in his lifetime! (Wait, does the Intertoto cup not count?) Follow Marc on Twitter @MarcSDuffy

RSS feed

Recent Posts