Midterm Report: The realisation of Vurnon Anita’s potential

Vurnon Anita in action for Newcastle United against Fulham in the Premier League

Anita – Is becoming an integral part of the Newcastle United team this season

As many of you will know and are probably tired of me pointing out (!) I am a big fan of Vurnon Anita and his style of play. Many Newcastle fans were quick to play down his potential when he arrived from Ajax in 2012 for £7m, but from the few performances he put in it was clear – to me at least – that this guy is a technically astute player. I remember the day we landed him; Ajax manager Frank de Boer lamented at losing on their top prospects, a testament to the true potential of the little man. As the Ajax philosophy goes, the club tries to produce at least 3 players from their academy and fit them in the first team every two years. Vurnon happened to be one of these players. A short, but tenacious midfielder with a good passing range, and more importantly — a vision which makes him one of the best players … Continue Reading …

Midterm Report: How much has Mathieu Debuchy improved?

Mathieu Debuchy salutes in Newcastle United supporters

Debuchy – Had a difficult start in a Newcastle United jersey a year ago

Mathieu Debuchy was a player that Newcastle had tried to bring to St. James’ Park before the 2012 European Championship. Just a few minutes into the illustrious footballing tournament is was easy to see why. In the right-back position for France Mathieu was quick, well versed tactically and loved to get forward from right-back to aid his teammates — an ideal candidate for the Premier League. Against England Debuchy performed admirably and his good form continued throughout the rest of the tournament until the French were eliminated in the last 16 by eventual champions, Spain. As Newcastle struggled for form in the league throughout the second half of 2012, immediate action was taken to rectify a leaky defence. Debuchy was courted and after a long, drawn out transfer process all speculation … Continue Reading …

Montpellier making noises of a club about to sell Rémy Cabella

Rémy Cabella in action in a Ligue 1 match for Montpellier

Cabella – Looks like a man that could be set for a January move away from Ligue 1

Usually when Newcastle United go about their business in the transfer window it is done in an efficient, often professional manner with little information leaked to the media by sources at St. James’ Park. Over the last two years Graham Carr has spearheaded a large recruitment drive that has seen over 10 players of French nationality arrive at Newcastle. When Alan Pardew’s side signed so many French, and no fewer than five in the January transfer window a year ago this month, people questioned whether it would work. The large French contingent would surely fall foul of each other when the chips were down, and shirk the challenge of fighting tooth and nail in a Black and White jersey, right? Well they might have had a case this time last season when Newcastle eventually limped to Premier League safety in the closing stages, but one could easily forget how close the Magpies … Continue Reading …

Newcastle submit offer for French defender

Nathan Dekoké in action for Saint-Étienne

Dekoké – Newcastle want land young defender in January transfer window

News emerging from France (where else?!) suggest that Newcastle United director of football Joe Kinnear may not actually be drinking whiskey and relaxing beside the fire this Christmas period, rather instead, lining up moves for January targets. France Football is carrying a story claiming NUFC have tabled an offer for young French defender Nathan Dekoké. The 17 year-old is currently on the books of Saint Étienne but his contract expires in the summer of 2014 meaning he is open to offers. According to the article Newcastle have offered him a deal and could be followed closely by Fulham who are also keeping tabs on his progress. The French club would be due compensation should Dekoké decide to accept an … Continue Reading …