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Samba beat will liven up competition for places in the dressing room

By Lee Ryder on Jun 29, 07 10:37 AM

EdmilsonDespite being injured, Brazilian World Cup winner Edmilson looks set to join Newcastle United as Sam Allardyce's rebuilding programme continues to gather pace.

Indeed Big Sam is in Barcelona now and has made an approach to get Edmilson.

The player is ruled out until at least October but has agreed in principle to join United and help bolster our troublesome defence - unless there are any late hitches!

We have just snapped up David Rozehnal from PSG for a snip at £2.8million and a defence in dire need of help is now looking good again.

It actually would mean competition for places, something that was alien to Glenn Roeder last season at times and even when there were bodies available it proved to be his downfall!

What I mean by that is, Roeder's young guns did him proud during a long hard winter and when his senior players returned in the spring, it all started to go Pete Tong!

However, this is slightly different.

We have new players coming in who are keen to impress.

It means that if Edmilson is fully fit, he and Rozehnal would surely make up the two centre halves.

But where would that leave Steven Taylor? At right-back again?

Unless Edmilson is deployed as a holding midfielder that is but where would that leave Nicky Butt?

I mean there is also the small midfield matter of Joey Barton and what exactly do you do with Kieron Dyer, Charles N' Zogbia and Damien Duff?

It's starting to make sense now, if Geremi comes in and was deployed wide right he can battle with James Milner for a place too.

Competition for places!!!!

But hold on, we know through history you never have everybody fit all at once, it simply never has and never will work like that at any club.

Yet you can't help but have some real hope for next season especially with such proven players coming in.

Roeder didn't want proven players, he wanted young players, but Big Sam wants people for the now.

And I suppose it is all about now to some extent.

In many ways his approach echoes a little bit of Kevin Keegan, he simply built an XI that could challenge for the title.

But while I don't expect Big Sam to sack off the reserves and kids, I do think he is focused on winning games and getting off to great start right now.

And given the fact we've started the last few seasons so poorly it will make a refreshing change.

Hopefully there will be more to follow too.

Who else would you like to see on board?

There is also a whisper that Eidur Gudjohnsen could follow.

Oh, what joy. Newcastle United thinking big again!

31 Comments

iain said:

One slight problem Lee, Edmilson is useless, maybe a few years ago he was an alright player, i have seen a lot of la liga this season (i recorded and watched every game and every highlights programme) and i can't say i was ever impressed when i saw Edmilson playing. Gerry Arstrong one of la ligas top expert pundits said of Edmilson 5 years ago... "Going forward, Luiz Felipe Scolari's side have no equal. In the three R's, Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho, they have an attack that should be able to destroy any team in the competition.

But I think they are going to struggle against European opposition, simply because their central defenders look decidedly weak.

I feel Edmilson, the Lyon centre half who scored against Costa Rica with a magnificent overhead kick, is their chief PROBLEM when it comes to DEFENDING".

That was before his knee injuries.

If a manager as good as Rijkaard doesnt know what to do with him, play him in mf or defence then that to me spells trouble. Especially when hes 30 and had 3 operations on the same knee in 3 years.


I would rather we built for the future but i guess we are, 6 months in the future to be precise when Edmilson recovers (if he ever does).

How do injured players out for m onths provide competition, unless of course Sam plans on upsetting the kids again like Roeder did by replacing them with the big names regardless of how well there playing.


Only a club like ours could do something so stupid. So much for Allardyce changing his ways eh. I think i might pop down the bookies and see what odds i can get on Allardyce being out the job by next summer becuase at this rate signings like Edmilson, Viduka and Geremi wont get us anywhere near where Mike Ashley seems to want the club to be.

Adam said:

Why would we need only two centre halves when the season starts, Rosenzhal and Taylor? They say that Premiership clubs need 5 good strikers to survive a season well, allowing for injuries etc. So we should need at least 3 or 4 quality centre-halves!

dave said:

ian you are talking crap mate you are not a mackem are u.

Kristian RÃƒÂşine said:

Allardyce has done brilliant so far in the transfer market. We obviously lacked routine and consistency last year, and now Big Sam seems to get us just that for a very small amount of money. How can that be wrong? The window hasn't really opened yet and still we see prospects of enthusiasm and positivity in the club! I can't wait to see what Big Sam pulls out of his hat next!

Sid said:

I suspect there is no harm in bringing in a Brazilian international defender for a nominal fee. If he only gives Taylor the valuable benefit of his (vast) experience - something Taylor has not had from any other defensive partner - then we should benefit.

Taylor is young, Rozehnal mid age, and Edmilson experienced. Add a Geremi type utility who can play CB and develop Ramage and I fail to see any danger signs in those five next season.

I think people said the same negative things about Hierro when Allardyce signed him at Bolton, but he was very impressive - and he had come from Qatar after being at Madrid...

j gradon said:

Errrr, Adam. Re gerry Armstrong"s comments about Edmilson five years ago. Would they have been made prior to the World Cup in Japan and Korea by any chance? And didn't Brazil win it? And didn't Edmilson play every game? Just wondering. And why did Gerry Armstrong have to go to Spain to be a pundit?

j gradon said:

Whops it may have been Iain's posting re Gerry Armstrong....difficult to tell.

gavin nattrass said:

I agree with Iain. Everyone down to the bookies. Conspiracy theorists might say this is exactly what AShley wants, he will see out Allardyce and Shepherd once they have fudged another season with this sort of nonsense. Barton and a one legged Brazilian..unbelievable.

Adam said:

What “old ways� of Sam Allardyce’s are these?! I agree that it may not be that wise to sign an injured player, but if the player is on a free it’s only wages we have to think about. If we sign Edmilson, he’ll only play in the first team if he’s justifying it by playing well enough!

Besides, I kind of agree with a friend of mine(a West Ham fan) that the best policy is to get the best out of a mixed - even "motley" - bunch than out of glamour signings. I'd much rather we didn't ever try to make ridiculously overpriced signings like, say, Chelsea have done at times.

I trust Sam in that he’s signed players before who seemed well past their best, like Campo and Speed, and got them playing very well for several years. If we can finally get Nzogbia, Dyer, Luque etc playing to their potential and add that to the overall nucleus then I think it could be exciting.

It’s foolish to judge either way right now, to say that we’re going to do brilliantly under B.S or badly. The main thing is that we have more reason for optimism than before.

Siomi said:

Well said Iain! I don't believe Edmilson is the answer to our defensive line up either. I think the bet I would be looking for would be for him not playing before Christmas! Not great odds I suspect. But, perhaps there is some sense to the madness. Allardyce has a reputation for being thorough and perhaps he feels Edmilson will add something special to the training ground and will be a useful back up player, rather than in a starting line up. Intersting line of thought though - I wonder how much time and effort is spent by scouts watching training sessions and talking to team mates to evaluate a player's contribution to a team OUT of the 90 minutes of match play?

oxboy said:

Sam has already said he sees Taylor as needing to develop and learn so he clearly would not be first choice central defender. Lets be honest, he made more mistakes than Titus last season, so we need at least one more, mature and experienced central defender, preferably two!

I see our development as a two stage affair. We simply can't attract the top players cos we aint a top club and aren't in european competitions, so we need to get there, as cheaply as possible and then move on to sign a higher standard of player. Sam's doing it right, these are experienced players who can do a job for a couple of seasons and the midfield is being given an energy boost which it desperately needs.

Big Vern said:

Far be from me to be pessimistic but I have so far failed to get excited by any of the signings. Gudjohnson might possibly be a good buy but I am more concerned with who will be leaving than who will be coming. If we have 50 million to spend, why are we picking up 30 year old sick notes?

RExn said:

Edmilson has been in league winning teams in 6 out of the last 7 seasons, with the other one being runner up. If he isn't that good, he must have been very lucky with the players around him.

Anonymous said:

William Gallas would be a good fit. Too bad. But Newcastle has the resources to get players. Whether Edmilson would factor in or not may not be that important because he would improve competition!

Genghiz said:

I would like to see a game right now. But that isn't what you're asking, so I would like to see them get the other defender too , Abidal from France. Get them to battle out with Taylor, Babayaro, Solano, Rozenhal, Carr, and Ramage. Competition! And their equal talent will leave them all fighting for a position every week. Edmilson when healthy would be starting because of his reputation. But if they want to make a mistake with Edmilson who can be a great reward, they must get Abidal!

michael said:

i agree lee i think edmilson would be a quality signing a big name on the cheap perhaps..but am i the only person who thinks that gabby heinze would be a great signing for us hes a smashing player...would fill the troublesome leftback position for us perfectly i jus seen on the news liverpoll are sniffin round him it must meen hes available...i also think we should sign alou diarra and if we really wanna show we mean business ...Ricardo Quaresma anyone?

andy said:

you just have to look at it like this... sam wants to bring experience into the squad so the likes of, milner and taylor can learn and get beter, and viduka done alright last season scoring 17 goals amd scoring i think it was 7 in 5 games at the back end of the season, geremi will bring good width into the squad by getting foward but all carr seems to do is give the ball away, and david rosenzhal will learn taylor. if we want to keep up with the big guns this season we need to bring in players with experience to learn the younger players, i no we wont get any were near the top 4 this season but its worth looking into the future, and our future looks bright aslong as we have ashley as our owner. COMON THE TOON, WIN SUMET THIS SEASON!

Paul Patterson said:

Im pleased so far with Allerdyce rumours/signings, Barton, Viduka, Geremi, Rozehnal, Gudjonsson, Edmilson. Great.

So what if they are old, Im sick of signing young spoilt brats (N'zogbia, Dyer, Jenas, Bramble, Bellamy etc)

Lets see what happens, remember he hasn't spent much yet.

I'd spend big on Gudjonsson, Defoe (Tottenham surely cant contend with Berbatov, Keane, Bent, Defoe) and Downing and then flog Dyer, Owen and Martins because they couldn't give a hoot. Paul.

Adam said:

We've often tried to layer a poor cake with icing over the last few years (for want of a better way of putting it!). I think that Sam is trying to give us a solidity, physical presence and - in some cases - maturity to the squad. If he can get the best out of Dyer, NZogbia, Luque etc then they will add the flair, whilst he can look at signing one or two other flair players LATER on. Viduka, Geremi etc etc are probably exactly what we need right now.

aaron said:

i cant believe sum of u people who claim 2 be newcastle fans, stop putting the players and staff down its because of people like u that they falter under pressure(they're only human)viduka, barton, edmilson, gudjonsson and rozehnal are all proven players. have faith in big sam!

Charlie said:

Viduka/Edjur Martins/Owen up front in tandem or as three. Not fussed if Owen leaves we cant say we miss him cause he was never there. Milner/Solano on the right. Dyer/Butt inside depending on opposition. Barton/Emre and Luque/N'Zog left. When Duff comes backs he will be considered but a lot of our mids can play just behind the front two depending on circumstances. Geremi in right back at Carr's expense and gone for good. Solano can back up if needed. Taylor can also play there and I like him outside the box so his grapples dont cost so much but hell probably be centre with Emilsson switching up with him and Roze in the centre. With Edgar and Huntington both being big boys and coming on nicely they will be the future. Left back.....Ummmm left back....Ramage? Get Wayne Bridge and the back four could be a vault!

Alan Dobison said:

Your own newspaper has been saying for days now Geremi is signing, and he is an effective Right Back, cant understand your comment about Taylor, or is it media negativity again?

Ryder's reply: Basically talkiing about who would miss out at centre half if Taylor, Rozy and Edmilson are all fit,
Would Taylor be deployed as a right-back or would you drop the club's best young player?
Or would you risk upsetting one of the more senior boys?
Hardly negative.

zulu said:

Big Sam worked wonder with players past their sell-by date at Bolton. Taylor is one for the future, Ramage the jury is out at the moment so don`t think that Edmilson will be the last one in the squad who is pushing 30. I`d put my money on Sam any day before Gerry Who !

adam fox said:

get saviola in, simple.

anon said:

Gudjohnsen has been mentioned a lot in all of these messages. He hasn't signed for us yet and we haven't even opened negotiations so dont get your hopes up just yet, although it would be brilliant if Big Sam could prise him away from barca.

weisy said:

why are you boys reportedly paying geremi a £2m signing on fee? -im not surprised he is keen to play for the toon.

and this edmilson - have you not learnt your lesson? why are you buying a player who may not be fully fit until december?

you need to know that throwing money at it is not always the answer. you want players who are proud to put on the toon shirt, not foreign mercaneries like that viduka and edmilson.

im a stockport fan and we have just taken young chris shanks on trial..any comments on him

and yes we stil lhave tes brother of titus bramble, although he is now out of contract.

my favourite chant of last season was from MK Dons fans who sang to our tes - "You're even worse than your brother, worse than your brother!"

weisy said:

why are you boys reportedly paying geremi a £2m signing on fee? -im not surprised he is keen to play for the toon.

and this edmilson - have you not learnt your lesson? why are you buying a player who may not be fully fit until december?

you need to know that throwing money at it is not always the answer. you want players who are proud to put on the toon shirt, not foreign mercaneries like that viduka and edmilson.

im a stockport fan and we have just taken young chris shanks on trial..any comments on him

and yes we stil lhave tes brother of titus bramble, although he is now out of contract.

my favourite chant of last season was from MK Dons fans who sang to our tes - "You're even worse than your brother, worse than your brother!"

weisy said:

why are you boys reportedly paying geremi a £2m signing on fee? -im not surprised he is keen to play for the toon.

and this edmilson - have you not learnt your lesson? why are you buying a player who may not be fully fit until december?

you need to know that throwing money at it is not always the answer. you want players who are proud to put on the toon shirt, not foreign mercaneries like that viduka and edmilson.

im a stockport fan and we have just taken young chris shanks on trial..any comments on him

and yes we stil lhave tes brother of titus bramble, although he is now out of contract.

my favourite chant of last season was from MK Dons fans who sang to our tes - "You're even worse than your brother, worse than your brother!"

Alan Dobison said:

Lee, You are negative, why pundits and supporters alike seem to be of the mind that you only have 1 player per position in case, in your "words" you upset someone". Do you think Ferguson, the Chosen One, or the Liverpool manager thinks along these lines, for Gods sake lets have a squad with depth no matter who we upset.

Ryder's reply: The piece was far from negative, I also said "Yet you can't help but have some real hope for next season especially with such proven players coming in."

Genghiz said:

I will say it again!

Mistake.

He will come in after the team has gelled under Allardyce. No, nay, negative, rather not on Edmilson.

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Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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