Turk Heads home - but what next after Emre departure?

By Lee Ryder on May 31, 08 09:14 PM

He was supposed to be the magician that many Toon fans had been waiting for ever since the day that Peter Beardsley hung up his boots.

But despite some major highs and some lows that were lower than a snake's backside, one of Newcastle's main flair players leaves Tyneside without having fulfilled his massive potential.

Emre's departure may not go down well with sections of Newcastle fans and that's hardly a surprise given that if anybody could unlock the majestic skills inside the diminutive Turk - it was surely Kevin Keegan.

The loss of Emre leaves Newcastle shorthanded in midfield, with Joey Barton out of action for the foreseeable future, and a man down when it comes to some creation.

OK, so Newcastle were doing pretty well without Emre until Chelsea rolled into Toon needing victory and Everton taught us a football lesson on the final day of term.

The hope is that Emre's departure means we have a high profile replacement lined up instead, but the slow progress suggests otherwise as its all quiet on the western front or to the rest of us Barrack Road.

Many fans are wondering, just what are Newcastle waiting for?

They are also concerned that we are going to miss the boat this summer and that the current hierarchy has spats of too many Indians and not enough chiefs.

And what does Emre's decision to quit Newcastle for Fenerbahce say about the mindset of a 27-year-old with plenty of good football left in him and the required quality that we are currently having trouble landing in the current transfer window.

Don't forget the Turkish League is miles behind the Premier League and while the Canaries of Istanbul reached the last eight of the Champions League, they don't have a chance of winning it or even reaching the same stage this time around.

Getting back to the life and times of Emre, he hit the heights when he scored against Sunderland but although his ability and quality is there for all to see, the fact he was a confidence player and we frequently changed manager (Souness, Roeder, Allardyce and Keegan in just three years for Emre!) meant he was never going to discover his best form.

Still, scoring alone against Sunderland means he'll always get a warm welcome on Tyneside.

However, right now while the lack of transfer activity continues, the heat on the streets of Newcastle continues to rise.



Jinky Jim said:

Worrying times for the Gallowgate faithful.We could do with some positives Lee.As a Mag of 50 years+, its not getting any easier.We just have to KEEP THE FAITH!!.

Norm said:

What is it about NUFC that gets under your skin? Fo a number of years I've been saying at this time of year, ENOUGH! only to meekly send off my £950 for the 1892 club. Squashed in like sardines, £3 for a cheeseburger, 6 deep queue at the bar. Now one of the few good players we have is off and no sign of any activity at SJP. Roumers of Keegan being replaced. And how does Dennis Wise fit in??? Will I renew? over to you Ashley.

Paul Patterson said:

I can’t see this deal being anything other than a good one. Emre never played often enough to be regarded as anything more than a sick note, he played far too few games and pocketed £60k plus a week, so he’s best off the wage bill- so that would please Mike Ashley then.

I’m beginning to see what the plan is for the club this summer- Get the players out and then get players in. More than likely the players we get in, will be on far less money than the ones we get rid of as well, which really worries me. I’m not liking the way I’m thinking.

The Emre deal is a good one for me personally, he was a player I liked , but he starts seasons injured and ends them injured and he tends to have a chunk in the middle where he’s, well, Injured. He WAS a major coup at the time and I thought he was to be our next Beardsley, a midfield magician, but sadly this hasn’t happened. Banking £3m for him would be a great deal.

It shouldn’t stop there,- Alan Smith, Damien Duff, Shola Ameobi and possibly Mark Viduka should join Emre and Stephen Carr as high profile (And high earners) out of the door.

The worry is,- What direction do we take after that? Is it going to be a question of get the players out before you get them in? or are we putting irons in the fire as we speak?

Either way, Kevin has said, we needed five signings and I agreed with him, but if we get rid of five, what does that leave us needing? 10? Something tells me the people higher up will be happy if we skimp on the squad this year.

And we CANT afford to. . .


Ned of the Fleet said:

An under achiever and injured too often, but there were plenty of glimpses of what could have been. He was, after Nobby departed, the only central midfielder who had any real flair and vision and he was one of the few players at the club who could actually put in a successful corner. So where do we go from here?

We can't rely on Barton. I'm all for rehabilitation and I respect Keegan's motives for standing by him, but he's a liability whose contract should be terminated. Butt's good defensively, but he's a clasic example of a NUFC player who loses the plot when we're down and he cannot make decisive long passes. Smith can no longer cut it at this level and should've been shown the door - possibly even have had his contract terminated under the trades descriptions act. Charlie's still learning, especially when it comes to marking - and God knows if he really wants to stay or not. We've been desperate for an effective midfield pairing for some time, so let's hope Cashley allows KK to put one together and his targets aren't snapped up by Spurs - a team we beat twice, deservedly so in both cases.

STEVE said:

EMRE,as you say,never fulfilled his huge potential,and while he never hit the heights except sunderland and reading goals,i dont think his leaving is a good thing.KK,notorious for his straight,honest speaking said of emre,very recently,that he didnt look like a player wanting to leave....ok why has he??is this more cost cutting practices at the toon?emre could be hugely infuriating,when the going got tough,emre feigned injury,when he got fouled,he went on a revenge mission instead of being a team player,and he ALWAYS seemed to be fit for Turkey and not us.BUT HE WAS THE ONLY TOON PLAYER WITH VISION AND CLASS!!!.......Why arent we signing anybody???? i am getting very worried/disenchanted with this Ashley it me or is everything coming out of SJP just now, bad news? we will end up getting left behind if we dont move shortly for some class signings...we can live in hope that we have players lined up but judging by the recent goings on in the toon,like wage capping etc....i doubt it.We should never doubt KK but i think his hands are tied this time.....even ROB LEE is worried about the lack of activity.......GET YER CASH OUT ASHLEY,OR SELL UP AND TAKE YER COCKNEY SIDEKICKS WITH YA.....B&W FOREVER

Siomi said:

I feel sorry that our little Turkish wizard is heading home after three years of achieving little for us and with us.

To be fair to him, although he did score some important goals (against the Mackems being the most memorable), he wasn’t a striker and his good work for us was in making the midfield more creative and threatening. I felt we always looked a better team when he was playing. I was really hoping that he would have given Kevin a chance, but maybe it was Kevin who felt that we needed some fresh blood in the midfield. And there were also those (unsubstantiated) racist comments that hardly enhanced the reputation of Newcastle United.

The big question now is who will be brought in to replace him? Are we going to hit the next season ‘running’ with Geremi and Butt propping up the midfield?

It seems to me that everyone we are interested in is being snapped up before we even get to the table, and it seems Spurs are usually the ones there first. Sometimes it almost seems that we share the same scouting administration and advisory staff

I read the transfer rumours and gossip and am really shocked by the fact that Newcastle United is just not there. What on earth is going on? The point of the scouting system is that you identify the best players and know who you want and you get signature to contract before Euro 2008. Once the tournament starts, those players are in the shop window and, if they are good, everyone wants to sign them.

And what is the point of the pre-season if you don’t yet have some of your key players – what a missed opportunity! Ho hum!

Sandy Love said:

Now is when I worry. Our midfield was bad enough and now we are 2 midfielders down before July. I will definitely miss Emre I was a big fan of his. Now it looks like we will miss out on Dunne as well. What is going on?!

James 09 said:

A small and largely mediocre squad is getting smaller and smaller. Surely thats not the last of departures either.

Not many positive signs coming out of SJP yet at all.

Pedi said:

Emre a magician? Probably on the level of Paul daniels. The only trick emre had was he disappeared in games!
He had the odd burst of flair but nothing we'll miss cos he's been keeping the physio's chair warm for long periods.
The only thing his departure means is we're really in it now for midfielders and i cant help think that smith will stay to be our 'general' in midfield and takeover butts place. We desperately need flair, we needed it even if emre stayed.

The whole club cannot go on holiday at the same time. Surely in our new structure there is someone that can start the incoming transfers?

Why dont the fans submit a list of players we'd like at the club and hand that to Ashley. Im sure he'd like to watch Messi, Ribery, Huntelaar etc... in a black and white shirt as much as us-it'd just cost a hell of a lot of his money!
I just hope we dont have to settle for second best as usual and get the cream of the crap that no-one else wanted.

Alex said:

For all the end of season promise regarding new signings, I'm pretty gutted.

Newcastle haven't even been linked with any players on any sort of true level, and the last one we were (Modric), preferred London to Tyneside. Doesn't this tell us that we need to be moving fast in the market this summer?

Also, with Emre out of the door and Milner apparently close to following him, it appears that our creative players (who we are desperate for) will leave, whilst our night club brawlers, old-timers, and Alan Smith (enough said) will stay.

It's all well and good for players to say they can't wait for a top 6 finishing season to start, but if this is how our transfer policy is going to materialize I think I can!!!

Paul said:

Very disappointed to see Emre go. He was the one midfield player we had, that had a real eye for a pass and I was hoping we'd see the best of him under Keegan.

Unfortunately he was injured far too often, and I suspect this has played a large part in Keegan's decision to sell. However I can't help but feel we would have been much better off getting rid of the completely ineffectual and overated Alan Smith and keeping Emre. With Barton potentially locked up or sacked, our centre midfield looks really bare at the moment and to say I'm concerned is an understatement. Looks like we'll be relying on a 33 year old Nicky Butt once again!

Any way, good luck to Emre, on his day he's a class act.

Malcolm said:

Regarding your comments on the lack of transfer activity, is it just me or might it be something to do with the fact that the window doesn't actually open until today. Hardly time yet for panic, although like you I have some doubts about the workings of our new management structure - time will tell. As for emre, a potentially good player but he's never really done it for us as he's usually injured - hopefully kk/dw have a replacement lined up. Fingers crossed

Dale said:

Hi Lee, of all the players who arrived SJP with potential and failed to fufill for NUFC, Emre's departure will be the one that hurts me most. When he arrived I was over the moon and was convinced he could do for us what Zola had done for Chelsea a few years back. But the constant change of manager (4 managers in 3 years is borderline crazy) and all the "bad press" that seems to associate to Newcastle was probably the reason why he wants to go home. Emre, I will be sad to see you go and will have a niggling thought in my head: What If?

Sorry to see him go.

Andy said:

I really don't think we have to be worried by the loss of Emre. Personally I forgot what he looks like, he's injured that much. Combine that with the fact he was on Approx £50,000 a week, thats cut the wage bill considerably.

Also us toon fans just need to relax. We are not the only prem team who has not made movements since the season ended. Its only Spurs who are trying to buy up every player going. They did that at the end of last season too, it didn't do them much good. There can be problems with rushing into signings aswell as panic buys.

I have faith in our new scout team, they have great credentials. I'm sure they are working over time too. The great thing about having them here is the fact that Keegan can just concentrate on the squad while they do all the dealing involving the players. It makes his job easier in the end.

kinseyharris said:

Yet another catastophe for newcastle, and in place of ashley read mcgeague, its back to the bad old days am afraid, when keegan added trust me on the sale of cole to bring in ferdinand, yes i trust kev but i dont trust the board, wheres the money, wheres the investment, boycott ashleys shops until he shows us he is for the toon, for theyre the only ones laughing all the way to the bank, while we pay more for fuel, struggle to pay the mortgage, give the kids a holiday, do they invest n making us forget our dull lives or do they remind us that to break the law is a reward

Andy Hardy said:

In The Observer KK says he reckons we've bot a good enough squad and don't necessarily have to bring in new players. Okay, I'm paraphrasing, but that's more or less what he says.


And especially not if Milner and Charlie follow Emre.

My God, Smith as midfield general?! Doesn't that presuppose footballing skill and intelligence on his part. I don't even think Sherlock Holmes could find evidence of that. Closed case. Sell him.

Peter Dawson said:

Things not looking good so far. Lots of rumours of discontent at lack of money to spend. I personally dont think you can have so much smoke without fire. Its going to be a tough summer for us toon fans because i really do believe that Mike Ashley has no plans to sign any big name players, or give Owen a new contract.
First lets go back to the start. I firmly believe that Mike Ashleys only interest in sports is to make money and he saw Newcastle as an opportunity to make more money and thats all. He sells sporting goods and we are to be a vehicle; a brand to add to his retail empire. Yes you can say he used money from his own personal fortune (200m+ being quoted in many sources) to clear our debts. But he didnt do that for the good of newcastle United. He did that to save himself paying millions in interest over a long period of years. It was purely a business decision and not born out of a passion to save newcastle more to save himself.

You also have to ask yourself, would you rather be a debt free club wining nothing or team in debt winning the european and domestic double(Man Utd - Chelsea both owe 600m +). Newcastle' problem has not been that we were in debt or over invested. Our problem was that we invested too much in the wrong players and didnt invest in youth players.

You have to take a gamble tho, You have to at least roll the dice, speculate to accumulate. For all the bad words said about Shepphard, at least he put his money where his mouth was.

There is no evidence to suggest Ashley plans big money investment in the player side. He is more concerned with balancing the books. We've gone from one extreme to another. He wants to invest in youth players(with "possible resale value" so when we find the new gazza we will just sell him to spurs before his prime;deja-vu) at the expense of ready first team players to me thats a gamble too. Hes taking for granted that Newcastle can sell our players to cut costs, invest minimal resources in the current playing side in the hope that we stick around in the premier league long enough so that any young prospects that wise has brought in are good enough to keep us there. The only certain winner from that will be Ashley himself when hes sold enough merchandise and made a few bob bleeding Newcastle dry then sells up when hes had enough. Happy days

John said:

it is worrying, that the creative players seem to be the one's leaving or linked to a move, total opposite to what needs to happen, Emre had potential, but never really delivered, for one reason and another.
I would be more worried, if loads of clubs where signing players and we were not, there isn't much activity anywhere, lets be honest, and i agree, lets wait and see what happens, but i do agree, we should have had targets identified, and deals done, before euro 2008, i don't like this set up, with wise, doing this supposed scouting, waste of time, surely a geordie could of done this better, who has the club at heart and know's abit more, wise for me, is money badly spent

Bill said:

I do not agree with you Lee when you said, "and we frequently changed manager (Souness, Roeder, Allardyce and Keegan in just three years for Emre) meant he was never going to discover his best form." If he has so much "class and vision" then he would have demonstrated it whatever manager was in charge.
We bought a player who had a history of injuries, similar to the ones with us, when he played in Italy. Alright he scored goals agst the Mackems - so did Shola, A O'B, Chopra, etc - but that's no reason to let him take up semi-permanent residence in the sick room.
I am suspicious that despite being unable to play for us from Feb 9th he is fit enough to play in Euro 2008. I do not regret his departure and pleased we have got a reasonable fee for him.

Ryder's reply: Fair enough Bill, it's all about different opinions, but no matter what you think there are players that you have to put your arm round and I think that Emre was one of those players.
It takes a certain type of manager to get the balance right though but KK would have been capable of doing it given a full season to work with the player.

Sy said:

I agree that this is a good deal for everyone. I was surprised to learn of the wages Emre was on, and given the fact that he barely featured at all last season, it's good to cash in now and avoid the risk of him being injured this summer.

I agree with Paul Patterson when he noticed Keegan's comment about needing 4 or 5 players to strengthen the squad. Paul's right in saying that we MUST also replace any outgoing players to avoid being under-strength again next season.

I actually don't mind the tactic of getting people out before bringing them in - provided things are being lined up at the same time. The last thing we want is another final week desperation spree (Luque) which will likely end in disaster.

We now need to ship out Smith, Duff, Cacapa, Rozenhal...possibly Barton, possibly Viduka, to whoever will take them. We'll then be in a much better position to rebuild during the summer.

Pete said:

Emre was a good player, quite a loss to us.
£60,000 a week he was on.
Malcolm, Window opens July 1st mate.

Clubs should still be doing deals from the off though, very worried about us, this time last year, Viduka had verbally agreed to join us and Barton was in the bag all but Man City not giving him 300k owed to him.

Weve only been linked to about 10 players aswell. Im sure Spurs have someone on the inside to us, telling them whats offered and how much etc etc.
Modric, Woodgate stolen.
Dunne and a few youngsters all linked to Spurs.

Deaco said:

I am very confused by the statements that have come out SJP over the last few months.

Apparently we needed 6 top class players a few months ago. That number has since gone down and where on earth are we going to get these players from, why would they come to Newcastle, especially as it now seems we will no longer pay the high wages??

It is entirely perplexing that we hire a myriad of non-footballing staff to recruit effectively. There is no sign or return of investment in these men so far!! Emre leaves, Barton is as good as gone (hopefully). So going back to KK's statement of needing 5 top class players is that now those 5 plus 2 more due to Emre and Barton. You can't get rid of a creative midfielder with no replacement lined up, that is the basics of which people like Wise, Kimenez etc. don't seem to be playing ball.

Aditya said:

It's a big myth that Emre was injured almost whole this season.What I personally
feel and what you all blog writers and so called experts who are moaning about Emre not showing up b'coz of managers and so on,I guess he was a sheer case of a scapegoat by KK.Now again most of you will not agree with me saying KK is a great guy ,well he is certainly but all the managers especially when they come in to the job tend to groom the domestic players.And thats how Barton got picked ahead of Emre everytime believe it or not,otherwise a player out injured for so long and so frequently won't make it to a major Europian competition.I just can't understand the backing for Barton though.Anyone come up and argue on this blog that even with his poor tackling and all,Emre would have contributed less than Barton had he got the same number of opportunities.On the another instance when Roder was in charge if anyone has noticed Emre played initially as attacking midfielder but when Scott Parker started scoring some goals Emre was left back in defencive midfielder role which is completely insane.I don't know why everybody wants a homegrown Gerrard out of their regime.So rather than speculating about Emre's future blog writers can better ways write something to change the managers mentallity.But till then sadly mediocre players like Barton will be continued to be backed ahead of creative Emre' it was a good decision for Emre to move on at a place where perhaps he could get backed.I insist again Emre was fit he was just not picked ahead of Butt and Barton..dunno why??

Ryder's reply: I don't think Kevin Keegan actually wanted him to leave, he said recently: "One or two players will leave for the best interests of everybody, while we will lose one or two we don't want to leave"
And in my view he was talking about Emre.
Emre wasn't fit either, he had a calf injury sustained on Feb 22 and then on his comeback in the reserves he got clattered on April 7.
That night he hurt his ankle and needed extensive treatment and the injury against Man United reserves proved to be his last game for the club.

Aditya said:

Well,thats a good explanation Lee..but how
many games did he play prior to that?..I am not saying it's mere KK's mistake but if remember correctly Emre scored earlier in the season against Everton and was looking good.He also played well against Spurs at home,but then he just has one bad game against Reading and he is not picked again.What my point is that Barton is given chance after chance till he settled in.Also whichever games Emre played well he was substituted early as well.Now you surely can't say that is incorrect too.

Ryder's reply: Emre injured his ankle at Reading last season so went away for the summer "knackered", he then sprained it again during pre-season last year and by the time we got to the end of August he'd gone down again with a calf injury. The next time he pulled on a Toon top was at Arsenal in the Carling Cup at the end of September. It was always stop-start stop-start. So in answer to your question not too many games. Let's just say last season was as injury hit as his career has been.

Anonymous said:

keegan sees emre a beardsley type of player.

and once Glenn Roader came out calling emre is a more defensive midfilder(holding midfield) than Scott Parker..

hmmm ? any idea?


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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