June 2012 Archives

It wasn't much of a surprise to see plenty of well wishers for Danny Guthrie after his move to Reading.

The midfielder never really let anybody down during his time at St James' Park, and while many feel that his move to the newly promoted Royals is a step down, it is clear that at 25 he needed regular if not guaranteed (if there is such a thing) first team football.

Guthrie was never going to get past Yohan Cabaye and Cheick Tiote next season and even the lure of the Europa League and the chance to play games as part of squad rotation wasn't enough for the Shropshire-born engine roomer.

It didn't take long for it all to start kicking off in the French camp did it?

And with our very own Hatem Ben Arfa at the centre of controversy following the 2-0 loss against Sweden for Les Bleus.

Angry at being subbed during the defeat, Ben Arfa has reportedly told Laurent Blanc he is free to send him home if he so wishes - a situation many United fans wouldn't complain about if it meant he was safe from injury ahead of huge season at St James' Park.

Ben Arfa also made a phone call during the team debriefing which also angered Blanc but if anything this just goes to show what a great job Alan Pardew, John Carver and Steve Stone have done when it comes to man management with the Toon star.

Demba Ba must pick love or money

By Lee Ryder on Jun 20, 12 12:18 PM

When Demba Ba arrived at St James' Park last summer, it's fair to say that both Newcastle United and the striker took a gamble over a transfer that few expected to be so successful.

Ba arrived with a history of knee problems, while he also arrived at a club that never seems too far away from controversy.

The 16-goal star started slowly - which his manager later put down to his participation in Ramadan - but there was a time when it looked like the Senegal striker couldn't miss.

Ba now finds himself at a crossroads, with the chance to activate his release clause and earn a lucrative contract elsewhere surely tempting for any footballer given their careers at the top level are short.

It may have been an unprecedented move by Newcastle United when they unveiled chief scout Graham Carr this week as a long-term signing.

However, while eyebrows were raised elsewhere if anything it proved to be something of a PR masterstroke.

Without telling the rest of the football world Newcastle's summer shortlist, Carr gave a great insight to just where the Magpies currently are under Mike Ashley.

If ever a bloke deserved another crack at Premier League management then it has to be Chris Hughton.

That's why there was plenty of good wishes coming the way of Hughton as he was presented as Norwich City boss today.

He arrived at Newcastle with one intention and that was to coach the Magpies under Kevin Keegan, simply grateful to get back into football in 2008.

But he was soon thrown the reins when Keegan walked away and was a major part of the set-up under Joe Kinnear.

However, he really played his part when the club were relegated and without a leader in the summer of 2009 and communications at Newcastle United shut down all together.

It's easy to see why Joe Kinnear's return to Tyneside irked one or two Newcastle United supporters.

But let's get first things first, when the former Wimbledon boss was astonishingly handed the job back in 2008 during the aftermath of Kevin Keegan's departure nobody could blame him for accepting the post of boss - even if it did cause a stir in the dressing room and arguably laid the foundations for relegation.

Let's be honest, how many out of work managers wouldn't take the chance of a lifetime and manage the Magpies?


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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