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Pressure builds for Geremi

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GEREMI last night insisted that, despite having been appointed Newcastle’s captain this summer, he will not take regular first-team football for granted at St James’s Park.

 

The Cameroon international has not missed a single minute for the Magpies this season but, having seen Sam Allardyce assemble a strong squad, an in-form footballer knows he will have to maintain his standards in order to retain his place.

 

It is something Geremi is determined to do having spent too long on the Stamford Bridge sidelines during a four-year career at Chelsea in which he was, at times, a peripheral figure in Jose Mourinho’s plans. It was the chance to increase his involvement that persuaded the 28-year-old to head to the North-East this summer. But suggestions that Allardyce’s decision to hand him the armband will ensure a regular role have been dismissed, with Geremi adamant that being installed as St James’s Park skipper has no significance when it comes to team selection.

 

“Being captain doesn’t mean you’re in the side every week,” explained the African, who has started and finished all five first-team fixtures this season. “You still have to work and you still have to earn your place. Being captain is a responsible job. You have to be the man and set a good example.

 

“I decided to leave Chelsea because I wanted to join a club where I would get more games. I wasn’t a regular in the team at Chelsea and, when I got the chance to come here, I didn’t have to think for long. I spoke to the manager and he told me his plans and I agreed to come. It wasn’t a difficult decision. I was delighted when he made me his captain. But I won’t be in the Newcastle team unless I deserve to be.”

 

Geremi’s performances so far this season have vindicated his selection, but with Joey Barton having yet to kick a ball for the club in a competitive fixture, the competition for places will further increase this month.

 

It is something the club’s captain welcomes and, with Allardyce keen to challenge on three fronts this season, the versatile former Real Madrid schemer expects there will be times when he is asked to sit on the sidelines.

 

“There are lots of matches in this league and there are the other competitions as well,” he said. “We need a big squad and we need cover in all positions. If you’re not playing, you need to rest and make sure you’re right when you get your chance. What we have here is a squad that can compete in all the competitions.”

 

With competition in all positions, it remains to be seen whether Allardyce can keep all his senior players satisfied this season. Shay Given was frustrated having spent last weekend’s game against Wigan on the bench, Michael Owen was picked in preference to Obafemi Martins and Abdoulaye Faye and Habib Beye – the club’s eighth, ninth and final summer signings – will have to be accommodated in a defence that has impressed during the campaign’s opening month.

 

United’s manager will hope all his players are as understanding as Geremi. The midfielder knows strength in depth is crucial and, although he is determined to retain his midfield place, he knows all will have roles to fulfil.

 

“It was important to make those signings before the deadline because we’ve some injuries and we needed to strengthen,” added a player confident Newcastle can maintain their momentum. “To be a team with big ambition you have to have a good squad. We’ve signed two more great players and we will need them.

 

“So far the season has gone well and everything’s good. We’ve got a new squad and we’re trying to gel together. What’s good is that even while we’re doing that, we’re getting results. By the time we’ve all gelled together, we’ll be even better.”

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GEREMI last night insisted that, despite having been appointed Newcastle’s captain this summer, he will not take regular first-team football for granted at St James’s Park.

 

The Cameroon international has not missed a single minute for the Magpies this season but, having seen Sam Allardyce assemble a strong squad, an in-form footballer knows he will have to maintain his standards in order to retain his place.

 

It is something Geremi is determined to do having spent too long on the Stamford Bridge sidelines during a four-year career at Chelsea in which he was, at times, a peripheral figure in Jose Mourinho’s plans. It was the chance to increase his involvement that persuaded the 28-year-old to head to the North-East this summer. But suggestions that Allardyce’s decision to hand him the armband will ensure a regular role have been dismissed, with Geremi adamant that being installed as St James’s Park skipper has no significance when it comes to team selection.

 

“Being captain doesn’t mean you’re in the side every week,” explained the African, who has started and finished all five first-team fixtures this season. “You still have to work and you still have to earn your place. Being captain is a responsible job. You have to be the man and set a good example.

 

“I decided to leave Chelsea because I wanted to join a club where I would get more games. I wasn’t a regular in the team at Chelsea and, when I got the chance to come here, I didn’t have to think for long. I spoke to the manager and he told me his plans and I agreed to come. It wasn’t a difficult decision. I was delighted when he made me his captain. But I won’t be in the Newcastle team unless I deserve to be.”

 

Geremi’s performances so far this season have vindicated his selection, but with Joey Barton having yet to kick a ball for the club in a competitive fixture, the competition for places will further increase this month.

 

It is something the club’s captain welcomes and, with Allardyce keen to challenge on three fronts this season, the versatile former Real Madrid schemer expects there will be times when he is asked to sit on the sidelines.

 

“There are lots of matches in this league and there are the other competitions as well,” he said. “We need a big squad and we need cover in all positions. If you’re not playing, you need to rest and make sure you’re right when you get your chance. What we have here is a squad that can compete in all the competitions.”

 

With competition in all positions, it remains to be seen whether Allardyce can keep all his senior players satisfied this season. Shay Given was frustrated having spent last weekend’s game against Wigan on the bench, Michael Owen was picked in preference to Obafemi Martins and Abdoulaye Faye and Habib Beye – the club’s eighth, ninth and final summer signings – will have to be accommodated in a defence that has impressed during the campaign’s opening month.

 

United’s manager will hope all his players are as understanding as Geremi. The midfielder knows strength in depth is crucial and, although he is determined to retain his midfield place, he knows all will have roles to fulfil.

 

“It was important to make those signings before the deadline because we’ve some injuries and we needed to strengthen,” added a player confident Newcastle can maintain their momentum. “To be a team with big ambition you have to have a good squad. We’ve signed two more great players and we will need them.

 

“So far the season has gone well and everything’s good. We’ve got a new squad and we’re trying to gel together. What’s good is that even while we’re doing that, we’re getting results. By the time we’ve all gelled together, we’ll be even better.”

 

 

He's not all that, he spreads play reasonable, he takes up good def postitons and he monitors play well enough to time his interventions. Faye might even be an upgrade on him. Making him captain was mental. Should have been Owen or Given.

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Making Given captain would have been a mistake IMO. I can see mileage in giving it to Owen but the pessimists would only have used that as a "you've only given it to him to keep him at the club" excuse.

 

Barton would have been a good choice and I don't see a problem with Geremi.

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Only I have with Geremi being captain is that, as he admits, he won't be in the side every game. Barton is our first choice central midfielder and I'm firmly of the opinion that captaincy shouldn't ordinarily be given to 'keepers, wingers or strikers

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Once again, I have to ask what's the harm of having the armband pass between the players who are most suited to wearing it on a particular day? IIRC Shearer Lee and Beardsley shared it in 1996/7...

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Making Given captain would have been a mistake IMO. I can see mileage in giving it to Owen but the pessimists would only have used that as a "you've only given it to him to keep him at the club" excuse.

 

Barton would have been a good choice and I don't see a problem with Geremi.

 

It means Geremi is undroppable practically. He's a good player but I don't think he is that good. Would have went for Cacapa myself had we signed him earlier.

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I've never seen him interviewed so I don't know. It would be pretty stupid to give the captaincy to him if he doesn't.

 

 

It might be fun him marshalling the def in French. :lol:

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Once again, I have to ask what's the harm of having the armband pass between the players who are most suited to wearing it on a particular day? IIRC Shearer Lee and Beardsley shared it in 1996/7...

 

Yep, agree with that 100%

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