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My First Article

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Now i wrote this for Newcastle-Online and as it's the first one i ever wrote i was just wondering what everyone else thought. I have no doubt somewhere along the lines i will have cocked up on spelling and such, but was just wondering what everyone else thinks of the article on a whole ;)


Buying From The Continent (France, Spain, Italy, Holland, Germany & Portugal)


With Glenn Roeder this summer already stating publicly he is looking to lower the average age of the squad and proving this by quashing rumours straight away of any possible transfer with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink it looks as if we will be buying this summer in the hope of long-term security for the club and not just any quick fix that fits the bill. Unless a top quality player over 30 becomes available for a relatively cheap price I cannot foresee these sorts of signings, and especially from the continent becoming a possibility.


One thing that needs of course needs to be addressed when buying foreign is does the player have the correct mentality to want to make a success of their period over here? And in particular are they willing to at least try and integrate with local culture? This is especially important with Newcastle United who in the past have spent large amounts of money on foreign imports who have not just only failed, but failed miserably, players such as Marcelino, Hugo Viana are two names that immediately spring to mind and Albert Luque’s first season was anything but a success.


Starting with our neighbors just across the channel in France, Glenn Roeder has already shown he is scowering the French market by inviting Auxerre youngster Garra Dembele for a trial with the club.


One player who immediately springs to mind who fits all the criteria in the type of striker we are on the lookout for would be Lille’s AbdulKader Keita. His main assets are of course his ability to beat people, combined with agility and whose other strong attributes are his pace and balance. Although his best position is up front he has also proven be very versatile and can play on the right wing or the right side of a front three.


The Nice forward Baky Koné who is similar to Keita as he offers the same versatility combined with being quick and agile. I don’t quite rate him as highly as Keita, although he is one surely not to be scoffed at. Once again however both their scoring records don’t really suggest they could be the prolific marksmen we are looking for.


Looking into the left-back position, one player who impressed during the World Cup with a string of energetic displays was none other than Strasbourg’s Arthur Boka. Another Ivorian, he has a fantastic engine and is excellent when going forward, but also more than capable when having to play a more defensive minded role. He would also offer us a lot more than the often-lethargic Babayaro.


As it would appear with Steven Carr possibly on the move after a largely unsuccessful spell at the club a right back would appear to be on the wanted list. One such possibility could be the ex-Bolton loanee Bernard Mendy who could give us much needed pace and agility down the right hand side, and another who is also very versatile, and at the tender age of 23 has time on his side. His inconsistency and at times poor direct play could frustrate a lot of home fans, as he hasn’t appeared to have improved during the last few seasons, perhaps all he needs is some good coaching and a change of scenery to take him to the level he could one day be at.


Lyon’s Sydney Govou seems to be a name touted around the Premiership at the moment. Although often deployed on the right hand side of midfield, if employed upfront his pace could give us an added dimension by opening up space and gaps for the rest of the team to get forward and exploit.


Moving over to our compadres in Spain, there is once again a vast array of talent for us to filter through. The one player who would seem perfect to fill the void upfront left by Owen would be none other than Barcelona’s very own Javier Saviola. The talented striker dubbed ‘Conejito’ (little rabbit) has suffered mixed fortunes since arriving in Catalonia and has now been deemed surplus to requirements at Camp Nou. For the price quoted €3.5 million, it would seem incomprehendable if we didn’t even make an attempt to sign such a player who recently has been strongly been linked to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal. Despite being lightweight and having a tendency to being easily shrugged off the ball, Saviola does however tend to have a steely determination about him like a lot of Argentinean footballers. With pace to burn and a keen eye for goal, his movement and direct style of play, he would be sure to cause havoc in the Premiership, if Newcastle United aren’t fortunate enough to acquire his services then which ever club does will no doubt have a real bargain on their hands.


It would be impossible to talk about buying from Spain without mentioning a name familiar to us all; Jonathan Woodgate. Constant rumours in the press link Woody with a return to a place where the fans really took him to their hearts, and for me personally he is by far the best defender I have ever seen in the black and white shirt. Despite his obvious world class ability, we all know the main problem with Woody is the fact he spends more of his time on the treatment table than on the pitch. Perhaps if some sort of well thought out and constructed pay-as-you-play deal was put on the table by Real Madrid, and with the player willing to accept this deal may become a possibility.


After Roeder’s insistence that Premiership experience will be vital in any new singings, one player that has recently sprung to my attention is now Sevilla’s and former West Ham forward Frédéric Kanouté, despite his often inconsistent form and at times lethargic attitude, on his day Kanouté has proven quality and is the type of player who can produce a moment of magic out of nothing, he would definitely improve the squad and in my eyes is an improvement on any of the current strikers at our disposal.


Moving over to the recently malingered and new World Champions Italy, David Suazo is the name that immediately springs to mind. With 22 goals in 37 Serie A games last season the Honduran international has finally began to reach his enormous potential. Blessed with an abundance of pace, he can create goals out of nothing, can shoot with either foot, has excellent movement on and off the ball and can ghost past defenders. If there really was one transfer target all summer that we could pull off, Suazo would be the one for me. The only drawback however is the competition for his signature, as more recently he has once again been linked with big money moves to AC Milan and Sevilla.


Obafemi Martins from Inter Milan is also another striker recently linked with the club. Arguably the fastest player on the planet, but also rather erratic a loan move has been touted and due to the financial constraints of the club, this would more than likely be the best move for all parties. With the recent results in the Serie A match fixing scandal, Inter can basically handpick from any of the four clubs involved and Martins may be deemed surplus to requirements, or at least for now anyways.


Due to the uncertainty over the future’s of many players of teams involved in the Serie A Match Fixing Scandal there will no doubt be many left ripe for picking, it would be a bit unrealistic if we were to believe we could attempt to sign the likes of your Kakas and Cannavaros of this world. However one player who could most certainly be a possibility would be the versatile Marek Jankulovski of AC Milan. He would be an excellent asset at left back and could also cover the left-wing position if needed, he plays with fantastic energy and dynamism and I feel would really be suited to the fast pace of the English game.


Roma’s Mido seems to be a name that is cropping up more and more with regards to a move to Newcastle United. His talent is unquestionable, strong, excellent touch and is brilliant at bringing people into the game; he would have been a great foil for Owen if the latter were fit. However everywhere Mido has been his attitude has come into question, no wonder he has had so many clubs in such a short career, due to Roeder saying character assessments will now be a vital ingredient of any purchase, this deal is basically a no go.


Moving over to Holland. A name that I’m sure is familiar with the majority of you is Feyenoord’s much sought after Dirk Kuyt. The Dutch international, despite not having the best of World Cups for me has every physical attribute needed to succeed in the Premiership. An old fashioned centre forward if you will, holds the ball up extremely well and brings his teammates into the fold. He will run all day and chase down numerous lost causes, his goal scoring record proves that he’s a more than capable finisher. If you’re going into battle Kuyt is the one player you would want out there leading you into war, he has a fantastic never say die attitude and with this sort of attitude he would be the kind of player that the fans would immediately take a shine too.


Rumours have linked us once again with Ajax’s Hatem Trabelsi, I believe he is available on a free transfer and due to us apparently in the market for a right back he would be a perfect acquisition. Very solid in the defensive aspects of his game, and when he gets into the opposition’s half that’s when we see all the aspects of his game come to life. He really is the opitimy of the modern full back, always running up and down the channels and getting forward at every available opportunity. Definitely worth at least an attempt to capture his signature, despite the heavy competition, we could regret at least not making an effort to sign such a quality player on a free transfer.


Another player from Ajax who is rated very highly is the versatile Johnny Heitinga who could also help fill the void for our so-called right-back problems, but can also fill in at centre-half if the situation would be called upon. Another really whose career has stagnated shall we say at Ajax and someone like Van Der Vaart whose career could all change if he were to move onto pastures new. Or if Heitinga would be deemed to expensive another option for right back from Ajax would be the impressive Czech international Zdeněk Grygera.


Despite recently having just signed a new contract, one revelation from Feyenoord is the Canadian born Jonathan de Guzman. Prospects such as the central midfielder rarely come around and at the age he’s at surely the fee wouldn’t be as high in possibly a few years when he really begins to make a name for himself. The thing that amazes me about this lad, despite his tender years is his ability to take a game by the scruff of the neck and really show his influence on proceedings. One day I believe he will be one of the world’s top midfielders.


Moving over to the recent World Cup hosts over in Germany. Tottenham’s recent signing Dimitar Berbatov would have been an excellent acquisition to the squad, but obviously now with money being stretch and a risk as Roeder would put it this was always apparently a no go.


We have recently been linked with the World Cup’s top scorer in Miroslav Klose, this however in my eyes just appears to be lazy journalism as I don’t see how we could afford to spend the amount of money it would require in bringing Klose and yet still have money to strengthen other areas of the squad.


One player who would be definitely worth a lookout for, and is most definitely one for the future is Patrick Helmes of the recently relegated 1. FC Köln. Highly-regarded in Germany and with blistering pace and an outstanding technique, he broke into the Köln team at the end of last season scoring four goals. Despite being relegated Köln may strike a hard-bargain due to the fact they’ve recently lost another young starlet in Lukas Podolski, and to appease the fans they may do everything possible to keep hold of Helmes.


Finally moving over to the Portuguese league, Braga’s Argentinean Andrés Madrid who is a very combative centre midfielder who has a very all round game and on the surface doesn’t appear to have any weakness in any particular area, due to his attributes he would really thrive in the physical environment of the Premiership. Another player from Braga would be Luís Filipe, he would add much needed versatility to the squad, is relatively quick and can play either right wing or right-back.


One more relatively cheap option would be Academica’s Ousmane N'Doye. The Senegalese international can fill the void in a number of midfield positions, although more at home attacking from a central position in the midfield, he can also be a very useful outlet on the left side of midfield. He has fantastic stamina and a very accomplished technique; he really would be a bargain for any team that picks him up.


If I had the pleasure of being in Glenn Roeder’s position, the main target I would aim for would have to be David Suazo, as I feel he has every capable asset of taking the Premiership by storm, despite the heavy outlay Suazo would be a worthy investment to spend the majority of the transfer budget on, then perhaps a player like Kanouté to play alongside him. Then if Roeder were to look far a field as I’ve already stated a few signings that could be named, really the Dutch and French leagues are ripe for picking of untapped talent that just needs to be nurtured in the right environment to turn them into fantastic players in both the short and longer term for Newcastle United Football Club.

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Guest alex

Got a few errors I spotted. First sentence needs breaking up too I reckon. Decent, informative read though.

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But are they any good on Championship Manager?


Cheers for the excellent respone ;)

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