While the situation around Jose Enrique and Joey Barton intensifies, two players left Newcastle United today without much notice. Veteran defender Sol Campbell and stalwart strike Shefki Kuqi left the club with Alan Pardew looking toward the future and focusing on some of the younger players available to him.
Many thought (myself included) that Campbell would be a good influence for the players around him. An experienced England International who could provide mentorship for Steven Taylor, Mike Williamson and Danny Simpson, as well as someone who could provide backup and make appearances when necessary. Campbell actually made just eight appearances in a black and white shirt. I’m sure his time in Newcastle won’t be remembered too fondly by the Toon Army – he certainly gave us nothing to remember him for (other than being injured or too unfit to play that is).
Kuqi on the other hand became a bit of a cult figure at the club, putting in some good shifts at the training ground. However, if you can’t get a game in front of Peter Lovenkrands, Shola Ameobi, and Nile Ranger, surely it’s time to seek pastures new. I just wished Kuqi could have gotten himself a goal for the fans to remember him by, I’m sure he would too!
So, that takes two salaries of the wage bill and gives a chance for some of our youngsters to step up to the next level. In the few games Shane Ferguson has played this season, he’s certainly acquitted himself very well. If he’s just an example of some of the younger players at the club, then they deserve every chance.
However, what’s more likely to happen is that big names such as Kevin Gameiro or Gervinho will continually be linked with the Toon. Where’s the harm in that?