Welcome to another edition of Overreaction Theater. This is where we find white-hot scoring takes from Twitter to evaluate whether or not the comment is worthy of an overreaction. As always, we will rate on the scale of 1-to-5 panic emojis, 5 emojis being full-on overreactions.
The biggest news from the last couple of weeks ...
Hope Thauvin offers more than just stepovers and falling over. As long as he does, we’ve got the better half of that deal… #NUFC— Chris (@Chris_Hewitson) August 19, 2015
Physicality issues with Cabella are maybe hiding the fact that he simply wasn't v. good. Smaller/leaner players have succeeded in EPL. #NUFC— Matt Smith (@ElasticoChop) August 19, 2015
@themightysteve Cabella? He looked like a tiny puppy. Unfortunately, he also played like one (that's harsh, I realise).— George Caulkin (@CaulkinTheTimes) August 20, 2015
The transfer news out of St. James' Park was the acquisition of Florian Thauvin in exchange for Remy Cabella and cash. Long coveted by Newcastle Director of (Sports) Graham Carr, Thauvin represents the first real gamble of the Ashley-era since Hatem Ben Arfa, a player the new French playmaker is often compared to. Thauvin brings to the Black and White raw talent that could help him develop into a phenom under the right circumstances. Newcastle gambled on Steve McClaren being the right man to unlock Flauvin's massive potential.
What I like about this move most is that it was consummated without the standard financial dog-leash usually placed around Newcastle by its owner. The Thauvin transfer was about Carr’s ability to find a player of immense talent who fit a system the current boss wants to install. It showed a simpatico between Carr and McClaren that was never present during Alan Pardew’s tenure.
McClaren decided Cabella doesn’t fit his style of play. But was Cabella as bad as everyone seems to think he was?
Whether he was given a fair chance or not at Newcastle, Cabella never proved he was able to excel in the Premier League. He was too lightweight, took too long when on the ball, and never looked comfortable on the pitch. He was a square peg in a round hole, and if he had to be sent away to make the Thauvin deal a reality, then it had to be done.
Thauvin was the star of the show on Tuesday in the League Cup match against Northampton Town. A goal, three assists and scary chemistry with Daryl Janmaat could mean we have a genuine gem playing for Newcastle.
@NUFC_Index no matter how much flair we have going forward our defence will always let us down. Season of standing still.— Sean (@sean597_sean) August 21, 2015
I said in this space last week that the back four needed time to develop an understanding. That chemistry hit a speed bump when Janmaat was sent off before the end of the first half at the Liberty Stadium. The subsequent suspension introduced Steven Taylor to the lineup and pushed the Chancellor to right back. However, concerns were subdued after an impressive performance at Old Trafford. The backline allowed a staggering 17 shots from open play, but less than half were from inside the 18 yard-box. None of those 17 shots was in the six yard-box.
It was a hard-fought, well-earned point at a venue where the Magpies usually struggle. Credit for this point sits on the shoulders of the back five. When the ball did fall in a dangerous position, Tim Krul (another player who struggled last season) was there to save the day. We could nitpick about a play or two throughout the match, but it would be wasting your time and mine. I’m going to take my point against good opposition and not look back. You should too.
A season of standing still? Come on now. Newcastle have some exciting pieces in the attack to compensate for what they might lack in defense. The best defense? It might be a good offense.
Everyone's favorite pinatas...
Williamson AND Gouffran? WHY?!?!?!? #NUFC— Jake Oliver (@jolivernyc) August 25, 2015
Let’s have a quick word about the Newcastle scapegoats, Mike Williamson and Yoan Gouffran. At this point in their Newcastle careers, they are fringe players at best. While they may not have a future at St. James' Park, they were still part of the squad against a favorable draw in the opening round of the League Cup, and able to the job. Northampton Town's visit afforded the luxury of squad rotation. That’s exactly what McClaren did, to the anger of most of some sections of the Newcastle fan base who wanted "the strongest squad possible."
Newcastle didn’t need the strongest XI to dispatch of their League Two opposition. What the Magpies needed was players in the squad to get some valuable minutes on the pitch. It was a good opportunity to give Williamson and Gouffran some minutes in the shop window.
I don’t have any problem with Williamson playing, and would rather have seen him than Curtis Good or Lubomir Satka, who could've struggled against the physicality of a League Two side. I have a slight problem with playing Gouffran in an unfamiliar position when we could've played Gael Bigirimana or Olivier Kemen.
If we all agree McClaren knows what he is doing, what does it say for these kids who can’t crack the lineup over two players who don’t have a future in black and white? Maybe that's the question we should be asking.
It was Northampton, and Williamson scored a goal. Go on, Iron Mike. Hindsight being what it is, it was good man-management by McClaren to get some fringe players some playing time.