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Perch shows Hughton's need for versatility

Premier League Newcastle United
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Newcastle United signing James Perch

Newcastle United supporters expecting a flurry of transfer activity may have been slightly disappointed to learn that their first signing on returning to the Premier League is that of Nottingham Forest utility man James Perch.

Hardly what the media term a "marquee signing".

However Perch's arrival on Tyneside represents pragmatic and shrewd business for boss Chris Hughton, who realises his financial restraints and in turn has signed a player who offers versatility to his squad for a tough campaign ahead.

In Perch, the Magpies have signed a player who has served a variety of positions, from centre-half to right midfield, captained Nottingham Forest and was a graduate of the Tricky Trees' highly respected academy set-up.

He is likely to become regular right-back cover for Danny Simpson, who currently continues to recover from a foot operation and will miss the start of the new season.

Not to mention that in a squad which will be pushed to the limit by the rigours of top-flight football Perch will be become a useful asset anywhere across defence or midfield.

Toon supporters may cast their minds back fondly to an era when players arriving at St James' Park were the envy of the Premier League, Ginola, Asprilla, Shearer et al, but for Hughton, such imports are but a dream.

The club has already stressed in a statement released post-season that money would be tight, and that a transfer kitty would need to be raised by player sales.

For Hughton the task is clear: ensure Newcastle United's survival on their return to the top flight, modest ambitions for a club of Newcastle's stature.

And as such, Hughton realises the need to bolster his squad, and in adding a player such as Perch has considered value for money ahead of glamour.

As for Perch himself? Question marks remain of Perch's top-level experience - none - but at just 24, the Mansfield-born player has time on his side.

Former Forest starlets Jermaine Jenas, David Prutton, Andy Reid and Michael Dawson have all progressed and adapted well to life in the Premier League in the last decade.

Who is to say that Perch, less in the spotlight than many of Forest's former academy talents, cannot do the same?

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posted Jul 5, 2010

A good Championship player and versatility is, as the article said, going to be key for us this season. I hope he does well and after seeing him play a few times, he has a good chance. He will obviously not be the first on the team sheet but that isn't what Hughton is looking for. 7/10 signing! <ok>

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comment by Stevat (U13819162)

posted Jul 5, 2010

Said this the other day 'We all follow' - everyone loves a generalization don't they?

Not a fan of irony I guess.

We finished third last time we came up, no doubt you think the manager who achieved that was a bit of a knacker, but I doubt you'll find many Newcastle fans who genuinely believe we'll be top half.

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comment by mar100 (U14543940)

posted Jul 5, 2010

Best bit of news i had heard in years,i never rated him as a forest player,didn't like his style of play.Good luck to him,am sure hes a nice bloke,maybe now we can find the missing link that will help us get back in the Premiership!

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posted Jul 5, 2010

Steve M - As I say everyone to their own. It's not optimism at all, just an opinion. You're entitled to your opinion - just remember that doesn't make it fact though. You don't rate him which is fair enough. But I'm sure you don't rate many players that others do and visa versa. That's football.

I do find it humourous that some Forest fans are trying to put it down to Perch becoming a member of the side when Shorey left as a reason for their efforts for promotion faltering. The reality is the best two teams gained automatic promotion regardless whether Shorey stayed or not, Forest were way too weak as a squad to sustain the effort. You'd have to ask your board about that though.

As for your management not rating him, I don't know many managers worth their salt who give the captaincy to someone they don't rate? You'd have to be a bit backward and simple. Even Forest fans on here are saying that all his previous bosses rated him.

It doesn't really matter what Perch thinks he is either. It'll be for the manager to decide that, as it always should be. It's like the kid at school who thinks he's a striker, but you all know he's a left back!

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posted Jul 5, 2010

Steve M - Also Gunter is decent no more. He couldn't make it at PL level with Spurs. If he was that good there'd be a queue a mile long. He certainly hasn't been the talk of the gossip column from what I've seen. This would suggest those in the know think he has frailties easily exposed.

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comment by Gone (U11090296)

posted Jul 5, 2010

We All Follow United, I've read Blackpool fans saying things like that. It's called having a laugh. What are you meant to say when asked where you'll finish when you're in our position?

'Yeh, I think we'll get relegated.'

No you make the most of it and try poking fun at our 'deluded' tag <doh>

The media are world class at twisting things and writing things to their advantage/someone's disadvantage.

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posted Jul 5, 2010

I think most Newcastle fans are realistic in what we could achieve this season, a season in the Championship and Id argue our fans are probably more in touch with reality than most sets of fans in the premiership.
This year I will be happy if we stay up, im pretty confident that we will and I reckon thats the target has been set at by the owner. Next few years will be all about building a solid base to try and stay in the league long term while at the same time trying to rebalance the books.
I think most of our fans understand that, we do have a decent solid team and I reckon we will be hard to beat. Our home form will be our ticket this year no doubt.

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posted Jul 5, 2010

Today Perch, tomorrow Messi, Kaka, Villa, Ozil etc...

I expect - no - demand a flurry of transfer activity and marquee signings if no one else will <grr>

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posted Jul 5, 2010

Warm pouch cannot believe your comments of Gunter not being a good right back, i'm sorry but those comments are pure delusion, i'd certainly rate him a lot higher then your current right back, but obviously not your left back but who was one of the best performers i've seen at championship level.

Back to the point check your facts, Spurs fans were sorry to see Gunter going, they believed him to be a hot prospect, and as for the comments about no other clubs lining up for him last summer, that just shows how little you know about this lad <ok>

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comment by Andrew (U14545114)

posted Jul 6, 2010

As a Forest fan I am pleased to see the back of Perch. He had at most a handful of half decent games at Forest and many many more ranging from very poor to absolute garbage. A utility player, can play in different positions, true enough but he was fairly rubbish in all of them!
Not questioning his effort and commitment but definitely his talent!

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