Oh Newcastle, you’ve heard of them, right? Currently dominating the headlines and being linked with
Fabricio Coloccini – The Argentine became a fully converted Geordie by the time his Newcastle days were over. A firm fan favourite during his 275-game spell.
Philippe Albert – Signed off the back of some impressive World Cup displays for Belgium, the towering defender established himself as one of the division’s top centre backs. Formed a fine partnership with Darren Peacock.
Darren Peacock – Back in the time when Newcastle were among the top dogs in the Premier League, it was Peacock in the heart of the defence that gave them the foundation to do so alongside Albert.
Steven Taylor – Across 13 years with the club, Taylor would take over the mantle of ‘Mr. Newcastle’ from Alan Shearer to become the fan favourite. His no-nonsense style of play and consistent displays earn him a spot in the squad. Good, not great.
John Beresford – His attacking prowess was one of the main reasons why Newcastle were referred to as ‘The Entertainers’ in the 90s, playing a key role in the club’s near title success during that period.
Jose Enrique – Consistent and committed are two of the words that crop up when the Spaniard’s name is raised, thus making him a fan-favourite on Tyneside. Was good enough to earn a move to Liverpool in 2011 (Newcastle would then finish the next season above them).
Warren Barton – Nearly claimed a league title in his debut season after moving from Wimbledon, and while he would never lift a trophy with the club, his attacking style of play was impressive throughout his near-seven year spell in the north east.
Aaron Hughes – Only Ryan Giggs has played more times in the Premier League without getting sent off than Hughes, who was consistency personified throughout his career in the north east.
Gary Speed – The epitome of ‘box-to-box’, the Welshman was a leader at Newcastle who was capable of doing anything on a football pitch. Always turned up for the big occasions and is widely heralded as one of Newcastle’s finest ever players.
Rob Lee – His ten-year stay on Tyneside was littered with fine moments, including his superb partnership with Speed in the heart of the midfield. Lee also had a knack for scoring goals, finding the back of the net 56 times during his Magpies career.
Yohan Cabaye – Granted, he isn’t well-liked on Tyneside anymore, but there is no looking past how influential Cabaye was in the side when they secured a fifth-place finish in the top flight. Classy on the ball and with a fierce shot to boot, he was a fine player on his day.
Kevin Nolan – While he only really managed one season in the Premier League for the club, his exploits in getting them promoted from the Championship, as well as the magnificent campaign he had following that, was arguably his finest season in the top flight. The working man’s Marouane Fellaini.
Nolberto Solano – The greatest Peruvian to play in the Premier League? Absolutely, no question. He was one of the most skilful players to feature for the club in the top flight, regularly chipping in with some fabulous goals.
Hatem Ben Arfa – His conduct off the pitch aside, there was precious little that Ben Arfa could do wrong. He had technical ability in abundance and scored some outrageously good goals in his three full seasons.
Laurent Robert – You often hear people mention certain players who had rockets for left feet, but if Robert’s name is not included in that discussion, then stop speaking to that person. Like, ever again.
David Ginola – Completing the French contingent on this left flank is the flamboyant Ginola. He only played two seasons at St James’ Park, but that doesn’t tell the story of just how talented he was. Key to all their fine play in the near-miss title challenges.
Peter Beardsley – It’s a good thing Beardsley went back for a second spell at Newcastle during the Premier League era, as his attacking prowess would be sorely missed in this squad. Could play anywhere across the front, as well as a striker, but worked best weaving his magic in the number ten role.
Jonás Gutiérrez – Sneaking in here as he was able to play out wide or just off the striker, the Argentine is a legend on Tyneside and was always a trusted figure to give his all and be the link between attack and defence.
Georginio Wijnaldum – Sure, he may not play this role at Liverpool, but in his solitary season at St James’ Park, the Dutchman was lethal in front of goal despite featuring in a woefully poor side. Never scored away from home, mind.
Alan Shearer – Obviously. No real need to delve further into this other than to mention how he’s the greatest goalscorer that the English top-flight has ever seen. Simple as, really.
Andy Cole – That combination with Beardsley was feared throughout the land. 68 goals in 84 appearances? It’s no wonder Manchester United snapped him up and he went on to become even better.
Les Ferdinand – Speaking of departures, Ferdinand was the man to replace Cole, and he did a pretty valiant job of it. He was only there two seasons, but was at his peak throughout and formed one part of a lethal front two with Shearer.