Squad Appraisal - Midfielders

Last updated : 19 April 2005 By Craig Hope (website editor)

JERMAINE JENAS – Of all the midfielders he is the easiest to argue should remain because of long-term potential. His form this season has however been awful. Another chance next season to prove he is an England international.

KIERON DYER – Since realising he is not a ‘complete’ central midfielder, he has begun to utilise his main asset – pace. I don’t know how he is still at the club and it’s amazing that he has emerged as somewhat of a fans’ favourite in recent weeks – just goes to show it’s about what you do on the pitch that counts.

LEE BOWYER – Another player whose lack of quality is compensated for by effort and commitment. A player we need to improve upon, it’s a shame there is a queue of players in front of Bowyer for whom the same could be said.

LAURENT ROBERT – Must go. It is as simple as that. To improve we need players who can perform consistently over a season. That Robert had to remind fans during a recent interview that he played well during our recent good run serves to highlight the problem with him – he is good for two or three games, earns a reprieve from the fans and manager, then proceeds to put in performances like that in Cardiff for the next five or six games.

NICKY BUTT - Will be reluctant to leave St.James' Park given the direction in which his career his headed. Too slow, offers nothing in attack and even his accurate passing has become wayward. We'd do well to recoup the £2.5million we paid last summer.

AMDY FAYE - What does he offer? His defensive attributes are average and his attacking contribution is almost apologetic. Not good enough and another we'd do well to get our money back from.

DARREN AMBROSE - A decent shot and a bit of pace disguise what is a poor player.

JAMES MILNER - Has shown very little to date but has demonstrated huge potential when he plays at a lower level (under 21's and reserves) suggesting that he isn't quite ready for first team action but could be a good player given some coaching and guidance.

CHARLES N'ZOGBIA - Direct, energetic and great on the ball. Weren't we saying the same about Jenas at 18 years old? Let us hope N'Zogbia can develop and become a key member next year - he already offers more than Faye or Butt in a central midfield position (as he showed on Sunday).