Why Newcastle should make sure Holland can Kruse into town

Declan Payne Roar Rookie

By Declan Payne, Declan Payne is a Roar Rookie

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16 Have your say

    With the Australian football world currently in the midst of the annual A-League squad cleanout, clubs are in a feeding frenzy as they look to poach the best of the rest.

    However, some news out of China will have sent shockwaves through the recruitment plans of clubs across the country โ€“ Socceroos Robbie Kruse and James Holland have terminated their tenure at Chinese Super League club Liaoning Whowin over contractual disputes.

    Sydney FC have been prompt in locking down much of their double-winning squad for next season, and along with Melbourne City and Victory have their marquees tied down for the coming season which will limit their ability to land the signatures of the Socceroos duo.

    The current anchors of the league, the Newcastle Jets, haven’t had a marquee player since English cult hero Emile Heskey last graced the league in the 2013-14 season.

    With Martin Lee making big declarations at the beginning of his tenancy as the club’s owner (and falling well short last season), a marquee signing or two and a sharp rise up the table will be high on new manager Ernie Merrick’s wish list.

    So, let’s kill two birds with one stone โ€“ James Holland and Robbie Kruse to Newcastle?

    It sounds preposterous, given the reputations of the two players and the outrageous money they were likely on in China.

    Holland is a former Jet; he played as an 18-year-old in the 2007-08 winning side and would provide some invaluable experience alongside the aspirational Steven Ugarkovic at the base of the Newcastle midfield.

    Kruse would fill the void (and then some) left by the departure of Andrew Hoole, would complement the talents of Andrew Nabbout and perhaps take some of the pressure off his back.

    The pair are likely to have struck up a rapport as they’ve crossed paths in Socceroos camps and club careers, so why not target the two at once?

    It would be the perfect investment to reinvigorate a desperately disenfranchised Newcastle football community, give Merrick some proven quality to build his squad around, and attract some more quality to Newcastle.

    If the Jets and Martin Lee are serious about dragging themselves from the foot of the ladder and into the position to qualify for Asian Champions League football in the coming years, there would be no better place to start than with the signatures of a duo with 65 Socceroos caps between them.

    Just get it done, Newcastle.

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    The Crowd Says (16)

    • Roar Guru

      May 18th 2017 @ 8:28pm
      Griffo said | May 18th 2017 @ 8:28pm | ! Report

      Holland’s a possibility if he enjoyed his time with Merrick, while Kruse would be left of field as I imagine he might be trying his luck elsewhere before looking A-League.

      It may work here for Kruse if he’s ready to take in some leadership as an experienced player and likely marquee. He’d also have to pass a medical and analysis (we’re just not there yet but I can hope).

      Lee is opening the cheque book so it might depend on how much Kruse thinks he’s worth in a league not loose with money.

      • May 18th 2017 @ 8:53pm
        Nemesis said | May 18th 2017 @ 8:53pm | ! Report

        Fair point about Kruse & Merrick. Very close bond. Exciting times for Jets. Ernie’s style of football will make you want to turn up to games.

      • May 18th 2017 @ 11:20pm
        Arto said | May 18th 2017 @ 11:20pm | ! Report

        I think both signings would work for the reasons Declan explained above, although I’ve gotten the impression there’s not a lot of love for Holland in Newcastle anymore. Kruse would be just the type of player to get Jets fans filling the stands too

        An added Dimension to the discussion is whether Kruse qualifies as a ‘Cahill’ marquee – then all of a sudden EVERY team is an option for him.
        Whilst it might be a great challenge to lift jets back into contention for silverware, and working with Merrick again might be a big bonus, I’m not sure Jets will be able to lure Kruse back.

        As for the money angle, it’d be silly of any team (bar maybe CCM who have said they’re too poor for marquees) to discount either player without having a chat to them (or their agent) first to work out what could be done…

        • May 19th 2017 @ 8:08am
          Fadida said | May 19th 2017 @ 8:08am | ! Report

          Kruse is no “Cahill” marquee

          • May 19th 2017 @ 8:35am
            punter said | May 19th 2017 @ 8:35am | ! Report

            Not even close!!!!

            The only other Australians that could be a ‘Cahill’ marquee are both long retired, Dukes & H.

            • May 19th 2017 @ 9:20am
              Fadida said | May 19th 2017 @ 9:20am | ! Report


              • May 19th 2017 @ 6:58pm
                Arto said | May 19th 2017 @ 6:58pm | ! Report

                Tbh, I don’t necessarily think he’s a ‘Cahill’ marquee either, but given it’s the FFA who decides on this, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did think he was a ‘Cahill’ marquee.

                Bear in mind, it wasn’t all that long ago that the majority of fans thought he was our best current player alongside said Cahill. yes, he’s had problems with injuries, but the majority of the criticim he cops nowadays is based upon the potential everyone knows he has inside – case in point, the flack he copped in recent WC qualifiers for being offside so often.

        • Roar Guru

          May 19th 2017 @ 3:33pm
          Griffo said | May 19th 2017 @ 3:33pm | ! Report

          Don’t know about any negativity to Holland Arto although it’s been a while and he was young when he left.

          Kruse on his own isn’t going to draw a crowd as a marquee unfortunately but as part of a group of players recruited of a certain calibre, well that would be a message that quality players do matter which is one of the things members and supporters would like to see.

          Agree with others Kruse isn’t going to qualify for the Cahill Marquee fund imo but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t try, or other clubs try to bring home a current Socceroo using that – and the FFA would have to agree he qualifies to dip into it…

          • May 19th 2017 @ 7:06pm
            Arto said | May 19th 2017 @ 7:06pm | ! Report

            Griffo, ok. I’m probably getting mixed up with AU supporters then that apparently aren’t too enamoured with him – I wasn’t sure whether he burnt any bridges when he left Newcastle for Europe, but lokks like that’s not the case.

            Re Kruse, IMO he needs to find a club that is going to look after him and get him back to 100% shape. I wouldn’t be surprised if FFA thought they could use him as a poster boy and therefore agreed to pay some of his wages – the questions that would remain is how much would he be asking for and whether any team in the A-League would be willing to offer that…

            I reckon it would be worth SFC’s while to try to sign him as they have a proven track record in ‘repairing’ damaged players (eg: Ibini, Brosque, Zullo, etc.) and him being an Aussie would help with ACL commitments too…

    • May 19th 2017 @ 2:09am
      Footoverhand said | May 19th 2017 @ 2:09am | ! Report

      They would be great for the Jets, but would also be good for the CCM as well, especially Holland playing in his preferred role of DM.

      • Roar Pro

        May 20th 2017 @ 2:43pm
        David McDaniel said | May 20th 2017 @ 2:43pm | ! Report

        Brisbane require attacking players and he used to play for us before he allegedly fell out with his GF and needed to leave the city for a frash start.

        Oar one side, Kruse the other? Not sure if there is a marquee spot available as Oar and Holman will be marquees next season so it is ulikely but I would like it to happen.

    • May 19th 2017 @ 8:27am
      Franko said | May 19th 2017 @ 8:27am | ! Report

      At 28, Kruse would be mad to head back to the A-League.

      Hopefully he can find his way back to Europe or even the J-League.

      • May 19th 2017 @ 9:21am
        Fadida said | May 19th 2017 @ 9:21am | ! Report

        Kruse is busted flush. Sadly

      • Roar Guru

        May 19th 2017 @ 2:44pm
        Kaks said | May 19th 2017 @ 2:44pm | ! Report

        Kruse needs to come back to reality and realise his knee wont ever be the same again.

      • Roar Guru

        May 19th 2017 @ 3:40pm
        Griffo said | May 19th 2017 @ 3:40pm | ! Report

        This is the question, isn’t it: if he still possesses quality to be a run-on player, where could he go? Who would gamble on a player who might be injury prone in an area that takes a long time to recover?

        He’s done okay when he was getting game time, although his injury has (or will in the future) hinder him. But the lack of game time and first team football leaves him short in recent NT games.

        At 28 he has an important decision to make around his next club – aren’t they all important decisions? – one if he gets it wrong could cost him his NT shirt.

        At 28 it might be too early to come back to the A-League, but it might also be the only league he can guarantee game time. Jason Culina came back early enough for Gold Coast United’s first season and killed it imo. I’m not sure Kruse would do it in the same way but as I said above, as part of a group of new players he could be useful.

      • May 19th 2017 @ 7:14pm
        Arto said | May 19th 2017 @ 7:14pm | ! Report

        Thing is Franko, Kruse has spent a long time in the wilderness these past few seasons and hasn’t really been able to get the trust of the management team. He badly needs that in order to get over the injury queries too so I reckon a move back to the A-League would actually benefit him a lot – he becomes an important player for the team & they’ll really try hard to get him back in top shape, plus it could be in very familiar surroundings. And there’s no reason he couldn’t then get signed by an overseas team again after a good season or two back here.

        Let’s face it, he’s not going to ever be a starter for a really big European Club, but he could get a transfer to either a Dutch/Belgian club involved in Europe or a mid-table Big-5 League (ENG/FRA/GER/ITA/SPA) club and be a starter if he has a good next 2 Seasons. If no-one from Europe is interested in him, I’m sure he’d be able to get a big pay-day in the Mid East or one of the big Asian Leagues again too…

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