pardewoneill1Alan Pardew and Martin O’Neill have traded (verbal) blows on the touchline but who will prove the winner in the toe to toe transfer contest?

While spending was kept to a minimum at St.James’ Park in the summer, O’Neill was given some £25m to bring in Steven Fletcher and Adam Johnson, two players who every other Premier League manager was well aware of. While Sunderland have also dipped into the overseas markets, their main purchase again was homegrown (as a Geordie!) Danny Graham for a fee of around £5m, again a player that was well know to everybody in England.

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In contrast, Newcastle have continued their raiding of Ligue 1 and have added Mapou, Sissoko, Haidara, Gouffron and Debuchy for some £18m, three of them already French internationals. These were added to the stellar signings of Ben Arfa and Cabaye who are reported to have cost anything up to £11m for the pair.

So for rough figures you could say that Martin O’Neill has brought in three proven Premiership players for around the same as Newcastle have paid for five French internationals plus the youthful Haidara and Gouffran with a decent goalscoring record in France.

Sunderland may be just ahead of Newcastle in the league at the moment but who will be the transfer market winners in the end? Newcastle v Sunderland, France v England/Scotland?

I would say a fair reflection must be based on what happens next season, the anti-Newcastle faction will no doubt be hoping/praying that Newcastle’s over reliance on the French market will lead to cliques/players not settling/not enough quality French restaurants in the toon/ the step up to Premier League proving too much – and so on.

I would find it very hard to envisage Newcastle coming out on the wrong end of this contest, especially taking into account other factors.

Newcastle’s problems going into this season were not that we didn’t have decent players, it was that we had some excellent/decent players but if anybody was injured it was almost certain to lead to a massive drop in ability from their replacements. The challenge was to add quality to quality and now belatedly that appears to have happened in January, plus with real value for money.

By contrast, looking from the outside Sunderland looked to have a very mediocre team and could just about put out two different teams and you would be hard pressed to say which was better. Bringing in players who would be better than they had would hardly be difficult and so it has proved, Fletcher and Johnson proving easily to be two of Sunderland’s best players but it comes at a price by going for the obvious, even with players already proven in the Premier League at a middle of the table kind of level.

If both teams hang onto their best players then there will be only one winner but maybe that is Newcastle’s biggest weakness in the contest.

Clubs with big resources may see there is still big value in players like Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Sissoko and others, whatever prohibitive transfer fees are placed on their heads by Mike Ashley. In contrast Sunderland have already had to pay right up to the value (and beyond?) for their signings, both in terms of wages and transfer fees.

As always, the greatest threat to Newcastle United is whether there are any self-inflicted blows in the summer.

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BlingEagle 5pts

Credit to you NUFC fans for your reaction to this pitiful example of journalism. There's still plenty time to turn your season around. Here's hoping you get your Christmas wishes - players fit to wear your shirt and a fanzine blog worthy of your club. Keep the faith

southernfairy 5pts

I am a non Newcastle fan, (Yeah, soz I'm Palace). But you lot on this site are an utter joke and you do your club and it's followers a great disservice. I was at the game on Saturday and on the way to the ground and on the way home I met numerous Geordies who are are credit to NUFC, passionate followers of their local team who shares the highs and (more so recently) get frustrated by the lows but none of them came across like the bitter, sad, vindictive and delusional morons who "write" for this "publication". True fans you are not and it is an insult to them that claim to speak for them.

Polarboy 5pts

The editor of this fanzine needs to be sacked. 90% of the article contributors are fecking morons and they're giving us a bad name.  

breenebass 5pts

i'm sure i have read on here a few seasons ago about how zaha would be a great asset to the toon.

sour grapes do not sort out our internal problems. newcastle fans are lauded as some of the best, passionate and fairest fans in the world where we give credit where credit is due.

articles like this tarnish the reputation of a once great club- blaming other teams players when we weren't good enough takes focus off the real problems newcastle united are facing. please avoid doing it next time we take a hammering

andrewn2001 5pts

Are you kidding me.  We dont help ourselves with articles like this. The fact that  our captain spent more time on his arse or with his back to the ball let alone the volume or lack of commitment from every single one of the money earners not fit to wear the black and white. Picking on a player who was simply too good for any of our boys is like being in the school yard and saying my pa will smack yours.  grow up man.

BaldEagle10 5pts

Great reporting once again. This truly is THE go to place for a decent article. I'm not quite sure exactly where he says 'I'll keep on diving' but I assume it is somewhere, this being the mag - one of the most reputable sensible article writers of all time. I have to assume that he said this somewhere else and that the mag accidentally missed the quote out from their article - and not take any notice of how silly that is, seeing as the article states that this is what he said in its headline.