I think we have a rare thing in this summer transfer window, almost universal agreement amongst Newcastle supporters.
The fans seem to all pretty much think that at least on paper the club have made three good signings, whilst at the same time also believing that more new players are needed after the shortcomings of the squad were shown last season.
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However, where the fans do though appear to diverge is when it comes to the remaining four weeks of the transfer window, with the half full/half empty feeling dividing the two sides.
The thing that I find most disconcerting is the group of fans who don’t see any urgency in tackling the weaknesses in the squad.
These supporters making comments along the lines of ‘Don’t worry there is still four weeks of the transfer window left if we need any more’, when you engage them in conversation.
Firstly, they seem to conveniently forget just how long it took to get the three signings we have got so far, over ten weeks after last season finished.
Secondly, and more importantly, is that buying players isn’t like going into a shop where everything is for sale until the shop closes.
Yes the window doesn’t shut for another four weeks but we are now at a point where the season is kicking off (has already done so in some European countries) and clubs who have a had a properly structured pre season schedule, have spent that time preparing the first choice team that will play in the opening matches and hopefully the rest of the season.
Clubs deciding on tactics to suit the individuals they have got and having training session after training session, as well as friendly matches, to ensure that group of players are ready as a unit for the season.
So how unrealistic is it to think you can get in touch with any club after the season has already started and say we want your star player(s) now, yes we could have moved in June/July but we just thought we’d see how god/bad we were first in a couple of matches?
It stands to reason that signing any first team player from another club will be so much harder, plus the pool of players who could move will have shrunk. Some players who could have been bought in mid-summer will not be not for sale at any realistic price because replacements will be so hard to buy.
I think Mike Ashley and Newcastle United have basically done their transfer business, this is what they envisaged before they started the process and I doubt very much, if they ever accepted that the half dozen or so first team players the fans generally think is necessary, was ever going to be even tried for.
You maybe have the odd one who stands out like a sore thumb like Charlie Austin who is still likely to move, though even there I think fans are ridiculously optimistic in thinking the price will radically come down just because the transfer window is now in its last month.
By the same token, you could say that his price could easily go the other way, with those clubs not landing other targets, or getting off to poor starts, or picking up key injuries, then having to panic buy and pay over the odds probably.
I think Newcastle might pick up the odd young player such as Ivan Toney but I think realistically that unless a key player is sold, then any further first team buys are unlikely. I can envisage maybe at least one loan player coming in as Mike Ashley seems to have taken to this option despite the mixed results (de Jong, Remy, Ferreyra etc).
Maybe just as well that five players were back training today after injury, I have a feeling we might need every available body if we want to insure against a repeat of last season’s near disaster.
The squad is nowhere near strong enough and whilst the first eleven looks decent on paper, that is also reliant on the three overseas signings hitting the ground running.
This season, like almost every other one under Mike Ashley, is in the balance before a ball has even been kicked in anger.