As much as I consider myself to be an avid, dyed-in-the wool Newcastle fan, man and boy for the last 51 years….

…and as such, I guess my opinion is as valid as the next deluded follower of the damned United, I would never credit myself as being a football expert.

I have for some time now tempered my opinions, safe in the knowledge that professional scouts, coaches and managers have a greater insight as to how the game is really played, and that I am missing some fundamental analysis skills, to adequately inform what I see week in and week out from those who don the black and white stripes.

Why else would I be baffled when we pay a fortune for a feckless French winger one moment, then less than a year later swap him and an additional wad of cash for his facsimile.

Equally, my ignorance also prevents me from understanding why we continue to invest in midfielders that can run through brick walls and kick lumps out of the opposition, when what it ‘appears’ we need is someone who can actually pass the football.

Yes I’m aligned with the universal opinion that significant deficiencies exist elsewhere in the NUFC squad.

We have seen countless column inches devoted to our desperate need for a quality centre half- but from this uneducated viewpoint, the most glaring omission from the squad remains self-evident and that is.. we have never even attempted to replace a certain Monsieur Cabaye.

Perhaps we should ask Ayoze Perez or Papiss Cisse to give us some professional insight as to which kind of midfielder they’d like to play with.

One that can knock seven bells out of the opposition, or one that can deliver the ball with the requisite guile to outwit defences and supply them with the type of quality which will enable them to score goals.

Doh! Too late, they’ve just run offside.

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