The Newcastle transfer policy is yet again under intense scrutiny, with United second bottom of the Premier League.
Only two wins in 14 league matches despite over £50m invested in the summer, what could possibly have gone wrong?
Rather than the mad idea of letting the manager/head coach have the biggest say in which players should come in, Newcastle have continued with their supposed ‘committee’ style approach, though Graham Carr is assumed to make the decisions.
That is, the Chief Scout makes decisions within Mike Ashley’s very strict parameters of age and future resale value, rather than which players, of any description, could do the best job for the team/squad.
The four major summer signings were all said to be long-term targets, identified long before Steve McClaren found himself sacked by Derby County and desperate for another job.
The Head Coach hitting the jackpot, like Pardew before him, landing a job at a ‘big’ Premier League club despite an overall dismal track record at lower levels over the course of the last five years.
Only now as he comes under pressure, does Steve McClaren realise how crap it can be working under Mike Ashley. Having no say in picking who to buy but then having to sit and take it as he gets slaughtered for ‘HIS’ team’s limitations.
If you look at the 18 players on Saturday though, you will get a better idea maybe of just how flawed the Newcastle transfer policy is.
The starting 11 and then the seven substitutes are listed, along with what it cost to buy each of them – figures taken from specialist transfer website transfermarkt:
Starting 11 v Crystal Palace
£0.4m Rob Elliot
£4.2m Daryl Janmaat
£8.4m Chancel Mbemba
£9.1m Fabricio Coloccini
£0 Paul Dummett
£0 Jack Colback
£6.0m Vurnon Anita
£1.7m Mousa Sissoko
£14.0m Gini Wijnaldum
£1.4m Ayoze Perez
£8.4m Papiss Cisse
Total – £53.6m
On the bench v Crystal Palace
£1.4m Yoan Gouffran
£6.1m Siem De Jong
£3.5m Jamaal Lascelles
£3.5m Karl Darlow
£0 Jamie Sterry
£12.9m Florian Thauvin
£12.9m Aleksandar Mitrovic
Total – £40.3m
As you can see, if you take away Gini Wijnaldum, the transfer fees of the seven players who CAN’T get into the team, exceeds the eleven (excluding Wijnaldum) who were selected.
It all looks a bit reminiscent of when Alan Pardew was handed players that he hadn’t chosen and then refused to play them, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa maybe the stand out one. Pardew had made clear that he wanted a dominant centre-back who could sort the defence out and add goals on set-pieces, then instead he was handed a player who he then said was too similar to Coloccini for them to play together.
So if/when players are brought in this coming January, let’s all hope that Steve McClaren (or whoever else is in charge..) has a major say in who he will be given to try and help turn things around.
(To feature like John, send in your articles for our website to [email protected])