It is difficult to see where Newcastle United go from here. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does.
The Leicester City players, including the Jamie Vardy roadshow, rolled into town and Newcastle promptly rolled over. Well done to Vardy as, just like Ruud Van Nistelrooy did over a decade ago, he showed just what can happen when you deal with hard and fast quality.
In 2001 Manchester United needed a striker, so they paid for class and it gave them goals in fantastic amounts, claiming titles along the way.
In 2012, Leicester wanted goals, so they went for a player far from tried at the top level and it has paid dividends and got them to the very summit of the Premier League, for a mere £1m, and what that says for Newcastle United’s scouting system is shameful.
In the black and white corner we have Aleksandar Mitrovic, untried in the English game with a hefty price tag (around £13m), who seems to be all talk and no trousers, whilst in the blue corner we have Jamie Vardy, schooled in the harsh lower leagues, for peanuts, who will end the season as England’s top goalscorer.
Knowing Mike Ashley like we do and keeping his keen eye on sell on value as he does, Jamie Vardy can realistically command a fee in excess of £15m- Whoops. I can’t imagine Mitrovic, Thauvin, Sissoko or De Jong going for anywhere near that. I hope Graham Carr has his CV at the ready.
Shifting from the attack, at the back we have worries, big worries, which are again the product of a flawed transfer policy and a dodgy scouting system.
Over the last few games we have seen the likes of Sylvain Distin (37), Robert Huth (31), Wes Morgan (31), Danny Simpson (28), Ryan Shawcross (28) and John O’Shea (34), all do reasonable and successful jobs against our attack.
None of these players would’ve been signed under our transfer policy of not signing people over 26 years old. However, with the exception of the mackem in the group, they would all walk into our side. Forget scouting, I could improve this side by simply watching Match of the Day. Again, I hope Graham Carr has his CV at the ready.
Sell on value doesn’t interest me one jot, what does interest me is goals, as goals win games.
A comment this weekend drew a snigger from me and it came from John Anderson before and after the game. He said on BBC Radio Newcastle (available on the iPlayer if you’re interested) that he wouldn’t swap any of the Leicester City players for any of our lot. Pardon me John? I’d take the goalkeeper, defence, midfield, attack, the manager, the lot…everything except the stadium to be honest.
Leicester City have been labelled in some quarters as the modern day Newcastle from ‘The Entertainers’ era under Kevin Keegan and I have to agree. The similarities are uncanny and they are a joy to watch, the whole side is filled with attacking nous and artistic licence, they will concede goals and they won’t finish in the top four, but they will keep their fans entertained, which after all, if you’re not going to win anything, you’d take as a consolation prize. If only we could aspire to entertaining failure at St James’ Park.
Coming up next for us we have Crystal Palace and if ever there were two people that would want to put one over Newcastle, it would be Alan Pardew and Yohan Cabaye, which I fully expect them to.
We start December with Liverpool, fresh from their heroics at the Etihad, followed by Spurs away, before the now must win encounter with Aston Villa.
If we don’t beat the Villains then we must seriously look at changing the manager, as failing to get points off three teams that I expect to be in relegation trouble (Mackems, Villa, Watford) will only end up with one outcome and it’s a very expensive one.
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