I once made a tea so abysmal, it has gone down in gastronomic history as, well, the most abysmal tea ever made. The problem was, I changed every single delicious ingredient for something that wasn’t quite the same. It ended up an inedible mess. It looked like it could work, but it didn’t.
Newcastle United have done that over the last few years. We’ve changed loads of ingredients for something that nearly works, but isn’t quite there.
Shelvey could be the sauce that brings the whole thing together, and most of us like those little flavours of Wijnaldum. However, what our team needs is that killer ingredient. It’s called a centre forward. You’ll find them in the ‘cherry on the cake’ aisle. Should be easy enough. We’ve been shopping, yet we’ve come back from the shops with someone who isn’t a centre forward.
I’m sure this could work out well. Andros Townsend and Jonjo Shelvey have a point to prove, and international shirts to play for in a European Championship year. This puts us in quite a good position. But we need them to be able to supply their killer crosses and passes to a centre forward. One of those old-fashioned ones. The ones who score goals.
Long-term, we know that the club policy means a young ‘un with sell on value. That will mean precisely ‘nowt if we get relegated. The financial rewards of staying up far outweigh the short-term outlay or mercenary wages we would pay to buy the goals we need to stay up.
Next season, whoever stays up will earn more from the TV money than Manchester United earned the last time they won the league. The question might be, can we afford not to buy the goals?
I like Mitrovic’s effort and I really hope it works out. He’s young, he can bounce back from this difficult season and this experience will make him stronger. If we buy, borrow or spawn a proven centre forward, Mitrovic could learn from him. Experience is priceless. That’s why our deckchair clad brethren from down the A19 have signed Steve Harper. And this makes me wonder… who are we looking for?
Would we settle for Berahino? He’s a bit of a Diva. If he didn’t like my tea, he wouldn’t politely suggest a takeaway. He’d drive to the takeaway and sulk until nothing happened because he’s under a contract that he’s not bothered about.
Loic Remy? It doesn’t always work out for players going back to a club where they’ve had success. Well, apart from Peter Beardsley, obviously.
Then, thinking about it, Remy may be just the mercenary we’re looking for. He needs to prove he’s still got it, just like Shelvey and Townsend. He ‘Knows the Premier League’. And last time, his goals helped keep us up. He’ll have two good players serving him chances on a Gallowgate plate, and the smell of confidence would hopefully drift to the other players like a Bisto cloud… mmm, Premier League survival.
Because the alternative is financial starvation and that will not go down well with the diners.
Who would you order?
You can follow the author on Twitter @georgestainsby
(To feature like George, send in your articles for our website to [email protected])