When it comes to the January transfer window, no news is definitely not good news where Newcastle United are concerned.
Past transfer windows, summer or January, have tended to see players arriving later rather than earlier during the transfer periods, if at all…
This past summer was no exception, Wijnaldum the only one of the four major signings to arrive early in the transfer window and even he had to join the pre-season tour of America part way through it.
When it comes to Januarys, it is maybe worth bearing in mind that it is three years since Mike Ashley allowed any money to be spent halfway through the season and of course, Lee Charnley has repeatedly stated that the club don’t see this window as one that gives the best value.
The January of 2013 was of course when five French players were frantically brought in to try and make sure of survival, at the 20 match point of that season, Newcastle were actually three points and three league placings higher than today’s position of 17 points and 18th place in the Premier League.
I don’t really understand those who say it doesn’t matter when you bring players in during a transfer window, including that last one in summer 2015.
It is common sense that not having a decent pre-season with your new team-mates is a big handicap at the start of a season, something which even Steve McClaren was keen to say in the early stages of this season.
Of course with the position Newcastle currently find themselves in, you must surely start to worry if there is no action very soon.
There are three Premier League matches in the next 19 days, including two home games, after that only 15 PL matches would remain.
If we are going to bring any first team players in, then they need to be available for as many games as possible.
If you extend that, in 33 days times Newcastle play West Brom at home and that is five days after the window closes on Monday 1 February.
If there are any real last ditch signings, then it is hard to imagine them starting less than a week later, especially if (as likely) they are coming in from abroad.
After that West Brom home match on 6 February, there would be only 13 PL games left, including six at St James Park.
It is not a time for panic but it is easy to imagine that Newcastle’s survival hopes could largely be decided in these five matches over 33 days.
Especially when in this same time period there are a series of matches elsewhere which include:
Swansea v Sunderland
Chelsea v West Brom
Bournemouth v Norwich
Southampton v West Brom
Sunderland v Bournemouth
West Brom v Swansea
Aston Villa v Norwich
So basically somebody has to pick up points in those games, whereas before Newcastle face West Brom at home they play 5th placed Man Utd, 6th placed West Ham, 9th placed Watford and 11th placed Everton. In the reverse fixtures against these four teams, Newcastle have only picked up one point.
I have a horrible feeling that any transfer activity will be minimal, if anything at all. I hope I am wrong and there is an acceptance of just how bad the situation is, though I have a very difficult job connecting Lee Charnley with dynamic activity, that is if he has any say whatsoever in Newcastle’s January transfer window business.
As of today (Monday 4 January) this is the time period before the upcoming matches:
In 8 days time Manchester United (H)
In 12 days time West Ham (H)
In 19 days time Watford (A)
In 30 days time Everton (A)
In 33 days time West Brom (H)
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