So the summer transfer window slammed shut last night and amongst the later deals was the news Moussa Sissoko had chosen Spurs over Everton. Yes, the man who was coveted so much by Real Madrid and desperate to sign for Arsenal, ended up signing for a team that we beat twice last season.
Normally when your best player leaves , and we have seen it over the years with Supermac, Waddle, Beardsley, Gazza etc, there is a huge sense of frustration and disappointment amongst the fans. However, this is odd because there is much delight at his departure, a player who on his day (I counted three since he arrived on Tyneside) can be very effective, is ridiculed by the very nature of his departure.
Even his departure had a sense of pantomime about it, as he hid under the sofa avoiding phone calls from Everton, before finally getting his dream move.
If any Spurs fans happen to read this then I can assure you this is not sour grapes, the fact is that Moussa Sissoko is one of the most frustrating players ever to play for us, suffice to say we got £30million(ish) for a player who actually is probably not good enough to get in the current NUFC match day squad.
I have no doubt that the Meldrews of our fan base will comment and question Rafa’s transfer strategy but I for one applaud it. He has strengthened the squad massively since last season, combining experience with talent and I am convinced once they all settle, then the team will kick on and go from strength to strength.
The immediate and long-term future for NUFC is in my eyes suddenly very bright, yet this is not a cavalier Keegan type approach. It would seem Rafa is looking at all aspects on both the playing and coaching side, getting the infrastructure in place so that the academy finally works, and hopefully we will reap the benefits of this in years to come. The first team squad has differing attacking options with alternatives across the frontline and midfield the likes of we have not seen before, whilst at the back there is suddenly strength in depth.
I challenge any Newcastle fans to pick their choice of best team with the newly formed first team squad, it is such a challenge and players will have to be patient if not in the first eleven, or be at the top of their game to keep their place.
Examples: little Vurn has started the season well at right back, but now we have Yedlin breathing down his neck. We have a new left-back who I am quite looking forward to seeing, or will he play left wing, then Christian Atsu signs last night, another option on the wing. The conundrums are endless and the strength and balance of the squad is much better than what we have put up with over the last few years.
And now we as fans must suffer whilst an international break comes along, for me it’s like being a ten year old and getting all your Christmas presents on Christmas Day only to be told you can’t unwrap them until New Year’s Day. Patience and me don’t go hand in hand, so let’s get this break over and get the boys back out on the football pitch!
Ok I may be slightly exaggerating a touch but I genuinely do feel a sense of excitement at what is going on currently with NUFC.
Only advice I could give to Rafa right now is go to Mike Ashley and demand he forgoes any plans for land development behind the Gallowgate End, UNLESS it includes development of SJP to increase the capacity to in excess of sixty thousand. A little success on the pitch under Rafa with solid future foundations would see supporter demand necessitate this.
Ok, just so I don’t get too carried away and to keep onside with the Meldrews of this parish I have to say something negative I guess, it would be improper to be totally positive, so here goes…….err, nope, I’m so sorry but I can’t think of anything right now, sorry to disappoint you!
No footy for me this weekend so off to the rugby on Friday night (get along to Kingston Park if you can it’s great entertainment) to get my fix of sport, then will pick a local non-league game out for Saturday afternoon.
I will finish with a final comment on Sissoko, Janmaat and Townsend….I am confident we will be above your respective clubs this time next year.