With the transfer window finally open and the circus that it produces in full swing, it’s worth taking a step back from the chaos to assess the Newcastle United side of things that is fast getting people agitated.

While the trust levels in Mike Ashley and his cohort of minions seem to be firmly at the heart of the mass unrest, it is worth taking a more objective view and not get carried away with the doom and gloom that seems to be fast descending on Tyneside.

Is it really as bad as some are making out?  Are we falling behind the pack already? Easy to say yes when you see how much Everton are looking to splash out on new players.

For the growing number of cynics among us, it seems that once promotion was assured there has been a series of roadblocks put in place by the owner to slow down transfer activity.  Talk of a sale of the club, or at least partial sell-off has clouded immediate investment and we have certainly seen this used in the past to justify lack of investment.

Then we saw Graham Carr relieved of his position as chief scout meaning that we’ve had no one in place who could do any transfer dealings anyway…well apart from the obvious in the manager I hear you all say.

It could be that we simply don’t have the money available, it could be Ashley baulking at paying the vast sums for mediocre players, it could also be that we simply don’t have the space in the squad to buy new players without some outgoings in the form of releases, sales or loans.

With TV numbers down last season it may actually be a sensible approach not to go nuts on future earnings that then land the club in financial hot water and could see financial fair play rules restrict clubs’ future spending.  Who knows for sure.

Whatever the reasons for lack of spending so far, for the fans who followed the club through what was a successful yet rollercoaster ride of a season in the Championship, it is all too apparent that we need new players.

Not only that but need an injection of quality and/or experience with specific positions flagged as must have areas to be strengthened.  We have some potentially good players but the rest of the squad is in need of an addition of quality in depth before the window closes, or we will likely struggle this coming season.

Having said all that, the window has been open for a matter of a few days.  There is plenty of time and while I understand the feeling of urgency, it also needs to be dampened with some realism.

I for one would love to see a couple of more players in the next few days to now follow, what has been a long drawn out capture of Florian Lejeune, to allow them the maximum pre-season time to settle in.  Hopefully then more will follow as we thin squad numbers and we build up a good core of players capable of performing at the level needed.

I still think there is a possibility of Ashley refusing to sanction outgoing wages while still paying for players we are looking to sell/loan and almost certainly he won’t be keen to pay wages while players aren’t playing and getting matchday revenues in.

All up though, I think we are still a week or two away from the panic stations that some are already getting upset over, the next two weeks will be critical…if we are staring firmly at the end of July without any meaningful additions then yes, I will push the alarm and join in with the chorus of disapproval and worry.

In the meantime I am refusing to be baited by media speculation one way or the other.

If things were that bad then I doubt very much Rafa would still be here.  Until he starts kicking up a public fuss or walks out on the club, then I will remain calm but vigilant about our chances of redefining our squad for the coming campaign.

You can follow the author on Twitter @DownUnderMag

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])



  • Rich Lawson

    All been said before,what’s the point of this article,we all watch and wait ?

    • Down Under Mag

      Just putting my 2c worth accross and summing up the overall feeling in the wake of recent events…in the event of more news coming out then we will have more to discuss.

  • Paul Patterson

    Spot on. This hysterical negative attitude is getting boring now. And for no reason..

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      I doubt its hysterical, Ashley has downsized the club to such an extent it’ll take years to recover
      if you believe anything that man says you’re very gullible indeed

      • S.G.M.

        lets hope NUFC do really well this season, just so we can see the last of you.Tit

        • Jimblag23

          We could win the champions league, extend and sell out the stadium, splash stupid money on the worlds best players but certain people would still waste their time moaning about the club they “support”.

          • Geordiegiants

            Come on boys, now now. Jabba is a c’nt, he always has been and always will be! Ditto for Penfold.

          • Albert Stubbins

            My ex mother in law was a c***- it didnt stop me knocking two bairns out of her daughter!! the point Im making is that Ashley isnt the club- he’s the t*** at the top but Rafa and the lads are the club for me and I’ll be sticking by them. (p.s sorry pam- you know I love you really!!) ;)

          • Geordiegiants

            Ha ha got to laugh!

  • Anni Selby

    The media are coursing storm clouds,like they always do,there is no sense what they say you guys,what goes on about hateing clubs from the north.London is always going to their veiw on bringing in players going to south or to a London money talks,Manchester clubs are lucky to have them becasue they pay crazy money on players over the odds.

  • Kneebotherm8

    A few players in by the weekend and everything will be hunky dory,and give Rafa a chance to integrate them in the squad pre season.Fingers crossed.

  • Leazes Ender

    Of course there are roadblocks to the Rafalution….. its called Charnley and his idiotic bonus that rewards him for relegating the club!

    The ‘local’ press would have us believe that Rafa was now in sole control of transfers but it is patently not the case as he is in the same position that Pardew and McClarren found themselves, the only difference was that they were ‘head coaches’ and allowed Ashley and his chimp to play fantasy football manager….. badly.

    Charnley should have been shown the door years ago after the first relegation fiasco but Ashley has kept him and the system in place, perhaps the only change that Rafa has had some success with is the ‘stepping-stone’ policy which decimated the squad periodically and effectively writing off seasons at a stroke.

    • Geordiegiants

      I’m with you that Penfold and Jabba are a pair of twats, but I don’t think it’s quite the same with Rafa being in control. He picks and chooses who he wants and it’s up to Penfold to get them in at the right money. Rafa over ruled them on the Ritchie deal so he does have a say some where. Has it happened with Lejeune? Who knows? I’m more than sure Rafa will compromise, but he won’t be made a mug of.

      • Down Under Mag

        Hopefully! Rafa at the helm has certainly eased a few nerves about who is calling the shots and havign someone who knows football having the final say is all we have been asking for…although there is still a long way to go.

        • Geordiegiants

          A very long way, Rafa is a sticking plaster.

  • toon atheist

    There’s a significant element of our support(if you take here and the chronicle as a barometer) who seem to revel in moaning to Olympic levels regardless of what’s happening, endlessly repeating the same conversation. Time will tell whether we have indeed turned a corner or Ashley will revert to his old ways. I really don’t think he’s as manipulative as many suggest. Drunken bafoon is more likely as he stumbles from one bad decision to the next with no real clue what he’s doing. The bleak narrative that many wallow in is tedious and embarrassing so please change the record or go and support Sunderland

    • Down Under Mag

      I understand the moaning to an extent given the rubbish that the supporters have been put through over the past 10 years, but as they say, bad news sells more than good…the papers prey on this and so there really needs to be a sense of realism about reacting to what you read in the media. There are certainly problems at the club still, but there is a sense that things may be turnign a corner…time will tell if Ashley decides to drop another clanger just as the fans are starting to belive again.

  • Ian

    Some of the panic comes from that we have been linked with hundreds of players which we obviously aren’t gonna sign all of them. Then when they decide to stay or join someone else, up pops a headline ‘More disappointment as Rafa loses out on another target!’ when we probably weren’t in for him in the first place!

    • Down Under Mag

      Yup, the media is fuelling the fire…I guess the point of my article was to try and point out that things are not as bad as they seem, even if still far from ideal!

  • Alreet

    The month has started and like all before we start with our first being brought in. Theres alot to get rid and alot mor to come. I can see a busy month ahead for penfold.

    They dont put a new scout in charge for nothing

    • Down Under Mag

      Exactly – we’ve essentially made two signings now and hopefully with a couple more additions we can start to see some relaxation with the fans. Rafa has a habit of having mass squad changes every summer and I fully expect that he will be doing as much business as he did last summer when trying to get us as prepared as possible for the new season. Just needs time…which some don’t like to give.