Demba Ba The Odd One Out At St.James’ Park?
Most Newcastle fans were bracing themselves for a mass clearout this summer, with Krul, Simpson, Cabaye, Tiote, Ba, Ben Arfa and Cisse all expected to leave for ‘bigger clubs’. With the exception of Ba, however, each of these players has recently expressed a strong desire to stay with the club that few can argue has been the making of each and every one of them.
If the club did decide to cash in on these players then the £25m that was initially laid out on the collective would be expected to have increased to upwards of £100m which, presuming it is invested back into the team, would potentially give Newcastle the platform to build on an impressive return to top flight football.
Alan Pardew will know that keeping hold of his best players is not going to be an easy task, especially with the potential transfer fees that are being circulated in the press, and it is widely expected that one or more of these players will be plying their trade elsewhere come August. What the fans will be hoping, however, is that no more than two players are sold in the current window.
The current crop of players gelled together magnificently this season which led to Pardew’s admittance that it was neither planned nor expected. This would suggest that the chances of doing this again, especially with the added pressure of the Europa League, is highly unlikely.
Newcastle need to add four or five players to the group they already have in order to cope with the extra demands of European football so replacing eight of their best players on top of this would be a painstaking task.
I have no doubt that Graham Carr will eventually find an impressive youngster to replace each and every player Newcastle decide to cash in on, then Alan Pardew will eventually get the best out of each and every one of them.
What we do not want, however, is for each summer to be a rebuilding job. Sell two players for £30m each summer and buy four or five players with the proceeds, that is something that the squad can cope with and it will benefit the team in the long run. It has worked for Manchester United for over a decade which in itself tells a story. Manchester United are not known for selling eight players a season, they only ever make slight tweaks here and there for optimum results.
Newcastle are in a powerful position for the first time in years and must build on this gradually rather than making wholesale changes. Keep the spine of the team and sell off your best players (if you must) on a window by window basis. It allows the new additions time to bed in without the pressure of being labelled a like for like replacement for a world class star.
Would Cisse have started so well if Ba hadn’t already have scored 15 goals? Maybe… maybe not… but the pressure was off and we reaped the benefits.
What I will say, however, is Que SeraSera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be).
My beloved Newcastle finally appear to be in good hands so here’s to an exciting future, roll on next season.
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