Newcastle United Need To Show Balance and Understanding
If Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias were to read these thoughts, and I won’t hold my breath, I would like them to take note of the following points as I see them.
If they are serious about bringing sustained success to Newcastle United, I believe it’s vital that they need to rethink transfer policy.
The club announced profits for the second year running back in March, and it would appear everything in the financial garden is canny rosy after the Freddie and Doug years. Anyone who supports the club would surely agree, however grudgingly, that they have turned the club around for the better financially.
Derek Llambias claimed in March (before the muck almost hit the fan) that the transfer policy of the past few years would remain, and that young players hungry for success would be pursued, with the added bonus of being able to sell them on at points in the future for some return on investment. He also said that the policy ‘works, so we won’t break it’.
Hmm, true when your first team are playing well and not getting injuries, but when the form does go and people are hobbling off to the treatment table however, the policy starts to show up some of its inadequacies as we’ve seen this year.
At times this year, those same ‘young, hungry’ players have looked around amongst themselves for leadership, experience and know-how. Qualities that are vital in any team, but sadly for us have been lacking due to injury, loss of form and confidence in their more senior teammates this season.
This is surely when some balance and flexibility needs to be applied to the current transfer policy. Those young players brought in should be able to fill the occasional gap in the team and be allowed to improve in their own time. If not then they surely run the risk of not getting back anywhere near the initial investments in players ruined by over exposure to games they can’t cope with.
I would suggest that a transfer policy that looks at also including experienced players, whatever the age to a certain extent, be included if it would be for the benefit of the team. Which brings me to my next point.
They need to understand what makes the fans tick
Some fans representation around the table at the end of season review might help them begin to understand us, but whether they are prepared to do it is another matter of course!
Seriously though, I don’t think they have the slightest idea of what goes on in our heads really and banging on about no more ‘trophy’ players just emphasises the point.
In my opinion, most Newcastle supporters’ ‘trophy’ players would include the likes of David Kelly, John Anderson and dare I say it Perchino? Committed to the club, region and supporters and never put less than a full shift in on the pitch.
Derek Llambias always gives me the impression that he thinks we are all just pining for the days of the entertainers to return, but even those teams had Barry Venison, Paul Bracewell and David Batty in them. I think he underestimates the knowledge of the game in this region because we all understand that for every Ginola, Robert or Ben Arfa you have to have those sort of players previously mentioned to complement them. Nobody is asking you to blow daft amounts of money on one player but we do expect continued investment.
Which brings me to my conclusion. The next three years TV money should bring in at the minimum, an estimated extra £60million. That is effectively money we didn’t have and hadn’t budgeted for so let’s hope that this amount at least has been offset to spend on the needs of the team from both a current and future standpoint. £20million a year for three years may not be a lot, but if the correct areas of the team are targeted, we have enough quality (if we can keep it) to build steadily. Sticking to a policy which has faults, is a recipe for disaster and could have become reality this year. A more balanced policy of investment in the company and better understanding of its customers would surely serve them well.
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