For the first time in a generation, Geordies are casting envious eyes towards Wearside.
Some of us are secretly hoping that it’s all going to end in tears and they ‘do a QPR’. Hoping all the players they’re signing are mercenaries, here for the money, not bothering to ‘get stuck in’ when it matters and that they take until Christmas to gel by which time they’re cut adrift at the bottom of the league. I don’t hope that of course, what with Karma seemingly waving his wand over Gallowgate every time he hears the merest hint of a Geordie titter directed towards our nearest and dearest and their calamity of a managerial appointment.
Our collective laughter as Martin O’Neill sidled sheepishly down the A19 last season was soon silenced by a swift three goal slap in the face a few weeks later. I intend to keep my joy at Mignolet’s move to Liverpool in check until I see Krul standing between our goalposts in September.
Attention as always at this time of year is on the revolving door which leads to St. James’ Park reception and we notice it hasn’t moved a degree since the transfer window opened on the 1st July. Wilfried Bony (a prolific goalscorer) signs for Swansea, Ricky Van Wolfswinkel (a prolific goalscorer) signs for Norwich and Newcastle respond by reportedly sending our own prolific goalscorer to go train on his own in the corner.
Granted, most of our 2013 summer transfer activity was completed in January with the purchases of Sissoko, Haidara, Mbiwa, Debuchy and Gouffran but everybody including the omnipotent Joe Kinnear can see we need a striker, two strikers if we’re honest. Names come, exciting names, and names go because they’ve been signed by clubs who we used to consistently finish higher than. Even the staunchest Newcastle fan would currently put Swansea above us in their end of season league place prediction for 2013/2014. How did that happen?
Pardew mentioned recently that we can’t do our business early and we have to wait until much later than other clubs. I would scratch my head at this statement but it’s still sore after all the scratching I’ve done since Kinnear was employed to carry messages from Pardew to Ashley and back again.
So when are Newcastle going to announce that key signing? That name to get the blood pumping? That player of an Andy Cole or Les Ferdinand standard that we can rely on for 20 – 25 goals a season? Will it ever happen or are all the other clubs in the division going to buy players capable of keeping them up, while our decision makers in their black and white towers think £12m on one player just isn’t good business despite the huge increase in revenue this season because of the new TV deal? Imagine Cisse getting injured pre-season like Alan Shearer in 1997. Maybe we can re-sign Ian Rush to get us through to Christmas?
Whatever happens at least we’ve got this thought to keep us content while we wait. Every day we don’t sign someone is another day we haven’t bought another Jean Alain Boumsong.