“I will not let any player leave Newcastle United in this transfer window”. A quote from Joe Kinnear a few weeks ago.
“If Jordan Henderson is worth £20m then how the hell have Newcastle accepted the same amount for Yohan Cabaye?” A quote from approximately one thousand original thinkers on Twitter in the last 24 hours.
If you have assigned a single ounce of credence to either of those quotes recently then you honestly need to take a good long look at yourself. The first one implies that you, a sentient human being, have listened to something Joe Kinnear said and you have taken it at face value.
There are many sovereign states out there where such gullibility is punishable by death. I think Joe Kinnear used to manage one of those states, as it happens. Cracking place, it was. He had a mansion, no, three mansions all to himself. All of the players were the best in the world. Then the day before his first game in charge someone told him he’d have to go to America. NASA needed him.
Look at the other quote about Jordan Henderson. The one where you have genuinely used Kenny Dalglish’s valuation of Jordan Henderson as being a sensible starting point. Kenny Dalglish. The man who paid £35m for Andy Carroll and £20m for Stewart Downing. We’re now using him as the barometer for ‘transfer value’ are we? When we sold Carroll we, Newcastle United, benefitted from the existence of Kenny Dalglish for the first and only time. That fit of madness was a one-off. Jordan Henderson was never worth £20m.
In losing Yohan Cabaye to PSG we have undoubtedly lost one of the best midfielders we’ve had at the club in a long, long time. He’s a very good footballer and, just as when we sold Andy Carroll, we’ve sold a good player right in the middle of a superb run of form. Peak value, player wants away, good business sense etc. Yet, as we all know, no one ever won a trophy for good business sense. At least not in football anyway. In the business world, where even bad business sense is rewarded with a peerage, I daresay you do get trophies.
Anyway, so we’ve got a good price for a good player. Yet no one is celebrating, because it feels like once again we are being duped. Alan Pardew is left to face the press once more as the lone spokesman left to explain away the situation. Sitting there helpless as discussions go on above his head, talking about how he feels vulnerable and doesn’t want to lose Cabaye. Somehow he ends up condemned for saying this – for freely admitting that he doesn’t want to lose the player but it’s not his decision.
There’s a strong sense that the fans of Newcastle United have been let down once again. We’ve lost a favourite player with 4 days of the transfer window left and the very strong likelihood that if we do sign a replacement it’ll be in the summer. We’ve paid for season tickets and now, in January, we’re effectively being told to write the season off. This is a few months after being told that the cups are not a priority. So with four months of the season left, literally nothing is a priority. It’s a kick in the teeth and it’s very hard to take. Perhaps the hardest part about it is the feeling of being duped. The sense that we’re constantly being officially told one thing while something else altogether is being carried out. The false hope that maybe we’ll sign Grenier, Cabella or various other players we’ve never seen before, followed by the 99% certainty that on Saturday morning (derby day, lest we forget!) the message will be “well we tried, but it’s hard to do business this late in the window” – even though seemingly Paris Saint Germain didn’t find it too difficult.
The agenda is pretty transparent and when you sense that someone has an agenda you immediately find yourself questioning their every word. Which takes me back to the start of this article. It’s perhaps time that we, the fans, gave some thought to what it is we’re angry about. Are we simply guilty of firing off angry outbursts as part of our own agenda?
Are you really angry/surprised that something Joe Kinnear said turned out not to be true? Are you genuinely angry that Cabaye didn’t cost more than Jordan Henderson? Do you really, honestly believe that Alan Pardew can take even a shred of responsibility for this whole business?
If you set yourself up as being angry about anything and everything, people will simply stop listening.
1) Stop listening to Joe Kinnear. It never did anyone any good.
2) No one in football uses Kenny Dalglish’s valuation of Henderson, Carroll and Downing as a yardstick for anything. Neither should you.
3) Try, occasionally, to take the blinkers off and give Alan Pardew some credit. He may well be a ‘puppet’, but that’s all any manager is going to be under this regime. But if he’s a puppet then you have to accept that he has no say in whether or not Cabaye is sold. Perhaps even give him credit for handling Cabaye as a player this season – the way things looked in September we’d have been lucky to get £8m for our moody midfielder.
Moreover, even if our season has pretty much ended in January, we’ve got a game tonight and on Saturday we have a fixture that will never be meaningless. There may be justifiable anger, but the team and the manager aren’t responsible for Cabaye leaving. So let’s give them the support they deserve.
You can follow Paul on Twitter @mcintoshpaul
Read Paul’s regular monthly column in the latest Mag (magazine content totally different to website), on sale at your local (north east) newsagents or from THE MAG online shop only £3 +p&p CLICK HERE TO BUY