Just as I was finishing this article, news of the Joe Kinnear resignation broke.
So a small hint of light has come to illuminate the gloom. This news came not long after a third consecutive defeat at the hands the mackems, an achievement only matched by the team of 91 years ago.
The sense of anger, frustration or more befitting – the hopelessness of the current situation, makes it a very painful business to even be reminded of the existence of Newcastle United. When you hear outsiders (i.e. non Toon fans) talking of our recent humiliations, even innocently talking about us via their fantasy football teams etc you feel what right do they have to intrude upon our grief?
Recent attacks by Lyon’s president not only on our team but our fair city, and players admitting relief that they didn’t sign for us…all we want a dignified silence and to bury our heads in the sands of Whitley Bay and pretend it’s not happening.
Ashley’s five year plan is busted, its timeframe expired and proved to have been a smoke screen, fooling us that there was some sort of grand scheme behind the penny pinching and asset stripping. We are not challenging for anything, let alone everything, as we were promised by the end of this term.
Ashley is obviously not prepared to invest the amounts it would take for us to compete for a Champions League slot but is only happy purely to remain in the division, not wanting to risk our paper thin squad to ever give it a real go in the Cups. This is where the fans really feel let down as we all know it is our only realistic hope of silverware.
If the likes of Birmingham, Swansea and Wigan can all win a cup why can’t we? All that is needed is a bit of luck but now we don’t even have any ambition, even dreams have been taken from us. We have a squad that is deliberately being kept small and is only ever a couple of injuries away from disaster, and one that has not been added to over the last two transfer windows apart from a couple of loans.
Kinnear told us to judge him on his signings. Well Joe you have surprised me, you have obviously judged yourself and done the decent thing. The revolver is in the top draw please feel free to use it. Was it purely through his incompetence we didn’t sign anyone or was it all part of Ashley’s smoke screen or sick sense of humour?
All this despite having one of the most lauded talent spotters in Graham Car presumably handing him a long list of potential targets.
Maybe even Joe is a victim in all this? Yohan Kebabs was inevitably sold, and has revealed there was an agreement that he could move on January. So they had from August to sound out and negotiate with what you would have thought to be a list of several options for a replacement. But yet again just like the Andy Carroll scenario, with a few days to spare this time, they seem to think it will fool us if they put in a series of unrealistic bids for what seems like a random list of players. They then hold their hands up and tell us they tried but they just couldn’t get ‘one over the line’.
Well it just doesn’t wash anymore. We all knew there would be no signings. There might even be further departures as the Russian transfer window remains open, with Cisse widely rumoured to be offloaded. This time we won’t even have the pretence of a replacement being brought in.
There seems to be a sinister new twist to the club’s transfer policy, one of getting a loan signing in for a comparatively small fee and just hoping to get one good season/half season out of them, no sense of any long term building.
Our previous (or current if we are to ever sign anyone again?) policy now seems quite benign; sign a mid-twenties French player who has potential, only if a knock down fee can be arranged, hope he does well and then flog him on for a fat profit. We’ve been turned into a fast food shop with a particularly Gallic taste.
Now mad Joe is no longer serving at the counter, standing there in his Open All Hours shop coat reminding us all what we can go and do to ourselves in his colourful language, if we don’t like it.
At least that’s some progress.