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Newcastle United Were One Signing Away From Relegation This Season

8 years ago

It isn’t my mission in life to be all doom and gloom but I do think a lot of our fans are blindly heading down a path following Mike Ashley and Alan Pardew, that has disaster and relegation written all over it.

More and more people are beginning to realise just how dangerous the situation is at St.James’ Park but a good number still need to be woken up from their misguided complacency.

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Those who still see no warning signs will say something along the lines of ‘what are you talking about, we were safe by January and we’re eighth…sorry ninth(!) in the league, what’s the problem?’

In  answer to that, I would say we have had a really interesting experience of loan signings this season, the good and the…not so good.

Loic Remy has been great when he’s been on the pitch and been at the heart of pretty much nearly every positive result we’ve had this season, even when he hasn’t scored himself he has been a major distraction for the opposition.

Of course there is no way that Remy will be at Newcastle next season but that isn’t the massive negative – well it is but it is so obvious that it isn’t really worth going into as we’ve never expected him to stay.

The big talking point for Newcastle fans instead should be our other loan signing, Luuk De Jong.

Go back to the summer and very easily you could have imagined a scenario whereby Newcastle’s only incoming player would have been an on loan Luuk De Jong. I really believe that if Remy hadn’t been recuperating from a bad injury and had the rape charge hanging over him, then I think he would have definitely gone elsewhere in the summer, either permanently or more likely on loan.

With De Jong already out of favour in Germany back then, I could have seen Newcastle bringing in De Jong as our big signing and up to a point it would have made sense. Probably at least as much sense at the time as Remy, who had still only at that time scored a handful of goals in the Premier League, and had of course done the dirty on Newcastle only months before when he ditched United for a last gasp move instead to QPR who already had one foot in the Championship.

Hand on heart, back then nobody really thought Remy would have had the impact that he has had, plus I bet if you’d polled fans back then between choosing De Jong or Remy then it would have been very interesting as to the outcome.

So if De Jong had been the only signing instead of Remy last summer, where would we be? Well I think we’d now be in a similar position to this time last year but worse. I honestly think our survival would once again have hinged on Ashley belatedly spending the cash in January he should have spent last summer and praying that Graham Carr could again supply players who could make an instant impact.

Cabaye nearly left last August and we can assume he definitely would have if Arsenal had offered Ashley enough money, we can also be pretty sure that no replacement would have arrived for Cabaye, as per this January. The departing playmaker also let us into the secret that he was never going to be staying beyond January as he had reached an agreement with the club to stay and leave then. So it isn’t as though Yohan would have still been here to be our focus for survival.

We have been so frighteningly reliant on two, now one, players this season and the rest just aren’t up to it, at least not by themselves they are not.

Without Remy and Cabaye we now look a team in disarray, next season looks a daunting prospect in their absence, whilst this season would have been disaster without them.

Any doubters still out there?


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