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Would You Trust Alan Pardew With £60m?

8 years ago
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Much has been understandably made of the forthcoming transfer window.

But there are several factors which will make the summer spending spree less straightforward then some people imagine.

Pots of money

I think there’s a false expectation around the money we’ll be receiving at the end of the season.  In anyone’s book, £60-80m is a shed-load of dosh.  However, much of the talk has been about how we need to spend that money improving both the first team specifically and the squad more generally.

However, what people fail to point out is that all the other Premier League teams will be getting similar amounts of money, depending obviously on where they finish in the table.

Therefore it’s not going to be a situation where we can steal a march on other English teams.  Everyone’s budget has been increased, so we’ll all have similar spending power and we’ll all be chasing the same players.  We’ll only be stealing a march on other clubs in the rest of the world, and in particular Europe (apart from the usual suspects such as PSG, Real Madrid, Barcelona etc.).

Timing

Apart from being the secret of comedy, timing will be an important factor in the summer.

Many people will no doubt expect us to try and make signings as early as possible in the summer.  However, there is a fly in the ointment – the World Cup.  Players in particular, and to a lesser extent clubs, will want to wait until after the World Cup.  The players will want to concentrate on the tournament; and both they and the clubs will also want to wait to see if their price increases with good performances.

The transfer window can operate like a roundabout – a couple of big name transfers instigate a series of moves that ripples outwards.  That process usually starts at the top (with moves like Gareth Bale going to Madrid).  We are, self-evidently, not going to be in the market for world class players, therefore it’s going to take some time before some of our targets might become available.

And finally on the point of timing, if transfers don’t happen until the end of the World Cup, that effectively curtails the window, which, in turn, means less time for players to bed in with new teams.  I would be delighted if we have all/most of our targets lined up, signed, sealed and delivered before the tournament, but somehow I doubt it, given our previous record of getting people over the proverbial line.

Evolution not revolution

We’re facing one of the most important transfer windows for a couple of generations.  I think that this summer will determine where our club goes over the next five years.

Well run clubs adopt a policy of evolution not revolution.  If you look at Liverpool in the 70s & 80s and Man Utd over the last 20 years, both have gradually improved their squads – adding one or two key players a season.  Indeed NUFC has declared that this is their policy too.  However, their track record shows that they have failed to implement this approach.  A round of panic buys a year last January, and a series of loans, provide little or no continuity, or long-term strategy.

Indeed this summer will hopefully see wholesale changes to both the first team and the senior squad.  But it usually takes several months before new players can play effectively as a team.  The more new players are drafted in, the longer that may be.

And finally

Would you trust Alan Pardew with £60m?  I know I wouldn’t.

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