Newcastle United – Call Me Mr Optimistic
Interested to read an article suggesting we are heading for potential disaster on the website this morning, prompted me to write in for the first time with some alternative thoughts on Newcastle United.
[intlink id=”43525″ type=”post”]In the article by John Martin[/intlink], he wrote about the glass being half full and Newcastle having to buy a better level of player than we generally have at the moment, rather than expecting a couple of Cabayes/Remys to boost/save us like last season.
I actually agree with all of that.
However, where I do disagree is the thinking that things can’t be turned around.
It would be unrealistic to think that we will sign players quite at Remy or Cabaye’s standard. Mike Ashley is not going to be competing for those players who we would all think are of that standard, while it would be foolish to be relying on Graeme Carr discovering a couple of bargain priced unknowns who are of that level.
The good news is though that there are many players who are better than what we’ve got (not including the five or six good/very good players we do have), even if they aren’t very top standard.
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I believe we need at least five of this type of player and the only question to answer is will Mike Ashley fund them?
Looking at what we have now, I think we need a centre-back, playmaker, winger and two forwards.
Starting from the front, clearly Newcastle need two readymade strikers at the very least, a pair of forwards who can get thirty goals or near enough. That alone would take us a long way towards at least survival and then build from there.
A replacement for Cabaye is obvious, while a versatile wide player who can cross/create and score goals is also an essential.
In defence, we clearly need a confident centre-back who can give added leadership, yes we had enough central defenders last season in terms of numbers but sadly there wasn’t a really reliable consistent partnership amongst them. I’d be happy to jettison any two of Taylor, Williamson and Mapou if it meant we brought in a new first choice one who could play with Colo and have one of those three in reserve.
Of course you can look around other positions in the team, and wonder if we have real quality and/or strength in depth , but bringing in these five players would I believe take us to a level beyond what we had last season with our mishmash of the very good such as Cabaye – and the not so good.
Bringing in the right five players of course, won’t necessarily be cheap, but if you want to compete even at the level Ashley appears to be aiming at, you still have to push the button sometime.
An amount made available of around £50m must be the target, though that isn’t to say it has to be spent, as you would hope that Graeme Carr would still be getting value for money and the odd relative bargain. His judgement though does need to be backed properly and go out into the market with an overall plan.
While you might have to spend over £10m on somebody like World Cup bound Clement Grenier, you might mix and match that with a sub £10m spend on one of the other positions.
That £50m figure shouldn’t be thought of as out of our reach either. Most clubs that we are looking to get ahead of spent between £25m and £30m (equivalent of extra TV money received this past season) last summer and no doubt will do the same again.
Newcastle of course bought nobody and sold Cabaye for around £20m. His (Cabaye’s) fee plus this coming season’s TV money being made available by Ashley, should not be asking too much, well certainly not if he wants to own a viable club that isn’t going to crash and burn again, as happened in 2009.
At a normal club the above would be common sense.
Even if Ashley would see this kind of investment as a risk, it is a risk he can clearly cover when you look at his fortune increasing by hundreds of millions every year.
I don’t expect him to do anything for us, the fans, but I do hope one day that the penny drops and he realises just how big an asset he has got, rather than just a giant billboard supporting the rest of his empire.
Even if he just acknowledges that free advertising in the Championship won’t be much use to him in the dozens of countries his business now operate…
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