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Newcastle Recruit A Canny Team…Of Midfielders

6 years ago

The season has crept up like a ninja in his slippers and slapped me over the head with a black and white fish.

Last pre-season was so tedious with lack of activity that I could hear my own heart beat in my head, and I am certain that I fell in and out of at least three comas, trawling the avenues for the latest news.

‘Well Mike, I told you I had nine signings lined up…’

Not this close season however. After the debacle the previous summer when our very own demented goon Joseph Kinnear landed as many prize catches as an armless fishermen crawling through the Sahara – I really held up no hope as to many (if any) parachuting in through the SJP gates.

Now it’s Charnley who is tasked with jumping on the Eurostar and doing his very own National Lampoon vacation around the Lowlands and not forgetting Bonny Francais (allez le lads).

Regardless of whether J ‘effing’ K was an idiot or not – it was down to Ashley whether we signed anybody or not, and in that case it was not.

Everybody is now hailing Lee Charnley as the master deal getter, well maybe a little credit is due, but it’s only because Fat boy (not so) Slim has unleashed his wallet from the vault.

I think it’s 9 players that have come in, I have lost count to be honest – but are these replacements or additions to the squad? Uncle Alan will have us believe that we are “in a better place” regards selection and numbers – maybe so. That is if you want to pick a team full of midfielders!

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Honestly man, you could line up with a 1-0-10-0 formation no problem! Building the new Hadrians wall across the pitch British Bulldog style. Problem being we have a defence that is more vulnerable than a one legged Matador in a red jump suit, which still and quite unbelievably hasn’t been improved upon. Aye, big Dazza Janmaat has landed on the back of a decent world cup – but in truth he is just a replacement for departed Matty Debuchy.

The same old problems between Willo, Colo, MYM, Dummet, Santon, Haidara and Taylor will keep coming. That siege mentality “of thou shalt not pass” has sadly passed this lot by. The communication along the back line is very poor – Iron Mike is the only one you’ll see clapping and shouting, yet we all know his limitations. Colo is actively aiming to break the world record held for keeping completely silent – currently held since 1256 by the Venerable Terrence Tightlips, the Hermit monk. I wish the bugger would act like a Captain. There is leading by example admittedly, but when the going got tough last season Colo was not often to be seen. Though he is not alone.

One of the new recruits this campaign may be the answer to the Captaincy issue – in Siem De Jong.

Future Captain?

I know we have only had glimpses in pre-season and he has a dubious injury record – but I think he is a player of true calibre and will be super important to us in our link up play from midfield and attack. Got really high hopes for him and look forward to seeing him on the pitch sooner rather than later.

Our strikers are a huge issue for me. Manu Riviere was keen as mustard on Sunday, but was lacking lets say a little finesse (being quite kind) – though I think he will turn out a decent squad member. We cannot rely on Armstrong, Campbell or Perez this season as our source of goals – although Perez was very unlucky not to score with his first touch against City and might just be a surprise. Papiss hasn’t kicked a ball in anger since last season and one can only hope he can recapture some of his early career form. The likelihood is that he won’t, it’s just been too long, and Chucky is really a bit of a gamble for nowt. So, where do we get our goals from?

We have flirted with Gomis for the last decade only for him to be snatched by the mighty Swansea City. Since then we have pi**ed about with Lacazette, sidled up to Aubameyang and stalked Warwick Remy – all to no avail.

Now all of a sudden our very own schizophrenic manager Pardew – who tells so many pork pies that he has forgotten what he has and hasn’t said – now says the squad is full and we don’t have room for a striker. As Basil brush used to shout – BOOM BOOM!

Whatever next? Hopefully some goals will come courtesy of the second little magician we have on our books, Remy Cabella. The first is currently locked in the attic above Mike Ashley’s office – the man in the iron mask – Hatem Ben Arfa. What a bloody shame, such a waste. Even if he weighed in heavier than Micky Quinn’s Pie delivery van – he is still worth a place in the squad. Surely?

His place goes to Gabby Obertan – or as I call him, Shola number 2. Obviously goes to the same gym, built like a heavy weight boxer and plays like a ballet dancer!

Shola has finally gone on to test his skills against similarly skilled opponents in the Turkish 9th Tier to play for Spud u like’s second eleven – good luck to him too.

From what we have seen of Cabella, he is looking dynamite. Give him a few weeks and I really think he is going to set the place alight. Let’s hope that he stays long enough to become a hero and doesn’t pack his bags for Arsenal in 12 months time! His attitude and interviewing indicates he is a canny lad and a good character – good luck to him.

In fact, good luck to us all. The signings have made me more optimistic about how things might turn out but we are still lacking a quality centre half and a centre forward. If we land a couple of stars before the window slams shut, then who knows. If we don’t then I can see a similar finish to the season gone – as likely to win as to lose.

One game gone – 37 to gan.

Keep smiling.


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