Eight Of Nine Newcastle Signings – Total Of Four Minutes Competitive International Football
Daryl Janmaat has looked the most accomplished of the Newcastle signingsthis summer and there may be a reason for that, he is the only one of the nine that is an international player in the true sense of the word.
The total of Siem De Jong’s competitive international football is four minutes in a Euro qualifier for Holland, coming on wehn teh Dutch were already three up.
Janmaat is a veteran in comparison, having seventeen starts for the Netherlands, though he only made his first international starting line-up 18 months ago.
As for the other six players who Newcastle have recruited, none of them has played any international football at senior level.
Riviere – None
Lascelles – None
Darlow – None
Ferreyra – None
Perez – None
Colback – None
Cabella – 10 minutes in a friendly
De Jong – 4 minutes of competitive football
Janmaat – 17 starts
This isn’t to say that some, or all, of them won’t go on to be the international stars of the future, but they haven’t done it yet…
It doesn’t mean that they’ll automatically be failures for Newcastle United either, though what it does tell us is that these aren’t tried and tested superstar players…yet.
Fans were understandably pleased/relieved when signings did arrive this summer, mainly due to expectations being rock bottom under Ashley’s suffocating regime.
However, the weight of hope and expectation put on these new arrivals was crazy, though understandable as Ashley had left the cupboard pretty much bare through long-term failure to invest in players, particularly in not replacing top quality such as Ba and Cabaye.
The local press also played a big part in stoking the unrealistic fires of expectation, any critique of these new arrivals was paper thin, they were banging the drum for this ‘new look’ revolution that had been ‘generously’ financed by Mike Ashley.
As fans we will support all new players and hope & pray they will do the business. However, you do need sometimes to take a look elsewhere and compare & contrast.
Far too much of the hope/expectation from Newcastle fans (and local press) seems to come from blind optimism that Graham Carr will find great players who will arrive for lower fees and wages than players going to other Premier League clubs.
QPR spent over £8m on midfielder Leroy Fer who went to the World Cup with Holland and is now established in their squad, Fer also already had a season’s experience in the Premier League tucked under his belt with Norwich. Siem De Jong may do the business for Newcastle but the truth is that Fer cost more and is rated higher by his international set-up.
Good luck to Jack Colback of course with his international call-up but surely nobody really expects him to be anything more than making up the numbers with Lampard and Gerrard having left a big hole, maybe getting the odd bit of friendly action.
Riviere, Ferreyra and Perez are nowhere near playing for their countries. While Newcastle went on a budget shopping spree, Swansea snapped up Newcastle long-term target Bafetimbi Gomis on a free, the French international never failing to score double figures in any league season in France, while he also has Champions League experience. Plus of course, the supposed small Welsh club already have last season’s massive success story Wilfried Bony (Swansea paid £12m when allegedly Newcastle knocked back the chance) to call on up front.
Elsewhere, numerous international strikers that Newcastle had been linked with were snapped up by our rivals over the summer – Valencia (West Ham), Hernanez (Hull), Lukaku (Everton), Mane/Long/Pelle (Southampton) and so on.
We bring in Remy Cabella and Alan Pardew is shouting the odds about him, a promising player but the step up to the Premier League was always going to be tough for a player totally inexperienced at this kind of level. Remy, who we had last season, is rated well ahead of Cabella by France, the same with (the much maligned by many Newcastle fans but not by me) Sissoko who is a regular in the team, not just the squad.
The bottom line is that we needed players of the quality of Ba, Cabaye, Debuchy, Remy to be the solid base of the team, not necessarily those exact players, but ones of a similar standing and proven experience. Then you could have introduced the likes of De Jong, Cabella, and possibly the other new signings, alongside them gradually.
Instead, players who are unproven in a top division have been thrown in at the deep end and expected to carry the team, just as Remy and Cabaye did last season.
Things are so desperate at St.James’ Park, Alan Pardew admitted he played Siem De Jong when he wasn’t even fully fit against Palace, in the hope he might give the team that ‘one bit of quality’.
This is madness and the lack of action before the window closed, despite Ashley watching both Premier League home matches in the flesh, has condemned us to a real struggle this season.
To have any kind of a chance of facing anything but a relegation struggle, I thought we needed players such as Tim Krul and Fabricio Coloccini to bounce back to their 2011/12 top quality form.
So far they have been average at best and against Crystal Palace they were badly at fault as part of some dismal defending overall.
With the possible exception of Cheick Tiote (which is a whole other story in itself as to what exactly has happened/is happening with him) as somebody to stand up and be counted, I seriously fail to see where the other leaders are who are going to be there to ensure there is no collapse as we saw in the second half of last season, or for much of the preceding season. Relegation form on show for long long periods over these last two years.
Alan Pardew has talked about a great spirit in this new look squad, let’s hope he is right as they will very likely need it.
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