How Are The NUFC New Boys Settling In…?
So, how are the NUFC new boys bedding in..?
Apparently, Newcastle bought nine players this summer to provide what Alan Pardew described as his ‘strongest roster’ (?) since he’d been at the club.
Another lie from the silver fox, of course, as we’d tried to sign any number of strikers – Mad Alan had told the board (such as it is) he badly needed a proven hitman – but we ended up with a kid and a dud. Oh, and we let 10 players go, plus loaned out Ben Arfa and Mbiwa. It’s an unusual approach to squad strengthening. How’s it working out thus far?
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Everyone with even a casual acquaintance of NUFC in particular, or football in general, could see that we needed one or perhaps two proven strikers, a central midfielder, and two top class centre halves. We could have got these players, too, if tea-boy Charnley had been able to spend the TV money – it would be really nice if we could spend the TV money. Or imagine if we had a billionaire owner like the teams we ‘can’t compete with’? That would be ace, too.
The national press was full of talk about Newcastle’s ‘new side’ and our £25m worth of spending. Our net spend was actually zero, and while we sought a front man who wasn’t a teenager or totally inept, the perennially skint Everton found £28 million to spend on Lukaku.
But never mind him, how are our own new boys settling in?
Facundo Ferreyra – Has never been seen, and if Riviere and Perez are getting pitch time ahead of him, he must be truly awful. Apparently he was brought to the club on Coloccini’s say-so. Perhaps this was a belated April Fool’s joke by the Argentine centre half/striker scout.
Emanuel Riviere – Utterly appalling. Playing a lone striking role for which is his wholly unsuited. Indeed, after another apology of a performance against Hull, it’s uncertain what role he’s actually suited for.
Jack Colback – Has slotted in extremely well. With the exception of Janmaat, he’s the only addition who seems to understand how football works. Must despair at the mass of ineptitude trudging around him.
Daryl Jannmat – Really looks the part. Nowhere near the finished article, and the last couple of games have seen silly errors creep into his game, but he’s clearly going to be a superior player to Debuchy. Will be sold by the end of the 2015 window.
Siem De Jong – I’ve seen this player in the red-and-white of Ajax many times (when he’s not been injured) and he’s always looked the part. However, his record of constantly being injured has followed him across the water. One wonders how much we’ll see of him in black-and-white
Ayoze Perez – if he was any good, one of the bigger Spanish clubs would have had a punt on him. Hasn’t shown anything to disprove that conclusion. One for the future, we’re told. I thought that’s what the Academy was for.
Remy Cabella – Given what we’re supposed to have paid for the supposed HBA replacement, Cabella looks to be a dud of epic proportions.
Has two tricks: 1) standing in front of a defender and doing a number of step-overs, before passing the ball backwards to a team-mate. 2) Getting brushed off the ball by the most innocuous of challenges, before collapsing to the turf and gesticulating comically at the disinterested referee. Saturday’s game was a masterclass in the above skills. My 10-year old niece shows better upper-body strength than this weakling who takes ‘flattering to deceive’ to a new level.
Karl Darlow and Jamaal Lascelles – kind of hard to judge as they’re both plying their trade 160 miles from Newcastle.
The early season report on our ‘new team’ would be two passable/available players out of nine: 22%.
Oddly enough, that’s actually slightly higher than Pardew’s win percentage for 2014.
As I write this, we’re bottom, again, and we’ll remain there unless we buy the players we need and hire a manager who knows the basics of football management. It’s going to be a long winter.
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