Six days to define Newcastle United’s season
Warm weather has belatedly visited Tyneside, very welcome apart from the fact that it has brought with it high pressure, which is headache-inducing for myself.
Which brings me to Newcastle United, the cause of the vast majority of my non-weather related headaches.
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High pressure has also built up where they are concerned in recent days, weeks, months and indeed years.
However, is the storm about to break and clear my head?
Well the weather will no doubt quickly break and ‘refreshing’ rain return but what about our football club.
I think most supporters have now been reduced to a near comatose state, beaten down by the lack of anything happening as the days and weeks creep by, so their football brains are suspended in time and waiting to be kickstarted again.
The next six days will surely define what will follow on over the course of next season.
There was a suggestion on The Mag recently that put forward a theory that transfers were possibly delayed because Mike Ashley might not want them to be included in the current financial year.
That financial year ends tonight.
The summer transfer window then opens after midnight, 63 days during which registration of players can be moved from one club to another. However, clubs have been able to do deals throughout June regardless, with simply the registration part of the process delayed unti 1 July.
For whatever reason, Newcastle United have not joined the 16 other Premier League clubs who have already signed close on 40 players already, with the likes of Liverpool and Bournemouth bringing in six each.
The reality is that these coming days must see a real buzz of activity, Newcastle United breaking cover and announcing the first signings of the summer transfer window.
Failure to do so will see Newcastle United club officials meeting supporters at the latest Fans Forum on the evening of Monday 6 July with basically nothing to tell them.
Vague assurances of transfer activity in the background will surely not cut it, the club would come out of that meeting looking ridiculous.
There must be some logic to the club belatedly agreeing to this Fans Forum meeting on this particular date. There must be the intention from Mike Ashley to do business by then, or else everything is really lost.
With news breaking yesterday that there had been a significant failure of fans to take up season tickets so far, we have a club that is on the edge of imploding. The vast majority of those who are committed to next season being in that position because of the direct debit long-term season ticket offers, which have to be cancelled midway through the season. Exactly how many of those supporters are looking forward to the new season?
Pre season training also starts tomorrow, followed by the first friendly at Gateshead a week on Friday and then the squad are off to America that weekend.
The thought that we could still be having these same conversations by the time that plane takes off, are just too depressing to contemplate, though we know from experience it’s more than possible.
If the core of the plan is simply for Steve McClaren and his coaches to get more out of the existing players, then just how badly are we tottering on the edge of disaster?
Relying on Siem de Jong and Rolando Aarons staying fit and proving themselves good enough for the Premier League, is not a plan.
Neither is turning Obertan, Marveaux, Williamson, Taylor, Riviere, Anita, Ameobi, Elliot, Haidara, Dummett, Gouffran, Cabella into players good enough to finish in the top half of the table with.
Swansea and Southampton look to be making a habit of bringing in talented people to manage their clubs, but they are only able to do that, with the help of realistic investment in the transfer market.
There is no magic answer without being able to bring in better players than Newcastle United have at this moment in time.
McClaren might well be a decent coach but he didn’t make his name at Manchester United, helping Sir Alex Ferguson to win trophies, with poor to average players.
At Middlesbrough he was massively backed by Steve Gibson to bring them relative success, whilst at FC Twente he was also backed to bring the Dutch title to the club.
Whereas stuck with the same old England players he didn’t exactly improve the situation there, did he?
The new Newcastle Head Coach needs time, money and patience.
Time is rapidly ebbing away with only five and a half weeks left until the Premier League kicks off and not a penny has been spent yet.
All you have is the patience of the supporters which is wearing thinner by the day.
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