With only three weeks to go until United kick off against Southampton, despite the signing of Wijnaldum it looks as though Mike Ashley still has some way to go before he convinces the majority of supporters that things have really changed at St James Park.
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Last night at Bonney Field, Newcastle fans unveiled a banner proclaiming:
‘Mike Ca$hley $old our $oul’
So whilst spending £14.5m on a promising player such as Georginio Wijnaldum is encouraging, fans are only too well aware that this won’t cure all of Newcastle United’s problems on it’s own.
Last night’s unconvincing performance and fortunate win against a third tier American team, followed defeat to Mexican side Club Atlas and a really poor display at Gateshead, where United needed a penalty to beat the Conference side.
Whether you win or lose in friendlies is of course pretty irrelevant but the performances aren’t.
Whilst you hope that the team can improve in the remaining friendlies, we all know that another four or five signings are desperately needed to allow the team to move on from last season’s near disaster.
Mitrovic appears to be imminent and the 20 year old looks a real prospect, but at least another three similar signings are needed on top of him and Wijnaldum.
Mike Ashley/Cashley’s crimes (against Newcastle United) are too long to list and we are all well aware of them, however, leaving the squad short of quality and quantity has been the ongoing problem season after season.
Three of the last four transfer windows produced no signings and last summer produced Colback, Perez and Janmaat, but over these last two years United have let first team/squad players Cabaye, Debuchy, Ben Arfa, Harper, Perch, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon, Simpson, Gutierrez and Ryan Taylor go.
The positives of pre season have seen Janmaat and Krul looking decent and Sissoko and Cisse probably the better players going the other way on the pitch.
However, there is a long list of players who we all know won’t suddenly become Premier Legue players just because Pardew and Carver no longer coach them.
Pre season we have already seen Ferguson, Gouffran, Bigirimana, Anita, Williamson, Obertan, Taylor and Riviere getting time on the pitch, none of them up to the standard needed.
Whilst there are many others involved in the friendlies who have also yet to show they can do it in the Premier League, through youth and/or having only played a limited number of times: Armstrong, Aaron, de Jong, Lascelles, Woodman, Haidara, Darlow, Satka and Good.
People say, give Mike Ashley the benefit of the doubt.
Well I might start softening when we have signed the five or six players to give the team/squad a chance of potentially recovering from the lack of investment of the past six years.