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There are at least these three positives in the Newcastle squad…

5 years ago

Ahhhhh, new year, fresh start, new beginning….(deep breath/cough/nearly puke).

So it was back to business for most of us poor unfortunates this week – marvellous isn’t it? (Actually puked!)

With flat batteries supposedly recharged, we ready the creaking limbs for the off like a coiled spring launching into 2016… Well something like that.

I personally have the energy of an overly-boiled sprout, after spending a fortnight of necking sherry shots with auld Aunty Doris and drip feeding stilton cheese into my veins.

The Newcastle squad faces the very same task this week. Getting back to business will be tough for the lads after a pretty miserable and miserly festive period.  The three nil ones were on the back of a couple of promising results and performances and this makes it even worse.

No jokes about turkeys or getting stuffed here however – it’s just not funny. But in truth it’s not just been a bad Xmas patch has it? It has been an absolutely diabolical 2015. Our very own black and white Annus Horribilis.

Christ if that was a patch; it would be visible from the International Space Station.

Numerous unwanted records of nefarious notoriety have been ‘achieved’ in the last three hundred and sixty five or so days. Records that we don’t really need to mention again now, that we do not want to see repeated.

There is only one thing that can be done – and that is not to look at what has happened in the past, but look at what can be done to save our sorry backsides from the inevitable.

This team needs momentum, direction and above all some digits in the sodding goals for column!

Fat Mike, Carr and Penfold can do something about this when it comes to recruitment. More to follow.

Shteeeeve can do something about player selection (Square pegs and round holes, fade and repeat…).

The transfer window has ‘swung open’ (careful you don’t jump out) and will ‘slam’ shut in around 4 weeks time (mind your fingers). Everything is being done in ‘private’ and ‘behind closed doors’ according to our forever paddling (up ssssh*t creek) boss man.

Whether it’s in private or held as part of a Radio 1 foam party in Leazes lake – I give one toss not, as long as they are planning on actually doing some business. There are some positives to be had from the Newcastle squad (Ayoze, Gini, Mbemba – I did say some) – but as it stands we are in serious danger of being relegated for yet another Coca Cola League tour.

The alarm bells must be going off inside St James Park, but looking at Charnley, when he hears them he will probably line up outside in the car park with the cleaners at the fire alarm drill muster point waiting for the dinner ladies to let him back in.

Some of the names we have been linked with truly make me scratch my head. More non-scoring attacking misfits from wherever-land, in the Gouffran mould with dubious injury records – just what we need eh?

Let us see what develops over the coming days but I would be hoping for some real experience and above all, quality. Don’t hold your breath for either! The last time we signed anyone from a PL team was wor Jackie Colback (on a free – out of contract) from the unwashed; before that I think it was Nolan.

The rotund one is looking to change the club badge – don’t know the Latin translation but it could read underneath – ‘Young, foreign and cheap’.

This is harsh I know, as we have played ok in some of the recent defeats, but the margins are so tight now after the early season capitulations that the sh*t has got real.

One thing for certain is we need goals – where we get a quality striker from in this window is going to be difficult. I still think Austin (if fit) would be worth a plunge as his record (whatever league he is in) is pretty damned good. He should be available, unlike others we chased for entire windows and end up getting gazumped at the death (Gomis and Remy the first time anyone?)

The major problem is now attracting players to the club bearing in mind the possibility of relegation. Would Austin want to jump aboard an all expenses paid luxury cruise on the Titanic with the rest of us?

We should still have pulling power, but time after time when we go head to head with seemingly lesser clubs (such as the power houses that are Southampton, West Ham, Stoke and even Palace), we are likely to come up short – in wages, transfer valuations, bids and geographical attraction.

It is an ever decreasing circle that has been self perpetuated by the club’s transfer policy. The lack of ambition and massive underachievement over recent seasons has put our hierarchy begging bowl to the back of the queue.

Every day we will be linked with some new magical mystery mercenary from the Mongolian second Division with a scoring record of 1 in 10 – but hey, they might be a bargain and make Mike another £2m for the money mattress!

I would be interested to know who you would like to bring in with experience. Where would you start and stop? A striker, winger, central midfielder, left back and centre half are necessary in my eyes.

Hopefully by the time Sky Sports’ Jim White is freed from his dungeon underneath the studio and is wheeled out frothing at the mouth like a knackered washing machine on deadline day, that OUR club might have delivered some seasonal good news.

Time will tell.

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