Looking ahead to a season in the Championship, Jack Colback has shown the kind of insight that only a true professional could come out with.
The Newcastle midfielder says that this summer the club need to ‘keep hold of the right players and sign the right players’.
Now he has said it, it all becomes so blindingly obvious.
If only he had mentioned this earlier to Mike Ashley and Graham Carr, we could all have been spared a lot of heartache and rubbish football.
Maybe it is Rafa Benitez who has given the likes of Colback this insight, after years of Newcastle keeping hold of the wrong players and then signing more of them.
Jack Colback’s idea of the ‘right players’ are ones who have string character and are ready to perform now, not in the hope they can develop in a few years time.
It illustrates perfectly just how badly Ashley and Carr dealt with the transfer strategy a year ago.
Newcastle had only survived in May 2015 on the very final day and for the following (last) season they needed players who could come straight in and as well as performing themselves, could help motivate and bring the best out of those around them.
Instead, Newcastle signed a 19 year old, two 20 year olds, a 22 year old and 24 year old Gini Wijnaldum, all of them recruited from weaker leagues.
Last time Newcastle United found themselves in the Championship, Chris Hughton wasn’t given a penny to spend in summer 2009 and those early months saw a procession of loan players to bulk up the team/squad.
This time around, Rafa Benitez has been able to demand a realistic budget as well as cash from any sales, though it is still very likely that quality players from the loan market will also be targeted as part os the overall Rafa plan.
“We need to keep hold of the right players and sign the right players.
“There are a lot of games and we need a strong squad with good players who are up for the challenge.
“We will need players who can properly help the team now, not a few years down the line.
“It is a tough league and you need a strong group of characters in order to get promoted.”