I was having growing concerns about the lack of signings at Newcastle United but they have now been swept away thanks to John Carver.
Or maybe not.
Alan Pardew’s former assistant was back in the media spotlight on Thursday and giving his expert analysis on Newcastle United’s transfer window.
With no new faces arriving at St James Park and only four days (now three days) until pre-season training begins on Monday, supporters wondering whether Mike Ashley is up to his usual tricks of undermining the manager.
However, John Carver has reassured us all.
John Carver – 29 June 2017:
“Absolutely (when asked if Mike Ashley was going to back Rafa in the transfer market), one million% because I know where that football club is now.”
I don’t think John Carver knew where ‘that football club’ was when he was inside it, never mind outside of it now.
I am always dubious when somebody claims something is more sure than 100% and 1,000,000% obviously takes some beating.
After everything that Mike Ashley has done over the course of the past 10 years, I don’t think anybody could be 1% certain that he will do any particular thing.
As for backing Rafa Benitez, who knows?
As Rafa found out in January, maybe the devil is in the detail when it comes to assurances from the club’s owner..
The United made clear his anger at the end of the January window when the club didn’t sign any of the list of targets he had given them, Mike Ashley refusing to even allow any loan deals.
At the end of the season a club statement released on 10 May 2017 included this quote from the owner:
“I’ve confirmed to Rafa (Benitez) and Lee (Charnley) that they can have every last penny that the club generates through promotion, player sales and other means in order to build for next season.”
We were all to believe that for the Championship campaign, Rafa had been promised a certain transfer budget plus any money he could add by selling players.
However, despite making a £40m transfer profit in summer 2016, Rafa wasn’t allowed to spend anything in January 2017. Obviously something doesn’t add up.
Florian Thauvin’s departure for £10m was confirmed by the club earlier this month, as well as Kevin Mbabu for an undisclosed fee, with £6.2m Christian Atsu the only arrival, it means Rafa Benitez is once again already some £5m up on transfers this time.
Recent days have seen reports that the Florian Lejeune transfer saga is now in its fifth week because Newcastle want to pay the £8.7m transfer fee in instalments to help Rafa stretch his transfer budget a bit further for other signings.
It doesn’t exactly smack of 1,000,000% backing!
We are once again in the balancing act of having 100% faith in Rafa Benitez trying/wanting to do the right thing and wondering to exactly what degree Mike Ashley is…doing the right thing.
John Carver didn’t make me sleep any easier last night, his words yesterday were about as reassuring as Donald Trump saying the planet was (1,000,000%?) safe in his hands.
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