You can tell that Newcastle United are back in the Premier League, when every action taken is highlighted by the media and is taken as a sign that something is drastically wrong at the club.
Rafa Benitez is about to leave because there are no signings till July and that means that Newcastle are going to get relegated because no one is going to come in at all. Steve Nickson (new head of recruitment) was hired as an internal promotion to strengthen Ashley’s hand (even though Rafa is said to be happy about this) and this is the end, the real doom.
In the real world though, it’s still the start of July, and while ideally we’d have had signings in by now, don’t be surprised if it takes longer than most people think.
This is the first time that an NUFC Premier League manager is actually targeting players that are wanted by other teams as well, and are not Ligue 1 rejects. Of course, these transfers will take time. And yes, Benitez is a bit disappointed going by all the reports, but this talk of him resigning is utter rubbish.
If things don’t change in a month, yes, blame Ashley, and perhaps it might be time for AshleyOut to come back and emerge as a force again, but let’s give this regime some time.
It’s a huge shock for them as well…
A manager who won’t take no for an answer.
A manager has set targets.
A manager who refuses to go for garbage bargains.
It’s the first time in years that Newcastle are actually having to scout, then actually outbid other teams and convince the player to join them as well. Usually, the players we’ve signed have Newcastle as their only option.
This will take time and the class of players that we’re rumoured to be interested in are well above what we usually sign.
As for Nickson, this is a sign of Rafa’s control, and not Ashley’s meddling. Rafa is happy that he has someone he can trust in that position.
Graham Carr, for all his virtues, signed the players he wanted, not what the manager did. Pardew, for all his faults, was forced to play with players that he would never have signed on his own. My take on it is that it is the manager who will be sacked for any failures in the transfer market, so it is the manager that should have the final say, and Carr’s departure was needed for Rafa to exert the control he wanted to, and secure the signings he needed.
In steps, Nickson, a man who has seen the youth team do much better than previously and has scouted some successes at that level. Remember, at that level, most signings are not likely to succeed, especially with the youth set-up the way it was for the last few years.
So sit back and wait. Wrist slitting now is useless and ultimately won’t change a thing.
If things don’t play out well, then the first home game of the season should be a massive protest against Ashley.
But until then, let’s have some perspective, let’s have some patience, and let Rafa and his team get on with it, without speculating about how every rise of the eyebrow means he’s angry and wants to leave.
(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])