You can never tell for sure…but I can’t help thinking that West Ham have done transfer business that would have been ideal for Newcastle United.

Some Newcastle fans seem to have such a downbeat opinion of our club, crushed by 10 years under the rule of Mike Ashley and his propaganda merchants, that their expectations are so minimal as to be non-existent.

It isn’t a case of thinking/expecting that Newcastle could have landed the likes of Lukaku, Lacazette, Kyle Walker(!) and the other star signings at the top end of the scale.

However, I just don’t see the argument as to why we couldn’t have put ourselves seriously forward for the players West Ham have brought in.

It isn’t that NUFC would have necessarily been successful in competing for them, or indeed that the players would have been interested either, but surely we should have had our hat in the ring.

Javier Hernandez was £16m in the end BBC sport say, the Hammers bringing in this quality striker at the age of 29, a fair few years in him yet at the top.

Zabaleta on a free transfer from Manchester City, the Argentine international not past it at 32.

Then you have 30 year old Joe Hart on loan, a few million loan fee, and anybody who doesn’t think he is several levels above any of Newcastle’s current keepers must be bonkers.

The last of the quarter is Arnautovic, the 28 year old attacking midfielder/winger costing £20m initially, rising to potentially £25m.

So I make that around £40m for these four internationals, all with vast Premier League/international experience, rising to £45m as the potential total cost for West Ham.

I have to say, that Newcastle United have spent £32m on four signings who look pretty poor in comparison, Jacob Murphy has promise of course but still got it all to prove.

Newcastle surely needed, and Rafa wanted, experience to give the squad a massive boost, on their return to the Premier League.

Yet seemingly little/no effort was put into trying to get any of these four West Ham players, or indeed similar level ones who have gone to other clubs.

I look at that West Ham quarter and surely all four would have walked into the current Newcastle team, in contrast, NUFC could start the season with none of the new signings so far, making the first eleven.

It may go pear shaped for West Ham but I think those signings would have been perfect for Newcastle and fans would have been buzzing.

The West Ham wages are probably twice as much or more than the NUFC four but you do get what you pay for and I’d rather pay big wages for people to play in the first team, than lower wages for somebody to sit on bench or worse.

I’m sick of seeing so many sub-standard players brought in under Mike Ashley, that prove anything but bargains.

Time for major worries now I think. Just hope the secret transfers are imminent…

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])



  • NUFCDan

    Honestly I can take or leave the other 3 (if some fans didn’t like Ben Arfa they’d hate Arnautovic) but signing Hernandez would have been an absolute no brainer in our current situation.

    • Kneebotherm8

      I fear we’re gonna struggle to score goals in this league,and the stats over recent years prove the lowest goal scorers generally get relegated.

      • NUFCDan

        He’s pretty much as close as you can get to guaranteed goals that *might* keep us in the PL. Plus the commercial revenue potential from USA and Mexico that having Mexico’s biggest football star playing in the PL again is huge. It’s not a big outlay when you consider whats at stake.

        • mentalman

          if he’s going to guarantee goals and was such a steal why have the big guns gone for unknown quantities in the EPL

          • Munich Mag

            I watched him playing for Leverkusen and the bloke is minging. Ditto Arnautavic. We are well clear of these players who will be a massive waste of money for the desperate Hammers.

        • Kneebotherm8

          I agree,if we go with what we’ve got now and,God forbid,Gayle gets injured early doors,that’ll mean we’ll struggle badly till the January window and then Ashley will be panicking like [email protected] Fingers crossed we don’t start the season with this present squad or we’re goosed,irrespective of what Dummetts saying about the squad being well covered in all positions.

  • Dutch

    I give up why fans read the MAG. It’s so full of negativity. Clearly a West Ham fan who wrote this article.

    • Leazes Ender

      You are the negative one chump.

      • Martin

        Coming from you?!

        • Leazes Ender

          I’m positive

          • nevfur

            Can’t stand London and have always had ambition for us actually. Mind if you think you are positive we are all every day party goers, celebration time cmon hail the Rafalution

          • Leazes Ender

            Your still a Neville

          • nevfur

            Aye true but who’s Lotte?

    • Jezza

      West ham are signing players of proven Premiership quality for fees around the £20 million mark. NUFC are scraping around picking up players with zero Premiership pedigree for fees in the £5 to £10 million price range. Pointing out those facts is not negativity it is realism.

  • Oooh

    £16m sounds a good price for a quality player like Hernandez but according to Sky Sports News his wages are £140 grand a week. Can’t see fatso sanctioning that.

    • Jezza

      You are right but I wouldn’t be surprised if Fatso is paying himself a wage in the region of 140 grand a week out of the profits he makes from NUFC.

      • Sean Lynch

        Per week? More like per day!
        How much would a real world companies pay for the stadium sponsorship SD get for free?

    • Sean Lynch

      Agreed Oooh, but the issue would have been all 4 players expecting £120k+ per week and how that would impact players we already have who’d demand renegotiating their contracts too for parity.

  • brin mcardle

    i cannot understand why we have not bought a class striker

    • Leazes Ender

      Because there’s three weeks to go and Charnley is an accountant, its non productive outlay….. moneyball.

      • Jezza

        Spot on. A top striker is a non essential purchase as far as Ashley is concerned. Much better to keep the money.

    • Sean Lynch

      Waiting to see what gems ate left after the branches have been picked almost bare. Perfect scenario for Mash would be to get one on the cheap cause their club are desperate for the funds, but everyone else wanting a striker have already bought theirs.
      Every time their is a glimmer of hope that a new leaf has been turned by Mash, we realise It’s the same leaf as before.

  • magpiefifer

    Interesting piece Ryan.I’ve been watching West Ham’s transfer activity with a lot of interest,and have concluded that they are making more effective,AMBITIOUS signings than us.
    Time will tell – until the end of the window,at least – but I’m not holding my breath in anticipation of Ashley coming up trumps!

    • Jezza

      Not so long ago West Ham were signing our cast offs now they are making the kind of signings Newcastle fans dare not even dream of. That is how much Ashley has dragged down our club.

      • magpiefifer

        Agreed Jezza – my concern is that too many fans accept the ‘dumbing down’ of NUFC’s ambitions by Ashley.
        We aren’t looking for top-class signings at £50m+ (that would be nice!), but it would be re-assuring to see a better quality squad that will be competitive in the PL.
        Can we not have a squad that will not – yet again – be fighting a relegation battle!?

        • Soldier

          good post

  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    and if my wife were kate upton I’d be married to a super model

  • cb_cb

    have to realise that these days West Ham have a bigger stadium, pay in London and pay bigger wages than Newcastle

  • Lizfoley AkaEsther

    Wage comparison anyone

    • Leazes Ender

      I earn considerably more than you.

  • Alan Pardew

    The problem is that where we are now financially means that we can never really fulfill the expectations of the fans. They have memories of European football but the gap is ­getting bigger as the years go by.

    It is becoming difficult to compete with the top clubs, but that is not to say we can’t compete at the level we are at, but we are always vulnerable to the bigger clubs as Andy Carroll’s move proved.

    That makes it very difficult to manage – but not impossible. Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias made it quite clear – the club to a certain extent needs to wipe its nose and therefore we haven’t got ­investment above our income. That is how Mike wants to run the football club.

    Some of the other clubs have that ability to spend more than they earn and Manchester City have been able to break into the top four for that reason. They have a sovereign state ­backing them. We can’t ­compete with that. It is very difficult.

    • GeordieZebra

      We aren’t trying to compete with city for signings or spend or even aspirations looking realistically. West Ham though, we should be

    • brin mcardle

      We can do better than what we are doing now

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    I`m pretty sure Hernandez won`t be on the 140 grand he asked for & for £16m he`s steal, but we only buy players nobody else bids for. mark my words when we go for a striker it`ll be one that hasn`t had a bid placed for him

    • Jezza

      I agree entirely. When we do go for a striker it’ll probably be another Shefki Kuqi job.

      • Kneebotherm8

        We may as well keep Mitro,he’s slightly more mobile than Shefki was(not much in it like).

      • Toonbadger

        May as well bring Super Shola the mackem slayer back

        • Blackburn1066

          that’s the one

        • Rich Lawson

          apparently we can’t afford the fee Notts County are asking for him !

  • grumpyoldmag

    I must be bonkers then

  • Leazes Ender

    United don’t ‘pounce’ or ‘swoop’ for players anymore, we sort of creep up and hope nobody is looking.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Nobody is looking, are they. when was the last time we went head to head with another premiership club to sign a player.

      • Leazes Ender

        I think the Chronicle boys are a bit lost and bewildered at the moment, I think they expected a Rafalution.

        • Blackburn1066

          here here

  • Jimblag23

    I’m glad we haven’t signed Arnautovic. He’s terrible, but Hernandez is signing of the summer.
    Hart might be a good signing, but it’s not as if I’d be particularly happy if we signed him.

  • nevfur

    Wages will be the thing with the first three, massive. We won’t pay that at this stage. Always liked Arnautovic though

  • Toonbadger

    If`s, but`s and maybe`s!!!!!!! I`ve heard there`s a good striker in the South—————
    Pole area who loves the B&W of the toon
    And he`s going cheap. Only wants 2 cases of wet fish per week. BUT, can Fat Mick afford him. I mean wages like that are just too much.
    There`s also a good striker in the African Jungle who will play for peanuts

  • Nicholas Dryden

    Hart has been in shocking form for the last 2 years and is on monster wages

    Zabaleta is nearly 33 and again on monster wages
    Arnautovic is nearly 29 + 24M is crazy money for a good, but inconsistent talent
    Hernandez again top end of 29 and cost 16M + massive wages.

    WHU will be bankrupt at this rate with their monthly wage bill and people coming for a final payoff.

    We all want more exciting signings which could still happen, but I think there is also potential in Murphy, Atsu, Lejeune and Manquillo under Rafa’s coaching. Ashley and Charnley are certainly not doing us or Rafa many favours though.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      we`ll find out next May & see if West Ham are above us

      • Jezza

        Perfect reply.

  • GeordieZebra

    Great article. It echoes what many of us think and regardless of your individual view on hart or zabaleta etc, their inclmings has demonstrated significantly more ambition than us!

  • paul mclaughlan

    Joe Hart is mediocre at best.

    • Soldier

      so are our keepers according to Rafa

  • Lord

    Buying ‘named’ Premiership players that we’ve all heard of is the strategy that brought us Duff, Owen, Viduka and Geremi.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      not buying them brought us relegation

    • Jezza

      You are being very selective. You have obviously trawled through all our bigger signings over recent years and picked out the worst four. We have also had a lot of success from our more ambitious purchases. Buying players of proven Premiership quality almost won us the league title in the mid 90’s. As I’ve said before, buying quality does not always guarantee success but not buying does guarantee failure.

      • Soldier

        good post

      • Lord

        Yup I was being selective in choosing Premiership ‘names’ in their last few years coming on wages based on reputation. Very different ambition on display signing Viduka aged 32 vs Alan Shearer aged 26.

        Just saying those players mentioned seem to fit in the category where the wages are more of a problem and they don’t seem to fit into the sort of team Rafa is looking to build for the future. The older players he is buying seem to be squad players rather than stars.

        Rafa had a good record of spotting talent from all over the place including lower leagues. Shelvey and Raheem Sterling come to mind (whatever you think about the latter, that was a successful Rafa buy). so I’m not too worried we are not buying Premiership ‘names’ more about not signing anyone at all in key positions.

  • Alreet

    Besides hernandez they are all end of career money grabbers.

    If the rumors are true that hart is on 175k a week that is bonkers for a error prone stopper. Id take elliott over him coz of wages. Zabaleta is free kick god but his pace will let him down. Arnautovic very hot and cold and deffo not worth 25 mill.

    If we can get a marquee striker like michy and a top class midfielder then clearout riviere, saivet, colback, mitro and krul. Id consider that a sucessfull window.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      would that be Michy Mouse as there`s no chance of us getting Batshuayi

      • Alreet

        Erm. Why not.

        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          why not, don`t you keep up with football Conte says he`s going nowhere !

          • Alreet

            Conte wanted lukaku back and a host of others he hasnt got in. He was selling matic then not then yes. Hes not got costa out of the place yet and the clock is ticking on that one.

            He will sell at the right price if he gets sanchez or aguero.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    It`s time for Big Andy to come home, have a few jars with the Pie Man, scare the schitt out of defences & take turns at being injured with Dwight
    😂😂

  • Peter Stabler

    “Seemingly” now there’s a word, we don’t know what enquiries have been made, nor how serious. Don’t Panic.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      we never panic on here mate, we know the score with Fatso & his bean counter

      • Peter Stabler

        You don’t know the score with Rafa there as Manager not yes man, let’s see what happens before slitting our wrists. You might be right and nowts changed but why not wait and see, bleating on here isn’t gonna get fatty to put his hand in his pocket – even I know that.

        • Leazes Ender

          Nobody is slitting there wrists apart from Mark Douglas who is serialising his book…..’Inside the Rafalution’.

        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          it makes no difference to Ashley who`s there mate ask Kevin Keegan. Do you seriously think fatty cares if Rafa leaves he couldn’t give a monkeys

  • IT will be shown on the pitch, Chicharito and Arnautovic were shrews pieces of busniess, but we all know Ashley is not keen on spending 10m or more on over 26 year olds.

  • Steven05

    Quick little (maybe irrelevant) question for you guys:
    With West Ham buying lots of new signings, would you like us to bring Carroll back?

    • Hughie_Gallacher

      I’m afraid Andy Carroll, despite his undoubted ability, is just too injury prone now.

      I doubt he would be available for more than half of the games.

      • Soldier

        Gayle missed half the season through injury

        • Leazes Ender

          They can have half a season each then timeshare.

      • Jezza

        Agreed. There was a time when I would have carried Andy Carroll back to St James’s Park walking barefoot over broken glass but sadly now I can’t see any wisdom in bringing him back. His quality is beyond question but the problem is not only his injury record but also his lack of goals. I was stunned to find out last season that he scored his 50th career Premiership goal at the age of 27. It should never have taken a striker of his ability so long to reach that landmark. I wonder how old Alan Shearer was when he had 50 top flight goals under his belt. Probably 19 or 20, maybe 21 at the most I shouldn’t wonder.

        • Paul Patterson

          He scored 34 Premier League goals in one season for Blackburn.
          He had 112 league goals for Blackburn BEFORE we signed him and we signed him aged 26. Quite remarkable that he’d missed a full calendar year with injury as well.

    • Stephen Paylor

      Would love to see Andy back and is an ideal impact sub. He has a great goals to games ratio but keeping him fit and particularly as he gets older is going to make it a no for rafa.

      • Blackburn1066

        he is a sick note player, nice lad good player when on the ball but not for us!

    • Soldier

      i`d have him back in a heartbeat

    • Paul Patterson

      Lets say he cost £15m and £70k a week in wages (and that’s very conservative) I think it would be a gross mistake to pay those fees on someone who won’t play 20 games.

  • Soldier

    i nipped in to see if there was any transfer news, even if there is it`s usually bad

  • TheFatController

    Ritchie, Murphy and Atsu – fees and wages – cost probably less as a package than Arnautovic. Maybe even with Aaron’s costs added too.

    Certainly all four cost about £28m in transfer fees….

    So, Ritchie, Murphy, Atsu, Aaron’s out, Arnautiovic in? That’d be a risk – I suspect one of Aaron’s or Murphy – hopefully both – will go on to be worth much more than current value…maybe Ritchie, even Atsu will improve further.

    The glass can be half full or half empty on player signings and fees.

  • Lhc

    BREAKING NEWS: Newcastle united have signed ……..

  • mactoon

    All four signings are fantastic for West Ham but the profile of age and price just doesn’t fit the profile which appears to have been set in place for this transfer window. We won’t spend much over £10 million for any player and seem to be going for young players with sell on potential again. I would love to know what Rafa’s list of first choice transfer targets were and how close the players we get are to what he wanted.

    • Andy Mac

      I’m guessing there’s Rafa’s list and then there’s Fatman’s without the £000000’s

      • mactoon

        To be fair I’m quite pleased with the players signed so far. I doubt they are the first choices Rafa wanted but still good. Now the main aim is to get a striker. If we don’t achieve this we could struggle given Gayle suspect hamstrings

  • Blackburn1066

    We will be looking for a new manager by santa time

  • Blackburn1066

    18 mil for Mitrovic get lost he could not get a game for Blyth Spartans

    • Jezza

      Yes, a tenth of that figure would be more realistic.

  • Down Under Mag

    Wages would be my first guess as to the issue. There’s a number of free transfers out there that would do a job for us for a season or two but would cost too much in wages for the owner to sanction it. While i’ve been patient so far, it is worrying that the club seem to be falling into the same old routine and going for the sell-on and cheap than players who can actually do a job. It is like Ashley doesn’t care if we stay up or go down as long as he gets his big wad of TV money at the end of the season.

    Also, like it or not, West Ham have a much bigger pulling power than we do. This isn’t 1996 and we aren’t riding a wave of media support and high profile players wanting to sign for us to play for Keegan and a chairman actually willing to push the money out to secure the level of player needed, we are a newly promoted club without the London draw-card…we need to get in the real world in terms of our profile – it isn’t what it used to be.

    I will say though, can people please stop labelling the players we DO have in as rejects just because they were cheap, before they have even been given a chance??

  • Tim Boddy

    “Newcastle United have spent £32m on four signings who look pretty poor in comparison.”

    What a lovely way to welcome Lejeune, Atsu, Manquillo and Murphy to the club.

    • Jezza

      Let’s be realistic. Is there any Newcastle fan who wouldn’t swap our four summer signings for West Ham’s.

      • Rich Lawson

        Very interesting article in The Mirror today where Bilic says he went to Gold and Sullivan and asked them to change their transfer policy and buy proven prem’ players for a short term fix (improvement) rather than squad players.Sounds like a plan ?

        • Jezza

          Yes NUFC under Ashley don’t buy proven players to have an immediate impact on the team’s performance, they buy potential. By that I don’t mean footballing potential either, they are buying sell on profit potential. Therein lies the problem.

  • TC Toon Army

    If I had 4 different numbers I would have won the lotto. And I still wouldn’t pay those wage demands.

  • Desree

    Anyone else noticed that our squad resembles one of the bargain tables in a sports direct shop.