With the transfer window finally open and the circus that it produces in full swing, it’s worth taking a step back from the chaos to assess the Newcastle United side of things that is fast getting people agitated.
While the trust levels in Mike Ashley and his cohort of minions seem to be firmly at the heart of the mass unrest, it is worth taking a more objective view and not get carried away with the doom and gloom that seems to be fast descending on Tyneside.
Is it really as bad as some are making out? Are we falling behind the pack already? Easy to say yes when you see how much Everton are looking to splash out on new players.
For the growing number of cynics among us, it seems that once promotion was assured there has been a series of roadblocks put in place by the owner to slow down transfer activity. Talk of a sale of the club, or at least partial sell-off has clouded immediate investment and we have certainly seen this used in the past to justify lack of investment.
Then we saw Graham Carr relieved of his position as chief scout meaning that we’ve had no one in place who could do any transfer dealings anyway…well apart from the obvious in the manager I hear you all say.
It could be that we simply don’t have the money available, it could be Ashley baulking at paying the vast sums for mediocre players, it could also be that we simply don’t have the space in the squad to buy new players without some outgoings in the form of releases, sales or loans.
With TV numbers down last season it may actually be a sensible approach not to go nuts on future earnings that then land the club in financial hot water and could see financial fair play rules restrict clubs’ future spending. Who knows for sure.
Whatever the reasons for lack of spending so far, for the fans who followed the club through what was a successful yet rollercoaster ride of a season in the Championship, it is all too apparent that we need new players.
Not only that but need an injection of quality and/or experience with specific positions flagged as must have areas to be strengthened. We have some potentially good players but the rest of the squad is in need of an addition of quality in depth before the window closes, or we will likely struggle this coming season.
Having said all that, the window has been open for a matter of a few days. There is plenty of time and while I understand the feeling of urgency, it also needs to be dampened with some realism.
I for one would love to see a couple of more players in the next few days to now follow, what has been a long drawn out capture of Florian Lejeune, to allow them the maximum pre-season time to settle in. Hopefully then more will follow as we thin squad numbers and we build up a good core of players capable of performing at the level needed.
I still think there is a possibility of Ashley refusing to sanction outgoing wages while still paying for players we are looking to sell/loan and almost certainly he won’t be keen to pay wages while players aren’t playing and getting matchday revenues in.
All up though, I think we are still a week or two away from the panic stations that some are already getting upset over, the next two weeks will be critical…if we are staring firmly at the end of July without any meaningful additions then yes, I will push the alarm and join in with the chorus of disapproval and worry.
In the meantime I am refusing to be baited by media speculation one way or the other.
If things were that bad then I doubt very much Rafa would still be here. Until he starts kicking up a public fuss or walks out on the club, then I will remain calm but vigilant about our chances of redefining our squad for the coming campaign.
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