Over the last few weeks we have heard/read from various Newcastle fans about our transfer dealings to date in this current window and the new Newcastle players brought in – as well as those still needed…
How we should be going out and signing a centre-back, that the left-back position isn’t looking too clever, that we need another creative midfielder in case Jonjo Shelvey gets injured/suspended and that we need a replacement number 10. Oh and we can’t just rely on Dwight Gayle, the left wing needs working on, we could do with a defensive midfielder and we should probably go and strengthen at right-back, and if Rafa Benitez is intent on looking at a new goalkeeper then good, because Rob Elliot and Karl Darlow aren’t Premier League class.
Where does it end?
A lot of what I’ve just gone through is quite true and fans are correct, various positions need buying for/improving, but the one thing I can’t abide with, is the slagging off of younger players being bought in to augment what we have, or what we will look to buy in later.
We still need a proven Premier League goal scorer and a creative midfielder as a minimum, other positions can be strengthened later – as although not ideal, the current crop can do a job in the meantime. There’s no point in signing someone just for the sake of it and no team just goes out and buys 10+ players. It simply doesn’t work.
The reaction from some fans to the club signing Jacob Murphy and Mikel Merilo has been quite frankly, ridiculous. I understand that Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley are severely disliked and held up as figures of fun, which is mostly by their own doing, but it’s the mindset that concerns me.
If every player that comes in is going to be tarnished with the Ashley/Charnley brush and be seen in a negative light before they’ve even kicked a ball, then players and even Rafa Benitez himself, are wasting their time here.
I seem to remember once upon a time, when the club signed Kieron Dyer everyone was excited that we had pulled off a great young signing, a signing of attacking intent, a player with pace and skill.
Signed by Ruud Gullit and then brought on by Sir Bobby, a player that was warmly received by fans and his potential was there to see on the pitch in the opening years of his career at St James Park.
Let’s not dwell on what transpired in the later years, as prima donna attitudes and constant injuries came to the fore, the support from us the fans was there in the early years of his career at St James Park and didn’t the side profit from it. At this rate, our young recruits are starting at a disadvantage.
The feat was repeated a couple of years later when Bobby bought another young lad, Craig Bellamy, and weren’t we thrilled with him when he used to blitz his way down the pitch, surge into the box, creating chances and scoring goals.
Jermaine Jenas was bought a season or so later, another young gun to add to Bobby’s boys. The were all brought in to supplement the talent that was already there, but the difference then was…WE GOT BEHIND THEM!
Spot the difference. The club goes out and buys young talent from the league below and fans are happy that we have done so. Now, the club goes out and buys young talent from the league below and it’s a disaster of gargantuan proportions.
Fast forward to present day and the core group of quality players is a little sparse to add young talent to – but nonetheless they are still there.
The players that I’m confident will step up at this level are Elliot, Lascelles, Clark, Yedlin, Shelvey, Ritchie and Gayle.
Perez, Manquillo and Dummett have Premier League experience and I’m sure Atsu, Murphy and Lejeune will slot in and be better players for us this season. That’s 13 players that I have confidence in to do well and that’s BEFORE any more signings or including other players from the current squad.
I’ve already said that a top striker and another creative midfielder is required and neither come cheap. I’m sure Rafa is probably targeting similar recruitment before the end of August.
We seem to have a generation of some fans that live for the negative side of things. A simple misplaced pass and that player is consigned to the bin marked ‘Another failure’ in many fans eyes. A defensive error and that’s him labelled ‘A duck egg’ forevermore. If anyone wants to whinge about the supposed poor level of signings so far this summer then fine, crack on, just leave off the young lads and get behind the whole team just like fans have done at Newcastle down the years.
I just hope that when we do kick off in 11 days time every fan is behind the players that do turn out at St James Park, as at present I feel some people are just waiting for that dodgy pass or blunder to turn it into a ‘I told you so’ moment, ‘I told you we are rubbish, that’s us relegated’.
We may struggle at times this season, however unless I’m very much mistaken, we are a newly promoted side and have no right to just storm into the top ten.
Personally speaking, a good season would be in and around the top 10 and having a crack at the cups but we will see how events pan out.
August 13th is the time to forget the owner and his past indiscretions for 90 minutes. Only time will tell how many recruits we will need to take the club on beyond that – but what we need is the fans behind whoever Rafa puts on the pitch.
(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])