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])

  • TheNutJob


    • Peter Stabler

      Different opinion to yours?

  • Cuh736

    The players you are confident can make the “step up” to the pl have all played in the pl previously. What step up are we talking about?

  • Steve Pearce

    You see this is what happens when a website run by fans and not employees of The Trinity Mirror Group have the freedom to speak from their hearts. I agree with every word – we fans are the biggest obstacle to our progress with this attitude. It is one that needs stamping out as we all need to back our players 100%. We now have a truly great manager who has much more freedom to sign players whom he says “Are better than the ones we have”. We’re stuck with Ashley and Charnely for the time being, but at least they are based in England and not some distant foreign oligarchs who are only out to milk the profits. So let’s all bury the hatchet and get behind our beloved team!

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      you mean like the owners of Man U, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man C, Everton
      My my what a state those clubs are in compared to Newcastle

    • Leazes Ender

      Its never worked before Steve, is this a novel way of filling the gaps in the teamsheet…. I’ve never heard anything so stupid.

    • cmrowley

      That is by far the silliest post I’ve read for a long time. Keep in mind I’ve read some terribly silly posts over the years. You have managed to cram a good few laughables into one post. Bravo.

    • Jezza

      I’d rather have the “distant foreign oligarchs” of Man City and Chelsea than Ashley. They invest money in the team and are providing success for their clubs’ supporters. Ashley is the one club owner who is “only out to milk the profits”.

  • Leazes Ender

    Two words Paul…. ‘Lewis Gibson’

    ….. he got to step up to the mark……Sold to Everton….

    Here’s another word free of charge….’Moneyball’…… watch the film, its cr*p but illuminating,

    I suppose that makes Ashley Brad Pitt.

  • toonterrier

    Pop into the betting shop. Odds for the mackems going down at the end of the season is 14-1. Not looking good for them. The bad news is that the odds for the toon getting relegated is 4-1. How scary is that.

    • HarryHype59

      Scary but realistic! Our “marquee” signing to date is an unproven Championship player from Norwich!

  • Kneebotherm8

    The negativity around the club stems from the owner. I remember the positivity that surrounded the club when John Hall was owner. Those were the days when,amongst other things,we went out and broke the world transfer record for Alan Shearer and we actually looked like we were trying to win something. Happy days.

  • TheFatController

    Good word you use, that of ‘Mindset’.

    Yes, some are compulsively negative, but why? Because it’s easy. You don’t have to think too much, you know it’s all useless, and can easily find evidence to back it up (e.g. No £20m players, Rafa’s frustration meaning he’ll be gone etc)

    People can become polarised in their thinking – all evidence to support the polarity is filtered in, all positive evidence conveniently filtered out. Most people happily accept positive and negative evidence rationally and end up somewhere between the polarities – this we then called ‘a balanced view’.

    To be polarised is to be paralysed in anyone’s ability to reason . If you practice or do something regularly, what happens? – you get good at it. Moan about Ashley for 10 years, guess what – they get good at it …

    So that’s how you get a negative mindset that won’t entertain the positives whilst welcoming the negatives – everyone loves being proved right, do they not ? They need ‘bad’ signings to be proved right, so what are this summer’ signings going to viewed as? Not good, that’s for sure…

    Your article is spot on.

    • Steven05

      You and the writer are spot on.

  • East Durham Mag

    This transfer window will most likely to be like recent ones. We will suddenly be linked with a few decent names, a bit of intrest(hysteria) may follow, we will be strung along to the last moment then miraculously………. f*ck all and the alleged money available will never be mentioned or alluded to again. Its a familiar pattern.

    • Down Under Mag

      How long until the window closes??

      • East Durham Mag

        Thursday August 31st at 23:00.

    • Kneebotherm8

      Ashley’s Groundhog Day.

  • Jimblag23

    I like the optimism in this article but the author points to the problem himself.
    So we’ve got 13 decent players, even if we sign another 3 players what happens to our match day squad if we’ve got a few injuries?

  • cmrowley

    You’re not comparing apples and apples though are you? Dyer, jenas and bellamy came into teams that had Lee, Batty, Shearer, Speed, Solano, Woodgate, Peacock etc.
    You present 13 players that YOU think have the quality, but present it almost as fact. Then have a pop at ‘negativity’ if someone may disagree with you.
    Buying young promising players is fantastic, if and when it’s done as a supplement to a team that’s on the up and doing well. Taking a punt on promising youth is not the same as when dyer, jenas, viana, bramble or bellamy was signed.
    There’s a difference between negativity and realism.

    • Down Under Mag

      The one thing both teams have in common is a good experienced tactically astute manager who is capable of getting the most out of what talent is available to him at the time rather than require better players to cover inadequacies in his management style. I have said for a while that what you need is either a bankrolled first team of ready made proven players capable of just getting on with their job and you can relax with a tactically inept manager but one who is high on motivational speak OR you need a top class manager who is capable of getting more from less when it comes to the players, i.e. younger players who may not have “made it” yet. I think the second option is infinitely more stable and likely to succeed long term…Rafa is still the best thing that could have happened here and i’ve every faith he will squeeze every last drop of talent out of the squad he is able to construct on a lower budget. There will be blips along the way yes, but overall I feel more confident with this playign staff and Rafa than I ever would have with Pardew or McClaren at the helm and spendign 150m+ on new players.

      • cmrowley

        I’m not really sure what you’re trying to say? Is it that Rafa is a better manager than Schteve? If so yes, I agree. If you’re trying to tell me Rafa can do ‘enough’ to keep a poor set of players up where Schteve couldn’t, well maybe he can but is that what he or we are settling for? For all of Rafas ability, making do and scraping by won’t be enough to keep him here long term. Then what do we have? A team that Schteve or Bruce or Pulis won’t be able to keep up and we’re back to square one.

    • Jezza

      Excellent comment. If the club had signed Jacob Murphy as “one for the future” along with 3 or 4 established players of proven Premiership quality that would have been great but Jacob Murphy as our flagship summer signing is cause for concern.