Last week brought reports of Newcastle United being  prepared to sell Matt Ritchie to help fund the signing of Andros Townsend.

Further media coverage has followed (see below) which appears to confirm that there is genuine interest from Rafa Benitez in bringing back Townsend, then at the same time potentially sacrificing Matt Ritchie as part of helping to fund it/make it happen.

However, new media reports from both the Potteries and London, have claimed that potential transfers for both Andros Townsend and Matt Ritchie, are actually part of a four player transfer chain.

A bit like buying a house much of the time, having to wait for other deals/moves to happen before you can get what you want.

The first part of this chain was/is claimed to be Andriy Yarmolenko.

The 28 year old Borussia Dortmund player who has now signed for West Ham, he can play anywhere across the front line, including both wings.

He has cost £20m+ and takes the Hammers net spending to almost £50m, with also the high profile signing of free agents Jack Wilshere and Ryan Fredericks on top of that. When announcing Pellegrini as their new boss, West Ham were said to have promised him major backing in the transfer window and that certainly appears to be the case.

Sky Sports today reporting that they have now agreed a £35m deal to buy Felipe Anderson from Lazio.

The second link of this claimed four man transfer chain is that now West Ham have landed Yarmolenko from Dortmund, they will now be willing to sell versatile attacker Michail Antonio. Crystal Palace are the club reported to be at the head of that queue.

Assuming that deal also happens these reports in both London and the Potteries then claim that Antonio signing for Palace would then see them allow Andros Townsend to join Newcastle.

With the final link being Matt Ritchie then going to Stoke City, according to the reports, though you could claim a fifth link…with Stoke set to lose Shaqiri to Liverpool – though that is independent of the other transfers as the Swiss winger has a release clause in his contract.

Newcastle fans generally appear happy with the three signings (Ki Sung-yueng on a free, Dubravka for £4m and Kenedy on a loan) BUT only if this is part of a package where Rafa Benitez is then also allowed to spend big on other targets.

Andros Townsend would be a significant signing if it happens, not least because it would be all but guaranteed to break the  13 year old club transfer record. He would also instantly become the club’s biggest wage earner, another indication that Rafa had been allowed more freedom by Ashley…if it and other deals happen.

The transfer window closes four weeks today, with so much still needing to happen before that ends and the season starts.

The Mag – Tuesday 10 July 2018:

Rafa Benitez is still determined to land Andros Townsend according to Sky Sports.

The broadcaster broke the news of Kenedy’s journey back to Tyneside yesterday.

Sky Sports presenter, and Newcastle fan, Pete Graves on the same train that arrived at Newcastle central station late last night, with the Chelsea player set for a medical today ahead of a season-long deal being officially confirmed.

However, Sky Sports are also adamant that Kenedy’s arrival doesn’t have any bearing on whether Andros Townsend might sign or not.

At the weekend they reported that Stoke had offered £11.5m for Matt Ritchie but Newcastle were insisting on £15m+, with the intention of using that to help fund a move for Andros Townsend, with Palace claimed to value their winger at £17m.

After revealing the impending Kenedy deal, Sky Sports insist that Newcastle are still keen to bring in Townsend, with the club ready to sell Matt Ritchie if they are successful.

Mixed feelings no doubt for Newcastle fans on this one, Andros Townsend (Pictured above when signing originally back in January 2016) offers a more direct threat and is willing and able to take a man on, whereas Matt Ritchie is more a Duracell non-stop worker whose work ethic is his biggest asset – the Scottish international still yet to really prove that he can regularly score and create goals in the top tier, compared to his outstanding record in the Championship.

With Newcastle reported by the London Evening Standard as being unable to ‘afford’ Chelsea’s buy now price on Kenedy, instead going for a loan fee and option to buy (at a higher price) later, Newcastle fans are hoping/expecting that this is because significant cash is needed to be kept for spending on other signings.

An attacking three of loan signing Kenedy and then buying Townsend and a credible striker, would provide an attacking threat far greater than what was on show last season. Last year was a heavy reliance on perspiration as compared to inspiration and if Newcastle are indeed to move on, then it is obvious they need to add more creativity and goals, with quite possibly Ritchie the high profile casualty of that shift.

In an ideal world Newcastle would also keep Ritchie but I think it is a given that Rafa will need to wheel and deal, to get anywhere near where he wants to be with his first eleven come the start of the season.

The Mag – Saturday 7 July 2018:

Matt Ritchie returned to Newcastle United’s training ground with the rest of the NUFC squad on Friday morning.

The winger having been the subject of much discussion n recent days, with claims he is set to be off to Stoke City (views from their fans below)

Various claims on how far the deals/talks are along but the widespread reporting has been that Rafa Benitez wants Andros Townsend, with Matt Ritchie to be sold to pay towards that deal.

Friday afternoon has seen an update from Sky Sports.

They say that their information is that Stoke City have so far offered a best bid of £11.5m but that Newcastle are holding out for more than £15m.

As for the reported potential replacement, Sky Sports report that Crystal Palace have put a valuation of £17m on the winger.

Whilst £17m would be higher than the £13m Newcastle bought and sold Townsend for back in 2016, it is far lower than the recent claimed price tags of up to £30m for the Palace winger.

Hopefully we will see major breakthroughs on incoming transfers very shortly, as the NUFC squad fly off to Ireland for their pre-season training camp and first friendly on Wednesday.

The Mag – Friday 6 July 2018:

Stoke fans have been reacting to the news of their club’s interest in Matt Ritchie.

The Potters are reported to have offered a ‘staggering package’ to land the Newcastle winger.

As well as a £15m transfer fee, they have also allegedly offered a wage package of up to £80,000 a week.

Little wonder that Stoke would be interested in Ritchie, a player who registered astonishing stats in terms of being involved in goals as both Bournemouth and Newcastle United were promoted from the Championship.

The relegated club have already shown their intention to get instant promotion with the purchase of Nigeria’s 22 year old World Cup star Oghenekaro Etebo and the signing of Benik Afobe.

Interesting to read what the Stoke fans are saying about the potential Matt Ritchie signing, the overwhelming reaction is that he is a no-brainer in terms of ability, though concerns from some about the financial side of things…

Stoke fans react via their top Oatcake message board:

‘Shaqiri will not be here next season , so it is the clubs job to find the best player , in that position , that is available. Matt Ritchie would probably be top of that list , the club should be applauded if this comes off.’

 ‘I wonder why Newcastle want to get rid?’

‘Because they need the funds.’

‘Rafa is under pressure to build a better squad but Ashley has pulled the purse strings…ultimately it means selling your best stock.

If I was Newcastle I would snap Stoke’s hand off.’

I can see Rafa going elsewhere given the chance.’

 ‘It’d be big money but we’d struggle to find someone with a better record at this level. Going off his history on Transfermarkt he’s not missed any games through injury for several years either (touch wood)

In his promotion season with Bournemouth (14/15) he was involved in 33 goals (15 scored and 18 assisted) in 51 games

In Newcastle’s promotion season (16/17) he was involved in 26 goals (16 scored, 10 created) in 42 games

That level of return near enough mirrors Liam Lawerence’s contribution when we last went up. Lawrence won Overall Championship Player of the Year and got voted into the 07/08 PFA Team of the Year too.’

 ‘Be a great move if we signed him, no need for financial concern and owners to be applauded.’

‘1- he’s not worth £15 million

2- £4 million a year is ridiculous

I have no idea what the club are doing, seems a bit of a panic to me, he’s a good championship player yes but that’s all he is, £10 million max and should be on far lower wages, if he wants more then move on, don’t get desperate and be ripped off for a bang average player.’

‘Each player has a market value. Obviously it’s not good to overpay for a player. Now that we’re in the Championship, it is even more of a risk. £77,000 per week is a hell of a lot of money for a player who turns 29 in September.

‘Would you also be moaning if we offered £30k a week and he turned it down.’

‘We’re not talking risks here. It’s good, solid money on top level Championship player, which will give us a good, fighting chance.’

‘These kind of deals are okay if we promote this season or next but not if we’re still in the Championship in 4-5 years time.’

‘If we don’t do these deals then we probably will still be in the Championship in 4-5 years.’

‘You’re assuming that there is a wide player that we want, who is available, and better than Ritchie, that we can get for £10m.

There has to be some benefit to having multi-squillionaire owners, and if that involves them splashing their cash, it’s not really for me or you to question.

We paid £18m for both Imbula & Wimmer. We’ll never get worse value than that, ever again.

The owners seem to be very serious about getting back up. That’s what we all wanted, was it not.’

‘We have to do what it takes to get some players, players like Ritchie that will make the difference. I’m not concerned about this fee/wage deal as we’re not doing this for everyone. We can also probably afford it.’

‘If we get Ritchie, sign another striker and a wide man and hold on to Butland then we’re as good as promoted.’

‘If true, it’s a staggering contract.

However he is a quality player so if we can get him in it would be brilliant news. Sign players like this and keep the best ones we already have ie Bauer and we won’t be spending to long in the Championship.

Come on Stoke!’



  • Wezza

    ‘if it and other deals happen.’ THEY WONT.

    ‘because significant cash is needed to be kept for spending on other signings.’ THEY WONT

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Oh Dear,
    if that`s the case Penfold will lock himself in his office & nut the wall,
    it`s takes that simpleton a month to finalise a loan deal never mind a chain.

    • Leicester Mag

      Couldn’t manage a daisy chain

  • Clarko

    Which player would you want (for Newcastle)?

    – Townsend
    – Antonio
    – Yarmolenko
    – Shaqiri
    – Ritchie

    • Polarboy

      On reputation probably Yarmolenko, but I haven’t seen him play hardly at all I must admit. Antonio seems to be injury prone but is very useful when fit, Shakiri is inconsistent and appears to have an attitude problem, and Ritchie runs hot and cold and lacks pace for a winger. Townsend under Rafa can be top class for us.

      • Wor Lass

        That sums it up petty well.

    • NUFCDan

      Townsend. Keep Ritchie as backup and probably look to sell Atsu.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        I don’t think Ritchie would want to stay as backup

    • Wor Lass

      Have you seen them all play? Even one game? And who else would we want them for?

      • Clarko

        It’s just desperate, you’re so desperate to try and “catch me out” you just keep on making yourself look stupid. Why would I have to see them play to ask other people which player they prefer?

        • Wor Lass

          You badly need a humour implant, you n0b!

          • Clarko

            Coming from the person who thinks this is funny:

            ‘Have you seen them all play? Even one game? And who else would we want them for?’

            👍🏿

          • Wor Lass

            Ooh, that`s taught me. Please don`t call me a flat earther.

          • Clarko

            No, I was going to tell you to get a humour implant…

          • Wor Lass

            👽!

    • Vodkamagpie

      Keep ritchie, sign pione sisto from celta vigo, similar to sadio mane

      • Clarko

        Why would you keep Ritchie?

        • Vodkamagpie

          His work rate mainly, his passion, drive, set piece taker, team player. Will be difficult to find a better player with those qualities that can serve the club for at least 3 more seasons

          • Clarko

            But the qualities you listed had very little to do with actual ability, in our current squad, how many of our players don’t have a good work rate, don’t have passion or drive and are not team players? I can’t really think of one solid example.

            As for the set pieces, Ritchie would have to be on the pitch to take them, let’s for arguments sake say we buy Sisto, we would have Sisto, Kenedy, Murphy, Atsu and Ritchie, he’s not going to be on the pitch to take those set pieces and I think it’s fair to say that the squad has plenty other options when it comes to set pieces, there’s Shelvey, Kenedy, Gayle and Atsu, all are capable of taking a set piece. And lets be real, Matt Ritchie is no Juan Mata.

            You say that Ritchie can serve the club for ‘at least 3 more seasons’, would you really be happy if Ritchie was still in our team in 2022? Come on?

            Sell him now and bring Townsend back.

          • Vodkamagpie

            Personally I believe ritchie is a better player than townsend, in every aspect of the game, quality or ability wise. Would I want ritchie in the team for the next 3yrs, absolutely. Good point about the overall work rate, drive etc of the team, ritchie for me just tops the list. Argument wise if we do buy sisto, who is technically is a left winger, there are a number of options. Rotate the main 3 wingers, play one as a number 10, change the formation, play one as a wing back etc

          • Clarko

            -Townsend has a goal contribution (goals and assists) every 273 minutes in the Premier League compared to Ritchie who has a goal contribution every 309 minutes in the Premier League.

            -Townsend has a goal every 702 minutes in the Premier League compared to Ritchie who has a goal every 838 minutes in the Premier League.

            -Townsend is quicker, more direct and is able to beat defenders, Ritchie is slower (which has stopped far too many of our attacks) and is unable to beat defenders (he turns around and crosses/passes the ball).

            -Townsend has twice as much experience playing in the Premier League than Ritchie and is significantly younger than Ritchie.

            -Townsend received a 7.11 rating from WhoScored last season, Ritchie received a 6.84 rating.

            – Last season Townsend had a pass accuracy of 78% (Ritchie 73%), Townsend made 55 key passes (Ritchie 42), Townsend made 77 successful take ons (Ritchie 15), Townsend created 62 chances (Ritchie 47) and Townsend made 9 goal contributions (Ritchie 8).

          • Vodkamagpie

            Interesting stats, yet stats can be misleading aswel. Depends on team tactics, team role, quality of fellow teammates etc. Also I believe townsend played a number of games as striker, alongside zaha. One positive about townsend over ritchie is the slight age difference, one major negative, he would become Newcastle’s top wage earner.

          • Clarko

            I don’t think stats are misleading. People can use stats incorrectly, but that’s down to the person.

            You’re right Townsend made 12 appearances as a CF last season (scoring 0 goals and getting 2 assists in those games), the other 24 appearances consisted of him playing in the midfield (majority of those on the right). I don’t see how the 12 games played at CF effects the validity of the stats other than maybe the goals scored statistic and as stated earlier he didn’t score when he was deployed as a CF, plus I included his all time Premier League goals and assist record in the stats I provided (one every 273 minutes).

            Why would Townsend being the ‘top wage earner’ be a ‘major negative’ if he significantly improves (like the stats suggest he would) the first team? That’s how wage structures work, the best players at a club earn the biggest wage, Townsend would be our record signing and he would be considered as one of our best players.

          • Vodkamagpie

            You comparing the two players only on premier league games. Townsend played 50 odd times for Tottenham , I assume mostly as an impact sub coming on the last 15/10 minutes for counter attack goals. Then for Newcastle he was fresh, trying to prove a point, fighting for England place. Followed by 2 below average seasons with palace. Compared with ritchie who had one season with newly promoted Bournemouth , and one season with newly promoted Newcastle. Doesn’t seem quite fair to me, so stats are misleading as far as I’m concerned

          • Clarko

            ‘I assume mostly as an impact sub coming on the last 15/10 minutes for counter attack goals’

            Wrong, he had an average play time of 41 minutes per appearance for Tottenham in the Premier League, he played a total of 2069 minutes scoring 3 goals.

            ‘Compared with Ritchie who had one season with newly promoted Bournemouth, and one season with newly promoted Newcastle.’

            That is again wrong, Bournemouth (Ritchie) finished above Newcastle (Townsend) in the 15/16 season and Newcastle (Ritchie) finished above Crystal Palace (Townsend) in the 17/18 season. In Ritchie’s two seasons in the Premier League he has played for the better team.

            The statistics are not misleading, you are just uninformed, you are the people I was referring to in the opening of my previous comment.

          • Vodkamagpie

            Wow, 41min average playing time, instead of 10/15mil impact sub. Amazing, possibility is he had a few starts aswel, realistically that would push up his average playing time to around 41min. Another query regarding your stats, Newcastle generally play a 4411 formation, with the 2 wingers having strict instructions to help the fullbacks. Palace play a more 4231 or 433, so is it fair to say that ritchie is more obligated to defend more than townsend would be?, oh wise one. Wouldn’t that affect any kind of possibility to try and compare both players with stats?

          • Clarko

            Crystal Palace played 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3 and combined total of 7 times last season in the Premier League. You know when I said you were uninformed? I think it’s fair to say I was right.

            Oh and Townsend started in 21 of the 50 appearances he made for Tottenham in the Premier league, so you were wrong about that as well.

          • Vodkamagpie

            Oh really, they only played those formations 7 times, and what formation did they play then?. Where do you get your so called stats/information, you seem very adamant that you always correct, and everyone else are completely useless

          • Clarko

            No, you are ‘completely useless’, not everyone. It’s embarrassing, where did you get your “stats” from?

            What website told you that Newcastle were better than Bournemouth in 15/16, the season where Newcastle got relegated? What website told you that Townsend only started a ‘few’ games for Tottenham? What website told you that Townsend was an ‘impact sub coming on the last 15/10 minutes for counter attack goals’?

          • Vodkamagpie

            I’ve never said Newcastle were better than Bournemouth in 15/16 season, you must be on your own planet. Regarding townsend, that was my own opinion about impact sub, and I wasn’t far off the mark, 41min per game. What was palace formation? , and do you wish to keep comparing 2 players who have been playing different rolls?. You are certainly a ray of sunshine, and a stat masterclass

          • Clarko

            You were way, way off the mark with Townsend, you were statistically, 106.5% of the mark when you said he only plays for 10-15 minutes. Another example of you not understanding statistical significance.

            They don’t play different roles, Ritchie has played as a wide midfielder for all 72 recorded Premier League games, Townsend has played as a wide midfielder for 127 of the 142 recorded Premier League games.

            Enjoy being uninformed 👍🏿

          • Vodkamagpie

            Different rolls indeed. A defensive minded winger compared to a care free attacking winger part time striker. Still fascinated in what what formation palace played last season , 31 games without using a 4231 or 433, very interesting claim you made.

          • Clarko

            You don’t even know the formation that Palace played, how would you know the ‘rolls’ each player played?

            😂

          • Vodkamagpie

            Haha, you funny, you make up the biggest load of nonsense, 92.6738% of the time

          • Clarko

            And there we go. Nothing to say.

          • Vodkamagpie

            Don’t try to compare players, you suck at it

    • Day Trippier

      Townsend. Don’t want to lose Ritchie, though. I’d rather have both and sell Atsu.

      • Clarko

        Why don’t you want lose Ritchie? How much is Atsu worth?

        • Day Trippier

          Great attitude, superb fitness, left foot like a wand, scores important goals, good example to other players, useful in games where we need to defend a bit (quite a lot of those). I think those would be the main reasons. If we could get 7m for Atsu, I would rather sell him and keep Ritchie.

          • Clarko

            Like I said to someone else the qualities you listed had very little to do with actual ability, in our current squad, how many of our players don’t have a great attitude, don’t have superb fitness, are not good examples? I can’t really think of one solid example.

            As for the ‘left foot like a wand’ comment, I don’t really know what that means and I don’t think Ritchie is making a conscious effort to score ‘important goals’.

            It would make sense for Newcastle, if we sign Townsend, to sell Ritchie, he will be 29 come the start of the season, he wouldn’t be first choice and I don’t see how having Ritchie coming off of the bench would really benefit Newcastle in an attacking sense, in a defensive sense sure but if you’re trying to hold a lead there are other, better substitutions to make than replacing your RW/RM.

          • Day Trippier

            Just my opinion, buddy. I think Matt Ritchie has good ability and excellent attitude. So the qualities I was listing are a combination of those.

            I think along with some other players like Lascelles, Yedlin, Dummett and Perez, Ritchie has been crucial in establishing high standards and a good team culture. So I would miss him both for that and his contribution on the pitch.

            I agree with you on getting Townsend back, but would rather we found a way to make room without losing Ritchie.

        • NUFCDan

          I want us to build a team rather than it be 1 in and 1 out.

          • Clarko

            ‘Townsend. Keep Ritchie as backup and probably look to sell Atsu.’

            That sounds a lot like ‘1 in and 1 out’ to me…

  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    Being significantly outspent by Huddersfield, Brighton, Fulham, Cardiff, Watford and Wolves is embarrassing to everyone with a brain and/or is not Mike Ashley. No one being the slightest bit surprised that this is the case should make this feel doubly so.

    • Wezza

      According to the Lee brothers Rafa gets “every penny” LOL.

      • glassjawsh-got-banned

        would also wager to guess we will be outspent by AT LEAST 4 championship sides

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Please see the last two sets of Accounts.

        • Big Hairy Man

          Creative accounting springs to mind.

          • Wezza

            No thanks David Lee.
            Creative accounting is exactly right.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Jeez, the guy with the chaviest shortened name of a chavvy name is outing the Monkster by making up a name.

          • Wezza

            David, you’re blocked. I have one name, not multiple Id’s trolling.

    • HarryHype59

      You forgot to mention West Ham.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Would wait till the transfer window is over before slagging our owner off. We all ready have three players in and there are going to be more. If Townsend comes in only need two or three more for a team capable of getting into Europe. The team which beat Arsenal, Man Utd and Chelsea and gave Spurs a run for their money in both games is a good team and we should be looking forward to next season. It’s not all about spending money on £30m players who might flop ask West Ham.

    • Megatron1505

      I’ve waited for 22 transfer windows so far, and seen an average spend of around £2m per window. I’m done waiting thanks.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        Are you going to stop not going to the match in protest?

        • Megatron1505

          No, just win some wagers with plebs from the Internet 😎

    • SuperDesHamilton

      How can you ask West Ham when they haven’t even played a game you gonk?

      Signed 3 players? One free, one loan & one player for £4 mil permanently

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        Not heard that for years Gonk, if fact that`s what my Dad used to say, where`s the Gonk, he was referring to Nutty.

        • SuperDesHamilton

          It’s class isn’t it, absolutely nails me thoughts on Monkseaton mackem

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            He`s a Gonk ok, 100%

  • Peaco

    no net spend (£0) = income – fatty’s Direct debit to Fray Bentos

    • Wor Lass

      I like it but i`m not sure exactly what it means!

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        it`s got a certain ring to it & you should know better than to go
        head to head with Clarko, he`ll drive you insane

        • Wor Lass

          He`s madder than a schit-house rat!

    • Leicester Mag

      Equation totally wrong, you need to add Hoss to Fray Bentos as that’s where he’s heading next

  • Peter C

    An interesting article, which sounds very plausible, but the sequence of events (the links in the transfer chain) seem far to complicated for anyone, who currently has the ability and power to negotiate at the Club.

    So I will believe it when it happens, and not before.

  • Leicester Mag

    Newcastle football’s very own Ponzi scheme with the fans losing EVERY time

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Nice 1
      😂

  • Peaky

    Whatever happened to the takeover/sale AND Pedro Titchmarsh ????

    • Paul Patterson

      No takeover happening and bullying the garden gnomes . .

      • Peaky

        Thanks..

      • TheNutJob

        wor kid can hit a garden gnome at 300 meters
        😂😂😂

    • TheNutJob

      it was a fakeover
      😂

      • Peaky

        Brilliant 1-0 to Nutty
        😂😂

        • TheNutJob

          ta

    • TheNutJob

      Pedro must be lost up Kielder somewhere

      • Leicester Mag

        Maybe he’s the buttler down the Gateshead Hilton looking after all the new signings under wraps down rhere

  • GlasgowMag

    Here’s part of a 1 player transfer chain, fatty should of bought him back for the same money during the championship January transfer window!!! This was also the catalyst of fat boys stuff you Rafa I will tell you who to buy and undermine at every turn new policy/business plan!!!

  • Geordiegiants

    Let’s hope the chain snaps the treacherous little slink. Ritchie is an average player with a big heart, Judas is a good player with a tin heart. I’m sure we have had more than our fair share of Townsends over the last few seasons.

  • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

    With Jonathan Kodjia upfront, Townsend should help provide device and goals

  • Jimmy_toons

    I think Townsend will be heading to Leicester City and replace Maher’s. As hard as it so take, they’re a much more ambitious club than us

  • Down Under Mag

    I think after seeing Rafa’s comments about Kenedy and him needing to score more goals, he is clearly looking to add more goal threat from midfield and I suspect trading in Ritchie for Townsend is his way of trying to do that. While I think in an ideal world he would love to keep Ritchie and buy Townsend outright it is clear financial restrictions (and possibly squad numbers/the inability to offload certain dead wood) is dictating he needs to sell. As long as the books are balanced for the right reasons (i.e. spending money on that all important goalscorer) then i’m fine with it, but if we don’t get a good forward option in and have essentially broken even in the market by the end of the window then I’m sure I won’t be the only one livid about the way things have been conducted…I dare say it will be the nail in the coffin for any signs of a contract extension for Rafa.

  • I Think Therefore I Am Will

    “announcing Pellegrini as their new boss, West Ham were said to have promised him major backing in the transfer window and that certainly appears to be the case” – it would be heaven to have owner(s) that have belief and confidence in their managers vision, and backed it up with (substantial) investment, oh if only, I feel envious!
    Plus it doesn’t fill you with confidence when you read posts like “Benitez “If we aren’t strong enough, we will try to avoid relegation because every single team is spending some money” Gowd I hope this ain’t a warning of the season to come 😭

    Surely this adds to the belief of how inept he shows himself to be running a football club, Rafa is up there with the most decorated and respected Managers, and he won’t back him. No, as history proves, he only backs the bumbling clown managers, which really speaks volume 🙃

  • GeordieZebra

    Cut the chain and just sign Antonio. Best player of those listed and in a position we have a gaping hole.

  • Weyhhadaway

    I wasn’t expecting anything special in this window and Rafa’s statement about a relegation fight just makes me less enthusiastic. Hope I am proven wrong, the WC is over, so that will open a few doors for us to buy the cast offs when the big deals are done, expectation management at its best.

  • Rich Lawson

    Ffs buy a proper centre forward !

  • Mike

    and if I get the right 5 balls I win the Euro lottery……..total rubbish