Will this Newcastle United squad be fit for purpose when the Premier League kicks off?

It is now only 13 days until the summer transfer window closes and the picture is becoming a little clearer, as to who Rafa Benitez will need to rely on.

So far we have seen Mikel Merino, Jack Colback, Chancel Mbemba, and Matz Sels, all move out. Aleksandar Mitrovic looks set to follow, whilst Isaac Hayden is desperate to move back down south, with then the likes of Achraf Lazaar and Henri Saivet needing to find new clubs as Rafa sees no future for them at NUFC.

As for incoming, Martin Dubravka has made his move permanent, Kenedy here on another loan spell, with free transfer Ki Sung-yueng arriving after being released by Swansea. Centre-back Fabian Schar arrived on Thursday, with an agreement in principle in place to sign Japanese striker Yoshinori Muto from Mainz.

So how is it looking for you?

In two weeks time will the squad be stronger or weaker than last season, or pretty much the same?

I think the obvious thing to point out, is that just like last summer, there has been no giant leap forward.

Rafa Benitez once again having to look around for bargains and whereas the cash available last summer without selling players first, was minimal, this time it is seemingly non-existent.

It is most definitely Groundhog Day (Groundhog Window?), last summer when Rafa was forced into bargain basement shopping, fans then were left with conflicting thoughts on the new arrivals. Hoping for the best but fearing the worst.

You always hope Newcastle can pick up a bargain, and we have had a number of them in the past, but reality is that continually looking for bargains is no long-term strategy for success.

Bottom line last season, of the six summer 2017 signings, only one of them (Florian Lejuene) was a regular in the team when they hit form from February to mid-April.

Of those other five, Mikel Merino has now left and I can’t believe anybody would be upset if the other four left and we attempted to trade for better. Atsu, Manquillo, Joselu and Murphy are not Premier League first team players, which is surely what we hope to sign…when we are in the Premier League?

The current conversations are exactly the same as a year ago, although to an extent the Newcastle supporters are a bit more worldly-wise after seeing what has happened since Rafa Benitez led the squad to promotion.

Yes we are all hoping that players such as Ki Sung-yueng, Fabian Schar and Yoshinori Muto can all prove surprise packages but to claim any of them are likely to prove far better than what Newcastle currently have, you would have to be drinking heavily from the bottle of blind positivity.

This is most definitely a case of Rafa Benitez getting bodies in, rather than significantly improving the starting eleven.

Just like last summer, the manager is having to use the meagre funds to try and ensure there is competition in all areas of the team, that if anybody is injured it is not a disaster in terms of the drop in quality.

The big positives have been retaining Martin Dubravka and Kenedy.

However, we have to accept that this is a massive challenge for the goalkeeper to repeat that dozen game form on loan, over an entire Premier League season. He turns 30 in January and had spent his whole career in the weak Slovakian, Danish and Czech leagues, there is so much responsibility on him this time and with the team not being strengthened in front of him, he will no doubt be seeing plenty of action.

As for Kenedy, it is ironic that if Mike Ashley had allowed Rafa Benitez this one £20m buy, I reckon many (most?) fans would pretty much be seeing this as a successful window, up to a point anyway. By buying that one player it would have indicated that there was at least some interest in the owner allowing some foundations to be laid for the future, rather than us knowing that if Kenedy plays well this season for NUFC, there will be then zero chance of signing him next summer, with Newcastle once again starting from scratch in terms of improving the team.

Rather than going on the attack, this transfer window very much smacks of Rafa Benitez being forced to build up the defences, get men on the barricades, as he rallies his troops once again to try and fight off relegation.

Sadly, unless we see the back of Mike Ashley, it will not only be a case of starting from scratch again in terms of player recruitment, we will instead also all be facing the horror of a more typical Ashley appointment ‘in charge’ of the squad.

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  • Trevor Reaveley

    Admittedly, no great leap forward in the quality, but hopefully more players Rafa may be happy to use (and mould to his liking), as the ones going/gone were just deadweights in his eyes.

    • jack

      But then it will be the same again next season getting rid of dead wood nut without Rafa , let’s face it the fat man is winning again , needs to go desperately

      • Ram Kishore

        Dead wood u seem to mention are mostly on 3 year contracts.
        If u mean Joselu, Manqy bot are on 3 year contracts ..
        I see them as non complaining squad players who are ready to play when asked to.
        The recruitment model has changed a bit under Rafa ..
        So don’t worry much about shifting players we have..
        We do only have to hope that nee signings do perform and don’t turn that way

  • Fireman Sam

    If Rafa goes we are getting relegated, it’s as simple as that. And with the subsequent sales of Lascelles, Shelvey etc we will be left with an average championship team. At which point Ashley is off with all the tv cash.

    • FatParosite

      Ashley will not get as much once the side is relegated. He will have a tilt at the championship again to put himself back in the money. He does not want to give up something that actively gives him a third of the money every year than he can get if he sells low. As we know he never sells low.

      • Ron

        He’ll not be in the Championship, we will. Ashley might take over team selection and coaching, cos no manager worth his salt will accept our poisoned chalice. Can’t think of a worse nightmare.

    • Ram Kishore

      Both the players are not leaving at the moment, so this speculation is too much imho ,
      Now the only two issues are
      1.Getting few more players Rafa wants and we must do well in the new season
      2.Rafa signing the contract

      • Mike

        What makes u think Rafa will sign his life away to continue to work with this shower

        • Ram Kishore

          If Ashley leaves this season , i see him signing. Or else there is still a possibility of Ashley changing his position because of the chaotic mess this window has caused

  • Ron

    A great leap sideways but with a bit more confidence I’m sure we’ll see an improved Murphy, and Atsu isn’t all bad. The longer term worry is that Rafa has had enough and will just walk. After giving up another summer holiday to work in the tranfer window , only to be told to bogoff beggars belief.

    • Kneebotherm8

      Yes he’s been 💩 upon from a great height………….once again….

  • Paul Patterson

    I don’t see how signing Kenedy for £20m would have fans looking at the window differently.
    There is no difference in a loan deal or a permanent signing, provided the money saved was put to use elsewhere on quality.
    I’m not for spending money just for the sake of it, but at some point you have to spend, as quality doesn’t come cheap.
    We are currently in profit AGAIN and my concern is that the money is going somewhere and it isn’t on the team.

    • FatParosite

      You effectively answered your own question there. The renting of Kenedy is symptomatic of the owner’s short term policy. His willingness to gamble just to stay in the prem is a pronouncement of no ambition. He is not willing to build for that next level. He knows unrest will blow over and the sheep will do as they are told. Building would mean making a claim for a player like Kenedy permanently so that his potential success is linked with ours not Chelsea’s.

      • Paul Patterson

        We are a better team with Kenedy than without him. If we loan him, we get him, if we sign him permanently, we get him. Either way we’d get him.
        It’s signing the quality around him that we aren’t getting. Money is being saved and not spent.
        I’d rather sign him outright for say £20m and build a side, but if we manage to get Kenedy AND a cracking striker then great. I have my doubts . .

        • FatParosite

          That is a policy built on hope.

          • panther

            built on impossibility unless Ashley goes

    • Billmag

      Kennedy hasn’t proved himself over a season yet mate.

  • Hughie

    Very negative. All the new signings could strengthen the team, and some- notably Perez and Diame- improved a lot towards the end of last season. Still crying out for aa high class striker creative midfielder and better right back

    • Leazes.

      The whole squad is something of a muchness, enough to keep premiership survival and that is it….providing they have motivation, no injuries and a manager with a bus.

      Sky will be wondering about the whereabouts of the TV money that was surely meant to be for squad building.

      • Paul Patterson

        We’re in profit again . .

        • FatParosite

          Q.E.D.

          • Paul Patterson

            Really? You want me to explain where we are in profit?

          • Leazes.

            Sky money minus wages plus sales and minus purchases = profit…. I really need a pie chart.

  • FatParosite

    I see a backward step. I have a feeling like the signings last year most of these buys are not high on Rafa’s list so therefore likely to act accordingly. For Schar read Manquillo for Mutu read Joselu for Ki read Merino. The past records of these signings speaks volumes for the moneyball policy Ashley is still pursuing.

  • Wezza

    Well if, and it’s a big if, with pigs flying that we actually bought Kenedy for £20 we’d have broken the transfer record and we would have him for at least a season or two. At least then it would have shown some ambition. Sadly not.
    I’m not sure about the new incomings but we’ve still had to sell to buy and cheaply (one free) replaced players. If we get Muto over that damned line then we’ve gotten in a couple of players coincidentally timed with the recent #ifrafagoeswego Maybe and its big maybe, MA actually sanctioned the profits to be spent to calm things down and appease the fans.
    If he had his way we’d not have spent any penny never mind every penny in the most profitable time ever. Does anyone agree with the appeasement bit?

    • Leazes.

      No I think they’ve had to get replacement in anyway…. you can’t put an empty shirt into a starting line up…. despite our best efforts.

      • Andy Mac

        You can if Joselu’s wearing it🤔

        • Leazes.

          Cant understand how he hasn’t been snapped up by Man City yet.

      • Wezza

        I know they’re replaced but even by spending money in successive days is rare, my point was that maybe MA is allowing some profit to be spent thus appeasing fans… until he sells Lascelles.

  • Philippines

    “Blind positivity” Where can I get a bottle?

  • James

    How can anybody say the team hasnt been improved when all theyve seen is a couple of youtube videos of the new permanent players another plus is kenedy and dubravka are here from the start of the season dont get me wrong i cant stand ashley and the money thats been handed to rafa is a disgrace we need more quality before the window shuts for sure but lets not judge the new signings of there price tag after all they were on rafas list just not in his prefered order

    • Leazes.

      What makes you think they are on Rafa’s list? My view is that he’s having players imposed on him while he runs down the last 10 months of his contract, and is obliged by protocol to have his picture taken with new arrivals for the media.

      The quality level that the club is bringing in as replacements is closely linked to the market value for a reason, they are third drawer players.

      There’s an old adage which says ‘the shirt doesn’t shrink to fit inferior players’…. but then we have Ashley as owner and everything he touches shrinks….like his sports socks……

      You are right they won’t be bad players they’ll be of the level of the Williamsons and De Jong’s and their elk…. bog standard.

      • Ram Kishore

        Just like how he doesn’t know a lot about Rafa’s list and so do u..
        They maybe De jongs or turn out to be Shelveys and lascelleses or lejeune.

        I can understand u want big signings and u don’t like a Manager with bus..
        But it’s not happening until Ashley’s loans are reduced and he sells at a lower price for the new owners .
        I want Ashley to leave but it will happen only when the above dots are filled

  • Anti Leazes faction

    Ok, first article about doom and gloom today, writing off the players before the season has started.
    The squad being written off include last season’s players too.
    Expecting two more articles of the squad being poor.

    Keep up the good work

    • Anti Lee Brothers Faction

      Read what Benitez himself has said you clown!

    • Megatron1505

      Hello Bobbi/ Monkspunk/ Ghostdickrider/ Whothefuckcares.

      • Leazes.

        You have to name him…that’s Kevin the young one!

        Go on ask him if he’s fleckman or Mongo! If its Mongo I get the points.

        • Anti Leazes faction

          I am not kevin lee or Bobbi or monk or Ghost rider .
          Just as i expected, those who made the comments failed to see the proper issues i talked about that is going on at Mag.
          They only saw the name under which I posted, to make a comment

    • SuperDesHamilton

      Getting sacked by the NHS has really broke you

      • Ram Kishore

        😂😂 nice one..
        Had to search what NHS was and had a good laugh

      • Leazes.

        Well yes …

        • East Durham Mag

          Another one for blocking.

          • Leazes.

            You cant block the ‘greyed out’ names they post as a guest….. that’s why he’s done it.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      the squad is poor Troll, can`t block you so ignoring the shyte you post will have to do
      💩💩

      • Ram Kishore

        Moose the same squad with kennedy and Dubravka did really well for the second half of last season.
        Isn’t it soon enough to say the squad is poor ?
        Rafa mentioned the squad isn’t good enough yet..
        The meaning of his lines means the squad needs is improvement.. whether the squad is poor or not, only time can tell pal.

        • Anonymouse1

          if the manager say`s the squad isn`t good enough who are we to argue with him, Moose is right

          • Ram Kishore

            Not good enough is totally a different one to ‘poor’..
            Managers say these words to serve as a stick to players imo

    • Lost my log in – Yates

      Hoi cheese wad; check out the previous fans forums, they have experienced the players and have already written a couple of them off well before signing for us!!

  • kingfisher

    The market doesn’t lie. You only get what you pay for, and if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.Obviously no one can definitely say that the new additions are second ( or even third ) rate, and I know that paying squillions for a player doesn’t guarantee that he will be any good, and yes you may get some bargains, but overall as Leazes points out below, the quality level is linked to market value for a reason.The more you pay, the less risk you are taking, and on the other side of the coin, the less you pay, the more chance there is of signing a donkey. I hope the new players prove me and the other doubters wrong, but I won’t be holding my breath !

    • Leazes.

      I’ll be pleasantly surprised…. and I think Rafa will as well because I don’t think these are his purchases at all… it smells of Charnley trying to please Ashley and the SD marketing team as jezza said.

    • Ram Kishore

      Yeah u r right, there is a bigger chance of them becoming not good performers..
      But when I just now read about Davy Klassen being sold by Everton for 12 million after signing him for 23.5 m..
      Big money signing can be a bit of risk too..
      But usually those kind of risks are lesser and i agree..
      But shifting them will always be trouble under Ashley because we have even failed to shift far less earners

      • kingfisher

        You are right Ram,big money signings can be a risk,but you know the old saying: “you’ve got to speculate to accumulate”

        • Ram Kishore

          Yes.
          I see all clubs having good money. All this chaos in transfer window can be reduced by having excellent scouting network and really good academy.
          I know it’s ideal won’t happen ever

    • Billmag

      The market doesn’t lie Everton £147ml outlay manager sacked fat Sam brought in to avoid relegation, sometimes money doesn’t always guarantee success.

    • Ron

      If you pay peanuts and get monkeys how come Sunderland were once managed by Peter Reid? ………….Oh yes – I see what yo mean!

      • kingfisher

        Nice one Ron !

  • Andy Mac

    I’m not even sure we’re shopping at Lidl ? Poundland ? If they hadn’t gone bustt ? So Shlte Direct then ?

    • Superdooperhooper

      Not even shopping anymore . We’re rummaging in the bins for other people’s cast offs

  • Burt Humperdink

    The signings we’ve made have all been solid there’s nothing actually wrong with any of them to be fair to them. The problem resides in the fact they’re about as good as we’ve got.

    So Schar is a perfectly reasonable replacement for Mbemba, Ki Sung-yueng probably could have a shade more impact than Merino in that he is more experienced and less injury prone, but he’s not better by much. Then Dubravka and Kenedy are the very players we had for half a season. I’m glad we have them, but I think in most supporters minds they should have been guaranteed purchases anyway so people are less excited.

    Muto is the relative unknown. I am quietly optimistic that he is better than Joselu in part because he’s fast, has solid touch and is a battler despite being a medium sized man. He would be a nice signing if he wasn’t being expected to turn around our goal scoring problems on his own. Another striker like Origi or Dembele from Celtic alongside him would have been genuinely decent.

    I think its a bit drastic to say that we are in a relegation battle we have more of less the same team as less year with a number of sensible additions. Plus Atsu has had surgery to solve his problems. This might make him play like he did in the first half of last season when he scored 2 goals and made 2 assists. Not to mention the prospect of Longstaff becoming a useful fringe player.

    • robbersdog

      Merino is going to be a big star, and Ki Sung-yueng is not nearly as good.

      • Ram Kishore

        You maybe right but we had no control over his transfer as far i can say he wanted himself out..
        We can jus wish him well..
        As far as Ki is concerned he could do another Diame like surprise ..Not a short term bad signing

      • Burt Humperdink

        Ki’s stats are better than Merino’s currently. Rafa traditionally, much like Mourinho has never had a history of developing young players he prefers players in their peak years 26-32.

        • Ram Kishore

          As he has asked for investments in the academy and giving opportunity for youngsters in pre season this year ..I think he’s understood due to crazy market its important for the club to have excellent academy and changed his position.
          I remember Pep Guardiola insisting the importance of academy last season.

          Chelsea has developed its own strategy signing too many young 16-19 year old prospects for less than 2 million, developing them, loaning them and selling them if they don’t make it to first team

    • Leazes.

      No sorry… the club has had an opportunity to raise the bar with the best manager they’ve had since Robson and all they are doing is maintenance work and driving Rafa out….

      You can see the stats yourself….if you were playing football manager you wouldn’t touch them, they serve no purpose other to keep the budget for the next manager intact…. if only!

      They are not spending….. don’t confuse cheap players with hidden gems, the quality is average.

      • Ram Kishore

        The actions of the club this window after Rafa’s interview felt like that but we have seen players punch above their weights.
        Football manager is relative in many cases, obviously can’t be used as a stick to write off players as average
        It’s pretty much clear Ashley wants to leave and not invest anymore.
        I just see him getting his loans paid back and reducing the valuation as a excuse or reason

      • Mike

        spot on

      • I Think Therefore I Am, Will

        Nailed.

        Erm… does this go to show wool pulled over peeps eyes? A PR job well done 🤗

        Stagnant comes to mind. Rock bottom basics that’s needed, with a gamble thrown in, yippee for the blighter, while happily the devaluation of everything, even a bag of gowd damnn garden peas!

        12:01 P.M. 1990 short story, & 1993 Tv film.
        1993 Groundhog Day.
        11.59 film 2005… I’m bored!

        Mud in the eye for a Manager of Mr Benitez experience and stature!

        🤡 = Mio! My own perspective; showing a distinct lack of ambition, again! 😭

  • Jate Legend

    I think the transfer activity slightly improves the the squad. The problem is that it looks like the other squads are all going to improve more than we are.

    • Leazes.

      Yup a bit like buying a new set of lightweight fibreglass oars for the canoe only to watch the other boats in the race fitted with an outboard motor.

      • Jate Legend

        Haha, haweh man leazes I was trying to be positive!!

  • Clarko

    The squad has absolutley been strengthened in the sense that we had got rid of players that Benitez refused to use and replaced them with players you would assume will be given a chance. As for the quality of the players brought in I don’t think anyone knows whether or not the squad has improved, time will tell.

    It has been suggested that other clubs are improving more than Newcastle, I don’t know how anyone can suggest that, other clubs are spending significantly more than Newcastle, that doesn’t mean they have improved significantly more than Newcastle. It’s important to note that the signings that other clubs have made have just as many question marks as our signings do, Reid and Murphy for Cardiff, Diakhaby for Huddersfield, Fulham have spent a lot of money but they spent that money on one player (Seri), Jota and Bolly for Wolves, Burnley haven’t signed anyone, Watford have signed a ~£4m left back, Brighton signed Jahanbakhsh who had a dreadful World Cup and Palace have signed a free goalkeeper.

    Be mad at the lack of money spent but don’t worry about squad strength/quality just yet.

    • Anonymouse1

      we shall find out around about September, i`ll wager we`re in the bottom 3
      then

      • Clarko

        No, we won’t find out in September, we play four of the top six teams in our opening five games, being in the bottom three in September is to be expected.

        • Anonymouse1

          we beat top 4 teams last season, did we not.
          numpty

          • Ram Kishore

            No we didn’t , we beat only Manchester united ..
            Arsenal and Chelsea have already given up on PL because of cup commitments just before our matches..Arsenal had Europa league semis and Chelsea had FA cup final.
            Arsenal and Chelsea were 6th and 5th, they were out of top 4 by the time we played

          • Clarko

            1) I never said we didn’t beat top four teams last season or that we couldn’t beat them this season dummy.

            2) Out of the eight games we played against the top four last season we only won one game against Manchester United, drawing another against Liverpool. That’s four points from eight games, that’s bottom three territory dummy.

            3) What team was the favourite to win when we played (and beat) Manchester United last season? I’ll answer for you, it was Manchester United. Like I said, bottom three, when playing four of the top six in your opening five games is to be expected dummy.

          • Ron

            I agree with you, they’re just making a point that they were top 6 last season not this! Take some deep breaths and chill, they aren’t worth it.

          • Clarko

            They were not making a point, they were just being silly for the sake of being silly and they couldn’t even do that right.

          • Ron

            Not arguing with that!

        • Desree

          How can you possibly know we will play 4 of the top six teams?

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            Cos he`s a Genius,
            😂😂

          • panther

            he must be looks like hes signed on as ron as well

          • Ram Kishore

            Haha good one..Just like a clarko

          • Clarko

            Because we play four of the top six teams. That’s how.

          • Desree

            The season hasn’t started yet. Is it on alphabetical order you worked that out?

          • Clarko

            ‘The season hasn’t started yet.’

            Exactly.

      • Ram Kishore

        I don’t think the season ends by September and yes we may have a bad run because of tough start ..
        Why not a wager by december? That seems pretty much neutral.
        Whether the squad is poor or not only time will tell..

        And the transfer window is still open for two weeks..On Aug 9 u may get a realistic impression of our squad depth to some extent

        • Anonymouse1

          take a look at last December

          • Ram Kishore

            Last December is over , None of our players were kicking in.
            Lejeune was out a lot in the first half of last season, Shelvey was Red carded twice , Lascelles was injured, Merino was injured, GK issues, we didn’t have kennedy and Duvravka who played a crucial part in improving the squad which in turn raised the levels of other players..

      • Billmag

        FFS before a ball is kicked in anger we are in the bottom 3, see what happens after the 1st ten games that will tell us where we’ll be by Xmas.

    • Jate Legend

      Yeah, fair enough man.

    • mentalman

      I think that is the most sensible thing I’ve ever seen you post

      • Clarko

        It’s funny isn’t it? When I come to a conclusion that you agree with I’m ‘sensible’ but when I come to a conclusion you don’t agree with I’m a ‘troll’ or ‘an apologist’ or ‘an idiot’. (General quotes)

        News flash, I’m always sensible, always objective, my opinion/views/comments are always informed and thought through thoroughly. The only difference here is that my conclusion fails in line with your disdain towards Ashley and co.

        • Squintytoonarmy

          It’s almost like you and the Vodka guy are one of the same

          • Clarko

            This is a constant problem with you, the problem being your inability to read, I suggest you scroll down and read the whole conversation between me and Vodkamagpie dummy.

          • Squintytoonarmy

            Constant problem – I’ve only just started posting.

          • Clarko

            And in the space of 10 minutes you replied to two of my comments, both demonstrating your inability to read. Constant, 2 out of 2, 100% of the time.

          • Squintytoonarmy

            You like stats is twice constant?

          • Clarko

            There you go again with your inability to read, if you were able to read you would see that I included a statistic in my previous comment:

            ‘Constant, 2 out of 2, 100% of the time.’

            Comments wise, out of the 4 you’ve made all 4 have been incredibly stupid, you’re stupid 100% of the time. Constant.

          • Squintytoonarmy

            What’s the definition of constant stupidity?

          • Clarko

            You. You are the definition of constant stupidity.

            Have fun 👍🏿

          • Squintytoonarmy

            I knew 100% that would be your response making me king of the stato

    • Vodkamagpie

      Very smartly written, and should be a obvious assessment on every transfer window. Scary that most posters don’t understand this. Is it fair to say that you are happy with the signings Newcastle have made?, and would you class it as very good business financially, considering our squad is still quite large?

      • Clarko

        Yeah, people see West Ham/Fulham spending a boat load of money on big name players and make a generalisation that every club is doing the same, they’re not.

        As for me being happy with how this window has gone? The answer is no, I’m not happy, we’re ~£60m short of me being happy and that is a direct result of Ashley withholding funds from Benitez. That really major issue aside, I’m happy with what Benitez/Charnley have been able to achieve with the resources they have, much happier with the players being brought in this summer than the ones that were brought in last summer (when Ashley actually gave Benitez a budget).

        Again the above is based on Muto, Rondon and a LB (a CAM would be great) being brought in before the deadline and as I mentioned in my first post, I am not very informed on the quality of the players we are signing/have signed.

        • Vodkamagpie

          I believe it’s possible to see a big signing as a replacement for mitrovic. I don’t know who, but a striker that rafa would approve of, and play as the main striker. Saw a bit of muto on YouTube , playing style is very similar to perez, just with more pace and more of a shot. So good competition in that role. I don’t really see where the team can improve, gk, defence, midfield picks it’s self. Main problem was perez not doing anything the first 28 games, and trying to get a goal out of gayle or joselu.

          • Clarko

            The plan is that Rondon and Muto will replace Mitrovic and Gayle (Rondon/Gayle swap deal pending).

            As for improvements, I can think of hundreds of improvements, for every position. You can always improve and we haven’t improved as much as we could have because of the funds being needlessly restricted.

          • Vodkamagpie

            Where can we improve in the starting 11, besides the 2 up top. Gk, defence, midfield is fine for this season. Diame should have one more season in him which should be addressed next season. Kenedy one season , or who knows. Main objective is a steady rotation of players going out and in, to get rid of the deadwood, and have a squad of rafas choice. Obviously not easy to do, as players aren’t moving on quickly enough, hence the so called restrictions of funds

          • Clarko

            Really? Are you seriously asking where we can improve? Let me ask you a couple of questions.

            Is Dubravka the best goalkeeper in the world?

            Is Yedlin the best right back in the world?

            Is Lejeune the best centre back in the world?

            Do you see where I’m going with this?

            You can always improve, we missed an opportunity to improve because the budget was needlessly restricted. The budget isn’t being restricted because of our squad size, we are down to 27 senior players (including Muto), Ashley is restricting the budget for no logical reason.

          • Vodkamagpie

            You have to be realistic. We don’t have a world class team, with the best goalkeeper and right back etc in the world, but that hasn’t stopped us being competitive against the rest of the league. Personally, I would look at 4 signings, a better option than manquillo who can play either side. 2 Cm players as cover for diame /shelvey, depending if hayden goes. Main position is the striker, I’m not a big fan of rondon, would prefer welbeck

          • Clarko

            I don’t know what your argument is?

            The team can be improved, improvement has been hampered by the unnecessary restriction of funds. Do you agree or disagree with that statement?

          • Vodkamagpie

            Does everything have to be an argument with you. The majority of the team doesn’t have to be improved, besides the two attacking players. Now with muto virtually here, that leaves the main striking role which needs to be filled. Main objective is getting a decent squad of 25 players that rafa would actually play, and therefore wages will be spent on assets being used. Still have to many players not involved, which are being paid. I would assume we are still paying part of colback wage to play for a different club. Saivet, lazaar, colback, mitrovic are huge stumbling blocks in future purchases . I believe only everton and Leicester have spent more money on transfers than Newcastle in past 4 seasons, it’s hard to believe yes, with all negative talk, but it is almost close to a fact

          • Clarko

            It is an argument, you’re making some factually incorrect and silly claims that I cannot agree with.

            I never said that ‘the majority of team’ has ‘to be improved’.

            Saivet, Lazaar and Mitrovic are not ‘huge stumbling blocks’, Mitrovic’s transfer to Fulham is pending and Saivet and Lazaar are pretty much non entities, if the club can’t find a permanent club for them they will loan them out at the end of the window like has happened many times over. The squad isn’t an issue, like I said, it’s 27 including the three players just mentioned that will not stay.

            ‘I believe only Everton and Leicester have spent more money on transfers than Newcastle in past 4 seasons it’s hard to believe yes, with all negative talk, but it is almost close to a fact’

            You think Newcastle have spent more money than Manchester City? You think Newcastle have spent more than Manchester United? Liverpool? Arsenal? Chelsea? Tottenham? West Ham?

            On a side note, I wasn’t taking about the last ‘4 seasons’, I was talking about this window.

          • Vodkamagpie

            When you make comments like, as for improvements, I can think of hundreds improvements, for every position. Is dubravka the best gk in the world , is yedlin the best right back in the world , is lejeune the center back in the world . That suggests to me, that you think we should improve the majority of the team. 27 man squad according to you , excluding colback, who is still technically a Newcastle player, that is 3 to many players. Add the other deadwood which left recently, sels, mbemba, haidara, games, etc. Well spotted with my comment, Newcastle has spent more money on transfers besides everton and Leicester in the past 4 years . You are 100% correct , the top 6 have also out spent us, apologies for for not stating excluding the top 6

          • Clarko

            ‘As for improvements, I can think of hundreds of improvements, for every position. You can always improve and we haven’t improved as much as we could have because of the funds being needlessly restricted.’

            ‘Really? Are you seriously asking where we can improve? Let me ask you a couple of questions. Is Dubravka the best goalkeeper in the world? Is Yedlin the best right back in the world? Is Lejeune the best centre back in the world? Do you see where I’m going with this? You can always improve, we missed an opportunity to improve because the budget was needlessly restricted.’

            ‘The team can be improved, improvement has been hampered by the unnecessary restriction of funds.’ (I made this comment twice)

            Where in those quotes do I say that I ‘think we should improve the majority of the team’?

            Colback is at Forest on a season long loan, with one year remaining on his Newcastle contract. I don’t think you understand ‘squad size’, Colback cannot be registered with Newcastle, he’s gone, he is not a problem. Having 27 senior players is not a problem as explained previously any unwanted player with be loaned out before the deadline if a permanent transfer isn’t found, it’s a non issue. We don’t have 35 senior players, we have 27 senior players, with transfers pending, non issue, you need to stop making that point.

            Again, I’m talking about this window, there is money available and it’s being needlessly restricted.

          • Vodkamagpie

            Restriction on funds, yet Newcastle have spent more than most in the past 4 years , excluding the top 6!!!. You correct, in your famous quotes, you don’t say that the majority of the team needs to be improved. However you are clearly suggesting that our current team isn’t good enough, and you would like Newcastle to buy world class players. Fairly unrealistic in my view, but you are allowed to have your own opinion. Colback might not be a problem to you, and whoever else we try loan out, however it still affects the wage bill, so it might be a problem for the person paying the bills, crazy thought. So yes, once again, squad size does matter!

          • Clarko

            Where did I suggest that ‘that our current team isn’t good enough, and you would like Newcastle to buy world class players’? Quote me.

            For the THIRD TIME, I am talking about THIS WINDOW, there is a unnecessary restriction of funds in THIS WINDOW.

            Where did I say that squad size doesn’t matter? Quote me.

          • Vodkamagpie

            Hundreds of improvements can be made, is dubravka, yedlin, lejeune world class, having 27 senior players is not a problem etc etc, just some of your comments . Reading between the lines, you’re suggesting our team is [email protected], Ashley is holding back funds for whatever reason, but absolutely has nothing to do with our over populated squad, we can just loan players out which isn’t a concern to you or your bank account.

          • Clarko

            Hundreds of improvements can be made to the team, that is not the same as me stating ‘that our current team isn’t good enough’.

            I asked you if our players were the best in their position in the world, that is not the same as me stating that I ‘would like Newcastle to buy world class players’.

            Having 27 senior players isn’t a problem, that is not the same as saying squad size doesn’t matter.

            There is no ‘reading between the lines’, there are statements that I have made and statements that you have made up.

            It’s not an overpopulated squad. We have the 7th smallest squad in the league.

            You’re whinging/making excuses for Ashley not spending the £300m that Newcastle will turnover from the 17/18 and upcoming 18/19 season, your excuse being a measly ~£2.5m a year expense (Lazaar, Saivet and Colback combined loan wages).

          • Vodkamagpie

            What is the point of telling me hundreds of improvements can be made, that suggests you not happy with our current players, correct. Why ask me, is dubravka the best keeper in the world , same with yedlin/lejeune in their positions?. What was the point of the question?, your question suggests to me that you wanted us to compete with liverpool in signing that 67Mil gk, etc. Who says having 27 senior players isn’t a problem?. How do you know that isn’t a problem?, is possible that it might be a problem for the owner of the club?, it’s certainly a problem for me. We have the 7th smallest squad in the league, great, what is your point?. If Southampton, Burnley , wolves etc decide to feed their players pizza before a game, would you want shelvey to have a slice?. A measly 2.5mil, sounds like a small sum, is
            it possible it’s a matter of principle?. A statement to other clubs that we are hard to negotiate with, 9.5mil for muto instead of 11mil, selling sels for 3.5mil instead of 2.8mil etc.

          • Clarko

            ‘What is the point of telling me hundreds of improvements can be made, that suggests you not happy with our current players, correct.’

            No, not correct dummy.

            ‘Why ask me, is dubravka the best keeper in the world , same with yedlin/lejeune in their positions?’

            To prove my point that improvements can be made dummy.

            ‘your question suggests to me that you wanted us to compete with liverpool in signing that 67Mil gk’

            Quote me saying that. It’s all in your head dummy.

            ‘Who says having 27 senior players isn’t a problem?. How do you know that isn’t a problem?, is possible that it might be a problem for the owner of the club?’

            Common sense says it’s not a problem (something you lack). Premier League clubs are required to name squads of 25 players, we have 26 currently. Non issue.

            ‘We have the 7th smallest squad in the league, great, what is your point?’

            That we have the, now 6th, smallest squad in the league dummy. Your argument is that Newcastle have too large a squad to spend money, we don’t, your wrong.

            It’s pointless continuing this, you can’t read and you’re constantly lying/putting words in my mouth. Have fun being a dummy.

          • Vodkamagpie

            No point to have a debate with you, you are set in your ways. You should be more open minded with other people’s comments. But overall you seem sensible, just a pain in the a$$ sometimes

  • Salty

    A tad disingenuous (what a surprise) with that analysis. Yes we’re all disappointed we haven’t signed a £20m striker, though if it had been Jorgensen would we have been happy with that? We haven’t lost any of our ‘top’ players and turned down a big offer for Lascelles. Offers for Gayle, Ritchie and Mitro so far turned down unless a replacement is found. Got rid of squad players like Colback and Sels with more to follow who would never have played. Then there are the upgrades on team that started last season- Dubravka and Kennedy here for full season, 4th choice CB replaced by an upgrade, Merino replaced by Ki who will play more games and Motu must be an upgrade on Joselu and may then play as a 10 if we sign another striker. So maybe not quite what we wanted but I’d take Kenedy on loan ahead of blowing £50m on Richarlison

    • Anonymouse1

      No bids have been made for any of those players apart from Ritchie at £11.5m and then i don`t think it was official, until the money is on the table there is no bid.

      • Ram Kishore

        Even 11.5m is also speculative unless revealed officially..
        There may have been an offer for Gayle and Lascelles
        Or there wasn’t one.
        Enquiries could have been made..

        • Anonymouse1

          at the end of the day a bid is money on the table

          • Salty

            Would that be in Pound coins? Think you’re a bit behind the times

          • Ram Kishore

            A phone talk is enough pal..
            Just read the article about Roma’s Malcolm talks ..
            Monchi made an agreement verbally first then Barca made a better offer..
            U must know that if each and every bid is made officially it takes a lot of effort..
            Initial talks are done verbally as there is no point in making a official bid that end up being rejected .. but official bids are made to find the real value formally

      • Salty

        Assume you have access to the same publicly available to information that I do in which case you should be well aware of interest in those players. If West Brom say ‘would you take £8m for Gayle’ that’s as good as a bid and semantics to suggest otherwise

        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          Take a hike you stupid C nut,

          • Salty

            Oh dear, there’s nothing like an enlightened discussion! Enjoy the season mate

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            Go troll elsewhere, Now [email protected]@k off

          • Wezza

            I think this is the dopey one, Kevin Lee. I think he is the one who works for s*****s d*****t.

          • Salty

            You haven’t been to a game for 10 years man so guess who cares about your moans? The answer is no one . Misery loves company though and you’ll find plenty in The Mag

        • SuperDesHamilton

          Alright pal, are you the one that got sacked by the NHS?

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        Ignore him, he`s another [email protected]@king a$$hole Troll

  • Desree

    Looks like #ifrafagoesIgo has been forgotten about already.

  • toonterrier

    Give the new lads a chance and hopefully Rafa will get them up and running. Don’t expect fatty to spend mega bucks but if the manager had a say in the players we’ve brought in then they may be capable of keeping us in the top league for another season before Rafa moves on.

  • panther

    not looking good at the minute, at best weve stood still, while everyone else is rpidly improving

    • SuperDesHamilton

      Exactly we haven’t even stood still. But then again how can we strengthen with fat man stripping assets

    • Andy Mac

      It’s known as “Treading Water”. We have to swap players out every now and then otherwise they’d drown

      • panther

        were not really though, everyone else but us is rapidly improving