So now it comes down to the final 48 hours or so of the summer transfer window and I have to say, it has been another example of the club not maximising its potential.

A progression from the tightfistedness of Mike Ashley hasn’t materialised (did we expect anything different?) and we are left with a side that is decent, but nowhere near as good as it could have been. Plus in a climate at the club that is far from ideal and typical of the chaos that has surrounded Newcastle United since 2008.

Overall, I’m not heartened by the summer buys/sales and not disappointed either. We are roughly where I expected us to be. That’s where constant lack of ambition gets you. It’s best not to expect it, then you won’t be disappointed.

Provided a helicopter doesn’t land on either Matt Ritchie, Jonjo Shelvey or Jamaal Lascelles’ lawn between now and Thursday, I’ll take it as positive, despite the current fact that the owner is once again overseeing a profit and not even touching the TV money. Where’s that gone by the way?

On the subject of transfers alone , Martin Dubravka and Kenedy have been retained, good news on the former being bought outright but not so good on only managing to get the latter on loan, eventually Kenedy (or replacement) will have to be purchased and surely prices will only escalate, so I can’t see the logic there.

Ki Sung-yueng will I’m sure be a decent squad man and a direct replacement for the now thankfully departed Jack Colback. Chancel Mbemba has been ousted due to a lack of communication skills and a healthy £7m fee banked with Schar coming in for £3m.

It’s further forward where I have my reservations.

Mikel Merino has gone for a nice £10m and Aleksandar Mitrovic has exited for a nice looking £22m-£27m, however, once the breakdown into instalments takes place, it will be more like £5m that manager Rafa Benitez will initially see and not that progression that I would have liked to see.

I know why the club does this, it’s to show that it is in the black, run effectively and profitable (* See below) but it doesn’t help the squad here and now. Let’s hope Muto can make his £10m fee look a bargain.

The next exchange of players is a head scratcher. I can’t see where the improvement is in swapping Dwight Gayle (and £2m) for Salomon Rondon. Neither are prolific at the top level and it certainly would have been better to keep a player who is already integrated with the club than bring in the lad from West Brom. I also think that given a full season of good service, Gayle could outscore Rondon. West Brom have got the better deal there, with an obviously great Championship player going in their direction.

The ongoing stand-off between the players and Mike Ashley, echoes the one that is currently going on between owner and manager over an unsigned contract. Mike does like holding all the power doesn’t he? Sadly, it’s more evidence of the chaos that he has presided over during the last ten years.

*If there is one silver lining to be had here, it’s that I don’t believe we will be relegated (phew!) and I think we will probably finish in roughly the same position as last season, injuries not withstanding. This again doesn’t bode well for progression, especially when other clubs will be buying and HAVE bought players for way above what we have paid so far.

I also hope that the one scenario that is still to be played out, is the sale of the club.

I’ll ask the question, would supporters put up with another season of austerity and risk to Premier League survival, if the cause of the problem, takes the money and buggers off in May 2019?

Even if he took the TV money and rode off into the sunset, if he goes I’d take that as a positive and a chance to start afresh.

Some say it’s a smokescreen and it’s not in Ashley’s mind to sell up, they may well have a point. But what I will say is that by next summer it’s going to be harder to compete money-wise and he may decide that enough’s enough and the cash cow has been milked for as much as it can be.

On the other hand, the other could be true and he may stick it out to twist the knife into us supporters for a few more years yet. Let’s hope it’s the former.

HTL and bring on Saturday.

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  • mentalman

    The whole point of rondon over gayle is to bring the most out of the no10. Perez will thrive off a striker who has an all round game rather than one whose only real game plan was to get in behind the defence

    • ScreamStevie

      I do have some doubts over Rondon but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. What last season showed us is that Rafa builds a team rather than a collection of individuals. If Rondon can bring out more from other players, then his benefit is more than just his own contribution. I think Rafa’s in a better position to assess that than I am, which is why he is the manager not me…

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Rafa does not think West Brom has the best deal as he would not have gone a head with the move. He has been on his list for a long time and he does not rate Gayle as tried to get rid of him last season. We finished tenth last season, have six new players with another two on the way and yet you and others on here are not happy.
    I wonder if you lot will ever be happy probably not. I liken you lot to the two old men on the Muppett show who like nothing better than a good old moan.

    • TheFatController

      The day you disappear from here I’ll be happy.

      You mean Waldorf and Stadtler, I take it? Unlike you, they’re intentionally funny. But keep trying.

      • Leicester Mag

        Interesting the reference to Waldorf and Stadtler given the Muppets have rum the club for the last decade

    • Ken.


    • Milo79

      If by your reckoning we are a far stronger team this season than we were last season, you must be expecting us to finish at least in 9th place. Am I right?

    • MadMag83

      They’re not moaning on The Muppets though, more deliberately taking the p!$$ for comedic effect. The fans on here moan out of genuine frustration with the running of NUFC.

  • Toon

    This happens every transfer, The Mag write them off as useless based on limited knowledge and wiki. Exactly the same for Kennedy and numerous others, let’s face it, you know nothing or limited nothing about football. I’ll take Rafa’s judgement over yours, Gayle was useless in the Premier last season, let’s give Rondon a chance before writing him off, anyway if your not happy then stop being a crying sheep and give up your season ticket, typical Mag.

    • Hughie_Gallacher

      Where in the article did he write Rondon off as useless? He’s merely saying WBA got the better deal, which they have.

  • Ben Jones

    Yeah, think I’ll trust the judgement of our world class champions league winning manager over this author. Poor article

    • Wor Lass

      Paul does qualify what he says about Gayle and Rondon – if that`s your main objection here – by pointing out that Gayle is a proven scorer at Championship level and that`s where he`ll be playing for them. I quite like the look of Rondon but his goal scoring record isn`t great. Hopefully, as mentalman says, his strength and all-round game could suit Perez, and anyone else in the No 10 position, more than Gayle`s did.

    • Ken.


  • Nut

    Rondon will outscore Gayle with proper service in the premergency league.

    Yes Gayle will likely outscore Rondon this season but Gayle is in the championship, in the years Gayle has played up front in the premier league his profligacy has not matured from the championship to the premier league for some reason.

    I would argue that in the championship one reason Gayle does well is his speed…. however in the premier league where everyone has to be that little bit quicker what is Gayles ultimate threat in the championship becomes less of one.

    He is quick in the championship but in the premier league to date he is average at best if not below. One reason for this is technically, positionalally, and in virtually every other aspect the premier league is notches above the championship. Virtually every player in the premier league is faster and so Gayle has a lot less time on the ball in the premier league than he gets in the championship.

    Rondon on the other hand is raw physical power a lot like Mitrovic who Rafa wouldn’t play only maybe better because Rondon will stick to a game plan.

    Rondon hasn’t had proper service at West Bromwich to date and given what he can get in this team I think you will see a different beast.

    I for these reasons think in our set up in the premier league Rondon will outscore Gayle.

    That’s not to say I don’t think Gayle can do it in the premiership, I just think he is a confidence player and a season in the championship where he gets back to what he does well may well be what he needs.

    If then he can translate that next season into premier league form then we will be the ones to gain from this.

    • Milburn_Taylor

      I think both are average and Newcastle should be looking for a cut above
      but that won`t happen under Ashley, it`s a sticking plaster job year on year

      • ghostrider

        A cut above, as in what?

      • Nut

        I think you will be proven wrong again!

  • andrew baron

    I dont agree I think Rondon, primarily due to his extra physicality, will score more and will allow the midfield to progress up the field with better hold up play.

    • Milburn_Taylor

      he hasn`t in 3 years & we`re hardly Man C in midfield

  • BanJones

    I’m not putting Rondon down until he gives me reason to do so. Until then I am more comfortable going with Rafa Benitez’s judgement that Paul Patterson’s judgement – on football matters anyway! Sorry Paul, it’s just common sense.

  • Foggy

    Why would the fat man think the cash cow has been milked when the milk is still flowing? We have a long road ahead of us unless he gets an astronomical offer.

    • Kneebotherm8

      He’s very likely here for another 10 years…..

  • Viru leckworth

    This latest statement bt Ashley in today’s papers shows he is uncomfortable.
    Keep the pressure up, and, even if he doesn’t buckle it will put him under pressure he can do without.

  • Essex_Toon

    I agree with the article in general, though I don’t agree with the opinion on the loaning of Gayle out and Rondon in. Rondon may not be a 30 goals a year striker, but Gayle proved last year that he wasn’t Prem class. Rondon can lead the line and bring more players into play. He’s a boss in the air as well.

    It pains me to criticise Gayle, because he did the business and helped us out of the championship with aplomb. But Rondon is a more focused and fine-tuned Mitro. Gayle had very little luck last year, but he missed too many chances to justify him in our team this year.

    Hopefully Muto will give us some pace and skill up top, as well as a fast improving Perez.

    Joselu ideally needs shipping out soon to make way for anyone!

  • Ram Kishore

    So Rafa made a mistake in letting Gayle go?
    If that’s what u r trying to say.

    • morryJR

      What makes you think that Rafa had anything to do with letting Gayle go?
      The swap deal has Ashley written all over it avoid paying 16 mill. up front. The reports I have read say that Rafa wanted both players.

      • Ram Kishore

        It’s just reports. Report will say lot of sensible and non sensible ones.
        Then why did we have reports last year saying Rafa was willing to sell him.
        Yes Ashley didn’t want to pay 16 million upfront..
        Most of us here didn’t value him for such a huge sum.. Are u sure whether u wanted us to pay 16 million release clause?
        We already bought Muto, Joselu is staying , Rondon is coming in.. why would u have Gayle.. do u want 4 strikers in the team?
        Sending him was the right thing.. no point in having 4 strikers…
        Idc or idk whether this loan swap has Ashley written all over it.. But I wanted Rondon deal to be done early and i know Rafa wanted him..
        Didn’t we question or doubt Rafa when we kept on asking why he wanted to sign a GK in 2017 summer , 2018 Jan..
        But Dubravka was brought and we realised or to be specific i realized I don’t know what Rafa wants and i don’t know what a professional manager thinks..
        Can u please answer my questions? A honest answer please

        This is a honest balanced view from me..


    need new players.

  • Mike

    No one is queuing to buy this club. Get real

  • NUFCDan

    All West Brom ever aimed to do under Pulis was keep a clean sheet and nick goals from set plays. Harsh to write Rondon off already judged on his goal scoring record at West Brom.

  • Jonathan Gibson

    No other reason than hope but im still expecting a striker such as ings before close of deadline

  • JohnCornwell’sHair

    I think i might give the lad a chance.

  • Foggy

    Bottom line is Gayle is a good finisher in the Championship. Nowhere near as good one step up. He’ll get goals for West Brom. Hopefully they won’t pass us going down but at least we’ll have Gayle to get us back up. And so on and so on.