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Newcastle United transfer moves leave me cold

4 months ago

Newcastle United are a football club facing a lot of challenges.

Needless to say, the takeover saga is the thing that would / could be a deal breaker.

However, there are so many other factors to consider and that are now increasingly pressing.

We can’t just be looking at /relying on this Newcastle United takeover happening.

It is a bit like hoping your personal money issues will be solved by a win on the lottery.

I don’t want to depress you but here are a few reminders about this 2019/20 Newcastle United season that has just ended…

You have to go back to 1997/98 when Newcastle scored less PL goals than the 38 scored this past season.

The final 20 matches of the 2019/20 PL season saw Newcastle in relegation form, only four wins and eighteenth when it comes to points gained since 21 December 2019.

Whilst even when it comes to goals conceded, Martin Dubravka’s heroics can only do so much. In 2017/18 and 2018/19 Newcastle had the seventh best defensive record both seasons. In 2019/20 however, only the bottom five and Southampton (0-9 v Leicester) have conceded more than Newcastle United.

Whatever happens with a takeover, Newcastle need things to change on the pitch.

Changing the manager (head coach) would / could be one answer but there seems zero chance of that happening whilst Mike Ashley is still in control.

So if Newcastle United are going to rely on something other than Dubravka’s heroics and Steve Bruce’s incredible 2019/20 luck, we must be talking about raising the quality of the playing squad.

The messages I am hearing so far are:

New contracts for Manquillo and Carroll

Free transfer Mark Gillespie signed

Hoping to get Rose, Bentaleb and Lazaro back next season on either loan or permanent deals

One or two irons in the fire

A new contract on the way for Dwight Gayle

Steve Bruce speaking to Mike Ashley on the phone on Wednesday (tomorrow) for a ‘transfer summit’

Newcastle United are the only club where the media allow them to get away with presenting a publicised ‘transfer summit’ involving the club’s owner, as some kind of great positive.

Just over six weeks until the 2020/21 PL season kicks off, we are supposed to think that starting to talk about a transfer strategy at this stage is some kind of proactive progressive thing.

Other clubs just get on with it and sign players early, rather than having some lame PR ‘summit’ stunt announced. Yes I know we have signed new third choice keeper Gillespie but that is not going to be a deal breaker for the new season.

When I read and hear the above, I just think we are heading for more of the same that we experienced this past season.

A very mediocre squad that largely lacks star quality, another year older and arguably another year more demoralised.

I like a lot of our players but if we are honest, very few would be truly missed if they moved on in terms of their quality on the pitch.

The likes of Shelvey, Hayden, Ritchie, Gayle, Clark, Lascelles and Dummett were at the heart of promotion four seasons ago, moving forward to next season and it appears we still will be.

I like Dwight Gayle but Steve Bruce ignored him pretty much all season, eventually gives him a chance late on because even he couldn’t be stupid enough to keep playing Joelinton there, Gayle score a few (four) goals and suddenly Bruce is heralding him as being key for next season.

Dwight Gayle should be third or fourth choice striker next season but if yet again the pool is going to be Carroll, Muto, Joelinton…then Gayle by default HAS to play.

I cannot believe that they have given Andy Carroll another year. Only fit enough to start four PL games in 2019/20 and even then never looked fully fit, hasn’t scored a PL goal for 28 months but another year older and even more injury prone, and NUFC give him another deal!

I think Newcastle desperately needed two new strikers / goalscorers, make Gayle third choice and clear out the other three, take whatever hit on Joelinton and move on, bring in forwards who will help get the best out of ASM and Almiron. Instead we are looking at more of the same, Steve Bruce playing ASM and Almiron very deep as extra defenders, an isolated striker in Gayle, with then the rest of the team that already lacked pace, another year older and slowing even more.

Yes we may like Shelvey and Ritchie for their contributions at times but surely you can see they don’t give NUFC enough now in the Premier League. Hayden is decent but I think only in a really attacking team can he do enough for Newcastle.

As for Bruce wanting to keep Rose and Bentaleb, I really wonder what he has been watching. Both have been really really poor and neither look bothered at times, whilst Bruce has all but totally ignored Lazaro, only giving him chances in games where he has no chance to get forward, against Liverpool and away at Man City, Arsenal and Palace.

Lack of quality up front, lack of pace and real quality in midfield, full-backs / wing-backs not up to the job, leaving us yet again relying on Dubravka and our centre-backs, plus hoping ASM or Almiron can do something when escaping their defensive duties.

I am still hoping for the best (particularly on the takeover) BUT very much fearing the worst with these clowns still in control.


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