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Opinion

Never thought feel sorry for media covering Newcastle United but this tipped me over edge

3 weeks ago
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With only 11 days to go until the first match of the season against West Ham, this is also day 36 of the summer transfer window for Newcastle United.

Despite a squad so low on quality in key positions and total Premier League spending so far of over half a billion pounds by the other clubs, Mike Ashley hasn’t allowed a penny to be spent on transfer fees so far.

The only NUFC arrival during this summer transfer window so far, is Jeff Hendrick, on a free transfer.

A few weeks ahead of the transfer window opening, Newcastle brought in new third choice goalkeeper Mark Gillespie, also on a free.

When I look each morning at what is happening in the football world, particularly the Premier League, there is so much going on as clubs feverishly get themselves prepared for the rapidly approaching new season.

That is, so much going on at pretty much everywhere apart from St James Park.

I never ever thought I would feel sorry for the media covering Newcastle United…but this tipped me over edge.

Imagine that your job is covering this football club.

Holding onto that job relies on you producing interesting content for your newspaper / website and you only have Newcastle United to cover.

I have found it astounding the amount of coverage given to Jeff Hendrick but then I thought, well what else have they got to write about?

Every day the media are having to come up with a new angle on the free transfer former Burnley player and how it will make Newcastle United a far better team than last season.

In four Premier League seasons at Burnley, Jeff Hendrick scored nine goals and provided five assists.

Whatever he is going to do, he is not going to revolutionise this Newcastle team, he is not Jeff Messi.

Yet, the newspapers / journalists, especially the local ones, have to cover the new signing as though he is Messi, in terms of the amount of coverage. What else is there to talk about? There are only so many ways that you can say ‘Jacob Murphy feels like a new signing’ without actually saying ‘Jacob Murphy feels like a new signing’, plus that is based on 75 minutes in two friendlies against lowly opposition and winning and scoring a penalty, plus claims that Murphy is ‘flying’ in training. Back in the day we were always told Shola Ameobi was outstanding in training by the likes of Alan Pardew, only for us to see the same old Shola when it came to a matchday.

Just for my own amusement I looked to see just how much coverage Jeff Hendrick has been getting from the media.

I chose the Chronicle for my ‘exclusive’ report and found this…

Headlines used by the Chronicle on Jeff Hendrick in past two days (Sunday 30 August to now):

#NUFC new boy knows what it takes

Hendrick played a key part in getting Burnley into the top 10.

Plenty of confidence from the #NUFC new boy

He’s been tipped to shine already

He hasn’t taken long to impress.

How Jeff Hendrick fitted in and what it means for #NUFC’s formation and flexibility

“You can see he’s got a good understanding of how to play the game and I think he will be a terrific signing for us.

He’s already making a big impression.

The #NUFC new signing has impressed already

Jeff Hendrick reveals his preferred position for #NUFC

The talks which swung the deal in #NUFC’s favour

“That’s where you will get the best from me.”

The #NUFC new boy was used on the wing at Burnley – but feels his best position is elsewhere

Where Jeff Hendrick feels he will be at his best for #NUFC

Jeff Hendrick and formation flexibility

Steve Bruce was a major factor in #NUFC securing the signing of Jeff Hendrick.

The new man was impressed by #NUFC

Jeff Hendrick admits he was impressed by the way #nufc pipped AC Milan to his signature.

Yes, in 48 hours, the Chronicle have been forced to come up with 18 different headlines featuring Jeff Hendrick on articles they are promoting via Twitter.

The Chronicle journalists don’t half take some stick but how they must be sitting there wishing they were covering Leeds United (well maybe not Mark Douglas who is a Bradford fan…). Never mind wishing they were covering an ambitious Wolves or Leicester, never never mind one of the clubs that actually wins stuff.

No doubt the local journalists are just like us in many ways. They don’t expect Newcastle United to automatically win trophies BUT they do expect them to try and do so.

Look out for my follow-up article tomorrow – ‘101 very interesting things you didn’t know about Jeff Hendrick’ – not to be missed!

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