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Opinion

Trouble ahead for Newcastle United

3 weeks ago
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So with 35 days left of the transfer window, how is the current Newcastle United squad looking?

Ordinarily, 35 days seems like ample time to get players in to boost the team but with this club’s notoriety at being very slow to conclude incoming business, it’s actually a very short space of time to get us up to scratch for the coming season.

The downside to that 35 days is that the season kicks off in only 11 days time against West Ham, so we really should have our Newcastle United squad just about settled by now and yet the reality is, we are short in so many areas of the team.

Still, it’s not like this club to be underprepared is it…?

We’re repeatedly fed various propaganda / untruths by club friendly media. The virus, the economic climate, a difficult market, all have been used as excuses to either delay players coming in, or avoid making any signing altogether.

The 2020 January transfer window we had a brand new one, when we were told that there were no strikers out there that would improve us, that pearl of wisdom was courtesy of Head Coach Steve Bruce. If true, our scouts should be sacked. Where are they looking? The Albanian equivalent of our League One? Mind you, if the same scouts that recommended Joelinton at £40m are still at large, they should be quickly dispensed with.

Personally speaking, whilst we need a left back to compete with Paul Dummett, I also think that the right back position doesn’t look too clever either. On the plus side, the midfield looks decent enough, especially the attacking options, but everyone knows that at centre forward we are looking painfully thin on goal prospects. None of our alleged strikers got more than four goals in the league last season, Gayle getting four with a late flourish, Joelinton bagging two and Carroll none.

We’ve thus far captured the ambitious free signing of Jeff Hendrick and managed to persuade a Geordie to come back and sign for the club after his contract expired. We’ve also extended the contract of a Geordie striker that struggles to get on the pitch on a consistent basis. That sound you can hear is slow hand clapping and the swooshing of tumbleweeds.

It really rankles when a club with three straight seasons in the Premier League with chronic underspending in comparison to less prosperous clubs, can’t even spend 20% of what a club fresh out of the Championship can outlay. You can call Leeds United ambitious big spenders or reckless chancers, depending on your viewpoint, but they’re making a fist of it. If it fails for them, they can sell half a team and start afresh in the Championship.

I’ve said previously that I don’t think we will be relegated and hand on heart I believe that, as there is so much poor quality in the Premier League these days, unfortunately we are part of that group. I also reserve the right to change my mind, as that opinion was formulated BEFORE we lost Martin Dubravka and Dwight Gayle to injuries.

So I suppose we wait until the window snaps shut on the 5th October for the post mortem with Bruce all too willing to deliver the owner’s propaganda and misdirection.

One thing’s for sure, I don’t half get the feeling that the fates are conspiring to see Newcastle United having every chance of being relegated this coming season. I won’t get too worked up about today’s 1-5 drubbing in a pre-season kickabout against Middlesbrough but looking at the wider picture, a perfect storm for disaster has gathered strength and ferocity in recent weeks, so much so that I fear relegation is becoming more and more likely with each passing day.

Newcastle have next to no transfer funds that have been made available, we are heavily reliant on loans and free transfers to build a team capable of fighting off the unofficial/official (delete to own taste) only club aim of surviving relegation, a clueless Head Coach with a proven track record in failure and historically bad squad and injury management and with injuries to key players already starting to hamper whatever minimal progress we have made. With in addition a fanbase so disinterested in the club that even if pandemic restrictions were lifted on the sports stadium attendees, it’s doubtful you would get anywhere near 52,000 putting (paid for) backsides on seats.

Add into the mix that this summer, Richard Masters and the Premier League displayed utter contempt for both Newcastle United and it’s fans in refusing us the one lifeline that could have given us so much hope for something, ANYTHING, remotely better than forced mediocrity at best under Mike Ashley. Then you can’t help but think that any light at the end of the tunnel will actually turn out to be a speeding train after all..

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