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‘Honestly, I’m not really worried, but just out of interest, when is Graeme Jones back…?’

10 months ago

Graeme Jones was a surprise appointment, brought into Newcastle United late January 2021 with the club a shambles, even Mike Ashley recognising how desperate the situation was.

The NUFC owner refusing to allow any money to be used to buy players in January 2021 BUT allowed compensation to be paid to secure coach Graeme Jones.

Steve Bruce was on a run of six consecutive defeats and the last 11 NUFC matches had seen nine defeats and two draws.

The impact was immediate, with Graeme Jones very animated on the touchline, Newcastle won their very next match, 2-0 at Everton.

By the end of the season the difference couldn’t be denied.

Under Steve Bruce the first 20 Premier League games of the 2020/21 season had seen an average of 0.95 points per game and 0.95 goals per game.

Once Graeme Jones was parachuted in to save the situation, the final 18 PL matches of last season saw Newcastle United average 1.44 points per game and 1.50 goals.)

Looking back on last season there weren’t many positives but alongside Callum Wilson and Joe Willock’s goals, plus ASM’s performances on his better days, Graeme Jones was certainly one of them.

Such was his impact, Gareth Southgate recruited Graeme Jones on a temporary basis for this summer’s Euros, England going all the way to a Euros final for the very first time.

However, a knock on effect for Newcastle United fans is that Graeme Jones was allowed an extended holiday after the Euros ended, meaning he has played absolutely no part so far in preparations for the 2021/22 Premier League season.

Now I’m not saying that everything can be put down to the absence of Graeme Jones BUT this is a brief rundown of what has been the Newcastle United preparations so far…

Newcastle United’s first team lost to sixth tier York City.

Florian Lejeune had an excellent season on loan in La Liga, showed he was back to full fitness, ready for the 2021/22 season, but Newcastle have sold him for a small fee to La Liga minnows Alaves.

Isaac Hayden has already been used in pre-season friendlies as an emergency centre back (just as happened on a number of occasions when NUFC were left short last season).

Matt Ritchie started the Rotherham friendly playing right wing back.

First choice goalkeeper Martin Dubravka is ruled out for the start of the season after surgery.

When asked what the main aims and hoped for benefits of the week away at the training camp near York were, Steve Bruce said it was the ideal time to integrate new signings ahead of the upcoming season…

The fortunate 1-1 draw at League One Rotherham saw Newcastle end the game with Jeff Hendrick as the lone striker.

Asked after the Rotherham game whether Newcastle needed to bring in at least one striker, maybe more, Steve Bruce said there were more than enough striker / goalscoring options (Callum Wilson is the only reliable goalscorer, Carroll has been allowed to leave and Bruce is moving Muto out as well).

Steve Bruce repeatedly keeps saying that this a very slow transfer window and very little business has been done so far by many Premier League clubs. He also keeps saying there is very little money about and clubs aren’t able to properly strengthen their squads this summer.

Already well over 50 players have been signed by 19 Premier League clubs, with approaching half a billion pounds spent on these signings.

We have reached day 51 of the 2021 summer transfer window and Newcastle United have not made a single signing, only 17 days to go before the first match.

The other 19 Premier League clubs have all signed at least one player, some of NUFC’s relegation rivals have signed six or seven.

‘Honestly, I’m not really worried, but just out of interest, when is Graeme Jones going to be back…?’

With no money spent, no players signed, relying on the same squad less Joe Willock, never has there been a greater need for some positivity for Newcastle fans and some expertise in getting these existing players whipped into shape.


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