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Why on earth would Newcastle want to sign Chris Wood? Social media asks the question…

2 weeks ago
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As news emerges that Newcastle United are set to sign Chris Wood, social media is laden with doubt.

Why on earth would we want to sign him?

Memories flood back of the way Micky Quinn tells his story. Some of the first words he saw back in August 1989 from the crowd were on a banner – “who the f.ck is Micky Quinn?”

Gut reactions are understandable.

Do we want someone who is at the tail end of his career?

Does a player like Chris Wood lead to a fossilised style of play?

With the wealth behind the club, couldn’t we do better?

We might feel dispirited.

Then there is a time to stand back and reflect.

This transfer window was always going to be about balancing short term needs and long term needs. In the short term, Wilson is out injured. Cambridge United highlighted not only our lack of a striker but also how international quality defenders can be bullied by a traditional British style striker. There may be more behind the story.

On the whole, Rafa is lauded by most corners of St James Park. He comfortably managed promotion at the first attempt. He assembled a squad that did a job.

One of the key signings was Daryl Murphy, a player at the end of his career, a traditional striker with a decent scoring ratio. He wasn’t an ever present but did a job. The timings of his goals led to an argument that those goals made a difference. Against Brentford his goal gained two more points, Rotherham three, Huddersfield two. Who knows what difference an extra seven points might be at the end of this seasons, of course assists are extra.

We can also look back to the likes of Rondon. What he provided was a target. He was a steady scorer but most importantly, provided a platform for Ayoze to flourish.

That could be the clue to how he can be an asset in slightly longer term. Next summer gives us a wider choice of striking talent. Personal favourites are Origi currently at Liverpool, Barbosa from Flamengo and Cabral from Basel, but others will have their own favourites. Howe will also have his.

With the skill that each of those players have, an ageing warrior can contribute a Plan B. He may not be a starter but he has the ability to provide a totally different type of game. As for the price, in a game of margins, he could make the difference that means £100 million or so of revenues are not lost.

An added advantage is that he will be no longer playing for a relegation rival, their strategy has been disrupted. They need to try something else. If we can help make Burnley and Norwich certainties for relegation, then we only have to find one more team to beat.

Back to where we started with Micky Quinn.

Those of a certain generation will remember his debut against Leeds, in our case with Chris Wood, where he would be expected to make his away debut. His four goals in a 5-2 win led to his reply to supporters in the ground that day; “That’s the f.ck who Micky Quinn is.”

Naturally, we might not need a four goal performance, but if he can make a difference against one of his former clubs, a chunk of the transfer fee will be repaid.

Granted, Chris Wood may not have been the first choice of many of us but we pay to be entertained, we are not paid to determine strategy and balance in the squad.

Good luck to him. If he can give us what a Murphy, Rondon or Quinn did, let alone Carrol in a promotion season, we will surely be happy.

Over to you Chris and good luck.

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