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Opinion

Big fat Red Herring served up by Eddie Howe on Newcastle United summer plans

6 days ago
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Eddie Howe must have found it hilarious, reading the nonsense after his Thursday press conference.

The lack of insight / understanding from journalists covering Newcastle United, absolutely laughable.

Eddie Howe having talked about the upcoming summer transfer window.

These were just some of the newspaper headlines that followed…

‘The richest club in the world can’t spend big!’

‘Eddie Howe says Newcastle’s spending will be restricted this summer’

‘Eddie Howe delivers stark insight into Newcastle United summer transfer window planning’

‘Howe dampens hopes of Newcastle spending spree’

‘Newcastle United not planning major spending spree this summer’

So what had Eddie Howe actually said…

“With Financial Fair Play we have restraints, we have things that we have to work within.

“So we can’t just go out and spend money on players like maybe teams could have done in the past and totally change their squad within one transfer window.

“That is not an option for us.

“The more money that you spend in one window, the more it impacts your ability to then spend in future windows.

“The rules are there to govern the game properly and we have to follow suit, so that does impact what we can do this summer.

“It doesn’t mean that we are totally without ambition…

“We want to try to bring the right players in that can make a difference.

“Everyone wants to go quickly (in terms of changing the team / squad) and that is very difficult to do.

“It is about smart decisions.

“We are well aware that we have to change the squad and we have to make improvements but it is going to be a difficult balance.”

Honestly, an absolutely big fat Red Herring served up by Eddie Howe on the Newcastle United summer plans.

The Newcastle United Head Coach tells the media absolutely nothing BUT yet the journalists then go and write it up, as though he has revealed everything!!!

You quite literally couldn’t make it up.

Eddie Howe simply telling you the basics that apply to any Premier League club at any time.

FFP (Financial Fair Play) rules obviously apply to all clubs but those rules repeatedly able to be stretched and distorted in various / countless ways. Howe stating the obvious otherwise, naturally what you do or don’t spend in any transfer window then has to have an impact on what can and can’t be done in the future.

Bottom line of course is that Eddie Howe was never going to tell the journalists anything, even they were all so keen to claim that they’d extracted some great revelation(s) from the NUFC boss.

Eddie Howe has told them absolutely zero about the level of ambition and investment in players that is planned this summer.

Put it this way, cast your minds back to December 2021, what was Eddie Howe saying about the January transfer window?

What the Head Coach was saying, was that he hoped Newcastle could maybe get a few players in who would strengthen the squad, but January a very difficult month, everybody had to be realistic about what was going to happen. Couldn’t suddenly change the team overnight, no ridiculous money to be spent etc etc.

The reality?

Newcastle United broke their transfer record, spent more in a January transfer window than any Premier League club had previously done, in the process changing half the entire outfield ten first choice players AND it included signing almost an entire new first choice back four.

Not one journalist saw the above coming.

Likewise, this summer could see anything happening, within certain limits..

However, those are not within the kind of certain limits that journalists are wanting to tell us.

This is not Mike Ashley and one of his puppets speaking. Mike Ashley standing alone with his cunning plan, which involved buying all players with complete payment made up front BUT when selling, only taking a small downpayment, with the bulk of the transfer fee to be paid in the years to come.

This basically put Newcastle United at an absolute disadvantage, selling key players for big transfer fees at times, BUT then Ashley ensuring that only a small portion of that transfer fee was then available to help buy replacements. Plus, that small portion of transfer fees for players sold, having to cover the entire transfer fees up front for any players bought in.

The reality is that if Newcastle United want to make major strides, such as say signing half a new first team (as they did in January…), then they absolutely can and almost certainly will do, in my opinion.

Journalists have speculated something like £60m-£80m could be spent this summer by Newcastle United and indeed they may well have been briefed as to that being the case.

However, whilst ‘only’ £60m-£80m could well be paid out this summer, that could end up as the amount paid out up front as downpayments, representing only a relatively small fraction of the overall transfer fees agreed to be paid longer-term by Newcastle United.

Is it impossible that Newcastle United could buy five £40m players this summer? I don’t think so.

Especially if as well as the vast majority of rumoured sales of existing players, you had the likes of Allan Saint-Maximin sold for maybe £40m himself. I think we can get half decent transfer fees for the likes of Lascelles, Shelvey, Hayden, Almiron and a few others, maybe even Dubravka and / or Willock, very few will be considered absolutely not for sale, not fortunes generated but certainly getting up to around another £30m-£40m. Maybe a fair bit more if those current first teamers are traded.

Nice guy Eddie has already shown himself to be exactly like Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby Robson, in terms of coming across as a really canny bloke BUT at the same time ruthless when it comes down to making key decisions where NUFC are concerned. Whether it has been team selections and dropping certain players, or his recent comments about how ‘much loved’ players will end up sold this summer, Eddie Howe will do what is best for the football club and the team / squad. Sentiment out the window when it comes to the current and future health of Newcastle United.

Obviously there are always risks involved when buying players but that goes for all clubs. You can’t judge everybody on say the way that the idiots at Everton have done things, wasting countless hundreds of millions on so many poor players in recent years.

Indeed, Eddie Howe and his recruitment team at Newcastle United will have already banked so much goodwill due to January’s transfer business, surely leading the NUFC owners to have real belief in their ability to spend wisely this summer. Meaning accordingly they could be far more willing to back bigger spending than maybe otherwise would have been planned.

The Eddie Howe style is very much to promise little but deliver hopefully big style, the summer transfer window is fast approaching and I can’t wait to see who is going to follow the likes of Kieran Trippier and Bruno G through the door.

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