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Newcastle United signing England and Premier League players takes some getting used to…

1 week ago
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Newcastle United are set to make it two summer signings and we are only two weeks into this transfer window.

Nick Pope is on Tyneside today for his medical and the transfer then set to be completed, with Burnley and Newcastle having already agreed the transfer fee (widely reported to be around the £10m mark).

When this transfer is officially announced, that will make it six permanent buys in the first six months of 2022, with still ten weeks of this summer window to go.

I know that most / all Newcastle United fans will agree that this is a vastly different club now, to what we experienced / endured under Mike Ashley, but on the other hand / on another level, when it comes to signings I just don’t think for many supporters that the sheer difference has properly sunk in.

I have been amused / irritated by the reaction of a vocal minority of Newcastle United fans to this imminent Nick Pope deal.

For these supporters they just don’t get it! Questioning the wisdom of the Pope signing and how good (or not) he is.

The thing is, these last six months have been great in terms of Newcastle United in the transfer market AND that is even if you take Bruno G out of the equation!

The post-January transfer window results saw eleven wins, one draw and five defeats, with 34 points from 17 games it is actually top four form, as opposed to relegation form. Bruno G didn’t even start a game until well into March and it was April before Eddie Howe selected him for a match at St James Park.

Under Mike Ashley, we had so many ridiculous things happening at Newcastle United, not least the crazy rigid transfer ‘policies’ that dictated what signings could be made.

What that basically boiled down to in the end was Ashley pretty much banning the club from buying Premier League players and as for England players…well, that just wasn’t happening.

Nick Pope was shown arriving at St James Park this morning and when he signs, that will mean two current England players already signed by Newcastle United under the new owners. Kieran Trippier arriving in January and then Nick Pope now joining him.

The pair of them are pretty much nailed on to be amongst the 23 selected to go to Qatar in November, from nowhere, Newcastle United set to have almost 10% of the England World Cup squad and this after all but zero England representation during Ashley’s 14+ year reign.

Nick Pope (along with Trippier) was in the England squad this month for the all important June get together ahead of the World Cup, only one more get together and two games before Gareth Southgate picks his final 23 players.

Pope started for England as recently as March 2022 and in eight appearances has kept seven clean sheets and conceded only one goal.

A quality keeper who has been first choice the past four years at Burnley and helped their defence far outperform the rest of their team, ten Premier League defences conceding more goals than Nick Pope and Burnley despite their relegation.

Yet some Newcastle fans are turning their noses up at the idea of signing this England keeper, a signing who may well end up number two at St James Park, though it is going to be fierce competition with Dubvravka, which is what we need right through the squad.

I feel there is an awful lot of truth in the saying about team sports, where you are only as strong as your weakest link.

Eddie Howe and the NUFC owners are building a first eleven AND squad. Last season, part of the problem contributing to ending up in what looked a doomed relegation battle, was the goalkeeping position, where Woodman and Darlow struggled when Dubravka missed the start of the season through injury. Others as well showed they weren’t of the quality needed, the likes of Clark, Hendrick and a number of others, including Hayden and Lascelles for me.

As well as Bruno and the England pair (once Pope is confirmed), you then also had Burn, Targett and Wood.

All of them really good / decent Premier League players who weakened their teams / squads when joining Newcastle United.

Newcastle United are now signing Premier League players and / or England players (and the odd Brazil international) and it is showing.

Everybody needs to get used to this. The quality of both first team and the squad is heading to very different levels than we had become accustomed / resigned to under Mike Ashley at Newcastle United.

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