Another very good interview today with Newcastle chairman Chris Mort.
Chris comes across as very realistic and talks about the game on Tuesday night at Arsenal.
He also mentions that Newcastle are already launching a world-wide search for players of all age groups, who can then be developed at the club.
That sounds like what Arsene Wenger has done continually at Arsenal – and we’re all for that.
Chris Mort – already thinking long term for the club
This is what Chris Mort said today:
â€œFrankly, if weâ€™re going to win anything, Arsenal away is the sort of game we have to play in, and try to get a result that will put them out of the competition,â€
â€œIf we accept a position where we arenâ€™t going to be capable of beating the likes of Arsenal in a cup game, weâ€™re never going to win a cup.â€
â€œIf you look at the signings weâ€™ve made, there are strikers and midfielders, but the real focus has been on strengthening the defense, and I think thatâ€™s is going to be crucial if weâ€™re going to compete in any competition.â€
â€œWe have to be a tougher side to beat and we have to be capable of going away from home and getting victories.â€
That’s very true and it’s obvious that building up our defense is what Sam is trying to do as a first step. Ensuring our defense is a lot more solid than it’s been for many a season is certainly needed. You cannot win games if you are likely to concede dubious goals at any time, like we have in the past. Sam has already introduced great competition for places – so if a player doesn’t get the job done â€“ he knows there are others who are only too willing for the chance to do the job.
â€œThe Premier League is a very physical league and the players we brought in â€“ players like Joey Barton and Alan Smith â€“ are very capable of holding their own against any side.â€
â€œWeâ€™ve also had a real focus on players who have real heart on the pitch because we want the right balance of skill and athleticism, but we also want players who have the right sort of spirit to compete for the club.â€
But Mortâ€™s long-term sights are set on a massive player hunt that will span the globe and bring players into the club.”
â€œOur minds are already turned to who we might bring in and, in an ideal world, weâ€™d like the focus to be on bringing in players that we can develop over the long term,â€
â€œWeâ€™ve half an eye, not specifically on January, but on how we take the club forward over the years to come.â€
â€œWhilst our first major priority was to make sure we sorted out the first-team squad and had a squad capable of competing in the Premiership, we want to bring in some younger players of all kinds of age groups.â€
â€œWe havenâ€™t set Sam a target of what position we want to end up in or what we want out of this season, but Sam and myself are working hard to get the squad into good shape and get a sense that we are moving in the right direction.â€
We like the idea of identifying young players before they become great and getting them to the club. We did try that strategy with Bobby Robson but were not too successful as we paid big money for youngsters such as Hugo Viana (Portugal) and Diego Gavilan (Paraguay) – but they never really matured into good players. A good example where it was successful of course was with Charles N’Zogbia who we signed when just 18 years old from La Havre.
Sam also seems to have a good sense of who will become a good player so this strategy could well work for the club. It’s going to be extremely interesting now as to what acquisitions we make in January since Chris has also said that big money will be made available to Sam, if he needs it. This all sounds very good to us.