With today’s less than exciting announcement from Newcastle, that Barry Moat will be given more time to secure a loan from Barclays Bank, the club seems to be stuck in a time warp – and time is running out quickly.
Peter Lovenkrands – this player should be signed now!
If you back track to a week ago that was exactly the first news of the week – that Moat was trying to do a deal with Barclays to prove he could handle the £40M (£39M to be exact) overdraft at Newcastle.
So you wonder just how much progress was made last week – not much we fear.
Barry is making coming up with £100M seem to be the hardest thing in the world, and we have a right to wonder if there’s any money for new players – or any money for anything.
With 14 weeks gone since we were relegated , 10 players left and only one new arrival you have to wonder how many original Newcastle targets are still left. The answer – not many.
It seems like we’ll not even get free agent Sol Campbell, who is said today to be close to a deal for 2nd Division Notts County.
So he’ll be playing in black and white stripes next season, but not on Tyneside, it appears. But if he’s willing to play in England’s 4th division, presumably for the money, maybe he wasn’t the right player for Newcastle in any case.
We have lost a net 9 players so far, and if you believe we have 4 teenagers who have rightly earned their places in the first team squad – Tamas Kadar, Ryan Donaldson, Nile Ranger and LuaLua, then we are 5 short on the numbers we had last year.
And remember we had a small squad last year, and also we play 46 games in the Championship rather than the 38 we did last season, which is one reason to have an even bigger squad.
When you look at the strengths and weaknesses of our current squad in terms of numbers in each position – we are overladen with central midfielders – Nolan, Barton, Butt, Smith and Guthrie can all play there.
So if we have to sell players, the most saleable of these is probably Nicky Butt, with Burnley said to be interested.
And here are some players who are still available, that at one time or another we’ve had an interest in this summer, with positions and approximate transfer prices:
Mike Williamson CB – Watford £2M
Andy O’Brien CB – Bolton £2M
Peter Lovenmkrands M – free
Sol Campbell CB – free
Robert Earnshaw S – Nottingham Forest £3M
Jermaine Beckford S – Leeds £3M
Solvi Ottesen CB – Sonderjyske – Denmark £2M
Erik Huseklepp M – Brann Norway £2M
Per Ciljan Skjelbred M – Rosenburg Norway £5M
Of those we should probably strike off Campbell, but we need to see 5 net new players at least before next Tuesday, and if sell some players than that number should increase accordingly.
But this is a very dangerous game Newcastle are playing right now.
There are 15 weeks from the end of the season to the end of the transfer window, and we essentially have wasted 14 of them and now have one week left with a current net of -9 players. Unbelievable incompetence!
What happens for instance, if the weekend comes, and we still don’t know who the new owner and new manager are?
The plans of mice and men – mainly mice it seems.
Comments (and solutions) welcome.