Well there is certainly divided opinion on whether Newcastle’s new way forward, where they will not be shelling out big money for players, is the right way to go for a club as famous as Newcastle United.
Chris Hughton – summer transfers will be so important
And our comparison this morning of Newcastle’s system to that of Barcelona, has met with some derision, and that’s fair, because we are nowhere near the Barcelona or Arsenal Youth systems as yet.
We have to get our scouting system put in place – yes – absolutely – and it’s not good enough yet – but the club will need to invest some money in that area of the club, which will become so important for the future success of the club.
But it’s a better investment of some £10M there, into our scouting system, then on players like Albert Luque or Jean Alain Boumsong or Marcelino – that the club bought in the past – as just 3 good examples of expensive but poor players.
And then the club needs to work out more clearly, how it deals with young players like Tamas Kadar, who are ready to, and want to play every week. We need to loan them out – like Arsenal do – but also watch them closely as Chris seems to be doing with Fraser Forster at Norwich right now.
But it’s hardly unreal to compare Newcastle to Barcelona right now – the Spanish side are a great model we are presumably building towards – and as far as we understand that’s the system the club is putting in place.
The fact that Arsenal are the club that owner Mike Ashley and others mention is fine – but we’ll just point out that Arsenal looked to the Barcelona system when Arsene Wenger arrived in London.
At least the Newcastle club now have a plan in place, that will not cost us millions and millions each season just to buy top players – we’ll be making most of them – but of course we will still need to buy.
It’s not easy we know, and we need top scouts, and it has to be a full global scouting system – but we’re starting to be convinced this is the right way forward for the Newcastle club.
And for those fans who would like Newcastle to buy a player for say £20M or more – they will be disappointed in the next few years – that’s also true.
But let’s quickly compare the two systems – and we’ll take the striker position.
Michael Owen cost the club £40M over 4 years with transfer fee and wages, and we got 30 goals back from him. Yes, we know that he was always injured, but he had a bad injury record before we even brought him to Tyneside, and yes he had several big injuries while here – and yes it’s not his fault.
But notice that we have 18 goals already from Peter Lovenkrands – in just over a year – and he cost us nothing. And they are the same age – although Peter is younger than Michael – by about a month as it turns out.
That’s probably not too fair a comparison – but it makes a point and illustrates there are some very good players available for small fees or as free agents, and bringing in expensive players in both transfer fees and wages has hardly been too successful at Newcastle – ever.
And recently we got a great buy in Sebastien Bassong, where we made £8M on him in just 10 months, and we’re hoping that Mike Williamson and Wayne Routledge will turn out to be bargain buys too.
Arsenal will sign Bordeaux Striker Marouane Chamakh who is rated at £12M, for nothing in the summer, when his contract runs out – so there are good players available and even top clubs like to pick up some bargains – they’re not daft after all, well apart from Manchester City. Just kidding. 😀
So there’s a long way to go at Newcastle, there’s no doubt about that, but we think the club is on a solid path forward, which is also sustainable over time.