Alan Pardew has admitted today that some of Newcastle’s top players were interested in some of the clubs that were making approached for them in the summer transfer window.
Vurnon Anita – only top player brought in over the summer
Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse, Cheick Tiote, Fab Coloccini and Yohan Cabaye were players interesting other clubs, and with only one major new signing made in the summer – a good one in Vurnon Anita from Ajax – we also know that some of the players were disappointed Newcastle didn’t bring in more players to improve their squad.
All players like to be at successful clubs, and they like to win things, although we are reminded we haven’t won anything since 1969, but the lack of ambition shown by Newcastle this summer may have turned the heads of some of Newcastle’s best players.
This is what Alan Pardew said in the Telegraph today:
“The window should be shut before a ball is kicked, because it is unfair on us teams, that our players’ heads get turned.” “Have one or two of our heads got turned in terms of that dressing-room? Possibly, probably the manager is the last to know. I’ve heard little bits of rumours here and there, a bit like the press do, and I try to ignore it.”
“Is it a factor in performances levels? It probably is, and it certainly has been for Wigan and Victor Moses and Scott Sinclair at Swansea.” “It’s unfair on those teams and it’s unfair on us. If I was at Man City, every team I played while the window was open I’d link myself with a couple of players, why not?”
“When the window shuts, there’s a bit more clarity in the mind of players. You’re here now, until January, at least, so get your arse in gear.” “That would be the message, not just from me, but from every Premier League manager, I’m sure, apart from Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, whose players aren’t going to move.”
“I think keeping our best players makes a strong statement, from owner Mike Ashley in particular.” “He’s had a fair bit of criticism here, for perhaps not investing in the club or not being fully focused, or wanting to sell it and so on, but if that’s the case why didn’t he cash in on one of the big hitters?”
“I’m sure Mike would love to be in the Amsterdam Arena in the Europa League final, with his Newcastle shirt on looking to us to win it, but we have to understand that it’s been a long time since we’ve been there.” “A lot of my team have no experience of Europe – we showed that against Atromitos. We are naive at times, but we’ll grow into it hopefully.”
“This draw gives us the chance to do it. We’re not going to Inter Milan or to Germany to play one of their top teams, so we’ve escaped a little bit in the draw, and hopefully we can gain some experience.”
We think Newcastle will still do well this season, and fans may be underestimating the value of players like James Perch, Ryan Taylor, and a lot of the youngsters coming through, who are one year better than they were last summer, and we still have Demba Ba.
But players always like to see the squad strengthened, because they want to play in Europe and want to win things during their careers, which are often quite short, so although this was a window in which we didn’t bring in many top players, Newcastle will need to continue to improve their squad in January and next summer, otherwise we could see some players wanting to move on.
The evidence is there, that players’ heads were turned by bigger and more ambitious clubs coming after them in the summer.
Of course the players’ (and fans’) doubts will all be washed away if Newcastle can finish in the top six again this season, but that’s going to be a lot more difficult than last term, or there again we could win the Europa League - wouldn’t that be nice.
We’ll have to see how we do through Christmas, but if we are only in mid-table come January, don’t be surprised if Newcastle try to fortify their squad at that time – I hope we try to fortify the squad at that time.
But first things first – and let’s go out hammer Aston Villa on Sunday, and we’ll feel a lot better.
Howay The Lads!!
What do you think?
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org