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How to confuse, infuriate and disappoint fans

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Neil Farrington - Taking Issue


So farewell then to a transfer window about as transparent as the glass on a convent shower cubicle.


Goodbye to a month of misinformation, broken promises, rumours, half-truths - and worse.


And hello, at Newcastle at least, to spin-doctoring straight from the Alistair Campbell guide to talking up bad news.


If it wasn't for the likes of Roy Keane - resourceful and ruthless in equal measure these past few weeks - why should we bother with the mid-season window at all?


Judging from Aston Villa, its main purpose is for someone to get ripped off.


But with messrs Boumsong and Ricketts coming up our way for silly money in Januarys past, let's not get too smug at seeing the Hammers pay Lucas Neill 70 grand a week and £7.5 million for Matthew Upson.


Not when Newcastle and, albeit to a lesser extent, Middlesbrough flattered to deceive last month.


Judging from the Magpies, the purpose of the transfer window is to confuse, infuriate and disappoint.


How can a January begin with talk of buying Darren Bent, Peter Crouch (right) and Gareth Bale, and end with excuses for the failure to sign any striker and any left-back - even on loan?


What's going on when a manager reflects on his efforts to buy "five or six" players one minute, then his most trusted journalist reports that United have "no transfer kitty" the next?


How come said manager resists bringing any old "body" to the club, then insists a nobody - and Albert Luque, now below Academy kids in Newcastle's pecking order, is certainly that - does not leave?


Does that manager expect us to believe him when he now says he is happy with a squad he never tired of telling us he was busting a gut to strengthen significantly in January?


And why did he go from stating that Oguchi Onyewu (right) was "not a player I am trying to sign" to signing him in less than five days?


The answer to the final question, given that Glenn Roeder is no liar, must be that he simply changed his mind.


The worry is that panic changed it for him.


But those other mysteries hint at miscommunication at best, and rifts at worst, between key figures at St James's Park.


An unhappily recurring theme, it seems, and one from which Roeder's side will do well to divert us these next few months.


Very well, given the enduring, inexcusable absence of a decent left-back and God forbidding injury to Obafemi Martins.


For out of the murk, smoke and mirrors of a month of intrigue but too few incomers at St James's, one thing emerges crystal clear . . .


Football wise, Newcastle are not nearly stronger enough now than they were on New Year's Eve.


When it comes to playing the blame game, however, few clubs do it better.

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I love the way these articles go on as if this is the first time NUFC have ever made a complete fuck up of a season

Where does it imply that btw? And are we supposed to ignore bad management because we should be used to it?

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