Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Craig

United need a shot in the arm

Recommended Posts

With less than 24 hours to go until the close of the transfer window, Newcastle United face a race against time to sufficiently strengthen their squad this summer.

 

But, as Luke Edwards argues, they are not the only ones in this position.

 

As Newcastle United's supporters strolled happily out of St James's Park after a Titus Bramble volley had secured their team an unexpected place in the Intertoto Cup, following a 1-0 win over champions Chelsea in May, the sun shone and the future looked bright.

 

After the turmoil and depression of the Graeme Souness era, Glenn Roeder had revitalised a confidence-drained squad, lost just three out of 17 games as caretaker boss and masterminded a charge from 14th to seventh in the Premiership table.

 

As Souness had argued as he clung on to his job, Newcastle possessed some excellent players but his constant excuses about injuries - particularly the broken foot suffered by star striker Michael Owen on New Year's Eve - and bad luck meant a cloud of negativity suffocated the life out of his side.

 

When Roeder replaced him, his positive thinking dispersed the cloud and the players Souness had pointed to started to perform again for their new manager.

 

It was enough to ensure the former United centre-half was awarded the job on a permanent basis and United fans looked forward to their holidays, the World Cup and the anticipation of a summer of new arrivals at St James's Park.

 

But with the Premiership season already a fortnight old, and with less than 24 hours left until the transfer window closes, United's fans have instead spent the summer watching in horror as a serious knee injury at the World Cup put Owen's involvement in the season in doubt - and in frustration as big name players were constantly linked with their club only to move elsewhere. Some of that frustration was inevitable given the constant speculation which fills pages and airtime in the close season.

 

But while Roeder and Shepherd may have never wanted some of the players to have been linked with Newcastle this summer, there is no doubt they have missed out on some other attractive options. Both men deserve some praise for the three astute signings they have managed.

 

Damien Duff is arguably the best left winger in the Premiership; Obafemi Martins is an exciting striker who, judging by his time in Italy with Inter Milan, will score plenty of goals, and Guiseppe Rossi, who signed on a loan deal last night from Manchester United, is believed to be one of the Red Devil's hottest young prospects.

 

But while the two main players at St James's Park have been patient in an effort to ensure they do not invest unwisely, time is running out and concern is growing on Tyneside.

 

What is also clear is, had two or three of the following being signed before today, Newcastle would certainly look a better bet for the top six finish which is deemed a minimum requirement for a club of their size and stature.

 

The likes of Dean Ashton, Darren Bent, Wayne Bridge, Sol Campbell, Jermain Defoe, Thomas Gravesen, Robert Huth, Dirk Kuyt, Steed Malbranque, Mido, David Trezeguet, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Jonathan Woodgate have all been considered by either Roeder or Shepherd at some stage this summer, but none have arrived for a variety of reasons.

 

Some were deemed too costly, some too risky, some too old, some too injury-prone and some were simply not for sale - but some would clearly have improved Roeder's squad.

 

Those close to the Newcastle hierarchy are adamant the club will still pull off some impressive signings before midnight tonight and we all hope that proves to be the case.

 

But if they don't, the squad looks too small for the four-competition assault they will undertake in the coming months. Roeder has always insisted he will not make any panic buys, but he must be concerned at the lack of new arrivals which make his squad look weak in crucial areas.

 

Yet Newcastle are not the only club to have found the transfer market a difficult place to buy and sell this summer. While Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool have both recruited and spent heavily, Manchester United have brought in just one player, Michael Carrick, to a squad which finished eight points behind Chelsea last season, despite their pursuit of Owen Hargreaves and several high-profile strikers. Arsenal, too, have found it a testing close season, with only the Czech Republic international Tomas Rosicky arriving to play at their new stadium.

 

Other clubs have also struggled to add to their squads, with Mark Hughes at Blackburn Rovers, Sam Allardyce at Bolton Wanderers and Steve Coppell at Reading all complaining at some stage about a stale and over-priced market.

 

Deadline day is always an interesting one for supporters but it could prove to be a crucial one in Newcastle's season.

 

Bring in the quality of players Roeder demands and United have every reason to feel optimistic of a European place. Fail and the danger is one injury crisis could wreck their campaign.

 

Source: http://icnewcastle.icnetwork.co.uk/newcast...-name_page.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any praise they deserve for signing Duff and Martins is unfortunately outweighed by the criticism they deserve for signing no defenders and no permanent second striker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It will be interesting to see what Oliver comes up with in today's Chronicle. Expect him to take PR spinning to a whole new level.

188500[/snapback]

 

He'll do a story on how Geordie Legend Lee Clark is coming out of semi-retirement to play both centreback and centre forward at the same time.

Edited by Papa Lazaru

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It will be interesting to see what Oliver comes up with in today's Chronicle. Expect him to take PR spinning to a whole new level.

188500[/snapback]

 

He'll do a story on how Geordie Legend Lee Clark is coming out of semi-retirement to play both centreback and centre forward at the same time.

188666[/snapback]

 

 

Geordie soopafan local talisman lee clark.....who walk on hot coal just to look at a newcastle shirt....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It will be interesting to see what Oliver comes up with in today's Chronicle. Expect him to take PR spinning to a whole new level.

188500[/snapback]

 

He'll do a story on how Geordie Legend Lee Clark is coming out of semi-retirement to play both centreback and centre forward at the same time.

188666[/snapback]

 

 

Geordie soopafan local talisman lee clark.....who walk on hot coal just to look at a newcastle shirt....

188684[/snapback]

 

Anal? :unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It will be interesting to see what Oliver comes up with in today's Chronicle. Expect him to take PR spinning to a whole new level.

188500[/snapback]

 

He'll do a story on how Geordie Legend Lee Clark is coming out of semi-retirement to play both centreback and centre forward at the same time.

188666[/snapback]

 

 

Geordie soopafan local talisman lee clark.....who walk on hot coal just to look at a newcastle shirt....

188684[/snapback]

 

Anal? :unsure:

188786[/snapback]

 

 

Anal impression :rolleyes:

 

best i could do..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

Recent tweets

Toontastic Facebook

Donate to Toontastic

Keeping the lights on since... well ages ago
TT-Staff


×