Kinnear Strikes – Welcome to Newcastle, Loic Remy
Finally, a breakthrough for Newcastle in the transfer market – and it’s a player I’m really excited about. He’s six months late, but arguably a better footballer now. Welcome to the Toon, Loic Remy.
August 12th, 2013
Sometimes, as a Newcastle fan, the off-season can be more stressful than the actual season itself. Rumours of big bids coming in for big players, will they stay? Will they go? The anxious wait for new signings, offers, rejections, personal terms, agent fees, and medicals – it’s all so stressful as a fan, when it really shouldn’t be. In our case, we also have the enigmatic character of Mike Ashley, who loves to spring a surprise or two just when things are going all well and good. This summer it was the return of Joe Kinnear, this time as the club’s director of football. It didn’t make sense at the time, but with Alan Pardew still here and a player through the door, maybe Joe is slowly getting the fans on his side.
This transfer window has been as frustrating as ever. After a horrendous 2012/13 campaign, all fans wanted were a few new signings early on to bring back the belief. Instead, we got Kinnear as DoF, Cisse complaining about Wonga, and constant rumours about Cabaye heading off to Monaco, PSG or Man Utd. Crucially, however, things may not be as bad as some fans are making out. “Sunderland have signed nine players” someone told me. So? We signed six in January (including young Kevin Mbabu). Why should we be looking at other clubs and who they are signing? I certainly don’t set NUFC standards by what the Mackems do. The fact of the matter is that we only really need two or three players, for a season which doesn’t involve a hectic European campaign.
So, after seeing the likes of Southampton, Swansea and Norwich sign supposed Newcastle targets, and reading dozens of fan tweets about how we were missing out on so many players, Kinnear delivered his first signing this week with the capture of QPR striker Loic Remy. He’s a player Toon fans are all too familiar with, and thought would be playing at St James’ Park in January, before he chose West London over Tyneside. It’s all water under the bridge, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve never understood why football fans expect loyalty from players who are not from the area and are not supporters of the team. I would expect some loyalty from Alan Shearer and Shola Ameobi, but not Yohan Cabaye or Loic Remy. Football is a job for these guys, and financial considerations are usually top of the tree for most people.
I’m excited about Remy. I think he’s a top player who will fit into our team perfectly. He’s got pace, and clinical finishing ability – both of which we lacked last season. He’s also joining a squad with plenty of good French players, which should help him settle in. Just thinking about Remy playing alongside Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Sissoko, Marveaux and Gouffran is a mouth-watering prospect. Remy scored 6 goals in 14 games for a QPR team which got relegated. Here, he has the perfect stage to make his mark and I expect him to grasp the opportunity with both hands.
With only seven days to go before our big kick-off against Manchester City, I’m feeling a little more optimistic. One more striker in – Lyon’s Bafétimbi Gomis (hopefully) should set us on our way.
Umar Farooq, Editor – NUFCfans.co.uk