Newcastle’s sensible approach proving costly?
Two weeks into the January transfer window and I’m sick of the constant speculation. Not many clubs will buy this month, but Newcastle has to.
January 17th, 2013
A season which began with Champions League hopes is now about Premier League survival. Alan Pardew has admitted that mistakes were made with virtually no investment in the summer, but it’s a do-or-die situation with the club precariously close to the relegation zone.
The window began with a real sign of intent from the Toon, as Lille right-back Mathieu Debuchy put pen to paper on a 5-and-a-half year deal. The move was delayed by about six months after Newcastle failed to agree a fee in the summer. In the stands against Everton at St James’ Park he was given a raucous reception by the home crowd. He’s a top player and will really shine at right-back, with Danny Simpson on his way out.
Sadly, confirmation of Debuchy’s signing came on the same day that the club gave striker Demba Ba permission to speak to Chelsea. There was a cloud of uncertainty over our top scorer’s future, and the only real positive of his departure is that it gives us practically the whole of January to bring in a replacement. I can only thank Ba for his contributions here and as a free transfer he proved to be a real bargain.
January windows are always frustrating as a Newcastle fan. There is constant speculation about our players being linked away to the ‘bigger’ clubs. The so-called ‘In The Know’ accounts on Twitter return to the scene with what they understand from their bedrooms. In this window alone, Davide Santon and Tim Krul are heading to AC Milan, Hatem Ben Arfa is going to PSG, Cheick Tiote is on Chelsea’s transfer list and, worryingly, Fabricio Coloccini has told the club he wants to leave. The Colo story really is a bolt from the blue and the sort of casual rumour you laugh off, until the manager actually confirms it. Please don’t go Colo.
In terms of incomings, the media knows we need reinforcements desperately. The selling clubs (and there aren’t many in January), are also wise to Newcastle’s needs. The bidding wars and negotiations are as intense as ever. This was evidenced earlier this week when the deal to bring Marseille frontman Loic Remy to Tyneside was all but complete, only for QPR to somehow hijack the deal. Harry Redknapp was snubbed by Remy in France, and the striker even spoke to Yohan Cabaye about Newcastle. He then flew to London and signed for QPR. How? Why? Only one word explains it – money. Newcastle United is trying to be sensible in this crazy window while QPR are throwing money away. Our skipper, Coloccini is the highest paid player at £60,000 p/w. Remy’s new deal is reportedly worth £80,000 p/w. As fans it’s tough to take because we appreciate player passion and loyalty over the size of the pay-packet. At the end, we will have the last laugh when UEFA’s financial fair play regulations come in, but they won’t stop us from being relegated this season. The next two weeks are a big test for Ashley and co. Can they bring in the right players, and do what’s financially right for NUFC? I wish them well.
Howay The Lads!
Umar Farooq, Editor – NUFCfans.co.uk