As many of us gear up for the return of European Football at St. James’ Park, I still can’t help but keep one hopeful eye on the madness of the transfer market updates. Resembling something out of wall street the last 48 hours of the countdown stretch from the unlikely (Real Madrid’s Esteban Granero impending move to Queens Park Rangers) to the downright absurd (Wayne Rooney’s rumored bust up with Ferguson and linking him with a £40m move away to Barcelona, Real even Newcastle United, as reported by Emirates earlier this week!).

As for Newcastle’s interest, it was a shame that we’ve have missed out on 3 of our top 4 transfer targets, in Debuchy, Douglas and Luuk de Jong. Much has been said about the transfers and it’s not like Newcastle haven’t put bids in, but I believe we’ve stuck to our guns in terms of our valuations and ultimately that has cost us.

Luuk De Jong himself baulked at what FC Twente valued him at and even offered to sacrifice some of his bonus/signing on fee in order to force a move, in the end he went to Borrusia Monchengladbach and scored an own goal in their first champions league game of the season. Not bitter at all.

Douglas Franco Teixeira, described by Steve McLaren as the best defender in Holland, has been continually linked with us for the past 8 months. Marred by complications regarding his desire to be eligible for the Holland national team, I honestly though a deal would be done subject to him acquiring Dutch Nationality. We couldn’t agree a fee despite his desire to play for us, to the point he snubbed a move to the capital to play under Dutch legend Martin Jol at Fulham.

Mathieu Debuchy again was another I thought we would have wrapped up by now. A good friend of Newcastle fan favourite Yohan Cabaye and a quality international Debuchy would have been a great acquisition. Not only would it finally put the Danny Simpson situation to bed, his ability to defend and attack would have put the contract rebel firmly in his place.

The Andy Carroll saga however is another story… On one hand we have Brendan Rogers wanting to save face, not wanting Liverpool be a laughing stock coupled with his clear intention not to include Andy in his plans and on the other you have Newcastle United pushing for a top 4/6 finish with 2 strikers less than this time last season coupled with Mike Ashley’s stubbornness when it comes to paying over the odds for a player. Where does this leave big AC? It’s clear that he would welcome a return to his hometown club. In years to come kids could read the parable of the Prodigal Son in HD on their Ipads with a huge picture of Andy Carroll scoring his first goal since his return. Even now with less than 36 hours to go this vision seems both clear and also a million miles away.

Should we reach 12am Saturday morning with our first team all clear and present with a few new additions of Curtis Good, Gael Bigiramana, Romian Amalfilatno and double Eredivisie winner Vurnon Anita should we all be happy and ready to move on?

Looking at the holes of last year a CB is clearly what was needed, however the emergence of James Perch may just have stopped Pardew and Co from panic buying this late in the day. One thing we do know is that Graham Carr wouldn’t look at a player on the other side of the world if he didn’t believe he was worth something and Curtis Good could be a very good prospect in a few years. From what I have seen of young Gael Bigiramana I do see potentially a great find. The player plays with a clear head, likes to tackle but not in the conventional Scott Parker esq slide tackling (spending more time on his arse than on his feet) and arguably more importantly has the correct attitude to learn from Tiote and Cabaye (and now Anita). This could make him a top premier league player in the not so distant future. Romain Amalfitano came with a decent reputation from Ligue 2 in France and was tipped to move on to bigger and better things so it will interesting to watch this boy blossom in the extra Carling Cup and European games we’re hoping to have.

Its maybe safe to assume we’ve replaced first teamer Danny Guthrie directly with forgotten man Dan Gosling and Alan Smith Bigi and Abied – but the loss of Leon Best goals which earned us at least 7 points last season (scoring winners against Fulham and QPR and earning us a point against Villa away) have yet to be replaced. Adam Campbell made a great debut against Atromitos and should have actually scored should his touch have been better, but I can’t see this being his breakout season.

I just can’t help but feel robbed – having just missed out on a Champions League spot – this could have been transfer window we strengthened in our own way to push the top 4 all the way. I’m not looking for a QPR type smash and grab sale in Aldi – who seem to be buying anyone that has previously played the premier league, but one or two more ‘Anita’ type signings would have made the madness all that bit sweeter. Who knows, we may yet land a big money signing that would strengthen our already impressive squad.

Ultimately Ashley, Llambias, Carr and Padew have shown the football a different way of doing things and maybe its time football clubs added some method to all this transfer madness…

By Amit Shabilla

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  1. Duncan

    and we honestly expected Ashley so spend money to strengthen the team despite it being a total necessity ?a short sighted non move which will cost a lot more money and place in the elite team list.


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