Wednesday, January 14, 2009

All 'Krands on deck

So, we're in a dogfight - who better to help us out than a Great Dane? Following his release by Bundesliga outfit Schalke and a subsequent trial on Tyneside, Peter Lovenkrands is set to be signed up - a mere eight years after Rangers pipped us to his services.

A short-term deal seems likely, and there's a nagging feeling that he can't be the player he once was (or at least promised to be) given that he's found himself as a free agent touting around for new employers - but the fact remains that, with players continuing to drop like flies, we're desperate for numbers.

Nicky Butt might be back from suspension for tonight's FA Cup Third Round replay against Hull, but Jose Enrique, Steven Taylor, Andy Carroll and now Geremi have all reported in with fresh injuries since Saturday's draw with the Hammers. Should Charles N'Zogbia take time out of his busy schedule of using the French media to engineer a move away from St James's Park to confirm he too is crocked, then we really will be in trouble.

The situation is so dire that not only is JFK set to hand Xisco a start - hardly a vote of confidence for a player who cost us the best part of £6m, given that he's sixth in the queue to partner Little Saint Mick, behind Messrs Martins, Viduka, Ameobi, Carroll and Duff - but he held what the press will be duty-bound to label "crisis talks" with Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias last night: "The meeting was called very hastily after I explained the difficult position we’re in. I said that we need to act and act quickly. I will make that argument. I have brought it forward because of the urgency of the situation."

In addition to Lovenkrands, JFK has also spoken about the other irons in the fire: "We've agreed a loan fee for two players - two expensive loan fees, may I say - again until the end of the season because of the crisis that we've got at the moment, injury wise. I'll possibly know about those in the next 48 hours and should that be A-OK then we might be in a better position for the Blackburn game. There are two midfield players, one Argentine, one Italian. The loan fees for them are £350,000 and £400,000 until the end of the season because we weren’t in a position to pay what their clubs wanted to buy them". So let's get this straight - we're most depleted in defence and attack, and yet are in negotiations to sign two midfielders and a winger? Priceless.

Still, I suppose his problems could be worse. He could be Glenn Roeder, for example, sacked today as manager of Norwich...


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