Sunday, May 23, 2010

Getting our cheapskates on

According to today's News Of The Screws, the first two new arrivals at St James' Park may be Man Utd midfielder Tom Cleverley, on a season-long loan, and former Hull full-back Bernard Mendy, on a free transfer. Safe to say that neither prospect fills me with excitement or confidence. Cleverley was a shining light in a dismal campaign for Watford but will find the Premier League a whole different proposition, while Mendy hardly did much to halt the Tigers' slide back into the Championship.

The rag is also reporting that our interest in Man City's wantaway defender Nedum Onouha is likely to be trumped by the Mackems. Meanwhile, James Milner's potential move away from Villa - perhaps to Liverpool - will hold less interest for us now that it's been confirmed by his agent that we short-sightedly agreed to remove a sell-on clause in order to get the full asking price.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not fan of Ashley or Wise (who was in charge of the negotiations). But the removal of the sell on clause netted and extra £4 million (The price rising from the reported £8 million to £12 million). Bearing in mind that a 10% sell on clause (think about it, would anyone stick a bigger clause in?) would be the best we could have expected Milner would have to go £40 million for us to see that anything close to that extra £4 million. Hardly short sighted.

6:00 pm  
Blogger Ben said...

Fair comment if it was indeed worth an extra £4m - but I'm sceptical about that, as it makes little sense from Villa's perspective by the same logic: why would they agree to pay an extra £4m when the chances of them losing out on that amount if there was a sell-on clause were minimal? Surely they'd have tried to haggle. Call me cynical, but I'm more inclined to doubt the wisdom of our own board in this...

8:36 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

they would pay the extra 4 miil to get their man,

7:38 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Appreciate that Cleverley might not be an immediately exciting signing, but he stood out a mile in our side last season. He will look even better playing alongside better players. You could do an awful lot worse - I wouldn't even bank on Ferguson letting him go.

11:31 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would agree with the above comment on Cleverley. He is a special player that could go along way if he stays injury free. He was a more complete player than Adam Johnson who we (Watford) also had on loan and impressed in the Championship. If it does come off I wish him and the Magpies all the best.

2:53 pm  
Blogger Rob Langham said...


I don't know whether to laugh or cry at the Cleverly remark.

Is the chasm now so big that a highly-rated United youth team player who's just won all the plaudits during a year-long loan in the second tier can't be considered for a club looking to survive in their first Prem season after promotion?

Since there'll be no captial outlay, you could do so much worse.

10:04 pm  
Blogger Ben said...

Where would he play, though? Is he good enough to displace any of our current midfielders? I'm doubtful. Ideally we need to be bringing in players who are going to improve the first team immediately, rather than simply bolster the squad (which is more what we did in January). Don't get me wrong, I'm not understating Cleverley's impact this season just gone, but there's no guarantees as to how he'd perform in the top flight.

11:56 pm  
Blogger Lanterne Rouge said...

I agree with both of you in that Cleverley is unproven at this level but may turn out to be outstanding. I do think Newcastle fans have to shed the expectation of putting themselves back in the top 10 immediately. A good solid position in lower mid table would be a nice aim for starters and the bulk of the current side spruced up by the odd signing of this ilk constitutes good policy.

8:49 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think a place in the bottom 3 with Blackpool will be a cert you may be lucky and have a week or 2 4th from bottom but its Back to the championship 4 you I am a fraid

10:25 am  
Blogger Ben said...

Thanks for that, Anonymous. A place on the 'Match Of The Day' sofa awaits.

Lanterne: No expectations of an immediate return to the top ten around these parts! I've said it before and am sure will say it again many times - given our recent turbulence and the difficulties experienced by other promoted clubs, our target for this first season is 17th and we should be happy with that.

That doesn't detract, though, from the fact that I'm not convinced Cleverley is the man to help us to safety, even if the glowing endorsements from most in this comments box suggest otherwise. If we are going to invest faith in youth, then we also need experience and proven top-flight quality. We'll see how it pans out...

12:48 pm  

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