Saturday, January 26, 2013

Encore un deux fois!

The door staff at St James' must be getting sick of saying "Bienvenue" - but at least the fact that the Strawberry has been renamed La Fraise will help with familiarisation. The last two days have seen us add a further two Frenchmen to our growing collection. First to arrive was Nancy left-back Massadio Haidara on Thursday, with Toulouse midfielder Moussa Sissoko putting pen to paper yesterday.

Both players fit our usual recruitment model - young and signed up on long-term contracts - though it's probably only full international Sissoko who can expect to step straight into the first team (especially with Mr T away at the African Cup of Nations). With Dreamboat back to fitness (hopefully his knock against Reading was only minor) and some genuine driving force through central midfield courtesy of Sissoko, we should hopefully have enough to see off a Villa side tired and demoralised by a second cup defeat of the week.

A grand total of five Gallic players signed in January may not necessarily have quenched our Francophilic lust, either. It's been claimed that we've bid for young Bastia midfielder Florian Thauvin, but, as with MYM, may need to trump interest from Arsenal to be successful.

I wonder whether the fact we won the race for MYM and appear to be in pole position for Thauvin has anything to do with Arsene Wenger's extraordinary public attack on our January transfer dealings? It's "unfair" that we've been able to strengthen our squad substantially, he whined, when certain teams (Man Utd, for instance) have already played and beaten the weak Newcastle Utd Mark I twice but when others (Arsenal, for instance) will now have to face Newcastle Utd Mark II. Aw, diddums. We really feel for you and your free-scoring multi-million-pound squad. Perhaps the reason Wenger is so often unable to see what's right beneath his nose is because he's got it firmly lodged in other people's business...

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not an attack on Newcastle, it's an attack on the January transfer window.

Newcastle purchasing half a team was just used as an example of why he doesn't like the current rules.

He believes that the squad you start the season with, should be the squad throughout the season.

He isn't the first manager to propose that, and this isn't the first time he's voiced his dislike of the ability to make mid-term transfers either.

11:51 am  
Blogger Ben said...

Our current position is such that we've had little option but to take advantage of the opportunity and spend money (even knowing that it may not be enough). "Wenger has not signed any players this month and said he would only do so if the right one became available." Who's to say that our signings haven't been a case of "the right players becoming available"?

You just know that if the January transfer window was scrapped, Wenger would be the first one bemoaning its demise when his side are once again struggling with long-term injuries and African Cup of Nations absentees...

8:13 pm  

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