Friday, May 16, 2014

View From The Home End: there may be trouble ahead...

As Ben has already summarised, the last season was very much one which promised so much, but which was pretty much over as soon as Cardiff triumphed in the FA Cup.

So what needs to be done to see us improve on tenth place in the league and two underwhelming cup runs?

Well, as the minutes to the latest Fans Forum show, the board are not about to change the manager (and given that he finished the season tenth and in profit, it's hardly surprising that Jabba would want to stick with the Silver Fox).

However, what we must do over the coming few months is strengthen the squad. Having failed to fill the hole vacated by Dreamboat in January, we need to add some creativity into our central midfield. Similarly, unless bridges can be built quickly it looks unlikely that HBA will still be around next season. With Big Lad and Loic Remy also seemingly having played their last games for the club, our attacking options next year appear to be Papiss Cisse (currently injured), Goofy and Adam Armstrong. I can't see any sense or prospect of us turning Luuk de Jong's loan into a permanent move, and other than Little Big Lad, I'm struggling to think of anyone else who carries anything approaching an attacking threat in the squad.

With that in mind, one would hope that we've had the sense to plan for this moment and are lining up at least two new strikers and additional attacking flair in midfield and down the wing. Having failed to land Bafetimbi Gomis last season, we'll inevitably be linked with the player again this summer. Similarly, our pursuit of Remy Cabella in January will most likely be repeated in the press.

At the back, there are suggestions that Saylor might also be on his way out, meaning that, unless Remi Streete steps up, we'll need to bolster our defence. Equally, with Dreamboat having gone, a good World Cup might see Debuchy following his bezzie out the door, leaving us short of a right back.

If Tim Krul doesn't make the final cut for the Dutch World Cup squad, I'd expect he'll be on the phone to his agent trying to find a club with ambitions of Champions League football, meaning we'll be in need of a new 'keeper too.

The problem we've got is that, with no sign of any ambition from the club hierarchy, any player with ambitions to progress (Dreamboat being the most obvious example, but you might just as simply point at Remy as a player who has realised he could be playing at a higher level) is inevitably only going to see us (and use us) as a stepping stone to higher things.

Which means we're probably in for a fairly depressing few months in which our few bright sparks depart, having been tempted to join teams who, you know, want to win stuff, to be replaced by players who see us as a stepping stone to clubs with ambition. Arguably that was what Dreamboat did, and at least we had the pleasure of watching him for three years, but it still sticks in the throat that we now see ourselves as nothing more than a glorified upcycling business for footballers, buying cheap and selling for a profit; which all sounds horribly familiar. The zero hours contracts must presumably be just around the corner...

Until there is a marked change in hierarchy and club policy, I'm afraid that is all the future holds. It's not pretty, and it's not a pleasant thing to put down in words. 

Of course, this being Newcastle something crazy is probably just round the corner.

I hope so, because otherwise the future is pretty bloody depressing.

Ho'way the lads!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nufc are now no more all hope and pride gone keep feeding jabba your ££££ and watch it continue fools

1:19 am  

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