Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Show me the Money

To the delight of headline writers everywhere, Richard Money has been named as our new academy director.

Until resigning last year, Money was manager of Walsall, whom he took to the League Two title and on into the upper reaches of League One. His arrival on Tyneside may have been fated, though - one of his previous jobs was in charge of Australian side Newcastle United Jets. Sounds like the sort of thing we'd fear being renamed if taken over by Americans...

Money's been quoted as saying: "It's too big a job to turn down. It's a wonderful opportunity for me." An opportunity indeed, but also a significant responsibility and challenge - for too long now our academy set-up has failed in its primary objective, supplying the first team with a steady stream of talented young homegrown (or at least home-developed) players. That needs to change.

Meanwhile, today's papers once again find us linked with Aaron Lennon and Michael Dawson of Spurs. While both would be reasonable signings, a lightning-fast winger who can't cross and a central defender who's pretty much the spitting image of what we already have in the form of Steven Taylor (undoubtedly promising and enthusiastic but too often rash and lacking in judgement) might not be quite what we need. And I'm sure I'm not the only one who would feel depressed about us cowering under the table of arguably our closest rivals in the hope of picking up some of their scraps to feed on...


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