Monday, December 15, 2008

Don't leave us this way?

So, the first question - will we offer Little Saint Mick a new contract? - has been answered in the affirmative. Now for the second question: will he sign it?

Last week he put the ball squarely in the club's court, and now they've volleyed back into his, so outwardly he's got what he asked for. But of course the precise terms aren't known - the offer may (and probably will, given his injury problems) involve a drop in salary, and it may not run for as long as he'd like. Add to that the scowl that he's worn like an unchanging mask for much of this season (yesterday being a pleasing exception) and the presence of suitors with marginally better immediate prospects (Everton and Spurs) waiting in the wings, and JFK's lack of confidence that he'll still be at the club when the 2008-9 season kicks off looks well founded.

That said, he is at least guaranteed of being a big fish in a relatively small pond on Tyneside, and if we can continue to give him the good service of late and he scores the goals to keep us comfortably in the Premier League he may be convinced that it would be worth signing on the dotted line.

Either way, JFK's adamant he won't be sold in January - and rightly so, as it'd be suicidal to sacrifice the man who did more than anyone else to keep us up last season for the sake of a couple of million quid when four times that wouldn't be enough to find a replacement of a similar calibre. If he decides not to sign the contract and leaves in the summer, then so be it - but we have to hold on to him until then.

In other recent news you may have missed if you rely upon Black & White & Read All Over as your source of Toon news (ha!), one of Mido's abusers got nothing more than the equivalent of a sharp slap on the wrist, much to the disappointment of both the Smogs and the FA; the Mirror claim Academy Director Richard Money has now been formally offered the manager's position at Swindon; Lee Clark left Norwich with the praises of Glenn Roeder and the Canaries' players ringing in his ears to be confirmed as the new manager of Huddersfield, naming Derek Fazackerley as his assistant and watching his charges record 1-0 win at Southend; and if the odds are to be believed, Messrs Souness and Allardyce will soon be back in work, skilfully guiding Blackburn and the Mackems respectively to relegation and Championship mediocrity. Joy!


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