Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Deadline Day Doom for Toon!

January 31st 2011 was a day to forget for Newcastle fans. After weeks of assurances from manager Alan Pardew that Andy Carroll would be sold, the shock news was confirmed that a £35m bid from Liverpool had been accepted. For a club that thrives on their figurehead strikers, this was a bitter blow for the club, and one that puts their Premier League status in more jeopardy than the table would suggest.

Let's get one thing straight. £35m is an extortionate amount of money for a player that has not yet proven he can consistently score over the course of an entire Premier League season. Had he remained fit in the last few weeks, Carroll would surely have added to his 11 goals so far this season, but as things stand, Liverpool have paid far too much. Despite this, it will not cheer Newcastle fans up one jot. If they had an owner who cared about the club, they would be hailing it as a great opportunity to strengthen in the summer. However, Mike Ashley does not have a good reputation when it comes to reinvesting transfer funds.

Let's cast our mind back to August 2008. James Milner was sold for £12m. Who do Newcastle currently have filling the gap he left on the right wing, two and a half years later? That's right - Joey Barton, a central midfielder. The club's only other right-winger, Wayne Routledge, has just been loaned back to QPR. Shoddy planning or what? That Milner deal was also done on deadline day, meaning no replacement could be found. The following January the club was put up for sale, giving an easy excuse not to invest.

With Carroll's £35m for now being held back, with the January transfer window closed, there will be huge pressure on Ashley to spend nearly all of it. I don't think anyone expects one single big-name striker to fill the void, and as a Newcastle fan, I would not want that either. A left-back is also sorely needed. Competition on either wing is a must, and at least 2 strikers must be bought. If all these things are done, then the Andy Carroll deal can be considered a success. However, that is a big if. The club must meanwhile attempt to survive without their main source of goals. The season so far can be seen as a solid effort, and boy will they need the points, as it is turning into something of an emergency landing...

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