Xtratime Community banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,926 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
During the summer we made no purchases save for bringing in Lee Bowyer on a free. Despite much worry and consternation from the Toon Army we were reminded that our transfer-spree was last season when we brought in Woodgate, Viana and Ambrose. This was the season we were supposedly finally in a position to seriously challenge on all fronts at home and abroad for the first time since the days of Keegan.

We promptly went out to Partizan Belgrade on penalties at home in one of the costliest f***-ups in the club's history and burnt a minimum of £15m in Champions League revenue in the process. Then Woodgate, Bellamy and Bowyer all got crocked and all of a sudden our squad had about as much depth as a living room fishtank.

Right then, we all thought, Bobby and Shep will have to spend in January won't they?!...

...Of bloody course not.

Despite being linked with everyone from Kluivert to Bridges to Smith to Butt to Carr, we're still not signing anyone. And along the way we've sold or released Acuna, Quinn, Dabizas and Cort, to further deplete our first team squad, and Bobby seems intent on forcing Nobby and Lua Lua out of the club, while Hugo Viana looks set to leave in the not-to-distant future as well.

So all this begs the question - what the f*** is going on at SJP?

Regardless of where the blame for our current situation lies the current situation is grave to say the least. Apparently we've got no cash, we've certainly got no depth and our main man is a 33 year-old centre forward in his penultimate season. In the league we're currently 4 points behind Charlton and goal difference behind Liverpool in our battle for fourth place and the safety of the Champions League - and there are no guarantees if we do make it as Partizan and the penalty-spot so cruelly proved.

So were does the blame for this appalling situation lie?

*Freddie Shepherd for not further strengthening our squad when we still could?

*Sir Bobby Robson for selling/releasing/freezing out squad members we can ill-afford to lose, especially with 5 months of the season still to go and with 4th place and the UEFA Cup up for grabs?

*The players themselves for a hitherto inconsistant, underperforming and underachieving season?

Regardless of what your answer to this question is, a quick look at our rivals tells a story. As Man United transfer-list an England international we'd kill to have on Tyneside and Chelsea have a reserve team full of internationals, we look well out of our depth in all regards - and our current financial situation and first team squad suggests we haven't a hope in hell of learning how to swim, let alone beat them to the wall in the years to come.

If we're not fourth come June we could be in for at least a few years of hurt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,070 Posts
I agree, I find it very dissappointing that we haven't signed anyone when it is obvious to almost every toon fan that the team needs strengthening in several positions.

I was delighted last season with the third place finish and thought that it was the perfect time to strengthen the squad so it was more capabale of challenging for the Premiership, although Bobby didn't seem to think additions were needed when he claimed our squad was already good enough. We suffered severely becasue of this with the CL exit to Partizan at the qualifying round, that honestly had to be one of the worst moments I can remember as a Newcastle fan, all of the hard work last season was undone. To add to this our league form was woeful with losses to Man Utd and Birmingham at home. I know our start to the season before was bad but it was no way near as bad as the start this season. However we recovered and returned to form for a brief spell, but after this our form again dropped as did our league position.

We are now currently sitting 6th, far lower than last season, with far less points. Due to our poor league position and it looking increasingly unlikely that we'll get 4th place I thought we were bound to sign a few players in the winter transfer market. However this is not the case again. I was shocked last week to hear Robson say we aren't interested in Nicky Butt because we have Hugo Viana. We desperately need a nautural DM with 34 year old Gary Speed the only player willing to sit and Viana is not a DM to fill his roll.

The defeat to Liverpool in the FA Cup was also a massive blow. I honestly thought we had a decent chance of winning it this season for the first time in ages. The season wouldn't look so bad with a trophy to our name for the first time in ages, but we bowed out with a wimper to end hopes of silverware this season. I know we are still in the UEFA Cup, but with the likes of Liverpool, Barcelona, AS Roma, Inter Milan, Parma, PSV, Celtic and Auxerre all involved I don't think we stand a chance.

What I find even more strange is that Freddy Shepherd has come out on more than one occassion this season and said "We're loaded" but yet no money has been spent at all even though several players have left the club.

Maybe its our previous signings that have cost us, below are just a few of the players that have cost a fair bit and done nothing:

Carl Cort: 7m - Bought for 7m and recently joined Wolves for 2m, he only made 28 appearances with 6 goals in his four years here.

Titus Bramble: 5m - This guy just cannot defend, he wasn't particularly good at Ipswich and makes shocking mistakes that always cost us goals, 5m was far too much.

Hugo Viana: 8.5m - Came with a huge reputation as an immensely talented youngster, but hasn't been given much of a chance, he now mainly plays for our reserves, why did Bobby pay 8.5m for him he he had no intention of playing him?

Bassedas: 4.1m - Again didn't do anything at the club and left for free.

Gavilan: 2m - Same as above.

That comes to a total of 26.6m, all wasted.

The only thing left to do now this season is to play for 4th, we have no chance of winning anything and no chance of coming in the top three like last season. I think we have taken a huge step back from last season by not signing players. I may sound really pessemistic and will probably cheer up a bit if our results get better, but this is how I currently feel.

Overall I think its a mix of people that have caused the situation we are currently in. Shepherd for not spending as much as he could, as he claims the club is rich. Robson for refusing to drop certain players when they are playing badly such as Jenas and Dyer and freezing out certain players when they could boost the side such as Viana and Solano (although he is un the current starting line-up he is always the first player to be subbed off and when Bowyer returns he is likely to be dropped again). The players for under performing, Jenas, Dyer, Bramble, Hughes and Speed have all been very inconsistant this season.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,926 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Great read there Prodigy, agree with everything you've said.

With no incoming transfer activity whatsoever, we've just got to hope Chopra and Steven Taylor (England U20 centrehalf) keep improving I guess...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,070 Posts
Yeah, we seem to have a few good young players. Maybe if we continue getting poor results Bobby should give some of them a chance. Ambrose has impressed me this season in the couple of sub appearances he's made, he's already scored two goals and looks like a very good young prospect, surely if certain players in the team perfom poorly, like they are currently doing, then he should be given a chance. The same goes for Chopra, I thought he looked very bright against Blackburn on his first premiership appearance. Taylor also looks like he's going to be a very good CB, he constantly got praise from Adams when he was on loan at Wycombe.

But surely after being inactive throughout two transfer window's we have to do something in the summer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,903 Posts
I can't understand for the life of me why Robson didn't let us get Viana back for the rest of the season. "Because of injuries," hmn... oh wow, Viana played in one A squad game... oh that's right it was the game Newcastle didn't even give a shit about. :rolleyes:

Seriously, if Viana gets out of Newcastle this summer, he WILL become a great player, and Robson will look back and be pissed at himself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,070 Posts
F1Soccer-Por. said:
I can't understand for the life of me why Robson didn't let us get Viana back for the rest of the season. "Because of injuries," hmn... oh wow, Viana played in one A squad game... oh that's right it was the game Newcastle didn't even give a shit about. :rolleyes:

Seriously, if Viana gets out of Newcastle this summer, he WILL become a great player, and Robson will look back and be pissed at himself.
I know, I can't understand it either. He refused to let Viana go out on loan becasue of midfield injuries and then goes and sells Solano for a joke of a fee.

Surely with certain players in our midfield performing poorly he should be given a chance to prove his fee.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,845 Posts
I can understand your frustrations, but I think a lot has to with you failure to qualify for the CL proper. When Robson and Shepherd sat down in the summer, they probably would have banked on getting the £15-20million revenue generated from playing in the CL, so when it didn't materialise, and when Newcaslte slumped to just above the relegation zone early in the season, Robson and Shep probably decided this year would be a consolidation year - it's easy to forget how far NUFC have come in the past 3-4 years.

It looks very much as though Sir Bobby is clearing out the deadwood from his squad for a summer spending spree. I think you'll get Carr probably; Beattie possibly, and maybe even a central defender too.

I'm surprised you didn't buy anyone this January though. The league table looking the way it does, it seems if either Newcastle of Liverpool can put together any kind of a decent run they'll be playing Champions League football next year. However, it seems neither were prepared to gamble and bring in a big name, in fact it seems both clubs have actually let more players go than they've brought in - but looking at abject misery in which Leeds United now exsist, who can blame them? Shepherd is obviously concerned about falling into a similar trap, which is why you've not signed anyone.

That said, I think Solano went way too cheap. In fact I don't even know why he was sold. The way I understand things is Nobby and Bobby fell out at the start of the season about Solano's work rate (?), or lack of. It seemed as though everything was patched up with Nobby back in the first team and he was tackling. So why does he got sold anyway? The only thing I can think of is that Robson thinks his best years are behind him - but surely he should be more concered about Speed and Shearer coming to the end of their careers. For my mind Newcastle have lost thier best crosser - and i'm sure that'll effect Shearer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,926 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
mutu1875 said:
I can understand your frustrations, but I think a lot has to with you failure to qualify for the CL proper. When Robson and Shepherd sat down in the summer, they probably would have banked on getting the £15-20million revenue generated from playing in the CL, so when it didn't materialise, and when Newcaslte slumped to just above the relegation zone early in the season, Robson and Shep probably decided this year would be a consolidation year - it's easy to forget how far NUFC have come in the past 3-4 years.
Yes we have come back up in the past few years after consecutive seasons of mediocrity post-Keegan. But this is where we're supposed to be. Challenging regularly for the top 4 and in the running to win things.

A quick recap... we haven't won the league since 1927. We haven't won the Cup since 1955 and we haven't won a European pot since 1969. It's not good enough to continue underachieving and screwing up like this - and the fact that clubs like Bolton and Boro will be playing off at Cardiff pisses us off even further.

Anyway, that loss to Partizan was a disgrace and probably could've had a greater chance of being avoided had we brought in more reinforcements than just Lee Bowyer (on a free at that) in the summer.

Let's not forget that Bobby Robson boasted our squad was finally good enough to seriously challenge on all fronts. That clearly wasn't/isn't the case and considering Liverpool, Man U and Chelsea all vastly strengthened their squads we should have done more than sit on our hands for two straight transfer-windows and we're paying for it now.

The management only has itself to blame.

mutu1875 said:
It looks very much as though Sir Bobby is clearing out the deadwood from his squad for a summer spending spree. I think you'll get Carr probably; Beattie possibly, and maybe even a central defender too.

I'm surprised you didn't buy anyone this January though. The league table looking the way it does, it seems if either Newcastle of Liverpool can put together any kind of a decent run they'll be playing Champions League football next year. However, it seems neither were prepared to gamble and bring in a big name, in fact it seems both clubs have actually let more players go than they've brought in - but looking at abject misery in which Leeds United now exsist, who can blame them? Shepherd is obviously concerned about falling into a similar trap, which is why you've not signed anyone.
Leeds were their own worst enemy staking the entire club's future on all those vast loans that would only be paid back if and when they made the Champions League for 10 straight seasons or whatever it was.

We're completely different.

We've got a much bigger stadium that we regularly fill and we haven't made that many big signings over the past few seasons... according to the club's Annual Financial Report I received last year we were well and truly in the black and have money to spend. Now according to the management we don't - where the hell did it go?

So again, Bobby and Shep were either too cautious or were too content to rest on their laurels and over-rated the strength of the squad at the same time.

mutu1875 said:
That said, I think Solano went way too cheap. In fact I don't even know why he was sold. The way I understand things is Nobby and Bobby fell out at the start of the season about Solano's work rate (?), or lack of. It seemed as though everything was patched up with Nobby back in the first team and he was tackling. So why does he got sold anyway? The only thing I can think of is that Robson thinks his best years are behind him - but surely he should be more concered about Speed and Shearer coming to the end of their careers. For my mind Newcastle have lost thier best crosser - and i'm sure that'll effect Shearer.
Nobby and SBR had a falling out a couple of years ago and the old man couldn't get over it. End result, we lost our most consistant midfielder for a pittance to Aston Villa. Joy.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top