I think the signing of a new player, albeit only on a four and a half month loan, marks a bit of a turning point in the club sale saga. I suspect what it means is that Ashley is more or less resigned to failure (again) in his attempts to sell the club and is preparing to remain as owner until at least January.
I’m guessing we’ll see a new manager appointed shortly, probably Joe Kinnear if he’s fit enough. I just can’t see too many other managers being interested in working under Ashley with an extremely tight budget and with a short-term outlook on things. Red Adair would be a good choice.
As to the players that have gone, the list currently numbers nine – Owen, Viduka, Cacapa, Lovenkrands, Edgar, Nacho, Martins, Bassong, Beye – and if Duff and Steven Taylor leave too that’ll be eleven players who’ve gone and one who’s been brought in.
Personally, I’d rather we’d kept Steven Taylor, Duff, Bassong and Beye and got rid of Coloccini, Barton, Nolan and Ryan Taylor, although some or all from that latter group may yet depart. I know Barton’s not a bad player and should shine in the Championship but, sorry, I just think he’ll screw up again – either on or off the pitch – and as far as I’m concerned he’s too much of a risk. As to Coloccini, well, he simply hasn’t done it for us and I would love to see us get a decent fee for him and send him on his way (by invisible bicycle maybe).
The Mirror thinks that Tuesday’s and important day. They suggest that ‘sources’ from both the Moat camp and the Ashley camp have confirmed that Moat has five days from yesterday to earn his knots badge and tie up a deal for the club. The Times says the same thing in joined up writing.
The Mirror is also reporting that Joey Barton has been winding up his team mates. Apparently he’s been telling Steve Harper he’s crap and generally causing trouble by asking players “which one of you is getting dropped so I can play this weekend?” I have no idea if this is truth or rumour.
Alan Smith wants to give us ‘value for money’. According to The Chronicle he said:
“We, as a team, have got to draw fans in.
“They pay their hard-earned money to come and watch us, and if we’re going to get a full stadium at Newcastle, we need to be pushing for honours. It’s as simple as that.”
“The thing for them is that they’re in the same boat as us – they don’t know one day to the next who’s going to be here, and who’s going to be gone.
“All we can do as players is control what we can do when we cross the line.
“If we can make them proud, then that’s all we can do.
“We can take control of that – everything else is out of our control.
“We’ve got a good, honest set of lads in there, and we can let our football do the talking, and give 110 per cent every time we go out.”
If you want something else to read, you could try Louise Taylor’s latest take on things in The Guardian.
Finally, The Shields Gazette is reporting that Mark Viduka is now ‘finished with the Premier League’ and about to start a new life eating pies or somesuch.