A medical supposedly happened yesterday, though there doesn’t seem to be any definitive news as I write this on personal terms being thrashed out, or the Silver Supremo summit meeting requested by Anita, where he was looking for reassurances from Pardew about the nature of his role within the squad.
But what is going so right here that didn’t go so right with the Debuchy affair? And what must Debuchy himself, not to mention Yohan Cabaye, and even Danny Simpson think about it?
I must admit that I have written my fair share of criticism about the way Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias have gone about their business in some negotiations, and I still stand by it. However, credit where credit is due, it must be said that £6.7 million plus bonuses seems to be a fair and equitable fee for both sides in this case and they seem to have got their man. However, this isn’t to say that all being well, it shouldn’t be an excellent investment for Newcastle in the long term for a highly talented young player who’s value should appreciate further over time.
Many have thrown around the same tired old logical fallacies in defence of Ashley’s tactics. One of the favourites, of the “either / or” or “false dilemma” variety of logical fallacy seems to be that any deviation from Ashley’s current strategy, including paying £6.3 million for a French international full back, would mean a return to the bad old days when Freddy Shepherd brought in broken old has beens like Alan Shearer (yes, it was Shepherd who brought Shearer to Newcastle for John Hall) for ludicrously inflated fees and wage deals. Of course, this neatly rules out all alternatives which lie somewhere in the middle of these two extremes, rendering the argument as specious guff to those with any kind of capacity for logic. If this deal really does come off, and they manage to come to a deal which is fair and equitable on both sides regarding personal terms and so on, it really would give the lie to such silliness.
Getting to the main point of this piece though as suggested in the title; what must Mathieu Debuchy, along with his friend and ex Lille team mate, Yohan Cabaye, be feeling after the ridiculous saga with our pursuit of the French right back, who was withdrawn from sale by Lille after two derisory bids from Newcastle which fell well short of the £6.3 million required, not to mention alot of mucking around in an attempt to unsettle the player in the hope he would kick up enough of a stink to force through a move to Newcastle. I mention Cabaye as most of you probably know already that he was drawn into the process, making statements to the media such as:
“I told my friend (Mathieu) Debuchy he should come here. He said he would love to come to England and Newcastle. He would like to come here.”
And in a later interview:
“Mathieu has made a very difficult to decision to leave Lille but he has made the decision. Now I hope Newcastle push for Mathieu and I want them to do the deal, I spoke with him two days ago and he told me he wants to come. I hope Derek [Llambias] and Mike Ashley will do the business now.”
It must be somewhat confusing for them. Besides Debuchy, Cabaye himself was begging for his current club to “do the business” and barring some volte-face on both sides, which of course is by no means impossible before the end of the current transfer window, they haven’t, currently leaving Cabaye’s mate with nothing but empty promises. Yet they have for Anita, making the kind of reasonable bid which was never forthcoming in the Debuchy affair. I sincerely hope that it doesn’t have the effect of disillusioning Cabaye, or of further disillusioning Danny Simpson for that matter. Pursuing a forlorn hope that was merely some kind of cheeky punt simply wouldn’t have been worth all that.
Speculating on some of the reasons for the differences between Newcastle being willing to pay a fair price for Anita but not Debuchy, could it be the 23 year Anita’s relative youth? At 27, Debuchy should be at his peak, but on the other hand because of this, he may not offer the same kind of resale potential after several years at the club. However this would not mean that he would not appeal to a bigger club who are pursuing a different policy such as winning trophies through buying players who are at their peak now. If this were the case though, it also begs a question: If Debuchy is too old and too expensive for the club’s current strategy, why didn’t they pursue a younger right back in the first place?
However, this piece isn’t just another Ash bashing exercise from yours truly. As I wrote above, credit where credit is due, even to the slimmer of the year if the Anita deal comes off and if Cabaye isn’t left feeling rather used and disillusioned when all of the transfer window dust has settled.