Writer: Aaron Gales
Date:Sunday June 8 2008
It is now nearly a month after the season concluded at Goodison Park and there has yet to be any new arrivals through the doors of St James Park. Now normally this wouldn`t worry me. However this season it is different. There hasn`t been the remotest sniff of transfer business happening at the club apart from players being sold or going to jail. It seems that Newcastle United is no longer an attractive place to play your football.
It is not too long ago either that we were able to compete with all the top teams when it came to fighting for the top players. We were always deemed an attractive proposition for players and this has seen the like of Shearer, Ginola and Owen amongst others grace the hallowed turf.
Now though it appears that are no longer capable of fighting with the top teams and are now firmly placed in the second tier of English football along with teams like Tottenham, Aston Villa, Portsmouth, Everton and Manchester City. However all those clubs can offer players one thing that we can`t: European football. This will be a hugely significant factor when it comes to attracting decent players and may well hamper our chances of getting anybody in over the summer transfer window. Since Keegan arrived back in January we have already lost out on two players to Spurs alone in Jonathan Woodgate and Luka Modric, after reportedly offering Modric significantly more money than he will be earning at Tottenham.
So who would be realistic targets for our struggling team. I personally would like to see us go all out in attempt to prise Richard Dunne away from Manchester City, though whether or not he will want to leave after the appointment of Mark Hughes is another matter. I would also like to see a creative midfielder brought into the club, maybe somebody like Jimmy Bullard being an option. Another striker is also imperative, particularly with the ongoing speculation over the futures of Obafemi Martins and Michael Owen.
What if we don`t get any players in? Just how good is the squad we have right now. Well in my opinion we are too good to go down but not good enough to challenge for the European places. With Keegan`s man management skills and hopefully the return of Shay Given we could even scrape into the top ten. My worry is, that without any significant investment, we will be looking at another season of struggle and mid-table mediocrity.
Date:Sunday June 8 2008
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