Transfer Groundhog Day For NUFC

Usual Tumbleweeds Gather At NE1

I dont think there is really much need to drag this out in terms of reviewing our performance in the transfer window - just look back at pretty much any window when we have been a Premier League club under the ownership of Mike Ashley and what has happened is pretty much the same as always.

Quite simply it has been an utter disaster. In previous years people may point to us not losing any major players as being some kind of small positive but this time around I think that is more worryingly down to the fact that we dont really have anyone that other teams would want anyway!

A lot of people seem to love to compare how much money we have spent in comparison to other teams - to me that is totally irrelevant, a clubs window should always simply be gauged on whether they have brought in the players they needed and have addressed the areas that needed addressing.

To put it simply we have pretty much done neither - the club goes into its umpteenth season with zero natural cover at left back and in fairness that was going on even before Mike Ashley arrived.

On top of that we have a very lightweight looking forward line and a midfield that contains absolutely zero flair or creativity.

All it would have taken was probably 3 decent signings in those areas and I think everyone would have been fairly happy.

Contrary to what Mike thinks nobody is expecting us to be competing with the likes of Manchester City but there are plenty of players around that are available at reasonable prices if you are willing to do the work to find them and broker a deal for them. Even a couple of loan deals would have been a crumb of comfort!

To compound things we got rid of a couple of players in Lazaar yesterday and De Jong earlier in the week who in the absence of nobody coming in we would probably have been better keeping hold of!

So all this talk of needing to sell before we can buy was also just pure lies.

I dont think the manager is totally innocent in all of this either or I am sure there will be the usual hoards of people with their heads in the sand about that.

Lets not forget a decent proportion of deadwood that was on the books were players that he brought in only 12 months ago that he has already deemed useless - the likes of Lazaar, Hanley, Sels, Gamez etc all have been disasterous purchases really and then on top of that you have the manager seemingly happy to alienate players like Colback, Haidara, Gayle, Mitrovic etc by openly trying to flog them and making some of them train with the youth teams etc when there was always a massive chance they would end up staying and in most cases probably need to be called upon!

I dont think anyone is exempt from blame here in this window but obviously the main fingers have to be pointed at Ashley and Charnley - quite which one actually calls the shots is up for debate but the fact that we have once again gambled with out place in the Premier League to try save a few quid is absolutely unforgiveable especially after all the quotes about giving Rafa money to spend etc.

There is talk now about whether he will stay or not - unlike many I have to say I expect him to stay. When he signed his contract he must have surely half expected this and at the end of the day no matter how disappointing this summer may have been he has a duty to get on with it and work with what he has.

People are always happy to bang on about what a great manager he is and how he has won the Champions League etc so now is the time to show what a great manager he really is.

Dont get me wrong I am not blaming Rafa here but he has to be slightly culpable here - all this talk about how he was gonna call the shots to the board were clearly bluster and he has ended up pretty much going down the path of those before him in being dictated to.

Show us what you are made of Rafa, this must surely be your biggest test yet!

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