The January transfer window has finally closed in what was an astonishing day in football. Fans across the country will be looking forward to debuts from their new players. However there are one set of fans this morning who will not be happy with yesterdays events.
Newcastle United yesterday sold Andy Carroll in a £35 million deal to Liverpool. The fallout has already begun as to who is to blame for the transfer, Carroll has claimed he was forced out; I didn’t want to leave. Make sure the fans know I didn’t want to leave.” While Alan Pardew has commented back; We had a conversation about him wanting a new contract, and [Carroll said] if he did not get that contract he wanted to go.”
One person who hasn’t commented on the transfer so far is Newcastle owner Mike Ashley. What a surprise this is, the man has just taken £35 million from a player who cost nothing and has not reinvested in the squad. Some will argue this is because he didn’t have time to do so but if that is the case why didn’t he wait till the summer? Sure Carroll would have gone for cheaper but who’s to say the whole £35 million will be reinvested anyway? Only time will tell.
For every act Ashley does to get Newcastle fans behind him, he then responds with something equally stupid in return. Take for example the appointment of Kevin Keegan in January 2008, this was seen as coup for Ashley with the fans sure to back the appointment.
Less than 8 months later and Keegan is forced out due to lack of backing in the transfer market and not having the full control over transfers. Ashley, after failing to sell the club, tries to regain the fans trust when Alan Shearer is brought back to St James Park to try and stave off relegation in April 2009.
Even the Geordie great was not enough to save them and more anger was directed towards Ashley. Are there any more things Ashley can do to alienate fans? Off course there is. Newcastle winning the Championship and starting off well in the Premier League under manager Chris Hughton was not enough for Ashley.
On 6th December Chris Hughton was sacked after being given the permanent position just over a year previous to this. Ashley has reached new levels of stupidity after this stunt.
Even more baffling was the decision to appoint Alan Pardew on a five and a half year contract. Given the recent track record of Ashley sacking managers is it really that wise to be offering such a long term deal? If Newcastle get relegated what of Pardew’s position then? A hefty compensation payout will certainly be required.
The previous paragraph may come across as a bit of a rant, but it is a rant supported by facts. I am merely trying to show how unlucky Newcastle fans are with an owner out of touch with what the fans want, and as a Liverpool fan, I know all too well what that feels like.
This latest saga in Mike Ashley’s reign as Newcastle owner will have only further reinforced the judgements of football minded people that he is an idiot. No matter how much a club comes in for your player you never have to sell. Ashley will claim Carroll wanted to go because the contract they offered was not enough for him to stay, but regardless of this a transfer request never has to be accepted. Liverpool rejected Fernando Torres’s request without any hesitation so why couldn’t Newcastle have done the same?
Everyone could have seen that had Carroll been on his way to Liverpool there would not be enough time to get a replacement. This is especially true as Liverpool were going to wait until as long as possible so they could be sure they could get their man, so that Torres would be given permission to go to Chelsea.
When it was clear that Liverpool might have to sell Torres, they were very quick and decisive in finding a replacement, Newcastle on the other hand, aware that other clubs were after their star man, waited till half an hour before the deadline to try and find a replacement, an impossible task.
As a club owner, as soon as there is interest in one of your players, particularly a star player, you must be prepared. This means lining up replacements should the worse happen. This isn’t genius, this is standard procedure. Mike Ashley is man that should not be running a football club.
So what next for Newcastle? They currently sit 9th, 8 points clear of the relegation zone. A star player down and no new replacement found. Carroll has scored 11 Premier League goals so far this season, something Newcastle will greatly miss. However it is not just his goals that Newcastle will miss, it is mere presence on the field, his aerial threat for other team mates to latch on 2, particularly Kevin Nolan who has an equal record for Premier league goals scored this season.
Pardew will have been looking forward to building a team around Carroll and will surely be disappointed with the outcome. I bet he even has doubts as to whether he will see the full £35 million being reinvested in the squad.
Newcastle’s sole objective this season should be just to stay up, regardless of Ashley and the board’s ridiculous expectations. This will be made all the more harder now they have lost a talisman and pressure will be on Pardew to get results. Newcastle fans will not be accepting relegation again, and neither should they.
This season so far has been acceptable, they may even be guilty overachieving at times, despite Mike Ashley’s attempts to destabilise the club. We will probably never know what exactly happened with the Carroll transfer saga, whether Carroll really wanted to leave or not.
One thing we do know is nobody forced Mike Ashley to sell, perhaps someone should be forcing him to sell the club, it would be better for football and better for Newcastle.
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