There were a number of thoughts that went through my head when I was playing casino games as the clock struck 11pm on Wednesday and it became apparent that Newcastle had failed to bring in a striker. The first one was anger, then it was disappointment, then I asked the question: are there any decent strikers available on a free? I expected the answer to be ‘no’, but it appears that the newspapers have had the same thoughts, hence Newcastle being linked with a free agent this morning: James Beattie.
Now, Newcastle have been linked with some pretty poor players in recent years, but I don’t think they get much worse than Beattie, particularly at this stage in his career. It seems like the Metro has done the classic thing of putting two and two together and got five. They’ve clearly gone: which Premier League clubs need a striker? Answer: Newcastle, Everton and Blackburn. Which relatively big name strikers are available on a free? Answer: James Beattie!
Given that Derek Llambias only yesterday released a statement saying that Newcastle weren’t going to make any knee-jerk purchases that smelled of pure desperation and play the transfer market like they’re down one of the UK casinos, then this rumour is just a non-starter. At 33, Beattie is well past his best, having failing to shine while on loan at Blackpool in the Premier League last season, and has been deemed surplus to requirements by SPL giants Rangers. The days of his five England caps are long gone.
One thing I always remember about James Beattie, is that during his youth career at Blackburn he cleaned the boots of a certain Newcastle legend; Mr Alan Shearer. Some would argue that he’s not even fit to do that now, so if Newcastle are going to look to bring in a striker who is currently unattached then it’s not going to be Beattie. Expect another forward who is a free agent to be linked with the Magpies in the coming days. Any guesses who that will be?
The Gallowgate Gob writes regularly for NothingButNewcastle.com