Newcastle United have a small squad. So any talk of selling any of our players must seem odd. However, there exists, in the Newcastle squad, a class of players who are either so far from the first team, or should be so far from the first team, that their presence in our 25 man squad is an absolute embarrassment which makes a cull of the Newcastle United first team squad necessary at some point in the near future.
The first part of that cull was put in operation with the decision to offload Jonas Gutierrez to Norwich City on loan with the option for them to buy him for £3 million in the summer. Despite loyally serving the club since 2008 I would have to say that he is a terrible player and should have been ditched quite some time ago.
Some might think this harsh but I would hold similar feelings for players like Steven Taylor, Gabriel Obertan, Romain Amalfitano, Sylvain Marveaux, Shola Ameobi, Papiss Cisse, Robbie Elliott etc. So there is a sizeable portion of our squad whom I don’t think will make the grade at our club.
However, we are in somewhat of a quandary as there is a fear that if we were to sell these players, Mike Ashley would not adequately replace them, and this is a concern that I myself would share, which is why I wish to retain these players in order to make up the numbers. While Mike Ashley is in charge we will always have a squad that makes up the numbers, rather than be competitive which is why most Newcastle United fans are reluctant to see any players leave.
This should not be the case. If a player is not good enough to play for the club they should not be here. They should be sold and then replaced with someone of a higher standard. Simple. I’ve heard some people make ludicrous suggestions that Mike Ashley’s transfer policy is much better than Shepherd’s – we don’t buy expensive players at crazy wages I will grant you that but we still make terrible signings even with the expert guidance of chief scout Graham Carr and what is worse, we refuse to sell them on even when they are proven to nothing but duffers.
Newcastle United’s squad could be faced with a crisis in the summer. Players like Cabaye and Colocinni – our actually decent players – are more than likely going to be on the move in the summer, Shola’s contract is expiring and Loic Remy will be moving on to pastures new after his lease is up. Our pathetically small squad will be even smaller, and still lumbered with the same tripe that currently masquerades as first team players.
Our squad is short of 3/4 quality players as it stands. With the fact that we are going to lose at least 3 players from that squad in the summer it would appear that we would then need 7 first team signings in order to bring it up to scratch and that is without replacing any of the rubbish in our squad. If we were then to sell someone like Marveaux or Cisse, they would then also need to be replaced, meaning that an extraordinary amount of signings would need to be made. It would make sense if 1 or 2 of those signings were made during the January window in preparation for this exodus that we will be faced with but given that we are half way through the January window I am beginning to think that, once more, Ashley is hanging our squad out to dry.
We are regressing under Mike Ashley. We have a poor squad, an average manager and the teams that we should be competing with – Livepool, Spurs, Everton – will be moving forward leaving us in their dust. Unless we begin to operate ambitiously in the transfer market we will always be among the “best of the rest” in mid-table. If you’re happy having a paper thin squad, your season finished in January, no cup run, and no chance of Europe, then perhaps you should give Mike Ashley a call. There may be a PR job waiting for you…