Do Newcastle need to spend big this summer?

Mike Ashley

Mike Ashley
Time to back the manager?
As the season reaches it’s climax it is perhaps understandable that much of the attention will turn towards any potential summer transfers at NUFC.

In a way, the fact that we are pretty comfortable in terms of Premier League safety at the moment is allowing us the luxury of being able to look forward and debate our summer plans at this early juncture, and it’s those transfer plans that I want to focus on in this article.

With a load of money sitting in the bank from the sale of Andy Carroll it is quite understandable that fans will want to see signs of action in the summer. This is fair enough and I firmly believe that we will see players brought into the club during the close season. I keep hearing one thing though, and that is that we have to spend big in the summer. I’m going to question why though?

I guess much of that depends on the definition of spending big. Does spending big mean spending a lot of cash on one player? Or does spending big refer to our total spend?

We’ve been here before with the first option though, which is why I think that will lead to us seeing more of the second option.

We’ve had big signings in the past, on big wages, with big reputations. Very few of them worked. Michael Owen, Albert Luque, Mark Viduka, Damien Duff were all on big money and cost us a lot of money. None of them worked out, and three of them conspired to help get us relegated when teams with lesser known stars survived quite comfortably.

It didn’t work then, so who is to say that it would work if we tried it again this time around?

Realistically, how much money is spent is actually irrelevant though. What needs to be done is an awful lot of scouting, with an awful lot of homework being done on any potential new signings. I’m confident that the club are doing that at the moment and the signings of Cheik Tiote and Hatem Ben Arfa – both exceptional players bought for reasonable fees – seem to back that up. Graham Carr and company seem to be doing their job.

I’m not saying that we should never buy a superstar player ever again, but I think a bit of perspective is needed. People need to work out what they want. If it’s Ashley they want rid of then they will need to understand that the only way that is going to happen is either by Ashley balancing the books or by a queue of rich Arab’s forming up Barrack Road.

I failed to see the latter at the weekend…….

70 thoughts on “Do Newcastle need to spend big this summer?

  1. Yes
    Two top drawer strikers
    Replacement for anybody else that goes out the door and if possible a better right back. Simmo is a good player but you have to look at making the team better and stronger. He is a favourite of some but if we don’t improve the squad we are depending on other teams getting worse for our league position to improve.
    Hope next season to see Vuckic and Lua Lua get game time and not just three minutes as a token gesture. These two have been unavailable nearly all season so their return to fitness will be like two new signings

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  2. I agree about Simmo, he is 24 now, not 19 and still hasnt mastered the basics of his position. We need someone who can cross a ball from right back as well and some of the crossing I have seen this year has been woeful. He is improving a lot, so maybe being a bit unfair, just think he needs some real competition for the position, he gets picked automatically at the minute as Perch is crap, Raylor doesn’t want to play there (and is crap) and Steve taylor is injured (and a central defender)

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  3. i dont think we need to spend massive amounts of money. We do need at least one striker. We do have the likes of ben arfa gosling to come back into the squad wit hopefully as said above vuckic n lualua breaking into 1st team plans. tat been said we cant afford to stand still and like most teams we prob could find better players for most positions. But i dont think we need an over haul of the team

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  4. Ok, scratched record time.

    On January 30th we didn’t need to do much in the summer. The business plan was taking us in the right direction and everyone had confidence that in 2 or 3 more years we’d be sniffing at a champs league spot. Slow, steady, sustainable progress, with a squad and backroom staff that believed in the strategy.

    Then they sold Carroll, and that last bit evaporated.

    Now Ashley HAS to spend big, and quickly, just to tread water. If he loses Collo, Barton, Jose, Jonas and others, we’ll be put back to square one. The only way he’ll keep them is to prove he’s after that top-4 spot, and he no longer has the luxury of time, or of patience among his employees.

    Idiotic move, Ashley. Rod for your own back, fella.

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  5. Ok, that much-repeated rant out of the way, we need:

    1. A decent striker; not another Owen; more a Sturridge type.
    2. Two right-wingers. We have none.
    3. Another left-back and another right-back
    4. Another defensive midfielder

    All of these need to fit into the recruitment strategy but with the budget upped to fit our new status. Just like we went from the likes of Williamson to Benny, another step up to your pre-Arsenal Walcott level. Young, but blisteringly talented.

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  6. Incidentally, in terms of what’s needed to keep progressing, I agree with Johno – not much. But that’s assuming we keep what we’ve got. Which we won’t. Because Ashley made another naive move. 🙄

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  7. I fail to see how selling Carroll for potentially upwards of £40 million is a naive move. It’s a cracking move, unless you actually believe that Carroll is actually the eighth most expensive player of all time on merit….. In which case I don’t hold out much hope in life for anyone who believes that…..

    It only becomes naive if the squad isn’t strengthened with the cash.

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  8. It would be great for pardew if he could smash this 3pm kick-off jinx, get our second double and almost gaurentee safety all in one game. Everton have their good days but they have been a bit shakey aswell this season. Wonder how getting beat at home against Reading will effect them. I think that was a bad result for us because now they will be desperate for a positive result.

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  9. Sorry, Toonsy – but the value of Carroll was irrelevant. If the club has to spend £50m to keep the players it’s got, when before it didn’t ned to, it was bad business.

    I know I’ve used this analogy before, but it’s a bit like being the only one with a machine gun in a group surrounded by hungry lions. If the bloke next to you offers you three times what the gun is worth, do you sell it to him?
    What the hell has the value of the gun got to do with it? It’s the impact of selling the thing that matters.

    I’m not saying this will all end up with disaster or even that it will prove to be bad business in the long term. What I am saying is that the risk of that is far too high, and Ashley’s gambling nature needs to be better controlled.
    The need to spend has now rocketed because he got greedy. Just replacing Carroll and keeping his current players – i.e. the cost of keeping the players he already had – will cost more than £35m.

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  10. We need to spend big,if the likes of promoted clubs,such as QPR spend big.Mind you QPR is one of the most richest clubs in the world right now…. 😈 🙄

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  11. Whumpie – What if Carroll had broken his leg and was never the same again? We’d have al our eggs in one basket, a basket that had just been smashed to bits on the floor, with a team that still needed money to improve it.

    People are really down about selling Carroll, which is their call I guess, but it’s also how Tottenham managed to get to the top four in the end. They sold the likes of Berbatov, Keane, for massive profit and reinvested the cash on several players to make the squad stronger.

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  12. lol Whumpie, as you said mate, scratched record, been done to death.
    The poll the other day said around 60% of us expect us to spend between £15-£25mill, I reckon that would be about right. But of course, and i’m sure we would all agree, no, we don’t need to spend big, just wisely, and i’m sure that’s what the club are doing right now.
    The areas we need to improve are obvious so i’m actually looking forward to the sumemr to see what business we do. Probably going to be some outgoings to.

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  13. toonsy
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    The price is irelevant, but relative.

    I own a house that aout 100 years would have been the most expensive house in the world, but as time moves on, it doesn’t look very much.

    In 10 years time Carroll might be the 50 most expensive player. It’s all relative tbh.

    Whumpie – I agree – good repeated post for the last three days!

    Depends how you define ‘big’. Personally I would like to see us spend the Carroll money plus what the manager would have had if we hadn’t have sold Carroll.

    Does anyone think that’s unreasonable?

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  14. Guys,we do need to know 1 thing,is nt that easy to find a player with quality yet cheap to bring in.lots of clubs are trying to manipulate the market,hence,inflated price for lots of players… And if we keep looking for bargains,i don’t think there is sufficient time to bring in enough players. That’s my thought. 😉

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  15. Stuart79
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    “Depends how you define ‘big’. Personally I would like to see us spend the Carroll money plus what the manager would have had if we hadn’t have sold Carroll.”

    “Does anyone think that’s unreasonable?”

    No, not unreasonable. Just irrelevant 🙂

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  16. Toonsy at 15- good post.

    Tottenham is a good model for us. The only way any club that doesn’t have the insane revenues of the top 6-8 european clubs can break into those ranks is by selling for profit and reinvesting.

    As for Carroll, in addition to injury in all likelihood he is one more incident away form clink. That was always going to be a risk when playing for his home town club.

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  17. The way I see it, there are three types of club;

    ones that pretty much always stay in the same place, (Man U, Asenal, mid-table championship teams ect)

    ones that are usually moving (West Brom ect)

    ones that occasionally move (ourselves and most others)

    We need to set ourselves up financially to be a club that always stays in the hunt for Euro positions. That can only be achieved in the board room and with a long term plan and it is financial. It is not somthing that is achieved on the pitch in the short term. Assuming that the FFP rules are gonna come in 2013 or whatever, we could be in a position where we can compete in Europe just by finishing where we are in the league now. I can’t see how the clubs like Chelsea and Man City are going to be able to qualify. Selling Carroll (who we developed) for a huge sum allows us to spend money within the rules already. By getting prem money and eventually Euro money our profits will increase year by year. Ashley obviously does have a plan but it will require time and we may have to wait a bit before any exciting trips to Europe or anything.

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  18. Stu
    problem is there’s more to a club/business than the front line.

    I would have expected investiment even if we didn’t sell Carroll however now we’ve got an influx of money surely it would be a wise thing to say, ‘yeah let’s get some players, but since we’ve got more money than anticipated shouldn’t we invest some in improving other aspects of the club, aswell as the playing staff?’

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  19. I agree with what most are saying about Carroll, he was without doubt an exciting prospect and future England no.9 but….

    given the choice between the same side, with Carroll and maybe another Tiote/ Benny type signing next year (factor in injuries). Or selling Carroll at the inflated price and reinvest in more Graham Carr type signings.

    I think we would still finish around 10th maybe a bit lower in the second season. Depending on who we buy now in the summer we could finish higher.

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  20. I wonder what the new financial rules are for promoted clubs? Surely they must be allowed to invest when they go up? It’s no different from any other company; you have to take on some debt occasionally to fuel a big shift up in your game.

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  21. Whumpie – Debt is not an issue within the new rules. It’s not outlawed. What does have to be taken into consideration though is whether or not the clubs can make the repayments out of their own income.

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  22. Toonsy – agree about the footie being good recently. Bit scratchy, but fun to watch. 😀

    I think DJG’s post @21 is pretty sensible. I’m not so bothered about the loss of Carroll as I am about the loss of trust between players and management. But if the club can convince them of the ‘Spurs model argument’ above, we could be ok.

    Like others, I have faith that the intent is there. Not sure about the practicalities, but who is?

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  23. Someone on 606 on deadline day said:

    Is Carroll worth £35m? Not to Liverpool but to Newcastle he is priceless.

    To have a 20 goal a season striker is invaluable for us, and to go along with say 10 assists. These strikers don’t come cheap any more and to have one that cost us nothing was a luxury and it was an error to sell him. Whether or not we will be able to find a player who was a handful for any defender in the league I am not sure. We will no doubt be able to strengthen the squad as a whole, but I would have preferred to have Carroll and £10m-£15m as a budget for the Summer.

    The Carroll, Torres and Suarez cases all show how valuable a top striker is and how hard it will be to get one at a reasonable price. So I think it was a huge error to sell Carroll.

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  24. Toonsy – sounds sensible to me. It should allow clubs to balance the books over several years – at least 3 rolling years’ accounts IMHO.

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  25. toonsy
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 2:49 PM
    Stuart79
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    “Depends how you define ‘big’. Personally I would like to see us spend the Carroll money plus what the manager would have had if we hadn’t have sold Carroll.”

    “Does anyone think that’s unreasonable?”

    No, not unreasonable. Just irrelevant

    I suppose it’s all irrelvant as nobody really knows apart from Ashley.

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  26. It will all come down to how many key players we keep.Its obvious they are waiting to see the ambition that is shown.If it is not forthcoming then I can see a mass exodus and yet another rebuild. That being the case what kind of players would we then attract?

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  27. Stuart79
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    “I suppose it’s all irrelvant as nobody really knows apart from Ashley.”

    Exactamundo 🙂

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  28. I Love Mike
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 2:54 PM
    Stu
    problem is there’s more to a club/business than the front line.

    I would have expected investiment even if we didn’t sell Carroll however now we’ve got an influx of money surely it would be a wise thing to say, ‘yeah let’s get some players, but since we’ve got more money than anticipated shouldn’t we invest some in improving other aspects of the club, aswell as the playing staff?’

    Could be a chicken and egg situation. Does other parts of the club need improving unless we’re better on the pitch? ie do we need a better match day caterer if people aren’t going to come and enjoy it?

    I would have thought the other areas that need improving would be in the budget anyway, same as the budget for transfers pre Carroll sale. Especially the academy.

    Demand could pull investment in other areas of the club.

    Whichever way we look at it, performances and success on the pitch will determine how much other parts of the club will need improving.

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  29. Nutmag: that’s my point. What’s the biggest impact we’ve seen on our likelihood of keeping players and avoiding the exodus? The sale of Carroll. If you take it that his real value (and therefore replacement) was £20m, that’s a whole £15m value placed on massively increasing the risk of a big pile of transfer requests from key players in the summer.

    Utter, utter daftness. Total wank in terms of business sense. Sadly, exactly what you’d expect from two men knows to like gambling, not understand football, and be prone to petulent reactions to challenges to their authority. I’m bloody furious about it still.

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  30. I still think that if I was in the same position and Carroll came to me asking to re-negotiate the contract he had just recently signed, I would have told him to jog on as well. When he put a request in to talk to Liverpool I would have told him to be off and not try and hold me to ransom.

    If that’s what actually happened of course….I do believe it’s pretty close to the mark though.

    I blame Carroll for his sale and not the board, although there are elements of both in the wrong and it’s a crime against NUFC, that’s how I feel. It’s also easier to hate Carroll and support the board, as one is a Liverpool player and one is the owner of the Newcastle and this just helps me move on and get over it.

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  31. Moreno – I agree. I keep reading Whumpie saying bout how much of an impac it could have had on the players etc which is a valid point, but it also works both ways.

    What if the board had caved in to Carroll and had offered him silly money to stay. What would the rest think of that? We would be in the same boat as I’ll bet a few of them will want wage rises to match. Where would that put us? Back to square one of having a team of average players on obscene wages….

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  32. toonsy
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 4:10 PM

    The club only pay what they can afford. That wasn’t the point Whumpie was making I don’t think.

    The club said they would renegotiate his contract in the summer, so they did cave in to a degree. But that wasn’t good enough for Carroll.

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  33. Exactly, it would completely blow any business model or plan they were working towards…..and many have said Joey is our most valued player at the moment….the same player they had offered a wage reduction to a few weeks earlier….?

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  34. Stuart – I know it wasn’t Whumpie’s point per se, but there is always the other side to his point which is what I’ve just highlighted.

    So we cave in and give Carroll £50k a week or whatever, where does this leave the others? Carroll’s raise would have put an extra £1 million plus on the wagebill alone. Multiply that by a few times and you potentially have a wagebill that is getting higher for the same calibre of players.

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  35. We need to sort out how the team will play next season before looking at transfers.

    f we are going to go one up front and load the midfield with our ridiculous midfield depth – we need one GOOD striker. If we stay with two up front, then we can look at two DECENT strikers to compliment Shola, Best and Lovenkrands.

    That’s the biggest thing we need to decide before suggesting how much money to spend and who to spend it on.

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  36. Nope, I read it. Just realised after you posted it that I had nothing else to say on the matter other than this is the biggest threat to our season.

    It’s something no one seems to know nevermind talk about and yet if it keeps going, over half our games left are guaranteed losses or draws. We need to snap out of it quick.

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  37. It depends on if Jose and Joey both leave. However our main target has to be a striker, and a good one.

    If Jose leaves we don’t have a left back at all, so do we then need to buy two? I would say aye, but we won’t. If Joey leaves you could say we might not need a replacment, with Ben Arfa and Gosling both coming back next season fully fit.

    When we first sold Carroll I said we would need to sign two strikers but with Best coming to form this season we might only need one.

    For me we need:

    Striker, winger, left back even if Jose stays and a couple squad players.

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  38. Forgot about Ireland, if he does well and Pardew wants to sign him – wonder how much he’ll cost?

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  39. toonsy
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 4:22 PM
    Stuart – I know it wasn’t Whumpie’s point per se, but there is always the other side to his point which is what I’ve just highlighted.

    So we cave in and give Carroll £50k a week or whatever, where does this leave the others? Carroll’s raise would have put an extra £1 million plus on the wagebill alone. Multiply that by a few times and you potentially have a wagebill that is getting higher for the same calibre of players.

    So Carroll left to get more money, it’s a natural cycle.

    We were talking of feeder clubs yesterday. Like it or not, we’re going to be a feeder club if we cannot satisfy our players, whether financially or on the pitch.

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  40. Isn’t it funny how none of the conversation currently involves the word ‘relegation’

    what a nice change 🙂

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  41. The Carroll thing just goes on and on It was down to him!!
    As toon supporters we must get used to it the list just goes on and on Gazza Super Mac Beardsley Waddle Ginola etc etc…
    Guess what the first one I was mad about leaving was Len Shackleton how bloody sad is that?

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  42. Man Utd sold Ronaldo, Liverpool sold Torres, Sunderland sold Bent – are they selling clubs?

    EVERY club sells players. No club has ever had a team and they all stayed until retirement. We will become a selling club if we sell our best players constantly, at first bid, regardless of money.

    As of now, we’re a stealing club due to how much we got for Carroll. Too much really.

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  43. Nobody’s getting the point!! 👿

    There were THREE options in that room:

    1. Cave in and give AC his raise. Non-starter, for reasons aptly explained.
    2. Do what they did. Stupid, for reasons I’ve explained.
    3. Tell AC to feck off. Job done.

    Ashley SIGNED that sale contract and he simply didn’t have to. He didn’t need to cave into Carroll at all; he just had to say ‘no’. Because he couldn’t leave his cock in his trousers he took option 2, and now he’s in trouble, and poorer.

    If he’d taken option 3 he’d still have a £20m striker – a geordie and England no 9, no less, with all the merch that goes with it, and wouldn’t have his best players telling him they’re off in the summer if he doesn’t spend big. £15m does not cover it, not even close – simple as.

    That’s my point. Anyone get it yet??

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  44. Yes Whumpie, but it was public that Carroll handed in a transfer request and we all know its because he wanted more money.

    We’d then be stuck with an injured striker, who still hasn’t played since December, who publicly wanted to leave his home town club for more money.

    Is that any better than we have now? No.

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  45. Whumpie, why would we want a unhappy striker at the club? He wouldn’t score goals, then in the summer his price would go down.

    We got a great deal, with Carroll leaving Bests came in form for us – obviously he’s no Carroll but Besty has proven he can score in this league.

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  46. funkyjesus – quite right, and we won’t be the last. But every sale has a lot more to consider than just the player – in this case especially.

    The reason I’m banging on about it is that this thread perfectly captures the real impact and cost of that one decision, yet some people aren’t getting their head out of “how much was the player worth”, which was completely irrelevant.

    The question was “how much is our squad’s spirit and confidence in my intentions worth, and how much will it cost me to re-build it if I take this money instead?”.

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  47. FJ @ 51 – Absolutely.

    Stuart – It;s not about satisfying players needs though is it? Carroll’s needs were satisfied three months earlier when he penned a new deal.

    He was then told that he would get another new deal just 8-9 months after that with more than likely another pay rise, but it wasn’t quick enough for him. Hence he went for money now rather than waiting 8-9 months as was said.

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  48. Whumpie.. Yes I agree but the choice was made (In haste I think )
    and dare I say it it could work out with good investment and planning (My glass is always half full) 🙄

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  49. Mike Ashley wasn’t born within spitting distance of the Tyne whumpie. Why would he give a shite about the fact he could still have a Geordie at the club. He sold him for 35 million plus after the player handed in a transfer request. You are aggreived as a fan and rightly so. Mike Ashley isn’t.

    As previously stated, we can only speculate until the summer transfer window as to whether it makes business sense or not.

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  50. toonsy – He may have felt that his performances deserved a quicker renegotiation. That’s up to him of course…

    We all know that football is no different to any other industry – if you get offered more money you’ll leave.

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  51. pearceet
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    “To have a 20 goal a season striker is invaluable for us”

    This actually raises a good topic of debate, should we reinvest the Carroll money in a striker who is the main man, our no9, who we look to get the goals, or do we sign a couple to share the load?

    For me it’s the latter, if you see the attitude of Best and Lover at the minute it’s first class. Neither are top quality strikers, but they are working hard to prove their worth, working hard for the team to create chances and when they can, chipping in with goals. For me it’s refreshing to see.

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  52. AndrewNUFC – this is NOTHING to do with Andy fekking Carroll!!!

    (Sorry, fella – just losing it here…)

    It’s to do with the actions of Ashley versus his promises to the players. What he did was act in direct contradiction to everything his club had told the players and us. In that one action he removed the good will and trust that was going to keep our best players here, believing they’d be competing in black and white for silverware.

    While he can try to win them around with words, the irony is that the same action has made his words worthless. All he can use is money, and it’s going to cost a hell of a lot more than £35m.

    It wouldn’t matter if it had happened selling Phil Airey; it’s irrelevant.

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  53. And the team spirit is evident on the pitch, players who have half a brain understand that Carroll wanted to go for the money and went. Why then, be angry at the club with this knowledge?

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  54. ILM

    Agreed. We were becoming far too one dimentional IMO with Carroll. In the end it was actually getting sussed by some teams and results were starting to dip somewhat. I prefer a team where there are switchable methods of attack and the manager can implement them mid-game.

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  55. Moreno – I think you’re right there, but understanding Andy doesn’t help. We’ve now had four of our top players make it clear that they’re not happy and that their attitude to re-signing has changed.

    It didn’t matter what AC wanted; for him to go took two signatures. Ashley would have been better to leave him festering in the reserves than to break his word and credibility like this. Right now, I think Jonas, Collo, Jose and Barton may well be playing more to boost their resale value than for the club. I hope I’m wrong.

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  56. Sorry lads; I’m being a right miserable bastard. Had a friend die from a skiing accident today; might be summat to do with it. Soz.

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  57. Stuart79
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    “He may have felt that his performances deserved a quicker renegotiation”

    You’ve never come accross as the sensitive type stu, considering people’s feeling n that 😆 But sorry, that’s a load of crap. He tried to force the clubs hand, club wouldn’t budge, the rest is history.

    If any player isn’t 100% comitted to the cause and the badge, don’t care who they are, hey can f*ck right off for all I care.

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  58. Whumpie, sorry to hear that.

    Never think any less of you for defending your point with a bit of fire in yer belly mate

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  59. Cheers for that. I think I’d better get on my bike and pedal home. Nice evening; Exe estuary. Could be worse, eh.

    Have a goodun all, and if any of you are going skiing, for FUCKS SAKE WEAR A HELMET!!

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  60. I Love Mike
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 5:24 PM
    Stuart79
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    “He may have felt that his performances deserved a quicker renegotiation”

    You’ve never come accross as the sensitive type stu, considering people’s feeling n that But sorry, that’s a load of crap. He tried to force the clubs hand, club wouldn’t budge, the rest is history.

    If any player isn’t 100% comitted to the cause and the badge, don’t care who they are, hey can f*ck right off for all I care.

    Human nature, I’m afraid. If you’re paid xxxx and another business things you’re worth xxxxx more you’re going to go.

    Although lets bear in mind there’s nothing less motivating that broken promises and false hope!

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  61. No need to spend big. Another Ben Arfa or Tiote style signing would be great. A forward, right winger and fullback cover would be nice.

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