Alan Pardew has insisted that nothing could have been done to prevent Jose Enrique leaving Newcastle.
On a day where Jose Enrique has revealed that Liverpool were always his first choice destination ahead of completing his move to Anfield it’s the Newcastle fans who must once again pick up the pieces of the departure of yet another player.
Not that I’m overly fussed in truth. Jose was great in the second tier and for the first six months of our return to the Premier League, but in the second half of the season he was pretty woeful at times as it became more and more evident that the Spaniard wanted away from the club.
A new contract offer was not enough to persuade him to stay and led to an outburst by Jose on Twitter where he claimed that the club lacked ambition by not keeping their better players. All of that combined means that I’m not shocked or annoyed about Jose going. I’ve already dealt with it in my mind, although that itself leaves one burning question.
Why sell him without a replacement lined up?
This is my big question as we head into the Arsenal game without a recognised left-back. Utter madness. I mean many fans kind of guessed that Jose would be away, so why didn’t the club forecast it or actually get someone in before allowing Jose to go? Well, Alan Pardew has tried to add some reasoning to it.
“I would be asking why we hadn’t got a left-back in earlier if I was a fan,” Pardew told the Northern Echo. “The difference was, if Jose had signed, we would have ended up with two very, very expensive left-backs and that’s something we couldn’t afford when we’re trying to get the best possible side.”
“We also need that money in other areas and of course we haven’t got the striker over the line yet. It all has to be within a structure. It’s difficult for fans – you try telling a 14-year-old who’s passionate about the game why Enrique has gone, he can’t understand that.”
“I understand a big bulk of our fans just wanting our best players wanting to stay here – it doesn’t always work like that unfortunately. We have a back up plan in place. You don’t want your best players to leave, but we were vulnerable. We offered him a deal and he didn’t want to sign it so we had nowhere to go.”
So we didn’t get someone in before Jose left because of the expense? I do see the logic behind it, but the logic becomes flawed when it’s so blatantly obvious that the player wants away. Surely you’d get some prep work done for the eventuality? Apparently not.
Who will play at left-back against Arsenal now? Shane Ferguson is back in full training but he effectively needs a full pre-season again. James Tavernier is away on loan which means that he can’t fill in at right-back, and I’d rather be raped than see Ryan Taylor pull on a black and white shirt and play in defence. So that leaves us with an option of playing Steven Taylor at right-back, Simpson at left-back, with Mike Williamson coming into the middle? Or how about play Jonas Gutierrez at left-back with Sylvain Marveaux ahed of him on the wing? To be honest neither option fills me with confidence.
Ultimately a replacement is needed, and soon. It won’t be in time for Arsenal of course as the match squad needs to be named today and formalities won’t be completed in time, but the left-back position has now become a priority ahead of a striker in my opinion.
That’s if it wasn’t already of course…