When the clocks hit midnight this morning it meant the arrival of a new year, a fresh start and new beginnings for some as we wave goodbye to 2011 and welcome 2012. Of course the month of January is an eagerly anticipated one for football fans too as the transfer window opens again.
I have said many times a transfer window is either time of excitement or a time of pure dread and panic, depending on which club you are associated with. It’s often a comfortable time if your a ‘non selling’ club who are merely looking to strengthen their squad. Few can argue that as a whole Newcastle’s last couple of windows have been controversial and has seen many first team players sold for various reasons.
The last two transfer windows have seen us sell Andy Carroll, Kevin Nolan, Jose Enrique as well as releasing Joey Barton after a number of rows with the hierarchy. If you look at each player’s departure, there were varying reasons for the players walking away from the club. Let’s not forget we tried incredibly hard to keep Jose Enrique at the club, but let’s face it the Spaniard had his head turned and wasn’t interested in remaining a Newcastle player. Kevin Nolan was replaced by a better player and the club couldn’t guarantee him regular football and wasn’t willing to offer an ageing man a lucrative deal which is kind of fair enough.
The Andy Carroll departure on the last day of January last year is a transfer which caused a lot of debate and there were so many rumors as to what actually happened. The fact of the matter is the lad handed in a transfer request and for me if a player wants to stay at a club it would never get to that point. The question is will their be a repeat of the Carroll saga this January with another Newcastle star?
Newcastle’s good form this season has been noticed by rival bosses. The likes of Tiote, Krul and Colocinni have attracted interest from other clubs and it seems the press has at least one of them linked with a January move every time I browse the net or open a newspaper. The journalists are constantly badgering Alan Pardew, asking him if he can keep his top players this month.
Pardew is approaching the issue with caution, it’s obvious he doesn’t want to promise the supporters anything but he has stated he doesn’t wish to sell. He however keeps laboring the point that it would take a lot of money to force the club to sell, at times it’s as if he’s candidly telling the world that players could be available and almost inviting interest. Having said that after the Carroll saga last year, I don’t blame Alan one bit for how he’s handling such questions.
We all know the squad is a little light and we certainly need defensive reinforcements this month. I think as well as a striker we could do with a wide man and midfield cover for Tiote, although I realize that is probably asking too much. But this window for me is all about who we keep rather than buy. I believe we have a squad very capable of competing in the top half and a couple of solid additions would push us on further.
The word Europe was mentioned today by Pardew. Well it’s a possibility if the club shows enough ambition. If Mike Ashley and co understand the potential of this squad then they will think twice if and when a bid is received for a big name. Let’s hope we can have a successful window and a few of us are left surprised in a good way.
Either way, who ever is or isn’t pulling on the black and white of Newcastle United come February 1st I will still be there singing me heart out for the lads. HWTL. P.S missed you all, MarkToon X.