So there goes the transfer window for a good few months, and now the analysing can start.
So did we have a good window? Was it bad? Was it indifferent? I’d like to know what you made of it. You can even give it a mark out of ten if you wish!
My main concern at the start of the window was losing one of our top players. In fairness I think that was a fear shared by a fair few fans, especially with Alan Pardew admitting that a big money bid would have to be considered. Fortunately, or so it would appear anyway, no big money bids came in for any players, or at least any bids weren’t quite big enough to tempt a sale.
As a result we’ve kept all of our star players, with the only players leaving the club heading out on loan deals. James Tavernier headed to MK Dons yesterday where he will spend the rest of the season keeping Alan Smith company. Smith headed south a couple of days ago and will play out the last six months of his NUFC contract at Stadium MK.
In terms of outgoings I have no issue. I think we’ve played it perfectly on that front by keeping hold of key players and only releasing players who, for varying reasons, aren’t near the first team at the moment. In terms of incomings though, it’s a slightly different matter.
Obviously we failed to get a defender over the line which is the one let down of the window for me. Adrian Mariappa was the name that was strongly linked with us but for whatever reason nothing came of it in the end. I can’t say I’m overly disappointed by that as I could never see the reasoning in buying a backup up defender who is no better than your other backup defenders. We’d be in the same pickle should Mike Williamson or Fabricio Coloccini get injured so what would have been the point?
It’s a risky move, but some time to reflect has left me wondering if not bringing in that defender was so bad. Cast your minds back to Saturday and you would have seen a rather familiar and once highly-rated Hungarian name on the bench in the shape of Tamas Kadar. He’s fallen down the pecking order recently but at one time he looked like one of the brightest prospects to emerge from our academy. He’s been told to shape up or ship out, so maybe his inclusion is hinting that he is shaping up and proving that he doesn’t want to be shipped out?
It’s not all doom and gloom though. We actually spent money in this transfer window. In fact we spent over 10% of the total amount in the whole of the window in the biggest transaction of January when we signed Papiss Demba Cisse from Freiburg, significantly boosting our firepower up front.
With a fearsome reputation for goalscoring in the Bundesliga, Cisse arrived at Newcastle for a fee believed to be in the region of £9m. He will line up with his international team-mate and close friend Demba Ba meaning that we have two out and out strikers who can terrorise defences between them.
All in all bringing in a defender would have been the icing on the cake on what has been a pretty decent window for us. We’ve kept Cheik Tiote, we’ve kept Demba Ba, Tim Krul, Yohan Cabaye and everyone else at the club for the second half of the season at least. We’ve added a striker with a goalscoring pedigree and who is keen to transfer that form to a new league so I can’t complain too much.
A defender would have been nice, and arguably much needed, but only if it was a defender who could come straight into the first team. I’m talking a real top class centre-back, and not just some backup like Mariappa.
Still, that’s my view, how about yours?