And so the corridors of communication have once again reopened between fan and board as Derek Llambias chose to clarify what went wrong in the summer transfer window.
With a fifth placed finish in the bag and a European campaign to contend with, many NUFC fans felt that we’d see some strengthening of our squad over the summer.
Unfortunately that didn’t happen despite words from Alan Pardew early on in the transfer window when he dropped hints saying we were in for “a friend of Yohan Cabaye” and were also after “a goalscoring central defender” which essentially turned into much publicised and very drawn out transfer negotiations for Mathieu Debuchy, a former colleague and close friend of Cabaye from Lille, and Douglas from FC Twente.
Llambias has now gone on record to tell the world exactly why we failed to land either target. Speaking after the announcement of Alan Pardew’s new eight-year deal, dastardly Derek had this to say:
“Debuchy was a target and we were led to believe it would be around six million Euros but that was never the case, it was a lot bigger than that but it was pounds as well. We worked really hard on it and were keen to do the deal but if you can’t afford it…you can’t afford it. You can’t keep going down the road of saying, ‘Oh well it is only another two or three million.”
He added: “We went for several other targets including Douglas, they were just too pricey. We were nearly there but you can’t keep going back to get the price you want if there isn’t the appetite from the other side.”
So we were in for those players then, which I guess means Alan Pardew was telling the truth and not telling porkies like some believe.
I do get the concept of not paying what we can’t afford, but there comes a time when you just have to bite the bullet and pay a bit of money to strengthen the team.
At the moment there seems to be no alternative and we’ve ended up with pretty much nobody in areas earmarked for strengthening. We’re still light in central defence and we’re still light up front. That’s all fine though as we didn’t get ripped off in the process!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty happy with things right now and really do back the fact that we go for not only the right player, but for the right kind of people, when it comes to incoming transfer dealings. However if you want the right thing, sometimes you have to be willing to be a bit more flexible to get it.
What do you make of it all?