The 16th of June was your typical early summer Sunday. Wimbledon had yet to start, the weather was still hit and miss, and the only mention of Royal Baby was Luis Suarez spitting his dummy out over his apparent ‘treatment’ from the British press.
The transfer window wasn’t even officially open, and the memories of a painful season gone were starting to subside. Life, while not brilliant in the world of NUFC, was stable – that all changed with the yellow counter flashing across the screens of SkySports News…
BREAKING NEWS: Newcastle Utd, appoint Joe Kinnear as Director of Football.
Six weeks later and we’ve seen a British male winner at Wimbledon for the first time in 77 years, the longest and hottest heat wave for almost seven years and the arrival of Wills and Kate’s bundle of joy. In the world of NUFC we’ve heard some toe curling interviews, a new speciality on the menus of late night food outlets – the Yohan Kebab, Derek Lambezzee deciding he can’t take the heat of the kitchen and Alan Pardew going MIA for 25 days – the one thing we haven’t seen though during the whole of that time, a recognised signing.
Six weeks since JFK announced to the world that he is literally the greatest thing since sliced bread with a contact book putting the Yellow Pages to shame and we are still the only Premier League club yet to make a senior signing – not unless you count a 16 year old or a set of gates. It therefore begs the question, what has Joe been doing in the month and half seen he arrived?
We know that barely three weeks into the job he took a week off on hols – while I’d never begrudge someone a well-earned break I can’t help but feel the timing was not the best. I can’t imagine it sitting too well in the North Pole, if Santa took the middle two weeks in December off for a jolly with Mrs. Claus!
Putting that aside, the rumour mill has been in overdrive with plenty of names being linked – the likes of Bent, Gomis, Sinclair, Remy, De Jong and Gignac to name a few from a very long list.
As part of these rumours we’ve been given assurances from those supposedly in the know that progress is being made and negotiations are coming along, however, for the sceptics amongst us its getting a little alarming that the season is less than a month away and yet despite the whispers we seem absolutely no clearer to getting someone over the line.
Take Darren Bent for example. Not everyone’s first choice but considering the pool of options are getting smaller and smaller by the day beggars can’t be choosers. Bent’s name has been banded around for a fair few weeks now and even Pardew himself has said he is a player he’d very much like to have.
Now surely if that is the case, shouldn’t he of been wrapped up weeks ago? We are currently well into pre-season and now should be the time when new players are being blooded into teams, getting to know teammates and working on formations and tactics. Darren Bent has been outcast by Villa for months and is currently peddling around on an exercise bike someone with nowhere to go – surely if that is who we are after, he should be in Portugal now with the rest of the squad? More importantly, shouldn’t that be the job of Joe ‘black-book to footballing gods’ Kinnear to make that happen?
For all his guff and bravado, six weeks in and the results do not make for pretty reading – player recruitment currently sits at zero. Any other organisation or line of business, you might be at risk from ‘friendly’ chat from the boss telling you to buck up your ideas. As it’s Mr. Ashley he answers to I can’t imagine that’s going to happen. What I do know though is the season kicks off in just over three weeks and considering our goal shy options from last year currently sit at one who effectively and realistically will never play for us again, one who’s record is three in the last two years and probably should only be wheeled out when we play them down the road, and one who’s only just old enough to order a pint and has approximately 37 minutes of competitive first team football to his name, it really doesn’t make for pretty reading.
People are judged on results. Joe Kinnear needs to start justifying his position very quickly.