I don’t know if anyone has noticed how quiet Alan Pardew has been these last few days? My hope is that it’s because he is frantically looking for the new left back and striker promised, but I’m more concerned that it is more through embarrassment that it looks unlikely we will have one in before the big derby clash on Saturday.
“We’re confident we’ll have some new players here by next weekend.I don’t want to talk about specific players, but I’m confident that by the time we play Sunderland I’ll have a left-back in place – and hopefully a striker.” The words of Alan Pardew after the match against Arsenal last weekend.
The Newcastle manager has already been embarrassed by having the rug seemingly pulled from beneath him after promising 100% that Andy Carroll would not be sold. Since then he has been far more careful with his wording, knowing perhaps now, like the fans, that Ashley’s promises mean nothing.
However, at Saturday’s press conference he once again felt confident enough to assure the fans signings will be made before the derby.
Pardew seems to have become the target of abuse from some fans whose impatience at not getting the striker and left back, so desperately needed since January last year, has come to the fore.
But, in my opinion, fans should be aware that Pardew probably has as much control over these issues, as fans do when it comes to seating sections, stadium renaming etc.
Some will say he is a “puppet”, a “yes man”, but what is his alternative – to walk like Keegan? Say he did, what decent manager in their right mind would take the job under the Ashley regime?
Let’s take a look at what he has managed to achieve under trying circumstances and a tight arse owner so far…
Yohan Cabaye – £4.5m (estimated wages 40k)
Demba Ba – Free (estimated wages 35k)
Sylvain Marveaux – Free (estimated wages 40k)
Mehdi Abied – Free (estimated wages 10k)
Gabriel Obertan £3.5m (estimated wages 25k)
Stephan Ireland – Loan ended (estimated wages 40k)
Sol Campbell – Free (estimated wages 25k)
Kevin Nolan – £4m (estimated wages 45k)
Jose Enrique – £5.5m (estimated wages 50k)
Xisco – Loan (estimated wages 35k)
Wayne Routledge £2.2m (estimated wages 15k)
Shefki Kuqi – Free (estimated wages 10k)
Other loans: Michael Richardson, James Tavernier, Kazenga Lua Lua, Phil Airey and Fraser Forster (estimated combined wages 10k).
Assuming big signing-on/agents fees let’s say the free transfers cost £10 million. That would mean £18 million spent with added wages of around £150,000 per week.
As for outgoings, about £11 million has been recouped, meaning that we have spent £7 million on signings this transfer window plus a saving of £220,000 a week in wages saved. Meaning overall we have chipped some £70k a week off the wagebill.
Now assuming Carroll was on around £30,000 a week, that’s £100,000 a week off the wage bill. With £28 million left from the £35 million Carroll fee. So in theory we should have £28 million and £100,000 a week in wages to splash
to get to where we were (expense wise) at the beginning of last season.
Fair enough some money was spent on upgrading the training ground, and hiring a tea lady, but a fair chunk of it should still be remaining. And we should have more than enough with £100,000 to offer decent wages to a new quality left back and striker.
Yet, we are still haggling over fees for players, by trying to play hardball and offering fees way below what clubs are asking.
There are still two days to go, but I feel yet again Alan Pardew is being made to look like an idiot and is being put under immense pressure by a completely incompetent board, when it comes to football matters.
Even if a player is brought in today or tomorrow, they will get no training time with the new squad and they would have to be thrown completely in the deep end, in what is the most important pressure fixture on the Toon calendar.
All we (the fans) can do is support him, because no doubt, if anybody knows the frustration the fans are going through, with regard to false promises, it is him.
Thanks go to JJ for submitting this article. Well done fella.