To say this summer has been a complete and utter shambles is probably the understatement of the century.
I’ve never known anything like it – and that’s saying something after 12 years of watching Mike Ashley make mistake after mistake.
As a result, I can’t say I’m holding my breath for a takeover to go through – especially when any new owners would have less than a month to sort their own manager and several essential new signings.
If we’re working on the basis a buyout isn’t happening, I can’t help but look at pictures of Neil Redfearn leading training, the fact we’ve lost three of our biggest assets (Rafa, Rondon, Perez) and the reality that several players deemed not good enough are now back in the frame and wonder how on earth we’re going to survive over this coming season if Ashley doesn’t pull his finger out over the coming 30 days.
I say 30 days as that’s all that’s left between now and this summer’s transfer deadline on Thursday 8th August.
In that time, we have the following to do if we want to go into the new season with any hope of staying up – never mind competing:
- Appoint a new manager capable of keeping us up.
- Replace Rondon with a striker capable of getting into double figures (and replace Joselu if and when he leaves).
- Replace Ayoze Perez – but with a £20-30m player, not Aarons or Muto.
- Keep Sean Longstaff
- Improve our options at full-back
- Sign a central midfielder or two (two if Hayden leaves as Diame’s gone).
With that in mind, we have 30 days to not only appoint a new manager capable of motivating a group of players likely to be incredibly dejected (not Steve Bruce or some recycled trash) AND sign at least 5 or 6 players.
This sounds ambitious, doesn’t it – especially when we all know how slow Lee Charnley tends to operate in the transfer market – but, as stupid as he is, I struggle to believe Mike Ashley is crazy enough to believe we’d stay up with our current lot.
This is an idiot we’re dealing with, but an idiot who only cares about us staying in the Premier League and nothing else. If that’s the case and he plans to simply protect us from relegation, he will surely not let us go into the upcoming season in the current state we’re in.
The problem is, it could well be too little too late no matter what he has up his sleeve over the next month. Just look at the other 19 Premier League sides we’re up against next season. Aside from Sheffield Utdd and Norwich, everyone seems to either be strong and stable or has spent big this summer – and even those two newly promoted. Huddersfield, Fulham and Cardiff were three awful sides last season, but I don’t
In a summer that started with us hoping for Rafa to stay, a takeover and a sudden surge of ambition arriving at St James’ Park, we are sat here with little over a month left of the window with no manager, no Rondon, no Perez, no takeover (as things stand), no new signings and no hope if the above doesn’t happen.
Am I saying all will be forgiven if he secures a surprisingly decent manager and spends £60-70m? Not a chance, but relegation looms larger than ever if Ashley doesn’t at least make an attempt to repair the damage he’s done over the coming 30 days.