There has been some interesting news today that could affect how the rest of our transfer window plays out – Steve Bruce is set for a ‘transfer meeting’ with Mike Ashley.
However while interesting, wether it’s positive or negative is anyone’s guess.
Steve Bruce told BBC Newcastle’s Matthew Raisbeck that he will meet with the NUFC owner in the next few days to discuss potential signings – but you have to wonder why this is happening midway through a window. Bruce said:
“I’m going to meet the owner in the next couple of days. He was very, very supportive in the summer.
“I will not just bring people in for the sake of it but, if there’s someone who can improve us, I’ll ask the owner the question.”
The easy conclusion, and probably the most likely to jump to from this would be that the meeting is set to take place in mid January because of a lack of organisation, planning or as we all know, Ashley probably just doesn’t give a monkey’s.
But, maybe Steve Bruce is pushing for a deal that Lee Charnley doesn’t have the authority to sanction, maybe due to a player’s age or cost.
Maybe, just maybe, we’ll see wether or not Steve Bruce really is just a yes man like many people have said. Or another view could be that maybe Bruce actually invited Ashley to the training ground after big bad Rafa ostracised him and never invited him to Benton which Ashley claimed in his “interview” with the Daily Mail.
Whichever reason it is, it sums everything about Ashley up that the owner meeting the coach in a transfer window is deemed newsworthy. If there is one reason for cautious optimism, let’s remember January activity is not uncommon under Ashley’s tenure, with vastly varying degrees of success.
The last 3 Premier League January windows saw relatively big money spent on Shelvey, Townsend, Saivet and Doumbia in 2016, which was of course disastrous. Dubravka, Kenedy and Slimani arrived in 2018, and of course last season’s winter window saw us break our transfer record for Almiron (oh, and Antonio Barrera).
Before that who could forget 2013 when we signed half the French B team, and then we have the anomaly of the year before. I say anomaly because when we signed Papiss Cissé in 2012 it was, and still is, the one single time Ashley improved the team when things were actually going well, instead of signing players to either replace others or out of relegation threatening desperation.
Look what happened then, we actually had our best season under him. Can he not understand that?
Is it worth having modicum of hope he might give Bruce the striker that could see us aim for a top 10 finish, or will Ashley remain allergic to our ambition.