Author Topic: Why is there an outrage over our transfer dealings?  (Read 6695 times)

Offline CraigDoyle

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Why is there an outrage over our transfer dealings?
« on: August 31, 2011, 11:58:37 pm »
I'm looking at the transfers we have made and I can't understand why people are hugely upset at us not signing a striker. It's clear to me that this club is operating on a similar model to Everton where players have to depart before we can bring anyone in but yet everyone seems to be massively disappointed about something that just didn't seem to be on the cards anyway.

It may sound like I'm adopting the cheapskate mentality but why is Leon Best considered a worse option that majority of the players that moved clubs today? Domestically he's got a record that rivals or betters the guys that clubs were looking to move on.

Peter Crouch - 73 appearances for Spurs in the league for a return of 12 goals.
Nicklas Bendtner - 98 appearances for Arsenal in the league scoring 22 goals.
Cameron Jerome - 181 appearances for Birmingham with only 37 goals and most of those aren't even in the top flight.

Leon Best - 26 outings, 8 goals.

It's easy to suggest we should have therefore brought someone in from the continent but is that really wise considering that strikers are going to cost in excess of £10m? Ruiz may be the next Suarez but he could just as easily be the next Afonso Alves. Cisse was going to cost around £17M if reports are to be believed. Maiga doesn't have the greatest scoring record at Sochaux and they were holding out for bigger money while Roux's record comes from Ligue 2!

I'm also of the opinion that there is no point in trying to bring in a striker on a loan deal. What good does it do us in the long term? Majority of the players being made available are guys that the big clubs want to develop because they aren't ready for first team action. Daniel Sturridge I think would have been an exception but is there any point in the likes of Macheda coming here? All that would happen is that he'd sit on the bench and push Vuckic and Ameobi further down the pecking order. Basically it would damage the development of our own players to take someone like that on.

This is all without mentioning Demba Ba. The guy hasn't quite settled as quickly as we wanted him to and I think in the games against Arsenal and Scunthorpe he was very very poor. However he showed signs of what he is all about when he was introduced against Fulham by putting on one goal and almost scoring a fabulous solo effort. He may simply have been short of match fitness as he certainly looked more mobile and up for the fight in his last outing. The guy has scored goals wherever he has been and I think we need to give him a chance to do just that here.

Offline Crico

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Re: Why is there an outrage over our transfer dealings?
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2011, 03:05:14 am »
Craig there's no doubt that you're a top fan and I tend to read your match reports before nufc.com's when it comes to games I didn't see. But this is bollocks.

I quote you from your spot-on season preview:


"Up front we are short. Demba Ba will look to provide the goals but I have little faith in Ameobi, Best or Lovenkrands to deliver. Ameobi is likely to retain his blue chip status and somehow appear as a regular part of the first eleven despite failing to contribute enough over the last ten or so years. Best offers probably the best backup option but I'm yet to be convinced by his performances. A fresh face would be very much welcomed."

What changed since then? A Leon Best brace? That's Ashley logic, man. How would a loan signing help the team in the long term? Well, an Ngog-type, loan though he is no world beater, would have added some pace to frontline that desperately needs it, and, if it led to a hike in premier league places it might possibly pay itself back in prize money. More than that, though, it would inject a bit of confidence into the place and give us the feeling that we might have enough not be looking over our shoulders in April/May.

Ba and Ameobi's scoring records aren't bad (I think Ameobi is 1 for every 3 starts?), but their injury records are impressive too. Beyond them, think about the sort of teams in the PL that would but their faith in Leon Best as the main goal-getter for the season. Wolves, maybe.

I don't know if Ashley and Llambias expected Ruiz to reject personal terms - I'd love to hear what they offered him. But with the limitations Ashley has imposed on the club (wages in particular) its clear that we can never grow with this man.

Yes, seasoned pros like Colloccini and up-and-comers like Gosling and Vukic are reasons to be positive. But for how long? Colloccini will be off next summer. Vukic, Krul and Gosling will get bigger profiles and leave - not for top 4 clubs but for top 12 clubs. We are going slowly backwards and any progress the team makes on the pitch is in spite of Ashley, not because of him.

With respect, I don't think Everton is a parallel to be made. Their financial situation is worse than ours when Ashley took over (maybe because the climate is worse, but we never heard any noises about the bank threatening to recall loans) and they have a middling stadium they are desperate to move out of. Also, there seems to be respect between Kendall and Moyes that just doesn't/didn't exist for our manager(s). An Everton under Ashley would have sold Arteta, Fellatio, Cahill, Jagielka and Baines a long, long time ago.



Offline Crico

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Re: Why is there an outrage over our transfer dealings?
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2011, 06:07:53 am »
Actually, to look it another way (also negatively, so apologies in advance) the reasons to be irate/pessimistic relate to changes with Ashley himself.

I think most people agree that our club will now never succeed in making a successful bid of 10M for any player or offering wages, which, however ridiculous are the going rate for top performers, but a few years ago, Ashley did that himself, with Fabricio Colloccini.

Why he wouldn't do that now, and conversely, wants to sell this type of player is open to conjecture (did the Keegan fiasco and the Fat Cockney Bastard chants depress him, did relegation put him off, is he too deeply under the influence of Derek Llambias, who appears to hold the club and its supporters in total contempt?) But the fact that he has fallen out of love with the club is clear for all to see.

Whether his remaining motive is to turn it into a profit-making concern or prepare it for sale, its difficult not to be negative about the latest phase in his ownership of the club, as it is clear that he currently has no ambtion to lose money for the sake of progress on the pitch.

I know a lot of people on this forum approve of the fact that Ashley has brought the club into the realm of financial logic, and if you want to give him credit for that, that's fine. But even aside from that, there is the  way they do business - the failed bids for N'Zogbia, Richardson and (it appears) Ruiz, the lack of communication. That just makes us look like low-rent bullshit merchants. If there's no money to spend, or you don't want to spend it, or you think that wages in the EPL are ridiculous - just come out and say it, rather than pretend to be buying players.

Offline trophy4toon

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Re: Why is there an outrage over our transfer dealings?
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2011, 10:04:56 am »
Must admit last night I was getting a bit concerned that panic might be setting in and weíd end up wasting £10 million on some sort of failure up front.

Sunderland seemed to be just trying to buy any striker they could get hold of, wanted Crouch but ended up with Bendtner.

Stoke seemed to have gone crazy buying Cameron Jerome (£3.5 million), Peter Crouch (£10 million) and Wilson Palacios (£8 million).

Could you say any of those 4 players are better than we have already got to be honest ??

Having being able to be at the Fulham match have to say I was re-assured that we have got quite a good team put together without spending masses of money.

Leon Best is the type of player I would always want in the team. He gives 100% effort and encourages others to do so too. Was constantly in the face of the Fulham defence, big bruising presence and scores goals too. Also you could see he was very popular with the other players.

Demba Ba showed flashes of brilliance and speed that you think once he settles down he will be a great player for us and we got him for free.

Actually my main disappointment in the team was Danny Simpson who looked slow, distribution very poor and looking like he was missing Joey Barton covering for him. Interesting that we nearly sold him last night, Ridgewell would have been a better bet than Simpson I feel. 

Add into that Cabaye and Davide Santon who by all accounts is a great buy, then Iím happy that we have had a good transfer window overall.

We wonít be far away from the top 8 this season with this squad and I guess thatís what Ashley is thinking too.

Had we landed a decent striker then we could have been aiming higher. That was disappointing but personally Iím happy that we did not allow ourselves to get sucked into panic buyng at the death.

As for communication, well Ashley and Llambias just donít do that. They leave that to Pardew who Iím not the greatest fan of. But that said I appreciate he is stuck between a rock and a hard place between Ashley and the fans.

Iím getting to a point now where I agree with Ashley actually, spraying hundreds of millions about to buy a football team, what is the point of that, itís only a game. Why should we expect Ashley to pump millions of his own money into paying huge wages for lazy footballers and parasite agents.

Donít get me started about Tevez and Aguero at Man City i.e. they buy his replacement then they keep Tevez anyway !! And the Etihad stadium sponsorship by the owners brother to get round the UEFA rules, it's just disgraceful !!

Much happier running a lean, mean outfit and having a go at the big clubs that way.   

Offline trophy4toon

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Re: Why is there an outrage over our transfer dealings?
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2011, 10:08:43 am »
Though it looks like Joey Barton is also having a dig at Ashley and Llambias again on his twitter account:

Joey7Barton Joseph Barton
Nice to see MA and DL come through with their promise to reinvest AC money, 59m net profit from transfers in last 5 seasons.....ambition???

Offline mrmalaki

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Re: Why is there an outrage over our transfer dealings?
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2011, 01:40:44 pm »
In my opinion, we have replaced like for like all of our outgoings, but with younger (with the exception of Carroll/Ba) more motivated, less troublesome, more talented players. What is everyone's problem with that? Sure we have money left over - I'd rather we had 20mil in the bank and a good side that are enjoying and wanting to play for Newcastle than no money in the bank and  a load over paid primadonna's...

Offline Legzy

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Re: Why is there an outrage over our transfer dealings?
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2011, 02:44:07 pm »
If we'd kept Barton & not extended Shola, I'd be feeling pretty smug about our current squad & future building. Still a decent enough window, I guess it just lacked a little glamour  :-\

Offline Crico

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Re: Why is there an outrage over our transfer dealings?
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2011, 03:39:47 pm »
Less troublesome? More motivated? Barton was troublesome for sure, but you couldn't question his motivation. And he happens to be spot on in his tweet. Selling to buy is one thing - but we're not even doing that if you look at the books.

I think we all know we aren't going to score as many goals as last term. That means you are banking on the defence to shut as many out as possible. Looks good so far - what if a couple of the back four get injured?

Ashley must have dropped valium in in the trophy4toon teapot. As far as I can see it we've got one player that will benefit the team more than the lads who left - Cabaye. Apart from him, all our best players seem to be injury-prone.

This transfer window was uneventful, agreed. But what about the next one, and the one after that? Back in July most of you were pretty negative about the lack of transfer activity. Now Ashley has replaced a left back because there wasn't another one at the club and that's job done?

I watched the Arsenal and Fulham games. But Fulham are crap travellers under a new manager and Arsenal have looked to be in freefall so far. I'm thrilled to get 7 out of 9 points, but top 8 is out of the question given the size of the squad and the quality of the stikers. I will happily munch on my words if you're right though.


Offline CraigDoyle

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Re: Why is there an outrage over our transfer dealings?
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2011, 10:24:31 pm »
Chris, I'm starting to look at the longer term picture and I think Ashley is doing a lot of things right at the expense of upsetting a lot of people in the short term.

Firstly I'm not saying I have full confidence in Best but look at what was available. Washed up strikers like Crouch and Yakubu who couldn't hit a barn door or guys similar to Best but with poorer scoring records such as Bendtner. Would it have been worth spending the better part of £10M to bring in something similar to what we already have? The Ruiz deal was never on the cards as Fulham had been in contact a fortnight before and were way out ahead of everyone else. The fact is that we clearly hadn't scouted the guy and you can't bring someone in from the particular league without taking a good look as the stats mean very little. Quite simply he could be a Luis Suarez or he might end up being the next Afonso Alves. I think we had a genuine interest in Maiga but Sochaux clearly didn't want to sell while Cisse was only going to go for silly money.

Do you believe that bringing in someone like N'Gog would really have been a good deal? I can't think of anything worse. We have our own youngsters like Vuckic and Sammy Ameobi who would only get pushed further away from the first team in order to accomodate someone who isn't a natural goalscorer and will be gone in 12 months. Pardew has hinted Obertan can play off the front man which will give us the pace needed.

Ameobi's goals to game ratio is actually about one in six so he rivals Crouch for the striking wooden spoon in my book.

I fully agree that the club can never grow under Ashley. Quite simply he isn't going to be putting his own money in like other owners are doing and therefore we can't compete in the transfer. You do bring up an interesting point about us not being able to offer the wages and I think I know why. Ashley has probably looked at the wage bill and tried to set a wage limit that the club can operate at without watching money fly out the door. But with our infrastructure and fanbase you would be quite right in saying that a Fulham or Stoke shouldn't be able to compete with us financially. It's my belief that they can't and they are going over their wage budget to bring in guys like Crouch. Once one player is on the big money then the guys around him will start asking for the same. The question is how long can these clubs sustain the big wages before they put themselves at financial risk? Not long. It might take a while but I think the league outside those with the financial backers will eventually swing back in favour of those who are looking after their books. I could be miles off but I really don't believe these clubs are looking after themselves and within a few seasons we could see a new Portsmouth situation.

The one thing I regret not getting from the transfer window is another centre back. I'd have settled for another utility man actually and wouldn't have been too concerned whether it be Ridgewell, Bassong or some prospect in from France at a low risk price. I'm also a little disappointed that we couldn't ship out Smith and Ranger as I believe the departure of either would have been the catalyst to picking up another body or two earlier in the window.

It's a little harsh to say that Demba Ba isn't an upgrade on what we had. He may be 'injury prone' but I never saw any sign of it at West Ham and I've yet to see it here. Surely he'll be less injury prone than Ameobi. Marveaux is yet to be judged but I will say that I expect to see more out of Gutierrez this season as so far other teams haven't been able to double up on him so effectively as our midfield is much more mobile and they are concerned he might slip the ball infield allowing us to break. Last season it was easy to shut him and Enrique down as there was rarely anyone there in the middle to take the ball from the wing and redistribute it. Keep your eyes out for that this season.


Offline Crico

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Re: Why is there an outrage over our transfer dealings?
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2011, 03:13:56 pm »
Some reasoned points but the part about getting value in the transfer window sounds a bit too much like Llambias' statement. Yes, the strikers being hawked at the close of the transfer window didn't represent value - that's why you do your business before then - but at £35M, neither did Andy Carroll. Given that the club got a brilliant, inflated sum for Carroll, aren't we entitled to see them pay out some of that for a half-way decent replacement, in good time?

Shane Long has alreadly started looking good for WBA - if we had beaten them to him, Ashley could still have used over half the Carrol fee to pay himself back. That doesn't represent a massive financial risk. His only motivation is paying himself back as soon as possible. That's fine, but it cannot be portrayed as being in the club's interest in any way, as it makes underachievement in the transfer market a key part of our strategy!

I'm also excited about Vukic but an out and out striker that plays off the last man wouldn't have pushed him further down the order. As for Phil Airey/Sam Ameobi types, Ameobi's brother spent too much time as a sub on the fringes of the team under Robson/Souness when he could have been playing 90 minutes every week in the championship. I think this is part of the reason he's so bloody unfit. I'd have Sammy loaned out of the pressure cooker so he can get some game time at a decent championship team.

I'm not doom mongering though. I think we'll be alright this year (although next year might be different if Ashley continues this way). But it irritates me that Ashley and Llambias use a few positive results as an excuse to cut Pardew's balls off in the transfer market. I think we can gather from the noises he made last week - "we need reinforcements", "Best is trying to establish himself as a PL player" that Pardew certainly isn't too happy over the failure to get one or two in before the window closed, and neither am I.