Regrettably, I joked a week ago with all the fuss surrounding Darren Bent’s transfer for 24 mil to Aston Villa, that Mike Ashley must be scheming something to get the attention firmly back at St James’ Park. Something dysfunctional was around the corner, I said. How true this was proven today with the sale of Andy Carroll for an estimated 35 million to Liverpool. Now from a purely business standpoint, 35 million for a not entirely proven forward seems like an incredibly deal. Also, from a player’s, to practically treble their wages overnight seems like something you wouldn’t turn down.
However, this is not your average player or owner. We’ve been repeatedly fed lies over the last few weeks from the club that “Carroll is not for sale”. Also, today’s Chronicle led with an interview from Carroll saying his future was at the club. All this together and so-called player loyalty from a local lad to that special no.9 shirt, has gone out the window. Some are blaming Ashley and others are defending Carroll saying he was “pushed out”. Personally I say bollocks to the both of them. Even though 35 million is a huge amount for Carroll, if Ashley really wanted us to develop the club and nurture the best players, he could have turned both the offer and Carroll’s so-called transfer request down. In a similar manner, Carroll was the one to sign the deal with Liverpool. To paraphrase Shakespeare “The lad doth protest too much, methinks.”
“I’m afraid I find no pulse on the lad. He has no heart”
Whatever you make of the whole affair, seeing Carroll grinning in a Liverpool top with what looks like he’s getting his picture with a Madame Tussauds version of Kenny Dalglish, is a bitter pill to swallow. Further, this does not enamor many to Liverpool fans who have spent the last year or two bellyaching about owners, players, managers and about their club being in chaos. When was the last time you were relegated? What’s the lowest league position you’ve suffered in recent years? Today, as the deal of Carroll and Suarez were more or less certain, Liverpool fans were still crying about Torres leaving and some idiots even burned a shirt with his name on. If you want to know what misery is, try following Newcastle for just one season.
Liverpool’s new strikeforce of Lou and Andy
So where does this leave us without Carroll? Surely, a shrewd business man like Mike Ashley wouldn’t sell his star player without having a replacement lined up. So, Liverpool had two to replace Torres, plus they almost pulled off a transfer for the promising Blackpool midfielder Charlie Adams. What did Newcastle do? A 12 million bid for a player we sold under bad circumstances for 6 million, just exactly 2 years ago. Oh, and let’s not forget a player on loan till the end of the season, who was reported to fail his medical today (Stephen Ireland). Ben Arfa deal aside (who we’re yet to really see if he recovers from injury and lives up to the hype), this transfer window has been another farce for Newcastle. In fact, I get this tremendous feeling of déjà vu after the Carroll deal went through right at the last minute before the transfer window closed. Ashley then holding his hands up (up the arse of his two puppets Llambias and Pardew) saying Carroll requested it, and there wasn’t enough time to sort out a replacement.
If we take a look back at a number of different transfer windows, there is a worrying trend that it seems to be too much coincidence to not be an accident. Here are the facts:
- On the 29th August 2008, Ashley sold James Milner (one of reasons for Keegan’s departure) for 12 million pounds; too late to buy replacement as transfer window closed on the 31st. Money was not re-spent in Jan transfer window
- In the January transfer window of 2009, both Shay Given and Charles N’Zogbia were sold for 7 and 6 million respectively, right at the end of the transfer window (30th and 31st January). Newcastle would make a last minute bid for Kieran Richardson, which was obviously turned down, like today.
So this last minute sale, smacks of a forethought plan with the aim not to reinvest the profit from sales into building the squad. It seems that Newcastle have gone back to the terrible days of the 1980s where we produced local talent, only to sell them off as they blossomed. Shades of 1988 come clearly to mind when Paul Gascoine was sold to Spurs after a very promising start at Newcastle.
An interesting article on True Faith costs out what this transfer window has done for Ashley. Afterall, in a season where our depth of squad is thread bare, this transfer season we let 3 players go. Alone, on wages, Ashley is saving over 100k per week (Routledge, Xisco and Carroll), with a calculated profit of 40 mil in January alone.
True Faith like many other point out that this is not just an “unfortunate event”, that it was bullshit when they said that they really, really, really didn’t want to sell, honest guv’. I agree with this, but Carroll is not a blameless pawn in the equation. Afterall, Ashley wasn’t at Liverpool twisting one arm up his back and making him to sign.
Will we hear the truth behind this whole drama? Un-bollocking-likely, with Ashley in charge. Normal disorder resumed at St James’ Park.
One final thing, hats off to the Chronicle person who had the balls to created this entry with the url ending “money-grabbing-fucking-bastard” (now changed)