The window slams shut with United empty handed

By Lee Ryder on Jan 31, 08 11:59 PM


The opening day of this Blog on January 1 warned Newcastle United fans not to expect miracles during the transfer window but perhaps nobody expected absolutely nowt.

And while you might have had a hangover when you read it the lack of new faces may have you reaching for a stiff drink with the prospect of a relegation battle hanging round SJP like a bad smell.

Big Sam warned United needed to add depth to the squad at the start of the month but before he even had time to open the doors at St James's Park he'd been pushed out the backdoor himself!

That left United with two and a bit weeks to add players under Kevin Keegan but even the Messiah had a job on his hands to persuade high profile stars to come to Tyneside with team sitting in mid-table and with little or no chance of Europe next season.

KK to his credit tried to bring trusted quality on board in Jonathan Woodgate but the player opted for Spurs as we were reminded of our place in football.

A quick look round the transfer window's final day of business sees Pompey look to have secured Jermain Defoe, Boro got Afonso Alves and Man City snapped up Felipe Caicedo - even Fulham signed Jari Litmanen!

There was never any point of signing players for the sake of it but at least United have bolstered numbers with some raw kids over the last month which has perhaps gone unnoticed.

Yes below the surface of the first team Ben Tozer, Tamas Kadar, Wesley Ngo Baheng and Fabio Zamblera are all set to be tried out in the first team - but only after safety is in the Premier League is secured.

Going out, and somewhat of a surprise it has to be said, was David Rozehnal.

The player joins Lazio on loan until the end of the season with his place in the Czech Republic squad for Euro 2008 at stake without first team football.

The Czech has been moved around the team and hasn't settled in his best position of centre-back.

Over the next couple of days Habib Beye and Abdoulaye Faye rejoin the squad after elimination
in the African Cup of Nations.

But the final verdict over a transfer window that once suggested we were about to sign four first team squad members has to be one of deep disappointment.



Rich said:

Is it just me or are other toon supporters rapidly becoming disillusioned with Mike Ashley and his ex Spurs gang???

Under FFS, transfer window after transfer window, we had promises of big name signings and loads of mega names being bandied about. That was, of course, until all the season tickets had been sold, then suddenly....poooof!...all those promises vanished as quick as the mega profits we're supposed to make year after year (yet we were still £80m in debt when Ashley took over!!!).

Now under Ashley, the January transfer window rolls round and there are all kinds of claims of a £30m transfer kitty for KK. Yet, how much have we spent....not a penny (well, nowt worth speaking about). Yeah, we've brought in 4 or 5 promising young uns...but no one else worth speaking of, even though KK reckons the squad is paper thin. I know Ashley has invested somewhere in the region of £200m to £250m so far (depending on which paper you read) but surely he can afford to match Derby's asking price of £3m for Giles Barnes instead of refusing to budge from the £2m offered. I think even that one small signing would appease the fans for now.

Instead, all we get is a boatload of boardroom cronies. Sure, as I said in an earlier post, the club needs a root and branch reform. But surely Ashley could've followed through some of his talk with some half decent transfer action instead of just creating another 'old boys club'. I can't help thinking back to the bad old days when the club was run by the likes of Gordon McKeag and Joe Harvey and we were languishing in the old 2nd division.

I really really hope I'm proved wrong, but I can see all of this restructuring going horribly wrong....especially if we don't pick up a win in the next few games!!!

KK's 3rd coming could quickly turn into his 3rd going!!!

Let down..again ! said:

Great !!
We need players in , yet we go and get rid of a defender.

Have we got muppets running this club ?

We may well be in serious trouble, with a possible relegation battle on our hands.
Good work NUFC.

B3v said:

Why have we let Rozenhal go if we weren't going to sign anyone? We only have 3 centre backs for they rest of the season?!
I cannot believe that KK has seen any players that wouldn't improve the squad, I can think of at least 6 players that are at smaller clubs, and would have jumped at the chance to come here.
We now have a ridiculous size squad, no good signing future stars if we are not in the Premiership, they will only leave for bigger clubs.
This could be the most disappointing transfer window Newcastle have had in years, am I right in thinking we are the only team in the Premiership not to have added to our first team squad?

luke adam lee aged 12 said:

my name is luke adam lee i am 12 years old and have supported newcastle as long as i can remember,my dad has supported them all his life,me and my dad sat up tonight waiting for some good news about some players coming to newcastle,but as usual,nothing happened,my dad is very upset,not only have we not got anyone in,we have let one of our few defenders go,can someone please explain to me what is goin on.

Andrew Davis said:

Hey Lee,

Its the Ben & Jerrys guy in washington, DC here and i must admit i am surprised that we did not go into the market and i can understand why in a sense, as even though we have a small squad i think letting Rozenthal go was the right thing to do as we have a lot of centre backs and as he has yet to get used to the premiership and was not commanding at the back and someone like faye is what we need and he bloody kicks people and when he is in the team we play well at the back.

Even though we have lost a couple of games at the arsenal i saw enough to suggest we will get back to winning ways soon.

Beye and faye are good signings and when they are back we will be stronger and stronger.

KK will get us playing and as usual the press in the south and over here are always stirring the geordie pot.

I also hope that Mr Wise and his buddies help KK and not interfere as if they do we will be back to square one again.

We need a win at home on sat and that is the start that we need.

Signing Woodgate would of been great but remember he has a ex big brother girlfriend down there.

Plus on shearer i hope he has a role and i think it would be a slight to KK if he did not come back in a smaller role and then take over after KK.

KK was confident that they can work together and in time it would be great to have the legend there to pass on small things to the other players and even shay has said it would be great for the team if he were there.

I hope to hear when i wake up on friday morning that the legend is back where he belongs.


andy briggs said:

Waiting for quality, KK style signing in the summer is a sensible option. With a win against the Boro this weekend, we can start to plan for next year. The new scouting system should turn up some good pre summer trading deals which can be pencilled in before becoming official. The KK factor will help bring in the up and coming stars similar to what he did with Andy Cole and Bez during his last rebuilding job.

I'm an exiled geordie living in Adelaide, Australia, however the excitment in getting up at 3am is back after dozing watching the Sou, Glenda and Fat Sam tripe which they served up. I'm not expecting much, however KK will blood in a few youngsters, the young Aussie lad we have is a tidy player when I seen him play over here.

aditya said:

The best available NUFC line up then..
beye faye taylor enrique
lualua barton emre duff/zog
martin viduka/smith
To be honest the other two players who should have been there are Owen and Milner,but anyone who has watched past two matches can realise they are not at all peforming up to their potential,are they?
Upfront Viduka and smith are uqually disappointing but they are just there two satisfy target man position.I wish we could have had Ibrahimovic up there..
Well as far as transfer deadline goes it's already dead there is no point moaning on it now and it's better to move on..I believe if we get our confidence up we can very well show boro what should our true position be..

Duncan Baines said:

I think it's a bit harsh on Shepherd to say he never made any big-money signings.

Bill said:

I cannot believe we didn't sign anybody in the transfer window. Our squad is inadequate and yet we let Rozenhal go to Lazio!! I am worried that we will get dragged into the relegation battle. The one factor that will help us is there seems to be the three candidates already, ie Derby, Fulham and Wigan. When you consider that Derby and Wigan have beaten us and we scraped a win agst Fulham indicates it ain't going to be a comfortable ride until the end of the season. A win agst Boro is a MUST.
PS to Rich - No, I do not think Toon fans are disillusioned with MA. I think we should be grateful, very grateful, to MA for rescueing us from FFS and SA. I saw him at the Arsenal cuptie - he is a breathe of fresh air who likes being with the fans and I don't see anything wrong with that!

James 09 said:

Despite their efforts, I think it is perfectly legitimate for Newcastle United supporters to be increasingly concerned about how and who is running our club.

To limit our efforts to Woodgate and Barnes was and remains ludicrous. Surely Defoe, one example, would have had at the very least real potential to be a good buy - but no, off to Pompey and at a seemingly reasonable price.

I know we changed manager and left KK only a couple of weeks to work on transfers. Our stock has plummeted - that's nakedly clear - but I think everybody expected at least one first-team signing.

Do Ashley and Mort realise that it is possible (indeed necessary) to balance focus and effort on both the long and short term?? We desperately need immediate improvement - they need to wake up, smell the bacon and realise that in our case that means splashing the cash.

I'm afraid our immediate situation requires full attention on the SHORT TERM - that is getting as far away from a genuine relegation battle as we can. Make no mistake about - only two more bad results for us would place us right smack in the middle of the relegation battle.

To a certain Mr Barton: you've let Newcastle United down hugely when we least of all needed your garbage - now pal is the time to stand up.

I said it before we went to Man U - Bolton and Boro were always going to be huge matches. If we fail to beat Boro, bearing in mind our daunting fixture list, we are set for one tight finish to the season.

Finishing in the bottom half of the league six times in the last ten seasons should have been a sufficient wake up call (I'm not going into the agonising drought). It should NOT have to take a genuine relegation battle or even relegation itself to finally expose the massive and persistent failings at Newcastle United.

Dave B said:

I agree with Andy Briggs - Despite the words of forewarning by Mr Ryder its doom and gloom again on the message board. The sooner some fans accept that trophy players don’t mean trophies the better. How short a memory have these people got? Did they really spring out of bed this morning like a kid at Christmas and want to see the NUFC sign Boumsong, Onyewu headlines? I’ll spare them the full January purchase hall of shame run down but needless to say it’s a long and distinguished list. It is these same people that bore their mates down the boozer with ’why didn’t we buy him, or him, or that Russian 12 year old who’s the new Ronaldo? Wake up. This is not Football Manager on the Playsation. Its real business and NUFC shouldn’t be buying rubbish at inflated prices.

Now I’ll admit that the Rozehnal departure did surprise a little but clearly he wasn’t up for the fight. This I feel is evidenced in his recent inability or more disturbing unwillingness to tackle a paper bag. Togetherness won’t be achieved if a player is sat in a huff in the corner dreaming of Rome.

In regard to the coming fixtures I agree we’ve a tough time ahead. At the start of the season I said to all who’d listen to me (and some that wouldn’t) that we should be top 6 by Christmas. The fixture list almost demanded it and gave big Sam the easiest of starts. Keegan has the trickier task no question. Had it been the other way around Sam wouldn’t have lasted nearly as long as he did (imagine the hand-wringing by the ‘he didn’t have enough time’ mob if that had happened).

So its over to us fans to accomplish a difficult balance for the rest of this season. We need to support the lads and KK whilst knowing we’ll have nowt to show for it. I’m ready for the call to arms but I’m not sure about the end of the world is nigh shoe gazers. These people should stay away from SJP. Stay away from the message boards. Stay away from civilised society. You’re the people that give those aiming at NUFC all the ammunition they need.

Reigate Geordie said:

Well here we are New Owner New Board New Manager SAME OLD STORY. I can only see us slipping down the table into the relegation zone. We don't seem to have anyone who can score a goal or stop one going in. Shay Given is the exception but one man cannot win games. I sat in St james as we beat Stoke 4 1 with ten men and thought at last we have turned the corner and with KK to bring in more much needed players we would end up in the top ten at least. Now I am not sure if we can survive the Championship next season let alone stay up in this. Let us hope I am completeley mad and MA CM and KK do know what they are doing. Howay the lads.

John said:

I don't like the transfer window - I don't I know how it can be legal given Europen human rights on employment.

I stayed up last night keeping an eye on the transfer market hoping for a new signing. Keegan has just come back in and to make signing for the sake of it would be wrong. He likes a certain type of player and there is little sense in just bringing in players to bolster the squad. Jonathan Woodgate is a great player but his track record with injuries is woeful - he'd be another player getting paid a fortune for being on the treatment table.

I don't think we'll finish any higher than we are right now but I think we'll be safe from relegation. Faye and Beye should be back soon and Martins and Geremi will follow not long after.

Keegan can now sit down and work on his targets for the summer. I fully expect to see Keegan make 4-5 major signing in the summer with Mike Ashleys backing.

As it stands right now we have a team full of squad players and we need to bring in quality first team players.

My opinion is that we need a decent young striker to support Owen and a couple of box to box midfielders. Our midfield is so light weight at the moment - they're not able to support the front players and unable to protect the back four. Our much maligned back four gets very little protection.

Paul Patterson said:

Rich- I don’t think there is much point in overstretching ourselves for Giles Barnes, when we can probably get him for £2m in the summer with Derby going down.

It’s a sort of gamble I know, but at least Kev can have a longer look at him to see how he handles a relegation battle, then make his mind up in the summer.

I’m as disappointed as anybody that we didn’t make significant signings, but remember the awful January of 2005- Babayaro, Boumsong and Faye- Who do you think, you are kidding Mr Souness. But I do think it was worth paying a pretty sum to get Jermaine Defoe. But again he’s a London boy and probably doesn’t want to move up to this dank, monotonous, gold-fish bowl called the North East. (Not my words I might add!!)

If were going to learn anything about this squad of players that we haven’t already, then we may as well wait till the end of the season and see what their made of.

On the subject of Rozehnal,- I’m not entirely bothered about him going out on loan (Nor permanent for that matter) as he’s a liability in whatever position he plays in.

The youngsters that have come in are a great move and once we are safe from the drop, we can sling them in under no pressure and ask them to enjoy themselves and get some valuable experience, after all that’s what Arsene Wenger’s policy is.

It’s a brave move and should always pay off long-term, providing we get good quality in during the summer to accommodate the short-term.


Charles said:

Yeah...pretty disappointing for all you deranged folks that thinks KK is getting Newcastle to relegation...

He promised the youngsters he'd let them have a go if he didnt sign anybody and i think he's really doing it!

But then again...who'd want to see most of the senior players anyway? I'd rather see the youngsters develop like lualua and A.Carrol.

For all you supporters that craved a signing, I should remind you of the days of January we'd endured for years...I think no signing gives a major boost to youngsters who'd be raring to go, not signings like Onyewu and Boumsong who is raring to go...raring to get their cash...

So, maybe we'd get relegated but under Keegan, we'd only miss out a season and plenty of none performers...remember, our light starts in division two under that guy. (Not that i want to see us relegated, of course...)

I don't care if we dont get signings, because at this current stage it only piles up misery amongst the team.

And as for Rozehnal...good day and good riddance. If you rather play for Czech so much, maybe you should leave a "low" club like ours, not like you'll show us something to cheer about anyway...

Ryder's reply: Anyone who hasn't been to the reserves yet to have a look at Andy Carroll is missing out.

adam smith said:

Im amazed that we didnt sign anyone and could have actually signed giles barnes for a good price as this would have given the team a boost. So lets hope that not deciding to up our bid by £1m will cost us premiership survival because and loss of millions and just think the teams around us and below us have all added to their squads - look at the roker jokers down the road!

steve spence. daisy hill said:

no player in1 out.we-ve now got more backroom staff than 1st team squad!!! no wonder the press are saying we are a joke,i-ll be glad when seasons over and as my favourite artist(boy george)sang in the 80s "its a miracle" that us geordies have fell for the same speel again.different owner&chairman same old least freddie gave managers money to spend!!relegations a distinct possibility

Ben said:

Look people need to realise KK has been here for two weeks!!thats all, Yes we could have done with a few additions to the squad, but surely we have learn our lessons from years gone, its better to sign nobody than go waste money on average players for 2-3 mil and be stuck with them with no imrovement short or long term.
Lets be realistick here, the only way we are going to get the top quality players into the club is by waiting till the summer, who is going to sell when they are still in europe and we are in transition???
KK`s philosphy has always been "I will only sign better than what I have got" and surely thats the right policy!.
We have been beaten twice by one of the best club teams in the world.. away, yet people are already starting to moan and criticise, this isnt helped by the constant sniping in the London press that people continue to read as if were fact!!
We have started to rebuild, and we have signed players this month 4 young players with supposed promise,trying to build strong foundations and build the club up from the bottom is what we havnt done for a while now and will hopefully stand us well for the future.

Lets all get behind the board and KK and make Newcastle look like an attractive place to play again before what will prove to be a massively important summer coming up.

Anonymous said:

Where is Ramage? I mean, he's not particularly great, but if we're pushed (and he's not crocked), he should be on the bench at least.

PauliesWalnuts said:

What's all the fuss about for crying out loud ?, so We did'nt sign anyone, would You rather We just got a couple of bodies in for the sake of it ? just look at SAFC, £40 million +, on what ?. Lets wait and see what happens in the summer, see if this rumoured £100 million materialises, see if We can get Bentley and the like, have faith in Kev and Ashley for gods sake, Ole'Shep is outta here, for that We should give thanks

Shaun said:

Lets get rid of this myth that we have a small squad-nope we have a squad of 22 which is all you need if you are not in Europe.The numbers are a bit short because we have 4 now 2 at the Africans, an idiot who got himself arrested and another idiot who got himself sent off in a cup game.
The only player worth looking at would have been Defoe and im sure if KK had really wanted him we would have tried to get him. We wont pay overinflated prices for players or stupid wages like we have in the past.Lets get to 40 points,let KK judge the players he wants to keep and then invest in the summer and move on from there.

Phil said:

Th future looks good in the long term. I like what I see in the new owners and management. We have a lot more "grey matter" running the club now. Freddie Shepherd sanctioned ridiculous deals. The new "team" off the pitch are putting in place a structure and plan for lasting success, based on young players who want to make a name for themselves. Obviously , Arsenal and Man utd are the "models" for success. No more bandaid solutions, or headline-catching overpriced trophy signings - just good planning and hard work. True fans will appreciate this is the way - thanks Mike Ashley!

Al said:

Hope I'm allowed to say this
I'm an old massive fan of NUFC & can boast that I was there when we won trophies, but recent performances until KK gets things sorted, & since we lost Sir Bob, have left me thinking of an old industrial saying
'Same s*** different day'

medan said:

We understand the concept of avoiding panic buys and waiting for the summer to buy quality etc. But if KK did proper analysis of ths current squad that has been playing pretty awfull for the last 2-3 mons, he would have realized there are no impact palers in this team that can win you games and have the courage and leadership to lift other players.

Is is like running any other business you can not grow or survive if you can not take a risk, the idea that KK was looking at only players with EPL experience to me is silly and short sighted. He could have looked at loan players from other clubs in Europe as an option.

Well knowing that we got to live with the crop of players we have, he better be able to motivate them and get the best out of each player otherwise KK will not be buying but lossing players once we get relegated

medan said:

We understand the concept of avoiding panic buys and waiting for the summer to buy quality etc. But if KK did proper analysis of ths current squad that has been playing pretty awfull for the last 2-3 mons, he would have realized there are no impact palers in this team that can win you games and have the courage and leadership to lift other players.

Is is like running any other business you can not grow or survive if you can not take a risk, the idea that KK was looking at only players with EPL experience to me is silly and short sighted. He could have looked at loan players from other clubs in Europe as an option.

Well knowing that we got to live with the crop of players we have, he better be able to motivate them and get the best out of each player otherwise KK will not be buying but lossing players once we get relegated

Simon said:

Why let Rozenhal go? 3 recognised central defenders until the end of the season? All it will take is an injury or suspension (and I am talking about Newcastle United, you know) and we'll end up playing even more players out of position.

Whilst I can understand that we might not have been able to buy quality, would it not have been possible to loan a few players?

Mark said:

I did read that correctly, the comment from Rich, what bad old days were these in respect of Joe harvey-great signings and a team to watch

bonnielad said:

quickly the tide is starting to flow against signings during the transfer deadline and roz out on loan.well we have had umpteen buys that have proved to be failures in the recent years.kk has to be sure this time round to get good players to come to the magpies.woodgate is too much of a risk and i am hoping that when ramage is fit he can play a part,he is a local lad and gives his beast

mag in boro said:

well i agree with some of the same old story comments.....the same old story of so called fans complaining that the club that they are meant to love hasnt wasted money on players only coming to SJP for stupidly inflated transfer fees or one last pay day

So rozenhal has gone fine its not as if he was top class judging on 1st half of season and as for comments made when he was sent packing yeah he was played out of position so what you play wherever the manager needs you he actually had his better games in midfield because at the back he looked terrified so as long as we get our 3 mil back fine bye bye

Everyone knows january is a mad scramble always is its the summer when the real deals are made and its gonna be when ashley gets the chequebook out
big time feel free to point me back to this in august if he doesnt

But window closed so no point complaining nothing can change things now(and no we havent signed any big names but in jan we signed 4 highly rated young prospects)

Now its the time to stop the F**king moaning and whinging and get behind whoever keegan sees fit to play(and yes that includes my opinion of smith)

is it any wonder the southern press try to crucify us and our club PEOPLE KEEP GIVING THEM THE AMMO

No we arnt gonna finish as high in the league as we should no we aint had a decent cup run

but we have got a lot of points still to play for plus the small matter of north east bragging rights. the atmosphere was electric for kks 1st home game and it needs cranked up again for sunday even more the circus surrounding keegans arrival is over

Time for 52000 to get behind the team 110% and turn SJP into a cauldron of noise from before kick off till after the final whistle anyone who doesnt want to do that stay at home or go down the pub because you are wasting a seat

plus we raise the roof and get the result we know we are capable of. it gives me the bullets to give the smoggies so much stick.they actually believe they can give us a man utd type beating....not a big turn on team at drop of hat...keegan sacked before end of season...Fat boy viduka not gonna touch the ball...alves gonna destroy us(im trying to keep them as clean as poss as we know lees censorship)
Come sunday every single word/jibe/insult rammed back down the smoggys throat from which it came


Rushabh said:

Let us hope that under Keegan the Fiery combination of Emre and Barton could work...they along with Zog,Milner and Duff
could do wonders for our team...All of them are Keegan Type Players.i think they can create more chances for owen,viduka,smith and ameobi...Let us hope
that we get the result this sunday..let us keep the faith.Reguarding the transfer,i think Keegan was right.There was no need to buy players only to increase the numbers.We have good set of youth players now and also faye,beye,geremi,martins and ramage coming back sooner or later

iain said:

we should of got a cm in imo.

tiago was available from juve for 9m. possibly on loan if we coughed up a decent sized loan fee, which is nothing really for a club our size. he has pl experience.

butt/geremi are championship players at best these days, and we cant rely on barton (prison/mental problems), emre (injury prone/reckless/inconsistent) and smith (usless in mf and will get banned at least 1 time more this season imo).

i dont get keegan, saying he doesnt want to take risks then he makes woodgate his no1 target??? someone should tell keegan what happened to woody the 3 years keegan was out of football.

also lee do you think the real reason harry redknapp turned us down has something to with the 3 new "directors" we just appointed ??? last time redknapp had an appointment made above him he walked out and went to pompeys nearest rivals.

i hope in the summer we go for real young talent, not just kids from foriegn academys who havnt played 1st team footy.

the likes of marek hamsik and ezequiel lavezzi from napoli would be nice. two players dubbed the new kaka (hamsik) and maradonna/messi/tevez(lavezzi).

and sportings jao moutinho - the new deco.

the signs are good i suppose with that kalouda, juve havnt signed any good young players in ages, so if they think hes a new nedved he must be alright.

mark Blades said:

Dave B.....mate at last some common sense, the best post ive read in a long long echoes my sentiments to the word.....lets get behind them, im up at 3am in New Zealand to watch them,so lets get in behind them, get this season over with 45 points and bring on the summer, back in July for me hols cant wait to see kev signing the players we need...exciting times ahead, albeit 6 months away.
Howay the lads

John Best said:

Bad news travels fast; Newcastle is not the place to be; it is a grave yard for 2nd rate has beens. Any potential star; looking at our performances over the past few seasons, would,nt give NUFC a second thought. We are almost as bad as Sunderland, who I think will be relegated yet again. The danger sign is flashing...BEWARE !!!

brian said:

I think Milan Baros was the player Newcastle should have tried to get. He is a hard working striker who knows the premierleague very well. A loan deal as he got in Portsmouth and then a permanent deal if he was succesfull.


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

Latest Premier League video


Email alerts

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

In association with


Follow my RSS feed


Follow me on

Lee Ryder's Twitter


Sponsored Links