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Toon fans praying for another "Oz" moment

By Lee Ryder on Jun 21, 08 09:17 AM

They are moments that you just always remember.

Where were you when we signed x, y or z?

For Newcastle fans there are so many to choose from whether it be Keegan, Beardsley (second time around) or Shearer.

Keegan's first coming was simply off the planet, while Peter Beardsley's arrival as Premier League football hit Tyneside really shook the foundations of St James's Park and Alan Shearer, well fans turned up in droves just to catch a mere glimpse of the £15million man wearing the black and white shirt after he'd turned down Man U for a second time.

But then you have Michael Owen on that list as well or even in some cases Patrick Kluivert (even though he proved a major let down), the big names, the ones that make not only you stand up and take notice but the rest of football.

For me personally, Les Ferdinand was one of those big, big names.

The moment still lives with me now in June 1995 when I was walking around the streets of Mallorca donning a Newcastle shirt and a Spaniard stopped me to say: "Well done you've signed Ferdinand."

That has to be a monumental moment for most fans.

And while at the moment it seems like we are destined to simply build on the squad we have, you just never know with the Magpies do you?

Mike Ashley pulled on the number 17 Smith shirt in the hope he'd pulled off a big one - but that didn't quite work out - so what will his party trick be this summer?

Without doubt people will mock the lack of trophies at Newcastle since 1969, but when it comes to big names, there is always something to get the blood pumping.

So stiffen the stiffen the nostrils, you never know what could be around the corner.

And while tension is in the air around Gallowgate even the Toon's tycoon knows what is needed in order to get the Toon jumping once again.

16 Comments

Ross G said:

Many people forget how important that first signing is, not just to the fans but the squad and potential future recruits too. It states the clubs intent especially when your in our current situation looking for Europe. I think thats maybe why Keegan hasnt brought in anyone yet as he is waiting on a top signing. Don't get me wrong Im not looking for another Kluivert, I mean big signing by the likes of our recent losses both Woody, and Modric which would have both been tremendous. We are all waiting for this first signing however, and even though I realise us fans seem impatient we cannot sit back and allow the same situatuion to re-occur like that of Woddy and Modric. I remember although a poor signing how fast Bobby was to get in Viana, when he heard of Man Utd interest he flew straight over and spent the night to tie up the deal. I agree a rush unecessary in the end, but I think Ashley needs to sit up and take notice. Keegan said I want Woody - no deal. I want Modric - no deal. The inexperience that our current directors and chairman have may be a key reason to our lack of recruits. Lets hope for a decent start as Michael Owen clearly opitomises our thin squad at Ascot where he mainly spoke about the loack of our transfer activity, whcih may even affect his contract negotiations.

STEVE said:

The thing is Lee,does MA really know whats needed,or for that matter does he care??We have ALWAYS reeled in big signings,ones that you have mentioned and many more.One that sticks out for me was in 1995 in Bodrum,Turkey..walking round the shops/boozers and being told we had sold Barry Venison to Galatasaray and then being informed that we were on the verge of signing David Ginola of PSG. So i got on the blower back to my dad and asked him,he replied that we had just signed some french bloke,and that just made our holiday....everything that night was black and white..i was just looking forward to the new season..it was sensational....then we got talking to these lasses from up the smoke, in a bar,one of which turned out to be Sir Les's cousin....the coming season was gonna be fantastic....and it was.Now though everything is different,and it shouldnt be...something or someone MUST be holding KK back in the transfer market...we all know his style and he would certainly have had a couple of faces in already,then maybe one big one just to get the players/fans geed up for the big KO.I just cannot see this happening this time,and i know people will say just wait and see but i think the signs arent encouraging at all.I really like the look of Arda of turkey and we have been linked...but is it all paper talk or not?? Does anyone else share my concerns,what do you think Lee?

Ryder's reply: Well Steve, there have been a few names plucked out of fresh air but there have also been a lot of agents pushing names forward and sadly using Newcastle's name to alert other clubs.
I think that Mike Ashley does care but he's only going to do it his way.
It's common knowledge that Kevin Keegan has not returned to his desk from holiday yet but with a fortnight to go until the players return the forthcoming period will give us a much clearer indication on how this is all going to pan out.

Mike Ashburn said:

I was actually working in Germany,not that far,as it happens from the Oz-meister and his merry band of hutter nutters,when I got the news about KK. As you rightly point out,the big names that have appeared on our doorstep,to be seen pulling on our strip,have made the headlines for all the right reasons,and have made me puff out my chest with pride.
So far though,we seem to have not a great deal(literally)to either whet our appetites,or to set our sights on some impossible dream.
It's a good thing that a grounding for the (far)future is starting to be laid,but the way that football in the English Premiership is run,means that we will probably miss the boat,if some class that has been tried and tested isn't brought on board for the coming season.
It might be the calm before the storm;I
certainly hope so.
Classic stuff from Oz,Den and Nev,by the way!
Keep the faith

Brian Smith said:

Lee

I also love reminiscing about our fantastic past signings and I was in Spain when we secured the autograph of the`Shear Legend'. I read your blog all the time, but this is a 1st for me.....a life long toon supporter, but also a realist and I find it quite sad that we have to dream of the how it was, when Ashley has no intentions of spending his precious cash to take us back to those hay-days. Somehow I wish you could get him to read our messages, so he can begin to see that it is not worth him getting in the stands next season, as he will get roasted by our loyal and rightfully bitter fans, unless he strengthens our squad significantly in the coming days. No pain no gain Ashley and all that.....you have to invest to reap the best...I am tired of seeing teams such as spurs, villa and even portsmouth for craps sake being linked to all the players we should be buying!!

Pedi said:

Perhaps Ashley will surprise us all and bring in a couple of top notch players.... or maybe he wont. If he doesnt help strengthen the squad then I dare say he will hear what the Toon army think during the first home game.

Like people have said before, the season ticket prices have gone up yet the entertainment factor has plumeted. Why would you want to pay more to watch the same drivel as last year? Im sure KK knows this and is desperate to bring in new 'entertainers' for his club. The problem being, the guy with the cash seems very reluctant to spend.

Worse still are the continuing reports of Milners departure and the possible Oba sale. Selling two of our better players is madness given we would have to pay more than we get for them for a replacement of equal quality. Who cant wait to see smith running out in a black and white shirt again?
I cant see a star name arriving like a huntelaar or lahm but i hope im proved wrong. The youngsters need quality players around them to learn from and progress.

Id like to see some british players come. Bullard/shorey/wright-philips. All have premier league experience and probably wouldnt cost a great deal. Add to them 1 or 2 decent foreign players and that should see us have a good season. Theres still time for one or two headline signings but the patience is wearing thin. Its like christmas, you hope you get what you really want but you also get alot of things you aint bothered about (smith being the hankies from aunty). I dont want any stocking fillers Mike.

STEVE said:

Lee,i thought KK was back at his desk.....if this aint true,then when is he back?

Ryder's reply: He's back on Monday

Paul Patterson said:

RE- Geoff Forster.

Sice Ashley took over, Newcastle United are actually in profit regarding transfers, this being BEFORE this transfer window.

Now we've sold Rozehnal, Emre and Ameobi looks to be on his way, so we are going to show quite a profit, plus I'd like to see the back of Smith, Barton, Duff, Viduka and posibly Geremi.

I'm very concerned- if it's just a case of clearing the decks before the incomings, then fine, but sadly, I think we can forget signing more than one player over £10m and the rest will be young kids on low wages and coming for a small fee.

I never wanted a sugar daddy like Abramovich, but I expect to see at least a professionalism and common sense with regards taking the club forward.

We need players in well BEFORE the first game, NOT the Aug 31st deadline as games will have elapsed by then. So we have just over a month to get them in before August 1st.

Clocks ticking. . .

Paul.

Jon said:

I'm not that concerned with the way things have panned out so far. It's nice to see that our seemingly inept scouts did something right by identifying Arda as a possible target. He would be a fantastic signing.

Gomis has been less than impressive and honestly, I hope we don't even bother.

I have faith in the board right now and I'll reserve my judgment until KK is back in the office and the Euros have concluded.

If there is one signing that I want to see this summer, it's Andrei Arshavin. There has been some talk in the papers about Wise meeting with his agent and I hope to God they are true. I think Arshavin would be the best thing for this team. He's a wonderful player and paired with Martins and Owen, he'd be epic. Plus it's the perfect excuse to get rid of that pie eater Viduka.

If you're reading this Mike Ashley, do us all a favor and bring in Arshavin. I'll buy two jerseys, and over here in America, that's quite an expensive proposition.

Topher said:

Yada yada yada!

"We need players before the first game..." - it's June 21st, KK has been on holiday, the Euros aren't finished. Will you lot chill out. I agree that Arda, Arshavin et al would be great but we could have signed them last week only for them to get injured. I know it's hypothetical but look at the example of Ribery - now out until Sept/Oct which means he will miss pre-season and effectively right-off next season. Look at Michael Owen a year ago yesterday...

Be patient everyone.

On a slightly different note, I can't help thinking that there is some real talent in Russia - players like Zyrkov (sp) would be great signings and would tick every supposed box. Young, comparatively cheap in terms of fees and wages and seriously good players.

I'm sure the recruitment team are sitting back and taking note of these championships and will act accordingly.

Howay the Toon.

Mal said:

True a lot of players have gone out the door, but none of them were value for money in terms of number of games played. We've lopped almost £10million off the wages bill and got rid of players who either weren't up to it or spent most of their time on the treatment table.
The reality is we haven't a hope of signing arda or arshavin as they will go where the champions league is. We will have to fight for the scraps with west ham, villa etc. Our best hope is signing the likes of shorey,lennon, wright-philips, sidwell, crouch etc - british players with something to prove and who would strengthen the squad overall.
Howay the lads.

Charles said:

Once again I see the transfer is not moving, but then again, I heard KK is not back yet. Hopefully he comes back soon because he'll set things right like the first time he came. When he started managing Newcastle, Sir John Hall promised him cash but never gave him. What's the result, a threatening letter saying "Give me that wallet or else!"

I think he's going to do it again. I mean: Owen and Taylor's contract hardly moving despite the claims its moving. No transfer so far (Not really a bad thing...) and the players Newcastle targets either get snatched off or skyrocketed in price. On top of that, Oba going Arsenal and Milner going red. What's going on? Are we selling the club away, literally?

First, I like the sacking of 'technology nerd' Sam, and reappointment of King Kev. I admire the way KK deals with so much criticism on the first eight games and I certainly love the three man formation which justifies Owen's price. But what I don't like--selling Milner, Martins for cheap cash, not making serious bidding and the casualty was Modric, the appointment of Wise to put KK on the alarm, and the wallet being tied with two tons of chain and locked with seventy different locks.

I really want to see Turan at least. Showed some creativity and can fill the left void. May cost us much, but for the club's sake.

I really don't understand why Viduka is the subject of torment alongside the worst of the worst. Geremi and Smith certainly fits in but Viduka? No, and neither does Barton. Both showed their importance in the past few games, unlike Smith and Geremi. (I dont care how many assist he made, but the point is he's too slow and his corner kicks are like a ten year old's, unpredictable)

Viduka is the final piece within the three-man team. He can pass, heads, and is physical enough to hold players. Owen is the scorer, captain, passer, and target while Martins' the speed, terror and long range shooter. The three fits in together. So, unless we find another physical striker who can do as much as Viduka, I'd keep him. (Look at how we fared without him)

Milner is not the bad luck starter so please don't dispense him (With Smith playing, kind of make you think...) Carrol may not be Shearer, but with his potential. Edgar got what it takes, with some experience given, and certainly we know Zog can excel, with the right manager and the right mind.

Please Mike, I don't want to see another season gone for mere money. I know the fuel's up but football is not.

Phil said:

My dream is that we'll sign ANDREI ARSHAVIN. Having watched his influence in Russia's last two games, I honestly believe that he could well be the best player in the world at the moment. He has everything. He is a player to build a great team around - simply inspirational. He is even better than Modrich whom we lost to Spurs. I would like to see Mike Ashley break the bank for ARSHAVIN in an attempt to sign him. He would transform Newcastle!

vic said:

It would be nice to sign Arshavin but things look like we lost him... Day by day his prise is going up.
Another thing you never know how he will adapt to EPL. He does not speak English. I can not recall any guys from Russia who could make a difference in any clubs in the EPL. Probable he will come to NU for lower price than Gunners/Chelsky can offer in case if we sign a couple Russians together say A.Arshavin& Zhirkov . Zhirkov is still cheap and able to improve any squad incl RM or MU.
What do you think guys

Jonny said:

Mike ashley pulled on the Smith shirt because 17 is his lucky number. Had nowt to do with the player

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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.

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