Why Do We Get The Simple Things Wrong?

Last updated : 12 January 2006 By Footy Mad - Editor
Comments : How can we keep getting even the simple things wrong so

Gregory Vignal is the latest slice of mediocrity pie to be linked to
The club needs to learn severe lessons from the appointment of Graeme

1) Do not sack managers in September.

2) Do not spend 10''s of millions on superstars when the SQUAD needs

3) Do not bring in mediocrity in area''s that need quality.

This thread is for point 3 specifically. First some triallist comes
over, down the pecking order at Lens, of all teams, with no Prem experience
and, unsurprisingly, gets sent home. Even having never seen the bloke play,
we all said he wouldn''t be any use. Yet we persevered. Now I see Vignal
linked to the toon, for possibly the weakest area of the team. How is
Vignal a better option than Elliott or Babayaro? All three are
Championship players at best and surely, if left back is the priority,
we should be aiming for a player who is BETTER than the two we have, not
just more mediocrity??

It''s so simple - all it requires is a modicum of inteligence and a
sprinkling of planning:

Establish yourself a first XI. Then get another XI players who you''d be
content to bring in in their place. So are the current crop good enough,
even if our expectancies are top 8? I would suggest not:

Given <-> Harper - yes.
Carr <-> Ramage - not great, but passable.
Boumsong <-> Bramble - no.
Taylor <-> Moore - no.
Baba <-> Elliott - huge no.
Solano <-> Dyer - when fit, yes.
Parker <-> Bowyer - if staying, passable.
Emre <-> Faye - no.
Luque <-> N''Zogbia - yes.
Shearer <-> Ameobi - no..
Owen <-> Chopra - no.

We''re woefully short at left back and up front, we could do with squad
players for CB and CM, and in the long run will need to strengthen the
right back slot.

However, to me we have a, at best, top-8 squad and the sooner we all
realise it the better. But someone in Newcastle simply must do something
for a living, mustn''t they? In my opinion, we simply must prioritise
we need and when.

Left back first - a better left back, as seen for France, would help
Boumsong and Bramble immensely. So we MUST go for a "first teamer".

Striker second - Owens injury makes this as important as a left back,
we must surely, as with the left back, be targetting a "first teamer",
they will play virtually every game between now and the Summer, then
season must replace Shearer.

Centre Back - A good squad player would be extremely useful here, as
Taylor and Boumsong, with a decent left back, could make for a very good
pairing. Bramble as back up, but we need one more - Moore is an utter
waste of space and was clearly ANOTHER awful decision.

Central Midfield - again, squad players are necessary, as the central
pairing of Emre and Parker is potent. Bowyer looks likely to leave, Faye
is 4th choice at best if finances are running low, but we certainly need
help in this area.

Up Front - We need a second striker in. Ameobi is no better again than
choice, so we need a 3rd choice - again, a squad player is where the
should be, and proven quality/youth is where we should aim. Chopra
isn''t good enough to rely on.

LB, CB & RB - possibly for the Summer, but more strength than Ramage,
and Bramble/Boumsong may be necessary and, depending how it all works
we may have the money.

So my solution, for what it''s worth, is to have this as our options
the end of Jan:


...with more changes needed before the start of next season - however,
with a World Cup between then and now, and more than likely a new
speculation on that is pointless at this stage.

Obviously, this is all just opinion, but then if I were the manager of a
massive club, I''d ensure my scouts were actually EARNING their wages. I
don''t know who is available, nor who would be interested in coming, but
at the very least I can work out where the work is needed. Will Souness
the maths? Unfortunately, history itself and the likes of Babayaro,
Lachon, Vignal, etc. suggests the answer is a resounding "no".

Cross your arms in front of your chest and put your head between your
legs - this is going to be one hell of a crash landing.