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DEAL OR NO DEAL?

Most football fans this week will think that Newcastle United have pulled off the best bit of business in last month’s transfer window when they managed to part Liverpool with £35 million for the services of star striker Andy Carroll. However as a United fan I have to admit that it was a difficult offer to turn down so can understand why it was accepted but it leaves me worried for the rest of the Magpies’ season.

 At the time when the deal was struck boss Alan Pardew had just hours to try and bring a replacement in and despite his best efforts to lure Charles N Zogbia away from Wigan the window was shut with the club a striker down.  Owner Mike Ashley has already come out to try and reassure the fans by claiming that all the money will be invested back in the squad come the summer. This is all well and good but should form dip and injuries hit a small squad Newcastle could potentially see themselves in a battle to stay in the division.

Carroll has led the line fantastically this season with 11 goals and his presence will be hugely missed. Not only his goal scoring ability but just his power and effort will be missed and other players may struggle to maintain their form.  Skipper Kevin Nolan is great attacking from the midfield but again a good percentage of his goals come from Carroll assists.

Now until the summer Newcastle are left with the ever present Shola Ameobi  who always works his socks off but still has yet to prove his premier league quality. We have Peter Lovenkrands who again is probably past his best and will find it hard to get double figures this season. Newcastle signed Leon Best a year ago when they were in the Championship and he was a very good player but now has to prove he can step his game up and finally we have Nile Ranger. The youngster has showed plenty of promise at youth level and is tipped for bright things and hopefully with more first team games he can show us what all the talk is about.

The problem became worse when Fulham beat us  1-0 and Ameobi went off with a suspected broken cheek bone and although the length of recovery hasn’t been confirmed it is likely that he will face at least a month on the sidelines. However we have showed great determination which no one can doubt after becoming the first club in premier league history to come back from four goals down to get something out of the game. Some would even say we were unlucky not to win. Again at Ewood Park on Saturday we came away with a well earned point against a side that have been revived under a new manager.

So it isn’t all doom and gloom for all you Geordie fans, Hatem Ben Arfa signed for us on a permanent deal and before he got injured he looked like a real quality player and has also just recently announced that he could be back in March which is sooner than expected! We also managed to secure the loan signing of Stephen Ireland from Aston Villa and on his day he can be a top player as well.

 Despite my worries I am fairly confident of staying in the Premiership and it will be interesting to see who we are linked with come the summer and if Ashley keeps his word and backs us heavily in the summer transfer market. Come on the Toon!

By Lee Rowley



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