Transfer news: Newcastle fail to land any deadline day signings despite Joe Kinnear claims
Loic Remy on loan was the club's best deal of the summer
Tuesday 03 September 2013
Grammatically incorrect it may have been, but the sentiment was pertinent nonetheless.
"Where's your signings, Joe Kinnear?", sang the Newcastle fans at Morecambe last Wednesday evening and again during Saturday's 1-0 victory over Fulham at St James' Park.
It is a question manager Alan Pardew may well have been posing to the 66-year-old as the transfer deadline approached and passed, with loan signing Loic Remy the only player of note to have been added to a squad which had been weakened by the loss of Steve Harper, Danny Simpson and James Perch during the summer.
Kinnear's appointment as the club's director of football was greeted by uproar when he pre-empted an official announcement by taking to the airwaves to reveal his impending return to Tyneside and trumpeting his own cause.
In a series of outspoken interviews, he insisted amid a furious backlash in the north east and general amusement elsewhere that his qualifications for the post were impeccable.
He said: "I can open the door to any manager in the world, anyone, that's the difference. I've spent my whole life talking to Alex Ferguson, week in, week out. What would you do?
"I can pick the phone up at any time of the day and speak to Arsene Wenger, any manager in the league. In all the divisions."
Journalists were briefed at one point that Kinnear, who had vetoed the deal put in place for FC Twente defender Douglas under then managing director Derek Llambias, hoped to have landed a major signing by the end of that particular week. It never materialised.
The Magpies have not been shy in making enquiries - they held several rounds of talks in a bid to land Lyon's Bafetimbi Gomis.
They also asked about Wigan midfielder James McCarthy, who instead joined Everton, and a loan move for Chelsea frontman Demba Ba, and have been heavily linked, as have several other Premier League clubs, with Blackpool flier Thomas Ince.
The list is far longer, but time and time again, the sums have not added up.
That, it has to be said, is not an uncommon occurrence with Newcastle, whose much-vaunted transfer policy has become a model for good husbandry.
However, in the face of last season's difficulties, which saw Pardew's squad singularly fail to cope with the competing demands of domestic and European football, coupled with the manager's repeated pleas for reinforcements, Kinnear's bullishness continues to strike a tuneless chord.
On Thursday last week, Pardew was asked about his hopes for the remaining days of the window.
He replied: "We have said, just taking Demba out of the equation for a second, that we need and would like another striker or maybe another two flair players in the side, so we are in the market for anybody in that field that we think is going to work for us."
Victory over Fulham on Saturday significantly improved his mood, but the message to the boardroom was not markedly different.
He said: "We still hope to get an offensive player in before 11pm [on Monday] and we are working towards that."
That hope ultimately proved ill-founded as the worst fears of an increasingly rebellious Tyneside public became reality.
Pardew may console himself with the knowledge that midfielder Yohan Cabaye, a player he has described as "world-class", remains on the books - until January, at least - after Arsenal decided not to improve upon the £10million offer they had rejected earlier in the summer.
He may yet still have a job on his hands to persuade the France international, who by all accounts had his heart set on a move to the Emirates Stadium, to knuckle down and rediscover the form of his first season in English football.
But when he manages to find a quiet moment, the 52-year-old will reflect upon another deflating summer transfer window, which follows hard of the heels of last year's debacle.
Owner Mike Ashley ultimately spent in excess of £30million in January to right the wrongs of a ill-judged approach to recruitment, and the fact that some of that investment had been earmarked for the current window is in part an explanation for the recent lack of activity.
A repeat 12 months on looks unlikely, to say the least with the man drafted in to head up the club's recruitment department having managed to land only a player who almost signed seven months earlier only to be lured to QPR by the promise of more money.
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