ONSIDE: Clement Grenier? Even Clement and La Frenais would aid depleted Newcastle United against Sunderland

Onside
Onside

SO Newcastle United have failed in their bid to sign Clement Grenier.

Well, believe it or not, it might actually be a good thing in the long run.

The pair of them have not written a worthwhile television comedy since Auf, Wiedersehen Pet came back for second helpings more than a decade ago.

To be honest, given the Magpies’ depleted squad at the moment, even signing Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais on free transfers would boost manager Alan Pardew’s options for tomorrow’s latest “most important derby ever” with Sunderland.

Both writers may well be into their 70s.

But I still reckon they could outpace likely starter Shola Ameobi up front.

La Frenais, a famous son of Whitley Bay, even sounds French so should fit straight in with the majority of le squad.

Should Newcastle United have increased their reputed £8.5m bid for Lyon midfielder Grenier?

The Magpies were certainly happy to play tough with Paris Saint-Germain over Yohan Cabaye to ensure they banked an additional £5m-plus on top of the French side’s orginal £14m bid.

So if bartering is good enough for owner Mike Ashley and co then surely they understand why other clubs dare to play the same game with them?

Ashley, to be slightly fair to him for once, usually gets his man.

Mathieu Debuchy, Loic Remy and now Luuk De Jong have all arrived at St James’s Park after Newcastle’s first bids were rejected.

Expect Grenier or another unknown Gallic midfielder to arrive for the proverbial “undisclosed fee” just before this summer’s season-ticket deadline and for Ashley to hoover up the remainder of the Cabaye fee as another instalment of his interest-free loan to the club.

Speaking of loans, will the loan, or should that be lone, arrival of De Jong, who has played less than 90 minutes this season in Germany, be enough tomorrow to compensate for Fabricio Coloccini’s injury, Cabaye’s departure and Remy’s foolish suspension?

Go back to New Year’s Day 1985 for inspiration.

For Coloccini, Cabaye and Remy read Glenn Roeder, David McCreery and Chris Waddle.

The spine of Jack Charlton’s team was missing against Sunderland and still the home side won 3-1.

What’s more is that Sunderland later lost the League Cup final and were relegated.

Now that would be some comedy script if history repeats itself.

I just cannot work out who is going to play the Peter Beardsley role and score a hat-trick.

– GAVIN LEDWITH

@GLedwithHMail

Enjoy this drivel? Here’s some we made earlier:

ONSIDE: Norwich line-up telling in tiresome Cabaye saga

ONSIDE: Not all sins forgiven after Magpies’ West Ham win