ONSIDE: Window of opportunity for current Newcastle United squad


SO the farce that is football’s transfer window has closed without any new intruders climbing into St James’s Park.

Personally I’m just relieved that no-one decent disappeared in the opposite direction before Monday night’s 11th hour.

Not that the pantomime ended as soon as Big Ben’s chimes made a predictable apperance on Sky Sports News.

With international fortnight starving journalists of their usual diet of back page fodder, expect a lengthy post mortem on what little went on at Newcastle United.

In all honesty, I’m not as worried as many fans or former players-turned-pundits about the lack of activity.

I actually believe, dare I say it, that director of football Joe Kinnear had a rare point when he suggested it was about time certain players justified their existence.

Unlike Sunderland’s irate Italian, Kinnear actually stopped short of identifying the culprits, probably because he could not pronounce their names.

Yet if £5m-plus signings like Vurnon Anita and Mathieu Debuchy can continue their recent improvement since the opening night debacle at Manchester City then this season might not be as wretched as many are fearing.

Don’t get me wrong, I cannot see Alan Pardew’s side making a realistic bid for a European place via a top six finish.

But a solid campaign should allow them at last to have a decent stab at the two domestic cup competitions.

As for Kinnear’s role in all this, given all he has had to say about the Magpies then it was inevitable he was going to say something sensible at some point.

Most of his utterings, however, are utter drivel.

“Judge me on my signings” he said as he breezed back into St James’s Park in the summer.

I’d far rather he had just held his hands up on his arrival and said: “Well, look lads, we’ve a fixed budget here and blew this summer’s money in January when we were battling relegation.

“Then there’s the £7m we lost in place money by falling from fifth to 16th in one year.”

Uncomfortable words. But they may just explain the club’s transfer inactivity.

Nor do they sell many season tickets in June when supporters still have two months left to react to Pardew hoping “to get one or two more over the line”.

Having said that, if the club were so worried about maximising revenue then why didn’t the new home strip go on sale until after the season started?

Newcastle United. Don’t you just love them.

Anyhow, who says there are no new faces on the way to Toon?

Stand by any day now for Pardew to be linked with old West Ham mucker Carlton Cole after his release from EastEnders’ Queen Vic.