Is Hughton right to rubbish transfer talk?

Posted on May 7th, 2010 | 81 Comments |

The quiet man is..... keeping quiet!
The quiet man is..... keeping quiet!
We are at that time of the season again where inevitably the talk around any club will turn towards the transfer activities of the summer.

Chris Hughton has been quick to play down any expectations of wholesale changes to the playing squad, but is this a shrewd move to divert the press away from the smell of blood whilst plans are made in private? Or is it a genuine statement that the club is pretty much closed for business already?

There appears to be a consensus forming between fans that around four signings will be needed to give the team the best chance of extending our stay in the Premier League beyond next season, and this concensus appears to not be aligned with Hughton’s prophecy of expecting one or two new faces. This could lead to a problem not only on the pitch, it could also brew trouble in the stands aswell. The fact is that some fans are still very sceptical over owner Mike Ashley and his intentions for the club, something that could be clarified by the supposed release of an official club statement which is apparently due sometime soon. If it does turn out that there will be only one or two signings then I have a hunch that it will be seen by some as the owner not backing the team and could result in scenes of unrest not too different from what we witnessed last year.

But is it all a clever ruse? Has Chris Hughton got a greater number of signings earmarked? Certainly our experience of his only transfer in January could be an indication of that. Expectations of reinforcements were low heading into the winter window, yet we emerged with a strengthened team with deals only being announced after they had been complete. It came as a shock to many, but upon reflection it makes so much sense, why would you broadcast who your potential signings are? If you did then you risk being gazumped by another team along the way.

Perhaps this is another exercise in team spirit and man management? It would hardly fit the team ethos that has dragged the club bck to the Premier League now would it?

“I’m sending Shola and Leon back to The Championship and Taylor can go if he wants. Danny can stay but I’m getting a new right back to take over his position. If anyone wants Ryan Taylor I’ll listen to offers and I’m going to be bringing in two new centre backs, a left back, a right back, new creative midfielder, a new right winger and a new striker… and who the hell is Xisco?”

Obviously it wouldn’t happen like that, but what if Hughton came out with something like what I just wrote there? What do people think the repercussions would be? Would it be wise to announce that we are looking for a rake load of players and fill the eyes of agents across the globe with pound signs?

Let’s also not get too down on our current crop of players. We know we need improvement in certain areas, but the fact that we finished so far in advance of the rest of the teams shows that we are quite a way ahead of the other two promoted sides already. We haven’t set so many records this season by being rubbish.

Either way I guess we just have to wait and see. We know players will come, we just don’t know how many, or how much they will cost, that is just the way it is nowadays. The transfer window doesn’t open until May 25th, and for all we know contact may have been made with players already.

Time will tell.

NUFCBlog Author: toonsy toonsy has written 643 articles on this blog.

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81 Responses

  1. There will be no surprises this transfer window! Have a look at how Hughton has conducted his business up to now. We will get new players in and they will be of the ilk that we have signed in the last window. I really don’t see this as a bad thing, we might see a few surprise signings but none of them will be big money names. Unfortunately buying Rolls Royce players on a Hyundai budget just doesn’t make sense anymore. We are seeing more and more clubs in finacial trouble as a result. Bring in the no name, hard working, up and coming players Chris and I think a lot of fans will be more than happy….

  2. We haven’t set so many records this season by being rubbish…… no we weren’t rubbish but compared to the PL teams, the fizzy pop team we played against were, so if we don’t bring in more players & strenthen the team & WBA & the other promoted team do, theyy’ll be stronger than us & we’ll fail & get relegated again!!!

    CH will bring in players, the question is who & how many?? I don’t expect any big names or big wages & if the reported £15m is all he’s getting to buy players with, plus any cash he gets for selloing any, then in todays market with clubs like Hull, Burnley & Pompey despo for cash, we should get some half decent players, the only problem is, do we really want players who’ve just been relegated from the PL, will that interfer with the calmness we have in the dressing room or will they want to fight for the B&W shirt…. all serious questions that need to be answered, lets just hope we don’t do what we’ve done for so many seasons before & wait until the last minute to buy whats left…

    We have a fantastic time ahead of the other teams as they’ll be window shopping at the world cup, looking who’s playing the best & splashing the cash, while we can concentrate on getting some decent, hard working players into our team & not having to wait until the World Cup is over to do so..

    So come on CH, do what you did in January & get us some real diamonds for our first season back in the PL…..


  3. I agree we just need to realize it won’t be big signings atleast for sometime. If CH has pull off 3-4 good surprise signings then we might be just fine.

    I think what matters most is how we start in PL when still transfers will be going on. If we start well then I am sure we have high chances of survival. Because if we start well everyone from owner to fans will be happy. Otherwise I am afraid same might happen as our last season in PL. But I am very excited about what to come. Its surprise for all of us.

  4. Good article Toonsy and like you (I think), feel that Hughton’s managing fans’ expectations, keeping his targets to himself so not to alert other agents/ clubs and doing his level best not to demotivate the dressing room.

    Good management I’d say and yes, we shouldn’t expect any ‘Rolls-Royce’ signings as MA’s quite rightly trying to maintain the club’s finances, sensibly.

    The important thing is that fans bear all of that in mind and not expect any miracles next season. Anything above avoiding relegation’ll be a bonus!

  5. I can still remember reading blogs on this very sight at the start of this season. So many comments were posted about how tough the fizzy pop league is and how we will struggle to survive and maybe we will do a Leeds etc etc. Now I here it all again as the begining of a new season approaches. What everyone has to realise is that a good team doesn’t come down to how wonderful all the induvidual players are. It is about comitment to a common goal and players playing to the best of their abilities. Please, haven’t we had enough of all the big name signing that have graced our club. Give the current players a chance to shine, there is so much doom and gloom before we have even kicked a ball. There are many teams that survive quite well in the PL without the aformentioned big name players. If the teams grafts as hard as they have this year we will win games. And to all you budding PL managers that constantly blog on this site.. Give the “we will come straight back down” rhetoric a break… that line of thought has been well chewed over…

  6. I think most of us know that without an injection of fresh faces that the current team will struggle in the premiership.
    If I was MA I would be targeting a pacey midfielder with the capacity to create,score goals and unlock defences wether it’s someone young and hungry or someone with experience I don’t mind but it will certainly add a dimension we don’t currently have.
    Next up we need another striker someone like bellamy to add some pace and craft up front.

    If I was MA I would gamble on spending £20 in this window and a further 10m in the January window…without investment and a poor start in the premiership things could get tricky.

  7. i think hughton is telling us how it is,ashley has tyed his hands and all we will see is a few players coming in.

  8. Andy Carrol’s rising to the challenge of the Prem and more relevant to Toonsy’s article is that he’s reported as aying that any new signings must fit in with the current dressing room spirit. Too true Andy.

    Obviously the players’ ‘committeh’ will have their own networks and know pretty well which players will or will not fit in at Nuewcatle United. Chris Hughton really put the senior players to good use by having them on side and I wouldn’t be surprised if he were to take their counsel on potential signings. DOing so shouod reduce the risk of bringing a disruptive influence into the dressing room.

  9. You’re so right Sjt, if we get off to a bad start, things could get a bit tricky.

  10. some lad left this on another site, i agree 100% with.

    i divent care about 10 or 15 million pund players..but what is blatently obvious is that we need a striker who gets premiership goals,left and right back cover,right wing cover with maybe another centre half…so yes chris we DO need players….and ones who have expierience and will give 100%……….or is 5 not classed as wholesale???

  11. all this player harmony and togetherness will go reet out the window if we get our arsees kicked in the first few weeks of the on sjt

  12. “sirjasontoon says:
    May 7, 2010 at 9:57 am
    I think most of us know that without an injection of fresh faces that the current team will struggle in the premiership.”

    Yes, we will struggle without fresh faces, we will struggle with fresh faces too.
    The season will be a struggle, but I’m confident we will survive.
    Have the last four years not been a struggle? Even with our fancy squads?

    I completely agree with Aussie Toon. But like people on here are saying.
    As long as the fans realise our expectations for the season are only survive.
    Then i think we can expect a “successful” season.

  13. “hitman says:
    May 7, 2010 at 10:04 am
    all this player harmony and togetherness will go reet out the window if we get our arsees kicked in the first few weeks of the on sjt”

    No Hitman… you are wrong…

    It will only go right out the window, if fans like yourself get on the players and managers back and allow a good atmosphere and spirit to go sour.

    It is our responsibility as supporters to back the team, no matter what the result.

    People like yourself and SJT are already preparing yourself for disaster… Its almost like you can’t wait for it to happen so you can come back on here and say “I told you so”…

    If all you are waiting for a a couple bad results, so that you can get a mob together and boo the players and scream “Ashley out!” at every game, then rather don’t support the club.

    The supporters played a huge role in our disaster relegation season… even if disruptings were born out of passion for the club… The fact is “WE” didn’t help the situation with our actions.

    And so… we like Mike Ashley, will hopefully learn from our mistakes, and support the team, positively, no matter what run of results we get!

  14. the problem is how many of our first team can make the step up,il trust hughton its ashley i dont trust,i dont think he has learnt from his mistakes

  15. jj like i says yesterday i would be happy if we finished 4th bottom,i have always backed the team that gos with out saying jj,its ashley i dont trust

  16. We all know that when we needed an injection of players in the January premiership window and Mike gambled on there being 3 teams worse than us and it backfired in spectacular fashion.

    I would just take the Bull by the horns now,get 4 more decent players in and be done with it.
    We need to speculate now to accumulate…my gut feeling is we will dither in this window and be starting the new season with virtually the same 11 we ended this season with.

    If that is the case then I do see a dire season ahead and we will be back down again.
    I don’t want prima donnas,just some players that are Hungry,take pride in the shirt and offer something new.

  17. Aye, Sjt, not sure about Bellamy.

    He’s surely a player anybody’d want on the pitch but…… do we really need someone Bellamy?

    Do we really need a player who’d be at ease discussing the finer points of Shelly, Byron or Keats for hours on end?

    Nah thanks, he’d bore the socks off the rest of the players!

  18. hitman says:
    May 7, 2010 at 10:02 am
    “some lad left this on another site, i agree 100% with.

    i divent care about 10 or 15 million pund players..but what is blatently obvious is that we need a striker who gets premiership goals,left and right back cover,right wing cover with maybe another centre half…so yes chris we DO need players….and ones who have expierience and will give 100%……….or is 5 not classed as wholesale???”

    Rather wait until the end of the trnsfer window before crucifying the club for not bringing anyone in…

    CH wouldnt be spending the break on scouting missions if he didn’t mean to bring bodies in…

    All I’ve heard from him so far is positive…

    “No wholesale changes”, “no disrupting the core of the squad”, “no big name signings”… “Its my job to see where we need to strengthen and where we need cover”…

    What more do you want?

  19. Goodstuff Hitman

    I don’t trust Ashley either… and I was all for him selling up and telling him how he has ruined our club… But, I have also since realised that by mouthing and shouting about it all the time, all I’m doing is adding to the negativity around the club, which really only makes the situation worse.

    And so, if the worst comes to the worst. And Ashley fails to invest a little in the squad again, and the team doesn’t perform as they should.
    All I can do, its berate Ashley in my own mind, but keep quiet about it hoping he leaves soon and support the team even louder than before to try keep the spirits up…

    Hopefully though, like I said before, Ashley can learn from his mistakes too…

  20. what i want jj is for ashley to back hughton with a canny war chest(not mega bucks),we all know we need 4 quality players in,i just hope im prooved wrong and ashley goes gunho

  21. I thought Bellamy was more an oscar wilde man :)
    I would have him back in a flash,he seems to have a better mentality now and would slot in well upfront and compliment Carroll in a two pronged attack.

  22. If the investment is poor this window then we will be back to square 1 by xmas.
    Mike will do it his way though,he is thick skinned and will carry on regardless what the fans say or think.

  23. sjt i would love bellamy back,but he must be on massive wages,and his fee would be to rich for ashley :wink:

  24. I think we are all hoping for that Hitman, its common sense isn’t it… But regardless of what Ashley does, or how the team performs, I just hope the fans don’t turn on them after a few losses (which there will be). We really don’t need that.

    As for Bellamy… I love the guy… I know most don’t haha. And you can’t deny he always gave his all for this club and has never said a bad thing about the fans or club as a whole. Great player.

    But out of our league unfortunately.

    If we can get a player in with similar pace and workrate I’d be delighted though. Can’t think of anyone though…

  25. Come on Sjt.

    You know as well as I that Bellamy’s always been a lover of the Romantics and has often mused about how much he could have added to the world of culture had he been alive then.

    Oh shame, that it’s our great loss that he must wander, alone in the cultural deserts of this fair land today. Let him there remain or go to foreign fields where his gentleness can only bring joy to the poor souls thereliving. I’m sure he could add to the current debate in Greece!!

    Best left where he’s happy Sirjason, don’t you think?

  26. Got loads of time for bellamy and his romantic prose would bring joy to any dressing room for sure !
    Bit to rich for us what wage is he on at man city about 90k a week?

  27. JJ says:
    May 7, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Get a grip man!

    Just because they don’t see the roses in the garden like some on here doesn’t mean they are waiting for us to lose so they can start demonstrations ect..

    It’s not rocket science – If we don’t bring in better players we’ll struggle and we’ll get the odd arse kicking.

    I expect a few thrashings off the top clubs, even at home – I can live with that because the gulf is jst so vast. But if you think I will just sit back and relax, while cheering my head off if were getting a bettering from the likes of Bolton, Stoke and Blackburn you’re deluded.

    Supporters pay their money and are allowed their opinions.

    Ultimately nobody knows how much he has to spend, I think he needs a fair crack of the whip – Some think prices will go down, but that’s rubbish.

    On him being slint so he doesn’t alert other clubs and other agents – Please!!!!

    These players agents will be hawking them around every club they can – They will want as much money as possible, so even if Hughton doesn’t want to give away any targets, it doesn’t matter because their agents will be doing it for them.

  28. No surprise there hitman. Clegg’s so hungry for the limelight, any common sense he had went out of the window when he refused to support the notion of tactlcally voting to keep the tories out.

    If he thinks they’ll play ball on PR then he’s more naive than I thought.

    ‘Fraid the enlightened British voting public has shot itself in the foot and it’ll be inteesting to see just what payback Murdoch’ll recieve as a thank you for playing his part in getting Mr Blobby elected.

    A sad day.

  29. All the parties apart from UKIP follow the same globalist agenda and are all financed by the banks and big corporates and all major changes to law etc are done in brussels.

    The political puppet show is just a front and there is no difference between labour and tory and we will continue down the globalist road regardless of who is the main puppet.

    Enslavement is the game and they all hate the general public.

  30. Mike will not give CH major backing and from what I gather is reluctant to offer him a new contract so if it’s all tits up at xmas he can get rid without paying out millions.

  31. sirjasontoon says:
    May 7, 2010 at 11:19 am

    That hasn’t stopped him in the past wasting millions on managers.

    Why doesn’t he just offer him a one year rolling contract? A lot of managers work like that now.

  32. I think CH will reckon he warrants more than a 1 year contract…can’t see Mike offering him 3-4 years,not yet anyway.

  33. Sirjason, I think you may be woong when you say that all the parties apart from UKIP follow the same globalist agenda.

    UKIP has a natural affinity to BNP and the like. Do/ did the Nazis not have global ambitions sirjason?

  34. They are using the nazi,chinese and russian templates,the EU is nothing but a russian style superstate with very few democratically elected people at the top…i.e a dictatorship.

    Fake wars on terror that never end,carbon nonsense,cctv’s everywhere,all calls,emails intercepted etc etc

    It is actually worse here than it was back in old russia etc

  35. Viele danke herr von Sirjason!

    Perhaps der Ubergruppenfuhrer Farage might appreciate some uppers…. or have you donated your supply to him?

  36. Yeah Nigel took my last batch…he will be gurning and laughing soon enough….have you seen when he gets stuck into Von Rumpy at the EU?
    Well funny!

  37. Lesh – glad someone else is on the Daily Mash site – brilliant stuff.. even if that last article is a bit more, um, esoteric than most!

    SJT – quite an eye opener on here about your view on the world! I doubt if we’d agree on much, but the planet would be all the poorer without ‘free thinkers’ like you!

    We really must argue about that ‘carbon nonsense’ some time. That’d be a whoppa.

    On the footie front, though, opinions here seem far closer together these days, with most people actually starting to listen to what CH is saying and accept it. I think we’ve been lied to so much that it takes a while to realise what a straight-talking, clear-thinking manager we have now.

    And no, he’s not set that strategy because he’s been “straight-jacketed” by Ashley. He’s done it because it’s the best way to go and he’s proven he can make it work.

    Whether it’s 2 players or 6 (or, more likely the 4 in the middle, as the article says) I think we’ll do ok and survive.

  38. Here’s a thought:

    Last season we had a target of 2nd. CH and co went to work on the squad in January, and we beat that target by 23 points.

    Next season, our target is 17th.

    Last season, in that position was West Ham, on 34 points.

    Add 23 points to that, and you end up in…


    That’s quite a range. Exciting season coming up, I think!


  39. Ahh, spare a thought for Stuey Broon – his hero has just popped his political clogs!

  40. I have just proposed a single solution to two of our current problems here in the UK; the volcano and the hung parliament…

    Drop Mr G Brown into the volcano. That should plug it for a while, and also remove any doubt as to who should form a coalition government.


  41. got eoungh crooks in footy,without bringing political crooks into our debates on the blog,nobody wins in politics only us :(

  42. sjt,at least people in the truth movement like brian gerrish,ian r crane,cynthia mckinney,are fighting for the freedom of the human race.

  43. Whumpie…. there have been times when the Mash is a little more than esoteric. Sometimes it sails a little close to the wind… like that one! Other times it’s extremely funny yet other times verging on the offensive.

    However, the Mash is not a nasty right-wing Murdoch inspired rag and thus poses no threat to this so-called democracy we live in.

    An interesting point you’ve raised in post 52…. It aint management rocket science to manage expectations down is it. Hughton’s no fool that’s for sure.

  44. Right lads, the politics stops here.

    Anymore will be deleted I’m afraid. If you want to talk politics from whatever viewpoint then there are dedicated sites to do it on where you can talk to like minded people.

    I understand that it’s very topical at the minute, but it also breeds trouble between posters on a subject that is completely unrelated to the the ‘blog.

    No more :)

  45. Where’s the clubs road map for the future of the club?

    Which model will it be now? Arsenal? No, tried that and failed. Villa? No, tried and failed with that too. especially when Villa started spending a bit of cash. We could try for Stoke, Bolton or Wolves…

    Oh I cannot wait!

  46. Stuart – Are you autistic?

    I just wonder because my mrs works with autistic children and one of the biggest forms of reassurance for them is that they need to know what direction they are going, at all times.

    I see some similarities between you and them children.

    Stop trying to shit stir over old ground.

  47. Buy cheap players who will be glad to play their hearts out for the club and have a real to-getherness in the dressing room !
    Thats the best recipe i have heard yet, if you are looking to get relegated again.
    Please stop this collective nonsense, we have to look out for Ashleys billion plus fortune, why ?
    We have to have harmony in the dressing room, why ?
    We have to cut our cloth accordingly, bullshit !
    Supposedly our model club is Arsenal and we all know they dont spend money, again bullshit !
    I have known clubs where no one got along and had a history of fighting (not other teams players)each other in the dressing room, yet on the field were successful.
    I say go out and get some decent players and field a competitive side like Sir Bobby had, to hell with this cheap ass approach, no team has been successful that did`nt spend money, look at how much has been spent by the top seven or eight clubs, thats why they are the top.
    However if you feel happy with a bottom of the table side, we could easily become the new West Brom.

  48. Chuck – E-mail Mike Ashley about that. He holds the purse strings, like it or not it’s too bad. Unless you have a spare £300 million?

  49. Chuck says:
    May 7, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Absolutely spot on!

    Our fan base dictates we demand more than being the likes of Stoke, WBA, Bolton or Birmingham – All of which Hughton has held up as shining examples of where we want to be.

    The ambition knows no bounds.

    Still believe the club will achieve absolutely nothing while Ashley is in charge – Although that’s my opinion now, it may well change when I see what has happened in the summer.

  50. So because we have a big fans base we should be top 5?

    It’s not quite as simple as that though is it? We are now paying for years of ridiculous management under Freddy Shepherd – The man who turned a £100 million balance into a £70 million debt.

  51. hitman says:
    May 7, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    odds on we will be using the spurs model next season ……

    is that the one where you dig the spurs into the players ribs so they’ll run faster?

    Neigh lad, neigh!

  52. toonsy says:
    May 7, 2010 at 3:57 pm
    So because we have a big fans base we should be top 5?

    No, we should demand more from our club than we get and have got recently.

    But I also think that because we have a big fan base we should demand and expect we do better than the clubs I mentioned.

    We deserve better and I cannot think of a club anywhere in the world with a fan base as big and as loyal that has been treated so poorly and have been underachieved so badly.

    We aren’t demanding fans, our expectations aren’t too high – We expect to challenge for trophies and we expect to be higher in the league – What’s wrong with that? I think a fan base the size of ours is well within it’s rights to have more demands – We do spend a hell of alot of money – More than most clubs..

  53. Stu – But that is kind of dictated by sorting our financial side out. We were ill under Shepherd, he wasted most of the good work that Sir John Hall done. We are paying for 10 years of mismanagement under Shepherd now and it will be worth it in the long run when we are debt free.

    Shepherd gambled, and failed, whilst taking his big fat salary and feathering his own pocket. Thank him for choosing the wrong managers and allowing them to spunk money on poorly chosen players for the financial mess we are in now.

  54. Also a special mention to the lass who was elected in one of the mackem seats who is a toon fan and apparently used to post on toontastic.

  55. Toonsy

    Duh! like we did`nt know that, bout John Hall & Freddy !
    And screw Ashley and his billion + fortune, why did he buy the club in the first place if he does`nt intend to put his money where his mouth is.
    Seem to remember him stating he would be willing to invest 20 mill. a season and is it our fault if he got screwed by the Geordie mafia.
    The fans have done their part and so has both the team and manager, the fans have filled the seats generating more dosh than most EPL sides, Houghton has done a phenominal job with the side, now it`s time for Ashley to perform, dig deep or sell the club and f**k off.

  56. well said chuck..
    its time for ashley to put up,we will be the laughing stock of the prem if theres no major investment,our first team will be played off the park in the prem..remember we got played off the park alot this season just the teams in the championship couldnt put away there chances total diffrent story in the prem tho

  57. dont sweat it chuck,it’s a classic case of give someone a little bit of power and it goes to their head.

  58. Chuck – Ashley has put his £20 million in, as stated.

    You can get him to ‘f**k off’ yourself if you have £300 million spare? Thought not. So we have to deal with it.

  59. we need an owner with ambition,but were stuck with the fat tw@t,so we will be fighting relegation till he sells up..

  60. The transfer window is open from midnight on the final day of the season until the 31st August or next working day. Not sure where you’ve got the 25th May from???