Contracts crisis’ may be blessing

PUBLISHED: 16:34 20 January 2007 | UPDATED: 10:00 14 September 2010

THIS week the Press reported the club was facing a crisis because the following players were out of contract in the summer: Adam Drury, Gary Doherty, Paul McVeigh, Peter Thorne, Craig Fleming, Ian Henderson, Dion Dublin, Matthieu Louis-Jean, Joe Lewis, Andrew Cave-Brown, Matthew Halliday, Robert Eagle and Andrew Fisk.

THIS week the Press reported the club was facing a crisis because the following players were out of contract in the summer: Adam Drury, Gary Doherty, Paul McVeigh, Peter Thorne, Craig Fleming, Ian Henderson, Dion Dublin, Matthieu Louis-Jean, Joe Lewis, Andrew Cave-Brown, Matthew Halliday, Robert Eagle and Andrew Fisk.

Take Dublin and Lewis out of that equation - and at a push Drury and Hendo - and The Man sees it as a potential redemption, rather than a problem.

And let's have a moment of clarity here: it really comes to something when 13 players are out of contract, and the one we really need to keep is a 37-year-old striker. Losing Thorne and MLJ from the wage bill will be a God-send.

Maybe when a few of these players are on the scrap heap in the summer, or putting pen to paper on a move to Chesterfield, they'll wish they'd given more to the Yellow cause.

In that respect, The Man is talking about one long-haired player in particular…in fact, I understand he is currently more concerned about playing his guitar - and trying to line up a Becks-style (don't laugh) move to the MLS - than giving a monkey's about us.

But such is modern football, The Man had high hopes for the guy once but some things just don't work out.

As a footnote, Craig Fleming has been a great servant to this club, and The Man hopes he finds a decent club with which to conclude his career.

That, of course, does not include a permanent transfer to Wolves.

t ON the subject of Earnie's injury, Peter the Pointer (PTP) said this during the week…

“I just think he has had a hell of a lot of games, doing a lot of travelling with us and Wales, and I can't afford to rest him because nobody else seems to score.

“So that is the reason I have had to flog a dead horse at times.”

Mr Doomcaster has told us hindsight is a wonderful thing - and that we shouldn't look back with anger - but is it too much to expect the club to have a bit of foresight?

Out of 20,000 season ticket holders, I doubt there was one person who did not think our squad was too small at the start of the season.

It was obvious we were going to run Earnie into the ground, or to borrow his manager's expression, flog a dead horse. Doomcaster's defence - and that of the Stowmarket Two - is that they couldn't interfere with Worthy's management. In an ideal world that should be the case, but at such a pivotal juncture for the club, someone should have had a word in Worthy's ear and said: “How about you cancel that holiday to the States and work on getting this squad sorted out.”

Maybe someone did say that - but they obviously didn't say it forcefully enough.

Jolly Roger vaguely spoke of “lessons being learned” at the AGM, I think it would help everyone if the club came out and said: “Yes, we got it wrong - and we won't let it happen again.”

Then, and only then, can we really start looking forward as Doomcaster wants us to. The board's integrity has never been in doubt - it's only their judgement which can be called into question.

Get well soon Earnie.

t PARDEW GETS A TASTE OF HIS OWN MEDICINE

POOR old Pardew was moaning this week - following yet more transfer speculation about his s**m striker Bent.

The odious manager said: “It's a difficult situation for Darren because unfortunately, the way the world works, I'm sure he's getting phone calls that perhaps he shouldn't.”

Yes Alan, I'm sure he's getting those sorts of phone calls - exactly the same sort of phones calls you and Stuart Pearce were making to Dean Ashton last season.

The Man must admit it got my goat observing Pardew's Cheshire cat grin last year when he got Ashton off us.

But it's funny how quickly things change, Charlton are dead and buried and AP's managerial career - if not his bank balance - ain't looking so rosy now. Good.

While on the subject of Premiership transfers - £10 million for Ashley Young! Utter madness.

But the funniest rumour had to be Fulham being linked with our former No 1 Greeno.

I think not, unless the Cottagers have forgotten about that special day when our “great adventure” came to its expected conclusion.

t GEORDIES FAIL TRIAL BY TV

IF IT'S FA Cup time - then Newcastle are sure to be on the telly.

Every year the BBC/Sky roll out the Geordies as they try to embark on yet another futile cup run.

Every year we are told - usually by Alan Shearer - that the FA Cup is “special” to Geordies, and that their “long-suffering” fans deserve to see their team win it.

The broadcasters buy into it 100 per cent, normally with cringe-worthy asides such as: “They've waited so long for a trophy up here - these fans deserve it more than any other don't they…”

It really gets on The Man's nerves to hear Newcastle's support described as “long-suffering.”

Because, let's face it, what is “long-suffering” about a previous decade in which: your ground has been renovated into one of the best in Europe, millions have been spent on international players EVERY year, Champions League and UEFA Cup runs, FA Cup finals and - albeit a while ago - title challenges.

If you want “long-suffering” and loyal fans, try Torquay United, now involved in their 78th consecutive relegation battle.

And how many of the great Toon Army were at St James for the humiliation by Birmingham? 26,000; or in other words - a half empty stadium.

The Man is glad the BBC showed it though, it was damn funny.

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