This is the ninth post in this “We Are United” series with Newcastle United – click here to read from the beginning if you’ve not already done so 👌.
Today’s post is all about this man:
If you’ve followed this blog from the beginning (go back and catch up, I’ll wait) – you’ll know that one of the objectives of this save in addition to restoring Newcastle to the pinnacle of English football (without Saudi cash) is to also recreate history on Tyneside by signing players that emulate or replicate previous Newcastle legends who left a legacy with the Geordie faithful. To date we have so far completed the following:
As you can see we still have some gaps to fill and today we will do exactly that; ladies and gentleman I give you David Ginola:
David Désiré Marc Ginola (yes that’s his full name) signed for Newcastle in the summer of 1995, a year after becoming persona-non-grata in France following a mistake which led to Bulgaria scoring the goal that stopped France qualifying for World Cup 1994. He became a crucial part of Newcastle’s most successful Premier League side, whereby they famously finished second in consecutive seasons and it was only the departure of Kevin Keegan that led to Ginola’s departure to Tottenham following a breakdown in relations with new manager Kenny Dalglish. Despite that, Ginola is still firmly a fan favourite on Tyneside and although he went on to play for Spurs, Aston Villa and Everton it was at Newcastle where English fans clearly saw his best work.
As is standard process in this blog series, we take to an earlier version of Championship Manager to give us the tools with which to go out and find the next David Ginola.
Creativity (i.e. Vision), Flair, Passing, Set Pieces, Technique – the man was quite literally gifted, we may have a tough task on our hands trying to find an FM20 player to emulate “Le Magnifique” within our price range and interest level (writer’s note: cool the man crush).
Aside from Dmitri Payet who would need to reconsider retirement should we deem him a person of interest, the most promising result is real-life Lyon player Florent Da Silva who ticks all the Ginola boxes including having an absolute masterpiece of a haircut. Newcastle fans will literally be reeling in the years seeing this lad on the turf at St. James Park if we can make a deal happen. The kicker? Tottenham have already beaten us to it, having already signed him at the beginning of last season for £9 million and the lad hasn’t even kicked a ball for them yet. Naturally when we make our bid they only ask for £64 million (exactly 25.6 times the price Newcastle paid for Ginola), so instead we go for the loan option in the hope that they will hopefully forget he is any good and let him go for about half of that at the end of the season.
Sometimes one just isn’t enough though and a for me a loan deal isn’t enough to get him in our “Replicas” XI. If Da Silva has a decent season for us it will make it increasingly difficult to persuade Tottenham to let him go, so we returned to France to continue scouring through the leagues until we came across another youth prospect in the same mould as Monsieur Ginola. It’s takes £5m to convince Lyon to part with Bradley Barcola who looks like he could be the real deal based on his physical and technical attributes – I’m thinking Ginola meets Saint- Maiximin and potentially a whole new type of player on that left hand side.
A New Season
I could be called stubborn for how we’ve approached this transfer window (Writer’s note: of course you’re stubborn you’re Irish). Based on the fact that we spent heavily in the last two summer transfer windows, have bought a lot of players by only paying 50% up front with the rest spread over the next 2-3 seasons, and also looking at the age and potential of our current squad – we make two decisions with regards to transfers in this window:
No marquee signings
We will turn a profit in terms of transfer revenue
With our finances still taking a hit every year due to installments for signings like Aarons and Szoboszlai, it’s time that we give something back to Chairman Blower in the form of adding back to our bank balance, and for the first time in this series we bring in more through player sales than we’ve spent on incoming transfers. £23.5 million is earned through the sales of Sean Longstaff (West Ham) and Paul Dummett (Sheffield Wednesday) while we ourselves only spend £17.5m in total which is pittance for the Premier League in 2022.
Needless to say this is a somewhat risky transfer policy – I am banking on all of our younger players and previous signings to come good this season, with the likes of Bazunu, Vanheusden, Szoboszlai, Reyna and Esposito all ranging from 18-22 years old and playing regular first team football. If not – well, another difficult season could like ahead based on what our rivals (if you can call them that) have been up to during the transfer window…..no pressure there then……
As you can see – we add a couple of interesting names to the side via the additions of American George Bello to cover at LB and Keisuke Miura who is an 18 year old promising Attacking Midfielder from Japan. Not only are both very good players, they also might help us to expand our market reach further afield and it will be interesting to see if we observe a financial benefit of these signings through shirt sales in the USA and Japan etc. Miura fails to obtain a work permit but we sign him anyway and immediately loan him out in the hope that we can score a work permit for him further down the line…more on this later!
Saturday 30th August 2022 – In Game 💻
It’s the start of a new season here at St. James Park as Newcastle get ready to host Watford in the opening game of the 2022/2023 Premier League season. The visitors defied all expectations last season by finishing in 5th place last season, while Newcastle will look to improve on their 11th place finish if they are to meet the demands and expectations of the Toon Army faithful. Watford have been the far busier of these two sides during the summer transfer window, spending over £80 million on the likes of Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal – £34.5m), Brandon Williams (Man United – £20.5m), Joe Willock (Arsenal – £15.25m) and JavierMontero (Atletico Madrid – £9.75m) while Newcastle have had their quietest ever window, their most expensive summer signing being George Bello at Left Back who isn’t expected to start today. Will home advantage be enough for his young Newcastle side or will this rejuvenated Watford team that will play Europa League football this season have too much in the tank for the Geordies?
A fantastic win to kick off the season which inspires us to go on and win our first three games in a row – picking up a smashing 5-1 win over Crystal Palace before beating Arsenal 2-1 in front of a packed St. James Park stadium. It tool Liverpool to end this run, whereby we nearly held them only to succumb to a Sadio Mane header late in the second half, and then Southampton capitalised on this hangover to beat us 2-0 in St. Marys.
After 5 games in our third season at Newcastle, we sit in 5th place and this writer is feeling somewhat positive and a little less sh*t at this game than in previous posts. That’s the dream right?