So this quote is out there yet again from Alan Pardew:
He said: "You have to pay a lot of respect to Mike, the owner here, because he could have cashed in on one of our big players. We have had a couple of phone calls during the window and Mike has been pretty adamant that everybody stays. I thank him for that and our fans should thank him too because we are not as affluent as some other clubs."
Look, I get that Pardew has to blow smoke. It seems that this is part and parcel to "playing nicely with ownership" around here. I get that Ashley very well could have sold off one of our major players. I also know that Pards has stated that MA's requirement for this season is Champions League qualification. This squad is good. Our starting XI is very very good. HOWEVER, to send Alan Pardew out into what promises to be a brutal season with the utter lack of depth in our defensive line that he has is negligent at best by Ashley. It's almost like sending someone out with a short time frame to build a log cabin and you provide them with a great log-splitting setup. Piece of cake, right? So long as that equipment works. If it doesn't? Here's a coping saw for you to use. Oh, and I still want that cabin done on time.
As a club, we are in a very good position - the financial policies that have been instituted have been a world of good for the club. Gone are the days of huge money contracts for marginal or oft-injured players, and that's a good thing. refusing over three transfer windows to address immediate needs across the defense is not a good thing. He's getting a lot of things right, but if we want to raise Mr. Ashley up for the good things that he's done, we must also hold his feet to the fire for the things that are not so good.