Since you have failed to achieve, even in the modest task which was your charge- Jeffery (the Big) Lebowski
Mid-June of 2013 will always be remembered within the Toon Army. We were living high off of the adrenaline that comes with a
second consecutive successful season I mean a close battle to keep the squad in Europe narrow escape from relegation - and enjoying all of the fruits that such a season brings with it. Enter Joe Kinnear, who declared himself Director of Football at Newcastle United days before the club made any sort of announcement regarding what he told us was a done deal. He quickly reintroduced himself to the Newcastle public in the most endearing of ways and ensured us that as a proper football man he could (and did!) speak to any manager in all the divisions of English football at the wave of a hand. In the end, he brought in Loïc Rémy on loan from QPR - a move that he takes singular credit for as though January never happened - and nothing else despite high promises of audacious bids for the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. As such, it's incredibly difficult to run a standard post-window evaluation piece as it essentially... no... exactly what was previewed before the season started. Instead, we'll step in the way-back machine and take a look at the CHN transfer window predictions!
For reference sake, here is the section of our post-season round table that was published on May 23 (pre-Bedo and all).
5 writers weighed in on the post-season round table, and 4/5 of them expected and/or wanted to see Jonas Gutierrez out the door this summer. Robert was the only one who did not mention Jonas in this section (ostensibly because he and Jonas are BFFs) as he clearly counted on the Alan Pardew love-fest factor.
None of us mentioned the only player that ended up with a permanent transfer away from St. James' Park - James Perch.
Only two of the five predicted the man who may have been next closest to the permanent exit door - Dan Gosling. Callum and John both mentioned the player that ended up having a medical at Crystal Palace only for the deal to somehow collapse at the end of July.
Robert and I both felt that Yohan Cabaye was high on the list of likely transfers (although Bedo assured us upon creating his job that Cabaye would not ber sold) and it looked for a long time that the sale would occur. When the move to Arsenal that had been rumored for so long broke down, it even appeared that the club (through their mouthpiece website SportsDirectNews.com) attempted to jump start a move by rumoring a late bid from Manchester United.*
*slight aside here - it doesn't seem to reflect well on Bedo that he couldn't sell a player that wanted away, other clubs wanted and Newcastle itself seemed to want gone...
Also rans: Callum and I both mentioned Gabriel Obertan as a potential out - for whatever reason, this did not come close to occurring. A rumored loan move late in the window was as close as this move came. Cheik Tiote was a name that came up a couple of times as well in a "could leave" or "one of these players probably goes" kind of discussion, which did not happen either. Also, it bears mentioning: Callum wanted to sell Steven Taylor, and ROBERT WANTED TO SELL HBA! WE'D HAVE ONLY 1 POINT IF ROBERT WERE IN CHARGE!*
*not actually what he said, exactly.
This is a little more nebulous as we did not get into specific names, merely specific squad needs. The opinions didn't diverge much, however, on general overall requirements:
A net gain of at least 2 strikers, 1 midfielder, and 2 defenders is a success for me - nothing less - Robert
I think we need another RB, two centre backs, two wingers and a top, top striker (Andy Carroll). That for me would be a success. - Callum
I think we need to find someone to play up front with Cisse that can help him maximize his potential. We may also need a stout defender should Coloccini leave. - Alan (who would have let the club off with only two signings - close, Alan!)
1) A physical presence to pair with/play behind Papiss Cissé (or a more creative number 10 type) that can also score goals, 2) Another top striker, 3) A first-team ready center back - Jim
John called for a winger, a CB and a striker with the caveat that a striker would be difficult to acquire.
One striker. On loan. That was already identified by the club prior to his taking the job. (Not that that makes a difference, of course... remember Douglas?) Oh, did I mention that the striker brought in has some fairly serious legal actions pending against him? You know - the kind that could rule him out for us if (IF) he is found guilty?
We were promised bids for the likes of Aubameyang. Once we lost out on that one, we still had hope. You know, the "we were going to spend £15m +/- on him, so surely we'll be in for some other high end striker" kind of hope. We had a protracted negotiation for Bafétimbi Gomis fail over money issues. When the reasons for the delay in that deal became known, it should have been our first indication that business would continue as usual, regardless of Bedo's "If I convince Mike there's a need" I'll get the money bluster.
If you try to fill in the blanks through the rumors, the club seemed to have agreed with us on the striker situation. Rémy came in while a move for Gomis failed (2 strikers)
The club may have agreed somewhat with us regarding a winger (Tom Ince, notably, if we were even in on him ever), but left us with room to doubt with their supposed late interest in central midfielder James McCarthy. None of us called for a central midfielder - even if Cabaye, Anita, Tiote or Gosling were sold.
It gets a little sticky in defense. Bedo apparently felt that we were set in defense. We felt that a CB would be important (Douglas, anyone?), but as Callum pointed out in May, a RB would have been a wise purchase as well.
We were at different times rumored with two different young goalkeepers during this window - Jeroen Zoet and Jonathon Bond, which was cause for a bit of confusion. The Zoet rumors seemed to set up a potential Tim Krul exit, while the Bond rumor seems to be a vote of no confidence for third string Jak Alnwick. Either way, if you concede the need for an upgrade at GK, that need is probably at the back-up position (sorry Rob). You never know, it could have been the old magic principle of diversion - look over here while I do this neat thing... except there was no neat thing.