I once had a friend who theorized that if you were to run (your normally clothed body) into a wall 1,000 times with sufficient force, you could walk right through the wall on the 1,001st try. The theory is equal parts ludicrous and untestable, but Newcastle United supporters are well on the way to figuring out whether it can be proven on a figurative level. The transfer dealings by the club in the Ashley era (outside of the Panic of January 2013 when he obviously felt there was real danger that Pardew was taking us down) have been frustrating at best, but we are starting to see the signs that we are being prepared for "meet the new transfer window, same as the old transfer window".
The latest installment of this prep work is this from Anthony Marshall on the official site. The star quote in this piece designed to try to make Mike Williamson (The Great Imposter) a hero of the people once again is this:
Competition at the heart of United's defence is expected to be stiff next term, with Williamson, captain Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor, Paul Dummett and Jamaal Lascelles all currently in the running for a central berth.
You have read that correctly. The official site of the club is prepping you for the idea that we will head into the 2015-16 Premier League season standing pat at CB. This is the same position at which we have needed to strengthen since our return to the Premier League. The combination of these players last year shipped 63 goals in the league. Only QPR (20th place) conceded more, and it's not even close (the 18th worst GA belonged to Aston Villa at 57). But wait! We're adding Jamaal Lascelles to the mix so we're better! The same Jamaal Lascelles that wasn't an automatic selection in the Championship last year at Nottingham Forest? My optimism is tempered.
We've gone from being told that we were going to wrap a signing nearly two weeks ago to being told that we "hope" to have a new face in before the Gateshead friendly on July 10th. That's one week and a half into the preseason preparations. For all of the bluster about the Brand New Attitude for 2015-16, it's starting to look and feel like it's more of the same, yet again. Prepare yourselves long-term for the "We tried to get Joël Matip" story accompanied by "It was behind the scenes, but we made a massive push to get Robin Knoche". It will all boil down to what we have been prepped for today by Anthony Marshall. Your 2015-16 Premier League CB position will be led by Mike "The Turnstile" Williamson and Fabricio "yeahhh... maybe I'll try today" Coloccini. Is this overly pessimistic? Perhaps. But we're somewhere in the low 100s in attempts to walk through this wall and it's pretty clear what we can expect by now.