Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

United Are Wise after the Event with Deadline Day Failings; Toon Needed Fresh Faces but Made a Profit Instead GIBBO ON SATURDAY

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

United Are Wise after the Event with Deadline Day Failings; Toon Needed Fresh Faces but Made a Profit Instead GIBBO ON SATURDAY

Article excerpt

Byline: GIBBO

IT WAS akin to a prisoner standing on the gallows, head through the noose and blindfold on, launching his first muffled appeal against conviction.

It other words it was all too much, much too late.

On transfer deadline day, with snow bleaching across the vast expanses of United's training ground, we witnessed a Sky Sports News reporter shudderingly informing us that while relegation rivals Tottenham were completing the pounds 15m signing of Robbie Keane, the Magpies were failing again and again with 11th-hour bids borne of panic.

The gentleman concerned told us that Mike Ashley, Derek Llambias and Joe Kinnear were "beavering away behind close doors." Maybe three blind mice rather than beavers would have been a more apt description.

And, by the way, where was Dennis Wise in all this, the pounds 1m-plus a year salaried leader of Newcastle's transfer activities?

It transpired that Ashley and cohorts had made a laughingly optimistic bid for Sunderland midfielder Kieran Richardson.

Yeah, sure, the Black Cats were going to sell one of their best players to arch rivals and fellow relegation fighters on the very last day of the window, weren't they?

Sunderland fans everywhere would have naturally understood!

Meanwhile, Coventry chairman Ray Ranson, who once played full-back for the Mags, described a pounds 1.3m offer for defender Danny Fox as "laughable, not large enough to pay for his big toe."

Similarly, Manchester City said no to pounds 8m for their gifted midfielder Michael Johnson.

Didn't Newcastle know the score well before the last day, having been talking to City for so long over Shay Given? Finally, an enquiry for Spurs striker Darren Bent fell on deafears.

Hardly surprising, with Jermain Defoe sustaining a long-term injury and Tottenham so short of strikers they were literally negotiating for Robbie Keane at that precise moment without any guarantee of success. …

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