Sunday, 3 March 2013

Does nationality matter?

Recently I've read a lot of comments regarding Newcastle's influx of new signings. Some neutrals are claiming that fans of Newcastle United are unhappy with the number of foreign players who play for NUFC rather than geordies.

That statement is wrong and does not in any way shape or form represent the view of the majority of Newcastle fans and I'll explain why. It goes without saying that we'd prefer if everyone who lined up in the tunnel was born down the road and had a geordie accent but we aren't complaining when the likes of Hatem Ben Arfa and Moussa Sissoko are donning the black and white shirts; times have changed.

Also, if British talent wasn't so horribly overrated and overpriced maybe Mike Ashley might even consider it - at the moment it doesn't even enter into his mindset. Why? Jordan Henderson from Sunderland for £20 million. Yohan Cabaye from Lille the French Champions for £3.5 million. Who's the better player? Who's adapted quickest? Who's of international class and maintains his position in the national side? Cabaye is just one example but the same could be said of Ben Arfa, Sissoko, Yanga-Mbiwa, Cisse, Tiote and to a lesser extent Gouffran. Downing, Sturridge, Joe Allen, Andy Carroll and Adam Johnson are all examples of inflated prices for players who have been signed for their nationality and to appease fans rather than for the benefit of the football club.

Andy Carroll learnt his trade at Newcastle, impressed for a year and a half in the Championship and briefly in the Premier League before being sold to Liverpool for £35 million. It's astonishing, Mike Ashley must have laughed his way to the bank in a similar way football fans are laughing at Liverpool's transfer policy in general. Statistically, Carroll was average for Newcastle. Liverpool attempted to take advantage of his hot streak in the top flight and failed. With the money from that one sale, Ashley and Pardew were able to fashion a team which was then to finish above Liverpool in the following season.

More of this please Mr Ashley
But I've got off topic a little bit. It makes sense to buy cheap, achieve success and then if the price is right sell. Take Yohan Cabaye as an example, we bought him and he's achieved success with us. We've scratched his back; he's scratched ours. The likelihood is that Cabaye will be sold sometime in the future but he won't go for cheap and Ashley will do his best to pin him down with a new contract. Newcastle can easily make £12-15 million profit on Cabaye as he's impressed in his 2 seasons in the top level. He's brought versatility, flair, potency, goals and assists to Newcastle and I'd much prefer him to some wannabe David Batty from Red House Farm or worse another Nile Ranger.

However, I would be extremely disappointed if our match day squad did just become all foreigners. I want success and I'm not fussed who plays in the team but I would like to see local lads/Englishmen in and around the first team like Carroll was 4 years ago. Hopefully, Adam Campbell will even break into the elite. I have high hopes for him.

I'm proud to support Newcastle and I'm proud that I support a self sufficient club who hopefully can continue to show the rest of football how a modern day football club should be run. Ashley's took some stick in the past but I can only commend him for what he's done at Newcastle United. He's stuck in at running a football club just like the Newcastle players have since they were promoted in 2009.

Nationality doesn't matter to me, nor does race or sexuality. If someone plays for the shirt I'll support them and I'll sing their name in St James' Park. If he's local, great. If he's not, so what?

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