Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The search goes on

Today's brought news that the door has shut on two potential avenues Souness was interested in exploring.

It was always a long shot that he could persuade Christian Vieri to swap Italy for Tyneside, and sure enough the striker has opted to stay in Milan, signing a deal with AC.

Rather more likely was the possibility that we'd entice Daniel van Buyten from Hamburg to strengthen our fragile defence. Unfortunately for us, however, he's apparently decided that his current club's summer transfer dealings have demonstrated sufficient nous and ambition to convince him to stay in Germany.

Where this leaves us is obvious. We've lost four members of the first team squad (Kluivert, Hughes, Robert and O'Brien) and gained only Scott Parker. Not only do we need some new faces quickly to bolster the numbers and improve the playing staff, we also need to shift the remaining deadwood - not least Bellamy, Butt and Bowyer.

That said, we're probably in the same predicament that many clubs find themselves at the moment - the market is currently pretty stagnant, and until things gather pace we're going to be left sweating. There's no doubt that there's still an awful lot of work to be done before we can contemplate getting back to where we were just two seasons ago.


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