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Pardew's protests increase frustrations at Newcastle
WHATEVER was said to break the silence after Monday's deadline day drought was never going to be what Newcastle United supporters wanted to hear.
Alan Pardew, the Magpies boss, has defended director of football Joe Kinnear over the lack of transfer activity at St James' Park this summer while everyone else is wondering what went wrong.
The deadline to bring in new players passed on Monday night with Newcastle having added just one senior player to their ranks in the form of Loic Remy, who joined on a season-long loan deal from Queens Park Rangers.
The Magpies boss has spoken repeatedly about his desire to have two more players in before Monday and insisted work was going on behind the scenes to get them "over the line".
However, throughout the summer the club has stuttered, walked away from deals that were all but done and made desperate 11th hour attempts to stop targets going elsewhere.
The Magpies tried to sign strikers Bafetimbi Gomis and Darren Bent from Lyon and Aston Villa respectively, while Pardew was also keen on bringing West Ham duo Stewart Downing and James Tompkins to the club.
However, the deadline passed in all too familiar circumstances on Monday. Twelve months ago supporters watched the clock tick down as Newcastle failed to add to their squad again with their only real piece of business seeing them bring in Vurnon Anita from Ajax with youngsters Gael Bigirimana, Romain Amalfitano and Curtis Good bought for the future.
At the beginning of this summer, owner Mike Ashley threw his latest curveball with the decision to appoint Kinnear to oversee the club's activity in the transfer market.
Kinnear promised the world in a radio interview following his appointment, insisting he could pick up the phone to any football manager in the world and asking supporters to judge him on the signings he made.
Three months later the squad is far from strengthened and Kinnear has little to show for his work, but Pardew has spoken out for the first time since the deadline day disappointment, defending Kinnear and the club's transfer policy.
The statement read: "We are delighted to have brought Loic Remy to the club in this window and we believe he will form an exciting and effective partnership with Papiss Cisse.
"Joe has worked hard on numerous targets, particularly an additional offensive player. However some of the options that were available within our financial means were not as good as the players we already had and there is no point bringing in new players unless they can improve us and take us forward.
"We did the majority of our business in the January window, signing five excellent first team players.
"With the strong squad we have we should all approach the season in a positive, optimistic frame of mind."
Not the words Magpies supporters wanted to hear even if it was what they fully expected. Pardew's statement has only increased the frustration on Tyneside, but as always the latest issue at St James' Park comes two-and-a-half weeks until their next home fixture.
The most interesting part of Pardew's admission is the line where he talks about certain targets not being as good as the players he already has. That simply doesn't add up and undermines chief scout Graham Carr's work.
The Magpies boss has talked repeatedly about the need to add attacking quality to his side and that has been highlighted by the solitary league goal Newcastle have to their name this season.
They were even tentative inquiries to bring Ba back to Tyneside, while there was also interest in Blackpool's Tom Ince, but ultimately Ashley decided not to get his cheque book out again.
A table of money spent in the Premier League over the summer sees Newcastle finish rock-bottom, just the £2m loan fee to bring in Remy from QPR, while they were out-spent by a clutch of Championship clubs including newly-promoted AFC Bournemouth.
It is hard to comprehend how this has happened in a close season when a TV deal worth almost £40m came into play as well as the lucrative deal with shirt sponsors, Wonga, which is believed to be in the region of £8m a year over the course of the four-year agreement.
Then there are the monthly meetings that took place between Ashley, Kinnear and Pardew, the most recent in the south of France, where the Magpies boss revealed a strategy for the final fortnight of the window had been discussed. Now supporters are left wondering what exactly that strategy was.
They might never know, but it is becoming clearer by the day: Ashley's ambition at Newcastle seems to be waning and it appears he has adopted the 'get by with what we've got and do the best we can' approach.
Whether or not he decides to invest in the squad in January again remains to be seen, but even if he does there's a fair chance it might be too late.
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