While some corners of the media are saying ‘haha you thought you were signing Mbappe’, most Newcastle fans are buzzing with Chris Wood.
The forward was confirmed as a Toon player on Thursday morning, signing a two-and-a-half year deal.
He arrives for a fee of £25million, with Amanda Staveley and co activating a release clause in his Burnley contract.
It’s a deal that strengthens a Newcastle side who desperately needed a striker, and weakens the Clarets who we’re battling against to avoid relegation.
There’ll obviously be some doubters (there always is in football), but the majority of supporters seem very happy with the acquisition with Wood.
So why do the media have this obsession that it’s not a good deal or fans will be disappointed?
Gary Lineker the first to question Wood deal
Shortly after it was reported that a fee was agreed, Match of the Day host Gary Lineker gave his thoughts.
After baulking at the fee, the former England striker then suggested it was ‘poor recruitment’ by Newcastle’s owners.
He later backtracked and called Wood decent, but stood firm on his problem with the money being spent.
Is it a lot of money? Yes, but he’s still a player who has hit double figures in the top flight four seasons in a row. Is it in line with the other fees being spent in the Premier League nowadays? Yes.
Simply put, it was the only way Newcastle could sign Wood. It was his release clause. Otherwise, Burnley wouldn’t dream of selling one of their best players to a relegation rival.
Interestingly, Lineker’s Leicester side paid even more money for Ayoze Perez when they activated his £30million release clause in 2019. Mad fee, right Gary?
People expected the likes of Mbappe at Newcastle – why?
Big names have been linked with Newcastle ever since the Saudi-backed consortium bought the club last year.
Mauro Icardi was mentioned, and there was even talk of a move for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Meanwhile, media outlets talked up Mbappe and Erling Haaland as if Newcastle were actually being linked. For reference, they weren’t.
Instead of a major name, Newcastle have brought in Wood. Then the dreaded Gabby Agbonlahor said on TalkSPORT that he’d expect more if he was a Toon fan.
But why? Being rich doesn’t mean you automatically get the best players. We’re still in the relegation zone and could be playing Championship football next season.
While big time signings might fill columns in the paper and give pundits someone to wax lyrical about, it’s not what will keep Newcastle up. You just know if we signed someone like Aubameyang and still went down that the same pundits would be saying ‘they signed the wrong type of player, how stupid of them’.
TalkSPORT weren’t the only ones at it. The Manchester Evening News wrote a piece saying it was disrespectful to Anthony Martial that the Magpies didn’t try and sign him for a bit more money. What?!
Eddie Howe’s side have been linked with the Frenchman, but it was reported that he isn’t keen on a move to St James’ Park. On top of that, he’s another player who doesn’t appear to have the right attitude for the predicament we’re in right now.
So sorry Manchester United fans, but just because we’ve got cash to splash doesn’t mean we’re going to take your deadwood off your hands – and lord knows you’ve got a lot of it.
If Steve Bruce made this signing…
The final Chris Wood snipe I’ve seen is ‘if Steve Bruce made this signing…’. Many fans of rival clubs have made this claim on Twitter, and so did journalist Barry Glendenning on an episode of the Guardian’s Football Weekly podcast.
If Steve Bruce made this signing, Toon fans would have been happy. Chris Wood is an established Premier League goalscorer, he’s a much better backup option to Callum Wilson, and he severely weakens a relegation rival.
While we might wear black and white, the Steve Bruce situation wasn’t. It’s not a case of ‘Bruce bad, Howe good’. The ex-Toon boss did do some good things during his time at SJP – mainly the purchase of Wilson.
But this is the attitude that a lot of the media have about Newcastle. ‘Bruce did a good job’, ‘they expect too much’, ‘they think they’ll sign Mbappe’, ‘ha ha ha, aren’t those Geordies silly’.
But in reality, the stats and performances proved Bruce wasn’t doing a good job. Expectations aren’t high either – we were buzzing when the stadium windows got washed.
While the media may have their ill-informed opinions on Newcastle signing Chris Wood, the fans are ecstatic.
The ambition at Newcastle right now is to survive, and the 30-year-old can play a big role in that mission. Here’s hoping he scores on his debut to silence the critics.