ALAN Pardew insists he has no regrets about Newcastle United’s lack of summer transfer activity, even though key men Fabricio Coloccini and Tim Krul are facing extended spells on the sidelines.
United expect to lose both players for a minimum of two weeks and will also be without Danny Simpson and Cheick Tioté as Newcastle’s injury problems pile up ahead of Monday’s trip to Everton.
Pardew expressed his disappointment with the Dutch Football Association over the circumstances of Krul’s elbow injury, which happened after he was asked to train in the immediate aftermath of Holland’s defeat of Turkey last Friday night.
He has repeated calls for national associations to start sharing more data with Newcastle, who have suffered multiple misfortunes while their players have been on international duty.
But even though his concerns may strike a chord with Newcastle supporters, others might argue that the club has left itself open to the effects of injuries by not sufficiently strengthening the squad during the summer transfer window.
Pardew does not accept that argument, insisting that he made a deliberate decision not to bring in senior recruits in an attempt to “open the route” to the first team for some of his younger players.
Indeed, he said that the club had decided not to sign a centre-half in the summer because he felt it would block the progress of promising pair James Tavernier and Remie Streete, who he is looking to “make their move” into the senior set-up this year.
“I felt at the start of the year, when we looked at the centre-half situation, that if we brought someone in they would stand in the way of two players with great futures at the club – Tavernier and Remie Streete,” he said.
“Now with Streete, I was hoping we would steer clear of injuries for the next two or three months because he isn’t quite ready yet. Unfortunately that hasn’t happened because Colo has been injured, but it’s only a short-term injury and we’ve got other players and that’s what they’re paid for – to come and play at this level.
“We won’t be calling on those two guys this time, but somewhere down the line we will and I think they’ll do well.”
Although Pardew was quoted at the end of last season as saying Newcastle would be in the market for a goalscoring centre-half, he believes that the new policy will allow the club as a whole to grow.
And, while he says the success of the young players will dictate whether they decide to bring in more senior recruits in January, he is happy to create opportunities for the likes of Sammy Ameobi,
Haris Vuckic and Shane Ferguson. He said: “You have to look at a football club as a whole and there has to be a route to the first team otherwise you’re not going to progress as a club. I’ve opened up the route, especially with the Europa League, and told them ‘Come and take your chance’.
“This year I think is a year for the younger players to break through. Now, if they don’t break through, I might take a different policy next year, but it is a great opportunity to break through with all the games we’ve got.
“But the Fergusons, the Ameobis, the Vuckics, Rob Elliot, Remie Streete, Tavernier – they’ve got to make their move, this is the year to make it.”
Pardew admitted there is a measure of frustration at the number of injuries picked up while players are on international duty. After branding the circumstances of Krul’s injury “strange”, he said there are no excuses for United to be left in the dark about their players’ international workloads.
“I just feel – and have always felt it, it’s not new – that, as managers, we should know what the players are doing at international level. I suggested it to Sven-Göran Eriksson.
“I would like to know what work they’re doing and with the technology we’ve got today, the GPRS systems and everything else, we should have reports sent to see what mileage they’ve done, how they’ve been training and what minutes they’ve done. I don’t see what the problem with that is.
“I think for a national team – whether it’s Uganda, United States or England – we should have that report.”