Sibierski MKII…

As I trudged out of Barrack Road following Saturdays humiliation at the hands of League 1 Cambridge, my mind had already turned to Watford…

What the hell were we going to do without a recognised striker who is capable of sticking the ball in the onion bag? Because let’s be honest, none of the players who took to the pitch on Saturday looked remotely capable of troubling Ben Foster this weekend, in what is yet another in a long line of matches being dubbed ‘Our biggest game in years’.

So, had you told me that we would have player with a recent domestic record of 1 in 2 (Leeds) and  1 in 3 (Burnley), coupled with an international record of 1 in 2 in place and raring to go bythis coming Saturday afternoon, you would likely be holding your knife and fork with your toes for the foreseeable future – because I’d have ripped both your arms off.

Chris Wood may not be the ‘Marquee signing’ (© Twitter) that many were hoping for, but what he will give us is a focal point in the absence of Calum Wilson. A focal point that will undoubtedly create space, and as a result opportunities, for players such as ASM, Fraser and Almiron to get in and around him and exploit.

In addition to the wider benefits that he will bring to the team, this is clearly a lad who knows where the net is – in each of the last four Premier League seasons he has netted 10+ goals, something only matched by Kane, Salah, Vardy, Lacazette and Son. Don’t let it be lost on you that in those four seasons, Chris Wood has been playing for Burnley, who have consistently been a team with the lowest goalscoring records in the Premier League.

But, but “£25m for a 30-year-old?” I have heard many wailing – those same people would do well to remember that it is only a few months ago we would repeatedly refuse to sign the experienced players we needed because there was no ‘Sell on value’.It’s neither mine nor your money, so please, chill the fuck out.

If Chris Wood proceeds to bangs in 4-6 goals between now and the end of the season that help to regain our Premier League status, he will become an immediate cult hero – and I for one will be giving him 100% of my backing in the hope that he can deliver the goods for our just and righteous cause.

Lee Forster @LeeDForster

Unglamorous, but…

I feel like my opinions are more often than not proved wrong. I thought Wood is a lumper who won’t do what we need in the second half of the season.

Then I read the following stat. Only 6 players have scored 10 goals or more goals in each of the last 4 seasons. And Wood is one of them. Along with Salah, Son, Kane, Vardy and Lacazette. That’s some company to be keeping.

Couple the above with the fact he’s scoring roughly one in three in the Premier League, then it’s actually good going. Oh, and he’s doing it for bloody Burnley! Give him the supply line that we are capable of producing and he may well be the sort of player we need. Plus it will massively weaken Burnley. At this point that’s just as valuable as any goal he scores.

My only two issues are this. It’s an underwhelming signing.

From looking at players in the French leagues to the Italian, we’ve come to this. Does this mean players are turning us down? That perhaps points to further issues down the line.

The second thing is this seems very short term. If we’ve got a limited FFP window for now, I’m not sure £25m on a 30-year-old with limited sell on value or use for us after this (and likely next) season, given the places we want to go, is particularly good business. That said, it’s not my money so sod common sense and get him in!

Those negatives aside, is he capable of doing enough to keep us up? Yes. Does he offers better durability than Wilson? Yes. Given our ownerships deep pockets, does value for money really matter? Probably not.

All told, it’s an unglamorous signing but one which will be effective and important as we look to avoid the drop. And if we do go down, he is a perfect player to fire us back up to the premier league. All told I’m happy. Not exactly giddy, but happy.

Moreover, I’ll support him in black and white 100%.

Dai Rees @colemans_dream

It’s all in the xG…

I admit to being more than a little underwhelmed when I first heard us being linked with Chris Wood, after all, weren’t we supposed to be after Vlahovic for £70 million from Fiorentina? Signing a player with 3 goals from 17 matches deemed surplus to requirements at one of the only two teams in the league worse than us didn’t feel like our new utopia.

But the more I think about it, the more this looks like a pragmatic and highly astute move.

For one thing, Wood averages a goal every three games over his career, pretty much identical to Wilson. For another, his relatively poor record in terms of goals this season doesn’t seem to derive from any underlying decline in performance: his xG of 4.97 is entirely in line with his career average and his xG per 90 minutes played is almost identical to Wilson when you discount penalties (0.33 to 0.32).

Finally, the fact that we’re exploiting a release clause and that the selling club are allegedly furious confirms the view that we’re getting a player still in demand and not a cast-off.

A year ago, I would have bitten your arm off for Chris Wood, a difficult combative opponent with a knack of scoring. The reality is that our position on the pitch hasn’t improved since then, it’s only worsened. The reality is that we’re 19th in the Premier League, and desperate for a proven goal-scorer. He’s also another excellent pro, a leader.

After Cambridge we demanded that we have a recognised striker on the pitch against Watford, ideally one who could hit the ground the running. We have that. Ignore the money.

Job done.

 Matthew Philpotts @mjp19731

Undecided…

Could go either way this one and totally unexpected.

If Howe can get the service through, Wood is a handful like no other in the league – ask our bruised defenders after 90 minutes with him …better on our side than a relegation rival .

On the other hand, his lack of goals is a worry and he’s capable of being awful in games but Wood can and will provide a threat again – we needed someone in and they’ve got it.

Anyone worried about the fee to age ratio haven’t really got it yet…it doesn’t matter anymore

Scott Robson

Don’t worry, it’ll all be all white…

Take a deep breath toon fans….it has happened. Newcastle United have signed another player.

Who is it? Well, its Chris Woods from Burnley. Whilst he may not be the Messi or Mbappe that fans were hoping for, he is a proven Premier League striker.

The 30year old New Zealand international has so far scored a credible 154 goals from 460 appearances in his domestic career so far and when it comes to international appearances, he has found the back of the net 27 times in his 60 caps for the All Whites.

Will he fit the bill at Newcastle? Yes, I think he will.

What Newcastle have acquired in Wood is someone that gives his all to the team, he has spent multiple years in the Premier League so knows the demands of what it takes to succeed/survive in the top-flight and is someone that knows where to be in the box when a cross is whipped in. Something that the Magpies are desperately missing with Callum Wilson being side-lined.

The rumour has it that his services will cost the Magpies around about £25million. If his goals help Newcastle United guarantee their top-flight status for another season, then it will be definitely worth every penny.

Keep The Faith Newcastle fans, everything will work itself out.

 Jack Sutton @jsuttonwrites