Every Newcastle United fan remembers Jermaine Jenas’ ‘goldfish bowl’ comments. The England international left Tyneside for Tottenham Hotspur in 2005 and reportedly claimed living and playing in Newcastle was like living in a goldfish bowl. The midfielder has subsequently denied making the comments on numerous occasions.
But in light of Newcastle’s upcoming £300 million takeover boost into a new stratosphere of football club, the quote has been creeping up again.
Many are doubtful that Newcastle United can convince big stars to come to Newcastle and play, over the apparently more alluring London lifestyle.
Dries Mertens might be the first casualty relating to this case.
As reported by the Daily Mail, the Belgian star wants to move to London, giving transfer rivals Chelsea a far better chance of signing the free agent goal-machine.
Newcastle United, as reported by ESPN, have already been in contact with Mertens’ agents regarding a potential move to St James’ Park.
But it seems that the £150,000k-a-week (Telegraph) forward, who has scored six goals in seven Champions League games this season, has his heart set on the hustle and bustle of London.
Many will immediately cite this as another stick to beat Newcastle with, despite its beautiful local beaches, surrounding World Heritage sites and colourful local characters.
Plenty of the criticism will likely come from those who have never been to the city, and Newcastle United fans will believe the club, with financial clout, can easily convince plenty of other players into a Tyneside switch.