AC Milan 0 Newcastle United 0
We got a point, and before the game that would have been a great result, after the game and having seen how little threat we provided and how we rode our luck, it’s an amazing result.

Like everything so far this season, Villa game aside, I haven’t enjoyed watching us play. I was trying to put my finger on during the match, and maybe it’s because last season there were no expectations, we just rode the crest of a wave and found ourselves 3rd in the league with a handful of games to go.

Last season we had a clear identity and every player knew their role. This season after what now looks like a transfer window where we needed to do better, we have lost that identity, but gained some very expensive players in the process, money which was supposed to help us on nights like this.

After all, this was a team 2 years ago fighting relegation, so you have to buy well and buy well quickly to climb this far, but this summer was so huge as we had to get it right, and I just don’t think we have, despite thinking at the time that we made some really good signings.

Barnes – 39 million – 3 minutes
Livramento – 35 million – 0 minutes
Hall – up to 30 million, 0 minutes
Tonali – 55 million – looks lost in the current system

By good signings I don’t just mean the individual ability of a player. For me a good signing is a signing that fits the system, a signing that provides added value compared to what they replace.

I think we are 120-130 million deep on players that so far either haven’t been given a chance or don’t seem to fit the way we are playing.

Now this isn’t terminal and Howe and the coaching staff need to find a system that works for all these new players.

Naturally some won’t play every game, but equally we are not good enough as a squad for nights like tonight, to be carrying expensive substitute players when the first team is lacking in key areas. Left back, right wing, a creative central midfielder, all areas we need first team options for, and instead we just have a very expensive bench with players covering for positions that we already have a stack of other options for.

I shouldn’t vent on a night like this, I need to give my head a wobble, but I do feel really frustrated with the way our transfer activity is playing out and how we look like a completely different side to last season, with the only consistent loss being Joe Willock.

What do you think? As ever, we would welcome your comments, opinions and views below.

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