Mike Ashley interview with Sky Sports

I was left feeling more positive following the interview with Mike Ashley, whether I’m the eternal optimist who has been tricked yet again remains to be seen.

The question I asked myself afterwards was “is there any new information” which to me it seemed there wasn’t, but I still felt it was positive that it came from the top man at NUFC.  Of course there needs to be investment at the club, and of course we need continuity, but what we really need is to learn from the mistakes that have been made in recent seasons.

Firstly we need to revert back to a manager, back to the manager choosing transfer targets, and genuine investment in a squad to keep us in the Premier League.  One of the issues needs to be January transfers, whether we pay over the odds doesn’t matter because buying a player for £5m more than we’d pay in the summer can be the difference of £70m if we get relegated.  This isn’t a business, you don’t have a business model to follow because you rely on split second decisions, injuries, gaining inches in the game which can be to the difference in getting a point in a game.

Mike Ashley said the fault lies at his door, and it most certainly does, he will have realised how poor Lee Charnley has been in appointing John Carver and also in not strengthening the team during the winter transfer window.

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Steve McLaren to NUFC

NUFC could move to hire Steve McLaren on Monday should Derby sack the former England manager.

Yes the wally with the brolly could be making his way North again, which has the perfect type of weather for the man who spent big with Derby but failed to bring them any type of success.  His appointment at Newcastle could strain relationships with the fans, if they could be further strained than they already are.

Let’s take a look at his statistics, which are quite decent with an average of a 46% win percentage, which is propped up by his first spell at Twente and his spell as England manager.  He has managed over 560 games which is the sign of an experienced manager, as I mentioned he also has international experience (albeit only 18 games), and has handled negative press quite well following his disastrous spell as England manager.

Would he bring any benefit to NUFC, that remains to be seen whether he is hired, to me hiring him would be a cop out by the board who would be showing very little ambition.  It would finally prove to me beyond any doubt that those making the decision lack genuine football knowledge, because he doesn’t have the drive he once did which helped up his win ratio.  These are desperate times at St James, and this would further that desperation.

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Relegation here we come

Looking at the table makes for scary reading, we are 2 points away from the bottom 3, 2 points away from Championship football next season.  We could and should have been lingering around 11th which is only 9 points away, but instead due to the stupid decision to appoint a serial loser as Head Coach we are 3 games away from disaster.

I genuinely cannot see where we will pick up a single point from, especially as we’ve both Williamson & Janmaat suspended, how pathetic is it that we cannot see a point against West Brom, QPR, or West Ham.  Whether people believe Mike Ashley cares about the club or not, I am sure you’ll agree right now he will be chewing on his sausage fingers at the thought of losing multi million pound deals from the TV rights.

What annoys me the most is the way Carver is unrepentant, even today he has claimed that he is the best coach in the Premier League, which may be true as the rest are all managers but his arrogance is substantially crazy.  How Charnley justified his temporary position is beyond me, his record as a manager is worse than I’ve known, yet he doesn’t do the right thing and resign or get on the touchline and motivate the players.

One thing is for sure, Mike Ashley needs to put top money down for a top manager who will bring in far more money than it would cost to hire him.

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Remi Garde Newcastle Head Coach

In the past it was always a case of looking at a list of potential managers and wondering “who will we pick” because back then we had that ability, but now it’s more a case of “who will decide to come here”.  It’s a sad fact that we are no longer an appealing prospect for managers and need to remind ourselves to that, so in the search for our new Head Coach it is essential we understand why someone would want the position.

If I were going into management I would find NUFC a dire club, fans who show their dissent every week regardless, players bought & sold without your input, and a strict policy when it comes to the media.  It’s not like we have the spending power we once did, which is why we attracted people like Dalglish (more’s the pity) and Gullit.  So what would make a decent coach come to the club, what would be his motivation.

That’s why I question the clamour for Remi Garde to come in, to me he is completely wrong due to him needing a break so early in his career.  The only way to bring success is by a long term appointment, so how can we trust Remi Garde will commit to us, will he eventually get sick of the setup we have.


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John Carver should quit

Against Manchester City it was evident how poor NUFC are as a team, and by poor I mean totally useless.  I can understand games like this happen, especially when stupid mistakes happen so early on, but I cannot understand the lack of a reaction to the events which unfolded.

When a team is pulling you to pieces your first reaction as a head coach must be to change, getting the team to play basics is essential in rebuilding confidence and frustrating the opposition.  Carver didn’t do that, nobody would have blamed him had he parked the bus playing 10 men behind the ball, yes it’s inviting trouble but it would have helped the team.

As a manager/head coach John Carver has a terrible win percentage, would you believe in total it’s 28% and currently with Newcastle it is 12.5%.  Those figures are totally unacceptable, it works out just over 30 points per season so he is a relegation manager, it’s frightening how poor he is.

For a man who loves the club it’s time to sacrifice himself, I’d have a lot of respect for him if he did that and put the fans first, we cannot have him trying to prove to the world he is capable when we know he isn’t.

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Alan Pardew banned for 7 games

NUFC manager Alan Pardew has accepted his 7 game ban, although I agree with his decision I don’t agree with the length of the ban.  I believe the ban should have been 4 games in total, not a split between a stadium ban and touchline ban, because it brings down the punishment onto the club and players as well as the manager.

Alan Pardew did wrong by reacting in the way he did, yes David Meyler did push him and create the confrontation but that does not excuse an attack.  It does not however justify the reaction of pundits such as Alan Shearer, Robbie Savage, Jeff Stelling, and Paul Merson.  The way in which they condemned Alan Pardew shocked me, especially the pairing of Shearer & Savage, who were both controversial in their playing days, with Shearer receiving complaints by opposition managers for breaking noses and kicking heads (not proven or not guilty).

I believe that football has descended into a “lip service”, compare it with Rugby which is far more violent yet gentlemanly, you’ll find a vast gulf in conduct and sportsmanship.  The way to deal with Pardew is to fine the club, ban him for 4 games and warn him that should he bring the game into disrepute within 3yrs he will be banned for double the amount of games.



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NUFC.co.uk Fan Forum

NUFC.co.uk have released the minutes from the recent Fan Forum meeting, they are available to read on their site.

Reading through them it was the same old rubbish, why Joe Kinnear, how much is Mike Ashley taking out the club, can we have Wonga off our shirts. It annoys me that these forums are wasted by repeated questions that don’t matter, we should be using the opportunity to address the issues which matter the most, not issues that have already been answered many times before.

Joe Kinnear.

Let’s face it, he won’t quit his position or be sacked by Mike Ashley, he is important for the club because he can communicate footballing issues with the top brass. There are so many rumours doing the rounds about Joe Kinnear it’s getting farcical, it’s making the fans look petty every time we complain.

Is it Joe Kinnear who should be blamed because the club didn’t sign a player in the summer, should he be blamed for other clubs pushing up the price of a player? Personally I don’t believe he should get the blame, nor Mike Ashley, would a fan that disagrees go out and pay £40 for a £20 jacket, or would they say I’ll do with the one I have and wait until one comes along that’s worth it. It’s true though, why should Newcastle United FC buy a player for near double the price the player is worth, it doesn’t make sense in the slightest.


The question about having a logo free shirt is ludicrous, if someone doesn’t like Wonga then tough luck, I bet the same people lose their morals when going into Primark to buy Hawaiian shorts for their holiday. Look at it from a sponsors point of view, if the club sold logo free shirts would you as a business then pay top price to sponsor a shirt, think about it.

As for attracting new sponsors to increase revenue to spend on players, would you as a business sponsor a club if you got so much stick from the fans, I could go further by saying ill informed unwarranted stick from the fans. We can’t compete with other clubs when we scare potential sponsors away, maybe that’s a question the club should answer, how many sponsors have been put off by the attitude of the fans.


Let’s realise nothing will change unless we work with the club, the days of Shepherd buying players for huge sums without having the money are gone, we live within our means and that is such a positive thing for the club. We can’t force the best thing to happen to NUFC out the club, one day Mike Ashley will leave or retire and Newcastle United will thank the day he bought us.


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NUFC out the FA Cup

Yet again NUFC are out in the third round of the FA Cup, another season without a welcome distraction of a cup run.

I had hoped the team Pardew put out would prove a point, in particular Cisse who did score but didn’t do anything to convince me he should be a regular starter.  I can’t see Pardew having a selection headache from these players, if anything it might convince him they need to be sold this month, game over for Cisse hopefully.

Should we have beaten Cardiff with the players on the pitch that we did, the answer is yes, but the tactics and attitude was that poor I feel gutted to say we didn’t deserve a thing from it.


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Luuk De Jong close to NUFC deal

Luuk De Jong is in talks with Borussia Monchengladbach over a January move to the Premier League, with NUFC in pole position to sign the Dutch striker.

De Jong has confirmed the talks with Max Eberl are close, with his camp claiming the Premier League is his likely destination.

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NUFC Infographic

NUFC Infographic

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Alan Pardew off to Spurs

Alan Pardew has emerged as a candidate to fill the void at Spurs following the sacking of AVB, his odds are 33-1 which suggest he isn’t immediate favourite but stranger things have happened.

I’ve spoken with a few fans today about this and it’s been a mixed bag, some wanting him to leave and others desperate for him to stay, the question is would this be good for NUFC?

Personally I think him leaving would cause major issues for the squad as a whole, with departures in January inevitable as Cabaye would most likely use it as an excuse to push his move through.  He has built up a decent squad here which has performed very well so far this season, should he leave it could have a negative effect on the players, confidence is essential as we have seen.

Would you think he could do a good job at Spurs, bearing in mind the squad is fantastic in regards of talent, and lets not forget it’s missing only 2 players since the days with Redknapp in charge.  Would Pardew be able to go in and bring about the results, would he take any players with him, would players want to leave with him gone.

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January targets for NUFC

Newcastle United have performed really well so far in the league this season, approaching games with confidence rather than anxiously as they did last season.  The failure of the team last season was down to the pressure of the Europa League, although I remember many fanzine editors claiming it wasn’t, this season shows just how wrong they were.   The question we need to address is how did the Europa League cause so much pressure, the answer is obvious, we didn’t have the personnel we needed.

That is why January is a massive window for NUFC, not only for us to push forward during the second half of the season, but also to get players settled for what could be a busy season next year should we continue to push for a place in Europe.  I completely understood why Mike Ashley didn’t spend in the summer, due to the TV revenue players prices were hugely inflated and we’d have wasted millions by paying extra due to that.  Although it’s still a factor in January I really believe we need to push through that and bring in 3-4 new faces, we can’t be stubborn hoping that the choice won’t affect the club next season because it will affect us.

Luuk De Jong is a goalscorer but needs the service, the majority of his goals have came from close range so we should avoid signing him and go for Vincent Aboubakar who at 21 looks like a future star, who is only 4 goals behind Ibrahimovic in the scoring charts.  He is composed in his play which is what we lack with Cisse, the ability to get past players like Remy would bring another dimension to the team that is currently lacking.  He will cost close to £12 which isn’t a big deal for someone of his quality, plus he isn’t French which is positive for the haters out there.

My next choice won’t be popular given he already plays in the Premier League, but the pace of Nathan Dyer makes him an ideal choice to stretch teams and his game suits our style of play so well.  I’ve watched him a lot this season and although he was stretchered off against Norwich I do believe he will come back quite soon, and in the games he played his game has impressed me immensely.

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NUFC to charge media for access

In a bold move that will upset the media NUFC have proposed charging them for ‘exclusive’ access.

It has been suggested there will be 3 packages (Gold, Silver and Bronze), but will this cause greater problems where national papers simply refuse to go along with it.  It’s a positive move if all Premier League clubs implement this, and should be managed centrally by the Premier League, otherwise it could alienate NUFC and damage revenue from sponsorships.

The Mike Ashley hating Evening Chronicle are using a children’s hospital visit by NUFC players as an example, saying a ban on them means people don’t get to read the feel good factor story, surely these visits are about the children and not papers making money on the back of that.  I’d like the Evening Chronicle to donate money for every feel good story they’ve reported on, no way should they profit or complain about not profiting due to the ban on them.

NUFC – Homepage

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Mike Williamson happy at NUFC

A player who I thought wasn’t quite good enough for NUFC has made my day saying he is happy at NUFC, I was worried he’d want to leave due to lack of playing time.

Mike Williamson has been immense for us during some tough games, in the absence of Coloccini too which isn’t easy as we all know.  A personality trait that Williamson has is passion, he doesn’t mess about and like he says he gets the ball to the creative players, the last thing we need is a defender trying to dribble.

Looking back over the years I think we needed a player like Mike Williamson, we’ve struggled with defenders who want to defend solidly like he does, the only other defender I liked was Bassong before he jogged on.

Lets hope he stays and regains his position in the team, his presence is absolutely needed.


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Alan Pardew won’t get carried away

Every manager in the Premier League has used “won’t get carried away” line, it’s a line you’ll hear every week from different managers who are on a good run of results.  If a manager were to say “we should get carried away” then the pressure on the team would be immense, imagine the embarrassment should they lose the next game!

Now for most people it’s common sense why Alan Pardew said that, but sadly for others they see it as Mike Ashley’s fault, it’s not a joke have a look at Sky Sports Newcastle and read the comments, one idiot says “he said it because Mike Ashley has no ambition”, I’d laugh if it wasn’t serious!

The argument against Mike Ashley largely lies with the decision by Kevin Keegan to resign, yes it goes all the way back to then, his reluctance to spend £200m buying players over the hill.  Every issue we’ve had since then has been Mike Ashley’s fault, it’s apparently his fault we got rid of our best players (Simpson, Perch, Gosling etc) yet we have a team pushing for Europe while those 3 battle for promotion in the Championship, there replacements are heading to Brasil for the World Cup yet they’ll be staying behind come the summer!

Time to stop blaming Mike Ashley, accept Alan Pardew not wanting to get carried away boils down to him relieving pressure on the team.


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NUFC to get Luuk De Jong

NUFC are back in the hunt for former target Luuk De Jong, a striker who we courted before his £12m move to Borussia Monchengladbach from FC Twente in 2012.  Since his move in the Bundesliga he has struggled with form, although he hasn’t had time to settle I get the feeling the German game doesn’t suit his style, which will benefit NUFC should he make a move here.

A player like Luuk De Jong is needed at NUFC because of how badly Cisse has played, we have missed a striker who is dependable around the box and can finish.  Papiss Cisse started so brightly but has faded because our style has changed, we now play a more defensive system with our backs to the wall that doesn’t play to his strengths, De Jong is someone who would benefit massively from that.  At 6ft 2 he also gives us an aerial threat that is missing, when you have players like Cabaye who can deliver inch perfect crosses you want someone who can make a nuisance of themselves.

During his time at FC Twente Luuk De Jong scored 39 goals in 76 games with the majority coming from within 8 yards out, don’t get me wrong he did score from further out but his poacher ability is there for everyone to see.  We haven’t had that as much this season and definitely not last season, Loic Remy has covered that weakness but doesn’t provide that poacher instinct which Luuk De Jong would offer.

I really hope we sign both Remy and De Jong on permanent deals so we can plan for the future, loan deals don’t benefit the club in the long term.


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NUFC prospects

Looking at NUFC position in the Premier League makes good viewing, after 10 games we have 14 points which is only 6 points off a Champions League position.  Had we beat the mackems and Hull we’d be pushing for 2nd place, imagine that we’d actually be fighting for 2nd place with a team the club said had the potential to get us into Europe.

Going into the festive period we have good reason to feel positive, we have a potential 27 points on offer and should we pick up the 12 points from the obvious wins then that will set us up nicely for the 2nd half of the season.  Nothing ever goes to plan for any team never mind NUFC, however, I believe in January we will make another signing to compensate for Papiss Cisse should his poor form continue to drag on, and if we are to believe sources then Demba Ba could make a return.

Let’s say Ba does return to NUFC and hits the scoring form we know he has, I’m sure that will propel us into the Europa League if not a Champions League position because the top teams form has been erratic to say the least.


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What is my problem

I receive hundreds of comments each month from disgruntled NUFC fans, apparently I’m an idiot (nicest one I can make public) because I can’t see that Mike Ashley is draining the club of funds, has pocketed £60m, and the best one yet where this person claimed Mike Ashley has driven the NUFC share price so low we are worth virtually nothing even though we aren’t on the stock exchange!

I have my views which I am entitled to, I’ve followed NUFC since I can remember and have shared those ups and downs, the Keegan years that were magical, the Robson years that had us dreaming and, the Souness years that had us crying.  I cried when Andy Cole was sold, I lept for joy when we signed Shearer, I shared the anger with Gullit when he treat Rob Lee so badly, and unlike the majority of fans I knew of Asprilla years before he came to Newcastle.  Does this make me an amazing fan, I do not believe it does because no amount of games people go to or how many games people have watched can beat someone with a passion for their club.

We all have differing views that are born from that passion for the club, the difference is I see past the social club talk about Mike Ashley, I see a man who is putting together a club while others see a man taking one apart, I see NUFC with young players the best teams in the world want, others see a transfer policy that doesn’t work.  I ask you to look at players like Cabaye & Ben Arfa compared to Geremi & Damien Duff.

We all have aspirations that one day soon NUFC will hit those heights again, let us back the team like we used to, because the greatest place on earth is the Gallowgate End in the rain.


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NUFC ban local newspapers

If you’ve read a newspaper in the last couple of days you’ll have seen the latest, NUFC have banned the Evening Chronicle and it’s sister papers from the media area at the club.  Yes I am as baffled as you, is this what NCJ Media call front page news, in today’s world surely we have more pressing issues that we need our media to expose, bedroom tax anyone?

I am in agreement with NUFC over the coverage of the march by the Evening Chronicle, not only because the numbers were so low but also because the vast majority were under 16 and there for the fun of it.  NCJ Media have sold themselves out in favour of selling papers, they don’t care about the truth or the facts if they get in the way of making money, like they say “don’t let the truth get in the way of a good yarn”.  We need real news reported without sides being taken, they should present the facts in a truthful way rather than telling a story which is contorted to alter the readers opinion.

NUFC banning the Evening Chronicle is justified, why should Mike Ashley stand by and allow them to build even more hatred towards a man who has SAVED Newcastle United, who has brought so much work to the North East in Sports Direct, who through his business acumen has given NUFC the financial stability that Freddy Shepherd could never have done.  He came into the club and saved us, Freddy Shepherd had us in a complete financial mess and on the verge of doing a Leeds or a Portsmouth.  Mike Ashley made one massive mistake, listening to the fans and bringing Kevin Keegan back to the club, the £200m he said the club needed to invest would have been every season and we all know it, Sir John Hall said Keegan would regularly threaten to quit unless they gave him more money to spend.

We do have a major problem, whether it’s the players or Alan Pardew I do not know, what I do know is Mike Ashley is a business genius and when he says NUFC will be a success you can bet your life he will do it, trust in Mike Ashley and within 5yrs we will be a force to be reckoned with.

NUFC – Homepage

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Why can’t we compete?

The answer to your question about not being able to compete with Liverpool or Spurs.

Turnover figures: –

Liverpool – £169m
Spurs – £144m
NUFC – £93m

So there you go, we don’t have enough money coming in compared to them, or I can draw a picture with crayons for those in social clubs making up lies about the club.

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Time 4 Change march

I’m very thankful the march didn’t produce unnecessary pressure on the players, or if it did I’m glad it wasn’t enough to cause the loss of the point we so brilliantly won.

Looking through the images I think the average age of those marching is about 12, which shows the hatred for the NUFC regime doesn’t stretch to as many people as Time4change believes it does.  The bus services were disrupted due to the children marching, I should add the couple of adults too who were either escorting the children or actually were part of the march, and did the protest warrant such disruption to bus services?

I’m hoping Time4Change will be forced to close due to dwindling support, once people realise how pathetic it is to demand someone sell a club when nobody wants to buy, especially with such fickle fans!

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NUFC fan protest

Here we go again, another protest that causes unnecessary pressure to filter down to the team, and when the result is negative we’ll blame Mike Ashley & Joe Kinnear for it.

When will these media hungry so called fans realise this is not the way, did the last protest change anything other than make people feel sick at a stunt involving a coffin near a hospital with dying children!  We looked like absolute pieces of scum, everyone who can see past the spouted rubbish will see it’s all about self promotion rather than what is right for the club.

If people have a genuine issue with Mike Ashley then why don’t we boycott his businesses, or is that too much for so called fans who need the cheap clothing to sit in Benidorm after spending months saving up their dole money.

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Four NUFC players in the French squad

Four members of Newcastle Utd have been named in the French squad, with recalls for Yohan Cabaye and Loic Remy, the latter recalled following his form for NUFC.

It remains to be seen how this will impact the players at club level, especially with Remy who is injury prone to say the least, should he pick up an injury I do believe this will put us further in the mire.

It’s positive for us that we have members who are playing at such a high level for their country, it shows the quality in our scouting system that has attracted some of the finest players we’ve had for a long time.

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Who makes up the NUFC finance rumours

I’ve read and been told so many times that NUFC got £24m from commercial income last season, yet genuine not in your head made up figures show NUFC only got around £13m, who do we believe, NUFC accounts or the man in with a fan site who knows a man who walks his dog with a man who’s mates brother is well in with a club insider.

What we have here is typical of fan site writers, they play on fans fears to boost their own income, in other words they believe you don’t care about the truth as long as they get a few quid from adverts.  As the kids say these days #MUGS.

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Missing person – Joe Kinnear

I have seen so many missing posters that say Joe Kinnear has not been seen since August, so I’ve posted a picture (credit to Evening Chronicle) that shows him at the home game against Hull City Tigers.

Not only is it extremely bad taste posting missing person posters, the reason that so many people go missing especially children, it’s also incorrect as you can tell from the picture.

There he is, in public at St James Park!

There he is, in public at St James Park!

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