Copying Everton and Arsenal – Blueprint For Success

Ever since Kevin Keegan and John Hall started Newcastle’s resurrection in 1992, Newcastle have paid out huge transfer fees for players and huge wages to go with it.


Chairman Chris Mort – will run Newcastle as well-oiled business

We’ve had some of the highest wage bills of any teams in the Premiership, and have regularly shelved out high transfer fees for players, some of whom have turned out to be just hopeless – or would useless be a better word?

Since we want to keep this article high toned we’ll not even mention some of the duds we bought like Boumsong, Marcelino, Luque and Viana…..

And what have we achieved for all that outlay at Newcastle over the last 16 seasons – nothing.

So we were not too upset at the meeting that Keegan had with owner Mike Ashley last Friday in London, and that our club will now be run as a well-oiled business. In fact we’re very pleased with that – it’s about time.

Since the meeting Kevin has been so high toned, we find it hard to believe all the negativity about the meeting, that has been published in the gossip press.

Kevin has an ego (don’t we all?), so one thing Chris should have learned from last week, is to keep Kevin better informed about what’s going on with wages and transfers and the like at the club.

We also think a general meeting like we had on Friday – say once a quarter – would be fine.

But please keep Kevin happy, he’s very important to the fans and to our future success.

Chairman Chis Mort has said he will not pay out funny money this summer, and that’s fine with us, since we will still be able to pay out up to £25M on a single player who is top class – according to manager Keegan – and we have already shown we are after the very best players we can get.

We don’t need big splash signings, like Shepherd and Douglas Hall loved to make, but should follow Everton’s lead, by making sensible signings and build up the team, step by step.

David Moyes has done wonders at Everton and deserves all the praise he gets, after having guided Everton to 5th place two seasons running.

While it may take a huge fee for one or two players this summer, we shouldn’t overpay like we have consistently done in the past.

The other thing that pleases us about the new Newcastle is that by concentrating on bringing in youngsters, who have yet to fully develop, we have the chance to find world class players who don’t cost us a fortune.

That’s what Arsenal have been great at under Arsene Wenger, over the last 10 years. But it’s not an easy thing to achieve, because if it was, every club would be doing it with success, and they’re not.

But we believe we’ve made a good start in this area with 5 top-class youngsters we brought to the club in January, and we look for 3-4 more to be joining Newcastle in the summer.

So, all in all, considering all the doom and gloom that has been reported this last week about Newcastle, Keegan and Ashley, we’re probably in a much better state than lots of pundits give the club credit for.

But that kind of news never sells newspapers does it? So we never see it.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

88 comments so far

  • Ant

    May 12, 2008 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #1

    Spot on Ed, mate.

    No need for a comment, absolutely spot on.

  • Yahya Ahmad

    May 12, 2008 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #2

    I would rather copy Arsenal style. The Arsenal youngsters have class unlike Everton first team squad!

  • James

    May 12, 2008 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #3

    Which is why Mort will insist on a wage cap (and rightly so). Of course this puts pressure on the Owen deal who will most definitely have to take a wage cut. Despite the press putting this in a negative light by assuming Owen will leave us, I beg to differ.

    Owen will sign the deal that Mort puts to him and will understand the reasons for it. He has come to love our club and supporters, and will not want to leave.

    A lot of nonsense and negativity has been written about us this season but I for one would like to thank the following :

    Mike Ashley – for saving us from becomming Leeds

    Chris Mort – for running the club properly and having our long term future in mind

    Keegan – for coming back

    Beye – for being the best right back in the land

    Butt – for improving greatly when it mattered

    Martins – for an attitude that is simply first class

    Owen – for the leadership and goals we needed to save us from a relegation dogfight

    All of the above men make me proud to support the Toon

  • Ali

    May 12, 2008 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #4

    The principal is sound, but we have yet to be assured that we have the ability to identify the best young talent that would enable us to pursue an Arsenal-type strategy.
    Equally, Everton link sound buying to excellent coaching – the latter we would not consider to be KK’s forte and surely not something Ashley et al would have appointed him to provide.
    And finally, Everton play a pragmatic, no-frills football that puts results clearly ahead of entertainment. Not the balance that Ashley chose Keegan for.
    I don’t think we know the strategy yet.

  • JMC

    May 12, 2008 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #5

    ant, is dec with you like?

  • broon ale

    May 12, 2008 at 12:06 PM

    Comment #6

    well said james

  • Ant

    May 12, 2008 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #7

    What about Man U?

    The best team in the country for many, many years now, with strength in depth and NEVER a poor season.

    Fergie puts alot of effort into a single player rather than a list of 40 and chooses the best man for the job needed.

    He spends big money, Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney, Carlos Tevez.

    Would you call them flops? Of course not.

    It’s little steps and big signings we need. Why plan for the next 10 years before we know if we’re going to need them. Everton are an over-achieving mid-table team.

    Portsmouth, Blackburn, Villa, Man City can all be grouped in there as well.

    It’s Man U, Chelsea and Arsenal for the title.

    Liverpool are a million miles behind them 3. Liverpool should be in the group of ourselves and, although it pains me to say it, Spurs(they are a class above the others.)

    Liverpool are over-shooting in Europe but that can’t last long.

    I’d expect the toon and Spurs to be looking at 4th next year. The top 3 is unreasonable, but 4th certainly isn’t.

    Perhaps sign someone huge in the summer. Someone in midfield…Diego? someone exciting to put us off when we finish 5th-10th next year.

    Sign someone decent in January. Better than the majority but not capable of the world.

    Next Summer. Bring in another huge signing, with our maturing team (Martins, Zog, Milner, Enrique) with pace and passion.

    If we put in the effort Fergie and his team of talent-specialists put in, we’ll be up there competing soon enough, and of course, not need big players on the bench, because we’ll have the top class youngsters in there.

    Carroll will never make it for us I’m afraid, he’s decent but not up to what we want.

    Andy Carroll’s don’t win you league titles, FA Cups and European cups.

    Good back-up 🙂

    I know what I want. I know it’s different to a lot of you who want Zog to piss of for being questionably loyal and think Owen is some sort of God (he’s good but a second-fiddle to Oba)

    Haway the toon!

  • Gloryhunter

    May 12, 2008 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #8

    I have seen no evidence that Owen “has come to love our club and supporters, and will not want to leave.” His ‘advisers’ will already be looking for the best possible deal. He will leave for more money.

  • Ant

    May 12, 2008 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #9

    James, as always, very much in the same boat as me.

    The only beef I ever have with you is IMO a bit of an exaggeration of what Owen offers the team, he’s good, he’s loyal, an all-round first-class star.

    But he gets paid to be business-class and I expect more bang for my buck from him.

    We’re much more likely to get 20 a season from Oba, and he creates so much with his simple, incomparable, raw strength and pace.

    A nice year ahead of us next year I think.

    Ashley, Mort, Owen, Oba, Beye, even ZOG (without him early this season, Fat Sam would have assured us of relegation, Zog, being as he is clearly ignored FSA and went on runs from defence, scored and created. He was dropped for his trouble but earned a place in my heart. If I’m the only one cheering his name when the scum, Spurs come to SJP, so be it. He’s been brilliant, simply brilliant)

  • Gloryhunter

    May 12, 2008 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #10

    You’re earning your money today Ant. Well said.

  • Cisaro

    May 12, 2008 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #11

    Chris Morte and Ashley have said all along that they were in this for the long haul and the infrastructure they have put in place is testament to this. This club can be great again under their stewardship but it’s going to take time and money that will be self-generated. Ashley is smart, what other club has a ground the capacity of SJP and zero debt? Once he gets the wage structure right and the youth policy showing results KK will have a team of entertainers again, but it will not happen overnight and probably not even next season. Let’s be realistic the only team to have instant success was Chelski at a cost of£200m plus.

  • Ant

    May 12, 2008 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #12

    Gloryhunter – Cheers, I’m at work, and can’t stop thinking about the toon.

    It’s one of those days, I’ve put the tie on I was wearing when Keegan came back, I saw the box of Special K I bought that night when I was drunk and wandered to a 24-hour tesco.

    Coming home came on this morning on the ipod in the car.

    Might go knock on the doors of the chronicle office at dinner…tell that prick Alan Oliver how Newcastle should be written about in a local paper, in a positive light, but with less bias. And no more shite about who he saw in Shearers last night having a pint with Michael Jackson, Alan Shearer and Tony Blair!

    @r5e hole!!

  • James

    May 12, 2008 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #13

    Gloryhunter – Owen won’t leave for more money because no club in the land will pay over £100K a week for him. As for his loyalty, he gave an interview at Christmas saying his only ambition left in club football is to win a trophy with Newcastle.

    Ant – We don’t have any creative midfielders supplying Owen with the chances to get your bang for your buck. Lost count of the amout of times Milner or Geremi hit the first defender when Owen makes a great run into space.

    That said, I’m more confident of Owen scoring more than Oba next season like he did this season. Oba makes some strange decisions at times, but does seem to be learning.

  • Ginkoh

    May 12, 2008 at 12:36 PM

    Comment #14

    But that kind of news never sells newspapers does it? So we never see it. ——- POINT !

  • arnie

    May 12, 2008 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #15

    Spot on Ed, Ant and James. The only way forward for Newcastle after all the years in Shepherds wilderness is step by step. Not the one big signing, but getting the whole organization right, on and of the field.
    Better academy, better recriutment of young player and not at least better use of transfer money and wages. We have been splashing out for too long without getting the results. Its time to change the strategy and i looks like Ashley, Mort and Keegan understrands that.
    Use the Everton way in transfers, the Arsenal way on youngsters and we will be an established top six side. From there we can challenge for the top three-four.
    We have tried the short-cuts for years, it dosent work. We cant rely the whole future of the club on who manages it at any given time.
    We need a working system, look have the leading continental clubs recruits good players, young and established, irrespective of who is manager.
    The future looks good, Michael Owen staying or not.

  • Geordie Gerrard7

    May 12, 2008 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #16

    woooh! i have heard we have had a 16 million pound bid taken into consideration for miguel veloso and also brought up the subject of moutinho, lengthy discussions will take place between now and friday in the hope of striking a deal.

    this has come from my brazillian friend who supports sporting.

    he is gutted and his info is coming from his brother who is living in lisbon.
    he also thinks that a deal of 9 million was being discussed about moutinho, so that is a fairy reasonable price aswell as the 16 mill for veloso

  • broon ale

    May 12, 2008 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #17

    Kadar callup

    The progress this season of Magpies reserve defender Tamas Kadar has been recognised with his maiden senior international callup.

    18 year-old Kadar is in the Hungary squad for upcoming friendly games against Greece and Croatia in Budapest

  • John

    May 12, 2008 at 1:08 PM

    Comment #18

    Geordie G, I’ll beleive when i see it mate.,….Theres a lot off top clubs interested in those 2 …Not sure they would pick us over a European Giant..

    We’ll see..Ive got everything crossed anyway

  • Taiwantoon

    May 12, 2008 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #19

    If I am not wrong, Arsenal has a much higher wage total than us.

    It’s good to copy the Arsenal way but I am afraid Mr. Wise is no Wenger. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying Denis Wise is not capable, it’s just he still has lots to prove in the trade he is doing now, yet Wenger has none.

    What I am trying to say is that, why not just appointing Wenger if you want it Arsenal way?

    Yeah, I know it’s not possible. But does anyone think KK is a Wenger type of manager?

    Everyone has his own strength, and I don’t think unearth young talent is what KK does best. It’s true KK has the help from a team to support him, but the team doesn’t look like world beater from their experience. Due to this, I would rather trust KK as he has a very good track record in signing good players who can do it for us today.

    Don’t get me wrong. I think and really hope we will be able to challenge in a few years time, I just don’t want it Everton way nor Arsenal way. I want it KK way and Newcastle way.

  • Geordie Gerrard7

    May 12, 2008 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #20

    same as, ill believe it when i see it. but still its meant to be devastating for lisbon fans, but my mate thinks veloso has been very average this season that is why none of the big clubs will want him. i see chels have just snapped up bosingwa, he is a very good rb

  • Toon1978

    May 12, 2008 at 1:52 PM

    Comment #21

    Chelsea are close to tying up BOSINGWA from PORTO see CHELSEA are moving fast but what are we doing hmmmm NOTHING M.Ashley complaining about wages and want OWEN to drop in wages. Silly man. I want to be optimistic but i cant unfortunately. Players are going out and rumours our best players are leaving with NOTHING coming in. VELOSO is a rumour but whats happening with that. Have Ashley and Mort got no football knowledge what so ever. The longer they with the less chance of singing someone like Veloso. CASHLEY is to scared to spend his millions after all how much has he spent on players up to now?

  • Leo

    May 12, 2008 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #22

    soo underwelmed that we might copy everton lol. glad about arsenal because they play a good brand of football but everton…

  • Eric

    May 12, 2008 at 1:56 PM

    Comment #23

    Ant more or less said it all for me too. Martins is more class than Owen. Zog is one we must keep and think with some quality additions we could get 4th. The FA and Carling cups are not beyond us either. I still do not rate Viduka and think Smith a total waste of space. It will soon be time for Butt to move on and Barton is just plain over-rated. Duff needs to pull his socks up as well. There are players out there that can fit into the KK mould and we have a fine set of young ones on board as well. We did it almost before without a bucket full of big names. Let players become big names with us. Wenger does it in style and Ferguson has always had an eye for finding and developing talent. Let the Chelsea Buns splash their cash on prima donnas – they cannot, it seems, run a youth policy. As for next season’s EPL. We need to have the likes of Villa, Spurs, Blackburn and Portsmouth scrambling to catch us up not the other way around.

  • Toon1978

    May 12, 2008 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #24

    LADS the only way we will make 4th is if we sign the likes of VELOSO,MOUTINHO,ARSHIVAN, and players alike. But what will their wages be, with this wage cap it limits our choice in player.

  • Sean Blue

    May 12, 2008 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #25

    “It’s little steps and big signings we need. Why plan for the next 10 years before we know if we’re going to need them. Everton are an over-achieving mid-table team.”

    I beg to differ. the last team outside the big 4 to get into the CL… the last team outside the big 4 to win the FA Cup (till next week anyway). A well run team who don’t splash silly money on players who go AWOL when they’re needed the most. Who am I talking about? Everton of course. I like the Toon but their fans need to be realistic like KK spoke about earlier this week. We’ve spent season after season being realistic until we get to where we are now. We don’t expect to win the league but you can have 5th next season – we’re after 4th. Not 3rd, 2nd or 1st. Just quietly breaking into the top 4 like we did a couple of years ago. If we don’t get there we won’t be screaming to sack the board or Moyes; we’ll just be realistic – but quietly confident.

  • Bill F

    May 12, 2008 at 2:12 PM

    Comment #26

    Why is Carroll suddenly getting knockbacks he has had one full start and ok he didn’t exactly shine but he is an academy product and even if he doesn’t go on to become a good player at least give him a chance. It takes a few full games in the EPL to reach the standard needed, for example MO took a few games to get back to match fitness even before KK was able to work his magic.
    Not all of the academy players will go on to be top class players but don’t knock them before they start.

  • Chris

    May 12, 2008 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #27

    Well said Bill F, that’s the trouble with NUFC, the academy players are very rarely given a chance. They get into the first team, have an average game and then all of a sudden they’re not good enough.
    Look when Roeder first took over as manager, he depended on those players cause a lot of the first team were out injured. It just shows if they can get a run in the team and get a bit of confidence going, they can prove people wrong.
    We as fans have to give these young players a chance. There’s no point even thinking of copying Arsenal if we don’t.

  • michael

    May 12, 2008 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #28

    Keegan doesn’t bring talent through?
    So those kids at Man City he signed up (Johnson, Richards and Onohau) aren’t going to make the grade are they? Keegan has always wanted to invest in young talent. But he’s smart enough to know that young doesn’t always mean good… (See Hugo Viana, Darren Ambrose and Titus Bramble for further details ).

  • HeronMag

    May 12, 2008 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #29

    A little off the topic lads but I was watching a programme last night talking about the traditional formation of the 1950’s – Thought this looked quite good for the toon. What you reckon?

    Given (GK)

    Taylor (RB) Faye (CB) Enrique (LB)

    Beye (WH) Butt (WH)

    Owen (IF) Martins (IF)

    Milner (RW) Viduka (CF) N’Zogbia(LW)

    To those of you who like me didn’t know about Wing Halfs (WH) and Inside Forwards (IF) this may look bizarre. But it offers a strong defended midfield and loads of width.

    This is just a bit of fun, but does anyone know why these tactics died out?

  • Fernando

    May 12, 2008 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #30

    anyone got a link to higlights of yesterday’s game?

  • Bill F

    May 12, 2008 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #31

    From what I remember of the formations of the Fifties and up to a few years afterwards, we had 2 full backs, 3 half backs and 5 forwards. I don’t know how this would work now but I suspect an awful lot of goals would be scored

  • Nobby's dad

    May 12, 2008 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #32

    Toon1978….what are we doing?? The season only ended yesterday. We aren’t going to be spending huge amounts so get used to it. You don’t need owners with football knowledge – you get the right back room people in like Ashley appears to be doing. The Glazers know nowt about football but their clubs doing OK.

    It’s obvious the days of Hollywood signings are over …we may get 1 ‘star’ – I’m OK with it. Over recent history many of our best players have cost about £2 million on average….Beye /Faye of recent times – in the past Ginola /Nobby /Andy Cole / Prince Albert etc. These players have provided better value than our more expensive buys (AS excepted) – Robert / Luque / Boumsong / Vianna / Cort.

    I’d rather we spent wisely and unearthed some gems. It’s harder to do but it’s the way forward.

  • Geordie Gerrard7

    May 12, 2008 at 2:40 PM

    Comment #33

    Kevin Keegan was in Paris last night to watch PSG midfielder Amara Diane and St Etienne striker Bafetimbi Gomis in action.

    The Newcastle United boss made the trip to France following Friday’s summit meeting with owner Mike Ashley where he was told how much he has got to spend on improving the squad.

    Keegan is looking to strengthen all positions and will know that PSG are potentially on the verge of a massive summer clearout as they totter on the brink of relegation.

    Last night’s 1-1 draw did them few favours, but Keegan was more interested in PSG’s box-to-box midfielder Diane, an ever-present for the capital club this season.

    The 25-year-old has scored nine goals in 37 appearances this term and his all action style looks to be suited to the Premiership.

    Keegan may also have taken notes on St Etienne striker Gomis.

    The 22-year-old has bagged 14 goals for his club this season and was linked to Bolton Wanderers in January, but the Trotters board baulked at St Etienne’s £12million asking price.

    France Under-21 midfielder Loic Perrin, who has been tracked by Arsenal, was St Etienne’s star on the night and scored their goal.

    cant see this beings we only had a game yesterday, i cant see him making a trip to france straight after the game

  • Nick C

    May 12, 2008 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #34

    Fernando, type in – it has all the weekend’s goals on. Steven Taylor shows everyone how NOT to defend….

  • Ant

    May 12, 2008 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #35

    I’m staying on the Bullard bus…I love the lad…Bring him in, if he doesn’t make the grade, don’t play him, he won’t be too pricey(he’ll b undervalued if anything) and would certainly keep Jail-bird-Joey out of the team.

  • Toon1978

    May 12, 2008 at 2:47 PM

    Comment #36

    Nobby’s dad i understand what you are saying but all this talk about wage caps and bringing young players in. I am thinking is Ashley trying to make us into a feeder club? Ashley has one of the highest gate turn overs in the country yet he is moaning about money, the big clubs buy big players with big wages and play in EUROPE every year.

  • HeronMag

    May 12, 2008 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #37

    Bill F – I’ve heard so many descriptions of the same positions it gets confusing. From what I’ve gathered you had the two full backs in their usual positions, one centre back/centre half, the wing halfs played as defensive midfielders and you had 5 in attack!! Two wingers out wide high up the field with two inside forwards (kind of Attacking midfielders) with one main target man.

    I think this is how it worked anyways haha!

  • Nobby's dad

    May 12, 2008 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #38

    Toon1978…….Ashley’s blue print definately includes the fact that we will develop talent and sell on – so we may lose talent (like Arsenal do). You need to look at our recent history …huge transfer fees, huge wages, huge debt and no success.

    Ashley is a business man who wants to run the club like a business. Personally I’ve no problem with this – I ‘m sick of the ‘stars’ we’ve signed taking fantastic wages and doing sweet FA for their money. Ashley is no Abramovich – but I’d rather have the club run professionaly than like a circus which it was under Shepherd.

    Evertons wage structure was shown in Saturdays Telegraph – their wage bill is the 13th lowest in the Prem – ours 5th highest. How does this happen?

  • Punk Skunk

    May 12, 2008 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #39

    The arsenal way please, young guys comin’ thru, nice, proper, football!..As opposed to the Neverton way, ugly, dirty, whining, clogball on a tight-assed 10p budget…scouse mackems!..

  • Taiwantoon

    May 12, 2008 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #40


    I am not saying KK does not bring through talents. I was trying to suggest KK is different to AS, and the board should let him do it his way.
    I don’t enjoy KK saying he is just the coach of the club.


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