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News and Commentary On Newcastle United Football Club By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Newcastle’s Lost Allure Over Last Two Seasons

12:21 pm, Thursday, July 10th, 2008 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 24 Comments

In the last two seasons Newcastle have had their two worst points totals in the Premier league ever, and it’s having a negative effect on our recruiting this summer.

kevin-keegan-4321.jpg

 Kevin Keegan - the man to bring the great times back to Tyneside

And with no European football to offer and other teams, like Tottenham, Aston Villa, Portsmouth, Manchester City and maybe even West Ham overtaking Newcastle United over the last two years, it’s little wonder that Keegan is finding it difficult to attract top stars to Tyneside.

And let’s not criticize the club for not trying because Modric, Arshavin and Arda are top players.

We seemed to be OK once Graeme Souness was relieved of his duties and destruction of the club in February, 2006, and Glenn Roeder did a great job in getting us up to 7th place and into Europe that season.

But it’s all been down hill from there, for whatever reasons,  with the club finishing 13th in 2007 with 43 points, and 12th last season on 43 points. Not very good for such an ambitious club is it?

We’ve said before that this will be the most difficult season to recruit top players, and Kevin and the Newcastle club will need to do their very best to get the lesser known stars, who can become good players for the club, and improve our squad .

Certainly the likes of Gutierrez and Inler (if we can sign him) both look excellent buys for us in the circumstances.

Next season is one of the most critical seasons for Newcastle in a long while because the competition will be furious, with 4 or 5 top teams challenging to get into the top six, and it’s not like clubs like Tottenham, Portsmouth and Villa are not buying in the summer to further improve their squads.

We have every confidence in Kevin Keegan and his coaching staff, and would rather believe that Mike Ashley is in this for the long haul, and that he cannot possibly be as bad as the gossip media is trying to make him.

As Newcastle fans, we’ll have to keep our feet firmly on the floor this summer and be realistic, and just hope (and pray?) that Kevin, with the help of Dennis Wise and his recruitment team, can add effectively to our first team squad -  so we can indeed can mount an assault on the higher league positions next season.

The players we have left in the squad look good, and played so well for Keegan at the end of last season, so all is not gloom and doom.

And although the squad is incredibly small right now, there’s no doubt the quality and class of it is high.

But we all know we need at least another 5-6 good players in the summer – to be able to have a team that can truly challenge for a top finish next season.

Make no mistake about it – the next 7 weeks or so in the summer transfer market will be a critical time period for our club, in terms of how well we’ll fare next season.

Next signing please.   :D

Comments welcome.



Tags: Newcastle News · Transfer News and Rumours



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24 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ashton // Jul 10, 2008 at 12:27 PM

    Hi ed i send you an email did you receive it ?

  • 2 51times // Jul 10, 2008 at 12:31 PM

    Newcastle fans already knew this, but thanks for legitimising the abuse from other sets of supporters.

  • 3 simon P // Jul 10, 2008 at 12:35 PM

    I think the club have been too slow to sign the players wanted. Too much faffing about has cost us.
    Will reserve judgement until the transfer window closes, but if we keep signing foreign players who need time to adjust to The Premiership, we are in real danger of relegation next season.

  • 4 Davies // Jul 10, 2008 at 12:36 PM

    Plenty of time to buy, and speculate. Let’s just hope we don’t end up shopping in the bargain bins after everbody else has swagged the good deals.

    To be fair, and as a lot of people have already poited out, nobody knows what’s happening behind the scenes. Nobody had a clue about Gutierrez until it was announced.

  • 5 beye the great // Jul 10, 2008 at 12:36 PM

    cant wait till fe4rnando hears about this hopefully next year when we have done a lot better this will change

  • 6 Leo // Jul 10, 2008 at 12:40 PM

    i thought that allure was an aftershave, a nice one at that lol. i know what you are getting at, dont worry about people signing until they are signed and we are doing well/bad in the league, i have faith inkeegan and believe he will bring the best out of our players no matter how good they are.

    the brand of football i am looking forward to is going to be much better than that of a fat sam alardyces style because we all asnewcastle fans love to see our team attack

  • 7 paul the pom // Jul 10, 2008 at 12:41 PM

    i’m fully behind the new regime.for years now we have paid out big time on big name players like viana,luque and boumsong and spent squillions on wages,just to find out they were crap,and sold most of them for a third of the price.if we carry on like that we wouldn’t have a club.ma has saved us by paying off all that debt and is now running a proper club.they arnt blagging off about who they are going to sign and how much for.you never see arsenal doing that either and they are the benchmark imo.it might take us a few years to get back but this is the only way.slowly and surely.make the right choices and take us forward.dont listen to the rags and keep the faith.we will improve this season and thats all we can hope for each year.its took 5 years to get this bad and it wont be cured in one summer

  • 8 Bill F SPLASH MORE CASH ASH // Jul 10, 2008 at 12:41 PM

    Have to agree Ed, the way other clubs are spending compared to us makes me less and less optimistic about next season, unless there is a spending spree about to happen. Even the Boro are getting more new players than us. There is quality in the small squad we have and some good youngsters, but then I am sure that the other clubs probably have as well.

    It may take some real Harry Potter stuff from KK to even get us into the top ten. Our best hope for Europe might be through one of the cup competitions, and its European football that gives a club the edge to attract the better players. Same as Spurs (love em or hate em) and Pompey are doing.

    I can’t help feeling that unless we can get off to a really good start then the next two seasons are going to be ones of transition and foundation laying.

  • 9 Hertz // Jul 10, 2008 at 12:45 PM

    seriously, i think we should forget to challenge for top 6 until we sign at least 5 class players.
    look at Portsmouth, Spuds( hate to say that), and villa. not to mention Man.C
    just glance at their squads and look at ours.
    nuff said.

  • 10 WIGAZ // Jul 10, 2008 at 12:47 PM

    I agree ED but a whole season with KK at the helm is likely to produce the type of football players want to be a part of whether ther’s europe or not! we need to go for players who are hungry & want to become better players under a fantastic manager & in front of the lets be honest the best supporters in the world! We were up high when KK left, then came Dull dalglish, then joke guillit, then we has another Geordie savour Sir Bob (possibly as good if not better than the KK days) then 2 bad decisions Souness, was never right man for the job, roeder, job was too big! Big Al got us 7th not him! then sam, good manager but wanted to turn is in to a hard to beat team but failed as we had players capable of attacking & scoring goals but he just wanted them to sit! Wrong ideas! then the return of the King, i predict the good times will be back & we’ll finish top 6 next season, then the only was is up!

  • 11 reillers // Jul 10, 2008 at 12:48 PM

    Ya we know. There have been 100 reasons or more why the last 2 seasons have been more then poor..we’ve had poor coaches, our players haven’t been up to it, in both seasons we lost Given for more then half the season, our defence and or forwards haven’t done their jobs, our mids pedestrian..etc.
    But I don’t think anyone cares, this season is the important one, now is what matters, if we have a good season this season, minus mass injuries I think everyone will forget about the last 2 seasons.
    If we start really well (not likely seeing as we’ve Man U first) and keep the momentum going, unlike last year, the Sam affect only lasted about 2 weeks. LOL!! I think we’ll do well if we start well and stop throwing away results, and we stop conceding every single time we score.

  • 12 Geordie Billums // Jul 10, 2008 at 12:50 PM

    Ed, you are spot on. Even though the new players are coming in slowly, we seen to have learnt from our earlier mistakes.
    Previously we have bought players looking for their last big pay cheque, who have no desire to succeed at the club.
    We have time to sign players and Keegan and co are carefully choosing their targets.
    Does anyone know what happened with Arda? Has he actually moved yet?

  • 13 Cyprus-Toon // Jul 10, 2008 at 12:51 PM

    Its strange that we’ve apparentky lost the allure to get top class players but when KK took charge the 1st time in 92, we were in the (old) Div 2 & he got players like Ginola, Beardo, Ferd etc to come to the club & we weren’t in Europe then either so why is it any different now adays???

    I look forward to the next 6-7 weeks to see if MA is going to give KK any money for players & who he’ll be able to bring on boards, as it seems no home based players want to come to the TOON!!!

  • 14 Chicken // Jul 10, 2008 at 12:59 PM

    I never thought the day would come but I have to admit my love for the Toon has diminished somewhat of late.

    It’s not because we haven’t been performing in the league – I’ve been a fan in much worse situations than we find ourselves in now. It’s more to do with the attitudes of a lot of the players, the management, the directors and unfortunately even some fellow fans.

    For me this really came to a head with the purchase of Joey Barton. To this day I cannot see why anyone would want to buy that dispicable young thug. I also thought the way we handled the dismissal of Allardyce followed by the appointment of Keegan was far from acceptable. But the straw that is so close to breaking this particular camel’s back is the fact that the only reason there seems to be for not sacking Joey Barton is a financial one – and that for me sums up the greed and lack of morality that has infested so much of modern football.

    For me a lot of the buzz and excitement that surrounded Newcastle has gone now. Will it come back? I really do hope so, and I hope that Ashley and Keegan and co are the ones to bring it. But I don’t think anyone can deny these last 18 months to 2 years have been pretty sad times for the Toon.

  • 15 Don D // Jul 10, 2008 at 1:14 PM

    I have to agree with some of the more positive people up top. We have not been anywhere since Robson left (sorry was sacked)… All in all we are a big club and very ambitious but were managed badly… Now MA has come in and saved a possible sinking ship (financially). No nonsense… if he believes in it he does it… he bought the club in a very short time. Brought in Mort who came in and financially stabalized the boat and did some other things that were positive. Now we have an MD (still to prove himself), but it seems MA has a plan and we should support it rather than question at every hurdle. He brough the Massiah back and look at what he did towards the end of last season. Even if we kept the exact same team as last year we would do much much better this time around with King Kev at the helm for the entire season… I am happy though we got rid of some real dead wood at the club (except Emre – although he was injured a hell of a lot and am sure this will not change as this fine human being grows only order – we can’t cheat nature)… one in, who looks promising and sure we will add another 4/5 players this summer. Will they be super household names? I don’t expect so… but will they be an improvement to the dead wood we shipped out? I do think so… lets be positive and support the players, kev, management, and owners… we will improve this year and every year after that… I will be happy with a top 8 this year and overjoyed with a top 6… the rest is a dream for now lads… let’s be realistic

  • 16 Marguerite // Jul 10, 2008 at 2:17 PM

    Quite right Ed – however unpalatable your summary is right.

    I commented to anyone who was prepared to listen on the day of Souness’s appointment that he would put our club back a minimum of 5 years and hoped that my statement would be proved wrong. Unfortunately it was not.

    As a result we had Roeder who was given no help whatsoever, then Sam – oh dear.

    Its obvious Ashleyis no mini Abramovich and is not going to throw silly money around for new players; nor am I expecting any ‘statement’ signings, but I hope and pray we can get some good quality players who are hungry to succeed.

    If we can get a top 8 place I will be relieved and delighted and honestly believe that is the most realistic we can hope for.

  • 17 daiv // Jul 10, 2008 at 2:19 PM

    Kevin never had any probles signing players in the early nineties when we weren’t in Europe. Our lack of appeal is due to the fact that the decent players no longer believe there is no real ambition at NUFC. We’ve beenin for top players like Modric but have signed none of them. Either we have not offered enough in transfers or not enough wages. Either way, you have to then ask yourself, were the bids genuine or just a means to keep the fans interested. Spurs used this tactic for years until they got real recently. We are feeding off the crumbs other teams do not want. Humiliating.

  • 18 Nobby's Dad // Jul 10, 2008 at 2:20 PM

    Hertz // Jul 10, 2008 at 12:45

    seriously, i think we should forget to challenge for top 6 until we sign at least 5 class players.
    look at Portsmouth, Spuds( hate to say that), and villa. not to mention Man.C
    just glance at their squads and look at ours.
    nuff said.
    ————————————————————————————————————————

    Villa have lost Melberg and will lose Barry – Spuds could lose Berba and Keane.

    Our squad compares with any of the clubs named IMO. Have faith you should all stop doubting KK and the scouting staff. Do ANY of the doubter seriously believe our spending is over?? Don’t be suprised if Kev pulls one out on Aug 31st. I always remember Prince Albert was as I recall a late signing

    Top 6 easy!!

  • 19 jamie // Jul 10, 2008 at 2:22 PM

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luis_Su%C3%A1rez_%28Uruguayan_footballer%29

    BUY HIM BUY HIM BUY HIM

  • 20 daiv // Jul 10, 2008 at 2:22 PM

    Don D
    The dead wood does not come any deader than Smith and Duff. We cannot get rid of them because of the silly wages they are on and they would rather sit in the stands than play elsewhere for less money.

  • 21 Nobby's Dad // Jul 10, 2008 at 2:31 PM

    daiv….feeding off the crumbs etc.

    What are you on about? Do you really believe players looking at us see no ambition? Great stadium, great manager, great TOP players and evidence of a structure being built for the future.

    Modric went to Spurs for the appeal of London NO doubt about this – plus UEFA cup. Who are the other top players you KNOW AS FACT that we have been in for (ie not what you’ve read in the Sun / NOTW, Daily Mail etc).

    Many players will go to clubs for money….ie the ones we supporters know aren’t good enough but go to Chelsea – SWP / Sidwell plus many others who will go and warm the bench. We don’t want these sort of players….money grabbing mercinaries – we’ve had load and none have been a success. We’re now doing things the right way….get behind the club. If we’ve signed no- one by the close of the window……ie about 7 weeks then we can rightly claim a lack of ambition, but to do so now is ridiculous.

  • 22 LBToon // Jul 11, 2008 at 7:59 AM

    Don D and Marguerite are spot on in their analysis. Poor management over several years left the club in a precarious position, which it is only now working through. The team cannot attract the top players simply because it has little to offer.

    This year will be crucial, not in making a major breakthrough into the top 6, but in showing that NUFC can play competitive, attacking football and showing other clubs not to underestimate the team’s resolve or spirit.

  • 23 dan_from_france // Jul 11, 2008 at 9:56 AM

    i find this funny as i live in france and the french watch the epl my friend was really suprised about our squad when i was telling him the players we had but he just couldnt believe where abouts we finished i explained its shepherd and allardyce the mai reasons why. he thought we suld b 6-5th

  • 24 Sav // Jul 11, 2008 at 10:56 AM

    8th place would be good, but we should be able to enjoy watching the team get there playing some decent football without the ‘damage limitation’ policy we saw with Sam. That would constitute a decent season imo. Everton, Pompey, Man City and Spurs are all well ahead of us in rebuilding (don’t ask me how Spurs managed to end up 11th). We must be satisfied for now with having turned the bus around and heading in the right direction.




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