Newcastle Academy Best Thing Ashley Did At Toon

The best thing Mike Ashley has done at Newcastle is set up a good strategy for the Newcastle Academy with a concentration on bringing in good young players who we can then hopefully develop into stars, which follows the very successful Arsenal path over the last 10 years.

Richard Money – Newcastle Academy Director

Keith Harris, executive chairman of Seymour Pierce bank talked about what Mike has done at Newcastle:

“Mike bought the club and did it for the right reasons but it hasn’t worked out. But Mike’s done a lot of good things there, not least getting the academy in place.”

“In days gone by too few promising young players from the area have been captured by Newcastle and Mike has laid plans to change that.”

England Under 21 defender Steven Taylor is the only player in the current side who have come through the ranks, but Newcastle are now structured to build a pipeline of good young players, and we hope we can maintain that strategy under the new owners.

Harris continued:

“Manchester United and Arsenal put a lot of time and money into their academies and Newcastle are doing that now but you don’t just click your fingers for it to happen overnight.”

“Having a thriving academy will enrich Newcastle in the future.”

As part of the youth effort a new recruitment team was put in place that was to scour the world for top young talent, and also help get players for the first team. We still like that structure.

But the downfall of Ashley was that he allowed that system to get out of control, and suddenly the recruitment team were apparently deciding on who we should buy – which was Mike’s big mistake.

It didn’t help that Chris Mort had been replaced by Kevin Llambias in the summer, who seems not to have had a clue on how to run a football club – apart from that he was good in his job.

We think Mike was let down by Derek and others, and we all know the effects that has had on the famous club.

Oh well, that’s water under the bridge now, and we have to look ahead to better times, which will surely come, won’t they?

Comments welcome.

28 comments so far

  • najikhin from malaysia

    Oct 10, 2008 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #1

    happy eid mubarak..

  • beyethegreat

    Oct 10, 2008 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #2

    i thought llambisas first name was derek lol

    it would be great if we could bring more players through the academy players that are not just good but world clsass it is probs our best chance of getting in the champs league

  • Ever seen a mackem in Milan?

    Oct 10, 2008 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #3

    It says Llambias is called Derek and Kevin in the article. Confusing.

  • Big Si

    Oct 10, 2008 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #4

    Ashley has done rock all for this club. He hasn’t paid off devbt he’s just allowed the club to borrow money from himself.

    What’s the point in having good academy players when we need senior players now. Relegation beckons ……

    Mike Ashley, just go …. in the name of god go …

  • skin d

    Oct 10, 2008 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #5

    mike ashley only spent his time on the academy,because that was going to be his long term cash cow.

  • xfer

    Oct 10, 2008 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #6

    To be honest, Mike has gone a fantastic job at the club with his structure. He obviously strongly believes it will work. The only problem is the people under him does not share the same vision, not all.

    If everyone, including KK, could see eye to eye, and allow the structure to develop, I can see us going good in the upcoming years. KK obviously wants to bring in his own players, so there was no way the DOF thingy was ever going to work, especially with Llambias around.

    Look at the players we have signed. Guthrie, Jonas and Bassong are quality players. I really enjoyed watching the 3 of them so far, with Guthrie being the unsung hero of the team whenever he has played. Who would say they could have been signed by KK? Colo has a huge reputation, but hasnt adapted to the english game yet. Still, the players we have bought in overall are way better than the ones bought in over the past seasons.

    Academy is another plus. The talents down that rank has been the most exciting for as many seasons as i can remember.

    Unfortunately Mike has to go. He didnt communicate well enough, if any, to the fans. No doubt he has to leave now for the conflict which arises over the past month, but he didnt do a bad job in all honesty.

  • MattyDread

    Oct 10, 2008 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #7

    I thought Llambias’ first name was Nobend?

  • Stamford Toon

    Oct 10, 2008 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #8

    MA did get the club on a better financal footing which was probably the best thing he did for the club. The youth academy that followed the second best thing he did. The worst thing he did was to appoint DW and that is only shortly ahead of him bringing back KK. Without those two we would not be on the position we are now.
    I wouldn’t mind if he were to now get rid of DW and retain the ownership of the club. Too many of you are blinded by rage at the departure of KK and therefore unable to see straight. Not only that you are unable to see any good whatsoever in what he has done or planned to do. The new supporters club main aim is to get rid of MA that is a poor base for a fans club. The first aim should be to support the team

  • Macas

    Oct 10, 2008 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #9

    Ashley isn’t prepared to finance the first team therefore he must go.

  • Big Si

    Oct 10, 2008 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #10

    Don’t agree he has done a ‘fantastic job’ where is the evidence ?

    On the pitch we are at best the same as when he came. The academy hasn’t won the youth cup or anything. We owe MA 100 mil that he intends to get back when he sells the club. The net transfer spend in the past 3 transfer windows is around 10 mill, where’s the ambition ?

    The answer is he’s here to rake money in from us fans, that’s the only conclusion you can come to. Don’t believe his propeganda use your intellect man!!!!

    How has he done a fantastic job ?

  • ToonEskimo

    Oct 10, 2008 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #11

    Anybdody know the collective debt of Manure,
    Chelski, Liverud an le Arse, can anybody say whether any of these clubs apart from the Russians’ could survive two seasons without winning anything and not qualifying for CL football? I doubt it, their debt is geared around top four finishes and knockout stage European football…….while Ashley has pretty much made his own bed to lie in we are one of a handful of clubs that can currently pay their way…….at some point or other financial institutions will want there money back and possibly this season or next somebody could go belly up……
    West Ham anybody???

  • Oba one konobi

    Oct 10, 2008 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #12

    I do not know if you are real fans or not, but I thick Ed right, he was let down by his team! I am still behind his decisions as a owner and just wished he was given that chance to prove in the long run he had a good idea. Personally I think that tosser KK caused most of this and hope NEVER to see him in the dugout again. I have a feeling that we are not going to get what we want when these forigen owners come in! Ashley was investing in our FUTURE. But fickle fans as we are wanted instant success, not tomorrow YESTERDAY!
    The new owners will NOT invest in geordies to play for NUFC. It will be money here and money there and we will still not win nothing for at least another 5 years, therefore we should have just calmed down when the great one left and look at the situation from a grown up point of view. Of course the owner is in it for the money, would any of you buy something worth a 1/4 of your forture for nothing in return! Come on! All fans want is to splash on this and splash on that. Look at the spuds, the amount of s**t coming out there mouths in the summer about Modric turning us down, but look at it now we are better of in the leauge and did not spend half the money the spuds spent.
    I hope our next owner is stronger than Ashley with the fans because if it was me I would not give a flying f**k what all the protesters think if my long term plan was to make the club financially successful and future champions of Europe. as most fans in NUFC can only see today not tomorrow. Ashley will invest in another club and would mark my word it WILL be better than us, and we would desrve the laughing stock status we currently have. TRUST ME!

  • Macas

    Oct 10, 2008 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #13

    Oba one konobi – We are a laughing stock because we are third bottom of the league due to a woefully small first team squad. No point having a bunch of kids who may come good in the future if the team gets relegated before that.

  • Oba one konobi

    Oct 10, 2008 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #14

    We wont get relegated because we have a better team than most in the Prem. You can not say that the team we have if they played with the heart with a never say die attitude we are not at least a midtable team, but relegation is a bit over the top.
    Also Macas what is wrong with playing some of these kids now and how big a squard do you accually want. Remember when fully fit they all cant play.

  • simon376

    Oct 10, 2008 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #15

    Well said Macas. Just have to look at where the club are now. I know things would have been better if KK had stayed, but if we had a few injuries, we would be knackered. MA may have improved the cash flow at the club, but the squad has got worse.

    I want to see kids come good as well, but want to see them do it in the top flight. Unless we get some senior players, even stop gap ones in, we are going to struggle. The kids coming through if they were any good, wouldnt want to stay in a lower divison, they would be off if they have ambition

  • Ageordiedoonsooth

    Oct 10, 2008 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #16

    Big Si I agree with you I think team wise we are in a worse state than when he came. The academy will takke years to come good & we just don’t have the time we could be in the lower reaches of the Championship (at best) by then. The 1st team needs real investment now. By the way I think we are stuck with Ashley for a good while yet due to the credit crunch

  • Ageordiedoonsooth

    Oct 10, 2008 at 12:36 PM

    Comment #17

    Oba one konobi you’re living in a dream world man. Wkae up the current team isn’t good enough or big enough. We have a small number of good players (probably 4 or 5). Putting the kids in now would be a disaster for them. Their confidence would be shot away playing in a struggling side. Don’t come back about Man Utd & Arsenal as their kids are going into a good side brimming with confidence.

  • michael12

    Oct 10, 2008 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #18

    Ashley is great for Newcastle.

    It is short sighted of you to think of short time unsustainable success.

    In an ideal world, players would play for club they supported as a boy. Look around us we have Owen who supported Everton but played for bitter rivals Liverpool. Berbatov is a Newcastle united Fan yet is playing for Man united. Would it not be great that Newcastle fans who are also players, play for Newcastle?

    There is no loyalty and money calls all the shots now. Owen is holding us to ransom demanding stratospheric wages or else. Shearer eschewed the entice of European football, trophies and other glories by coming to Newcastle over Manchester united. That is loyalty.

    Not only are they obligated to be motivated by the money but by their love for the club, their desire for the club to do well. All this need not cost billions. It is a plan to grow our own talent, growing organically so that we are not in financial difficulties. Look at Westham, imagine it was to happen to Roamn Abramovich.

    Chelsea suddenly from European contenders could find themselves within the space of a season mid table all because they rely on others to produce talent and spend over the top for that talent.

    To get a job done right we must do it ourselves. Ashley is setting us up for 2012 when the cap on foreign players is implemented. Such a football environment is going to demand a robust Academy, that is the foundation from which a teams competitiveness will come. You need to stop thinking about the past (Keegan) and focus on the future.

    You are only bitter because it was Keegan, your messianic delusion. All grat movements require a few sacrifices and Keegan could not make that sacrifice showing how conceited he is;

    I read an article about Abramovich himself suggesting he is going to tighten his purse because of the financial turmoil.

    I want to see a Newcastle fighting for trophies season in season out; playing with the best in Europe and giving them a good hard game; A Newcastle united financially sound; robust to external conditions and most importantly a winning Newcastle.

    Mid table mediocrity now is a small sacrifice to make for this great movement and I am prepared to make that sacrifice. If Keegan cannot, then to hell with him.

  • steve

    Oct 10, 2008 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #19

    Ashey has done a number of good things including building up the academy and loaning us 100 million at extremely low interest rates.
    No owner gives money to their club, Abramovich is owed over 700 million from Chelsea, the yanks have restructured Liverpools debt (again over 700 million) Arsenal owe over 300 million.

    People on this blog need to have a look at reality, if we had still been under FFS we would likely be completely against the wall now debt wise.

    Ashleys big failure was putting Llambias in charge (and possibly bringing KK back under false pretences). Lets face it if he’d appointed a foreign coach they would have been happy to work under the structure.

    Hopefully we’ll get new owners soon but don’t expect anyone to just write off toons debts, they’ll loan or restructure and it will all need to be paid back.

  • Steve T

    Oct 10, 2008 at 1:11 PM

    Comment #20

    All this talk of us following in Arsenal’s footsteps. The difference is Arsenal aren’t afraid to spend big on young players, such as Ramsey / Walcott. Even Adebayor and Van Persie cost decent fee’s for young players. Ashley just wanted to do things on the cheap!

    I can’t see how our youth policy is any different now to it was before Ashley came in. Did we not already bring through Taylor, Bernard, N’Zogbia, Ramage, Caroll, Huntinton, Edgar, Ameobi (maybe not). they haven’t all been hugely succesful but I think thats a pretty good return from investing in our youth in the past.

  • selly no skill

    Oct 10, 2008 at 1:23 PM

    Comment #21

    we are 3rd bottom because keegan left.

  • Macas

    Oct 10, 2008 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #22

    We are 3rd bottom because Ashley didnt spend any money on players

  • Stamford Toon

    Oct 10, 2008 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #23

    selly no skill; yes you are right KK leaving has probably resulted in our poor position. Shame he didn’t care enough about the club to stay and fight for us.

  • selly no skill

    Oct 10, 2008 at 1:56 PM

    Comment #24

    macas.before keegan left mate we had drawn away at old trafford and beat bolton,got beat off arsenal but hey,i reckon on their day they play the best football in the world.

  • Paul

    Oct 10, 2008 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #25

    “But the downfall of Ashley was that he allowed that system to get out of control, and suddenly the recruitment team were apparently deciding on who we should buy – which was Mike’s big mistake.”

    Er no Ed. I think you’ll find that in any club, the only people who have a “final say” on which players to buy are the ones who actually have to pay for them, the owners. Keegan never seemed to realise this either.

  • brownrob

    Oct 10, 2008 at 2:10 PM

    Comment #26

    Not a peep from KK since the week he left…

    What does that tell you?

  • Paul

    Oct 10, 2008 at 2:18 PM

    Comment #27

    That he doesn’t want to say anything that will jeopardise his £8 million claim for ‘constructive dismissal’ against the club brownrob.

  • iain

    Oct 10, 2008 at 4:13 PM

    Comment #28

    since roeder became a manager then left our academy and reserve side has gone steadily downhill. the results prove that.

    ma build up the academy in what way ? bought a few very average young players for peanuts, name me a pl club that doesn’t do that.

    we have signed one decent player it seems in kadar and thats it.

    b4 ashley came we got zog for less than 1m, bought milner in for 5 sold him for double that.

    and brought edgar/ramage/taylor/carroll through our youth ranks.

    it was hardly ruined beyond repair was our youth system,i would say our current 1st team recruitment policy needs more work than our youth set up.


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