Trophy Signings Were Never Going To Be Mike’s Way


Mike Ashley has come out and talked to the News Of The World today and talked about what his overall transfer strategy was at the club.

Mike Ashley – wanted concentration on youth and scouting

But big-name signings were never going to be part of Ashley’s plan for Newcastle, or trophy signings as Chris Mort referred to them.

We never thought it was necessary to have huge signings to have a good team – look at Everton and Arsenal – and that’s the way Mike wanted to go.

And in addition Newcastle were to have a worldwide scouting network, so we can snap up future stars like Sebastien Bassong, or make great deals for players, like we did for Jonas Gutierrez.

The new owners at Man City are talking about bringing in the great Gianluigi Buffon from Juventus, while they have a very good young English goalkeeper in Joe Hart right now.

These big signings may improve their team a little, but that’s not the main thing they are after when they want big players and big signings at their club. It’s got to have something to do with world-wide news and ego from the owners. Whether they will actually get a better team spending all this money, may be something else.

Our point is that there are other ways to build up a good team, from where Newcatsle United are right now, than just buying big players for big money, like Chelsea did.

Does anybody really think Robinho was a good buy for £32M at Man City?

There are lots of good youngsters out there, and this year we have attracted some quality youngsters at the club, and in the summer we recruited Guthrie, Gutierrez, Coloccini and Bassong to the club, for around £14M who are now all starters at Newcastle.

Does anybody think Robinho, for more than twice that money, would have improved our team more than those four have?  Absolutely not.

Mike will not give Joe Kinnear huge transfer funds in January, but if he can give him £12M for a couple of good players (left back and central midfield), and we can get some decent players on loan, that would be very good, and then it’s up to Joe Kinnear to ensure that he brings in quality players.

We’d also like to see the club sign another couple of top teenagers too, of the caliber of Nile Ranger, as just one example.

Another good round of players coming in during January should see us OK in the Premier League, but we are still 3rd bottom this morning, and certainly not out of trouble.

Mike said about big transfers:

“That was never going to be the way we would do things,” “We had a long-term strategy.”

“I loved it,”. “Of course, I’ve made mistakes but we all have.”

There’s things we don’t like that Mike has done, including not speaking regularly to fans, to let us know his thoughts on the club, or just what’s going on.

But our youth policy is already showing benefits and our scouting policy and the players we signed in the summer, have definitely improved the squad.

So there are still some positives we can take out of the last 4 months, surprising though that is. And hopefully we will start to climb away from the relegation zone, starting today in a couple of hours time.

If Joe can improve the squad in January, as he seems determined to do, then we can further improve it in the summer, whoever the new owners or the new manager may be at that time.

Let’s support Joe and the players, right now, to help him keep reviving the fortunes of our great club.

Comments very welcome.



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26 comments so far

  • Eaststander

    Dec 14, 2008 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #1

    Let him come back to watch? No one is stopping him from coming back i have never heard anyone say they are going to do anything. I am certain he would get a few boos but come on how pathetic is this man he just doesn’t want to face us the coward.

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  • always keegan

    Dec 14, 2008 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #2

    ed that is absolute Sh*te when ashley took over and appointed keegan he said he wanted to win something and in this day and age that requires huge investement to achive it in the short term

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  • ELFER

    Dec 14, 2008 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #3

    Is it only me who sees the facts? Who did walk away? It wasn’t ashley!

    Wake up! We are no more in the past…we are fighting a relegation battle and I’m glad Keegan isn’t at the helm in these times. He’s a legend, but a legend from the past. Don’t want him ever back again!

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  • Tom_Toon

    Dec 14, 2008 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #4

    Well said ELFER and Im very, very glad we didnt go down the route of trophy signings.

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  • GEORDIE69

    Dec 14, 2008 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #5

    Mike jumped into buying a club and did not realise the cost and demand that came with it. He has found himself in too deep! Only money and admitting this could help him now! Who is going to buy our club with such a high valuation at this time with all the credit crunch problems.

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  • AndyW

    Dec 14, 2008 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #6

    ELFER, Tom_Toon,

    With you both on this one.

    Seems funny though have we moved from not liking Ashley for what he did to not liking him for THE WAY he did it?

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  • The Entertainers

    Dec 14, 2008 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #7

    I’m not bothered about trophy signings.

    I believe most fans think the same.

    Signings like Bassong, Guthrie and Jonas are brilliant and more of the same.

    But every now and then you have to sign expected quality, with the likes of Colocini.

    Colo cost 10 million or so and hes just a good international. Lets face it he wont get into any world 11’s. But that is the cost of good players, super stars are double and triple that amount.

    So Mike and the rest of the southern media, we dont expect superstars turning up every window, but good quality internationals with some well scouted ‘risks’ is fine with me at least.

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  • nick c

    Dec 14, 2008 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #8

    The most salient point is that in 3 transfer windows his deficite is only a couple of mill. Talk is cheap, owning a successful football club is not! We don’t need trophy signings but we do require shrewd investment.
    Look how tight the league is. With 5 or 6 decent signings over the last year we would easily be chasing a European slot as opposed to battling against the drop.

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  • AndyW

    Dec 14, 2008 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #9

    What I’m getting at is why should we supporters have such a fundamental say in running the club when we really don’t understand half of the issues? Yes, at the time, I wanted Keegan to stay but looking at how it panned out I don’t think he could have coped. Ashley admits mistakes but how he dealt with the situation was not as bad as his major mistake, sad to say, of appointing Keegan in the first place.

    Does anyone else get the feeling that Ashley did actually understand, from a business (not PR) point of view how to run the club and after the reality check that we are not a top 6 side,that we were probably headed in the right direction?

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  • ronaldeano

    Dec 14, 2008 at 12:06 PM

    Comment #10

    The only person that could have pulled off MA’s plan is Arsene Wenger.

    MA’s plan was doomed from the off because he appointed the wrong people.

    Kevin Keegan will only run a club his own way and he needs a chairman that will back him 100%. That is not Mike Ashleys way.

    The whole setup is totaly wrong.

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  • Taiwantoon

    Dec 14, 2008 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #11

    Of course trophy signing is not his way. He likes gambling and what is gambling like?

    On Robinho, Ed, I think you need to look at a bigger picture. Chelsea now has a bigger fan base than us partly because of who they had brought in the last few years. Same could goes to even Spurs.

    Oh, no, don’t get me wrong. I want no trophy signings cos we can’t afford it.

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  • toptoon

    Dec 14, 2008 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #12

    This article is rubbish!! because of Ashley and his subordinates we are in a relegation battle which does not look promising.
    The first team squad is small and lacking quality which is why we are in the current predicament.
    I can remember quite clearly Kevin Keegan stating this on several occasions.
    Overall Ashley is responsible for not adhering to kevin Keegans assertation.

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  • Nick

    Dec 14, 2008 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #13

    That crook Shepherd and Hall stitched Ashley up good and proper.

    I didn’t want trophy signings and I still like the idea of all these good youngsters coming in.

    However KK was never the man for that set – up.
    What we have needed for so so long now is a top technical foreign coach. What we have in Kinnear, is a Sunday pub team manger with a toilet mouth and absolutely no class.

    Trying to hold on for 45 mins at home with 6 defenders on the pitch with no sign of a Lua Lua or Ranger, makes Allardyce look like Scholari !!

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  • cause I got the girth

    Dec 14, 2008 at 12:49 PM

    Comment #14

    liking the objectivity being shown with this, seems more and more people i speak to are now getting past the ‘i hate cockneys’ and ‘bring back keegan’ childish name calling and are looking forward at the bigger picture. i posted this last night (drunk yes!) and i think it applies here too, what you think?
    ………………………………………………..
    i have a point that seems to slipped everyone’s mind, does anyone remember a certain 5 year plan??? Ashley came here last Jan and by next month/summer will have gotten rid of the dead wood players and has already replaced them with a better standard of player!! we will continue to buy players on top of that so i ask the question, are we just not impatient?
    …………………………………………….

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  • nightfall

    Dec 14, 2008 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #15

    for a long term plan you need a manager who’s also a fan of the club..ashley thought KK is the right appointment..as did we all…can’t blame him for that… the biggest mistake ashley did was giving BS time and money to bring:

    viduka: huge wage, little product
    smith; huge wage, no product
    geremi: huge wage, little product
    faye: decent signing
    beye: good signing
    barton: could be a good signing, but wasn’t worth the time or money for the problems he caused our club…
    enrique: still believe he’ll come good..he’s great when we’re attacking
    cacapa: big wage, little product

    …3 decent signings (and faye already left) & barton – he’s talented, but…he’s barton

    so we are spending millions on signings and wages on players who do absolutely nothing…if ashley started with his plan straight away we’d be already there by now…we’d have a good side, with no free loaders…and if ashley would have appoint KK after assembling that side, we’d be fighting for CL spot… to bad we’ve lost a year ‘cos of BfS…

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  • toptoon

    Dec 14, 2008 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #16

    The best youngster we had (And he was English) currently in great form, got sold agaisnt Keegans wishes to one of our biggest rivals!! I dont care if 12 million was a good price!! it was to fill Ashleys pockets!!! Ashley and wise replaced him with Gonzalez and Xisco!!! no wonder Keegan left man, what chance did the man have with these blundering idiots making decisions!
    where in a serious serious position now because of Fat Cat Ashley!! how quickly people forget

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  • toptoon

    Dec 14, 2008 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #17

    good five year plan if where in the championship next year because of our paper thin first team squad which lacks quality and depth!! idiot

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  • rupert Albert

    Dec 14, 2008 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #18

    Have to say, this article is absolute nonsense, probably written by someone who knows very little about football.

    The facts are, we languish at the bottom of the table without a “permenant” manager having sold players for the future, like Milner, and purchased questionable replacements like Xisco.

    What future in the the Championship and beyond.?

    Face it, Ashley only ever wanted a profit, but messed up and found a credit crunch.

    We need to move on and remove the deadwood which includes the owner!

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  • nightfall

    Dec 14, 2008 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #19

    rupert Albert – jonas was a replacement for milner..

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  • cause I got the girth

    Dec 14, 2008 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #20

    toptoon – is basing your point on something hypothetical not idiotic? Just a thought! The squad is too thin and this point is glaringly obvious and has been acknowledged, this will be addressed next month and added to in the summer, and next jan etc etc! So, same question, impatient?

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  • ryunufc

    Dec 14, 2008 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #21

    Robinho is worth every penny.

    If his signing does not translate into City’s league position, its his team mates that letting him down.

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  • ad

    Dec 14, 2008 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #22

    good article,
    Besides KK wanted more transfer amount, the main reason that caused Mike Ashley to put the club on sale is newspaper HYPE!
    the gossips that the club was to sign big players(wow,aimar), bla bla bla, held the fans up to the sky.
    When the transfer window closed, fans were SMASHED down to the earth again, frustrated !

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  • FF

    Dec 14, 2008 at 4:00 PM

    Comment #23

    KK walked away Ashley should stay!!

    Keegan is a joke and should be banned from football for life.

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  • RobbyBobson

    Dec 14, 2008 at 11:52 PM

    Comment #24

    Ive been saying this for a while now…but i like his long-term strategy and the way we conducted our transfer policy to an extend. Bassong and Gutierrez would be in many teams in the prem league at the moment and Guthire is a bargain as well.

    Yeh Keegan was great in the 90s, but he walked out.

    THE CLUB IS BIGGER THAN KEEGAN…so just because he goes doesnt mean the owners need to go. The biggest mistake was appointing Keegan. Im not saying Keegan is a poor manager its just Ashley had no way of coming back after Keegan left.

    The DOF didnt work very well due to lack of plaayers in the summer, but Spurs had the same setup and Ramos (now Real Madrid) didnt go off in a huff when they were doing poorly due to the players being brought in not performing.

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  • Sav

    Dec 15, 2008 at 2:57 AM

    Comment #25

    The better you get, the more you have to pay through the nose for players who offer further improvement. We aren’t ready for a Robinho yet. Maybe Citeh aren’t either. But Andy Cole was no trophy signing. Nor were Venison, Rob Lee or even Beardo when Keegan got them. Only when we got to the top did we sign Sir Les, Shearer etc. And KK was never afraid to make those risky decisions when they were needed.
    Toptoon is right.

    The other thing to happen is, between sacrificing KK and the fans protest, FatAsh has had to abandon his policy of Director of Football, or so Kinnear thinks (time will tell). A heavy price we have paid for this to force FatAsh to see sense, albeit because he is over a barrel.

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  • Spuggy

    Dec 15, 2008 at 8:54 AM

    Comment #26

    What I feel is a shame….and yes hindsight is a wonderful thing, but without spending the earth can you imagine our squad if in the summer we had signed valencia and geovani and before that SWP maybe before city came in.

    Such a shame I did think we were so close after signing Collo, Bassong, Guthrie and Jonas. But simple fact remains, we don’t have enough cover versus the injury prone players we have and that has drawn us into the relegation zone.

    I do think KK should not have walked no matter who was signing players as he should have been loyal to the fans first and foremost, then we prob would have avoided the dip in form and would be shouting for a European place about now. If he decided to go it should have been at the end of the season, with dignity, as this would have been best for the CLUB, not Mike Ashley.

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