Savvy Signings And Youth Policy The Way Forward At Newcastle

There is more of the long interviews the Newcastle Journal and Evening Chronicle had with Newcastle’s Derek Llambias on Monday, in this morning’s Journal.


Derek Llambias – Managing Director talks some more this morning

Llambias is forced to concede today that the new Board’s lack of communication had been the biggest single mistake they have made. Well that’s been obvious for months, and it’s almost unimaginable they have let that silence go on for so long.

Llambias said:

“We freely admit we have made mistakes and we put our hands up.”

“But now we’re in a position where Mike is back on board and we’re not selling the club.”

“We apologies and I personally apologize for the miscommunication. We did not deliberately offend anyone.”

That is the apology they issued yesterday, but Derek goes on to say they are keen to put their first 20 months of big mistakes behind them, as they look to the future.

“We inherited a bucket full of holes in it and we have had to repair those holes before anything else,”  “Our intention is to go back on the track we were on before with our business plan.”

“We are trying to get away from dating (payments) so that we don’t have huge amounts of money going out.”

“We are trying to pay up front. People like (Fabricio) Coloccini, Xisco and (Jonás) Gutiérrez, we own those players, but that wasn’t the case before we got here.”

“It’s like buying a car on hire purchase, but then it gets written off, but you still have to pay for it. That’s how the business was being run, they ran it on credit.”

“It’s not a case of throwing hundreds of millions at it. We aren’t trillionaires.”  “Man City will throw whatever they need to throw at it but how long will it take them? And how much will they spend?”

“They will have to spend what, £600M, maybe more, the way they are going. We haven’t got that, nobody has got that money, even Chelsea are struggling.”

“We want to be up there, of course we do, but it will take time. That’s why it will take time to invest heavily in the future with young players.”

“This summer we spent £2M on kids – that (is what) we feel we should be doing for the future.” “Obviously we have to support our first team, but three or four years down the road . . . some of the talent we have got in is fantastic.”

“We’ve spent money on the backroom staff of £1m. That will increase with the foundation and the center of excellences as we grow.”

“We see our future with bringing in both home-grown and international players.”

We don’t have to spend £100M on players, like Man City seem determined to do. A good team can be built up by some savvy signings and a good youth policy.

Both Arsenal and Everton have proved that, and we’ve made some excellent buys last summer and in January, and it didn’t cost us much at all.

Getting Gutierrez, Guthrie, Bassong, Lovenkrands, Nolan and Ryan Taylor for around £10M is great business by the club, and we’d love to see that continue in the summer.

We’d much rather buy players like Roque Santa Cruz or Dimitar Berbatov, like Blackburn and Spurs did, before they become famous.

And there’s little doubt that some of the youngsters we have brought in during the last 13 months will make the grade at Newcastle.

So the long term policy at the club seems strong, now that we know a little more about it.

What do you think?

Comments always welcome.

25 comments so far

  • valle

    Feb 11, 2009 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #1

    Agree with that Ed… However we also need the right man in charge, and thats where i think our board might be out of their debt… The were ready to offer Joe a 2 year deal, and most will agree thta his results here havnt merited that and that he is not the right man.

  • Hekvig

    Feb 11, 2009 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #2


    I say put the youngsters to test already…
    If they dont get their chances they will never adapt to first team Premier Leauge

  • valle

    Feb 11, 2009 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #3

    they were*

  • Hekvig

    Feb 11, 2009 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #4

    A crap

  • Irish John

    Feb 11, 2009 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #5

    Valle 100% agree with you…I think Joe has steadied the ship but he is’nt the long term solution,..We need someone with bigger stature..Someone like Van Gaal would be amazing but I think we might off missed our chance to get him now after the brillant job he’s doing at Az Alkmaar..Think he’s going to be in high demand now..

  • jordi

    Feb 11, 2009 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #6

    If we’re going to use the kids down the line then we need more & better coaches.
    Money’s doing a good job but to get the best out of them we need to invest more.
    £4M in youth and £16M on the first team (not just 2 £8M signings but more bargains like Bassong/Lovenkrands) would be nice.

  • Stardust

    Feb 11, 2009 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #7

    Valle – football can be a short term business – immediate results or sacking. I suggest Ashley is more aligned to Jim Collins “Enduring Principals” it means getting the right people on the bus who’s thoughts, hopes and aims are aligned with the businesses objectives. this means he is willing to take short term pain for long term gain. JK going if well enough can not be a certainty. On top of that Ashley will feel a debt of gratitude towards him.

  • Stardust

    Feb 11, 2009 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #8


  • valle

    Feb 11, 2009 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #9

    Stardust… Good argument, and if that is the case, then some cool planning in those lines might be the better solution to impatience and rushing… Im still more the beleiver of gettting started as soon as possible IF the right man is on the market… I would like to see us get a fairly young manager in, who can stay here for at least 10 years, because what we need more than anything IMO is stabillity. As i have said so many times before, young Martinez of swansea fits that bill and i would love so see our board make such an appointment.

  • Stardust

    Feb 11, 2009 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #10

    Yeah – Jim Collins also talks about the flywheel effect, by making small tiny steps pushing the flywheel in the right direction, all together – then suddenly because all of the small right things have been done the flywheel builds up momentum and spins on its own accord, impossible to stop as long as the enduring principles are followed – all I say on that is look at Man U!

    If JK does go – I am certain we will see a manager come in that is aligned to those enduring principles, so dont look for a trophy manager, (thats why I think that they made a mistake with KK – their few PR releases were he was meant to get the very best out of players while they built – again this is aligned to a long term approach – the upside being he could turn a flywheel quicker than most)

    I feel the next appointment if JK goes may well be a Martinez type.

  • ObaMartins

    Feb 11, 2009 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #11

    If Joe does Go they will install another Puppet so as to keep pulling his strings…..besides can you see any self respecting manager working tor these lot ? i cannot unless they give the Manager full control of Transfers brung in…

  • The Real Entertainers

    Feb 11, 2009 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #12

    All 4 transfer windows under Ashley have been uninspiring.

    But who can argue with the over all dealings confirmed?

    Guthrie, Jonas and Bassong all signed for well under 10 million.
    Colo at 10 million still has a bit to go, but its ironic Ashley one flash signing is’nt up to the standard his cheaper alternatives are.

    Even this window, Loven, Nolan and Taylor for under 6 million beggars belief.

    At the start of the summer if iAshley had of told us he’ll sign:
    we’d have been quite happy. But if he had of told us he would do spending under 25 million or so, we’d have all laughed our socks off!

    Look what their market value really is now:
    Bassong : 8 million
    Guthrie: 5 million
    Colo : 7 million
    Jonas: 8million
    Nolan: 4 million
    Taylor: 4 million
    Loven: 3 million

    Thats about 39 million and some of my estimates are conservative!

    Thats nearly double the outlay!

    Now although these windows have undoubtedly been uninspiring they make sence and i and the majority of fans are happy with the signings.

    However the one big criticism is that we need more of them, our squad has let us down almost as much as the off field staff have.

    We have been over populated in some areas, ie keepers and strikers (just as well in the striker department) and very shallow at the full backs and CM departments.

    I’m back on board the transfer policy Ashley has got going and am loving the youngsters we keep picking up!

    It will be a rough ride, but i’m buckled in! What choice do i have, i’m a fan.

  • RyanToon

    Feb 11, 2009 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #13

    good point TRE but i dont think ashley is the right way forward but hope he proves me wrong 😉

  • Spitfire

    Feb 11, 2009 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #14


    Very good blog. You’ve convinced me….. I think

  • valle

    Feb 11, 2009 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #15

    Stardust… I agree with the theories you put forward… However, if we look at Man Utd as you say, they went for a manager in his 40’ts with plenty of time left in football, it was long term planning (Which had gone wrong had they fired him as the fans wanted). With Joe we have a guy who is 62 years old, his health is affected by the stress that comes with this job, he is in his own words considering whether its in his interest to take the offer presented, so we have some doubt also… thats just not the foundation i think we need to plan for our future… Basically i think the two of us agree tho, and i truly hope it will all sort itself out soon.

  • valle

    Feb 11, 2009 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #16

    Yah TRE… Thats a good argument, i agree with you all the way.

  • Waldo P. Barnstormer

    Feb 11, 2009 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #17

    I’m sparticus.

  • Waldo P. Barnstormer

    Feb 11, 2009 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #18

    But seriously I have to agree that although I am pessamistic about this seasons end if we survive I feel we will be moving in the right direction.

  • Spitfire

    Feb 11, 2009 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #19


    I tend to agree -if we survive it starts to make sense. Big IF at the moment though, but I am feeling more hopeful with most of our injuries starting to clear up

  • square

    Feb 11, 2009 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #20

    hooray we are going to win the champions league!

    haha pat yourselves in the back. every time anyone from the club talks nowadays it’s always the same tune.

    no one other than yourselves and deluded, in denial fans praise you. you haven’t got anything right. all you talk about is emulating copying all plans laid down by who? who is the master planner? who is the expert you have employed to set up this amazing plan that guarantees success the experienced dennis wise the experience derek llambas or the collective effort of an old fashioned manager who speaks tripe.

    you may have not communicated for a long time and the silence have made me weary of even thinking trying to read your statements answers. in that way you have been successful.

    just the like lawyers tell you inundate them with counter interjections in this case news so they’ll be overwhelmed to the point they don’t care.

    very smart. very devious. very machevelian. very mikeylian ashleyian crook-ian.


    yeah love ashley stay forever, not just the 5 years where you’ll be challenging for evrything including survival from relegation.

  • Spitfire

    Feb 11, 2009 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #21


    Do you want to resubmit in English?

  • Stardust

    Feb 11, 2009 at 12:48 PM

    Comment #22

    TRE – I’m back on board the transfer policy Ashley has got going and am loving the youngsters we keep picking up!

    Good to have you back fella.

    Valle – remember JK was an appointment during a crisis. It just turns out he was good man with a fighters heart that Ashley feels loyalty to that is in alignment with his enduring principles.

    If Ashley has a choice of any manager in the world – would he of picked him – no. So yes we very much agree. I think your martinez call is well reasoned and aligned with their objectives.

    I would like if JK steps back for health reasons, Joe to be given a role at the club – we all owe him – big style.

  • repo

    Feb 11, 2009 at 5:49 PM

    Comment #23

    keep spending money on kids and not on the 1st team will result of us going into the fizzy pop league..


  • tripp

    Feb 11, 2009 at 6:25 PM

    Comment #24

    Stardust and Valle,

    I agree with you lot. There are good things brewing but it will take time. The single most important thing the club can do is get out of debt. Clubs like Boro (and probably Sun’lun) are in massive debt and that debt is going to destroy them. If they go down it may well take a few leagues to break their fall.

  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 11, 2009 at 6:27 PM

    Comment #25


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