Newcastle Aim For Top 4 – But in 5 Years

Derek  Llambias today has attempted to clarify his statement made on Tuesday evening, that Newcastle United are intent on emulating Aston Villa’s achievement.


Aston Villa’s American Chairman Randy Lerner

What Derek Llambias is telling the local Newcastle Journal this morning, is what he had actually meant to say, was that he wanted to copy the way the Birmingham-based side are attempting to break into the Champions League qualification places.

Aston Villa are currently in 4th place, and 6 points ahead of Arsenal, and it may be a different top four this season, for the first time in a long time.

And Llambias believes the club could be challenging for honors within five years.

“When I said we wanted to be like Aston Villa, what I meant was we want to be in a position where we want to challenge for honors and the ‘Big Four’,”

“I didn’t mean their business plan, that got twisted.” “We want to build a solid platform which will enable us to replicate what they have done, but it has to be done gradually which is why I said five years.”

“We have our own idea how we are going to be where we want to be and it isn’t the same as Villa’s.” “But, in five years time, why shouldn’t we believe Newcastle can be back up challenging at the top of the league?”

“This is a massive club and the potential is huge.”

Five years seems an awful long time in football, and we’ll point out that in the last 5 years we’ve had Robson, Souness, Roeder, Allardyce, Keegan and Kinnear all managing the club.

We’d be happier with two years, and if we have a good summer transfer market and unload more of the dead wood, there is a chance Newcastle could have a more than decent squad next season, but how many times have we said that?

Comments welcome.

45 comments so far

  • Ever seen a mackem in Milan?

    Feb 26, 2009 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #1

    In the timescale he is talking about there will be so many good teams i cant see us breaking into the top 4. The usual suspects (Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool + Chelsea) then there is Aston Villa, Everton, Man City and there could be more teams in the frame by then.

  • Stuart79

    Feb 26, 2009 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #2

    This won’t happen!

    The fact that our owner can only support the club to the tune of £5-10m now per year(was originally £20m) means we won’t have enough investment in the first team.

    Villa have spent a lot of money and they are achieving.

    But they have one of the best managers in the world which is one of the reasons they are doing so well in addition to the money they have spent.

    Now this isn’t a critism of the club(Workyticket/Stardust) I’m just saying it how it is.

    We are where we are and we have to face facts. We don’t have a wealtht enough owner and we will have to live within our means.

    Whether this is enough to stop the current decline in the clubs league position season after season remains to be seen.

    At current investment levels and I assume they will continue on the same levels, at best we will stagnate at worse relegation.

    I repeat this isn’t a critisism it’s fact!

  • hitman

    Feb 26, 2009 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #3

    more daydreaming from ashley & co,we have more chance of being relegated in the next 5 year.

  • Toon Sweden77

    Feb 26, 2009 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #4

    With JFK at the helm… no, no were near the top 4. Like his glowing passion and dedication but the results speaks for it self.

  • NotAGhostToon

    Feb 26, 2009 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #5

    If we stay up this season, i see promising signs we can become a good side. People are saying about mike only investing 10m, but if we sell the so called ‘deadwood’ then that can go on top, plus the wages we would lose by losing someone like owen.
    On top of that it sounds like we’re spending a lot of money setting up accademies and scouting, which if we pull one bassong out of the bag a season, who can step up right away (which is gonna be hard but possible) then that should be plenty.

  • Stuart79

    Feb 26, 2009 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #6


    We can’t rely just on the academy!

    It’s no good having the best young players in the championship.

    The realism of the situtation is that if we are to live within our means (and by the way, no other club in the country does this!) we will continue our decline. Not because it’s the wrong way to run the club but because every other club doesn’t live within their means and they just get further and further away from us

  • Toon Graeme

    Feb 26, 2009 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #7

    Im prepared to wait and see what happens. Rome wasnt built in a day etc.

    We have lots of dross earning high wages at the minute and once they go that will give us financial release to use elsewhere.

    Dont forget we are on the fall out of the previous regime and its gonna take time to sort out and get the business side on a sound footing.

  • ginkoh

    Feb 26, 2009 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #8

    Last 5 years is the bad moment period of all Newcastle supporter’s life. As long as we step forward, I don’t mind how long we go.

    But honestly I don’t see us be back to top4 club in 5 years.

  • Stuart79

    Feb 26, 2009 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #9

    Toon Greame

    Agreed re the previous regime.

    However when you mention the dross high earning wages, it’s fine getting them off the books which will release funds for other peoples wages but where does the money come from to finance the transfer fee?

  • cicero

    Feb 26, 2009 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #10

    I bet David Moyes had £10 -£15 to spend each year.

  • hitman

    Feb 26, 2009 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #11

    id love to know were ashley has got this 5 year plan from,there is no way it will work.the only way it could work is if have the prem clubs go belly up.Q)

  • batty

    Feb 26, 2009 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #12

    you cant break in to the top 4 wit monopley money

  • Pons Aelius

    Feb 26, 2009 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #13

    hitman – Joseph Stalin? Had a 5 year plan.

    Be careful not to criticise Ashley. You might be sent to the Gulag lol! 😀

  • Kash

    Feb 26, 2009 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #14

    If we want to challenge in 5 years time, then we need to sign yougnsters like this lad. Whatch the clip, he looks like a proper player!!!||&name=Ivan+Perisic

  • Micky Toon

    Feb 26, 2009 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #15

    We really are doomed. There seem to be two of the Llambias clan now running NUFC – Kevin and Derek. One of them was bad enough!

  • simon376

    Feb 26, 2009 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #16

    Stuart, you are spot on there, it would take the best part of a year before we notice the wages money coming back in.

    Really this top 4 within 5 years is just a pipe dream. I agree with whats been said about the other teams who will be up there ahead of us firts to battle with.

    The other point is, lets remember the team we had the last time we were right up there. We just dont have a squad of players with the same quality. Some on here really want us to ditch another player because he’s such a high earner. Yes I’m pro Owen, but I do accept that we haven’t seen from him what we expected because of all the injuries. But is that not the reason why we are not top 4 or 6 or even 8 right now? He hasn’t been playing to put the goals away? Last time round we had a special player who could do that and we also had a team who could provide everything on a plate for him. Nw we have a player who could do it when fit, but nobody to play to his strengths.

    So we lose him to the delight of some in the summer along with maybe another 4 or 5 players in an already paper thin squad. We have anything from £5 – £23m to replace all these players with plus there wages but going to take a good year to notice that. Who will we be able to buy with that cash to get us right up there? Yes we seem to have a good bunch of kids who may or may no be ready, but will they be enough to get us in the top 4 with the 1 – 2 players who we will be able to buy who are top 4 team players? Do we have the right manager and coaches at the top to bring the kids on in the 1st team?

    To be in the top 4 – 6 in the next 5 years, we need some serious investment in the next two years and a manager who has confidence in the kids

  • club insider

    Feb 26, 2009 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #17


    Who is Kevin Lambias, you called him that on a post yesterday too !

  • club insider

    Feb 26, 2009 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #18

    Toon graeme, Post # 7

    Totally agree with you once again! Nice to see someone on here with a good objective point of view ! Keep up the good posts

  • Matt

    Feb 26, 2009 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #19

    We need to cut the dead wood out of the squad still, at the moment the guys we’re bringing in are good squad players for the future. We have to build a foundation before we can improve.

    If I had my way I’d probably get rid of a hell of a lot of players. Viduka, Smith, Geremi, Butt, Cacapa, Ameobi can all leave as far as I’m concerned. Imagine the wages that will release up? To some extent I wouldn’t mind Owen and Colo leaving. I’d rather us sign hard working dedicated players than ‘stars’ who either get injured constantly or are massively over-rated.

    I want to see Krul moved into the first team proper next season, getting cup games and the like. Edgar either needs to make the step up or be moved on. I want to see a slow build for the club to have long term relative success. I don’t think we will win the prem for a very long time if ever but I think europe is relatively easy for us to achieve once we stabalise the club.

  • Matt

    Feb 26, 2009 at 11:46 AM

    Comment #20

    Simon376 I agree about the manager. We do not have a manager who will be right to bring the youth into the senior squad. We could use a long term manager.

    I’d quite like Aidy Boothroyd, young, English and has proved that he can manage a team. I think he’d bring in the right sort of players also.

  • simon376

    Feb 26, 2009 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #21

    Matt, he could be a good bet. When people keep raving on about some mangers from abroad who have never done it over here, it worries me. Yes if we had club full of top players, then maybe, but we don’t have. we need somebody who has already done it over here in england, pref the premier league

  • Matt

    Feb 26, 2009 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #22

    That’s why I suggested him. There’s no point getting in someone to manage the egos when pretty much all the egos have left or are leaving in the summer. So many people talk about those stupid pipe dream managers who just wouldn’t come here in 100 years. We have to be realistic. The first part of that is admitting that JFK is not the man to take Newcastle forward long term.

  • simon376

    Feb 26, 2009 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #23

    Spot on there Matt Yes, JFK came when nobody else would and I’m thankful for that. I would still consider a job ‘upstairs’ for him, but he is not the long term future as a manager.

  • Toon_Ksk (Huh? u mean David Craig is real?)

    Feb 26, 2009 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #24

    I think it’ll be better off selling the club to somebody with real ambitions. 5 years to get into top four? That’s fine with me, but on current form and the direction the club is going, its more like an aim to play championship football. And it won’t take that long to reach that aim.

  • LoonyToon @ graft

    Feb 26, 2009 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #25

    What valid reason has anyone to say that the club wont be challenging for a top 4 spot in the next 5 years?

    Was anyone watching under Gullit in 98/99?
    As a team we were in a similar position to what we are now….We did however have the basis of a good side…Given, Speed, Dyer, Solano and Shearer….
    we built on that and ended up in the top 4…twice…within 4 years….

    We have the base of a very good side now…Bassong, Beye, Jonas, Barton and Martins…

    We are building some solid foundations for the future and not spending daft money on players like Boumsong and Luque, who were by all accounts, disasters at Newcastle….

    If anyone stated they thought we would be in the top 4 in the next couple of years, they would, and rightly so, labelled a loon….
    so what are people expecting? Top 8? Top 6?
    Man City are going to probably spend the thick end of 150 million just to try and muscle there way into the top 4 and good luck to them…

    We need to build from the bottom upwards…

    I am optimistic about our future…as long as we make steady progress I will be happy….

    and in 5 years time, what is stopping us doing what Villa are doing this season….We have already seen what a fully fit side did to them earlier in the season…..They have made prudent buys and had a hell of a lot of fortune re injuries this season….Take Young and Agbonglahor out that side for a 8-10 week period and they wouldnt be anywhere near the top 4…

    Time to give the club a chance to deliver

  • simon376

    Feb 26, 2009 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #26

    Looney, what we did have was a manager who came in and could get the best out of those players. If we are going to aim for the top 4 in 5 years, we need somebody who can do the same, with a replacement ligned up for Beye who won’t be playing here in 4 to 5 years. We also have to hope that Barton and Nolan try to keep on the good side of the ref. Maybe Nolan was just a one off, but Barton will need to really put a lot more into it. People keep raving on about him and want him as captain, but he needs a total change of attitude.

  • LoonyToon @ graft

    Feb 26, 2009 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #27


    You have hit the nail on the head re the manager…Still think the whole JK 2 year thing is a smokescreen to try and add a sense of stability to the club….

    Beye…yep and maybe thats why we went for Ebondo and will go back for him in the summer

    Barton….I think he has changed his attitude….He is a winner…The press try and jump on the hate Barton campaign cos of his previous….Ricardo bloody Fuller has smacked Andy Griifin and has now been arrested in the last 2 month and you hardly hear a ripple? why…cos it doesnt sell papers or get a hit on a website…you cannot take away his competitive side on the pitch or you will lose some of the player. You dont hear a dicky bird about him outside the game re getting into trouble now….He would be my Captain….he is dying to prove himself…

    Nolan : well that was a one off for me…Cattermole has put 3 players out for long periods and hardly owt is said…as per Joey…double standards again…


    Feb 26, 2009 at 3:15 PM

    Comment #28

    ashley and co. love kinnear for one simple reason; they can control him.

    but with alot of promising youngsters in the reserves, i’m beginning to be optimistic about the future again.


    Feb 26, 2009 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #29

    we do have a good team when all is healthy. we need fatsams fitness crew i remember bolton was one of the clubs that had very few injuries

  • workyticket

    Feb 26, 2009 at 4:40 PM

    Comment #30

    TORONTOON // Feb 26, 2009 at 3:15 PM

    “ashley and co. love kinnear for one simple reason; they can control him.”

    Kinnear has more control than Keegan had Torontoon, because he is more trustworthy. He doesn’t have to “control” him because he isn’t a mentally unstable egomaniac.

  • batty

    Feb 26, 2009 at 5:19 PM

    Comment #31

    workythicko your talking utter tripe

  • Stardust

    Feb 26, 2009 at 5:29 PM

    Comment #32

    Woky – although I mainly agree with that point I would like to slightly change it

    “Kinnear has more control than Keegan had Torontoon, because he is more trustworthy. He doesn’t have to “control” him because he isn’t a mentally unstable COWARDLY egomaniac.”

    Hope you dont mind my breach of copyright.

  • nufc_houlty

    Feb 26, 2009 at 5:32 PM

    Comment #33

    dont u mean derek lambias?

  • Ed Harrison

    Feb 26, 2009 at 6:19 PM

    Comment #34

    nufc_houlty – yes I must have Kevin Keegan on the brain – I keep calling the guy Kevin Llambias – it’s corrected – thanks.

  • waddler

    Feb 26, 2009 at 6:30 PM

    Comment #35

    Ashley will not pump more than 50 million into the first team squad over the next 5 years.
    This however is a misleading figure because of ins and outs.
    Example……. players out, Owen, Viduka, Cacapa, etc £6 million
    ………………….Players in (value £16 million)
    …………………equals £10 million.
    So once the deadwood goes and the funds from their sales and Ashley’s £10 million we should have a half decent team.
    Then the work really starts as you can call the above operation LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS.
    After the foundations are in place huge investment will go were in should always have gone into YOUTH TEAM DEVELOPMENT.
    Ashley will simply not go and spend £20 million on a player when he could invest that on his academy and be reasonably assured of a wonderful crop of talented players for his supporters to watch and grow up with over the next 10 years if good enough.
    As long as the plan is adhered to and we have top class scouts and coaches its going to be a sure fire winner, the fans will need to be patient, and Ashley not panic if so called supporter groups pressurise the board into deviating from its plan.
    Basically Ashley must communicate and put across his vision for the future and we the fans must get behind the project whole heartedly.

  • Don

    Feb 26, 2009 at 6:38 PM

    Comment #36

    10 mill a year transfer budget and JFK as manager, the top 4 must be quaking in there boots.

  • waddler

    Feb 26, 2009 at 6:41 PM

    Comment #37

    If you really want to help Ashley’s project, get yourselves along to the academy and reserve games and learn to appreciate true club development and the joy of watching young kids make the grade in a few years time and then ask yourselves WHY BUY WHEN WE CAN DEVELOP.
    Imagine no egoes on the pitch with all players growing up and fighting for us the supporters and not an over inflated wage packet.

  • workyticket

    Feb 26, 2009 at 7:11 PM

    Comment #38

    Stardust // Feb 26, 2009 at 5:29 PM

    “Hope you dont mind my breach of copyright.”

    Whatever turns you on Stardust ;-). Personally I thought of the “C” word when I saw Keegan getting trounced at that Arsenal game. Something changed then, the reality of the long march set in, of doing things the ‘hard’ way, and he looked haunted.

  • Don

    Feb 26, 2009 at 7:20 PM

    Comment #39

    Whats a matter worky? no one biting?
    WUMs the pair of you

  • workyticket

    Feb 26, 2009 at 7:27 PM

    Comment #40

    It’s you who’s looking for a bite Don. What a silly sausage you are!


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