When A Club Is Run Like Newcastle – Relegation Always Possible

It tickles us to see some reports on how come Newcastle are in the bottom three, when they have such a good squad, but there are obvious reasons why the running of the club this season, could cause any club in the land to be in relegation trouble.


Mike Ashley – he cannot run the club any worse next season

We’d thought we’d list just some of the reasons of why Newcastle are now 3rd bottom, and it really shouldn’t come as any surprise that we are nor fighting relegation big time.

  • Newcastle had a small squad last year and it was something that Kevin Keegan wanted to fix by bringing in more players – but after all the goings on  in the transfer season we didn’t increase the size of the squad, When you look at Newcastle’s poor injury record every season, that could mean trouble – and it has meant trouble.
  • On the last day of the transfer market our then manager Kevin Keegan left the club – we’ll not get into apportioning blame here, other than to say our manager left. We had started the season well – but now we were high and dry without a manager and went 4 league games, losing every one of them, until Joe Kinnear was brought in.
  • With the Newcastle fans’ fierce reaction to Keegan leaving, and subsequent protests against owner Mike Ashley, Mike decided he would indeed sell the club.  From September through late December the club was put up for sale, with news every week about somebody new wanting to buy the club, in America, in South Africa, in Nigeria – you name it.
     The players and coaching staff were expecting things could change at any minute, with a new owner and new manager coming in. Not something that brings any stability and solid performances to St. James’ Park, and it didn’t.
  • During the time the club was being sold, the Newcastle Board in their wisdom, decided to keep under the radar screen and not talk to the Newcastle fans at all. They also amazingly said nothing to the players either.
    They have since admitted that was a huge mistake, Everybody was saying at the time – this is a huge mistake. 
  • The day after Mike announced, on the morning of the Liverpool game, that he was in fact going to keep the club Shay Given said he would reassess his situation – and that was no coincidence. That ended in our one world class player leaving the club – or getting out of there – was probably the better way of saying that.  
    We lost our only world class player in mid-season – after Shay had played 458 games for the Tyneside club, and few fans blamed Shay when he left.   Shay had been our best player up to that point in the season, and oh, we were hammered 5-1 by Liverpool at home that same last Sunday of last year, and it would have been 10-1 but for the brilliance of Shay in the first 30 minutes, when he put in another world-class display of goalkeeping.
  • Ashley said he would fix the shortage of players at Newcastle in Jnauary, so we could climb away from the relegation zone, after we had our usual terrible injury situation in December, where at one point 11 first team players were out injured.  But that happens almost every season these days – so we should have planned for it – but as we said above, we didn’t.  
    But what did we do in the January transfer season?  Brought in 3 players and let 2 go – we didn’t increase the size of the squad in January like we said we would.

  • On February 7th, Joe Kinnear suffered a heart problem, which ended up with him going into hospital and finally having a triple heart by-pass operation on February 13th. Mike Ashley elected to keep Chris Hughton in charge, along with newly employed Colin Calderwood, and decided not to bring in an experienced manager. But Chris had lost all 5 matches in charge of the team last September.
    In the last 5 league games we have just 2 points and are 2 now points adrift of 4th bottom place, with Chelsea up next .

When you look at that list of what’s happened, in just another rote season at Newcastle, it’s a wonder we are only 3rd bottom, and not already adrift in 20th place.

The Newcastle fans probably need to have  just a little bit of compassion for both players and coaches, given what they have had to go through this season, in the cause of the Newcastle United Football Club.

And even though the season has been just horrendous for the fabulous Newcastle fan base, we still think the pride and passion that is on Tyneside, will save the club from relegation, and that will be the real miracle this season.

Howay The Lads!!

105 comments so far

  • lesh

    Mar 25, 2009 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #1

    Sorry Ed, you’re wrong!

    Having read Stardust and his words of wisdom, I’m a convert……. it wasn’t owner-board poor management and incompetence wot dunnit, it was the mob and KK’s fault!!

  • komfort

    Mar 25, 2009 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #2

    ed the bottom line is we have no manager and don’t have a good squad as you state , hence our position in the league.

  • boater

    Mar 25, 2009 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #3

    I am a logistical pattern strategist for a multi-million pound london banking firm. My job is to study patterns in the market and to implement strategies based on studies regarding fiscal fluctuations that will ensure the maximisation of potential growth. I am also a die-hard NUFC supporter – born and bred – and based on a number of key factors; including the revival under KK at the end of last season, the revival under Roeder two seasons previously and the appearance/results ratios of each of the players … can categorically say that THIS is the team and formation with which we will be most likely to ensure we; a) do not loose against chelsea, b) finish outside of the relegation zone….


    The accumulative odds on us being a goal down by half time are – 9/1 – (this 3.89 span algorithm took me an hour to work out by the way.)

    If we are a goal down we make a substitution at 55mins…. not 60 as is so often the case… statistically very few teams score between 55 and 60mins presumably due to the apprehension of a change in momentum after 1 hour of play.

    IF we are a goal down on 55mins… we substitute ameobi for Lovenkrands, owen pushes forward and we play with 4 across the middle with lovenkrands on the right side of midfield.

    We play through the middle, we forget crosses from wide as – (we now officially have 2 goals this season from wingers crossing from wide positions).

    We do not let the following kick a ball for the remainder of the season: Ryan Taylor, Alan Smith, Kevin Nolan, Gutierrez… they are all the footballing equivalent of false prophets and with ANY OF THEM in the side we have failed to win in 81% of attempts.

    I will finish with the most unpalatable fact of all… which will have most of you moaning like whinnies… Bassong should not play again this season… if we survive, he can develop as our star man for the future, but statistically he is our worst performer in the squad.

  • JoeColl87

    Mar 25, 2009 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #4

    He clearly hasn’t been hit that hard by the recession. Maybes this is where the Milner, Given and Insomnia money is off too.


  • boater

    Mar 25, 2009 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #5

    I want to add – Bassong is not our worst performer in truth… and has been my player of the season… the stats are unfair here…

    But we need to play players IN THEIR POSITION – it worries me when I see people talking about Beye in the central defense… you are not playing FIFA on the xbox people… people playing in their own positions is about ownership of responsibility… when soemeone plays in their wrong position they shrug their shoulders when things go wrong- it’s not their fault, etc.. evidence Ryan taylor and his interview about not being a right winger…

  • AshleysWok

    Mar 25, 2009 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #6

    I have been wondering who I can blame for the state the club is in right now and I can only come to one conclusion, MA and his cockney mafia have to take a large proportion of blame but having spoke to other fans i can only point the finger at KK as the minute he quit he doomed the club I love to Championship football.

  • Monster

    Mar 25, 2009 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #7

    We’re in this mess because we’re sh*t. Who’s fault that is is up for debate. The players? Management? Owners? In fairness probably a combination.

    Boater – very impressive I’m sure but at the end of the day you can make statistics say whatever you want. The simple fact that you think Cacapa should take place in the centre of defence over Bassong or Taylor is truly astonishing.

  • Geordiedoonsooth

    Mar 25, 2009 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #8

    Boater I think you have been on the white powder with the rest of the wankers oops sorry bankers in the city. You haven’t got a clue the team you picked wouldn’t win a game. God give me strength for some of the prats who come on this blog

  • Monster

    Mar 25, 2009 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #9

    Also, Beye has played centre half before and has been more than impressive.

  • Wiser_than_wise

    Mar 25, 2009 at 11:46 AM

    Comment #10

    I’am still waiting for those two players who were on trial and were about to sign the 1italian and 1 argentinian

  • Stardust

    Mar 25, 2009 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #11

    Boater – whats your analysis re steven taylor – I believe he is the common denominator in poor defensive displays?

    Ed – well written article , but it should have been set to the backdrop of the financial markets collapsing and Mike Ashley losing 2 Billion of his net worth. Thereon maybe people would try and understand a bit more.

    Lesh – thanks I knew I would convert you.

  • Geordiedoonsooth

    Mar 25, 2009 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #12

    Boater you’re a prat that knows nowt about football

  • bennytoon

    Mar 25, 2009 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #13

    No mention of Ashley clearing your debts which would have caused more problems for the club. But then that little fact wouldnt suit the argument.

  • Stardust

    Mar 25, 2009 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #14

    Monster – “Who’s fault that is is up for debate. The players? Management? Owners? In fairness probably a combination.”

    I would like to add the fans as the most significant contributor.

  • Stardust

    Mar 25, 2009 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #15

    Yep Benny – to be fair I would have thought that was a given in their understanding, but well pointed out.

  • Ericles

    Mar 25, 2009 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #16

    I see the goony’s are out in force today on this blog!
    The blame sits firmly and squarely with fat Ashley.
    It was he who did not have the intelligence to keep KK with the club. It was Ashley who appointed the barrow boys Wise and Llambias. It was Ashley policies that drove loyal players away last window.
    Even though he cleared debts he did not reinforce the squad. So now we are in the relegation zone. Where do these pro-Ashley muppets come from?

  • Whumpie

    Mar 25, 2009 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #17

    boater: you just showed why the banking world collapsed. You can make stats say anything you like, and what stattos tend to forget to do is stand back at the end, look at the simple conclusion and apply the simple question “is that utter lobsocks?”

    I’m sure the same algorithms and computer models said that buying up loans given to poor people in american ghettos at unsustainable rates was a good idea.

    Pass the P45s…

  • Stardust

    Mar 25, 2009 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #18

    Yep Ericles – with fans like you still in the dark ages we are in trouble.

  • jkrNufc

    Mar 25, 2009 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #19

    Perhaps the plan is to relegate, then St. James Park will be a big casino with Derek Llambias as manager

  • Whumpie

    Mar 25, 2009 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #20

    Anyway, back to the article: Ed, I think you’re right on almost every point. I’m now past caring how stable our financial footing is. Everything else has been so utterly mismanaged – and continues to be so – that our predicament looks inevitable.

    All of these daft mistakes are the sort of thing that requires that awful combination of ignorance and arrogance normally reserved for US presidents.

    To err is human, but to keep thrashing a horse that’s already decomposed beyond recognition is unforgivable – and I will never forgive Ashley and co for failing to find the humility to realise that they are utterly out of their (limited) depth.

    Incidentally, the one thing I disagree with your on, Ed, is that last bit about loyal supporters. Where? Were they the ones what abandoned their posts and deserted the team with 20 minutes to go on Saturday?

  • boater

    Mar 25, 2009 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #21


    Deep sigh…. Thanks for setting this blog alight with interesting thoughts and views. Have you ever heard of counter-argument? Nope… another sigh…

    I’m all behind care in the community schemes but letting you all near the computers – are you really ready for that yet?

  • Stardust

    Mar 25, 2009 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #22

    Whumpie I normally read your posts with interest.

    When did you become infected?

    “I will never forgive Ashley and co for failing to find the humility to realise that they are utterly out of their (limited) depth.”

    And while FFS was here and removing all of the cash from our past present and future what did you say?

    The rebuild a stripped ship is more expensive and complicated than assembling a new one. But fans up here know best, most of them cant even manage their own households but they can tell an experienced successful man how to run his businesses with great wisdom gained while sitting in an armchair.

    Im flabberghasted.

  • Whumpie

    Mar 25, 2009 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #23

    Sorry, Lesh and Stardust – but this time I’m on Ed’s side. I do understand a lot about the financial and business side and I totally appreciate how important it could prove for the club that Ashley has sorted the foundations.


    That means precisely dick right now.

    The only consistency we’ve seen this season has been the naive and plain daft decisions at board level. It started with the DOF structure and continued through the personnel brought in. Now it’s going the same way again with the lack of manager.

    All of these things are decisions which require a fully experienced football brain, and all of them have been messed up through a lack of one.

    I’ve defended Ashley in the past, and I do have some sympathy for the lack of understanding people show. But the real reasons why we’re 50/50 at the bookies to go down are not due to financial constraints. Nor, as may have said, are they some conspiracy to rape the club.

    They are straight-forward wrong decisions by unqualified, inexperienced people who are not fit to run a football club.

  • boater

    Mar 25, 2009 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #24

    Whumpie…. I know people hate words like stats… and you recoil at the idea of a science to football… but unfortunately the top managers in the world ALL employ this approach… Wenger, Mourinho, Ferguson, Eriksson, Hitzfeld, Cappello, Hiddink.

    Everyday there is an article about Newcastle needing ‘fight’ … taylor says it every 5 minutes, the idiots on here never shut up about it… it makes people feel good to talk about FIGHT. It’s easy… but you know what ??? The championship is full of FIGHT… that’s nothing new. Did you read Wenger’s post-match article ?- he said NUFC has the QUALITY to stay up – no one picked up on that – we just go on about FIGHT Again – yeah yeah yeah…..

    What we need to do … is to recognise the players that contribute to us getting successful results… before it’s too late. Geremi plays – we rarely loose… you ignore that though because he does a couple of bad balls… you prefer jonas who – as I mentioned is a FALSE PROPHET he contributes nothing to us getting results.. I said it after 3 games into the season – he is a waste of space…. and waste of spaces are LIABILITIES in relegation battles…

    Remember the forwards that did so well – last season – ??? under KK?


    Apart from the 8 match unbeaten run under KK and the 5 week purple patch under JK… we have been relegation form for 18 months… that’s true… SO CHANGE IT FOR CHRIST”S SAKE !!!! OR WE ARE GOING DOWN…. there is no mystery – we do not have a winning mentality! Doesn’t matter if we play Liverpool or Stoke… we won’t win with this set-up… Houghton and his shocking selections and tactics.

  • Whumpie

    Mar 25, 2009 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #25

    Stardust – I used to think that the good stuff done in the background balanced out the bad stuff on the football side. But that’s just not an arguable case any more.

    Boater’s analysis is a perfect parody of the problem. People think they can make up for a lack of experience and domain knowledge with algorithms and generic principles. BUT THEY CAN’T.

    Look through Ed’s list. Which of those calamatous mistakes could have been avoided with a good spreadsheet? None. They all just needed someone who has been in the business for a few decades.

  • lesh

    Mar 25, 2009 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #26

    Yup Stardust ( // Mar 25, 2009 at 11:48 AM), I am now a true believer…. halleluja, praise be to Mike, glory to Wise, and have mercy on the poor lost souls who have loyally and misguidedly supported this club through thick and thin

    I have seen the light, have heard the voices and now have been blessed with a PhD in Bul**it like wot Boater has.

    I have been cleansed, purified and will now be an evangelist of the cause of Ashley and his main advocate, Stardust.

    I will preach to the great unloved, those poor lost souls who follow the false god of NUFC….. they shall be saved too, like me and like you Stardust

    Nurse, can I have me next dose o pills now? Oh, and when yarron, shut the door and put the lights oot when y gan……

  • Stardust

    Mar 25, 2009 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #27

    Whumpie – therein lies the problem. Irrespective of where the blame ultimately lies either in the structure DOF or Ashleys wealth decline, or a combination. It was the fans reaction to the outcome KK walking that has made all other decisions inevitable.

    I would defy you in that situation to make any other – without the benefit of hindsight. (Pr aside which was terrible)

    The fans appointed JK not Ashley – they made the club a place noone wanted to come post walkout.

    Actions and Consequence.

  • SpartanChris

    Mar 25, 2009 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #28

    Howay lads, lets stop talking about blame and get behind the team and if that means Ashley and co, then so be it.

  • bennytoon

    Mar 25, 2009 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #29

    Ericles- Keegan was hardly setting the league alight and he walked out on the club. He wasnt sacked.

  • boater

    Mar 25, 2009 at 12:28 PM

    Comment #30

    Whumpie… you haven’t come across the outsider principle… strange because… Mourinho, Hiddink, Hitzfeld, Wenger and Erikkson are all examples of this.

    Pretty unspectacular footballing careers but share logical native insight… simple stuff like – which players contributes to a successful system.
    This isn’t some crack-pot results invention in my cellart – it’s common sense…

  • boater

    Mar 25, 2009 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #31

    Monster… Cacapa is available for selection – Bassong and Taylor are not.

  • Spitfire

    Mar 25, 2009 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #32

    I see the Keegan bashers are back out again. Yes of course its all his fault. Er who appointed him in the first place…….? Oh yes I remember now…… but its not his fault????

  • Whumpie

    Mar 25, 2009 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #33

    Sorry, Stardust – but that is a ridiculously one-sided view. Yes, the fans made it a lot worse, and perhaps there would have been more up for the job than JFK without their reaction.

    But how many managers will come to a club that’s already in trouble, working under a much-hated DOF, for bosses who have just been through the most public falling-out with a much-loved manager, and who have absolutely no football experience?

    And why did the fans have anything to do with having that structure anyway? And did they appoint a casino manager as a boss? Or fail to define clearly the remit of each position?

    Did the fans fail to strengthen the squad during two windows? Again, they didn’t help to make the club attractive to players, but that is just one small factor. At the end of the day the club made a profit in January on players and failed to add numbers or fill obvious gaps in personnel.

    I accept that the fans have been daft over this. But to blame them for everything is just as daft.

    All that’s needed is for Ashley to get a proper boss in, drop the DOF rubbish and hire a manager who won’t die.

    But he may be too late now.

  • Stardust

    Mar 25, 2009 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #34

    Boater – where can I read about the Outsider Principle? not taking the micky – genuinely interested.

  • bennytoon

    Mar 25, 2009 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #35

    spitfire- he was appointed because thats what all the fans were screaming for. 10th place wasnt enough for the best fans in the wsorld. They believed that they should be in the top 2 or 3 and winning trophies. Those 2 or 3 good seasons under keegan first time around raised the fans expectations to unrealistic levels. You now believe that you are one of the greatest teams the country has ever known.

    You should maybe taske a look at yourself before jumping on ashleys back who only tried to give you what you wanted.

  • Whumpie

    Mar 25, 2009 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #36

    Spitfire – spot on.

  • ToonTinka

    Mar 25, 2009 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #37

    It makes me laugh when I see people on this board blaming a very small amount of idiotic fans for the turmoil the club is in at the minute.

    FFS get real man!

  • Spitfire

    Mar 25, 2009 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #38


    No. No fans were screaming for Keegan at the time. Don’t write about what you don’t know about. Don’t start recucling all that tabloid trash again.

  • batty

    Mar 25, 2009 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #39

    LondonDave // Mar 25, 2009 at 5:13 AM

    Hi geordies, sorry to pop in as a Spurs fan – btw, BennyToon is a lame WUM whom everyone should just ignore – but I’d just like to say that Mike Ashley has categorically stated in the past that he hates Spurs and is not a Spurs fan (http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2008/jul/10/ashley.binladen). He is a Chelsea supporter and I believe a Chelsea season ticket holder. Just wanted to get that in since it seems so many Toon fans think that he supports us and I don’t want his fat gob associated with us in any shape or form. However, Paul Kemsley is a Spurs fan while Hughton and JFK are obviously sort of ours (no wonder you hate us LOL!)

    Also, while our chairman Levy made a correct choice in appointing Harry while it seems that JFK wasn’t as good a decision, it was ultimately the 45 million in funds in the January window that saved us (touch wood). Most Spurs fans were still extremely concerned about relegation all through January. While Harry has done well, the main factor hasn’t been his management so much as the right transfer signings. Ashley’s profit after the window is just despicable, I can’t believe he’s a businessman – the financial loss after relegation is so much worse than paying for new signings. I also can’t believe Given was let go for so little to Man City, he’s just about world class and Man City could’ve been milked for so much more.

    Anyways, good luck with your relegation battle

  • Stardust

    Mar 25, 2009 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #40

    Benny toon – spot on


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