Malcolm Macdonald has come out today and confessed he is more than a little worried about Newcastle’s future, given how low the club has fallen to, after being relegated for the first time in 20 years.
Malcolm Macdonald – fears for the Newcastle club
However the bookies, currently have Newcastle the favourites to return to the Premier League next season. But we shouldn’t think it is a given or will in any way be easy, because it will not be.
The clubs in the Championship fight like crazy, and last year we just couldn’t match the spirit and fight of the smaller Premier League clubs like Stoke City, Blackburn, Fulham and others, even though we had a very expensive squad and a lot more skill in the team.
Malcolm almost told us all what would happen last season when he was looking ahead when he said this about Kevin Keegan:
“I believe that Kevin Keegan has been marginalised to such an extent that he’s now merely the coach rather than the overall supremo,”
So Malcolm has a bit of a track record so let’s take a look at what Malcolm is saying today about the state of the Newcastle club:
“When a football club, like Newcastle right now, has no direction from the top or in the dressing room, it can only go one way – down,” “When you hit such lows as Newcastle have, on and off the pitch, these last few months, the one thing guaranteed to follow if you don’t put things right after relegation is another relegation.”
“I experienced it myself with Bobby Robson at Fulham back in 1969. He was brought in after relegation from the old Division One, but the older players at the club, who had been his team-mates, didn’t want to change.”
“A rebellion happened and Bobby was sacked. The senior players won the battle, but they didn’t win the war – because Fulham got relegated again.” “I’m not saying Newcastle will do the same, but the formula is there for it to happen.”
“If people are thinking Newcastle are automatically just going to bounce back they will be massively disappointed.” “Things MUST be changed at the club. Why are things not being changed?” “Things are just being left to drift on the premise that the club is being sold, but why?”
“No new owner in his right mind would not appoint Alan Shearer as manager, so why is he not already in the job and cracking on with what has to be done this summer?” “There is a crucial period in the close season when you can pull off transfers early and inject new life into the dressing room.”
“The need for that is no more obvious than at Newcastle.” “The best deals usually happen in the first 10 days after the season ends. That’s when I did my best business as a manager.” “You get in quick before a player has other things or other teams to think about.”
“But Newcastle didn’t do anything because they had no one there to do it.” “They have to get rid of 12 or 13 people on £50,000-plus a week and get in some hungry, up-and-coming players in their place.”
“It needs to happen – or rather, it needed to happen. To basically ignore the summer because nobody is in charge is sheer madness.” “That situation won’t be lost on the current squad,” “If you were a player right now at Newcastle and were still hungry to achieve something in the game, would you want to stay?
“The people who will want to stay are the ones who are grossly overpaid on silly contracts and have never done it yet for Newcastle United on the field of play – and never will.” “Of course, there have been monumental mistakes made off the field, but it all comes down to the team on the park in the end,”
“Those off-field mistakes have bred problems on the pitch. But how certain players have taken advantage of that fact.” “I’m not saying they do it consciously. They may do their best to try to convince themselves as well as us that they’re doing all they can for the club.”
“But while their fat contracts run down, there’s actually been an awful lot lacking for an awful long time.” “New players coming in have seen standards are low; they haven’t had to raise their game a level to fit in. And mediocrity can be contagious.”
“That wouldn’t have happened when I was a player under someone like Joe Harvey.” “I remember he signed someone – and I won’t name any names – who just didn’t impress the rest of us in training.” “After a while, Joe took me to one side and asked ‘what’s your problem with this fella?’”
“I said ‘boss, he’s not good enough for us’. Joe, albeit through gritted teeth said: ‘yes, I’m beginning to think that myself’ and never played him.” “But now, whether it’s a new or old player that isn’t up to the mark, nobody at Newcastle seems to want to rise above it.”
“Instead, everybody’s standards go down.” “The whole thing then keeps steadily moving downhill like a snowball. When that happens in football, you have to recognise it and stop it immediately, otherwise it spells disaster.” “Newcastle haven’t stopped it.”
“People scratch their heads and ask ‘how did this happen?’ But the reason is because Newcastle haven’t had anyone behind the scenes who was bothered enough to stop it happening.” “Everyone on the outside could see it, and yet nobody has fixed things even now.”
“So while it was a shambles last season, when the players report back on July 1 and nobody knows what they’re doing, and nobody has the overall say on anything, it will be far worse.”
Those words from Malcolm should scare the living daylights out of a lot of Newcastle fans, because most of what Macdonald says is absolutely true.
We have become fed up with criticizing Mike Ashley. It’s a bit like when a boxer is just pummeling another in the ring, and then the guy doing the pummeling just gets tired.
That’s how we feel about Mike. He just seems to go his own sweet way, despite the criticism and concern in the press, and our proud club sinks further into the abyss.
He seems to be very good at the way he runs Sports Direct and we see that the last financial year will be very good for his company.
But at Newcastle, he’s just been so poor in some of the things that he has done. It’s not that he doesn’t know about running a football club, he doesn’t, but it’s his common sense that has been sorely lacking.
Why he ever backed Dennis Wise and others against Kevin Keegan last September, we still have no idea, but that sealed his fate on Tyneside.
We have to hope that Shearer comes in and puts the club on the right track. He’ probably the best guy to do that right now, a true Geordie who just loves the club, and is one of the greatest players Newcastle has ever produced.
He enters management in the same way that Joe Harvey was brought in during the early 1960s (1962), and of course Joe had us promoted in 1965, led us into Europe and we won the Inter-City Fairs Cup in 1969.
Joe was manager for 13 years, and we hope Alan is a long term manager too. We remember Joes’ reign so well, and he was a strong manager, and knew all about Newcastle United.
And of course Alan will get lots and lots of support from the Newcastle fans.
We have to hope for the best for next season.