Mike Ashley’s Vision For Newcastle United


With the open day yesterday at the Newcastle Youth Academy,  we are starting to find out more out about what’s going on inside the Academy.

Mike Ashley – takes big interest in Newcastle youngsters

And if there’s one good thing Mike Ashley’s done since he bought Newcastle United in the summer of 2007, it’s to start a drive to get good youngsters into the club.

But while we have seen some good ones come through like Andy Carroll, Tim Krul, Sammy Ameobi, Haris Vuckic and more recently Mehdi Abeid, we have not really seen enough develop into first team players  during Mike’s tenure at the club   – not yet anyway.

It all started when then Chairman Chris Mort announced the strategy of  building up the Youth Academy, and the club brought in five top youngsters in January of 2008.

Those five were Hungarian Tamas Kadar, Swede Ole Soderburg, Englishman Ben Tozer, Italian  Fabio Zamblera and Frenchman Wesley Baheng,  and all will have left Newcastle by this summer.

Ben Tozer and Fabio Zamblera have already left Newcastle, so it wasn’t a great start, although we must admit we thought  Tamas Kadar would come through big time.

But the lad seems to have lost his way over the last year, with several injuries not helping, and he didn’t even make the American tour last July.

It seems that manager Alan Pardew has persuaded owner Mike Ashley to invest even more money into the Youth  Academy, and Alan has pointed out that not enough of the youngsters are coming through and making an impact in the first team squad.

Alan Pardew and Joe Joyce will allow twelve youngsters to leave the club in the summer, and we expect new top youngsters to arrive in the summer, but there’s no doubt the standards will now be raised at the Academy.

Youth Academy manager Joe Joyce talked about the interest Mike Ashley takes in the Newcastle youngsters:

“Mike has been down to see the Academy and speak of his vision for the future.”  “It is something he cannot be involved with on a daily basis, but he is constantly given information about who is progressing.”

“And Mike takes an interest in the structure and the running, financing and productivity of the Academy.”   “Ultimately, that is what we are here to do – produce players.”

“It is very difficult to produce players for a Premier League club.”  “They have to be international players.” “With the opportunity this club is prepared to provide, we have seen Tim Krul this season make a big mark on the big stage.”

“Sammy Ameobi has had first-team football, as has Haris Vuckic.” “There are one or two players in the Academy who can compete at that level.”

“We have to make sure if we do get an Andy Carroll into the team and he moves on, we get the next player into his boots – that is the long-term vision.”

The strategy that Ashley has initiated in addition to the Youth movement is to get good players into the club on free transfers or on very good deals, and there’s no doubt that Newcastle have been successful in doing that over the last two years or so.

It’s a good strategy and Newcastle have invested a lot into the scouting network, and it seems to have already paid off with some stellar bargains in the last couple of years like Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse and Mehdi Abeid.

More players like that over the next eighteen months or so and Newcastle will indeed have a top squad.

We are hoping we will see more good acquisitions in the summer, when Newcastle have the chance to increase and improve their squad,  so we could even be challenging for a top four spot next season.

That would be a stretch target,  with maybe a top six finish being an official target for the season?

Here’s hoping.

Comments welcome.


146 comments so far

  • SurefootedShola

    Feb 22, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    Comment #1

    We’re challenging for a top 4 spot this season damn it! When will people realise we’re 2/3 through and only a single point from 4th. A few games remaining and sitting in the same position and people will still be saying “next year we could challenge for a CL place”.

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  • JackButler

    Feb 22, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    Comment #2

    SurefootedShola – We’ve got a wafer thin squad, some of who are completely knackered

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  • eaststandgeordie1982

    Feb 22, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    Comment #3

    we dont need any european nights just yet its to early for our squad look what happened just from acon

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  • Thump

    Feb 22, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    Comment #4

    I do agree with this like, need to invest in infrastructure and need to get to Cat. 1 standards but as has already been said – we need massive investment into the reserve squad or I would be happier NOT qualifying for Europe and I’ve said that all season.

    Of course if we finished in Europe you probably wouldn’t hear me moaning about it haha

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  • tomtoon7

    Feb 22, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    Comment #5

    Not counting any geordie chickens quite yet but i love Thursday night European football at ST JAMES PARK!!! Espesh as we never go deep in our cup matches.HWTL

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  • eaststandgeordie1982

    Feb 22, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    Comment #6

    THUMP it would be class if we finished that high in the league from where we have come from, if we did and we spent well in the summer then it might not be to bad but i reckon that should be our target for next season go all out for it

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  • Dondatta13

    Feb 22, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    Comment #7

    @eaststandgeordie1982 (#3)

    It’s a tough call but nobody said this would be easy….

    Basically we heard from Pardew over the last few transfer windows that failure to cement a European spot would result in some of our stars moving on.

    Catch 22 really, maybe we’re not ready but we have to push for it or face loosing big big players.

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  • Marty-Toon

    Feb 22, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    Comment #8

    @Sure footed
    Eds just being realistic really,we were hoping for a top ten finish at season start so top 7 can’t be bad.
    Of course if we manage top 4 then great but with our squad at he moment we would b put out of CL straight away.
    We haven’t enough depth in the squad and it would be so heartbreaking,so I would rather go straight into Europa cup

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  • davybtoon

    Feb 22, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    Comment #9

    Europa league wud do me jus fine it wud giv u the opportunity to play reserve players in the team, n IMO Europa league will keep us our star players for at least another season bcoz 1 they see we’re making progress as a club 2 they will wanna play in it there all young so no need to rush for champions league

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  • eaststandgeordie1982

    Feb 22, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Comment #10

    we need defenders midfielders strikers and maybe a keeper to cope with europa

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  • darrenfletcher88

    Feb 22, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Comment #11

    A couple of things,did demba get player of the month for December?? And who thinks ben arfa will start on sat????

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  • Thump

    Feb 22, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    Comment #12

    Agreed eaststand. It would be one hell of a feat!

    Doesn’t Europa have more games though? Could be a massive banana skin.

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  • Thump

    Feb 22, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    Comment #13

    @darrenfletcher: Yes he did, no he won’t.

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  • JackButler

    Feb 22, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    Comment #14

    Securing a European place this season will mean a bigger role for the kids next season, Sammy, Vukic, Fergie, Tavernier and possibly Streete, it would be great experience for them and help with their progression

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  • WWJBD

    Feb 22, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    Comment #15

    darrenfletcher88
    Yes he did and no I dont think he will

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  • JackButler

    Feb 22, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    Comment #16

    Thump – Fulham began their Europa campaign back in late june or early july 🙁

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  • archaeomag

    Feb 22, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    Comment #17

    Now we must not mention SJP, how about some anagrams:
    ‘Sports Direct’ is Crisped Trots or Rotted Crisps

    However, Spo*ts D*rect stad*um is;

    Dip Scoutmasters Dirt

    Distorts Paid Rectums

    Customised Dirt Traps

    Smuttiest Sordid Crap

    Pats Dirtied Scrotums

    Tit Ass Directors Dump

    Sad Directors Smut Pit

    Not forgetting – Mr Measly Hike. – Sorry to lower the tone

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  • darrenfletcher88

    Feb 22, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    Comment #18

    @thump…hope he does, pardew started Obertan away to spurs so at hope to wolves we have to give him a start,I can see what he’s doing thou, I think hatem season will be next season!!!

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  • davybtoon

    Feb 22, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    Comment #19

    Europa league is only a strain if u use ya first 11 every Thursday n Sunday u will struggle, u hav to rotate ya squad n use the likes of tavernier vukic fergie abeid n any other youngsters who sign

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  • davybtoon

    Feb 22, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    Comment #20

    On sjp am bored of it I don’t need a sign on a wall to call it sjp, n everyone kicking up a fuss now is a joke to b honest as it ain’t actually been sjp for a while now

    It will always b sjp it’s a fuss over nothing

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  • Thump

    Feb 22, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    Comment #21

    June/July? We’ll never survive the season 🙁

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  • JackButler

    Feb 22, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    Comment #22

    Not sure if that was the qualifying rounds though

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  • WWJBD

    Feb 22, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    Comment #23

    davy
    It wont always be St James Park

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  • martoon

    Feb 22, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    Comment #24

    archaeomag @17 some good ones there I particularly like Sad Directors Smut Pit

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  • davybtoon

    Feb 22, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Comment #25

    Wwjbd I will always call it sjp I got brought up with that, n In all honesty I don’t really care about the name change as I don’t base our history on what the ground is called, I base it on what happens on the pitch

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  • WWJBD

    Feb 22, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    Comment #27

    davy
    Me too but the name will die as the years go by, new fans wont know it and it will be lost in generations

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  • archaeomag

    Feb 22, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    Comment #28

    @martoon – agreed – the SDSP has a certain ring to it!

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  • JackButler

    Feb 22, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    Comment #29

    SJP will be gone until the next owner wants to get the fans on his side

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  • WWJBD

    Feb 22, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    Comment #30

    JB
    I truely hope so though it depends on if the new owner has a brand they want pushing or are willing to sell the advertising rights

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  • Thump

    Feb 22, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    Comment #31

    @davy: Why doesn’t it surprise me that you’re perfectly happy with it?

    So you’ll always call it “St. James’ Park” as will I and every fan in this generation – what about your children? Or your children’s children? What then? Eventually the name will be lost in Toon folklore and frankly anybody who agrees with it (keep in mind we will be lucky to get £2m a year for it – and even that’s a stretch) is a disgrace to the club and it’s fans – and I genuinely mean that.

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  • Thump

    Feb 22, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    Comment #32

    Off topic but Marseille are running Inter all over the pitch.

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  • toonLYF

    Feb 22, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    Comment #33

    Cheick Tiote has got a real crocodile on his Lacoste t-shirt.

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  • sahil

    Feb 22, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    Comment #34

    I think JB’s right there, imo the next owner will come in and call it St James’ Park again and get rid of all the Sports Direct advertising, hopefully.

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  • Thump

    Feb 22, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    Comment #35

    He is right, but the problem is when will that owner come along? We all know how Ashley does his business – who was it who said he likes to park his tanks on other peoples lawns?

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  • JackButler

    Feb 22, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    Comment #36

    WWJBD – Its the instant way to get loved by the fans from a PR point of view

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  • LewSpi

    Feb 22, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    Comment #37

    JB

    Hahah, Santon’s creepy smile did it for me.

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  • JackButler

    Feb 22, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    Comment #38

    I offer my deepest apologies in advance for this, but this is what my mate just sent me

    http://johns-jokes.com/New-eye-test.html

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  • WWJBD

    Feb 22, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    Comment #39

    JB
    True mate but then getting shot of MA will get most fans on side to begin with

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  • stuart no9

    Feb 22, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    Comment #40

    davybtoon@20 davy are you a geordie ?

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