January Test – Does Ashley Want To Build Top Newcastle Side?

Everybody is very well aware that Newcastle have lost four games on the trot, and the next win will be greeted with not a little relief, and some celebration we suspect – and we hope it comes on Monday night at home to Wigan.

Let’s hope this is how Alan Pardew is on Monday night – after the game

The slump has all happened within the last three weeks or so, and it has come as we have collected even more injuries to players in the first team squad.

And it’s obvious to all, that the squad we have right now is not big enough to be able to take the extra games of the Europa League.

But Newcastle are still a good side and still have some top players in the side, and the thing the lads mustn’t do is to panic, and confidence is what the lads need now more than anything else – and we’re sure that’s exactly what Alan and the coaching staff are trying to instill into the players this weekend.

This is what Alan Pardew said today:

“We must keep our heads.” “We must find a new way to win as we have a lot of creativity out at the moment.”

“The injury situation has increased the discussion.” “We had an idea where it was going to go.” “It might change before we get there.”

“Shola has half a chance of making the bench.”

We’ll see what happens in January, but this could be the acid test for Mike Ashley – does he really want to build a top side at Newcastle? We’ll have the answer to that one on February 1st

It would be good if Shola makes the bench, because we want as many players back as asap – and Ben Arfa (the great) and Gabby Obertan are also not too fay away from full fitness.

Keep the faith and be prepared to celebrate on Monday night – hopefully.

Comments welcome.

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110 comments so far

  • jimmysmith

    Dec 1, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    Comment #1

    Is Guti part of the problem or the way Pards is asking him to play. Either way you get the feeling he’s gonna be the fall guy and that sucks!

  • Ian Toon

    Dec 1, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    Comment #2

    Hopefully Ed! Tsunki feels a victory in his bones!!! Good enough for me. Tight game but the Toon to win 1-0.

  • obatoyou

    Dec 1, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    Comment #3

    we got to buy 3 or 4 players over 8 mil, that’ll make me smile 🙂 merry christmas!

  • Big Pappa Cissé

    Dec 1, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Comment #4

    I would like to see this team in January






    That should be more than enough to keep us in the PL and push on next season. It could be good enough for the Champions League and would not cost to much either.

    Debuchy – 7 million
    Sissoko – Free (agents fee’s)
    Alderwireld – 10 million

    Add a young pacy striker for a few million and that would take the spending up to 20 million. Is it likely Ashley will stump up this kind of cash ?, not really but if there ever was a time for him to loosen the purse strings it is now.

  • Graeme

    Dec 1, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Comment #5

    Ashley’s plan is to make money, make no mistake about it keeping us in Prem is the ONLY thing that matters. He will strengthen, if and when he has to in order to achieve his objective.

    We should “break even” this year, self sufficiency achieved, BUT, next year, our income from TV will rocket. I would expect that next year he will start to recover his investment and pay out enough to keep us where we are, maybe the odd foray into Europe if we have an exceptional season like the last one.

    Europa does in fact give his brand a lot of exposure which he will not be allowed in Champions League where UEFA sponsors have the advertising rights.

    Who knows where this will eventually take us!!

  • 89Norcal

    Dec 1, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Comment #6

    jimmsmith, I think it’s a mix. Jonas doesn’t look like he knows his role on the pitch but he’s also played horribly whenever he’s had the ball. I have yet to see him make those runs to cross in the box like he has done for the last couple years.

  • jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew

    Dec 1, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    Comment #7

    Did anyone see Swansea today. Gotta admit I had high hopes for them this season and they at least are not letting me down 😀

  • Ian Toon

    Dec 1, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    Comment #8

    jimmy – I don’t see Jonas as a fall guy. He’s dependable , committed and hard working. Pardew rates him highly it’s only the less discerning fan who doesn’t appreciate what he contributes to the team shape. The
    same fans who focus on weakness before strength in a player.

  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Dec 1, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    Comment #9

    He’d like to build a top side, of course, is he willing to shell out for one? That’s self-evident.

  • Ian Toon

    Dec 1, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Comment #10

    Jesper- Hello. You were singing the praises of WBA a few weeks ago! It’s a long season. Only saw the score but understand Wenger was abused by many fans. Ever since Cabaye has been out we haven’t won.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 1, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Comment #11

    Was talking to a mate of mine today about the usual football stuff and I hadn’t really thought about how much it pi$$ed me off until I mentioned it,the statement in one of Pards press conferences when he was talking about other teams and cited Spurs as being one of the bigger clubs,how the f^(k are Spurs a bigger club than us,maybe similar to us in stature but nevertheless a bit insulting for our manager to come out and say that.

  • GeordieTwo

    Dec 1, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Comment #12

    If there is anything Ashley can do without spending much to keep us in the Prem rest assured he will do it. Will he spend a load in January. I would say no but would love to be surprised. He will tell Pardew to straighten things out or lose his job before he does anything else. That new TV contract is a big carrot hanging there but still Ashley won’t spend big. Pardew’s fate is in the balance over the next 6 or 7 games. If we don’t pick up at least 5 or 6 points and stay out of the bottom 3 he will be gone.

  • veto

    Dec 1, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    Comment #13

    if he does , january market isnt the best time tobe doing it , not to many bargains about and he wont spend unless he thinks he’s getting the better deal

  • giimps

    Dec 1, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    Comment #14

    Graeme, I agree totally, though will Wonga want to be sharing the rights with SD?
    You are right IMHO about the only thing he wants is the financial rewards from being in the Prem but he may (if he thinks ahead) stump up readies to get us closer to the European places again.
    This will pay for itself since he has gone 1/2 a season without paying for Debuchy or Douglas, their price will drop in January and he will have saved their wages for the half season.
    This combined with the wages he has saved by not paying, Lova, Smith, Guthrie and Best will pay the fee for one or possibly both of these signings.
    Its all about the dosh for Cashley,

  • NewcastleMole

    Dec 1, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    Comment #15

    Keeping shape is all well and good (And we know Pardew champions this approach to the hilt) but you can’t be too disciplined and have free flowing attacking football at the same time.

    Over cautious tactics are costing us points, teams know how we’re going to set up and they attack us from the off.

    Achievement Unlocked!

  • jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew

    Dec 1, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    Comment #16

    Ian…I need someone to play football the way I like 😀

    …seems they csn do what we can’t cause apparently we don’t have the players! I liketo give credit where credit is due.

  • GeordieTwo

    Dec 1, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    Comment #17

    So that’s our goal Llambias, to be like Aston Villa? No wonder we’re in trouble. It looks like we’re succeeding admirably in that case. They may pass us at any moment now. So we truly will be the new Aston Villa.

  • jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew

    Dec 1, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    Comment #18

    Why would we want to be like Aston Villa?

  • nick_9

    Dec 1, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    Comment #19

    ASTON VILLA? Is this a joke or a spoof article. I hope so. ASTON VILLA? We are beyond aston villa so that would explain not signing anybody. Wouldnt want to overachieve would we, because then we would have to spend lots or look unambitious. This window is going to be very telling

  • giimps

    Dec 1, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    Comment #20

    Jesper Cos we would further south and he wouldnt have to smell the crisp fresh air from gods country.
    Southern Jessie

  • Ashton

    Dec 1, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    Comment #21

    Behold the daily dosage of Pardew bitching about injuries everyone!!

  • nick_9

    Dec 1, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    Comment #22

    Ashley making us self-sufficient is the best thing he ever did, if we can keep it up then we will look much better to prospective buyers. The sooner we get rid of these slimeballs the better. It would be nice to have a northern based owner or perhaps a newcastle fan.

  • Ian Toon

    Dec 1, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Comment #23

    Transfer Sage- I am leaving but wanted to pick up on your earlier post.
    The day of reckoning for manager! Managers are judged on points secured allied to the amount of money spent (net) and players developed. You intimated that a 8year long term contract for Pardew could give him time but necessarily a lot of money to progress the side in the short term. I could go along with that provided that there was not a deterioration in league standing and any threat( however remote)
    of relegation. I have repeatedly said that Ashley simply cannot afford
    the substantial loss of media income that relegation would cause. With massive increases in tv revenue next season in the PL. Depending on our points tally at the end of the month, I can see Ashley digging deep. Probably spending more in the short term than were we handily placed around a Europa place. If necessary the transfer budget can be adjusted in the summer.

  • Sawbuck

    Dec 1, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    Comment #24

    I don’t see any point in taking Pardew’s scalp even if we lose on Monday.

  • Graeme

    Dec 1, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    Comment #25

    giimps @ 14 Wonga have paid for the shirt advertising and possibly a token sum for “Naming Rights” to the stadium. By naming it SJP, which to us fans it always has been, always will be, they have scored a few brownie points to counter the opprobrium associated with their brand!!

    If you check the match programme it lists “SD” on the cover as “Official Club Partner” it also lists “Virgin Money” and “Puma”

    If you go through a programme, “Wonga” doesn’t get a mention anywhere!! To be fair, my last SJP programme was for Swansea game on 17th November, so things may have changed since then!!

    We are a “SD” advert, first and foremost, make no mistake. Maybe, come the start of next season, things may change, but the SD advertising is here to stay!!

  • Ashton

    Dec 1, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    Comment #26

    I think for the first time in many years our club is being run in a good and a reasonable way off the pitch. I don’t think the problem is Ashley. It’s our incompetent manager. He is out of his depth. And his tactics are all wrong. From team selection to our style of play and to the subs that he makes. Everything is just wrong!!

  • nick_9

    Dec 1, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    Comment #27

    Ian toon if there was ever a season for him to invest it is this season. We are in the mire with tough games coming up. Next season we could be looking at an extra 8 million revenue for a mid table finish. Ashley cannot afford us to be relegated and have to finance us when there is the carrot of making even more money in the season after. When does our Wonga sponsorhsip come into play? The trouble we have with signings is Ashley looks at the one of cost of the signing (Anita 6 million) and then the yearly cost of his wages (estimate 2 mill) so thats 8 million in that financial year he would add on to the costs. Its right in a sense but not we want as fans if it limits our ability to put out a competitive team. If we have to ship out some more dead wood in January then good, the squad is big but poor.

  • nick_9

    Dec 1, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    Comment #28

    Just checked and the virgin money sponsorship ends at the end of this season so that is when the wonga deal comes into play. Looks like we might have money for summer but not this Jan, unless they have paid upfront. My worry is who sponsors us at the end of this wonga deal, are we going to having stadium renamed after some rubbish every four years

  • Transfer Sage

    Dec 1, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    Comment #29

    Our spending policy is the same as most in the league. Same as Everton, spurs, Swansea.

    All clubs that don’t have an owner who can spend vast sums of his own money.

    Everton and spurs only spent cause they sold rodwell and modric. They didnt spend more than they brought in. Swansea sold Sinclair and spent that and a couple more million.

    We sold Carroll and spent (not as soon as we should be have spent it).

    This summer we didnt sell so there wasn’t as much to spend.

  • check the toastie

    Dec 1, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    Comment #30

    Ashley doesnt want to build a top side, he is happy with ticking over, if success comes fair enough but he doesnt give a shit really. I fear we will never have a decent footballing team whilst Pardewasaurus is in charge.

    Looking forward to Shola coming on if we are not in front or failing to ‘control’ midfield and the onset of serious hoofball tactics. Woeful, totally woeful, we still relying on Shola to change a game (Joke), somebody remind me of his goalscoring rate, oh my god………

  • Transfer Sage

    Dec 1, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    Comment #31

    I’d love an owner who could spend 40/50 million to bring in top players. Would love us the top if the league like man city cut Ashley simply cannot afford that.

  • nick_9

    Dec 1, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    Comment #32

    Sage – Man City and Chelsea get a lot of stick but i bet a lot of fans would rather have the finances they do compared to us, more so than those who are willing to admit it. Both those clubs are silly with money, imagine if we had a budget of 20 million a season plus revenue from whoever we sold. That could go a long way for us with graham carr.

  • FollowFollow

    Dec 1, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    Comment #33

    Let’s get this straight. Nobody, nobody buys a football club to make money (ok, Bates but apart from him nobody). Do we think the attempts to buy De Jong or Carroll and Douglas where not real? Yes, we wanted a bargain but we were ready to fork out 10m plus and we’ll be in the market again..

  • chris_g

    Dec 1, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    Comment #34

    I don’t know why NewcastleMole thought it was a good idea to post that link about the Aston Villa comment – it’s something that Llambias said back in February 2009 and has no relevance now

  • Transfer Sage

    Dec 1, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    Comment #35


    They are silly but look where they were before the money. More so city than Chelsea

    But man utd remain near the top by spending 30/40 mil a year.

    For a team to come from city, bottom half of league, to challenge man utd they could spend 50 mil a year for 10 years or 100/150mil a year for 3/4 years to get there.

    It’s like any business, to grow you sometimes need to invest up front and make it back in the long run.

    City hav spent a fortune on a big, new academy so are looking to be settled and build for the next 10+ years.

    Chelsea just keep throwing money at their problems but each to their own. Abramovich owns the club and he has plenty of cash to keep spending

  • Transfer Sage

    Dec 1, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    Comment #36


    I don’t think Ashley bought it to make money but I think he thought he could make it self sufficient much easier.

  • Tsunki

    Dec 1, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    Comment #37

    chris_g – I think that was his point which is why he says ‘Achievement Unlocked’ by Llambias. I think the Achievement in this case is called ‘Hot Potatowned’. 😉

  • nick_9

    Dec 1, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Comment #38

    Its swings and round abouts, the higher you finish in the league the more you receive in payouts from the premier league and youre keeping your customers happy whilst probably attracting new ones. Ashley failing to spend money in the last window has so far cost us in the league up to now, we might be able to correct it in the second half ot the season. I have always sadi that man united spend a lot of money but disguise it better than City and Chelsea. Didnt man united win the league and then go spend 80 million the following season on anderson, nani and a few other players? then you look at de gea, young, valencia, jones, they certainly have bought some expensive players over the years.

    Ashley/Llambias are chancers. They will put in a low bid for a player and if it gets accepted we get a good deal, if it doesn’t he etither moves on or more commonly goes without.

  • nick_9

    Dec 1, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    Comment #39

    the 2010-2011 season we messed up the last home game of the season with west brom. I think we were 3:0 if i remember rightly but drew 3:3. If we had held out and won that game we would have finished 3 places higher in the league generating over 2 million in revenue. I remember calling out for a cb in that January window along with many others. Whats to say we wouldn’t have won that last game at home if we had signed the cb we needed. That is why i always wonder what if with us… what if we had signed douglas or debuchy in the summer. Where would we be now?. Ponders.

  • Graeme

    Dec 1, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Comment #40

    TS – The ONLY reason MA bought the club was because he believes that, long term, he can generate a substantial profit on the transaction.

    He has ZERO interest in the North East. He has no interest in football. He has ZERO interest in the fans, he has ZERO interest in its traditions. He is in this venture for one reason and one reason only – he believes that he can generate substantial wealth from NUFC, in the long term, which is why he bought it.

    He has stripped out the fat, brought operating costs to a minimum. We are self sufficient and will return a small profit this year. Next year his bonanza kicks in. HUGE income from renewed TV rights with minimal outgoings in the form of staff costs, transfer fees etc.

    What happens to the excess of income over expenditure? It belongs to the owner. The debt will be paid off in a few years and he will reap a handsome reward for his gamble. Its what he is, a gambler, A very shrewd operator.


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