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News and Commentary On Newcastle United Football Club By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Howay The Lads!!

Newcastle Can’t Compete For Top Players – No Ambition From Owner

8:53 am, Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 58 Comments

For the third transfer window running, Newcastle have failed to land their top striker target.

mike ashley   -880074675

Mike Ashley – what’s he trying to do with Newcastle?

A year ago we lost out to Borussia Mönchengladbach for FC Twente striker Luuk de Jong, and then in the January window, we missed out to bottom club QPR for France International Loic Remy.

And now it seems almost certain that Borussia Dortmund will be signing our number one striker target this summer – St. Etienne’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Dortmund are this season’s Championship League losing finalists, and they are both an excellent club and currently have a great team – and it looks like they will rather easily win the race for 24 year=old Gabon International.

Borussia Dortmund Sporting Director Michael Zorc told Kicker this today:

“We are very far in negotiations for Aubameyang. He is a very fast, prolific player. He is also versatile so he can adapt to our game.”

We suppose Joe Kinnear isn’t the best Director of Football on the planet after all. :D

Last summer, Newcastle were negotiating with Lille for their French International right back Mathieu Debuchy, and it was all about the fee – as usual.

But we failed to get many players  through the door  - and we paid for that last season, because our squad was far too small..

We suppose we have to get used to being second best these days in the transfer market – because that’s what we are – and while we may become a great team again – it will take a few years – probably many years.

And as we said early this morning – if only our owner Mike Ashley had some decent ambition for Newcastle – things could be a lot different.

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Tags: Newcastle News · Transfer News and Rumours · Transfer Target


58 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ben3arfa // Jul 3, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    This year fair enough we lost PEA to Champions League Finalists but last season losing De Jong to Monchengladbach was simply embarrassing

    End of the day we are stuck with our

    SCUM Owner
    SCUM Director of Football
    SCUM Manager

  • 2 Toon_Tom // Jul 3, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    The only way we will EVER become a “top-team” is if we have some heavy investment or someone from over seas buys the club

  • 3 pbandj // Jul 3, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    I disagree.
    It’s not about lack of ambition as such. Aubameyang would be a fool if he went to bottom placed newcastle vs Dortmund. The wages would prob be around the same for both clubs but Dortmund is a champions league team that plays really entertaining football. Remy we lost because of QPR wages.. not Ashely’s fault..
    Strikers that consistently score goals are not a dime a dozen and whenever theres a talent in Europe other clubs will be going after them .That’s just what we have to get used to. Nufc have no selling point as a club other than that we have a massive stadium… thats about it. We were a bottom placed team last year not a place where great talents want to come. I’m pretty sure we will get a striker over the line this summer. Personally I wish it was lukaku because I actually think we might have a shot at him…

  • 4 seasons // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:04 AM

    pbandj totally agree but what so many want is someone daft enough to come in and buy several owens on 120k a week. come for money and dont give two ****s about the club.

    the amount of post on this site slagging thje money grabbers off but when newcastle refuse to become another leeds united spending way above their means its lack of ambition

    cant have it both ways

  • 5 Santon03 // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    We still have until end of August, right? That will be almost 2 months before window closed. Still plenty of time to get players in.
    Why are we so stuck on the idea of PEA joining NUFC?
    GC must have scouted more players than we have mentioned.
    Did JK specific about naming PEA as number one target?

  • 6 Toon-Prodigy // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    Ashley and ambition for NUFC just don’t go together.

    Neither does Ashley and stability.

    The past five years tell it’s own story with everything connected to the footballing side of the club.

    Even if he went out and spent 15 million on a striker for the club tomorrow, it would not change my perspective of this bloke now.

    I’v seen enough.

  • 7 TorqToon // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:07 AM

    Ed – So choosing Dortmund (one of the most attractive and exciting football clubs in the world!!) over Newcastle United is because we showed a lack of ambition to sign him?!!

    Howay man!!! You do a cracking job, and have brought us all together this blog, but you will only add to the hysteria on this place, and contribute to bringing this blog down! I never moan when you post us links to random players, but when it’s SUCH a negative article, I feel the need to bite. :-)

    Relax sir – Its ONLY day 3 !!!!!

  • 8 Toon_Tom // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    @6 – agreed!

  • 9 mikeashleyisamackem // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    get nani for me and bent

  • 10 headtheball // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    Due to PARSNIP being a WINNER and JOKIN having won everything as a player and manager HOW CAN WE POSSIBLY FAIL?

  • 11 the truth will out // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    SCUM Owner
    SCUM Director of Football
    SCUM Manager

  • 12 Santon03 // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    LOL Torq, I feel the same way

  • 13 Sazzer // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    It’s not lack of ambition for christ sake. I’m sure PEA would have chosen us if we play in the CL last year and Dortmund didn’t. Now on to the next target. Going after one of the hottest properties in Europe was ambitious to begin with. If it was any truth in it.

  • 14 Markaccus // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:11 AM


    Stop blaming ed. We all know that you failed to sign pea. A crate of broon a week and a lifetime supply of greggs would have been enough to sign him, but you insisted on giving him performance-related sausage rolls!

  • 15 Slank // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:12 AM


    ‘ Newcastle have failed to land their top striker target. ‘

    You don’t know that. Newcastle have never said, and rightly so, who their top target is.

    Newcastle is not a top club (in winning trophies) and is not in an attractive geographical area and therefore we will nearly always lose out against successful clubs which tend to regularly win trophies or/and clubs in major cities or/and clubs with huge amounts of money to spend.

    It is nearly always the players decision on which club he wishes to play for. If PEA has gone to Germany instead of the North East it should be no surprise.

    What is surprising is that we already attracted so many skilfull foreign players. We have something that attracts them despite our miserable failure over the decades to win trophies so all hope is not lost.

  • 16 the truth will out // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    losing matt taylor to doncaster is embarrassing

  • 17 Toon-Prodigy // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    How much TV revenue are we bringing in with the new TV deal?

    Signing a 10-15 million forward should be a given, not a hope or a pipe dream.

    Lets see what happens.

  • 18 Santon03 // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    Well said, Slank

  • 19 Slank // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    Tom @ 2

    We become a ‘top team’ by winning trophies not necessarily by massive spending or having a foreign owner. Why haven’t we won the League Cup or/and FA Cup? Many lesser teams have. Even those that get relegated at the same time.

  • 20 SuperShearer // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    @Torq…as usual sir you seem to be one of the only sane voices on here. What’s with all the doom mongering? We’re THREE days into the transfer window. Remember how over the moon we were in January with all those signings. I’m not MA’s biggest fan and appointing JK is clearly a clown car mistake waiting to happen but let’s give MA some credit on transfers. He’s only sold one big player who we got a truck load of cash for and has signed some exciting players that have many of us believing we’ve got our best squad since the Bobby Robson era.

  • 21 TorqToon // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    TTWO – When did we HAVE Matt Taylor??!!!

  • 22 Slank // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    Well said Torq.

  • 23 Mac // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    Am I missing something here? So a player has decided to join Borusia Dort instead of Newcastle. Is that the same Borusia Dort that were in a Champions league final 6 weeks ago?? Shock horror. We haven’t missed out due to lack of ambition he has just decided to join a far better team.

  • 24 Markaccus // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    By all accounts we were willing to pay more than dortmund, so pea has gone for the champd league footy rather than our lack of trying to get him. (If reports are true). So really we cant complain, although qualifying for euro footy this season would have helped!

  • 25 the truth will out // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    just a comparison we cant compete with no-one anymore aprt from 1/2 div teams it would be best to hunt there

  • 26 Ibizatoon // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    Slank…Not sure I agree there mate. Are Birmingham or Wigan now “top teams”? I really don’t think so, although I get your point.

    I would say that you have to be winning something to be a contender for being a top team, but then where does that leave a team like Arsenal? Granted not the top team, but a top team maybe?

    Looks like we’re going to have to call a meeting to determine the category requirements. Clear your day gents, we have work to do.

  • 27 Santon03 // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    This is nolonger logical

  • 28 TorqToon // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    Supershearer – Thank you my friend. Didn’t want people thinking I was having a dog at ed or anything like that, as that’s not my style, but this place can be bad enough without adding gasoline to the fire! :-)

    Mark – YOU told me Carroll was signing as long and he could borrow your bus pass on a match day!!! Then he signed for west ham and chose £100k a week instead!?!?!

    You let ME down, my friend!! :-)

  • 29 Rotonda heights // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:19 AM


    You forgot scum wonga too. Poor old SBR would be turning in his grave.

    Ironic that Llambias who dished out all the 8 year contracts to his pals / debtors in the name of stability is the first to jump ship. I hope it catches on.

    We do have a very good squad, we just need a link striker and to clear the remaining deadwood, get in a technical adviser and a proper manager and we are good to go.

    Signing Bent obviously has Pardew written all over it as opposed to Carr’s more exciting and younger prospects.

    Pardew hides behind ”more PL experience needed” so wait for an avalanche of past it journeymen when the real reason for a dismal season was his appallingly negative and clueless long ball tactics.

    Bottom half for the next 7 years.

  • 30 Graeme // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    Don’t understand the concern over PEA – Apart from the 3 in charge at NUFC, nobody has a clue who we are trying to sign, if anyone!

    Its all pure conjecture, usually generated by the press, with no basis in fact or reality. All it does is get some of our fans overly excited with the “What-if” scenario, which, when it doesn’t happen, sparks the usual doom and gloom.

    This is NUFC, as owned by MA, managed by his appointed Pardew, guided by Mr Carr and now supervised by Joking Ear – WHY would anyone expect any coherent plan from that group? Mr Carr obviously excepted!!

    MA seems to be completely content with Premier League survival – get used to it and expect nothing more – like the season before last, we may just have the occasional high spot to enjoy!!

  • 31 Toon-Prodigy // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    The point Ed is making is that we are not trying, this is the lack of ambition he is speaking of.

    And the inept bids we tend to make for certain players and the dilly dallying about instead of meeting the selling clubs value of the player.

    It’s got nothing to do with a player choosing someone else over the Toon, It’s the ambition we show when the gloves are off. We mess on or don’t try at all.

  • 32 Spoof // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    I understand what you are saying but at the same time a few years back under Keegan and Hall the likes of PEA wouldn’t have gave Dortmund a second glance if we were after him, we should never have lost that appeal and we want it back, so I feel Ed has every right to write what he has, after all it is the truth, it may be painful to read but its the truth.

  • 33 croftus5678 // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    we missed pea but i neer thought we would sign him tbh he’s too good for us as are some who are at our club atm !

    bony is the one thats annoyed me if he goes to swansea as theres a player we could have got and who imo would have pushed us into challenging top 6 and if hw goes to swansea would maybe push us down a position in the league.

    and the little hope i had of this 17yo striker coming in on the 1st ! he’s not arrived which makes me think jk has turned him away because he never saw him play (not taking carr’s word for it)

    douglas was “the” best bargain we could have ever hoped for talent wise and if jk is blocking the bargains there is either a change in the way we get signings (paying more) or we are screwed.

  • 34 the truth will out // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:23 AM

    @ grahame
    not good enough 7 years of that the ground may have to shot 3 sides down the lot must go

  • 35 ToonDarnSarf // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:23 AM

    Everyone has different opinions on what players we should bring in and how this club should be run. Why do so many on this blog get so negative when it doesn’t work that way? A player is rumoured to be a target of ours…so what? This is real life not Championship Manager.
    1 – the media makes stuff up. He may not be a target at all.
    2 – he is a human being with his own choices
    3 – other big clubs will also be trying to sign him

    It honestly seems to me that most of the negative people think football is as simple as Championship Manager!

  • 36 south coast toon // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:23 AM

    tottalt agree lucaka is worth the money , i know we got no chance, but we should be in for him tring we may have more chance of him than we ever had of pea in the headlights of every big club, even on loan, cisse can score goals no doubt atall he needs service and someone to give him room luka would be perfect but so would messi lol, we have to hope to finish higher next season and then we might attract a top striker……or not

  • 37 lesh // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:23 AM

    Any thoughts on the reported £700k fee for Perchino? A bit low for a versatile and professional Prem squad player perhaps?

    Maybe it’s indicative of just how out of touch with football our erstwhile DoF really is and he may even see a fee of £5m for Bent as huge.

    Bring back Llambias!

  • 38 Ibizatoon // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    Lesh…It does seem low to me, but he is entering the final year of his contract, so no doubt that will have had an impact. I find it a bit odd that he isn’t being offered a new deal, out of all the fringe players, he is one I would keep. It signals one of two things to me.

    1) We’re actually looking at bringing in some new players so are not worried about letting players go.
    2) Pardew is having his options reduced so that he has to play a certain team, within reason of course.

    Bring back Llambias? Never would have thought I’d see those words on here :)

  • 39 Toon_Tom // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    Slank (19) – you dont become a top team by winning the league cup mate!!

    You become a top team by playing in europe, challenging for top 4 every year, taking the game to teams like man utd, city, chelskea – and for this you do need massive investment

  • 40 mikeashleyisamackem // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    i have found myself wound up over alot of the thngs the board does or doesnt do but i will judge them come the start of season ,if we can show some ambittion and get recruitment right in this window we can do well this year ,for me we need 4 players and 1 of them has to be of real quality in the attacking range we need a giggs a nani or ronaldo someone who is gonna drive us give us that cutting edge and we should go out and spend up to 25 million for this player if we have to, i would quite happily do that and then next year just buy 14 and 15 yr olds and no blue chip players ,everton didnt buy anyone for a season and it galvinised them it can work for us get our squad this window then buy again in 2015/2016 season for me keep what we got bar ameobi ,gosling and obertan and bring in 4 players 1 of them a world beater

  • 41 ArtyH // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    Have to agree with some of the more sensible posts today about why PEA would NOT choose us. Get real if you were to be offered one of two cars, which one would you choose, a Jaguar XF or a Ford Mondeo? PEA went for the Jag, simple as, and so would everyone else on the site. We cannot blame him for that, when we get to be in the Jag class it could be different.

  • 42 Rotonda heights // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:28 AM


    I long ago gave up hope of winning anything in my lifetime especially when Ashley asked the Mansoors for 800M instead of the previous going price of 200M. We are just cursed.

    However and this proves how incredibly naive I must be, I still or I did regard watching football as one of the few remaining pleasures in life. This has totally gone for me now.

    Losing games when you are at least trying to play some football is one thing. Coming 16th with no attempt to pass and move and keep the ball on the deck and with another 7 years of Pardew’s dismal ”play for a point” philosophy is more than I can stomach.

  • 43 Sazzer // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    CL final it was meant to say.

    Ashley have shown nothing but ambition with players we have brought in lately Sissoko, Cisse, Mbiwa, Anita.

    If you are going to give Ashley stick do it for the right reasons. More reasons to be angry over not signing let say Ince than PEA.

    When it is confirmed we sign haven’t sign anyone or that we have sign someone worse than the teams around us then you can give your favourite among Ashley, JFK, Llambeze, Pardew or Carr and stick for that.

  • 44 derekm // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    we can’t compete for top players – we finished 16th for god’s sake, our top players are being groomed to leave by bigger clubs, our wage structure quite rightly does’nt contend with clubs owned by Arab states or russian billionaires whose fortunes make Ashley look like a pauper in comparison. We have to recruit within our means and to a set plan – or bring back Freddy Shepherd who sold the family silver and hocked the club to the point where it would now in my own opinion not exist if he had stayed as the owner. The facts remain that we would in all probability still be paying for Owen now.

  • 45 richyg01 // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    Maybe we cant compete coz we are struggling in the PL!?

  • 46 Toon-Prodigy // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:42 AM


    I disagree. Ashley was flapping about staying up so he spent.

    We would not of brought in those players if we were sitting comfortable in the top half or mid-table. Basically, if we didn’t have the injury crisis.

    Ashley is ambitious only when it suits him personally. When something maybe is at stake or to fit his own agenda.

    The money is there and we are crying out for a top class forward and we have been since January.

    NUFC CAN attract a 10-15 million pound proven goal scorer I don’t doubt that for a second.

    Im off to bed, been a long night. Have fun lads.

  • 47 Puppet Pardew's Brainlessness // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    It’s 3 days into the transfer window and we haven’t signed anyone!
    I’m going to shoot Mike Ashley then myself it’s unacceptable and depressing

  • 48 Slank // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    Ibizatoon @ 26

    You have made some very valid points and I agree that it can be very difficult to categorise precisely what is a ‘top-team’.

    Many fans mix up ‘top-team’ with ‘big club’. We are without doubt a ‘big club’ and also without doubt we are not a ‘top-team’ as we haven’t won anything of significance since 1969.

    I agree the likes of Wigan, Birmingham and I add Portsmouth are not ‘top-teams’ but Arsenal is even though they haven’t won a trophy recently but they do have a good record over the years and are very consistent in qualifying for the Champions League.

  • 49 GFH // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    RH@42 can you give a reliable link for your 800m Mansoor comment? I hadn’t heard that anywhere before.
    I’m pleased that people are (for the most part ) being rational about the reasons for PEA going elsewhere , those slagging Ashley might like to explain how being bad mouthed is meant to motivate him to spend even more money. Lets wait and see before we judge the window as a success or not.

  • 50 Ibizatoon // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    Slank…I agree with that conclusion. Big difference between a big and a top club.

    I would say Liverpool are in a similar boat to us, although they do look to be steering in the right direction now.

  • 51 Slank // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    RH @ 42

    Why wouldn’t Ashley ask for 800M from the Mansoor family who are estimated to be worth an absolute fortune. If a very rich person wants to buy your house you are going to pitch it at the highest amount you can get because you know that they can afford it (as small change possibly?).

    Sheikh Mansour’s personal wealth is estimated at around £15bn plus as the world’s second richest royal family, they have access to an oil fortune worth £400 billion to £1 trillion

  • 52 wynsleap // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    Mac @ 23 – You are right in saying that it is no surprise this player would choose Dortmund over us but what Spoof says @ 32 is totally correct.
    Are you going to be saying the same thing 20 years from now Mac and just reluctantly and blindly accept that we are, in effect, second rate?
    By that time I suspect we will be fourth or fifth rate seeing as other teams like Swansea, Southampton, Fulham, West Brom, West Ham etc are making rapid strides to take their clubs forward and way beyond us.
    The only way we#ll ever get back to anything like the situation Spoof mentions is if we get rid of this malicious, unambitious owner.

  • 53 one Tony Green // Jul 3, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    Rotonda will you stop saying Ashley asked for 800 miilion. Show me your proof. He looked at Liverpool, Man City, NUFC and Everton and choose City.

    ashley has made mistakes but that was not one.

  • 54 one Tony Green // Jul 3, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    Ed very naughty

  • 55 Toon73 // Jul 3, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    Where has Percy, Joker, or MA ever publicly stated PEA was our Number 1 target???

    Oh, they didn’t?

    There are loads of better options for elite players than our wee Club in the North.

    Everyone, starting with Ed, needs to lower their expectations ffs. Players like Bent, Tomkins, Long etc are the type of player that may consider signing with us.

    Comparing us and Dortmund haha what a laugh…

  • 56 nuckingfuts // Jul 3, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    The reason why we are going for Bent is that the Buffoon might have a chance of pronouncing Bent correctly. Bint probably. There was no chance of him pronouncing Obi-one meringue.

  • 57 wynsleap // Jul 3, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    Toon 73 – Can I repeat my second sentence @ 52 to you too?

  • 58 pethmag // Jul 3, 2013 at 10:13 PM

    To be honest if Ashley did have any real ambition it would 0f been at the end of the season when we finished 5th in the league with a small squad . A few quality signings and additional squad players brought in would of helped the squad sustain the same league position or possibly improve it . Higher league positions generate more money hence that money being for the squad . Sometimes you have to speculate to accumulate . Im not saying Ashley had to spent millions every window but we did need to invest in players who were going to improve the squad . Unfortunately I cant see us getting jack shit through the door this summer and looks like another dire season is approaching . Oh the joys of supporting our beloved nufc . Chin up lads you never know we might just get a surprise from the cockney buffoon lol

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