Arsene Wenger was under severe pressure when Arsenal lost their first game at home to Aston Villa 3-1 last month, and the Arsenal manager – whose team has never been out of the top four since he joined them back in 1996 – spent money and one player he brought in was Real Madrid’s Mesut Özil for around £42M – a record signing for the London club.
Mesut Ozil being welcomed by Oxlade Chamberlain
Ozil is a good player, but how many clubs s in England could have afforded to sign the player – not just with his transfer fee but with his wages too?
Maybe five or six, and those are the only clubs who can win the Premier league these days – the two Manchester clubs, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool – and unfortunately Newcastle are nowhere near being able to pay our £42M for any player.
After we set the world record in 1996 to sign Alan Shearer for £15M, Newcastle have become a middle of the table side whose finances are tightly controlled by owner Mike Ashley.
And if the truth be told, we have absolutely no chance whatever in the years ahead, of winning the English Premier league.
Maybe that’s why so many turned out for Steve Harper’s testimonial on Wednesday, to see some of the great players of the past who played for Kevin Keegan and Bobby Robson, because it doesn’t seem like Newcastle can get back to those days of challenging for the top four in the Premier League.
Former striker Andy Cole was at Newcastle from 1992 through 1995 and in 85 appearances for the Magpies, scored a phenomenal 69 goals, and he had this to say on Wednesday night:
“Newcastle United aren’t going to win the Premier League, only three or four teams can win the league now. That’s changed. Football has changed, but Newcastle used to be a lot closer.”
“It’s a rock and a hard place at Newcastle at the moment. They seem to get themselves on the right track and all of a sudden someone here derails them. It’s almost as if somebody running the club wants to upset the punters and I find that very strange.”
Now it’s not all dependent on money, and Everton are one example of a club who have done very well on a limited budget, but to challenge for the top four these days probably does require more investment than Mike Ashley is willing to give to the club.
And it hasn’t helped that in the last six years we’ve had very few successes coming out of the Newcastle Youth Academy, and there aren’t many players coming through into the first team from the youth ranks.
But hey, hope springs eternal, and we shocked ourselves two years ago – and we have a better squad now, so maybe we can do a lot better than we think in the coming season.
But the ambitions of Newcastle United are nowhere near what they once were a short ten years ago, and that’s an unfortunate fact of life these days.
What do you think?
Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and +1 us on Google+:
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org