Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has talked today about our opponents tomorrow – Tottenham Hotspur – who are now one of the top six clubs in England, but back in September of 2008, they were bottom of the Premier League when they came and beat Newcastle 2-1 at St. James’ Park back on September 24th in the League Cup.
Mike Ashley - we’ve lost ground under the owner
And the rest is history, as they sacked Juande Ramos and appointed Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp in October of 2008, and Harry took them from that position into being a Champions League side within two years, when they finished 4th top of the league in May of 2010.
Harry had turned down Newcastle in January of that year, after we sacked Sam Allardyce and eventually appointed Kevin Keegan as manager, and of course Newcastle were relegated in that season and in May 2010 we had just been promoted back to the Premier League, as Spurs were preparing for the Champions League.
So after possibly being a more successful club than Tottenham back in 2008, we have lost enormous ground on Tottenham and the top six clubs in England over the last five years.
Those top six clubs are the two Manchester clubs, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool – and that relegation in May, 2009 didn’t help us of course.
Alan Pardew has talked today about Tottenham’s current ambitions:
“A Champions League position will be what they’re targeting, and I think they have a very good chance of that.” “And they’ve certainly used the (Gareth Bale) money well in terms of making the group stronger, and I think Villas-Boas has got a stronger group now.”
“Defensively, they’ve probably been the best side in the Premier League this season, so they’ve got a lot going for them at the moment.”
It’s clear that Spurs’ goal is to get into the top four and therefore qualify for the Champions League, but even Southampton are not shy in saying Champions League is their short term ambition too.
So it makes Newcastle’s goal of being in the top ten of the Premier League – in other words staying in the Premier League to get the big money but avoid any relegation struggles - because it’s not good for the blood pressure.
Looks like we are a club of limited ambition, but unfortunately that’s exactly where we are at the moment.