Ashley’s Plan Not Working At Newcastle – Is There A Plan B?

Mike Ashley had a five year plan when he bought Newcastle in the summer of 2007, and even after a relegation from the Premier League for the first time, when we arrived in the summer of 2012 and five years after Mike bought the club, we finished 5th and were back in Europe for the first time since 2006.

mike ashley

Mike Ashley – his plan is simply not working for Newcastle

So things even looked at that time like they were working, but then Mike Ashley’s thriftiness meant that we signed only one player that summer – Vurnon Anita – when fans expected more players to be signed to expand the squad because of the extra European games.

And sure enough we played 14 games in the Europa League, and in retrospect did well in reaching the quarter finals and being eliminated by eventual losing finalist Benfica.

But we also plummeted down the league table, and fought against relegation, but we were surprised after five new Frenchmen were brought into the club thirteen months ago – and we survived.

But after having a very good transfer window that January we have brought only two strikers on loan in the last two windows – Loic Remy last summer and Luuk de Jong last month.

Both players could turn out to be good loan signings, and certainly Remy with 11 goals has been a star in the Premier League and Luuk de Jong has looked good in his two appearances for the side.

But Newcastle’s total lack of ambition is hurting the club big time now, and Loic Remy will not sign for the club in the summer, and other players – such as Mathieu Debuchy may also ask to leave in the summer.

Newcastle showed what they were all about last month, when they accepted around £20M  for Yohan Cabaye, our best player, who turned out to be a stellar buy in the summer of 2011 from Lille, but became too good for a club with Newcastle’s limited ambitions.

And he left last month and Newcastle basically took the money and ran – not even bringing in a replacement for him, and now Alan Pardew is left to do the best he can – but we are starting to lose a lot of games, and getting more injuries than we’ve had all season.

It begs the question – what do Newcastle do now, because since 2012 whatever Mike Ashley’s plans are for the club – are simply not working.

We’d like to see Mike Ashley say something – maybe come out and say he will reinvest what should be sizable profits back into the club to sign new players and improve the facilities at the club.

We suppose we will have a clear-out in the summer and bring in four very good players – or at least that’s what the manager would like to see, but it seems clear that Mike Ashley is simply not aggressive enough or ambitious enough to be a good owner for Newcastle United.

We’re not sure there’s much fans can do about it – put the clubs up for sale again  maybe, but at £300M there’s not much chance a buyer would come in – even if Ashley agreed to put the club up for sale for the third time.

He couldn’t sell it in our relegation year when he was asking a low £80M – which in retrospect would have been a great but for any Billionaire.

So Newcastle seem to be in the doldrums these days – going nowhere very fast.

But on the positive side when we get our players back for the home game against Aston Villa in two weeks time, we have to hope Newcastle could go on a winning streak.

We need to be able to score goals to do that, and Loic Remy will be back to help that cause, but on Wednesday against Tottenham it could be another difficult game for Newcastle.

Let us know your thoughts on all of this.

Comments welcome.

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30 comments so far

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Feb 9, 2014 at 8:59 AM

    Comment #1

    I know you are blaming Santon for not picking up Hazard but do you not think that Hazard is one of what I call CLEVER players that are hard to pick up as they as you say able to ‘ghost’ into positions and most teams players find him hard to mark.

    A type of player we need

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Feb 9, 2014 at 9:00 AM

    Comment #2

    I don’t like the idea of Santon as a winger, he gets forward so much as it is, but rarely actually gets an assist or goal. I’d have played him there yesterday as we were short on options. I’m holding out hope Goofy is back for Wednesday, in which case I would play him instead. The central players would be how you have said.

  • theartfuldodger

    Feb 9, 2014 at 9:01 AM

    Comment #3

    I disagree that we did well yesterday.
    Unless you mean that by our current standards,,

  • spitfire_

    Feb 9, 2014 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #4

    Ashley’s plan not working at Newcastle?

    You’re so wrong, Ed. His plan working perfectly! None investments, surrounding with a lot ‘yes man’ and the team comfortably will finish mid table.

    When exactly he show some ambition to say that his plan not working?

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Feb 9, 2014 at 9:03 AM

    Comment #5

    He ran straight past Santon who just didn’t go with him. If we played against opposition that didn’t track players then lots of our players would be able to do this….

  • Black and White with an army lol

    Feb 9, 2014 at 9:04 AM

    Comment #6

    Charlie in the Gallowgate

    we have the same type of player HBA but gets told to track back, i think this is why we have De Jong, De Jong has been know to be a playmaker and could link up well with HBA as a inside forward and Remy as a partner as a Advace forward

  • Greebol1892

    Feb 9, 2014 at 9:04 AM

    Comment #7


    Forgot to mention Yanga M’Biwa. Those who are still not convinced: he IS better than Steven Taylor.
    MYM actually senses danger and goes to challenge whereas Taylor just backs off all the time and only ever defends the 6-yard box. How many stupid penalties has Taylor conceded in the past?
    MYM was just settling into the side with some solid performances and then dropped for Colo who has never been able to read long balls and we conceded goals.

    Glad strolla didn’t play tho because I think his impressions-of-a-footballer may have been sussed and we can’t score with him either.

    Perennial survival is not good enough with these players. We are not a top-6 club but we’re not a bottom-6 club either.

    Mike Ashley get out.

  • scout

    Feb 9, 2014 at 9:04 AM

    Comment #8

    The team is an absolute mess. Players being played out of position, players the quality of Remy only on loan. No goalscoring midfielders. As for the 5 year plan it’s going well for MA look at his business interests, flying he is.
    It’s embarrassing now the club, nothing short of a disgrace

  • dubzy

    Feb 9, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    Comment #9


  • Transfer Sage

    Feb 9, 2014 at 9:06 AM

    Comment #10


    i’d play gouff if fit, but just seen santon play right mid ne game this year towards the end, was it arsenal at home? and i’m sure when starting higher up on the right side he put in a couple of great crosses….I’d try him, we have 2 left backs who i rate higher (i might be wrong) but think he could be used up high as he beats people well and might just be what we need….no harm trying i don’t think, can’t see us moving up or down much in the league.


    i think we made some very good chances against a very tough chelsea team and were undone by brilliance and a defesnive mistake

  • Ben3arfa

    Feb 9, 2014 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #11


  • Transfer Sage

    Feb 9, 2014 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #12

    black and white

    mourinho has everyone, including hazard track back a lot….ben arfa has bags of talent but not brain on how to use it to suit the situation….i like him, but he hasn’t convinced me and fully expect him sold this summer.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Feb 9, 2014 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #13

    It isn’t just Santon though. Sissoko has done it so many times this season, from set pieces and open play. I couldn’t say how many have led to goals, but when WBA equalised up in Newcastle it was down to Sissoko just letting Brunt run off him.

    It is something that should be cut out easily by coaching and a bit of motivation.

  • scout

    Feb 9, 2014 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #14

    How I wish someone would buy the club and put us back on the map. I don’t expect a man city spending spree just someone who’s gonna have a go. Norwich spent 20 odd million

  • Black and White with an army lol

    Feb 9, 2014 at 9:09 AM

    Comment #15

    Santon as winger ( HELL YES ) he was made for this, if we manage to keep Santon and with raylor coming back from injury and would have Santon on the wings both wings

  • Black and White with an army lol

    Feb 9, 2014 at 9:10 AM

    Comment #16


    and look how that turned out for Norwich 😉

  • Marty-Toon

    Feb 9, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    Comment #17

    Seriously saddening to see the demise of the club.
    If I was a pro player I wouldn’t come to the Toon unless the only clubs after me in the PL were those always fighting relegation or had red n white stripes 😉
    If we want to be a top club then we will have to get stellar buys at cheaper prices but we can’t say no to 10 mill for top players whose price will only soar.
    We’ve got a top stadium and pack it with(over expectant) fans every other week,just a great shame MA didn’t get a buyer at 80mill.
    Wish I’d have had the cash then,what an investment that woulda turned out to be.
    Can’t see any1 wanting to spend 300mill on a club that needs a lot of investment.
    Our team will possibly have 10 fewer players in the summer,a
    L of them around the first team.
    That’s gonna cost a lot to replace with the same or hopefully better quality.
    To be honest I can’t see much happening,quite sick of expecting better things to happen or to see a quality signing happening never mind 5/6
    Liverpool played several teenagers yesterday,they bring player through the team while they’re playing good stuff,not when struggling with injuries.
    We should have top coaches at youth level,it doesn’t seem to be working.
    Is it Pards that isn’t giving the lads a chance?

  • croftus5678

    Feb 9, 2014 at 9:12 AM

    Comment #18

    remy/goofy/luuk as a partnership upfront i think is awsome of it wont last long as remy will be gone but it could keep us in top half this season !

    kinda given up on arfa as the lad just doesnt pass (great player) but no end product and no good taking on 10 players if he just gives the ball back at the end of it 🙁

    solid mid’s in tiote/anita/sissoko (i even rule out marv as he’s anoyed me also) and play through the middle not the wings unless our wingbacks come forward.

  • scout

    Feb 9, 2014 at 9:12 AM

    Comment #19

    The point is though they needed heavy investment and they had a go.

  • The overrated Frenchman

    Feb 9, 2014 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #20

    Ashley’s plan is working perfectly well – for Ashley. It’s the players and fans who are suffering. Ashley clearly made an ill- conceived decision to buy a football club, and it turned into a nightmare for him. But businessman that he is, he’s making the best of a bad job and probably making a modest profit along with the free advertising for his brand. Pardew is his ideal mouthpiece, trained to say the right thing and appear plausible and sincere. The fact that he is a mediocre manager is irrelevant. He’s in the job for his acting. Ashley will feed just enough money into the squad keep it afloat in the PL and that’s it. Newcastle United is the football club incarnation of Sports Direct. If you pay to go to the matches, buy the merchandise and generally help to prop up the Ashley model expect no more than you are getting, and don’t complain. You are part of the problem.

  • dantoon85

    Feb 9, 2014 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #21

    ——————–de Jong

    That’s how I think we should play from now on

  • scout

    Feb 9, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    Comment #22

    Post 20
    Superbly written

  • terencelim

    Feb 9, 2014 at 9:31 AM

    Comment #23

    #20, spot on and perfectly written on the whole picture on current situation.


    Feb 9, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    Comment #24

    The problem is lads is that with Cabaye sold and no replacement coming in?

    What the F,…. were you all expecting yesterday. I mean Chelski are the in form team with unlimited resources and a Billionaire Owner who is throwing money into the club like Confetti ! On another post, the story was about about Investment and balancing the books ? They are major contenders now to go and win the League?

    We sold our Playmaker for less than we could of got for him and with Tiote out injured yesterday and without a strong presence in Midfield the end result could not have been more predictable now could it ! I feel we should of kept Cabaye until at least the end of the season and then sold him for at least twice as much than PSG paid for him. Instead Joke Kinnear sold him for less than he was worth and then got sacked for his mistake. End result there is that we are up shit-creek without a paddle again.

    Further to this we get people on here blaming Individual players because of individual actions against a team who are just a class act abve us at the moment? Santon did,nt lose us the whole game yeaterday because we lost as a Team fair and square agaonst them on the day !
    To even suggest that one individual player was at fault would be Bullshit and you all know it ?

    The blame here lies squarely with the owners and their toatal lack of business acumen when it comes to Transfers .
    When are they gonna learn that it is a bad move to sell star players in the middle of the season?
    I felt sorry for De Jong yesterday, because he just does not realise what he has let himself in for, it will take him time to adjust, and we don,t have so much time to try and save a crisis situation !

    I don,t wish to play the Doom merchant here but think it will be more of the same on Wednesday evening against The Spuds?

  • Toondog2

    Feb 9, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #25

    Frankly it wouldn`t surprise me if we barely reached 40points this season .
    Mid to low table mediocrity is the game plan .
    No way will we get to top 4 .
    No ambition.Average squad, average manager .
    All rather sad given the incredible support of the fans through thick and thin .
    I just get fed up with the all talk and little action .Lessons will be learned . How often do we hear that .Simply an excuse for mediocrity
    Sorry folks rathe rp****d off this morning.
    Is it 5 defeats in the last 6 matches?

  • Toondog2

    Feb 9, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #26

    @Dantoon 85 a good team that . Assuming they are all fit and play to their abilities and maintain a high work rate for 90mins .
    Chelsea under Morinho alway work hard . He doesnt suffer coasting along. He expects his players to deliver .

  • lesh

    Feb 9, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #27

    Rest assured that our former DoF will have provided Ashley with a full assessment of the football side of the club. He will be fully aware of the situation and have players lined up, queuing to join us on July 1.

  • Premiership Manager

    Feb 9, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #28

    Last year we said we’d all settle for a top 10 finish. 2 months ago everybody was shouting we’re going to be playing European football.

    We’ve sold 1 player for good money and loaned a branded by the fans, “has been” out to Norwich.

    We’ve loaned 2 strikers which we desperately needed.

    We haven’t wasted any money our best goal scorer is out and that has effected results and we’re still in a good league position.

    When Remy comes back he will make a big difference. De Jong has yet to get match fit and will improve.

    Nobody has even mentioned Goufran who has been superb this season and scored some crucial goals.

    Cabaye has gone but Sami, HBA, Gosling and Marvaux are getting first team football. It will take time for them to fit in.

    Colo has also been a big miss however if anybody thinks Mbiwa is a better defender than Taylor you need to have a look at his record closely, the tackles he should have been sent off for and the ones he has. He does not cope with pressure and for me Haidara is a better player.

    All in all some people are expecting too much too soon. The style of football is changing and it will take time for everything to gel.

    We’ll end up top 10 and that was always the club target this year. We have got rid of JFK and we have the depth of squad to finish in the top 10 so it’s not all doom and gloom.

    When the next transfer window comes up it will be D-Day for Ashley as he will have no option but to buy.

    Instead of blaming players and the club get behind them and wait and see what happens.

  • wynsleap

    Feb 9, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #29

    Ed – with all due respect, how many more articles can we take in regarding Ashley’s tenure at this club?
    He had a five year plan which has got us nowhere, he brought joke figures into the club such as Wise and Kinnear, he has used and abused major Toon figures like Shearer and Keegan, he sacked Hughton when he had just done a fabulous job getting them out of the Championship, he renamed SJP, he has ‘decorated’ SJP with Sports Direct images so it looks like a huge tatty warehouse, he doesn’t communicate with the fans, he has banned all local media from the club, he took on a Sponsor whose name is reviled in society, he has consistently treated the fans with contempt, made a huge profit on transfers in his time here whilst spending nothing in the last two transfer windows and is continually pumping money out of the club whilst the debt never seems to go down.
    Is there anything LEFT to say about this cancer at our club? Oh, by the way, I don’t believe for one moment that someone wouldn’t have paid £80 mill for the Toon. Ashley didn’t want to sell and why should he? He’s got a financial gravy train for his beloved brand and 52,000 ‘sheep’ turning up for the ritual slaughter every other weekend. Nice work if you can get it.
    Finally if Pardew thinks that 3-4 players is going to help us in the next transfer window (which won’t happen anyway) he’s an idiot. When you bring in a couple of top draw players in each season and don’t sell your best ones it doesn’t take a great outlay. Go two or three windows without spending anything and your performances go down and the players values drop and you need one helluva lot of investment just to catch up.
    And we all know that ain’t going to happen.

  • isleofmanman

    Feb 9, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #30

    ‘Plan B’…???
    I have absolutely no idea what ‘Plan A’ was


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