One way to build a top side that is sustainable and successful over a number of seasons, is to identify key players that the team will be build around, and when you look at some top teams you can identify those players.
Mike Ashley – finances too important to the owner
When Jose Mourinho built his first Chelsea side, he had players like Petr Cech, John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba as four key players that come to mind as the bedrock of the side.
Then you tie them down to long term contracts, and bring in other players to eventually create a very good side that can challenge for the top spot in the Premier League every season – and success breeds success.
But what happens when you keep selling your best players, and can never have those four, five or six players on which you can build a top side?
What happens in those cases is it becomes very difficult to build a top side, and of course that’s one thing that owner Mike Ashley keeps doing – he keeps selling our top players.
Many fans would have named Yohan Cabaye as Newcastle’s best player in January, but we sold him (half way through the season we may add) and that sale is now being manifested in Newcastle’s terrible results.
But to think one man can make such a difference is worrying, which is why Alan Pardew’s job is now under pressure.
But as long as Mike Ashley puts finances above building a top team, and as long as every player has their price on Tyneside, Newcastle will never be able to build a top side.
And one thing that worries us this summer is what if clubs come in with big money for players like Mathieu Debuchy, Moussa Sissoko Davide Santon, and Tim Krul.
The answer is they will be sold.
So there seems no long term plan on the player side of things to build a foundation of top players, on which to build a top team that is sustainable over a number of seasons.
That’s impossible just as long as any Newcastle player is available to be sold at the right price.
It happened with Andy Carroll, and we are lucky that Andy hasn’t fulfilled his promise because when he was sold over three years ago he was England’s new hope.
And heaven forbid if Mike Ashley sells Adam Armstrong in the future – and don’t think that isn’t possible.
If Adam does come through, and has a good season in the next year or two and a big club comes in for him with big money – then he’ll be sold.
The good news is that we can have a good side next season, if we have a good transfer window in the summer,
But then a year on from now whoever proved to be very good buys – top clubs will come in for them and they will eventually be sold – and we’ll need to start all over again – just as we seem to be doing this summer.
We brought in Yohan Cabaye and Demba Ba three years ago, and they were stars in our 2011-2012 season, and they are no longer at the club – we sold them to big clubs.
Mike Ashley has done very well on the financial side of things at Newcastle, there’s no doubt about that.
But he has had done hopeless on the playing side, on building a top side, and that’s why we have had just one top ten finish in the Premier League in the seven years he’s been owner.
And that may continue this season, even though two m0nths ago it seemed almost a certainty that we’d have a top ten finish this season.
And in a few years we may be even better off on the financial side, but we’ll still have a mediocre side.
We’ll just have to hope that Mike Ashley realizes Newcastle United will become very valuable (like worth a lot more than Mike spent on the club), once we start building a top side and competing in Europe every season and (even) winning trophies – then he could make really big money on the club.
The most expensive clubs in the world are those who have had sustainable success and won trophies like the Champions League over the years.
But when will the penny drop with Mike Ashley?
What do you think?