David James played 214 times for Liverpool and 53 times for England, and the former top goalkeeper has been interviewed in the Chronicle today, and says that by every measure Newcastle United are still a big club.
David James – in England colors
In fact James played for England in the last World Cup in South Africa, after he replaced Robert Green, after that terrible mistake Robert made in that first game against the United States.
Of course what is the definition of a big club – is it one that wants to win things, or that has a very good attendance through thick and thin – as Newcastle do.
This is what David James said in the Chronicle today:
“You’ve got the support there, 52,000 capacity. You can see St James’ Park from all around.” “But again, as a fan, you look at Newcastle and I think this is almost like a white elephant, in a sense, that they’ve been around for so long and they’ve been massive for so long.”
“I mean, I’ve played them in the Premier League, I’ve played them in what was Division Two the year that Newcastle got promoted, in fact.” “You think, when people talk about big clubs, it’s a clichéd term now. If a team’s got 20,000 fans for some reason they’re a big club.¨
“Newcastle have the third largest attendance in the Premier League, and that is by every definition a big club.”
Just as long as you don’t have to win things to be a big club, then we suppose Newcastle may qualify, but how can Newcastle be a big club when we have no ambition, and the only thing Mike Ashley wants is for Newcastle to remain in the Premier League, and not have to fight against relegation.
The way that comes out in our strategy is that we have to be in the top ten.
That should probably disqualify Newcastle from being a big club these days – well as long as Mike Ashley remains the owner.
And by Ashley’s own strategy – Newcastle even field weaker sides for the two Cups, and that’s in case the cup runs affect our PL status – as it did to Birmingham City, Wigan and even Hull City last season.
And therefore we have no chance of winning anything – not the cups – and we are a million miles away from challenging for the Premier League title – so our strategy is such that we’ll continue not winning anything.
How’s that for ambition?
Surely big clubs are like the two Manchester clubs, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and the like, who every summer are looking to see how they can win the Premier League in the coming season.
That’s not what Newcastle do every summer – what we do is to try to get very good players in for less then £5M, and we’re not always successful at doing that either.
Do you think Newcastle are still a big club – even when we have no ambition?