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News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Two Of Last Three Seasons – The Worst Ever For Newcastle

2:06 pm, Thursday, June 25th, 2015 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 38 Comments

It was always going to be difficult to get new (good) players into the club this summer, and that’s proving to be an accurate forecast after one of the most disruptive and poor seasons we have had in a while.

We finished with only 39 points in 15th place last season, and that was two points less than we managed two years ago, when we were 5th bottom – 16th.

In fact two of the last three seasons have been the second and third worst points total we have ever had in the Premier League – beaten only by the 34 points we got in 2009 when we were relegated.

worried looking mike ashley yesterday

A worried Mike Ashley during final game of the season

But it’s not just the poor performance in the league that’s making it difficult to attract new players.

The club has again scored an own goal with the press – by allowing only the Mirror and Sky Sports at the unveiling of Steve McClaren as the new head coach, and that has cheesed off the remaining papers – which is hardly surprising.

And we expect good publicity in the press?

Why that was done we have no idea – and of course the club has said nothing.

And there were also two organized fan protests last season – one was to get rid of Alan Pardew as the manager, which was successful half way through the season – and the other was to get rid of Mike Ashley – the owner – that was not successful.

That’s an illustration of how fans are not happy with things, and that everybody is not pulling in the same direction at the club.

That will be Steve McClaren’s big test this summer to try to solve that, but we cannot see the dissent against Ashley going away anytime soon, and it will take a season like we had back in 2011-2012 when we finished 5th top for the anger against the owner to dissipate.

So when you put all of that together we’re not exactly a stable or happy club at the moment – if you look at it from the outside.

Mike Ashley was forced to come out before the final game of the season against West Ham and say something – and so he said the job at the club was only half done – and we had the money and had stabilized the finances – but now we had to build a good side that can win something.

That was good news and even a new vision and strategy – but like all good strategies it doesn’t mean much if you cannot execute on it.

One unsettling thing was that throughout the nightmare of the second half of the season, we heard nothing at all from the powers that be – like top executive Lee Charnley.

So we don’t know if he  was trying hard behind the scenes to get somebody in for John Carver,  who looked like he would take us down to the second division in a short 19 games, and we lost nine of the last eleven games, but only just survived.

That was as much a very poor appointment by Lee Charnley as it was a poor coaching from Carver – who seemed  completely out of his depth – and that eventually cost him his job.

So things may not look too good at the moment – but we have to bring in the very best players we can this summer – and spend the money that’s available – and there’s a lot of that sitting in the bank doing nothing at the moment.

With Steve McClaren now installed as the new head coach and with his coaching team likely to become Paul Simpson, Ian Cathro, Eric Steele and Steve Black – then hopefully they can get the very best out of the  players we have available.

But Newcastle should hang onto the players we have until we bring in replacements.

So we should not let Papiss Cisse, Cheick Tiote, Mike Williamson or Moussa Sissoko leave until we have players brought in who can replace them.

And in Papiss Cisse’s case we need two strikers brought in before we can let him go – although it seems he wants to stay on Tyneside and we would certainly keep him for next season – he’ll be 100% fit again.

So it looks like it could be another testing summer transfer market for Newcastle fans after a testing season last term.

A top signing would help to lift the mood on Tyneside, but we cannot see one of them coming in any time soon.

It would help if Steve McClaren can announce his backroom coaching staff soon – and maybe this week.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Tags: Coaching · Head coach · Management · Newcastle News · Recruitment · Transfer News and Rumours

38 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jail for Ashley // Jun 25, 2015 at 2:09 PM

    Ashley Out !

  • 2 Mr Magpie // Jun 25, 2015 at 2:12 PM

    He was in charge of Dundee youth bringing through players such as Ryan Gauld who now plays for Sporting Lisbon. He then was assistant manager at Rio Aviedo before leaving there with the manager to become assistant manager at Valencia last season.

    Only 28 & has plenty of admirers, bit of a coup getting him in by the sounds of it. Hopefully with him, Mcclaren & steve black we can get far more out of the talent in the squad.

  • 3 Lindisfarne // Jun 25, 2015 at 2:12 PM

    Wallet Oot!

  • 4 lochinvar // Jun 25, 2015 at 2:14 PM

    Is part of the problem that neither Ashley nor Charnley look particularly like sportsmen ? Mind neither do most of the players Agents that they negotiate with . The point being that if you are considering joining a club you might be more interested if the person in front of you was sports minded as well as commercially astute.
    Just a random thought.

  • 5 ToonFromLeeds // Jun 25, 2015 at 2:16 PM

    Rob Lee is not wronh

  • 6 Jail for Ashley // Jun 25, 2015 at 2:16 PM

    Mr Magpie,
    Hopefully Mclaren is happy with the appointment and we get a backroom staff all on the same page. Tbh I’d like to see the whole lot of them cleared out. Beardsleys hardly a success with the U21’s, although he did have half the team sent to Rangers.

  • 7 YoungMagpieFromBurnley // Jun 25, 2015 at 2:18 PM

    afternoon guys and gals.

    so, Ian Catho ey? If I’m honest I’m quite happy with that. At least someone new has come in!

  • 8 Jail for Ashley // Jun 25, 2015 at 2:18 PM

    Bit of a scathing article from the mail earlier, I think we’ll be reading a few more like that while this preferred partner stuff is going on.

  • 9 Lindisfarne // Jun 25, 2015 at 2:21 PM

    Cathro article from the Guardian:

  • 10 The Great Valerio // Jun 25, 2015 at 2:22 PM

    Glad we had that reminder about Carver’s record. I’d forgotten all about it.

  • 11 Lindisfarne // Jun 25, 2015 at 2:24 PM

    Six more working days until the Fans Forum and the 1st of July next Wednesday, how many new staff and players will we have?

  • 12 ToonFromLeeds // Jun 25, 2015 at 2:26 PM

    I thought Fans Forum was on 6th?

  • 13 Lindisfarne // Jun 25, 2015 at 2:27 PM


    We are all a bit scathing and only just holding a lid on it, despite the odd frustrated whimper.

  • 14 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Jun 25, 2015 at 2:28 PM

    Cathro has done well I think that is a very shrewd move if we do get him

    Knows how to bring through youngsters at Dundee United and then will have learned a lot in Spain which he can bring to the table

    I think if we could get Simpson and Black in all we would need is a set piece expert to come in any ideas ?

  • 15 Lindisfarne // Jun 25, 2015 at 2:29 PM


    That is why I said WORKING days, just attempting to build up the tension see.

  • 16 ToonFromLeeds // Jun 25, 2015 at 2:29 PM

    LCBP Solano?

  • 17 Mister Tuff // Jun 25, 2015 at 2:30 PM

    Well looks like more idiots are gathering. The Belligerent Blockhead appears on the blog -only to snipe – playing the man – something he says he never does – what a knacker.
    Oh I forgot he was on earlier with a couple of gems – Janmaat no better than Danny Simpson – and then blaming Carr for Perez’ sudden progress -he clearly should have known. What a knacker.
    No wonder he argues with everyone if that’s what he believes.

    Then we have the WUMS playing silly buggers and if that wasn’t bad enough we have Ian Toon appearing as Carl – talking about history and slagging the blog off.
    Another knacker.

  • 18 ToonFromLeeds // Jun 25, 2015 at 2:30 PM

    Lindisfarne sorry misread your comment many apologies

  • 19 Jail for Ashley // Jun 25, 2015 at 2:31 PM

    I think it will be a lot happier on here once we make a few signings.

  • 20 jane // Jun 25, 2015 at 2:32 PM

    from previous thread:

    “Enter Mike Ashley, who started well by getting rid of Freddy Shepherd’s panacea for all our problems namely one Sam Allardyce. Who came announcing that he was bored with bargain hunting and the long-ball. Well that went well with Ashley ending up very quickly choosing to finance Sam’s retirement.”

    why did Mike Ashley get rid of Sam Allardyce? seems out of character if he had to pay him off so much.

  • 21 Lindisfarne // Jun 25, 2015 at 2:37 PM

    Cathro worked under Nuno Santo at Rio Ave in Portugal and Valencia in Spain and both teams played an aggressive and high tempo pressing game, keeping possession and moving the ball forward intelligently.

  • 22 Lindisfarne // Jun 25, 2015 at 2:39 PM


    Fine, I must remember to add exclamation marks to indicate humour.

  • 23 Lindisfarne // Jun 25, 2015 at 2:40 PM

    @23 I would respond but you are no Ginola.

  • 24 jane // Jun 25, 2015 at 2:42 PM

    “I think it will be a lot happier on here once we make a few signings”

    will you be happy too Jail!! 😯

  • 25 WLtoon // Jun 25, 2015 at 2:46 PM

    It seems to be taking just as long to bring in backroom staff as it is players, does anyone actually want to come to this club or what.
    When a manager/coach joins a club the backroom staff are appointed usally within a few days,thats if he does,nt bring his staff with him from the prvious club,that usually happens with immediate effect.
    Why is it that even this simple undertaking is a long drawn out affair at this damn club?
    I would love to be a fly on the wall to find out what is said.
    Is this just another ploy to delay spending money, AGAIN?
    I cant see us doing anything at all drastic n the next few wks,then the season will be upon us.
    all the season ticket holders will be wishing they had listened to the more level headed amongst us and wished they had spent their hard earned cash on something more enjoyable,instead of lining Ashleys pockets .
    Greedy fat fcuking leech that he is.

  • 26 Jail for Ashley // Jun 25, 2015 at 2:47 PM

    If I see the right investment and the team playing well, of course I’ll be happier. Mikey doesn’t seem to like a happy customer though.

  • 27 Macas // Jun 25, 2015 at 2:48 PM

    Mister Tuff – Janmatt is decent going forward but defensively he is fairly average, no better than Williamson in that respect. Simpson was probably a better defender but not quite good enough offensively.

  • 28 Mr Magpie // Jun 25, 2015 at 2:49 PM

    Yeah i am sure Mcclaren is happy & would have had a major influence on who he had coming in as his assistant. I think it’s a great appointment, young, fresh idea’s & a history of working with younger players so hopefully he can bring them on through into the first team setup.

    Your spot on with the coaches, they should all have been moved on including Woodman, Watson & Beardsley. The under 21’s have not improved & the players are not coming through at the required standard but at least they are making positive appointments now just onto the new players.

  • 29 Jail for Ashley // Jun 25, 2015 at 2:57 PM

    Mr Magpie,
    People saying good things about him so that’s a good start, I just wonder if they’ve had to of had a rethink on this bonus incentive pay structure.

  • 30 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Jun 25, 2015 at 3:07 PM

    Also wish people would stop writing our players off before they have had a chance to be properly coached and played in their proper positions !

    Should not judge any players under Pardew or Carver I mean look at Tevez and Mascherano !Pardew did not fancy them either !!

  • 31 Mr Magpie // Jun 25, 2015 at 3:08 PM

    Yeah he appears to be highly thought of by quite a few people & hearing lots of good things coming in about his coaching abilities & ideas.

    I think they must have had to offer him a good package to get him here, maybe, just maybe they are realising that if you want to bring in better quality you have to pay better wages & offer better incentives?!

  • 32 Tsunki // Jun 25, 2015 at 3:11 PM

    Janmaat no better than Willo defensively? Anyone like to field that one? Anyone?

  • 33 lesh // Jun 25, 2015 at 3:12 PM

    Yes Ed, we shouldn’t let players leave until we have replacements as good as or better Tha the ones we’re replacing.

    And we still need to replace Cabaye, Mbiwa, Vukic et al who were shipped out last season.

    However, we’re blessed with Charnley who’ll blithely ignore that wisdom by shipping out and being held over a barrel by selling clubs, refuse to pay asking prices and bingo, we’ll be worse off than we are now.

    If Charnley doesn’t deliver, he should be sacked!

  • 34 Mr Magpie // Jun 25, 2015 at 3:13 PM

    Too many of our players have been scouted by playing well in a certain position then arrive here & are asked to play in a different position in a different way.

    Then when they don’t succeed they are said to be bad buys but as you point out why buy them & never give them time and the oppurtunity to play in the position they were initially scouted in….it’s ridiculous & hopefully it changes under Mcclaren.

  • 35 Jail for Ashley // Jun 25, 2015 at 3:15 PM

    If Ashley doesn’t release Churners from his rigid wage policy he should be…..

  • 36 Mr Magpie // Jun 25, 2015 at 3:19 PM

    Is Macas a new wum…..has to be making statements like Janmaat defensively is fairly average no better than Williamson!!

    Surely that has to be one of the most nonsensical things anyone has ever seen on here.

    If i am in the minority & most other people think Janmaat is not as good as Danny Simpson & only just as good defensively as Williamson you really need to seek professional psychiatric help!!!!

  • 37 Macas // Jun 25, 2015 at 3:27 PM

    Mr Magpie -So I post a statment you don’t agree with and automatically I am a wum? Williamson was voted player of the season on this blog the season before last so it can’t be that nonsensical. Personally I think he’s a decent backup, and makes no more mistakes than the rest of the defence. If we want to achieve anything we need an upgrade though. Janmatt looks good going forward but isn’t so strong at the back in my opinion, and makes a fair few mistakes.

  • 38 lesh // Jun 25, 2015 at 4:20 PM


    I’m not convinced that Ashley’s solely responsible for the shambles the Club’s in.

    Yes, he controls the purse strings and agree the budget but I wonder whether he’s ever been presented with strong arguments to counter his ideas.

    I think not because Charnley, who hasn’t the confidence to talk to the media, probably hasn’t got the confidence or conviction to present strong cases to Ashley.

    Charnley’s supposed to be MD and as such the Club’s head of operations and if he’s not strong enough or doesn’t have confidence in his arguments, then he’s not MD material.

    Ashley ought to be able to have confidence in his MD to run the Club successfully but given Charnley’s decision making last season, I wouldn’t be happy to send him to the corner shop, even with a note in case he forgets what he’s going for!

    The Club’s been a mess from the first few months of Ashley’s ownership and yes, he’s ultimately responsible for it, but he has appointed some incompetents to run it on his behalf.

    So, let’s hope that Charnley shows some bottle and challenges Ashley’s business model otherwise….. Mwarrr, it’s never going to happen though!


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