We have had three poor seasons since we finished 5th top under Alan Pardew back in 2012 – and we thought that was perhaps the turning point for the club, but in that summer of 2012 owner Mike Ashley made another big mistake, when he didn’t strengthen the squad.
Instead of bringing a number of new players in because of the increased number of games played (there were 14 additional games we played in the Europa League), Newcastle ended up signing only one new senior player – Vurnon Anita from Ajax – and we struggled because our squad just wasn’t big enough or good enough.
Mike Ashley – during Sky Sports interview
We ended up struggling with relegation during the second half of that season.
We had a decent season in 2013-2014 when we finished in 10th place, but even then we lost seven of the final eight league games.
Last season was a mess, especially over the second half of the season when John Carver was simply way over his head as the acting coach, after Alan Pardew was finally forced out.
But it seems that terrible spell earlier this year – when we lost eight games in a row and in the last 11 games we got just 4 points, and 3 of those were in the very last game at home to West Ham – may have had an extremely beneficial effect.
It seems that Mike Ashley is now determined that will never happen again, and he is now willing to take a back seat as far as the football business goes.
Ashley seems willing to rely on the new Newcastle Board of Lee Charnley, Steve McClaren, Bob Moncur and Graham Carr to make all the football decisions.
That includes who to buy and who to sell, and Ashley is no longer part of those discussions.
This is some of that Mike Ashley said on 24th May in his Sky Sports at the end of that interview:
¨From this day forward we will definitely be making our own luck.¨
¨I will not be picking the next manager that’s not what I do.¨ ¨My job is to make sure the Board have the maximum amount of financial resources, and it’s their job to get the best pound for pound value out of those resources. ¨
¨To be categorically clear, I am not going anywhere until we win something.¨
This summer has generally been a good one for Newcastle, with the new Board structure, and we ended up second top of the Premier League net spend table, with a net transfer outlay of £52.6M, which was about £6M behind Manchester City.
Newcastle also have a new experienced coach in Steve McClaren and his coaching staff looks to be a talented one.
But Newcastle fans have had a lot of few ups and many downs, in the eight years Ashley has been in charge of the club, and there’s not much trust in the owner.
But maybe this is the real thing, and we suppose it could be, but only if the owner keeps to his role of allowing the Board to make the football decisions.
Mike Ashley’s role is to continue to give them the maximum amount of finances he can muster, in each transfer window.
That seems a recipe for success, but it needs Mike Ashley to continue in the role he started this summer.
Let’s face it, Newcastle did very well, and that could have been our best transfer window over the last ten years – it certainly was by far the most money spent.
We hope it will continue.