This Is The Start Of A New Era For Newcastle – Maybe


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 Sky Sports West Ham Match May 2015

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.

Comments welcome.



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184 comments so far

  • Graeme

    Sep 3, 2015 at 5:00 PM

    Comment #1

    This season is going to be one of slow recovery from the years of Ashley inflicted neglect. Finishing anywhere above 15th will be an improvement on last season and if the quality of football being played is easier on the eye, it’s about all we can expect.

    There should be a few signings in January, to improve the general quality, then next summer is probably going to put the finishing touches to the squad.

    Next season I can see us pushing for a Cup and top 8, with a possibility of European qualification. The season after that, we should have a fully re-assembled squad, shaped by Mac and Cathro and should be seriously giving the top 6 a run for their money and hopefully a Cup FInal to go with it.

    To me, that would constitute a successful re-build and a fullfillment of Ashley’s WHU Pess statement!!!

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  • magscar

    Sep 3, 2015 at 5:01 PM

    Comment #2

    REPOST

    Thanks Ed wasn’t expecting thread at this time of day 🙂

    magscar // Sep 3, 2015 at 4:59 PM

    Lesh @last thread Bobbybee@8

    Second that. Only doubt I have is whether we can realistically challenge the top4 anytime soon. ‘Pool Spurs and Everton yes but that is still someway off. Even those 3 with a head start and a fortune(s) paid out rarely trouble the established top 4 for long. Others to catch before them of course.

    We have stagnated again and as with first Post KK period it took until SBR and then some seasons before we were able to challenge again. On top of that we now have Man City to contend with whereas there weren’t on the horizon when SBR had us challenging last.

    Some astute signing, a stable balanced squad with good coaching can only take us so far I fear as FFP has seemingly cemented the top clubs positions rather than loosened their grip. Hope I am wrong but it will take decline of 1 or more of top 4 to coincide with our rise. Having said that if money were taken out of Chelsea or Man City for whatever reason then a cataclysmic event of Leeds proportion could happen and I for one wouldn’t shed any tears.

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  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Sep 3, 2015 at 5:06 PM

    Comment #3

    Ed…you seem to be more impressed with Ashley than most of us! Not sure why unless you ate just trying to stay positive? 😉

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  • Zero

    Sep 3, 2015 at 5:10 PM

    Comment #4

    Plaster on an axe wound atm, tbh the new lads need to come good quick for us to find a solid mount for next year.

    I carnt help feeling that although its nice to see investment, we shouldnt be ecstatic since we should have been constantly improving over the years instead of letting it get into such a state.

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  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Sep 3, 2015 at 5:12 PM

    Comment #5

    *are

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  • Thump

    Sep 3, 2015 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #6

    @jesper: Ed has actually been reduced to a snivelling wreck of a man, cowering in a corner, rocking back and forth while mumbling under his breath: “Ashley is good. He will make us good. Ashley is the hero Newcastle needs.”

    The anti-psychotics don’t appear to be helping, I’m afraid 🙁

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  • Thump

    Sep 3, 2015 at 5:21 PM

    Comment #7

    @magscar: The issue with FFP is that it’s so easily bypassed (see: City). The other issue is that any benefits to smaller clubs (outside, say, the top 6) will be slow, and it will take years to actually show any in it’s current form.

    …but of course the FFP will inevitably be changed time and time again, long before any potential benefits even show hints of being there.

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  • Bobbybee

    Sep 3, 2015 at 5:23 PM

    Comment #8

    It did seem bizarre that Ashley would buy a club, slap his product all over it and then fail miserably. He had me searching for conspiracy theories – was his real intention to drive the fans away and then demand payment on the loan in an attempt to seize the ground? That didn’t check out. 🙂 I think now that he thought he could run a football club his way and succeed – but that didn’t work. Now it looks like he’s accepted defeat – and did a while ago – and took a step back for people who understand the game to take over. He would have helped his cause if he’d spoken more to us, the fans, but he went his own way and suffered the consequences. To be fair, he did mumble something along these lines in his ‘five year plan’ missive. Things are finally looking up and I personally welcome the move. Anything that gives us a decent team and something to believe in, is fine by me. Long may it continue. The signs are good, with a new coaching set up and football board. Money spent on quality players with promises of more to come. The future suddenly looks better than the previous few years without question. Will it last? No idea, but it looks ok so far. Personally I don’t care where the money comes from, as long as it keeps coming and we keep improving. We’ll know a lot more this time next season, after more spending has been completed. I’m happy to wait and see how it goes myself, but that’s just my humble opinion. Everyone else has theirs. The magic of football.

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  • MadisonToon

    Sep 3, 2015 at 5:24 PM

    Comment #9

    @zero

    I’m in the same boat. I am pleased with the investment…but it’s about time. The new players are a step up on the last few rounds of player purchases, which is positive. I don’t want to diminish the positive but we’ve been put into such a state that one summer of investment isn’t going to turn us back into the 6th-10th team that we should have been able to maintain following the season we finished 5th. There’s a long road and this needs to just be the beginning.

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  • Bobbybee

    Sep 3, 2015 at 5:31 PM

    Comment #10

    Thump, just look at Barca’s so called transfer embargo to see how ffp is a joke.

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  • geordie157

    Sep 3, 2015 at 5:34 PM

    Comment #11

    When is marveaux back? Just think he might actually suit mclarens system so could be a useful squad player.

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  • Bobbybee

    Sep 3, 2015 at 5:39 PM

    Comment #12

    Maddison, from the noises coming from the board, this is just the beginning. And it is about time. Better late than never though, I suppose. The point is, it is too early to make serious judgement and only time will tell if this is a genuine move forward. On the evidence currently available, it does look promising and I look forward to games now, expecting to see better football. Early days, but the football is chalk n cheese from last season. Long may it continue 🙂

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  • toon kk

    Sep 3, 2015 at 5:41 PM

    Comment #13

    Mash has put 50 mil into the desperately needed transfers of new players, don’t expect him spending that type of money again for a long time, unless he has to.
    I’m pleased there seems to be a bit more excitement around the club and SJP definitely has more atmosphere.
    The downside is we still can’t score and really struggle to keep the ball, we can’t even get a shot on target.

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  • Munster Mag

    Sep 3, 2015 at 5:44 PM

    Comment #14

    I am really pleased with the change of emphasis. There have been wholesale changes and I am happy to be quoted on this in the future. So I’m we are now looking at a different nufc and I am happier with the club than I have been for years. There _ said it.

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  • MadisonToon

    Sep 3, 2015 at 5:45 PM

    Comment #15

    @Bobby –

    Yes, the football is already looking better although linking from our third to the middle and final thirds still needs some work. As long as we can fix our defensive woes from the last few seasons with some more intentional tactics, I think we’ll do alright.

    It would be nice to have some potency in attack, though. I don’t think we will move up beyond 13th if counterattacking is our only plan. As you say, time will tell.

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  • Thump

    Sep 3, 2015 at 5:46 PM

    Comment #16

    @Bobbybee: I thought the embargo was in regards to signing youth players from outside of their catchment area?

    That’s neither here nor there, of course. I mean, if this is how FIFA intend to enforce it, we need a much better system.

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  • Thump

    Sep 3, 2015 at 5:47 PM

    Comment #17

    @toonkk: This is what I’ve been saying all along. Yes, it’s been a good window, but let’s see how the next 2 windows pan out (Schteve did say 3 windows, right?). If it’s back to normal, then we’re in trouble.

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  • Bobbybee

    Sep 3, 2015 at 5:48 PM

    Comment #18

    Well said munster, nowt wrong with a bit of optimism marra 😉

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  • Tsunki

    Sep 3, 2015 at 5:49 PM

    Comment #19

    Ashley Out!

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  • Munster Mag

    Sep 3, 2015 at 5:58 PM

    Comment #20

    Bobby the neggars can say all they want but there is no way mclaren is going to talk so assuredly about the next 2 windows without good reason. As he said when he came ” I have seen the plans”. Look and behold we sign wine. No wonder he liked the plans.

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  • Munster Mag

    Sep 3, 2015 at 6:00 PM

    Comment #21

    Wini not wine!

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  • Bobbybee

    Sep 3, 2015 at 6:00 PM

    Comment #22

    Thump, that was my point, they don’t enforce it enough mate. They’re still signing young players by the look of it

    Maddison. Having played two games with ten men, it’s difficult to judge our attack. I’d like to see Gini played deeper, so he can bring the ball out more. Anita and jack are too alike imo. Gini could break out with pace and power, which on its own would make the other side think twice about swarming forward. We could then play De Jong in the No10, changing defence into attack really quickly. I know Gini wants the No10 role, but for the team right now, I’d ask him to play a bit deeper.

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  • dogfish

    Sep 3, 2015 at 6:04 PM

    Comment #23

    I’ve never had such mixed feelings about a window. It’s great that we’re buying players with a slightly higher price bracket (on the assumption that they’re better)

    What will depend on whether I’m satisfied with this window is if some our players improve under better management and coaching. If they’re as bad as they looked then I think we’re still miles off. One worrying thing is Anita and colback don’t look too good together in the middle, not much creativity or link from defence to attack. I’m wondering if the plan is to drop wiji deeper to replace one of them and de Jong comes in the number 10 role when he’s fully fit and up to speed.

    Left back situation doesn’t look good, think we’re okay at centre back for now as long s we bring one in in jan or latest in the summer

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  • Tsunki

    Sep 3, 2015 at 6:04 PM

    Comment #25

    The astute observer will probably discern I’m not quite ready to climb on board Ed’s Ashley Love Boat. Not just yet, let’s see if the water calms down a bit. Ed says the results were the key to Mike’s Epiphany, not surprising then that the Pardew Out ‘Crew’ and affiliated knuckle scraping ignorant buffoons are given short shrift and no credit at all to piling the pressure on Ashley to make him crank up the PR and put the ‘A Cup in Our Time’ video out before the hammers game. Not at all. Zero effect, all that bad televised publicity and low uptake of Season Tickets. I’m not ready for the pop-up book kids revised version of Ashleys reign just yet.

    Nice to see Ed’s bitter long sword having another piercing stab at the bones of the Carver triumvirate though. Sleeping digs and all that ha ha.

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  • MadisonToon

    Sep 3, 2015 at 6:06 PM

    Comment #26

    Agree, Bobby, on that too. It would be nice to get De Jong in and see what he is really capable of as so far I haven’t been impressed and so far he hasn’t been fully fit. The Colback/Anita combo seems overly defensive to me and moving Gini back to take one of their places and have a bit more freedom moving forward from there would be nice. It would still leave the other DM and the four across the back to defend so it’s not like we would be exposing anything. Might also get to see the Dutch footballer of the year in a position where he sees more of the ball.

    I look forward to seeing how the team develops when we get a run of games with 11 on the pitch for 90.

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  • magscar

    Sep 3, 2015 at 6:17 PM

    Comment #27

    Tsunki@25

    Posters on the Ashley Love Boat?
    can’t say I recognise any who can be labelled as such. Most are welcoming the changes whilst hoping for more and without giving Ashley any love whatsoever.

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  • Bobbybee

    Sep 3, 2015 at 6:25 PM

    Comment #28

    Munster, those plans were why Macca and Cathro signed up. I can’t take seriously those who claim Macca’s in Ashley’s pocket either, that’s a conspiracy theory too far. 🙂

    Tsunki. I don’t think anybody has joined the love boat matey 🙂 Personally I’m just going on the current evidence, but I can’t see me sending him a Christmas card any time soon. I have slated Ashley in the past for what he’s done, so rightly I should give him any credit I feel is due. For a man of his ego, it can’t have been easy for him to stand up and accept he made big mistakes and take responsibility for them. He certainly surprised me. The new plans are in place and now we can just sit back and see them develop. It’s going to take some people longer than others and there’s some who will never accept the change regardless of what he does. That’s life. The signs are promising. It could be the start of something exciting….

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  • Tsunki

    Sep 3, 2015 at 6:29 PM

    Comment #29

    Magscar – have another read.

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  • Tsunki

    Sep 3, 2015 at 6:30 PM

    Comment #30

    Bobbybee – have another read

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  • Bobbybee

    Sep 3, 2015 at 6:34 PM

    Comment #31

    Maddison, from what I’ve seen of De Jong, I like. He seems to slow play around him, which is usually the sign of a good player. He picks his passes well and has an eye for goals. Once his fitness is up to pace, I believe he’ll prove an invaluable member of the squad. I’m genuinely excited by the potential, I just hope I’m right.

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  • hibbit

    Sep 3, 2015 at 6:34 PM

    Comment #32

    i think Mc has been setting us up not to take a beating he would have been watching the end of last season and would not want a repeat of that that…… i think we were all agreed that the first 8 games were going to be a test and the last thing we needed was a good hammering……..because of this we have seen very little threat from our forwards plus 2 red cards haven’t helped……….. this 2 week break will be used as a mini pre season for a lot of our players with players who are not fully fit or coming back from injury feeling the benefit i had hope for 8 points from the first 8 games i am hoping the next 2 games will start to bring in some of them

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  • magscar

    Sep 3, 2015 at 6:34 PM

    Comment #33

    Tsunki
    So we are in accord that there appears to be only Ed on this boat you have labelled?
    That you weren’t was never in question.

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  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Sep 3, 2015 at 6:35 PM

    Comment #34

    Just an advise it’s not healty to kid oneself!

    …it will just drive you mad!

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  • Bobbybee

    Sep 3, 2015 at 6:36 PM

    Comment #35

    Tsunki, I thought I detected a bit of positivity in there matey, was I wrong? 🙂

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  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Sep 3, 2015 at 6:39 PM

    Comment #36

    *healthy

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  • geordie157

    Sep 3, 2015 at 6:40 PM

    Comment #37

    Expect someone has posted this already but here’s the 25 man squad

    Newcastle United 25 squad players
    (HGP = home grown player)

    Vurnon Anita
    Gael Bigirimana (HGP)
    Papiss Cisse
    Jack Colback (HGP)
    Fabricio Coloccini
    Karl Darlow (HGP)
    Siem de Jong
    Paul Dummett (HGP)?
    Rob Elliot (HGP)?
    Curtis Good
    Yoan Gouffran
    Massadio Haidara
    Daryl Janmaat
    Sylvain Marveaux
    Tim Krul (HGP)
    Jamaal Lascelles (HGP)
    Gabriel Obertan
    Ayoze Perez
    Emmanuel Riviere
    Moussa Sissoko
    Steven Taylor (HGP)
    Florian Thauvin
    Cheick Tiote
    Georginio Wijnaldum
    Mike Williamson (HGP)

    Under-21 players
    Rolando Aarons
    Dan Barlaser
    Alex Gilliead
    Kevin Mbabu
    Chancel Mbemba
    Aleksandar Mitrovi?
    Callum Roberts
    Lubo Satka
    Ivan Toney
    Macaulay Gillesphey
    Tom Heardman
    Liam Smith
    Jamie Sterry

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  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Sep 3, 2015 at 6:42 PM

    Comment #38

    Official Newcastle United Premier League squad (25 players)

    (HGP = home grown player)

    Vurnon Anita

    Gael Bigirimana (HGP)

    Papiss Cisse

    Jack Colback (HGP)

    Fabricio Coloccini

    Karl Darlow (HGP)

    Siem de Jong

    Paul Dummett (HGP)

    Rob Elliot (HGP)

    Curtis Good

    Yoan Gouffran

    Massadio Haidara

    Daryl Janmaat

    Sylvain Marveaux

    Tim Krul (HGP)

    Jamaal Lascelles (HGP)

    Gabriel Obertan

    Ayoze Perez

    Emmanuel Riviere

    Moussa Sissoko

    Steven Taylor (HGP)

    Florian Thauvin

    Cheick Tiote

    Georginio Wijnaldum

    Mike Williamson (HGP)

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  • geordie157

    Sep 3, 2015 at 6:43 PM

    Comment #39

    not sure why the question marks appeared!

    I forgot about Good. Although he’s more injury prone than Taylor and De jong combined.

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  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Sep 3, 2015 at 6:44 PM

    Comment #40

    I am happy with our signings (some are still young and not named) but this is not a great 25 man squad!

    …not bad either! But alot of dreadful players there and a few holes!

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