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

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No Excuses Now – Newcastle Must Challenge For Top Six

9:16 am, Wednesday, December 16th, 2015 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 11 Comments

Leicester City is some story this year and after being bottom of the league at the end of March with just 19 points from 29 games and looking like certain relegation – former Newcastle coach Nigel Pearson produced a miracle and they got seven wins and 22 points in the final nine games and survived and finished above Newcastle in the league.

Nigel was then surprisingly fired in the summer by the Thai owners and in came former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri and he has carried on and after only being promoted 18 months ago they are now top of the Premier League with 36 points from 16 league games and have left the two Manchester clubs and Arsenal chasing them.

Mike Ashley Sky Sports West Ham Match May 2015

Mike Ashley – Newcastle owner – needs to get more ambitious
If Leicester City can do it so can Newcastle United

Leicester City have nowhere near the financial resources that Newcastle have – and if Leicester can do it we don’t want to hear statements that Newcastle cannot challenge for the top six, because we don’t have the financial resources.

But to do that Newcastle have to aim much higher then we’ve done over the last few years and saying we want to finish in the top ten or even the top eight just isn’t good enough – ambitions have to be a lot higher than that at Newcastle.

Before you can achieve anything you have to believe you can achieve it.

We are reminded of the great former Liverpool manager Bill Shankley’s quote on ambition and having to aim really high:

“Aim for the sky and you’ll reach the ceiling. Aim for the ceiling and you’ll stay on the floor.”

We could add to that – aim for top ten and you’ll be fighting relegation – but we won’t.

The Bournemouth team has been put together on less than a shoestring and yet they outclassed and outplayed a weakened Manchester United last weekend and won the game 2-1 and it looked like too many United players were just not interested when things got tough during that game.

There were  sights of players like £31M Memphis Depay not being too keen to bother too much when things got tough – and the Dutchman cost many times what the total Bournemouth team were put together on – a broken shoestring.


What we have seen this season are teams like Leicester and Bournemouth run other teams off the park and even Newcastle have shown in the last couple of games that we can compete with the best – if our players give 100% and play with real commitment and passion.

So what we have seen this season takes away any legitimacy of Newcastle officials saying we cannot compete with the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal or Manchester United.

Just look at what Crystal Palace have done this season after being in the bottom three a year ago and now they are joint 5th top with Tottenham.

Newcastle can now compete and what it always takes in these situations is the belief that we can do it.

Those running Newcastle now need to understand there are no real valid reasons why we cannot be a team that will compete for the top six,

And with some really good use of the massive money that will be available at Newcastle we can even build a side than can even get close to winning the Premier League – that should be the goal.

There are no valid reasons why we cannot do that – just excuses.

If you don’t believe that then just look at what Leicester City have done since April.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Coaching · Financial Fair Play · Financials · Newcastle News

11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Lilongwe Geordie // Dec 16, 2015 at 9:22 AM

    Good quote from Shankly. Another (less famous) one from former Spurs manager Bill Nicholson on the same thing;

    “It is better to fail aiming high than to succeed aiming low. And we of Spurs have set our sights very high… so high, in fact, that even failure will have in it an echo of glory.”

  • 2 Jib // Dec 16, 2015 at 9:29 AM

    Everyone is getting excited about Degbole Franck Anderson Niangbo 16 years old who plays for USC Bassam in Abidjan , Coted’Ivoire and has one cap for his country.
    The reason
    He posted this foto on social media.

    But surely young African players obtain team shirts from anywhere and everywhere !

  • 3 SPRINGY // Dec 16, 2015 at 9:32 AM

    morning all
    this thread will get some peoples backs up considering the season we’ve had so far,id rather say lets beat villa…one game at a time coz if we lose to villa it’ll be back to square one….one game at a time and see what happens in the transfer window in afew weeks for me

  • 4 amble_ball // Dec 16, 2015 at 9:33 AM

    What an utterly embarrassing article title when there’s still a very large possibility we’ll get relelgated

  • 5 SPRINGY // Dec 16, 2015 at 9:36 AM

    lets have a good run from now till the end of the season and 2 good transfer windows then start thinking about aiming at top six….would love to see us push but realistically weve lost a third of a season…hard to make up for that

  • 6 Lilongwe Geordie // Dec 16, 2015 at 9:38 AM

    Unless he also has another nationality he wouldn’t be able to join us until he is 18 anyway. Far more likely the shirt is just one of the ones he has knocking about. He is far more likely to end up at Man City who have a far greater presence in West African youth football through partnerships in the area within the game and their outsourced scouting network.

  • 7 Lindisfarne // Dec 16, 2015 at 9:40 AM

    There is no doubt both L’pool and Spurs did not play at their best which lead to our success. Whilst Villa have not performed well this season and longer, but if our players can do the same and keep up the same level of commitment then another win should be the result. Confidence creating consistency and consistency creating confidence.

  • 8 SPRINGY // Dec 16, 2015 at 9:40 AM

    villa could be a banana skin….need the players to be confident but focused….not just think they just have to show up….which tbh ,they have done frequently in the past …hope they’ve learned

  • 9 Jib // Dec 16, 2015 at 9:44 AM

    You are very sensitive to utter embarrassment.

    Extremely optimistic yup possibly
    Over optimistic I would say
    but extremely embarrassing – meh

    10 points off 6th place with 36 points to play for , almost impossible but why not aim for the sky !

  • 10 defenders needed // Dec 16, 2015 at 10:03 AM

    I’ve been thinking this for a while now and everyone on here will completely disagree with me but I’m going to voice my opinion anyway, with the money that is available now with TV rights and league finishes etc the money available for all teams, not just your rich clubs is astronomical. Resulting in the fact that all the teams in the premier league excluding Aston villa and Sunderland have good players in the first team, players who could make it in any team. Sunderland and Villa both could have had good players but managers choices to sign players ruined that for them. But what I’m saying because of how good all the teams are small teams are now in positions the shouldn’t be, Leicester, Pallace, Watford and it’s because of the players they’ve purchased they are in these positions. Then there’s Us, Chelsea, even the mackams are big clubs have been in the premier league a long time, do have large fan bases are struggling to the supposedly lesser teams, again this is down to the money available to all teams, making the premier league a lot more competitive. After all who saw Chelsea sat in 16th after 16 games but it’s happened, this is why I think they should scrap the capital one cup and make the premier league have as many teams as championship spread that money a little further so big teams will be big again.

  • 11 Moonraker15 // Dec 16, 2015 at 8:37 PM

    This talking down of Newcastle was started by Pardew with the blessing of the directors to lower the fans expectations whilst enhancing his performance.

    Now I’ve never believed this nor bought into the theory mainly because we have been in the Champions league more than once anyway.

    They kept saying we were a top ten team which is an insult when you look at the size of the other teams who are nowhere near our size.

    Ashley got his fingers burnt with some dodgy expensive signings and was pursuaded to change policy which has brought us to where we are now. Hopefully though he has seen the potential and we are on the way back with a manager who has genuine ambitions unlike the inept one !

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