There´s an excellent article in the Independent today which basically says that a very important if impromptu meeting took place early in January at Vicarage Road.
Newcastle had just been shamed again and for the fourth time running we had managed to be eliminated in the very first hurdle of the FA Cup – this time by newly promoted Watford.
The FA Cup is a trophy we famously won three times in a short five years in the early 1950s – a time that seems like it´s 100 years away from where Newcastle have descended to today.
Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley
Come on Lee – get with it – let´s spend some money!!
But boss you never like spending money – I´m confused – what´s changed?
Not surprisingly after that defeat the very long-suffering Newcastle fans – with the emphasis on long and suffering went on Twitter to vent their anger at Newcastle – a club that seems to have become incompetent in many ways.
Mike Ashley called the meeting after Newcastle´s humiliation and urged those present – Lee Charnley, Steve McClaren were two present – to start spending Newcastle´s money in January – it was available.
Newcastle had shown some signs of ambition in a muted way last summer when we were second top Premier League spenders behind Manchester City and 5th biggest spenders in Europe when we brought in four players for around £52M.
Unfortunately one of those players signed – Florian Thauvin – has been a bust and the then 22 year-old was the target of abuse from Newcastle fans in the 1-0 loss at Vicarage Road in early January.
It looks like the £13M signing wants to leave Newcastle and go back to Marseilles, so it´s egg on the face of Chief Scout Graham Carr who had wanted him at Newcastle for about four years now.
Fast forward to today three weeks after that meeting and we have brought in Jonjo Shelvey, Henri Saivet and Andros Townsend for close to £30M and we have spent more than anybody in the world this month – so far.
]And we are bidding close to £20M for Saido Berahino.
There seems to have been a sea change in the way Newcastle look at transfers now and we have signed two Englishmen and trying to sign a third if only West Brom would accept our huge offer for Berahino.
So we are in the strange position of wanting to spend even more money this month but cannot because another PL club – West Brom – wont accept the offer.
And we are supposed to have bid over £20M for Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette.
There was news earlier in the week that Mike Ashley himself had intervened to break the deadlock and get Andros Townsend to the club, after he spoke to Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy who he knows well.
And yesterday we were amazingly linked to three players we want in on loan in the late afternoon.
AS Roma striker Seydou Doumbia, Atletico Madrid left-back Guilherme Siqueira and Valencia left back – center- back Lucas Orban were all linked with Newcastle on potential loan deals.
Siqueira is expected at Newcastle today for a medical, so that deal could even complete today.
So given what´s happened in the last two transfer windows, after Ashley went on Sky Sports and said Newcastle would make their own luck from now on – anybody looking at Mike Ashley could even think he´s now ambitious at Newcastle United.
What is true is when we were in relegation trouble three years ago he brought in four French players in one week so we have seen this sort of thing before.
But if we do survive in the Premier League this season – and that´s still an if – then maybe we will see two or three huge signings in the summer – and Newcastle may even have a good side next season.
And given what´s happened to Leicester City in the last twelve months we know anything is possible these days in the Premier League.
The business Newcastle are doing in January will also go a long way to keeping our good players on Tyneside – given that we do avoid the drop – because it does look like Newcastle have found a new ambition.
Some fans on Twitter yesterday were even lauding Ashley for being willing to spend the big money.
Well – would you believe it?
Howay The Lads!!