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Paul Merson’s Damning Answer To Quesion On Newcastle

8:34 am, Friday, April 8th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 44 Comments

Newcastle’s target for this season was a top eight finish and to win a cup and to help achieve that target Newcastle spent £82M in the two transfer windows this season.

Yet with just seven games to play Newcastle are almost certain to be relegated for the second time in seven years and we are at 1/8 odds-on by SkyBet to take the drop.

Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson was asked where he thought Newcastle should be finishing this season given the massive investment in players and with Newcastle having such vast resources available.

paul merson

Paul Merson – 11th or 12th place

Paul was on the Sky Sports’ Fantasy Football Club. and this is how he answered that specific question:

“With the size of the club and the players they’ve got, they shouldn’t be in the bottom three.” “I would say around the 11th or 12th mark.”

Paul isn’t the first pundit to be shocked at where Newcastle are in the league table given the players we have in the squad.

The big problem Newcastle have had this season is we hired a mediocre coach at best last summer in Steve McClaren – and then left him in the job far too long.

Steve was hired only days after he was told he wasn’t good enough for Derby County and had been sacked.

And just what made Lee Charnley think Steve was the perfect coach for Newcastle at that time is a good illustration of the football knowledge of Newcastle’s Managing Director.

Lee was put in that position by owner Mike Ashley, so there has been little to no leadership from  the top this season – including from the owner.

Steve McClaren was just woeful as the head coach and our players must also take the responsibility for being too much like wimps when things got tough in games – and too many of them simply disappeared.

Newcastle could well be the best team ever relegated from the Premier League, at least when you look at the caliber and cost of the players we have in the squad.

Certainly we will be the club that spent the most money during the season on new players and still ended up in the Championship.

It’s a tragedy for the Newcastle club and most of all for the Newcastle fans, who have been completely let-down by those running the football club.

It will be all change this summer at the club, who will have to cut down significantly on running costs and some non-playing staff will have to be laid off as our better players rush to the back door to leave.

It’s not good.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Newcastle News · Other News · Prayer · Premier League · Press · Pundit

44 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jib // Apr 8, 2016 at 8:46 AM

    Mike Ashley realised a dream that most of us have had – what would it be like to run NUFC.

    With his background in Sport he’s obviously thought “how hard can it be ?”

    If he’d bought a tele-coms company or a record label he would have got experts in those fields to run them.

    After 10 years I think the penny has dropped.

  • 2 martoon // Apr 8, 2016 at 9:05 AM

    I have to say it’s not often I agree with Merson but I also think with our squad we should be mid-table. For whatever reason no manager seems to be able to extract their full potential?

  • 3 scout // Apr 8, 2016 at 9:10 AM

    Why should we be midtable? We’ve have no recognised Premiership striker most of the season. The defence is awful Colo is finished. Also running a football club isn’t rocket science, we had quality players and goal scorers.
    Ba, Cabaye,Remy, Carroll and Dubuchy. You can see why these players signed for Newcastle they are here to pick up the money.
    No pressure to win anything, no cup runs and now we are 1/9 to go down.

    Thank you lads

  • 4 scout // Apr 8, 2016 at 9:15 AM

    I can’t believe people are saying we should be higher up the table. We have a midfielder as top goalscorer and the second worst defence in the Premiership. Get a grip lads ffs.

  • 5 Jib // Apr 8, 2016 at 9:32 AM

    You can see from Merson’s comments why he’s a pundit and not a coach .

  • 6 SPRINGY // Apr 8, 2016 at 9:57 AM

    morning all
    over the course of a season you get what you deserve,that includes good and bad luck,and we have been struggling for a few years now, but even when we finished 5th our defence was’nt the best we took a few bad results conceeding a load of goals…cant agree we should mid table,not at all.

  • 7 martoon // Apr 8, 2016 at 10:09 AM

    I agree about our defence but our midfield and front 2 are current or ex-internationals – not too shoddy!

  • 8 SPRINGY // Apr 8, 2016 at 10:25 AM

    we’ve scored 31 goals in 31 games from them internationals,thats not good enough when we are conceeding just short of 2 goals a game,struggled to beat poor sides at home, even a second string championship side….they maybe internationals,but there no good for us,whether thats poor fitness,training ethic,injury or form,it isnt and has’nt been working.

  • 9 Rotonda heights // Apr 8, 2016 at 10:37 AM

    i see allardyce mouthing off about NUFC fans again. It’s funny never a problem with the crowd under KK and SBR, but dinosaurs like souness and hippo heed always have to lay fault elsewhere.

  • 10 SPRINGY // Apr 8, 2016 at 10:41 AM

    the southampton result is secondry to the norwich result this weekend,most would expect us to struggle at st marys so hoping norwich get beat to keep them within touching distance….im keeping one eye on the mackem score as leicester are due a blip…it’ll be just our luck the great unwashed are the ones to do it.

  • 11 SPRINGY // Apr 8, 2016 at 10:45 AM

    funny what decent football will do to the fans…..or should i say shite football in allerdyces case.

  • 12 Jail for Ashley // Apr 8, 2016 at 10:55 AM

    A losing and mercenary mentality has infested the team since they decided to buy players coming toward the end of their contracts and told them they weren’t expected to win just play well enough for a move elsewhere.

  • 13 Jail for Ashley // Apr 8, 2016 at 10:57 AM

    Nearly evey team in the PL has a team full of internationals.

  • 14 Tsunki // Apr 8, 2016 at 11:05 AM

    Aren’t you supposed to put the word “top” in front of ” international players” before qualifying them as any good? Being a part time squad player for a so-so international side isn’t always good enough for top flight league footy.

    Besides who it doesn’t matter, our players may be ‘good enough’ for mediocrity if utilised in other teams, their problem is they can’t seem to play together as a unit. it’s a Gumtree Squad.

  • 15 jimiley // Apr 8, 2016 at 11:07 AM

    NUFC are reaping what they sow. They are good value for relegation. How can they be too good to go down? 13 defeats in 16 away matches. Six wins all season. Or is it 7? And they have always been pretty crap when I watched them play. A big crowd means nowt. Gate receipts are of little value these days. SKY money means everything

  • 16 Ibizatoon // Apr 8, 2016 at 11:08 AM

    Not going to be around today, but seeing as the “M” word has been thrown out there, this may offer some light relief. Then again, perhaps not…

  • 17 stuart no9 // Apr 8, 2016 at 11:24 AM

    whwre shoulod we be in the league ?? top 6 every season ., Thats where we SHOULD be given our wealth, our stadium , our 50000 support , everything NUFC possess should be right up there with the best of them , to be where we are and have been for about 10 years is nothing short of disgusting.

  • 18 martoon // Apr 8, 2016 at 11:26 AM

    Springy & JFA – I agree with everything you are saying, my point is that this squad should be doing better and no manager seems to be able get the best out of them.

  • 19 beefman13 // Apr 8, 2016 at 11:27 AM

    This is at the very least what the owner has to do, too many players are bring brought in to the club whi are not responding to the efforts of the manager/coach, also our under 21 and under 18 teams have very similar records to the senior team, so throughout the club there is a very bad pattern, do wee need to buy more experienced players??? Well I’m not sure as we got relegated last time with some of the most experienced prem players ever.

    A whole review big time has to be made, plus if we go down will MA let Rafa dic tate what’s he wants to do when he could not save us this season a bit like Shearers effort in 2008/2009.

    I will add I still would like Benitez to stay on if we can avoid the drop but if we go down the fella is gone asap.

  • 20 martoon // Apr 8, 2016 at 11:28 AM

    Ibiza @16 – Great parody 🙂 🙂

  • 21 Jail for Ashley // Apr 8, 2016 at 11:32 AM

    Stuart no 9,
    Look at one of the most basic aspects of the club. Beardsley and his team have the U21’s already relegated and currently third bottom of the second division with the most goals conceded by far. Why is this being allowed to continue?

  • 22 stuart no9 // Apr 8, 2016 at 11:34 AM

    stuart no9 // Apr 5, 2016 at 11:38 AM

    3, 2016 at 2:07 PM

    sorry to have to post this again , but im going to post it on every topic untill we are relegated.

    ,,,stuart no9 // Apr 3, 2016 at 11:30 AM

    ED . how to you know Raffa is leaving at the end of the season ? has he told you ? untill he makes a statement saying hes leaving – hes staying .
    Ok its not looking great this morning , however by the law of averages we are due a win , A draw at saints next week is not going to be a decider but we MUST take all 3 against swansea, 1 point against M city, zilch against liverpool, 3 against palace, 3 against villa and 3 against spurs coz the title will be won by the time we play i can see 14 points that are acheivable . 14 plus 25 =39 . enough to stay up this season . thats it we are safe. benitez stays and we kick on next season

  • 23 Jail for Ashley // Apr 8, 2016 at 11:35 AM

    When Ashley came in nine years ago one of his first actions was to cancel the goal bonus to stop players shooting from anywhere after seeing Martins balloon a few thirty yarders. His influence in our demise has been constant.

  • 24 Jail for Ashley // Apr 8, 2016 at 11:36 AM

    Instead of keep apologizing just stop posting it, we’ve all read it!

  • 25 magscar // Apr 8, 2016 at 11:37 AM


    Can we beat any of those? Bottom of Premier or Mediocre League – which to choose? Hmmm

  • 26 stuart no9 // Apr 8, 2016 at 11:40 AM

    jail —- it beggars belief mate it really does,
    Weve been saying it for years but untill ashley is gone and a new ower takes over and rips this current regime apart , and i mean everybody , expect more of the same in the future.

  • 27 ilovetoon8788 // Apr 8, 2016 at 11:40 AM

    A loss or draw at at Mary tomorrow will all but guarantee our championship football next season.

  • 28 Hail Wor Ashley // Apr 8, 2016 at 11:45 AM

    Too many shrinking violets, not enough camaraderie, not enough older authoritarians that the prospects can look up to and have a slight fear of, like Jenas mentioned when he came to the club, how he was shite scared of the older heads and how they drove standards and maintained spirit. Too many players without a distinct position in which they excel. Players allowed to hang around like a bad smell when they’ve made clear they don’t want to be here – Colo and Sissoko the most obvious – even when things are supposedly resolved and they now are ‘focussed’, the damage is already done, they won’t ever be as committed and the other players lose respect for them, don’t trust them and this makes morale even worse and the squad more fragmented. Gini said himself how the squad hardly interact off the pitch, compare that with past successful squads, those that do well are always good friends and include everybody.

    All these problems stem from recruitment.

  • 29 magscar // Apr 8, 2016 at 11:46 AM


    Stuart’s is by no means the only repetitive posting. I for one like to have my dying embers of hope briefly revived every so often. Not sure how much longer he can keep it up though – a defeat to Swansea and that diva is past her vocal exercises I fear 🙂

    C’mon after me

    Let’s all do a Leicester La La la
    Let’s all do a Leicester La La La

  • 30 SPRINGY // Apr 8, 2016 at 11:54 AM

    this squad is’nt is good as we thought it was or as good as the players think they are,unfortunately i believed at the start of the season that it was mcclaren that would be the weak link,but with a bit investnment he would come good,but he was shocking,i as thought he would be,but i was kidding myself… a team that struggles year on year is a poor team….maybe good individuals but not a team….we’ve needed wins since villa before christmas not against the liverpools and spurs,against the bread and butter,norwich,bournemouth,the mackems,stoke but there not good enough…i hope they’ve had sit down a good talk themselves,found some quality, pride and backbone and show some class against southampton….but im not sure they have it…no one will be happier if we get out the shit we are in now then me..just seen nothing to say they will….yet.

  • 31 SPRINGY // Apr 8, 2016 at 11:57 AM

    i think a lot depends on the norwich and mackems results,if we manage a win it will mean nothing if the them two get the same results as us.

  • 32 anthc // Apr 8, 2016 at 12:03 PM

    We’ve took 25pts from 32 games. There’s no way we are taking 14pts from 7 games. I admire your optimism Stuart 09 but I believe we’re dead and buried. Believe me I’ve looked at the fixtures several times daily and keep kidding myself we could achieve 15pts. That’s my heart, my head says down!
    Rafael came too late and let’s be honest it was a win win for him. Down he leaves with having been paid a big wage, stay up he gets a few mill bonus and a big wage. He won’t be short of job offers will he.

  • 33 martoon // Apr 8, 2016 at 12:05 PM

    Actually Springy I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with your comment “maybe good individuals but not a team” – I think that’s exactly the problem.

  • 34 Jail for Ashley // Apr 8, 2016 at 12:07 PM

    Mclarens biggest weakness was his weakness. He should have insisted Collo be given the boot and some more defenders signed.

  • 35 Hail Wor Ashley // Apr 8, 2016 at 12:10 PM

    Another problem is, whenever new signings are made, the lot signed in the previous window or two that were on the up, seem to have their nose put out of joint by the attention shifting from them to the new players and their form dramatically declines. Correlation doesn’t mean causation of course, it’s just one simplified explanation, but why do players have a good 6-12 month period then drop off? We used to call it Pardewed, but something else is amiss.

  • 36 Tsunki // Apr 8, 2016 at 12:13 PM

    Ah Magscar – just the man! 🙂

    I see you misread my post somewhat, I didn’t mean YOU illustrate collective apathy, but that your observations on the actions of the ‘crowd’ rather did. Not sure how you plaster me with the same agenda as blade ‘mad dog’ user but I think I see what you are getting at. 😀 You think I berate ‘true’ fans for going along like sheep and drinking in the pathetic offerings, well that’s not quite true.

    I respect those fan who stick with the team and cheer the lads through thick and thin.

    I respect their right to buy tickets and attend every match, regardless of the calming effect it has on Mike’s bank account. it’s their call

    I do think that fans should recognise that they are also valuable, if not valued, customers, who can vote with their actions when they are there, or by their wallets / feet by abstaining until something is done to perk up the shoddy product.

    As for my ‘darning socks’ comment I think you’ve gone off tangent. I am merely highlighting a trap most rose-tinted club observers make, that of comparing current modern football business management with the homespun, underfunded, scrapyard dealer made good (who is also a fan) type model of yesteryear. You simply can’t say “I’ve had worse” because those times don’t bear any relation to the corporate setup the PL labours under now in any way. There are very few family run type clubs in top flight now and they will disappear. They have to.

    That point then made, leads to the part where you take away the romantic “follow the club ’til death” ethos and put the spotlight of Paying Customer on the support base. As such it possesses great power. Only collective apathy gets in the way of it being wielded. If the majority think that it’s ok to be washed this way and that as Mike Ashley decides they will, so be it – they deserve what they allow.

  • 37 beefman13 // Apr 8, 2016 at 12:13 PM

    Jail, top bit of inside info about the 30 yard shooting policy, havnt came across that one before, I’ve certainly mellowed over the last few years, at ine stage i was unrepentant as Bills, but because of the ridiculous appointments of virtually every manager that has been put in place here in these last 8/9 years these actions alone must mean the club cannot go forward to any extent, like most I do feel that the mid table finish would have been very acceptible to the hiarachy at the club even though they won’t admit it, and it had went peat shape to say the least.

    The financial figures that came out this week are I have to say pretty good, but no good if we get relegated, if we stay up we have ti keep Rafa at all costs, let him if he wants fill positions in the under 21s etc, he is a pure football man, Lee Charnley is not at all.

  • 38 terencelim // Apr 8, 2016 at 12:38 PM

    @Hail Wor Ashley, your owner takes full responsibilities for the recruitment issue. Unfortunately some pets don’t see it.

  • 39 magscar // Apr 8, 2016 at 12:42 PM


    Thanks for clarification – perhaps it was the (very) early morning read of your previous night’s post but I did indeed take it as meaning my viewpoint – haven’t time to check back so will accept what you say.

    I’m going out shortly so haven’t fully digested it either as there is a lot in there but my first reaction is that we seem in agreement on some things.

    I think I may get what you mean by “collective apathy” in that you seem to agree that it is the unintentional sum of the individual laissez faire ( I’m here for the football) or lack of a public emotional response by many fans in these mainly ST holder crowds ( as opposed to my early days standing on the covered Leazes free for all paying through a turnstile ).

    My posts yesterday stemmed from a feeling that I should make a point for those who go from one who no longer goes – the empathy you speak of? I do get irritated when these fans are blamed by many posters (especially those who have never been) in a very simplistic judgement of a complex set of reasons why fans go to matches regardless of what is happening off pitch.

    Ashley is to blame but I still believe there is a retrievable situation if he can learn from his many mistakes. There has undoubtedly been more bad than good decisions in his tenure but I believe that in all that time the fans are simply collateral damage or beneficiaries ( very occasionally) of his chosen path. For example reduced tickets, keeping ST prices at previous years price, reciprocal away ticket pricing have all benefited fans but they were business decisions.

    I think rest of Blog has moved on ( as tomorrow’s match approaches) so I will to.

  • 40 Tsunki // Apr 8, 2016 at 12:45 PM

    I remember the pelters qpr owner got for chucking wads of cash about on mercenaries and meal ticket players and still going down to the championship. We are no better because the money we spent did absolutely nothing to help.

  • 41 Jib // Apr 8, 2016 at 12:48 PM

    Jail for Ashley //beefman,
    When Ashley came in nine years ago one of his first actions was to cancel the goal bonus to stop players shooting from anywhere

    What a crock !

    Straight from the fantasy folder !

    Who concocted that one , you or your boyfriend Mr Tuff !

  • 42 Ibizatoon // Apr 8, 2016 at 12:58 PM

    MD Derek Llambias explained: “We just do straight contracts. We do no overseas pensions, no image rights. We say, ‘This is your money, now you go away and talk to your tax advisers if you must.’

    “We don’t do goal bonuses. We had that with Martins, maybe that’s why he would always shoot from the halfway line! We used to see him on the ball and think, ‘Oh look. He’s going to shoot again.’

    “We’ve taken all that stuff out. We know exactly where we are.

    “We do have team bonuses for success, in terms of positions.”

    Oh well, you can’t get ’em right all the time.

  • 43 Jib // Apr 8, 2016 at 1:11 PM

    Ibizatoon // Oh well, you can’t get ’em right all the time.

    You certainly can’t Ibiza

    “MD Derek Llambias explained”



    is not



    Geddit ?

  • 44 Ibizatoon // Apr 8, 2016 at 1:20 PM

    Jib…Quick question before I address the actual discussion at hand. Do you tpye their names that way for clarity (you may note I can read properly formed words) or is that how you say it? Almost like a cheerleader?

    Give us an “M”, give us an “I”…..etc etc…you get the idea I’m sure.

    Your get out is that Llambias is the one who gave the interview? Even if the first line was “we” meaning more than one person? Even with Derek saying Mike and I, meaning the “we” is Derek AND Mike?

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