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Newcastle United – News Roundup – 10 August 2009.

Posted on August 10th, 2009 | 20 Comments |

O'Leary to be manager. Or not.
O'Leary to be manager. Or not.
The Guardian (amongst others) is reporting that Ashley will appoint David O’Leary as manager if, as expected, he takes the club off the market. The Guardian is also reporting that Newcastle deny they’ll appoint O’Leary.

It’s all looks like sheer press invention to me but let’s have brief look at O’Leary’s management career anyway.

O’Leary managed Leeds from 1998 until 2002, getting two top 4 finishes, a UEFA Cup semi-final and a Champions League semi-final, all on a budget of £100m over 4 years.

He then managed Villa from 2003 until 2006, lifting them 10 places to get a 6th place finish in his first season.

Unfortunately – maybe due to the severe spending restrictions imposed by owner Doug Ellis – O’Leary’s next two seasons with Villa weren’t so good as he only managed a 10th place finish and, in his last season, a 16th place finish, narrowly avoiding relegation.

I’m not sure what to make of the prospect of O’Leary at Newcastle. I guess my main concern is that he doesn’t seem to operate too well on a tight budget and I suspect he’d have to operate on an extremely tight budget under Ashley, possibly even no budget at all if his appointment’s after the transfer window closes.

However, I’ve seen no direct quotes from O’Leary, Ashley or Llambias about who the new manager might be or whether Ashley will actually keep the club. As I understand it he’s flying back from Hawaii to discuss the situation with Keith Harris today. It says a lot about Ashley’s lack of enthusiasm for the club that he wasn’t at our first game of the new season, preferring instead to sun himself on the beach, possibly confusing Greenpeace in the process.

Obafemi Martins has had a bit of a pop at the Newcastle situation. According to Sky Sports he said:

I was left with no option but to leave Newcastle. The place had become a total shambles.

No one seemed to know what was going on. The club was just left to drift after relegation and the worst thing was there was no communication with the players.

The players were hoping that Alan Shearer would get the manager’s job, but the people supposedly running the club didn’t seem capable of making a decision.

And with no manager and most of the top players wanting out, I felt I had no future there.

It is sad to see how the club has gone downhill in the last couple of years.

There is absolutely no direction. The players are demoralised by the lack of leadership and I just can’t see things getting better.”

Same old same old. I mean, he’s right but I think Ashley’s got the message now – he’s just not doing anything about it at the moment.

Geordie hero Shearer back as Newcastle boss ‘within days’,” cries The Mail in a headline. “But only if owner Mike Ashley is willing to accept a £70million offer for the club from Geordie businessman Barry Moat,” they continue in the article. What an annoying newspaper.

The club reports that Harper seems okay after getting Ameobi’s errant hoof to his head. Apparently he was checked by a hospital as a precaution but travelled back with the team.

Also on the club site, Chris Hughton praised the team after their 1-1 draw with West Brom:

I think on the balance of chances it was a fair result,” said Hughton.

It was certainly an entertaining, end-to-end game.

I was delighted with the players’ response after going in 1-0 down at half-time.

They came out for the second-half and got the equaliser they deserved and after that we had West Brom on the back foot.

We had a couple of good chances to take the lead and on another day I think we would have left here with three points.

But let’s not forget that Tim Krul has made some outstanding saves at the other end.”

That’s it for now. It should be an interesting week though – I expect this sale saga will come to an end, at least for this season.

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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20 Responses

  1. bowburnmag is back on home soil after a 7 hour car journey home on his own ending at midnight. The family got to stay for another days holiday. Outrageous!! I need another holiday already.

    I see we’re still in the same pickle then?

    Is it just me or did the 1-1 draw not just epitomise the apathy around the club? It wasn’t like they could have given us a sparkling win to get our hopes up nor was it a hiding so no justification to **** and moan any more than usual. Just about managing to scrape a draw seems fairly in keeping with the current situation. Neither forwards or backwards. The swines!

    Reet, fortunately I have to busy myself with catch-up graft so won’t have to think too much about ‘the situation’ this morning. Who knows, by then we might be sorted!!??!!

  2. I’m delighted with a point. West Brom are a very good team and there a lot of positives to take from the game. Defending set pieces need working on and Jonas must be dropped. A goalscorer would be good too if Ashley gets a manager in.

  3. Welcome back Bowburn. Hope you had a nice holiday.

    ESAMIM, I thought Jonas was quite good on Saturday. His ‘final balls’ weren’t perfect, but he was one of the best ones out there overall I think. He worked well with Enrique down the left.

    You’re right though, there were alot of positives to take from the game considering the general mess ATM.

  4. Happy with a point but I don’t think WBA will be contenders for automatic promotion on that performance.

    On the subject of Gutierrez, he’s poor! The final ball is the most important part of any wingers game and time and time again he cocks it up.

    How many goals has he scored or created? He didn’t look interested and his theatrics were embarrassing.

    If we keep this squad we may get to the play offs but I think we’ll lose more players and it doesn’t look like any will come in.

    That could be relegation fight at worst and mid table at best.

  5. I just think it’s too early to tell how we’ll do. There are so many factors yet to be decided.

    – new owner
    – new manager
    – who gets sold
    – who gets bought

    Depending on how the above pan out we could be anywhere from promotion contenders to relegation contenders.

  6. We could improve the squad without spending by getting in Sol Campbell on a free. He could replace Coloccini and it would improve the team no end. Guthrie or LuaLua can play on the right and Duff on the left. Other than that there is not much more that can be done without spending money on players.

  7. I watched some crap last season, but Saturday’s game was the worse game I’ve every watched in a very long time. I’m glad I missed out on a ticket now. They were poor, but we were worse.
    Ashley is an idiot, he won’t accept anything less than £100m, so we are stuck with him. Expect a season of no new signings, because he won’t want to spend on something he is trying to sell, and teams comfortably beating us. It’s not exactly PL standard down here, but on Saturday’s performance there are a lot of teams that are a lot better than us.
    If we had sorted out the manager at the end of the season and if there was money spent in the right way, we may have been a contender. As it stands I can’t see us going anywhere, unless it’s down a division.
    A farce, a ridiculous farce.

  8. Judging by the stories it would appear Barton was probably giving both Colo and Jonas a kick up the ar*se for different reasons. Assuming it happened, it’s just a shame that it didn’t come from a gaffer and in a constructive and diplomatic manner. But with martial law tendencies, Joey is/was always likely to throw his weight around in the current circumstances.

  9. We played better on saturday than we did for most of last season, probably because West Brom are worse too.

  10. “Expect a season of no new signings, because he won’t want to spend on something he is trying to sell”

    MT, if he doesn’t spend the money to try and gain promotion, his club will continue to drop in value, thus making it harder for him to sell at the price he wants. If he wants £100m for the club and no less he simply has to spend money to improve it.

    Either that or he’ll have to accept he’s stuck with the club for some considerable time and he can cut even more of the high-earners, spend just enough to avoid relegation and let things drift until he decides what to do next.

  11. “Either that or he’ll have to accept he’s stuck with the club for some considerable time and he can cut even more of the high-earners, spend just enough to avoid relegation and let things drift until he decides what to do next.”

    I think he’ll do just that. In fact, has he not already done that? He’ll just get on with other ventures and dump us at the most financially opportune moment for him.

  12. I agree with that BBM. I think he’ll just stick around because he can’t get his £100m. Didn’t I read something about him and Keith Harris falling out because KH was strongly recommending MA take the deals that were on the table, but MA was saying no because the offers weren’t matching his £100m.
    Now that the season has started, it’s really hit home with me and I have no real desire to follow us until we are out of MA’s hands.
    Of course I will, I can’t help myself, but I wish I could just wash my hands of it all!

  13. I’m a bit bemused by the press reports (assuming they’re true, which can definitely not be taken for granted) that don’t have Shearer as a potential manager if Ashley stays.

    I’m presuming that’s because Ashley doesn’t think Shearer will sign up unless there’s a commitment to rebuild the club and push for promotion.

    It’s just that previously both Ashley and Llambias have praised Shearer highly.

  14. Hi Beye,

    Yes, I’ll donate a prize from the NUFC Blog shop for the winner, but it won’t be the signed Alan Shearer shirt or anything like that!

    We can write a quick ‘blog, users can put their suggestions in the comments and you can pick the winner. The winner can choose from several Toon related items I have selected of roughly the same value for their prize, send in their postal address, and I’ll get it off to them!

    How’s that?

  15. Sounds like a plan!

    I need to clear my head and get something written but I appear to have writer’s block since my week off.

    (a collective sigh of relief from any and all readers….)

  16. worky i like the idea but you didnt need to go to som much trouble

    bowburn i am quite dissapointed to hear you have writers block because on your day youre better than most if not all journalists employed by the papers

  17. Cheers beye, appreciate the compliment.

    By the way, didn’t get chance to respond to your comment last week about the caricature tribute to Robson.
    It’s from a lad who posts on teamtalk. He’s great craic and unbeknown to me, until I saw that, also obviously very talented.

    Here’s a link to his site –

    http://excelsiorspeaks.blogspot.com/

    It’s not all football but either way it’s quality nonetheless.

  18. 16 workyticket says:
    August 10, 2009 at 7:26 pm
    Hi Beye,

    Yes, I’ll donate a prize from the NUFC Blog shop for the winner, but it won’t be the signed Alan Shearer shirt or anything like that!

    We can write a quick ‘blog, users can put their suggestions in the comments and you can pick the winner. The winner can choose from several Toon related items I have selected of roughly the same value for their prize, send in their postal address, and I’ll get it off to them!
    <<<<< that me lad worky get the addresses then i can call round on them

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