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Are Liverpool the new Newcastle?

Posted on April 3rd, 2012 | 25 Comments |

Dalglish and Pardew
Who's the messiah?
Newcastle United appear to have sorted themselves out after a long period of woe but are there are certain similarities between what Liverpool are going through now and what Newcastle have been through in the past?

Liverpool seemed in turmoil on Sunday. We beat them fairly comfortably, their goalkeeper was sent off and Andy Carroll looks like he’s heading for a bust-up with Kenny Dalglish after allegedly voicing his distaste at being substituted with a word rhyming with ‘luck’, of which they had little, followed by ‘off’, which Carroll certainly was.

But I feel just a little for Liverpool because they are currently ‘doing a Newcastle’. We’ve been in their situation in the not too distant past. They’ve brought back a ‘messiah’, spent a fortune on players not living up to their price tag, have an unsettled fan-base and they seem to be plagued by controversy, the Suarez incident being perhaps the most notable example.

Granted they haven’t imploded like we did and got themselves relegated yet, and they are one trophy to the good this season and in with a chance of the second. If truth be told, I think Liverpool will turn out to be a bit more resilient than us and will bounce back, although whether that’s under the leadership of King Kenny and with Andy Carroll leading the line remains to be seen. But it struck me that there are certain parallels between our past and what they’re going through though.

As regular readers of my mellow missives will know I’m a bit of fence-sitter on lots of things, preferring to deal with individual issues as they occur rather than taking a long-term stance on the people involved. Yet I can’t help but feel optimistic about things in general at Newcastle. I think Ashley’s recruitment policy is the right one and, so far, I believe it has worked. We can draw comparisons with Liverpool to test that too: if you add up what we paid for Cisse, Tiote, Ben Arfa, Santon and Cabaye it’s still not as much as Liverpool paid for Andy Carroll, and the way Carroll is playing lately I’d take any one of those players over him.

Pardew too seems to have grown into the job and I doubt many would argue that he’s done well this season, particularly in the recent matches where he’s unleashed a front three who can entertain as well as score goals. How far he can take us is another question of course, but he’s certainly earned the right to have a try.

There are still some thorny issues, such as the St James’ Park renaming fiasco. I think that was ill-advised whichever way you look at it. If Ashley really does intend to find a sponsor then he has not proceeded in the best way according to many marketing professionals. If it has always been his intention to advertise his T-shirt business – and the publicity about ‘finding a sponsor’ is some sort of ruse – then there’s a clear conflict of interest. I do wonder if Ashley thinks his advertising is ‘due’ for him providing the £100m+ the club owes him interest-free. Time will tell whether we get a sponsor or not of course. If we do then at least the club is getting some payback for losing the ground’s name and the history associated with it. That might not make it right but I think it would make it more bearable in the eyes of many fans.

But, that issue aside, I wonder if the club is turning itself slowly around. Perhaps hard lessons have been learnt from previous mistakes and we’re now finding our way. If what’s happening on the pitch is anything to go by it would certainly seem as if that’s the case.

Going back to the comparison with Liverpool – as I said, despite turbulent times, they have a trophy this season and my gut feeling is that they’ll rectify the problems without hitting the lows we did, but I’d rather be in the position we are today – and I mean in terms of the stage of development of the club as well as 2 places and 11 points above them in the league – than be in their position.

So I’m optimistic. Oddly though, I’m still not what you might call ‘confident’ though. The club has shot itself in the foot so many times that I think I’ll be wary for a few years yet!

Note on the Prediction Competition

Please note that Easter has stuck its gory finger into the prediction competition schedules.

Next weekend’s predictions (week 12) need to be completed by Friday 6th April at 16:00, which and covers the games on the 6th, 7th and 8th of April.

Then it’s a fast turnaround for week 13, covering the games on the 9th, 10th and 11th April – those predictions need to be made by Monday 9th April at 15:00.

It’s back to normal after that.

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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25 Responses

  1. “But I feel just a little for Liverpool because they are currently ‘doing a Newcastle’.”

    More like doing a Spurs with them bringing Damien Comolli in to bugger everything up, as he did at Tottenham.

  2. Despite a European Cup win & now a League Cup, there has been a feeling among liverpool fans for years that they are in decline.
    Any club who had their incredible success would feel the same (as did manu pre-fergie) – but they are still a successful club, its just that they were used to being allways no.1 or (in a bad year) no.2

    I remember when Keegan’s NUFC were in their pomp – I was sitting on the Isle of Man Ferry one late saturday night departure listening to Tommy Smith’s radio phone in programme, and every caller slated the team, the manager the player, doom & gloom etc. – and they were 4th!

    No, they are nowhere near doing a Newcastle, no chance what so ever! It is all a matter of comparison – they definately face a very tough task to get back into the top 4 – even 5th may be out of reach for a while.

    But whereas to NUFC 6th is success – to LFC 6th is failure – that is the difference!

    It is a matter of acceptable standards – and it is a sobering thought that we must face that Liverpool’s are higher than ours.

  3. Marveaux 4 days from fitness! I’ve never seen him play – anyone suggest how he would fit into the current team?

  4. Supermac says:
    April 3, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    “It is a matter of acceptable standards – and it is a sobering thought that we must face that Liverpool’s are higher than ours.”

    “We never celebrate second place here.” – Bob Paisley

    “Mind you, I’ve been here during the bad times too – one year we came second.” – Bob Paisley

  5. “there are two great teams in Liverpool – Liverpool FC & Liverpool FC reserves” – Shanks

    – and the problem is (horror of horrors) that Everton are now above Liverpool!

  6. As much as I hate to admit it Ashley had again made a good business decision by renaming the stadium.

    If we had changed the name from St James to the Virgin Stadium for example everyone would hate it, there would be protests etc and the brand would get dragged through the mud before we eventually accepted it and just called it St James anyway. Who would want to invest in that??

    By renaming it the Sportsdirect.com or whatever, anyone who comes in to give us a proper sponsorship that can earn us some dollars will immediately be seen as an improvement on the non money making and crappy named sportsdirect.com and the fans will celebrate.

    Again not what we wanted but long term it’s better for the club than an instant switch.

  7. And yes I think Liverpool are very simliar to the old Newcastle. They have a ton of players who are overpaid, on long contracts and out of form, they will be replacing their manager if things dont improve and their fans are bitterly disappointed. I dont think they will ever get relegated but I think they are in for a rough few years as far as gossip and unrest in the dressing room.

  8. I look forward to getting back Marveux but with HBA playing the way he is, Sylvain would only be an sub.

  9. Charlietoon says:
    April 3, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    “As much as I hate to admit it Ashley had again made a good business decision by renaming the stadium.”

    Charlietoon, prospective sponsors would want to be associated with the tradition and passion of the Newcastle United “brand”, not the cheap and nasty brand of Sports Direct. That’s exactly what the ludicrous and dishonest “showcase” idea does, associates any prospective sponsor more with Sports Direct and less with the NUFC, which is poison. It benefits Sports Direct to the detriment of the club but either way, Ashley wins. Despite the recently released reduced operating losses for 2010/11, this is one area which is still problematic for the club, improving revenue from these kinds of sources.

  10. Hmm! no restless natives ?
    Appears most fans are happy enough to be in sixth place, even in a somewhat self congratulatory mind set.
    Perhaps thats the difference, between NUFC and Liverpool?
    If my memory serves me right, did we the fans not play a role in dumping SBR, when in fifth place ?
    I dont get it ?
    Quite possible the problem at Liverpool is evenly divided between a manager past his sell by date and the guy doing the buying.
    Both Dalglish and Comoli are at the heart of the problem and until the Fenway Group are aware of it, there will be more of the same.
    Yes the same Comoli who, through his oversight role at Spurs, ended the season of a very good coach Martin Jol,
    now doing the business at Fulham.
    I’m surprised at liverpool, with some decent players and someone who IMO is an excellent coach (Clarke)but looking at the team overall, is it any better than Benitez’s sides ?
    Nothing tougher than putting a good side to-gether.
    The right player combinations, playing the modern game, having the right coaching, picking the appropriate lineups for the opposition at hand, with everone on the same page.
    It aint just pencilling in some names on the team sheet.
    And how Fergie does it every year is beyond belief.
    Something about success breeds success, you expect and demand it.
    Dont see much demand from the NUFC fans, most are complacent enough with sixth place.
    Tell me i’m wrong and that next seasons expectations will have no limits, cause i’m, getting tired of five and now three year plans and want some kind of success now !

  11. but since SBR when some but only a minority of idiots … I mean fans were critical we’ve had a right bag o shite managing us, spending shed loads of cash on transfers and wages for fook all, Liverpool are in that boat now, heavily in debt and a very large wage bill that was reliant on champions league football next season
    Would imagine Daglish or whoever takes over will have to generate funds to buy which will create a problem as how much would people pay for

    Carroll
    Downing
    Henderson
    Adams

    They’d be lucky to get 20 million for the lot of them and I doubt anybody would pay the wages they’re currently on so they’re well within thier rights to do a smith / geremi and just sit and pick wages up for fook all

  12. Chuck says: Dont see much demand from the NUFC fans, most are complacent enough with sixth place.

    I think they are for this season. Not sure about beyond that.

  13. Appears according to rumor, that “Big Duggie” or Douglas the six four Brasilian/Holland? central defender @ FC Twente, could be a done deal and the same source has us signing Pieters at LB.
    Not having seen Douglas play i have no opinion other than reports, but Pieters looks pretty solid at LB.
    Though i would prefer to have kept Enrique.
    Would like to see a couple more defenders brought in, as injuries can devestate a side and we have had our share of them at this club.

  14. I would imagine if both Chelsea and Liverpool had their druthers, they would never have laid out the dosh they did, for what turned out to be such flops.
    And i suspect there will be clear outs and fire sales at both clubs, this summer.
    Plus, this being the last season approaching, that big bucks can be spent by EPL sides and the fact they have either underperformed,in Europe, or the quality of the top PL sides has lowered, then it’s obviously time to rebuild.
    Question is how will we perform in the marketplace, will we be a buyer or a seller, buy cheap, sell for big profit then replace with, younger better and cheaper ?

  15. chuck says:
    April 3, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    “I would imagine if both Chelsea and Liverpool had their druthers, they would never have laid out the dosh they did, for what turned out to be such flops.”

    Chuck, well in Chelsea’s case, it’s the indulgence of Abramovich, the hubristic billionaire who thinks he’s a master scout. He seems to have that Geremi – Owen knack. Remember the previous Torres style Chelsea superflop, Shevchenko? Purchased for a fortune on Abramovich’s behest just as it was all going tits up for him after a glorious career on top of the world.

    Having written that, it could still come good for Torres.

    Perhaps everything could fall into Di Matteo’s lap there? He was sacked by West Brom after a poor spell on promotion, but Bobby Robson absolutely bombed in his first job at Fulham. The next team he managed was Ipswich and the rest was history as they say.

  16. Chuck said: Dont see much demand from the NUFC fans, most are complacent enough with sixth place.

    Hugh replied: I think they are for this season. Not sure about beyond that.

    Well lads, I think many like me consider 6th to be excellent progress for which we are well chuffed, and so we are prepared to overlook (but not forget) Ashley’s fiascos
    – but this success was based on a excellent start to the season
    – if that is not repeated next term and we struggle early on then it will all come swiftly back to haunt them, especialy if there have not been a few key signings or (even worse) if there were key players sold!

    – in which case the geordie backlash would make Liverpool’s discontent look like a vicar’s tea party!

  17. Check out Obertan’s ‘outside of the right foot’ cross for Colo’s winner.
    Excellent!

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