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How would YOU spend Mike Ashley’s £100 million windfall on Newcastle United?

Posted on February 26th, 2013 | 74 Comments |

Mike Ashley.
Ashley: £100 million windfall.
It may not have escaped the attention of you fans out there that Mike Ashley has recently had a windfall of around £100 million after selling aprroximately 7% of his holding in tacky sportwear retailer, Sports Direct.

Reading about it in the Guardian’s “Market Forces ‘blog” this morning as I enjoyed my Eggs Benedict. I noticed this part of the article:

“Supporters of Newcastle United, which Ashley owns, must be hoping some of the money is destined for new players in the summer.”

Which made me curious. If YOU were Mike Ashley, and you wanted to invest the whole of that £100 million in Newcastle United, how would you spend it?

After all, Ashley and his Tat Direct have already had tens of millions of pounds worth of free advertising out of the club, so it would only be fair! Of course, as Ashley is as tight as a gnat’s chuff, it probably won’t happen. But nonetheless, I thought it would be an interesting excercise in seeing how you might want to improve the club.

To make it easier for you, I have made a few suggestions below, using the football transfer website “Transfermarkt” and one or two other sources as a reference, I have made a list of suggestions on how this £100 million could be spent. It could buy:

95.2% of Lionel Messi (£105 million not including wages). Alternatively, you could buy the whole of Lionel Messi (there isn’t very much of him) and give them Shola Ameobi as a part-ex replacement, throwing in Mike Williamson to shore up Barcelona’s defence.

A whole Christiano Ronaldo (£88 million) leaving enough over to pay Jose Mourinho’s wages for a year (£12 million).

The whole of the Sunderland first team squad with £500,000 change (£99.5 million).

OK, I’m being a bit silly in some of my suggestions above, but I’m sure that you could come up with some better suggestions. It doesn’t have to be just on players either. For instance, you might want to spend at least some of it on a better manager, or on improving the Academy after it’s dismal failure in gaining EPPP “Category One” status.

It’s up to you.

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NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1055 articles on this blog.

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74 Responses

  1. sammy d says:
    February 26, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    “dont forget “tat direct” has funded us to the tune of £200 million already.”

    No it hasn’t Sammy, though Ashley would like you to think that, which is why he has repeated this canard so often in the past. He paid around £144 million for the club, but the club’s debt is larger now than it was when he took over.

  2. FFS Worky, you’re about to bring the beancounters out of the woodwork once more, dont know if i can hack another session of accounting 101#.

  3. Why would we buy the Sunderland squad? Just to p*ss off the mackems?

    We are buying the French National team and dont need Connor Wickham.

  4. GS says:
    February 26, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    “Why would we buy the Sunderland squad? Just to p*ss off the mackems?”

    GS, with what they have, they’d probably be over the moon and tell us to take Martin O’Verrated too.

  5. I saw the Prince of Denmark is staying at Swansea. How about Chelsea for him?

    Imagine what a good manager could do with our present squad?

  6. GS says:
    February 26, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    “I saw the Prince of Denmark is staying at Swansea. How about Chelsea for him?”

    GS, I think he’d be like his ex team mate Guardiola in that. What I mean is he’d take a proper club like Bayern or Barcelona over a few extra million working for a twat who kept sticking his neb in.

  7. Or imagine a good manager at chelsea. They could buy schweinstuberuberswanger, and kroos and meuler and be pretty fandabadozi when added to all the latin flair.

  8. Gomis on a free to back up cisse.
    Dario Srna to cover rb lb rm and lm. Raylor style.
    Ashley Williams – Long time Colo replacement.
    Routledge back to cover rw lw. We should have never let him go.

    Overall cost ~ Srna 8 mil? Routledge 5 mil. Williams 10-15? Gomis free? Under 40 mil inc wages and our squad would be a thing of beauty.

  9. Wahey!

    Nice one Simple-Tings (and Chris and Marcus) for having a go at answering the question posed in the piece.

    I must admit I’ve never really watched Srna very closely, though I have seen him play a few times. Very good player but I’ve only seen him on the right and isn’t he about Coloccini’s age? Most of the players I’ve been looking at recently have been Eredivisie players now I think about it, along with a one or two La Liga players. Carr doesn’t do Spain though seemingly.

  10. Srnas 30 but high quality just for wing coverage. Hes also club captain as was Cabaye n Mbiwa. Good characters to have in a squad. Ashley Williams would be my Colo replacement. Routledge has been immense this season and Gomis looks a real handful he’d be dangerous as a target man given the 4-2-3-1 we’ve finally settled on (halleljuah).

  11. Simple-Tings why waste 40 million on mediocre Shiite like Williams gomis and rout ledge? They wouldn’t get In the starting 11. We need someone special, Edison cavani would do!

  12. …..One player is your answer? Do you watch football? Williams is quality CB and.club captain. Gomis is not shit and his physical prowess and aerial strength would be great for our current sysyem. Routledge has more goals AND assists than most of our squad this season FACT. Check the stats. The thing is ive actually thought about my answer i wouldnt.just blow 54 million on one 26 yr old.striker plus 14mil on his wages. Nice on Frank…I think you need to talk to Frank.

  13. Simple-Tings says:
    February 26, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    “given the 4-2-3-1 we’ve finally settled on (halleljuah).”

    Aye S-T, Pardew did go in a new direction at the end of last season though, at least until we were a couple of goals in front in games anyway. When it got to this season though, he reset everything and we’ve found ourselves struggling to keep away from the bottom end for much of the season. I do hope it doesn’t happen again.

  14. @worky – youre correct that the debt is much larger than it was when Ashley took over and mostly due to his stupid decisions of sacking Allardyce, bringing Keegan in, Dennis Wise and his hotch potch spanish academy, relegation etc etc – however it is still NUFC’s debt and it needs to be funded which Ashley has done – he’s not actually paying for his mistakes as NUFC are, he just happens to be letting us have the debt interest free

    Obviously the 100 million is his and we wont see any of it going into the toon – thats for sure, he has said all along that we need to be self sufficient as a club , well not all along, he started off saying he was happy to put 25 million of his own money in every year

    Still, we’re on the right path now – better late than never (albeit in debt to the tune of 200 mil rather than the 70 mil we had when he took over)

  15. stevep says:
    February 27, 2013 at 10:41 am

    “he’s not actually paying for his mistakes as NUFC are, he just happens to be letting us have the debt interest free”

    It’s his debt Steve. He inherited it when he bought the club, but he’s letting the club pay it. That’s why he’s a billionaire and the club is more in the red than it ever has been. :-)

  16. Sack Pardew hire Laurent Blanc if he’s still available in the summer.
    Grab Benteke or Le Fondre(I’d guess around £7m each) or both assuming they both get relegated.
    Sign Ben Arfa & Cabaye up on better wages and a longer contract.
    Is Douglas still a possibility? If so let Collo leave and get him in. Make Cabaye new captain.
    Buy Ashley Young as an English player, let him take Obertans place or Jonas’ depending on form.
    Hire some sort of specialist to help in training with injury preventation!

    Don’t know enough about the foreign leagues to poach from them properly! It’s strange I thought I’d want to change alot but our team and squad isn’t bad without injury now and with a real manager we could do very well.

  17. Worky: where is Andymac? It would be good to have a preview of the Swansea game. My question is will a far superior squad be outmanaged and lose an important and winnable game?

  18. GS says:
    February 27, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    “Worky: where is Andymac?”

    He picked his ball up and stormed off quite a while ago GS. He’s been back on here once or maybe twice since then to leave an odd comment, but that’s about it.

    It all started when I suggested he was going a bit too far about Pardew, writing things like he hoped he was run over by bus and so on, then it escalated after he wrote something that was pretty nasty about an ex girlfriend of mine who was killed by a truck years ago. I was quite upset by that last one but he was the one who was getting really radged and personal. I was nonplussed by the whole thing.

    Jimbob used to write very good match previews as well, and I did them too but they take hours and people don’t seem to be so interested in the football side of things nowadays, just gossip and buying new players. So in terms of the effort involved in doing the kind of previews and the relative interest shown in them, it just wasn’t worth it. To write them, do the images and edit them would take several hours when I could have done several other blogs in the same amount of time, and each of which would get many more readers than the previews. I didn’t see any point in just doing quick, crappy ones as many other sites do those anyway.

  19. depends which market ashley and his cronies will exploit next.
    if it’s the dutch league, we’ll spend some money on cheap recruits, and the rest on job lot clogs and edam.

    if it’s belgium the same as above, players wise, and job lot chocolate and horsemeat.

    then they can punt on their cheap wares, and we’ll have dutch day, belgium day, or what ever else day, and quadruple their money selling their tat to yet more gullibe fans.

  20. GS says:
    February 27, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    “My question is will a far superior squad be outmanaged and lose an important and winnable game?”

    Well that’s part of the excitement of football, isn’t it? We divven’t knaa for sure, same as last time against Southampton. The tide went one way and then the other when we learned to exploit the weak spots in their high line. They’re not really used to Pochettino’s very demanding style of play yet.

    As for Swansea, we can’t really go by their last Premiership game against Liverpool as that was Swansea reserves mostly due to Laudrup being very careful about the League Cup final. We can’t go by that cup final either as the opposition was Bradford City.

  21. Worky says @26:

    “I didn’t see any point in just doing quick, crappy ones as many other sites do those anyway.”

    :)

  22. Joe Hawkins: cheer up. We have good players. As I said before, even Pardew can’t f*ck this one up.

    Then again, he had Tevez and Macherano …

  23. GS says:
    February 27, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    “Then again, he had Tevez and Macherano …”

    Aye GS, but if he’d played Tevez in his correct position, he would have had to sacrifice Harewood, and if he played Mascherano, then he would have had to sacrifice Mullins too.

    If you had a choice between Harewood and Mullins, or Tevez and Mascherano, who would you choose?

  24. give Alan the whole £100m to build a team that could win the league or any blood trophy for that matter his done amazing job so far its time the toon won something.

  25. Ashley should invest 100m in the club and use the funds to pay off 100m of the debt that the club owes . . . Mike Ashley.

    Then Worky can stop complaining that the club is more in debt than it had been before Ashley bought it ;)

  26. Free Scoring Smudge says:
    February 27, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    “Then Worky can stop complaining that the club is more in debt than it had been before Ashley bought it ;-)”

    Smudge, I haven’t said it anywhere near as much as Ashley’s ciphers have said that Ashley has “pumped over £260 million of his own money into the club” and “cleared the debts” ;-).

  27. GS says:
    February 27, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    “Worky: keep up the good work with the accounting “101″ stuff. It will keep you know who off”

    GS, I thought that you two had both kissed and made up?

    I would have thought that Wayne’s comment at 35 would have rattled old Oscar the Grouch’s trash can.

  28. C’mon guys, we done beancounting 101# a million times, and it becomes more boring with the re-telling.

    Reading the rumor L’pool are preparing a twenty million quid bid for wor Hatem.
    Now thats a lotta dosh, would i take it or not, tough one ?
    But there’s no doubt in my mind about Ashley, he would grab it in a NY second.

    My question would be, is he worth that much to the side, than what we could get for that kinda money ?
    But actually it may be a moot point, as L’pool are not the side they once were, dont have the same cachet, have’nt won anything lately.

    So would he consider going from NUFC to Merseyside, i think not.

    Perhaps Chelsea, or one of th north London clubs.
    Citeh with it’s big salaries, even MU, which i doubt are interested.
    But L’pool ? nah!

  29. I don’t have a problem with him at all. I like to YANK his chain now and again. He makes a lot of sense when he is sober.

  30. Smudge, I haven’t said it anywhere near as much as Ashley’s ciphers have said that Ashley has “pumped over £260 million of his own money into the club” and “cleared the debts” ;).

    That’s the point, though – Ashley pumped his “own money” and didn’t use leverage as Liverpool and ManUre’s owners had. He “cleared the debts” from other lenders saving the club 6-7m a year in interest payments. Who cares if Ashley calls his contributions equity or an interest free loan?

  31. Free Scoring Smudge says:
    February 27, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    “He “cleared the debts” from other lenders saving the club 6-7m a year in interest payments.”

    Don’t you mean saving himself £6-7 million a year in interest payments, Smudge?

    Sorry Chuck. You should like the latest blog with Porciestreet’s Magpie memories. Jackie Milburn, jumping over/under the wall, small boys in the park, jumpers for goalposts, marvellous!

  32. I see there’s speculation as to why Ashley recently sold a four percent share of his ownership in Sports Direct.
    Many fans believing it may go to-wards the purchase of new players.
    Are you serious, only desperation and panic caused him to bring in the recent reinforcements and you can bet your ass there will be another summer window, pretty much like the last.
    The selling of part of his business has more to do with recent projections from those financial sources, who forsee a further shrinking of the European economy.
    In which case he continues to maintain control, but has a few extra bob in his pocket for emergencies.
    Who knows some other old brand name may go to the wall that he can snatch up for nowt.
    Cash being king, these days.
    Now thats Economics 101#

  33. The thing that confuses me is that if Ashley wanted to sell NUFC why wouldn’t he have Sports Direct pay advertising fees of say 20 million and cook the books a bit for a sale? He is the most confusing of billionaires :) He even said he didn’t know what the club was worth when he bought it.

    Yeah, sorry Chuckles.

  34. “Don’t you mean saving himself £6-7 million a year in interest payments, Smudge?”

    No, because interest can easily be paid from club revenues as it had under Hall/Shepherd, while still paying the ownership handsome dividends. See also Man U selling Ronaldo and using the proceeds to pay down debt.

    Yes, bank debt/interest would potentially reduce Ashley’s selling price down the road, but it would also, and to me more importantly, reduce funds available for player purchases and wages.

  35. Free Scoring Smudge says:
    February 27, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    “No, because interest can easily be paid from club revenues as it had under Hall/Shepherd, while still paying the ownership handsome dividends. See also Man U selling Ronaldo and using the proceeds to pay down debt.”

    So are you saying that Ashley and Llambias are lying when they keep saying that the club would have almost certainly fallen into the financial abyss if Ashley didn’t come in and roll up all the debt into one easy package then Smudge?

  36. Worky

    Sounds interesting, the Porciestreet Piece, obviously he myself along with a few others are the few remaining fans of the glory years, late forties until mid to late fifties.
    Where there wer no dumbass chants like to-day.
    I would like to know when this ridiculess Toon-Toon chant and others were introduced.
    Afraid i’m still a fan of the wall of sound “Howeeeeaaaaah Newcaaaasiiil”! as the team came running out of the tunnel, spraying balls around.
    None of this recent walking out a lining up then shaking hands bullshit.
    The rules of the game were different and i’m talking about the unwritten ones as well.
    Diving was frowned on by both players and fans, there were few deliberate attempts to injure, goalies were often bundled into the goal (some allowed others not) on set pieces, but you did’nt have shirt pullin, holding and the usual mayhem inside the box you see to-day during corner kicks.
    Plus the ball tended to stay on the ground.
    Pretty hard to lift a soaking wet and mud caked leather ball weighing twenty pounds in the air.
    Plus there were few attempts to heed the ball, unless you were willing to accept a concussion.

  37. chuck says:
    February 27, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    “I see there’s speculation as to why Ashley recently sold a four percent share of his ownership in Sports Direct.”

    Not on my part Chuck, though there has been speculation in the financial press that the corresponding drop in the share price may well lose Sports Direct a place in the FTSE100 of the top 100 companies traded on the London Stock Exchange. If so, this would be daft like the thing you used to bang on bang on about constantly, ie getting relegated and losing out on all next season’s Premiership TV money for the sake of saving a few million on players.

  38. How often does the FTSE index get updated? I doubt a one day drop will push Sports Direct out of it. It is obviously an overreaction. Ashley sold 4% and the shares dropped 7%. He sold below the current market so people made assumptions that he wanted the money before a drop because he knew something they didn’t. He probably just wanted a quick sale because he is a greedy bastardo.

  39. chuck says:
    February 27, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Well i’m not offended at all by the fans chants, though as a cynical old grouch like yourself, I do know where you’re coming from generally.

    I’ve never been a replica shirt person, it used to be scarves in my day, and I still say “Magpies” rather than “Toon.”

    I banged on about this before but I hated John Hall’s Slobodan Milosevic style “Geordie Nation” rhetoric about how the Southerners were the enemy because they hate us. I didn’t care much for what many Geordies became after all that period turned into trophyless ashes. All the xenophobic, chip on the shoulder guff about the South. That’s when it really changed for me. We didn’t used to be like that.

  40. GS says:
    February 27, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    “How often does the FTSE index get updated? I doubt a one day drop will push Sports Direct out of it.”

    GS, I know what you’re saying, but the basis of the stories were that it was just on the brink of inclusion in next months qurterly reshuffle (which answers your question about how often it’s updated). It’s the end of February now so the reshuffle is VERY soon.

  41. “So are you saying that Ashley and Llambias are lying when they keep saying that the club would have almost certainly fallen into the financial abyss if Ashley didn’t come in and roll up all the debt into one easy package then Smudge?”

    After a relegation in the midst of a global financial crisis, yes, a rollup was necessary. However, Ashley’s loan could have been purchased by a bank after promotion and charged interest. Better yet, Ashley could have sold off Colo, Jonas, Barton, Saylor, and Nolan that summer and left us in the championship. Instead, he did what was in his own best interest (and the supporters) by keeping a lot of expensive players and crushing the rest of the second tier (although WBA gave us fits both times we played them).

  42. Worky: didn’t Ashley sell to the so called smart money? I have worked in finance for 30 years and it beggars belief how often analysts and journalists are wrong on their stock tips and analysis.

    Of course, since I mention this it is the one time they will be f*cking right :)

  43. I agree with Smudge that we would have been totally screwed without Ashley’s money. Fat Fred didn’t have the resources to weather the financial storm. Fat Mike did.

    It was a house of cards, dominoes ready to fall, a tidal wave of destruction ready to come ashore, a 100 year storm, sodom and gomorrah …

  44. GS says:
    February 27, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    “Worky: didn’t Ashley sell to the so called smart money?”

    Could you explain that a bit please GS?

    “I have worked in finance for 30 years and it beggars belief how often analysts and journalists are wrong on their stock tips and analysis.”

    Aye but doesn’t it also beggar belief how little the great majority of so called football correspondents actually know about football too GS? They’re not the only two examples either.

  45. Completely rework the training facilities, hire a real manager (Blanc would indeed work for me, or Poyet), buy a forward for now (Bony/Aubemayang/Van Wolfswinkel) as well as a center half to cover Colo’s departure (Douglas or Musacchio would work fine) sign HBA, Cabaye and Krul to new long term contracts that will protect them, repopulate the youth ranks, expand our scouting operation to look at young players on other continents and most importantly: fire Llambias and replace him with David Dein or Ramon Calderon.

    Even then there would be some cheese left over which I’m guessing is your point, worky.

  46. Worky: I didn’t look into it that much but from what I saw he sold to what they call “sophisticated investors” and not the general public with a lot of hype surrounding it. You would think they would get a decent deal, but you never know.

    I have swallowed so much crap from NUFC over the years that I don’t know if I am coming or going as far as they are concerned.

    You would think that after so much misery I would be able to spot a NUFC trend but I don’t. It is a total blind spot.

  47. GS says:
    February 27, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    “Fat Fred didn’t have the resources to weather the financial storm. Fat Mike did.”

    I’ve said that to myself many times, that WAS the difference. All the revisionist stuff about Fat Freddy’s profligate signings was cooked up a LONG time after Ashley took over the club, carefully forgetting to mention that players such as Cacapa and Smith were technically signed under Ashley’s watch. Then there were signings like Xisco and although Coloccini has turned out to be an excellent player, he was over £10 million.

    The revisionism started with relegation, then went into overdrive once Hughton brought in Carr and the French Connection started.

  48. Worky:

    The answer is a big NO, I don’t think they were lying. Rather than evading the question, I was explaining why Ashley’s rollup to prevent financial ruin is consistent with saving the club 6-7m a year, and that sum is likely higher because because relegation would have run up the debt significantly.

    My primary point, though, is that who gives two ships whether Ashley has considered his NUFC investment to be equity or interest free debt? Money is saved from interest payments, money that has gone to player purchases and wages.

    Ashley has kept his money sitting in the club, while he potentially could have funded us partially with debt and used his cash on other things like gambling or increasing his stake in JJB sports to take the piss off Dave Whelan.

  49. GS says:
    February 27, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    “Worky: I didn’t look into it that much but from what I saw he sold to what they call “sophisticated investors” and not the general public with a lot of hype surrounding it. You would think they would get a decent deal, but you never know.”

    Thanks GS. I don’t recall seing anything about the “sophisticated investors” and I believe there are also one or two organisations which actually call themselves “Smart Money” too, hence I wasn’t sure what you meant there.

    Incidentally, did you read Richard Branson moaning about how he wasn’t given the chance to make a counter bid on the shirt sponsorship today? He claims they just struck a deal with Wonga without mentioning it to him.

  50. Well I’m primarily interested in football so:

    I think this squad is being shaped into that of a 4-3-3 side. Can’t see how to use a stable of CMs including Cabaye, Tiote, Anita, Sissoko and Bigirimana in 4-2-3-1. At least one and likely two or three would have to warm the bench eternally. Whereas straightforward wide midfield players? I don’t think we have one. Marveaux, Obertan and Gutierrez all can be and have been used in different spots, whether at CM or wide FW.

  51. worky @ 63: that Branson is a slippery one. I’m sure he & MA deserve each other. Virgin had announced that they were getting out of the sports-sponsorship business, no? Why would you offer a guy who just announced he’s a vegetarian a chance to buy a hot dog?

  52. tunyc says:
    February 27, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    “Can’t see how to use a stable of CMs including Cabaye, Tiote, Anita, Sissoko and Bigirimana in 4-2-3-1.”

    Well my answer to the reasons for the midfielders might well take us into financial territory once again, so I won’t go there as Smudge might do my head in if we keep on that topic! ;-)

  53. tunyc:

    I like the 4-3-3, although it can get pretty similar to the 4-2-3-1 if you push a midfielder up and ask the wide men to defend a bit more.

    Couldn’t we line up in a pretty dangerous 4-3-3 right now with Gouffran and HBA as the wide forwards?

  54. tunyc says:
    February 27, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    “worky @ 63: that Branson is a slippery one. I’m sure he & MA deserve each other.”

    Can’t stand the beardy bastard! His broadband is a complete and utter rip off cowboy operation and I have a Phd on that subject. I’m with Johnny Rotten when he said of Branson “Never trust a hippy.” What he meant was never trust a rich businessman who trades on being a hippy. That Ben and Jerry and Steve Jobs over on your side of the pond are / were no better. “Hippy” billonaires are even worse than the normal ones.

  55. Not sure that having HBA on the right wing is the way to go, he doesnt have that much pace, appears to be more productive either behind the striker or as a free roaming role in the center.
    Where he can cause a bit of havoc, with his ball skills, laying on the pass or shooting.
    Sissoko i can see in the Ya Ya Toure role, but he’s so talented perhaps he can play on the right wing, but here we are spoiled for choice, why dont we just use Marveaux on the right wing, Gouffron on the left, plenty of pace there with Cisse up front, HBA behind then Cabaye and Sissoko as both defensive and ball providers, as they can both put their foot in and pass, with Sissoko able to play that box to box role, for which he was described as prior to his comming here.
    With our present squad does’nt mean we have to play the same side every week, horses for courses, Tiote, Bigi,
    And the others, including Haidara and Yanga M,biwa, should be rotated in and out, as we are still in volved with Europe, but besides that the side should be platooned .
    Keeps players match fit and is better for morale.
    One thing i cant see is why Pardew considers Jonas to be a constant inclusion, whether RW, LW, or DM, hes not that good in any of those roles, and perhaps he could do with a rest now and then.

  56. Yes it’s a fair analysis, but i thought we had the better talent on the field plus a much pacier side.
    Which if you check out what i have been saying here lately, is we have to utilze, that pace.
    Especially with sides that move forward as a unit, that long ball to either wing or a 50/50 ball lobbed over both defender and our forward immediately puts them on the back foot, being most forwards have a bit more pace than defenders.
    I’m not a great fan of cedind space to the opposition, as Pardew does, i would like to see at lest three forwards harrassing the defense as they attempt to carry the ball forward, yes a high line.
    Don’t cede possession and ground to the opposition, this is a recipe for disaster and i cringe when he begins to replace forwards with defenders, leaving no doubt to the opposition, all they have to worry about is ten defenders just hoofing the ball in the general direction of their goal FFS.
    I would like us to continue playing both an attacking and defending role and if we get more goals, all the better.
    But to be as predictable as we have been, is awfull.
    I mean if we knew how to take advantage of a pressing side, by using the fast break, a variation of the old cattenachio, sure, but to purely set out to do nothing but defend, again, a recipe for disaster.
    But then they did’nt exactly do that against S’ampton, which is hartening.
    A step in the right direction.

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