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Archive for author: workyticket

Who could replace Benitez at the end of the season?

September 4th, 2018 | No Comments |

Rafa Benitez and Mike Ashley
A very rare shot of Benitez and Ashley together.
As most fans will know, Rafa Benitez’s contract as Newcastle United’s manager will expire at the end of the season and so far, the omens do not look particularly good.

After a nightmare start to the season against pretty much the worst possible opposition (Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City in their first four games), the club are currently in the bottom three, and overall transfer spending is in minus figures, leaving Benitez with what is effectively a lower mid table squad. Indeed, according to transfer website Transfermarkt, there are only four teams in the Premier League with lower value squads than Newcastle (£157.23m), these are Bournemouth (£147.83m), Watford (£144.63), Huddersfield (£104.49m) and Cardiff (£84.83m), which almost makes them relegation battlers. Of course, Benitez showed his mettle last season by taking a squad which should have been hovering precariously above the bottom three to a highly creditable 10th in the Premier League. (more…)


Can Benitez still beat Hughton’s 102 point promotion record?

March 3rd, 2017 | 93 Comments |

Benitez and Hughton
Benitez and Hughton’s Tuesday evening showdown
I know similar comparisons have been made elsewhere between Benitez’s current Magpies team and Chris Hughton’s 2009-10 side. However, Tuesday evening’s game against Hughton’s Brighton has finally inspired me to throw in some of my own thoughts on the matter.

As we go into another crunch game against third placed Huddersfield with 34 games gone, Benitez’s team is currently one point ahead of where Hughton’s team were at the same stage with 73 to 72 (as you can see below). (more…)


Why Gayle can be more than just a Championship wonder

January 19th, 2017 | 39 Comments |

Dwight Gayle
Gayle: Can he be as prolific in the Premier League?
If you took a straw poll of Toon fans, I’m pretty sure that most would agree that Dwight Gayle has been Newcastle United’s player of the season so far, and by some distance for 20 obvious reasons. Signed for around £10 million from Crystal Palace, it might have seemed like quite alot for a player with a bit of an injury record who made alot of his appearences off the bench. To get to the point, I was inspired to bring it up after Crystal Palace and ex-Magpie manager Sam Allardyce was asked by the Croydon Advertiser if he would have got rid of the Championship’s top hitman had he been manager last summer. He replied:

“Goals in the Championship doesn’t relate to goals in the Premier League for some players. I saw Abel Hernandez score 20-odd goals to get Hull up last year and he’s struggled badly this term. (more…)


Burton Albion vs Newcastle United: A David vs Goliath struggle

December 16th, 2016 | 57 Comments |

Burton Albion's Pirelli Stadium.
Burton Albion’s Pirelli Stadium.
As Newcastle United travel to the 6900 capacity Pirelli Stadium to face Burton Albion, one of the smallest teams in the Championship, I thought it would be a good opportunity to look at how the spectrum of teams in the Championship is as wide, and maybe even wider as it is in the Premiership with the gap between teams like Manchester United and Burnley.

To explain and give some kind of perpective, football transfer website, Transfermarkt estimates that Toon players such as Aleksandar Mitrovic (est value £10.2 million), Jonjo Shelvey (£9.35 million) or even Chancel Mbemba (£8.5 million) are worth more individually than the whole Burton Albion squad, which is valued at an estimated £7.57m in total. Whilst the average Newcastle United first team squad member is estimated to be worth £4.01 million, at Burton it is only £303,000. (more…)


Newcastle United Art Forum – The Shearer Statue

September 14th, 2016 | 150 Comments |

Alan Shearer statue
Looks like something out of a cereal packet
It isn’t very often that I venture off the highway of football to enter the arena of art criticism here on NUFC Blog, but this is one of those occaisions and I am actually more qualified. Having been a figurative artist, a designer and also an art dealer in a very modest sense, I hope I can give a reasonably informed opinion without getting too carried away.

As you might have guessed from the photo accompanying thus piece, my current musing has been inspired by the recent unveiling of the Alan Shearer sculpture. Named ‘Local Hero,’ it is the second by local self-taught sculptor, Tom Maley for Newcastle United. It follows Maley’s Bobby Robson tribute of 2012, though it was actually commissioned by former NUFC Chairman, Freddie Shepherd before that in 2007 at an alleged cost of around £250,000. There is almost certainly some kind of club politics behind the nine year delay in its unveiling but that is not what this story is about. (more…)