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Archive for category: Champions League.

Why Ashley leaving Toon for the Champions League with Rangers is nonsense

January 27th, 2015 | 32 Comments |

Mike Ashley boxing
Mike Ashley: A heavyweight who’s always up for a fight
With Mike Ashley’s recent attempts to take over at Rangers, and specifically his problems with the Scottish FA for having an interest in both clubs, it has often been said recently that Mike Ashley would be willing to leave Newcastle United so he can take over Rangers completely. There have been several hypotheses put forward for why he might do this

Champions League exposure for Sports Direct?

One which makes no sense at all is that Ashley would be willing to sacrifice Newcastle United and the English Premier League to expose his cheap sports goods in that great league of leagues, the Champions League. This would be once Rangers get through the small formalities of getting promoted back to the Scottish Premiership and then beating Celtic to win the Scottish Premiership title. This one is a complete non-starter though as there are two crucial things the proponents of this hypothesis have overlooked.

1. As both Newcastle United and Rangers fans should know from previous European competition, Rangers or any other side are only allowed to display advertising for their shirt sponsors and kit sponsors. There could be no pitch side hoardings or anything else emblazoned with cheap Ashley brands like Sports Direct, Firetrap and all the rest. Only UEFA sponsorship partners are allowed to advertise in both the Europa and Champions League competitions. (more…)

Newcastle United and one of the greatest blunders in football history

January 8th, 2015 | 64 Comments |

Bobby Robson and Kevin Keegan
Before it all went wrong.
There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

Said Brutus in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, and so it was with Newcastle United when they missed football’s greatest tide, leaving themselves bound in the shallows and miseries of mediocrity ever since.

To elaborate, in 1997-8, in the early stages of the biggest ever growth in football finances, Newcastle United were the fifth biggest football club in the world according to the Deloitte and Touche ‘Football Money League’ for that season. To make it seem even more unreal when we look at Newcastle United today, they were slightly ahead of Louis van Gaal and Bobby Robson’s Barcelona, who the Magpies had beaten 3-2 in the Champions League at St James’ Park that season. They also made the FA Cup final, after finishing as runners up in the Premier League for the second year in a row and signing the world’s most expensive player in the previous season. However the signs were already there, they also finished thirteenth in the League that season, the club lost some great players, Les Ferdinand, David Ginola, Faustino Asprilla and certainly not least, a 36year old Peter Beardsley. Kenny Dalglish was then sacked early into the next season and things were to get even worse under his successor, Ruud Gullit. (more…)

Pardew’s tired excuses don’t make sense, and here’s why…

April 24th, 2013 | 78 Comments |

Alan Pardew.
Pardew: Blaming extra games for failure.
“This was our 50th game today, which goes a little bit unnoticed. With all the travelling involved as well, that’s tough. Clubs will look at us and the impact it can have, because it’s not only the extra games but the injuries we’ve had on the back of that. There’s no doubt that our league position would be greater. We’ve had to pay a heavy penalty on the Sundays, not just for Sunderland but for previous games. Swansea are going to find that next year – it’s difficult, unless you really increase the size of your squad.” – Johnstone’s Paint trophy winner Alan Pardew after Newcastle United’s game with West Bromwich Albion.

“I know one year that Barcelona played with 19 first-team players, as well as a few younger players, and they played every three days. It is possible.” – Swansea manager Michael Laudrup, winner of 15 major trophies as a player and 5 as a manager on Swansea’s entry into European competition next season.

“We have a short squad, but it is my decision that the squad is short because I want a squad of 20 players, no more, with the risks a short squad has, but also with the good things a short squad has. The good things are that the side is competitive, everybody feels part of it. So I hope I don’t read again “Mourinho wants more players,” because I don’t want more players. I’m happy with the short squad I have, with the good things and the bad things.” – Jose Mourinho, winner of 20 major trophies as a manager and whose Real Madrid team played 58 games last season. (more…)

Chelsea Looking to Steal Tim Krul?

April 15th, 2012 | 33 Comments |

Chelsea Target?
It’s being reported in The Mail On Sunday today that Chelsea are looking to make an offer for Tim Krul this summer. And they apparently think they can get him for £15M. This story maybe links with the one we’ve run in the last two days over the future of United’s other top keeper Fraser Forster.

The Mail offers the opinion that this interest from moneybags Chelsea will “knock Tottenham out of the race for the keeper”.

Now far be it from me to suggest this is the London media trying to unsettle our keeper at a time we are entering the final five games of the season and vying for a Champions League spot with – you’ve guessed it! – Chelsea and Tottenham!

However, even though it’s only newspaper speculation, should United fans be worried?

Tim recently signed a new 5 year contract with the St James’ Park club, just before the derby with Sunderland, and he said at the time: (more…)

NUFC in Europe?

February 29th, 2012 | 43 Comments |

Toon in Europe?
Toon in Europe - Be careful what you wish for?
Ok. So at this point, with 12 games of the season left and 43 points, we are looking to head to Europe; although that could tempt the “Be careful what you wish for” saying.

The squad we currently have is most certainly unable to cope with so many games in such little time if we were to get to the Europa League. Maybe we would follow the same route as Spurs, play almost a reserve team and ‘concentrate on the league,’ but that would be a waste of a flight, wouldn’t it? But is the Europa League good for us? Because after all, its second best, like the League Cup. Would we get any money from it? Not a great deal probably. We would have to somehow get the money to buy in a lot of good players (not just satisfactory) to strengthen the team during the Summer, because put simply, Perch, Williamson and Guthrie aren’t good enough. (more…)