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Archive for category: Thoughts and reflections.

Magpies eye chance to take flight with new owner

May 3rd, 2020 | 53 Comments |

St James' Park.
St James’ Park – One of Britain’s finest sporting arenas.
Newcastle United are inching closer to having a new paymaster as the era of Mike Ashley finally seems set to end on Tyneside. There won’t be much wailing amongst the Magpies support and a teary-eyed farewell seems hugely unlikely. Ashley has long since forfeited the goodwill of Newcastle’s success-starved support.

The departure of Rafa Benitez last summer to be replaced by Steve Bruce was perhaps the final straw. Despite his local links, Bruce wasn’t a popular choice. His links to nearby rivals Sunderland did little for his popularity but more poignantly, Bruce is a typical ‘journeyman’ manager at this stage in his career. (more…)


Exciting times ahead as Ashley heads for Newcastle exit.

April 20th, 2020 | 5 Comments |

St James Park.
A new dawn at St James’ Park?
The news that Mike Ashley’s time as Newcastle United owner is coming to an end has unsurprisingly gone down extremely well with the fans.

A Saudi Arabian-funded consortium is set to complete a £300 million takeover and will pump in significant resources to try and establish the Magpies as a force in the Premier League.

We take a closer look at four key areas Newcastle’s new owners must address if they are to deliver success to the North East’s biggest club.

Time to say goodbye to Bruce.

Steve Bruce has done a reasonable job as manager in difficult circumstances, but he is not the man to take the club forward. (more…)


Why we can’t predict the future of football right now

March 28th, 2020 | 87 Comments |

A long road ahead
It could be a long road ahead.
With news that a return to Premier League football on April 30th has now been further postponed, plans for an intense finish the season in what Toon manager, Steve Bruce, described as a ‘Festival of Football’ look more uncertain. In reality, the future of football over the next year, or even two is highly uncertain and all predictions may have to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Not even eminent epidemiologists know for certain how long this current crisis will last, it may subside for a while, only to come back in waves like the so-called ‘Spanish’ Flu emergency of 1918-20. Any predictions of a return to football in the next few months may be completely wide of the mark, indeed, the effects of CoVid-19 may not just curtail the current season, it may also curtail the next one too; though if it does, by the time we are finished and counting the damage, football might not be so important in the grand scheme of things for a while any way, though it may be a little frustrating for Liverpool fans if they were denied their first league title in three decades. (more…)


Which former Magpies manager made a Premier League ‘Manager of the Decade’ list?

February 28th, 2020 | No Comments |

Alan Pardew
Pardew – His form goes up and down like a Bride’s nightie.
I must admit I have missed the subject of this piece, not for his modesty, nor his ‘route one’ football (which I analysed in several articles back in 2012) when he was telling everybody that he was a ‘flair’ manager whose teams played entertaining ‘passing’ football in the style of Johan Cruyff and Pep Guardiola, nor for his legendary losing runs that seemed like they would last an eternity, or even the rather annoying way he said ‘Noocarsle’; no, I miss him because, like Joe Kinnear, he was such a great subject for blogs on here!

As for the ‘route one’ football, that certainly hasn’t changed at St James’ Park but that’s another ‘blog, so getting back to this one, in a recent Sky Sports report on the most successful Premier League managers of the last decade, Pardew scraped into the top ten with 304 points, nine places behind winner, Arsene Wenger, who won exactly double Pardew’s total with 608, but ahead of such notables as Manuel Pellegrini (11th with 302 points) and Roy Hodgson (16th with 231 points). Pardew was also ahead of Sir Alex Ferguson (13th with 300 points) and Harry Redknapp (17th with 204 points), though their spells of Premier League management ended too early in the last decade. (more…)


Has Miguel Almiron justified his club-record transfer to Newcastle United?

February 22nd, 2020 | No Comments |

Miguel Almiron
Almiron – Still has a lot to do to prove himself.
Miguel Almiron’s signing with Newcastle United just over a year ago was textbook Rafael Benitez, the Paraguayan’s transfer wasn’t too dissimilar to the many players Benitez signed at Liverpool, seeking to find a hidden gem while still paying a decent amount for their services. As Newcastle United supporters are gearing up for the club’s FA Cup fifth round match versus West Brom, supporters can click here to get the latest bet bonuses to wager on the Magpies when they meet the Baggies in the cup. (more…)