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Archive for category: Thoughts and reflections.

Benitez vs Ashley Assessed

August 26th, 2019 | One Comment |

Ashley and Benitez
A rare shot of Ashley and Benitez together.
Rafa Benitez is undoubtedly one of the most likeable and professional managers in football. Despite operating under one of the tightest budgets in the Premier League, the Spaniard produced a minor miracle in guiding The Magpies to a 13th place finish last campaign and 10th the season before that. After their less than acrimonious split over the summer, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley are now locked in a war of words with Rafa Benitez which has so far involved back and forth insults, accusations and other general playground antics. But is Mike Ashley really the bad guy in all of this? Or does Rafa have to take some responsibility for his own actions? (more…)


Will Perez’s departure cause a mass exit?

July 12th, 2019 | No Comments |

Ayoze Perez
Ayoze Perez in his new Leicester colours.
It’s worrying times if you are a Newcastle United fan. Not only has Mike Ashley been unable to keep Rafa Benitez at the club, with the Spaniard agreeing to become Dalian Yifang’s new manager, but Ayoze Perez has left, signing for Leicester City for no less than £30 million.

But will the second big departure of the summer result in several other key players vacating St James Park? Sean Longstaff has been linked continuously with Manchester United. It has been widely reported that Longstaff’s representatives have met with Manchester United to discuss a possible move this summer. (more…)


Rudderless Newcastle lurching towards a troubled season

July 5th, 2019 | No Comments |

Mike Ashley
Mike Ashley: Bringing chaos to the Magpies once again.
Rudderless Newcastle lurching towards a troubled season

With the 2019/20 Premier League season just over a month away Newcastle United remain an organisation in turmoil.

Rafa Benitez’s departure as manager hasn’t gone down well with the club’s fans and has only served to increase their animosity towards owner Mike Ashley.

Read on as we assess the latest state of play at St James’ Park.

Who will replace Benitez?

(more…)


Everything’s in the balance for Newcastle United

June 7th, 2019 | No Comments |

Mike Ashley
Ashley: Another sale saga drags on.
“These are the times that try men’s souls” said Thomas Paine of the American War of Independence, and though Newcastle United may stand on the brink of finally seeing the back of its most unpopular owner (in a strong field of previous unpopular owners), these are indeed trying times as many Toon fans wait in hope and frustration for something definitive to happen. Welcome as it is for most, it raises some major questions with a manager whose future at the club is still uncertain and in the midst of a crucial transfer window for the Magpies. What should the transfer policy be this summer when the manager’s contract situation is still up in the air and Ashley and the Bin Zayed Group grope their way towards a deal? (more…)


Is this the reason for Ayoze Perez’s improved form last season?

June 3rd, 2019 | No Comments |

Ayoze Perez with match ball
Perez after his first Toon hat-trick.
Like Brexit has distracted most people in the UK from other political issues, so talk of a certain takeover has dominated the minds of we Toon fans in recent weeks, including the stories in this ‘blog. However, in this piece I mean to put that right by concentrating on the notable improvement in form of Ayoze Perez in the latter part of last season, and why this might be.

To get straight to the point, until last season, Perez hardly ever played right wing in a Newcastle United shirt, he was primarily a second striker, occasionally filling in as a centre forward or left winger as needs must in a threadbare Ashley squad.

However, since around December of 2018, Rafa Benitez switched him to a new position on the right of a cosy threesome nestling behind Salomon Rondon and whilst his assist stats haven’t really changed, his goal stats have been transformed from mediocrity to world class levels. (more…)