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Could a ‘Proxy War’ Stop Saudi Takeover of Newcastle United?

April 23rd, 2020 | 29 Comments |

Mohammed bin Salman
Mohammed bin Salman: Comes with a lot of baggage.
The House of Saud comes with a lot of baggage and with the prospective Saudi backed takeover of Newcastle United, there has even been a report of St James’ Park being the latest battlefield in a ‘proxy war’ between Qatar and the Saudis in the New York Times. In this case they are referring to Qatari Sports broadcasting giant, beIN Sports, whose claims are on the basis of piracy regarding live coverage of games. To add to this, two other antagonists have also entered the battlefield, human rights group Amnesty International and the Scottish National Party.

Going in reverse order, SNP MP John Nicolson raised the issue with culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, during a meeting of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee, where he raised the issue of Saudi Arabia’s frankly abysmal human rights record, though Dowden swiftly passed the buck on to The Premier League, saying that it was a matter for them and not Downing Street. (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…)


Who is the best Newcastle United striker? The answer may surprise you.

February 23rd, 2020 | 3 Comments |

Dwight Gayle
Dwight Gayle – Easily Toon’s most efficient goalscorer.
It is no secret, Newcastle United’s strikers couldn’t hit a cow’s backside with a banjo at the moment. Collectively, our four strikers have scored only one goal in the Premier League in 26 games, with almost all of the goals scored by the club so far this season coming from defenders and midfielders. One in particular has been given more than enough time to prove himself and has shown woeful judgment in front of goal whilst others have only had the odd substitute appearence to prove themselves. In this piece I intend to sort the wheat from the chaff and go through their performances at the top level over their careers. (more…)