Like the NHS and the British education system, Newcastle United under Mike Ashley has undoubtedly been the victim of too many top down reorganisations inflicted by those who didn’t have a clue what they were doing. Yet, despite living with the consequences for a second time under Mike Ashley in the form of relegation, we fans have seldom been more sanguine, all because of confidence in Rafa Benitez and his diligent, systematic, trophy winning ways. Now we do have a manager of Benitez’s calibre, Newcastle United are strong favourites for the Championship title and automatic promotion. If you were thinking of having a bet and would like to claim a bet365 bonus code where you could receive a bonus of up to £200, you will find instructions in the following link (more…)
Is Mike Ashley using Giampaolo Pozzo’s selling club network of Udinese, Granada and Watford as a model for Newcastle United, Rangers and Oldham?
To begin at the beginning though, let’s take a brief stroll down memory lane. In the aftermath of Kevin Keegan’s acrimonious departure from Newcastle United in 2008, an under fire Mike Ashley made a statement. In this, among other things, he attempted to outline what subsequently became known as his ‘Arsenal model‘ for the club. In Ashley’s own words:
“My plan and my strategy for Newcastle is different. It has to be. Arsenal is the shining example in England of a sustainable business model. It takes time. It can’t be done overnight. Newcastle has therefore set up an extensive scouting system. We look for young players, for players in foreign leagues who everyone does not know about. We try and stay ahead of the competition. We search high and low looking for value, for potential that we can bring on and for players who will allow Newcastle to compete at the very highest level but who don’t cost the earth.” (more…)
It seems a lifetime since signings like Michael Owen and Mark Viduka wore the black and white. Declining, injury prone and nearly always overpriced; these marquee players from the Shepherd era were one of the main reasons we were relegated at the beginning of Ashley’s reign.
On massive wages and having already achieved something notable in their careers, they didn’t seem like they were hungry enough to care about the current club’s situation enough to save us from the drop. Going down to the championship a few years ago turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to the club in years as we found out who was there for the team and who was just there for the money and prestige.
The new policy of signing hungry players with lower reputations and wage demands started with the signings of players such as Fabricio Coloccini and Jonas Gutierrez, who were the first of many similar players to come through the door with similar ambitions and experience. These were followed in subsequent seasons by the likes of Cheick Tiote, Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye, plus the five recent additions to the squad last month, making this transfer policy clearly the most important reason for our fledgling success in the last three / four seasons. (more…)
That is the maxim which has been known as “The Golden Rule” for several centuries, but how would Newcastle United feel if they were treated the way they have been treating some other clubs recently?
Make no mistake, there have been reams of complete fiction embroidered around our recent attempts to sign players in an attempt to titillate the excited Newcastle United fan. That empty mantra about Newcastle United not being “held to ransom” over players any longer has been repeated constantly, as if other clubs have been somehow unreasonable for refusing to sell their finest players for sums far below their true worth. The longest and most notable saga in this particular transfer window has been that of Lille right back, Mathieu Debuchy, and this is the case I will concentrate on mostly here, as this piece would be far too long if I looked at all of them in the same detail.
Just to get things straight, Newcastle United’s two bids for Debuchy were equivalent to around £3.9 million and £4.75 million respectively (€5 and 6 million). Hacks such as Lee Ryder from the Evening Chronic were incorrect in quoting them as £5 million and £6 million. As to whether this was deliberate, or just lazy and incompetant “journalism” I cannot say with complete certainty. Neither of these bids had a hope in hell of being accepted by a strong Champions League club for a French international player who has three years left on his current contract, and has been estimated as being worth as much as £10 million in the current market. Lille’s Chairman, Michel Seydoux, made it clear himself that we could have had Debuchy for an very reasonable £6.3 million (“Our price is €8 million, because he is a quality player” said Seydoux). However, that may not have been the point as even after Seydoux’s clarification, Derek Llambias persisted with the same strategy of making another derisory bid which he must have known would not be accepted, perhaps in the possible hope that Debuchy might go even further in his attempts to force the club into letting him go at a much reduced fee. In the event of course, it led to Lille withdrawing the player in complete exasperation with Newcastle. (more…)
One-time Newcastle United chief Freddy Shepherd has been putting a downer on things by suggesting that Papiss Cisse could be sold in the summer, but how much truth is there in that?
Ex-Toon phlebotomist Freddy Shepherd seems to think our chances of hanging on to resident goal-merchant Papiss Cisse will be slim this summer and suggests that we may receive offers too good to refuse for the player. Shepherd had this to say about our prospects of keeping the player:
“It’s impossible, if they want to go, it’s no good keeping them. I think there may be an offer Newcastle can’t refuse for Cisse coming in.”
However, there’s an important part of his statement we shouldn’t overlook and that’s: if they want to go. There is perhaps an even more important thing that Shepherd didn’t mention and that’s if Ashley wants him go because when all said and done that will be the deciding factor.
I can’t say for certain what Cisse wants of course but my guess would be that, with a good finish under our belts this season and some sort of European football to look forward to, he might just fancy staying with the club. There’s always the risk that a club like Man City or Chelsea – or maybe even Spurs or Arsenal – would offer a big wage and a better finish (this season, anyway) to try and tempt him away, but we’re not too far from the running ourselves and our club could be seen as one on the up. Maybe Cisse would choose to stay with us anyway. (more…)
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has once again being talking about the club’s budget.
Alan Pardew has gone on record again to say that he understands the budget he’s operating under at Newcastle. In an interview which broadly echoes one he made earlier this weekPardew said:
“I do think that the clarity of the budget is important. Some fans may not be entirely happy with the amount we have to spend, but at least they know the whole picture.
“When you look at the world economy and where football is at the moment, we are seeing some really tough times. We have seen examples of Portsmouth and Rangers in Scotland that show if you over-stretch, you are going to find yourself in serious trouble and you are putting the club’s future at risk.
“At Newcastle, we have got a good foundation and a good financial model, and now the question is whether we can bring success within that model.
“That’s the challenge that I accepted when I joined the club, and so far we are doing well and can hopefully continue to grow as we go along.” (more…)
This transfer business can sometimes be similar to a game of chess between the clubs involved, but if it is a game then one thing is for sure, over the last couple of seasons Newcastle United have shown themselves to be one of the better players – with the quiet but efficient aquisition of plyers like Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye and Demba Ba smoothly and with the minimum of fuss.
In contrast with the past, United go about their business quietly and sign up some gems before other clubs are alerted and can compete. We don’t always get the players we want of course, but that’s life!
Take the most recent example of our interest in Watford defender Adrian Mariappa. Nobody saw that coming, and it was Watford who let the negotiations out of the bag, with their boss Sean Dyche telling anyone who would listen “Newcastle United are miles away with their bid”. However, the game is afoot – the Hornets have refused to give United a valuation for the player and are obviously just waiting to see how high they can get the price to go as the clock ticks towards transfer deadline day. (more…)
The conclusion I came to is that I think it depends upon how you define ‘different’. Are we talking ‘different’ in the way an otter is different to a sewing machine or is perhaps the devil in the detail?
At it’s most basic level, I think Pardew’s right. Most transfers probably happen as a result of some sort of consensus between the manager, the scouts and the owner or board, but I think where the difference lies is with the amount of input each particular party has on things. (more…)
Former Newcastle United striker Micky Quinn attacks Ashley for (potentially) letting Barton go and suggests that our transfer policy consists mainly of trying to buy cheap foreign players we can profit from in the future.
Former Toon striker Micky Quinn has launched a scathing attack on the head honchos at Newcastle United and in the process has confirmed that Arsenal have a legitimate interest in Joey Barton, which I originally doubted.
In an interview with talkSPORT, Quinn said:
“I know through a third party that Arsenal have enquired about Joey Barton. What I’m gutted about as an ex-Newcastle player is that the spine of the team, the personality of the team is going to be gone.
“Why are they letting players like Joey Barton go if they have any ambition, but it’s only going to Arsenal’s gain. He’ll put a bit of steel into that Arsenal team, he goes forward, he was made captain, he’s grown up and he said himself that he’s making up for lost time for stupidity and injury, he wants to get to the top.
“I think Joey has settled down a lot now, we know he’s a bit of a hot-head, we know he’s paid on and off the pitch for his stupidity but he’s settled down.(more…)
Just how much say does Alan Pardew have in the transfers and contract negotiations at Newcastle United?
I think we all suspect that Mike Ashley has the final say on transfers these days. Some folk have even suggested that Graham Carr is almost taking a Director of Football role and that he and Ashley are basically identifying transfer targets between them.
So what of Alan Pardew in all this? Well at the very least I’d expect him to have some input about where he feels the team needs strengthening and I’d also expect him to have a considerable say about whether or not a player should be signed. He does, after all, have to work with that player on a day-to-day basis.
Yet I can’t help but feel he’s being left in the dark about a lot of transfer and contractual matters. First there was his “Andy Carroll is not going to be sold under any circumstances” statement, which of course turned out to be completely wrong. Then there was his promise about making it a priority to get players such as Barton, Nolan and Enrique on new contracts and, whilst the latter may simply wish to go elsewhere in the end, Barton and Nolan both want to stay yet Pardew has so far been unable to keep his promise regarding these players. (more…)