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Reasons to be cheerful as Newcastle look to push up the table

Posted on October 9th, 2020 | 9 Comments |

Positivity is the key
It’s not all bad for Newcastle right now.
It’s fair to say it hasn’t been much fun to be Newcastle United fan for the past decade and beyond.

Given the stature of the club, the iconic ground, the history and the huge fan base, demanding a team that can be competitive in the Premier League shouldn’t be too much of an ask.

Of course, we all know that hasn’t happened. Instead, the Magpies have endured a difficult spell that has seen no chances of silverware, falling down to the Championship twice.

For many, there is one man to blame for that – Mike Ashley. Debates over the owner will continue whilst he remains in charge and the lack of ambition for much of his reign has been alarming. It’s perfectly summed up by the fact that Newcastle are 6/1 in the latest Premier League betting odds just to finish in the top half.

Clearly, the likes of Leicester, Wolves and Everton are comfortably ahead of the club right now and that’s without mentioning the ‘big six’. All of this demonstrates why the fans were so gutted when the proposed takeover led by Amanda Staveley was abandoned earlier this year.

However, it’s not all bad for Newcastle right now. While the team and manager clearly have weaknesses, they do deserve some praise too. The League Cup quarter-final against Championship Brentford awaits, and if we can get past the Bees it will put is in a domestic semi-final for the first time since 2005.

Admittedly, the side made hard work of getting to this stage given the opposition they’ve had, but it is still progress. Plus, Bruce should be credited for actually taking the cups seriously, which hasn’t been the case previously.

Arguably the biggest reason for positivity stems from recruitment. Since the signings of Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse and Yohan Cabaye in 2011 and 2012, generally speaking, Newcastle’s transfers haven’t delivered. There doesn’t seem to have been a plan, and even when someone did come and a make a big impression, like Salomon Rondon, we then chose to not sign him permanently and bring in £40m Joelinton instead!

Yet, Bruce seems to have taken more of a say in identifying players now, and it’s paid off. Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson joined this summer, bringing pace in the final third. Those two, combined with the extremely talented Allan Saint-Maximin and the improving Miguel Almiron, have at least given us some unpredictability going forward.

The most pleasing aspect of it all though is the ages of the players. Wilson is the oldest at 28, Fraser and Almiron are 26 and Saint-Maximin is 23. When you throw in Jamaal Lascelles at 26, Jamal Lewis who is 22, Jonjo Shelvey at 28 and the Longstaff brothers who are 22 and 20 respectively, the profile of the Newcastle squad is excellent.

These players are either at their peak now or will be approaching their peak at Tyneside. The days of splashing out on over-the-hill experienced players searching for one last payday or gambling on an unknown youngster seem long gone.

Obviously, there is still a lot more work that needs to be done. But, there is finally a good core group of players at the club who may be able to have fans looking up for once instead of nervously over their shoulder.

NUFCBlog Author: Frankly Various Frankly Various has written 51 articles on this blog.

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9 Responses

  1. Work
    It’s one thing to have youthful or youngish players in the squad, however one cannot compare our squad to that of Leeds in their ability to face a side like Citeh, being most are second tier level players, I would guess that most of his players (Bielsa) are both
    drilled to play in certain ways, without consideration for the opposition and fairly difficult to intimidate,
    Unlike our club, trained by an ex defender, which reflects it with his nothing but defensive tactics, hoping like Big Sam to either score from set pieces or from use of the fast break, which aint gonna happen.
    I just don’t get it, that our Brazil star had a total of two goals from god knows how many games and the others, like Almiron are as bad, but they hang on to them, first thing needed is to fire the scouts and bring back our scout from the (Cabaye – Sissoko) times.
    We got rid of the Spanish forward after about five wasted years, meaning who the f**k is actually running the club, obvious Ashley !
    A Wonderfull combination that, Ashley who knows nowt about the game and some of the worlds worst managers, that can’t get another job because who else would hire them.
    We had the opportunity of having a manager, (Rafa) who at least had a bit of respect to run things, from the youngsters to the first team, what happened, Ashley being the control freak he is, wanted no competition when it came to running the club, where he made a steady income, though obviously he wants to make a decent profit on it’s sale and soon, which is obviously the reason he has began a case against the league .
    It also appears that behind the scenes there are the wealthier clubs, who want a bigger slice of the Pie, which are probably behind the
    reduction of the PL to 18 clubs , similar to the two big clubs in Spain, which is all about sheer greed, yeah some have new stadiums to pay for, others just believe they have that right, that is before both Man,U & and Cited were thrashed by former relegation bound sides from last season.
    And yes we now have one decent player added to the roster the French speedster, though we have signed other French players and perhaps we should be aware they don’t last long once they get a bit of exposure, but are we to be a selling club or do we believe we can be a permanent top ten club, which ain’t gonna happen unless both Bruce and Ashley leave.


  2. Well Saturday’s result certainly didn’t look too good after the flood of late goals at the end. I do hope that Steve Bruce isn’t being forced to pick Joelinton just because he cost £40 million. Callum Wilson was feeding off scraps but at least he had a bit of a go and threatened Ed de Gea once or twice where Joelinton was anonymous (again). I’m sick of Newcastle United and big ‘target men’ who couldn’t hit a cow’s arse with a banjo and that goes for Carroll at least as much as Joelinton. It was the big target man all the way with Benitez as well so we can’t just say it’s a Bruce thing, though Benitez’s big lad scored a few goals at least. I think that Ryan Wilson deserves more than cameo appearences at the end of games too. By Newcastle United standards he could be quite a useful player. He had a very good rapport with Callum Wilson at Bournemouth too, I thought that might be the reason why they signed both of them (or signed one and got one on loan anyway) because of that rapport but they haven’t had a huge amount of game time together so far.

  3. Man.U., following a heavy defeat managed to win against NUFC, whom You then claim could be on their way up, then proceed to tell us the club is doing ok, apart from the fact we were dumb enough to have a king who’s new clothes are more than just non existing, but embarrassing, taking bout our Brazilian center forward that no one has the cojones to claim, “he has two goals in a season and at any other club would be gone” !
    Just how long must we await signings that can help the side and who the f**k is responsible for our present choices.
    Were it my choice the present crowd of so called scouts and the man that makes all decisions, would be lining up for unemployment benefits and bring back the guy responsible for signing people like Sissoko and other French players, later sold on for big profits.
    And yeah Wilson is a decent signing as is our French speedster, (the saint) but our Brazilian (who often is described as one for the future) should be offered as such to the football market-place.

    I suppose we are about to experience a season of disappointment and are being rated as similar to our other former N’East PL clubs Sunderland and
    Boro. and with a manager (obviously chosen as a local who would accept any kind of offer) who is not exactly a Bielsa or even someone who is smart enough to understand the dynamics of coaching a top level form of football, with very basic approaches , which only add too the boredom of watching the present side, along with the fact that ten men behind the ball is not exactly why the fans show up, cause along with being beaten they get the pleasure of being bored out of their skulls .
    If this club wants to play in the worlds top paying league, it has to cut it’s cloth accordingly and force the sale of the club, before it’s too late, or end up in the second or even like Sunderland the third tier level.
    We had that opportunity during the proposed sale of the club which could have solved all our problems and as of yet the true reason remains obscure, though admitting a certain government intervention, of which we know nothing and obviously “the powers that be “are not exactly inclined to inform us, unless it comes to light during the upcoming case began by
    our dear leader.
    Yeah there is possibly less chance of becoming relegated as opposed to the start of other seasons, however do you as fans want to watch crap managers attempt to survive without any real funds for the next decade , the answer is to revive the threat of a Boycott, the only language Ashley understands.


  4. An interesting headline in the bbc’s football section to-day.
    Sounding very much like the scenario I mentioned so long ago on this blog.
    Sounding very much like the present threat by continental sides to introduce a new league, very much like that which was mentioned at the time, by both groups the gang of fourteen or eighteen.
    It appears the wealthier leagues are somewhat jealous of the revenues earned and the general flow of top talent to the EPL.
    Therefor they have threatened the EPL with the introduction of a European League, garnered from the top clubs of the present leagues.
    And we are aware now of those who are in favor . yes those top sides who are not satisfied with their present share of the wealth
    and like the two major clubs in Spain, Barca and Madrid feel they are entitled to such.
    Personally I doubt whether such a league is something to expect at any time soon, but obviously the present Pandemic has had it’s effect on the game, with most or all playing behind closed doors,
    ergo no money being garnered in a sport known for heavy spending on players and upkeep.
    And if I remember right my mention of a similar process was scoffed at, well here we are with another mention that I believe should be considered, as the fact the present EPL was introduced for that purpose ?
    Which was to monopolize the tv revenues /
    Which has already been accomplished, but there is dissent even for that to occur, the top clubs would be more secure of course but to
    give that kind of privilege to half of the clubs in any league, would
    be both unfair and one would never again see a first season like
    Leicester return and winning the league.
    A total restructure of English football is required, but it must be based on equal opportunity for each side, including revenues. that is if an attempt to introduce a European Super League of the top clubs of all or most of those who feel they are entitled too it, which of course will be a task beyond most clubs abilities and could cause the failures of those minor clubs that provide most areas with football. and the development of young players.
    Shame really when for most of the last century there were clubs in existence played in the four divisions of English football, some in the top division and some in the three lower divisions, with some movement but basically they existed on the small change provided by fans for standing room only in stadiums built for next to nothing with no toilets worth the name and fans crushed to-gether, awful !
    Lets hope the next bunch of changes are beneficial to the fans, as opposed to the ownership and the fans should be consulted, some calling for standing terraces, which is a step in the wrong direction
    As the fans provide the lions share of the monies whether bums in seats or tv money, it’s the same source.


  5. Yes Chuck, the Premier League is the biggest, most lucrative, most exciting football league in the world, which is why it needs to be broken up and restructured. This is just the Yanks (Liverpool and Man U) trying to stir up trouble again. No relegation and no promotion would ruin it and that’s just for starters. It would be incredibly boring watching the same few super teams play each other over and over again.

    Our new winger (Fraser) can play on both sides at a push but its a shame that him and St Maximin are both mostly left wing, or they have been.

  6. Well, suppose we will end up once more in the general group of clubs fighting to avoid relegation, though there appears to be a number of weaker clubs involved this season.
    Which does nothing to improve the status of nufc, it remains a mediocre side not expected to go anywhere .
    So why does it attract so many fans every other weekend.
    Well the fact that there’s only one club in the city, even though there is a football club no more than twelve miles away, to support that club would be an act of treason if one listens to the fans, which is nonsense.
    I can’t understand why the Newcastle fans pack the stadium every other week-end, especially when it’s like undergoing a penance, watching the excuse for football played by a cheaply (except the center forward, who has two goals to his credit) put to-geather side.
    That consists of our owner refusing to splurge on decent players and relying on free agents and mediocrities,
    The whole club and it’s owner are now no different from
    they were during the sale of the club, Ashley running everything from the wages of the tea lady to transfer amounts.
    And what does he know about football, little more than he did a decade ago.
    Though he is aware of any kind of spending and there actually has been on rare occasions some talented players acquired, only to be sold on for profit, ah well !
    No doubt if a sale can’t be made soon we may be in the second tier, where the prospects of selling would be fewer, but let’s see what happens during the upcoming winter transfer window.
    However it will take both money and a willingness to send it, if in fact any sale goes through, which had the
    powers that be allowed, with a willing seller and buyer in place but by using a nonsensical reasons the league and the suggestion of Government involvement, which could be brought -out by the current Ashley enquiry through the courts.
    Face it considering the Pandemic, there is and could be a more serious situation to consider, the re-adjustment of football and it’s league systems.
    Where a renewal of a call for a super league is possibly
    which is IMO only the same old threat of over a decade ago.
    It’s not the European clubs we have to worry about , but the English clubs, (of which Newcastle were a part of)
    but have dropped in value due to the financial scarcity
    of funds from the present owner who needs a constant
    profit from nufc to bolster his income and who will never again reach the offer recently placed by the Saudi’s.
    Yes folks those US owned clubs plus those who currently top the charts as far as earnings are concerned are contemplating changes to the EPL, wanting like the two top Spanish sides to earn much more than the rest.
    Apparently the latest suggestions from these clubs has them earning more of the funding by the League, which being members of the top division they already enjoy.
    Though a recent poll suggests that they are acceptive
    in maintaining the present situation, when realizing they were in a minority on the issue.
    Whats needed at this club is an owner who cares about winning and losing and who is willing to hire top management, including scouts a football guy in charge and if anyone hasn’t realized it a manager familiar with to-days modern tactical play, not an ex defender who places more faith in ninety minutes of ten men behind the ball and constantly places our two goal center forward on the starting line-up.
    Cause I have seen enough and if this malaise in football doesn’t come to an end, there will be a decisive lack of fans showing up every other week and that’s what it’s all about .


  7. No folks, the two big Spanish clubs are the biggest earners and they’re not US owned, they’re fan owned. Man U are usually third and Liverpool are at the low end of the top ten.

    This idea keeps hitting a brick wall every time because it’s an awful idea, but when it rears its ugly head it is usually comes up as a kind of power play about something else and this time, it is said to be the contract for the Champions League, which expires in 2024.

  8. Worky
    Being no one mentioned any relationship between the two largest Spanish clubs and American ownership I find it odd you should mention it ? The relationship between Liverpool and Man. U. is as far as I know non existent, unless you consider the fact they live in the same country and I wonder if you are suggesting some kind of
    financial arrangement between the two , in regard to any changes
    to the make-up now in existence.
    And the article , which recently associated with the present EPL sides mentioned more than one or two clubs, in other words yes
    there are a number of EPL sides particularly those top and wealthier sides who in fact are not owned by US owners, who lined up with them.
    And again they were outnumbered by the rest of the EPL crowd, I mean who in their right mind would vote for earning less than the team they might be playing against.
    I believe following the shake-up of the footballing control organizations which sent a number of people to jail, a few years back, talking about FIFA & UEFA, but left enough survivors to continue the policies of the extremely wealthy ownership now remaining, who’s greed and methods of procuring wealth are dependent on a crooked controlling system.
    And I’m sure another investigation by unrelated sources would be welcomed by most football supporters cause it’s now all about
    income and greed, nothing to do with the game !
    not about to be satisfied without another shake -up of crooked officialdom

  9. OK! OK! I lose track with your ramblings sometimes. You did mention the top two Spanish clubs but I misunderstood somewhat.

    Well, it wasn’t one for the scrapbook as they say, but we did get an unexpected point against a good side. Wolves are doing alright, they’re 9th but overall, they’re not scoring as many goals as they should this season, they’ve only scored more than one goal in one game this season, a 2-0 victory over Sheffield United, and that’s in all competitions.

    It’s good to see Chris Hughton managing again, at Nottingham Forest this time. He was away for quite a while considering his record.

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