Mike Ashley’s biggest failure?

Was Llambias bang on the money?

Is Ashley fluffing his lines?
Newcastle United is in a position to take a massive step forward this season. Two years on from being relegated, and the wounds are healing.

Last season saw the club achieve much more than was expected by most, and there was a growing sense of positivity around St James’s Park. The players were committed, the support was committed, and we easily achieved the objective of remaining a Premier League club when the final whistle was blown on the season. True to form, there were some hurdles along the way, but the players and the supporters powered through to a strong finish.

Now we have a strong foundation to build on. A squad that was playing well and a kind of football that the Toon Army loves to see. The supporters were willing to keep the bed sheets put away, and the club has Β£35 million to help keep the momentum going forwardd

Instead, we get lies, and the dissent continues to grow again. We get a committed, adopted Geordie, Player of the Season unable to get a new contract.

The three first team players we’ve signed are good ones in my opinion. But two are very acquainted with the treatment room, and the other plays in arguably our strongest position. Despite that though I still think that they are a great bit of business by the club.

However when Alan Pardew says that only a certain kind of player can play at Newcastle, does he mean only one on a free, or with a low valued release clause? Is this massive scouting network the club have built up scouting players, or players contracts?

Maybe I’ve gone too far there. Of course I have no problem with getting good players cheap, and I’ll say again, I think they are good players. But we have the opportunity to make a good squad a very good one. An opportunity that all signs suggest Ashley is unwilling to take.

I’m not asking for the entire Β£35 million to be spent but I am asking for some investment to be made in the squad. At this point the investment has been minimal.

There is still some time to change that but as we approach the last month of the transfer window, I’m starting to have my doubts that it will be significant change. Reports say there will be no players coming in until we return from the USA. There are other reports saying that players will have to be sold before new ones can come in. I understand that the club is in debt and can’t spend wildly, but I’m not asking for that.

I would assume that there was a plan in place to bring us out of debt before the Β£35 million came in. That money could be used to significantly strengthen the squad, which should also strengthen our league position which in turn would generate more money for the club and also help us get out of debt. But most of all it would help continue the recent progress within the squad and the support. It would continue the good feeling around the club.

History tells us that the players will struggle to mirror their achievements from last year. Clubs will take us far more seriously and that famed fighting spirit will have dwindled slightly if not completely with some of the players leaving.

The fans will turn hard on Ashley once again for not strengthening the squad and all eyes will be on Alan Pardew. I am willing to give Pardew a chance despite his loose tongue, but he doesn’t exactly strike me as a man who will take criticism too well. His ego will be bruised and we can all see how much he likes his ego.

I’m not trying to predict doom upon us, I’m just taking the evidence as it comes. I was willing and still am to give Ashley the opportunity to make the club successful again (mostly because I have no other choice) but my hope is starting to fade. Some supporters are still holding on strong although I’ll never understand how they can accept the deceit they are given.

The potential turmoil and the loss of hope could all be avoided with some investment. Investment that we have the ability to make thanks to the Β£35 million we received for Andy Carroll. Investment that thus far Ashley seems unwilling to make.

And to me that is his biggest failure at a time when it could be his biggest triumph.

47 thoughts on “Mike Ashley’s biggest failure?

  1. Just that, we need new signings after the match with Sporting Kansas City. He can obviously see what is obvious the squad is not strong enough.

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  2. He say how many Freddie? Personally I think we really need three a defender striker and another winger stroke attacking player

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  3. I think Shola speaking out yesterday about our main aim this coming season is survival says it all really. Fatboy is a gambler, he gambled his way out of the Championship with a tiny squad after a massive clearance sale and has done FKALL since we spawned our way to safety last season. He’ll gamble on us staying up this coming season too.

    I’ll be amazed if we’ve increased our numbers from last season by more than 2. Selling your 2 top scorers (one of whom is captain) won’t do us any favours, at all. An before I get my heed jumped on by the rose-tinted brigade – I’m not being pessimistic, I’m being realistic.

    Smell the coffee lads, and strap yasells in – it’s gona be another bumpy ride!

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  4. If we lose ben arfa our success will be limited this year dramatically stupid how much we rely on this chap

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  5. Mike Ashley is not a failure to every fan – I’ve supported us since the late 60’s and have seem my fair share of idiots in charge of the club but I don’t think MA is one of them. Yes, he’s made PR mistakes but I think he’s genuinely trying to put the club on an even keel and its in his best interests financially to make the club as successful on the pitch as possible

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  6. Vince, business-wise, and on financial stability grounds I agree – he’s great. But he ain’t got the first clue about football, and won’t acknowledge the warning signs.

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  7. Well Johno Pardew has said so many different things since selling Carroll I don`t know what he thinks any more. It started with spending the 35m and the last time I read a statement it seemed to suggest we were after a striker singular not plural. Carver has said we need new signings plural.

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  8. Last I read Freddie was were looking at 1 or 2 more players and another 1 if Jose leaves. So we are still looking to improve the squad. I feel we have enough numbers but the balance of the squad is all wrong. We have 3 centre halfves ( excluding youth players ) yet we have 5 strikers ( 6 if you count ben arfa since he is meant to be playing just off the striker ) and we have too many centre midfielders yet veery little cover for wingers and no cover for left back. I think we need to move on a few players and try balance the squad better

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  9. Rodzilla @ 8,

    Yeah funny how the same bloke was on about us getting back into the Champions League sooner rather than later πŸ˜• He really is mental like

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  10. Moreno, yeah mate. He’s just a salesman at the end of the day, and they talk sh1t to get people on their side, and eventually what they want.

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  11. A lot of teams are regressing.
    We could make a significant move toward European football with a decent amount of money invested, part of which should include new contracts for Bart and Enrique.

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  12. Freddie – Carver may have said we need new signings (plural), but have the club said, or Pardew for that matter, that we aren’t looking at signings (plural). Last time I heard we were in the market for a striker and a left back, so what is the problem?

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  13. Hey Toonsy, alreet, while you’re there mate, any chance of increasing the return linespace so paragraphs separate out a bit better. Soz for being picky, but I think the larger comments will read better. (I’ve got 2 returns in comment 8 and you can hardly tell).

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  14. 50 quid says Jim from the Apprentice will be our next manager.

    (posted on wrong thread before)

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  15. We keep saying how well we did last year. 12? Personally I thought we were seriously shakey and extremely lucky to finish where we did. Towards the end it could have gone either way.

    For those who think we did well, then surely that would suggest we already have enough new blood and creativity to do well next season.

    Personally I disagree. I think we were piss poor very lucky and that would suggest we need 4 more players.

    The truth is probably somewhwere in between.

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  16. Ashley is no more or less a failure than than any other owner of the last 50 years. However, I’m not impressed by his regime’s communications policy – the disrespect it shows to fans, and the use of Pardew as a mouthpiece on issues that he clearly has no influence over (and Pardew, for big-noting himself in trying to appear in control). I hate the spin. I would prefer truth.

    As for ambition, well, I said at the end of last season that I’d judge him at the end of the transfer window and that still applies. I personally think we need at least 3 players (a couple of defenders, and a striker). And we should still get rid of a few – Xisco, Perch, Lovenkrands come readily to mind. We need to get to a position where nobody on this blog can predict what the next team will be. We’re getting close. We need to sort the defence out.

    Still, though, that might change. We’ll see.

    Generally, I have no doubt that Ashley has the best interests of the club in mind. He may not be doing it the way I’d prefer him to do it but I think it is ridiculous to think he is deliberately undermining his own investment.

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  17. f**k sake give him a chance before you get your pitch forks out and hang him. theres still 5 weeks left this transfer window plus we still have a bid for erdinc on the table. and like vince says there has been alot, lot worse than ashley in charge he has made us financially stable (which is a better position than what sheppard and co had us in). dont forget fifa is bringing new rules out so clubs like man city and so on can not throw money at there clubs for fun.

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  18. @Paul – Enriques been offered a contract on alleged enhanced terms, however he wont even look at it by all accounts
    Wouldn’t be surprised if he did a Barton and just let it wind down unless a champions league club comes in for him

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  19. Last season ?
    Was a rollercoaster ride, with too many up’s and downs, meaning we had a team that lacked any consistency.
    A team that both punched above it;s weight and was beaten by poor sides.

    So what about this season ?
    Have to reluctantly admit there’s been some decent signings, at least on reputation, with the addition of HBA and Gosling back from injury.
    With only a couple of spots to fill, a replacement for Enrique who seems determined to find a bigger club and a striker to compliment Ba.

    IMO the deal for Erdinc will go through, apparently PSG are responsible for the loyalty bonus if he stays until August.
    Ashley nickel and dimeing again!

    As for the LB, again IMO, we are waiting for someone to come in with enough dosh to both gain a profit and finance his replacement.
    In “Joey speak” “younger, cheaper and better”.
    And as he appears determined to leave, would’nt mind either Izaguirre or M’Bengue, both available at the right price.

    Who else ?
    Looks like Bassong could be part of Arry’s clearout as he was not exactly flavor of the month, with only seven starts last season (though the Spurs fans rated him)
    Again IMO would be a good buy for us, as would another former team mate Charles N’Zogbia, but doubt if either will happen(not free agents)
    Too much dosh, Ashley is probably awaiting next summers Bosmans, as he apparently (bought) sorry got all of this years lot.
    Think what a gallic flavor that would be if we were to add those two!

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  20. I wouldn’t bother about friendlies. We can play crap and get beat 10-0 in them all for all care, as long as we are ready to go when the season starts that’ll do me.

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  21. Chuck – Are you over here for your jollies? Is it you who is to blame for the crap weather? πŸ˜‰

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  22. Toonsy IMO we need four players to bring the squad up to speed, we are supposed to be looking for a striker and a left back to replace Enrique. With the injuries we pick up and the bookings that tiote is nailed on to get we will struggle if we don`t invest, that is the problem.

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  23. Freddie – I agree, but it isn’t going to happen in just one window. There is a lot of people who still need moving on for a start, plus we are going to struggle to attract a load of decent players as they are all going to want to start. Yes it’s great for competition, but it’s only really the bigger clubs that get away with it.

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  24. dont know why everyone is holding on to their hats in hope of ben arfa pulling us through the second season, its plain to me already, he will be an injury prone toe-rag that will be more trouble than hes worth, stop getting all high-diddy-high on a player that scored the winner against an everton side that was on the verge of a flop aswell

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  25. Sorry but Newcastle have played the style we love only on occasions & I wish people would stop harping on about being fcuking lied too…man up, grow some balls & get in the real world. babies….

    πŸ™„

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  26. I desperately want to see us play attractive football and challenge for Europe but the reality is we were relegated 2 years ago and although we walked the C/ship the Premier League is a completely different ballgame. Many people, myself included, would have been happy to see us finish last year just above the relegation places and the truth is we weren’t that far out of it. We had a couple of years with Keegan and Sir Bobby but we’re not the BIG club a lot of us think we are at times – we are a club that’s facing a tough second season in the PL and I’ll be happy just to see an improvement on last year in terms of points.
    A lot of fans seem to believe that just because we have 50,000 in the stadium we deserve to be in the top 6 – we deserve nothing and will have to fight the likes of Stoke, Villa, Bolton etc for the right to finish higher.
    I personally want to give Ashley and Pardew (who I don’t think is his “puppet”) more time and am quietly impressed at the way the club is going.
    Then again – I could be wrong !!

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  27. [email protected], yeah mate, nice ‘n’ subtle. Took me ages to work out why it wouldn’t show – I registered for this site on my work email, and Gravatar on my home email. Doh! Works now anyway. Shcweeeeet.

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  28. I know it’s late but good article JG.

    It’s exactly how it should be.

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  29. @Vince in Jersey: Well said, prudence is the name of the game. The world does not owe us anything. We have to agree that so far the players brought in are satisfying and considering the low prices we paid. Some came on free transfers which goes to show spending like for like i.e. Β£35 mill on another player priced at Β£35 mill player.

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  30. In my opinion Ashley’s biggest mistake is his hiring. Look at who he has hired in the last 3 years: Dennis Wise (need I say more?), Derek Llambias (is there a bigger clown in football?), Joe Kinnear (maybe there is a bigger clown in football), and now Pardew (“we have a very big squad here”, ” no wait a minute we have a very small squad”)! What team could progress with this kind of quality in management? Ashley can make money in business but he cannot and will not succeed in football. He is a clown who needs to sell up as soon as possible. The 35 M won’t be spent we already know that. His helicopter needs spare parts, he needs money for gambling, apparently some of Derek’s ashtrays need replacing, the list goes on and on.

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  31. @ Vince in Jersey

    ‘We had a couple of years with Keegan and Sir Bobby but we’re not the BIG club a lot of us think we are at times’

    I guess you were in Jersey and only got to see a couple successful years mate – living in Newcastle I was able to see many more than a couple years under messrs Keegan and the late great Sir Bobby.

    AND WE ARE A BIG CLUB

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