It’s all part of the masterplan?

I’m not saying right is wrong , It’s up to us to make , The best of all things that come our way. Sorry about that. Got a bit carried away with the article title.

It’s been a while since I sat down and wrote an article. I would put that down to all the positivity surrounding the club and the fact I usually sit down and bash the keyboard when I am pissed off about something.

I was thinking back to the first article I wrote for this site which was a pretty balanced read regarding our illustrious Chippendale chairman, Mike Ashley, which you can read here. Back then I sat on the fence regarding the antics of our owner and waited for the answer to the £35 million question. I waited for some time and fell off the fence crash landing into the garden of reality after gathering a whole host of splinters around me rectum area.

Now that the season has started incredibly well for the Toon we are waiting for the inevitable slump. It must be just round the corner as it always is. The big ol’ kick in the bollocks ready to strike again.

But it isn’t.

We are looking better than we have in years. I was delighted with our passing game at St. James’s Park against a pretty awful Blackburn side and I am under no doubt at all that we will absolutely stay up and incredibly comfortably. Memory foam mattress comfortably.

Credit where credit is due. Some fantastic signings by the club on a shoestring budget and the only real stinging disappointment is the lack of a No.9 being procured over the summer (as sort of promised)

A previous article regarding the old posse of Tuggy, Tash and Traitor and whether we are a better team without out them made me think about the possibility of us actually being close to following the blueprint this board have drafted up for our club.

As many will know, I am no advocate of this regime. I personally hate them and think we would be better off without them. There are just too many bones of contention for me to be forgiving. Just because we are in fourth, it ain’t buying my love.

I put our performances down to the quality of scouting and selecting the right players. Players who have question marks hanging over their head and can be bought at a knock down price. Or they’re free. Clever Carr and Astute Alan know you have to tempt Mike out with a bargain, he just cannae resist a cracking deal.

It would be naive to think that no planning has gone into everything the board are doing. There will be plenty of meetings and brainstorming about where this business is moving over the next few years. Question is…is it for Ashley’s personal gain? Are we being fattened up to be sold? Or is it to bring success to the club and taste it as the board?

Either way, it’s win/win for us. On one hand we get rid of him whilst playing well to attract a good price and on the other hand we are a classed as a strong European threat. Stoke and Fulham are in Europe at the minute and we are currently looking a stronger than both in the league. Lest not forget they’re both shite though.

If we are building a team with incredible team spirit then sign up Colo and bring in a defender and striker in January. Don’t sell our player of the year when a good offer comes in and keep this team together for years.

Has that been the Masterplan all along?

Sadly, I don’t believe so. If huge bids come in for Tiote or Cabaye in the summer then they will be sold and another gem will be unearthed to replace them at a fraction of the cost. The guy wants his money back and is running the football club as a business rather than a hobby.

Although it does bring me back towards the fence again as part of me hopes and prays for the Masterplan to be the one we need. If we can create a side which will be given time to develop together over the next few years, we will become the new ‘model’ to emulate in Premier League football

A special thanks to GeordieArt for permission to use one of his excellent sketches. This particular one is the Strawberry Corner and you really need to see it full size to appreciate the detail in there. You can follow him on twitter for more NUFC related sketches and some good craic thrown in to boot.

46 thoughts on “It’s all part of the masterplan?

  1. Must admit, regardless of the good results, the actual football on display in the last 20 mins against Blackburn was so silky. Once they went down to 10 men it was like they gave up. When you look at their recent games against us we havn’t dominated them like that, despite them being perceived as a lesser club. I was at the away draw last season and even then we lacked the cutting edge against them. It was like the killer blow was just around the corner this time. 🙂 We had real potency and goal threat. We need to go to Wolves on the crest of this wave and they have really slumped after a good start. For the first time in a long time I have confidence in the team that they we turn up, entertain and put a shift in. We didn’t always get that last season.


  2. Great read Moreno, love the artwork 🙂

    Also now I have Oasis stuck in my head!

    as for the masterplan, I think we are starting to see signs of this five year plan 9which one I don’t know) he banged on about. If we get a massive bid for one our players from a big club I expect them to go. Not really a slight on the club as that is the way football works. We aren’t one of the vultures at the top anymore unfortunately and if a player earns a move to a bigger club I’ll not moan really as long as they don’t feed us with crap or slag the the club off.

    If we can keep hold of what we have and improve it in a sustainable way that doesn’t cost Ashley and money then I don’t see why he’d want to change it. The players we have now are on realistic wages that can be managed so everything pays for itslef at the minute roughly.


  3. On the artwork, it must be a bit old? No Milburn mammoth stand? I still see the offices by the brewery. I used to park the car in there 🙂


  4. I think that Ashley will take back the money he is owed, and then invest any future profit back in to the club.
    As I’ve explained on a different thread, if he were to keep removing money from the club after it is debt free, it would be heavily taxed. So it is more in Ashley’s best interests to keep the money in the club.

    Think of it along the same lines as a bloke who owns a few properties spending the rental income on doing the places up, as if he chooses to pocket the dosh he’d need to give a large chunk to HMRC.

    My ideal scenario would be Ashley keeps the club, we’re debt free in 3/4 years, with about £40M a year in profit able to be reinvested in playing staff, facilities, wages etc each season.
    The worst thing to happen would be that Ashley pays the debt off then sells the club to somebody else who then has to load the club up with debt a-la Glazers and Gillet & Hicks. Then we’d be in an even worse position than now.


  5. Good read Moreno, you’re right if huge bids come in for players they will be sold but then that’s what happens at almost every football club in the world(if not all), regardless of owners or motives. Also it’s not just a case of us turning down offers, when “bigger” clubs come in, players will want to leave, at the moment we are a “stepping stone” club, will that ever change under Ashley? probably not imo but we can always hope…….that said he hasn’t brought in anyone cheap and sold at a huge profit yet and those who have gone had the option to stay but chose not too apart from one or two who just weren’t good enough…..Geremi and Pancake spring to mind


  6. I’m over the moon with our start to the season.Long may it continue!
    Master plan, I don’t thinks so. Very fortunate to have the like of Colo, Tiote, Cabaye and Ben Arfa. Any of which will be sold if the right offer comes along.
    That’s a proven fact!


  7. Fair comments on players leaving. The exception being Modric it does happen like that.

    Would we fight to keep our players though or will we cash in straight away? (if Market value offer comes in – not 20 million more than their worth)


  8. Moreno…..they turned down offers that were more than AC was worth, he wanted to go and the club got a good price. It would be nice to keep our better players but as I said when/if bigger clubs come knocking then the chances are the players will want away then the club have to make the decision if it’s worth trying to hang on to them or cash in… in is the usual outcome unfortunately 🙁


  9. I’m very pleased with our start this season like everyone, but without wanting to be Mr. Negativity, the Harvey Keitel line from Pulp Fiction springs to mind:

    The Wolf: Well, let’s not start sucking each other’s dicks quite yet.

    Our schedule does not look especially easy in the coming weeks and, if memory serves, we’ve got Man U, City and Chelsea in a row after the round of middle weights and light heavy weights coming up.

    There’s a rosy glow on things after the latest results, but I also remember the end of pre-season when we were pretty doom-and-gloom. Just saying… rise & fall, rise & fall… all that.

    How many of us will be pulling out our hair and gnashing teeth come November and a few setbacks?


  10. Yep it’s an unfortunate fact of football, and the fact that Modric is one of the only examples of a player staying put says a lot. Generally if a bigger club comes in for a player there is one outcome.


  11. Richie, are you follically challenged, like me? If so, my condolences & solidarity to a chrome-dome comrade.

    For all my bald brothers on here (and maybe even a bald sister or two) it will be more gnashing of teeth than pulling of hair.


  12. Yeah well , we have got some big games coming up ,but lets not forget we have played a couple of big matches already and got points . Arsenal and Sunderland away . Its a scarey thought but maybe this squad is ready for the next step up and is a lot better than we all thought when the season kicked off .


  13. It’s not the results that have been the reason I believe we’ll be more than comfortable. It’s the way we are playing.


  14. I am personally more optimistic about the type of football we seem to be playing than our placing in the table. Obviously results will start to go against us, but it is the way we react which is more important. It’s great to have so much pace in the side, as this is what worries most teams, cannot wait to get Santon in there, together with HBA and Marveaux buzzing about !

    Am just enjoying basking in the glow of a good start to the season. Long may it continue !


  15. Slapheeds United! Excellent.

    Moreno, those were big games, in their way, but L’Arse have been pretty wretched and Sunderland are still pretty wretched. And as they say on derby day, anything can happen.

    We played very well against an awful Blackburn team. I see positive signs too, but I still feel like we may be getting too positive too quickly.


  16. FSOTC.

    What do you mean? Is it not fair enough to predict we’ll comfortably finished top half based on what we have seen this season? (not based on defenders being hit by lightening etc etc etc)


  17. I think the start to the season will have a massive impact when we hid a bad patch. Tge team spirit has been born out and won’t be forgotten when results turn, or if they turn.

    Contrast it to if we’d have started off poorly. The spirit wouldn’t have had a chance to manifest itself in my opinion.


  18. Yeah, Moreno, I think top half finish is reasonable barring lightning strikes, earthquakes and plagues of locusts. I do have this sense (not based on your comments, and probably not any one in particular) that some of us are getting a little light headed from the thin air in 4th place.

    By the time those three potentially devastating games in a row hit us (they are in a row, aren’t they?), hopefully the team will really have solidified and gelled. Or should it be “gelled and solidified”? Not sure on the order of those two metaphors.


  19. FSOTC…I’m also a member of “Slapheeds United”…no offence meant to you and the sun-bronzed Richietoon… 😆 😉


  20. For me its a new season…. were of to a great start.. Get of ashleys back he is not bowing to greedy clubs and agents. Ashley has made mistakes so what everybody does. If someone goes to slabber about ashley again wen we are doing so well someone please kick them on the balls from me 🙂


  21. slapheedz’r’uz :mrgreen:

    Agree with Moreno, comfortable top half finish and I thought that before a ball was kicked…… it just me or does the gap in between games seem much longer when we’re playing well?


  22. re. the 3 hard games coming up. Should forget about them for now, the next 3 games are all good opportunities to get points on the board and be firmly in the top half by the time we start playing the harder teams, and by then we will take take them on as well, can only play the next team that is put infront of you. I would rather Benny is protected from the likes of Karl Henry tbh and fully fit by the time we play spurs.


  23. DJG

    “Now that the season has started incredibly well for the Toon we are waiting for the inevitable slump. It must be just round the corner as it always is. The big ol’ kick in the bollocks ready to strike again.”

    That’s why the three tough games are being mentioned. People are already looking ahead to the point where things turn sour. Just seems to be our mentality.

    At least they are looking into November rather than Saturday! Says a lot.


  24. First-time poster, often time reader. I’m as cynical as the next, but I really do think that if we continue to get decent results and manage to finish this season in the top 8, I would be surprised if we sold players like Tiote and Cabaye. If we show we’re actually on the up and up, I reckon we’ll keep our players and add more to what’s already a promising squad. These things take time, and while I was gutteed to lose Enrique, those things happen. Barton and nolan though? Not bothered at all. And selling Carroll of 35m? Stroke of genius really. I have faith that money has been invested in the club some way or another. I’d be more than happy to be a financially stable, mid table team playing attractive football, than the hoofball playing, schizophrenic club we’ve been in recent years.


  25. Jon,

    Couldn’t agree more with —–> ‘ I’d be more than happy to be a financially stable, mid table team playing attractive football, than the hoofball playing, schizophrenic club we’ve been in recent years.’


  26. @34. welcome Jon. Good first post- can’t say I disagree with a word of it…

    richie- yeah it seems like a month since we last played. This coming 2 week break is going to be brutal….I need to go on vacation or something….


  27. Good article but I disagree on one point. I think we didn’t play an awful Blackburn team, there’s a reason why we lost 5 times in a row.

    Since when we totally dominated a team like Blackburn. The tactic was spot on, ball on deck, it’s the way we play makes them awful. Even Villa looked ordinary at home, how many times can we say that!

    To quote Barton, the king is dead, long live the king


  28. Modric will be off in 2012 though and Bale soon after. Spurs have played this game before with Keane and Berbatov


  29. Lacedaemonian….Modric has hoyed his toys out the pram. You’re dead right, he’ll be off in the summer, new 5 year deal or not… When the player wants to go it’s difficult to do owt about it…apart from giving him a better sporting perspective and loads of spondoolicks. They have tried the latter, but it still won’t work…


  30. Jon @34:

    The problem is, the higher we finish, the more likely that our best players have played well and will be in demand. That’s a good problem to have though.

    We seem to have a good spirit in the dressing room. But with success our players might join the growing group of whingers, malcontents and mercenaries – to name a few – Torres, Carroll, Barton, Djeko, Fabregas, Nasri, Modric, Tevez.

    The culture of football seems to be getting worse and I think it is the money at City that has done it.


  31. The master plan, Eh !
    Like Moreno, I’m no fan of either “The Owner” or any of his minions, well maybe got some respect for Carver.
    I still believe that NUFC is part rich mans toy part adjunct to Sports Direct.
    An investment that was and still is, to both appeal to the ego and generate income.
    If in fact there is a five year plan ? sounds like something from the old Soviet Union or Mao’s China, what is it ?
    I would tend to think actually Ashley is winging it with a certain amount of flexibility.
    Yeah it’s still OJT, trial and error management.
    Sure everyone (Carroll) has his price, it’s the credo of the retailing industry, which i believe is the overall plan, buy cheap sell at a profit.
    Whether we will ever see a top four side is doubtful, well perhaps we could get lucky and have some decent seasons, before having to sell off our stars, replacing them with yes, the old, “Younger-Ceaper-Better” mentioned by Joey.
    So as long as we are successful in the market, getting very good value for money spent, sign them to long term contracts and if they turn out to be worth money, Tiote- Cabaye-Ben Arfa- etc, then hey !
    Kinda guarantees a top ten side in the PL , which is profitable, but one which will never compete for a championship, because of the business plan, in other words a club unable to keep it’s stars, unwilling to compete (spend) with the big boys.
    In other words nothing has changed over the last fifty or sixty years.


  32. Exactly what I was thinking Chuck this five year plan reminds me of my Standard Grade/GCSE(for those of the english system) History talking about Stalin and Lenin’s communist ambitions by setting three five year plans that like us are being completeded prematurlely. Hope we don’t end up like Soviet Russia did (the purges) were the influencial players are taken away and sorted out (sold). 😮


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