Deja vu strikes again at NUFC – Why Mike Ashley’s mistakes threaten to sabotage our summer

Summer transfer windows under Mike Ashley for Newcastle fans are always a torturous process. Will he invest even the bare minimum? Will Charnley dither again in securing targets? And now we have Rafa, will he stay if it looks like we still aren’t ‘doing things right’?

It may be a bit early and it could also be tension from the past, as the window is not really in full swing yet, but I worry already the warning signs are there that Newcastle will make the same mistakes this summer as they did last.

What new and familiar factors is Rafa working against to get what he needs this summer?

World Cup year – holds up deals?

We have he added pressure of it being the World Cup, which is great as a football fan but transfer wise, it unquestionably holds deals up. The top players will of course be playing at the tournament and often banned from National coaches from discussing deals with clubs until their national stint is over. Although Newcastle won’t be in for the likes of Griezmann – it sometimes takes the big deals like this to start and then filter down the rest of the market.

We also may be trying to sign players who play for some of the smaller World Cup participants and like us with Mitrovic, clubs rightly won’t sell until after the tournament in case they do well and suddenly see their value rocket.



Window set to shut earlier  – more need for early business

Complicating this further, Premier League clubs voted in favour of shortening the summer transfer window – meaning the window will now shut early August, a few days before the new season kicks off. It means two weeks less of player trading and is good in many respects as it means starting with a settled squad. However, add the World Cup in the mix and Newcastle need to do business and quickly. Ashley won’t spend big money as we know, but that’s more reason to act fast on the targets we’ve been identifying for goodness knows how long. We can’t afford to keep standing still yet you get the feeling he constantly ignores Rafa’s wishes.

Feels like we’re having to sell before we buy…

Already the Ashley machine seems to pushing out our high wage bill and it seems shifting the likes of Mbemba, Sels and Mitrovic is needed before we can bring fresh faces in. This is frustrating.

With us having the full effects of TV money now after a full year back in the top flight, cash flow should not be holding Rafa back. We need to get rid of deadwood, that is clear – but it should not be driving our ability to recruit as much as it appears to be.

Slow to secure targets? (again)

Rafa always states he wants business done early, a clear warning after the slow antics of Charnley and co. that cost us some top targets last summer (Abraham and Cabellero by all accounts). Have we learnt from those mistakes? I’m not sure sure – especially after claims that Ashley won’t back Rafa until he agrees to a new deal, coupled with the fact Benitez won’t entertain any new contract until Ashley proves he’ll show ambition this summer. So, another impasse where we’re wasting time and frustrating Rafa?

In amongst all this, it is reported Benitez wants a minimum of four signings tied up quickly to get some real momentum this summer – and knowing the Ashley/Charnley combination, this seems so unlikely.

With Spain sacking their manager today, another clear threat has resented itself to us and the very real chance Rafa will leave and say enough is enough.

Let’s hope our owner finally learns from his mistakes and secures the long term of the biggest asset we have.

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at [email protected] & we’ll get back to you!)

About Simon Riddlesden

Lifelong Newcastle United fan and East Stand season ticket holder. Observations from a supporter who has followed NUFC during Champions League participation and through relegation, taking me from Milan to Scunthorpe.

299 thoughts on “Deja vu strikes again at NUFC – Why Mike Ashley’s mistakes threaten to sabotage our summer

  1. If Stoke want Gayle I would do a him plus cash deal for either Shaqiri or Ndiaye. I also quite liked Choupo-Moting, but the other 2 are definite quality.

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  2. Dubai – yeah I’ve got it on mate. Serbia well in control but same yesterdays games, they are taking too long to get it in the final third.

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  3. Its like Peru/Denmark. Serbia better score or Costa Rica might nick it. They don’t need 2 holding midfielders either.

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  4. We have Ian Wright in the studio and he is getting himself all worked up about Navas not being good enough for Real Madrid. He has never been on US TV, is he always like that?

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  5. Costa Rica look dangerous when they break forward.. had a few good chances. They are no push overs as they showed in the last WC. I think second half will be interesting

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  6. Eric Sykes:
    We have Ian Wright in the studio and he is getting himself all worked up about Navas not being good enough for Real Madrid. He has never been on US TV, is he always like that?

    Yeah mate, he can be funny sometimes – but largely quite annoying, feel free to keep him.

    Actually there’s a YouTube clip of him doing a Q&A with Shearer at SJP and they are good in that – worth digging out if you’re bored at HT.

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  7. Regarding Jorgensen (or whatever he’s called), it’s tough to judge in his first WC game – if we are doing that, Suarez, Griezmann and Messi didn’t look too shit hot either.

    I thought Finnbogson looked lively against the Argies yesterday, and I thought the Russia lad who came on as sub and notched 2 looked pretty good too.

    But again, if it’s sell Mitrovic for £20m or Gayle for £10-12m – no contest. I’d be getting rid of Gayle for sure.

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  8. Is it right that if a lineman puts his flag up for offside it cannot be reviewed by VAR? If true, I can see that causing problems. I would have thought that was the main use for VAR along with diving and questionable penalties.

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  9. Sharpy17:
    Regarding Jorgensen (or whatever he’s called), it’s tough to judge in his first WC game – if we are doing that, Suarez, Griezmann and Messi didn’t look too shit hot either.

    I thought Finnbogson looked lively against the Argies yesterday, and I thought the Russia lad who came on as sub and notched 2 looked pretty good too.

    But again, if it’s sell Mitrovic for £20m or Gayle for £10-12m – no contest.I’d be getting rid of Gayle for sure.

    Sharpy: we used to have Steve McManamanaman but sent him back. Another high pitched scouser we didn’t need.

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  10. Dubai Toon:
    Costa Rica look dangerous when they break forward.. had a few good chances. They are no push overs as they showed in the last WC. I think second half will be interesting

    they have no goalscores in their ranks mate

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  11. icedog:
    Mitro just knocked 5 mil off his price,he wont get anything as easy as that one

    Won the free kick for the goal. Plus 2 mil 🙂

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  12. Well a great free kick to put Serbia ahead but Mitro did not cover himself in glory today… 2 golden chances missed. Oops.

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  13. Think the hype about Germany is over done. They’re obviously a good side but I’m not sure I see too many truly world class players in their team today.

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  14. Stuart79:
    Think the hype about Germany is over done. They’re obviously a good side but I’m not sure I see too many truly world class players in their team today.

    Neure, Kruse, Kimmich. Ozil and Muller not far behind – on their day. Should be too much for Mexico. They are WC holders as well Stuart.

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  15. We got the good, the bad but not the ugly from Mitro. He bullied Costa Rica but scuffed a shot and got another tangled in his feet. Was exactly as he always was for NUFC but has at least 2 other games to impress. Probably 3 as if a team wins their 1st group game they usually progress. A draw should be enough and we cannot assume Brasil will win all 3, that rarely happens.

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  16. Eric, I have seen enough of Ozil over the last 4 years to know he’s not world class. He’s actually really average most of the time and then every know and again he does something good.

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  17. Stuart79:
    Eric, I have seen enough of Ozil over the last 4 years to know he’s not world class. He’s actually really average most of the time and then every know and again he does something good.

    I said on his day.

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  18. BTW Stuart. I can only see Arsenal getting 3rd or 4th if they rely on Ozil as he is too inconsistent in the PL. Probably more suited to internationals where it is usually a bit slower.

    Still think the Germans will probably get it right second half.

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  19. There’s usually some strange results at the WC. Didn’t an average Dutch team beat Spain 5-1 and then Germany 7 Brazil 1.

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  20. Well, Jochim Lowe has the Gordon Ramsey syndrome. Middle aged man wearing too tight a t-shirt (and skinny jeans in Ramsey’s case). Ramsey has a mini empire over here and is never off TV.

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  21. If Germany finish 2nd in their group (still unlikely) do they play Brazil (if they win their group) in the second round?

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  22. My mate is out in Mexico watching the match and the atmosphere is class. Sent me a video when they scored. We were out there last year and they are brilliant people like so I’m backing them 🇲🇽

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  23. I doubt the Mexicans can keep the Germans out for much longer. I think the first half has zapped their energy.

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  24. Tell you what though, the so called bigger teams have definitely struggled to break the so called smaller teams down so far.

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  25. How the hell did all of these Mexicans and Costa Ricans get to Russia? You would think the grounds would be full of Europeans.

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  26. I think this could be 2006 all over again. Italy won it and were probably the worst team ever to win a WC. Anybody who thinks England have no chance are idiots.

    Germany will struggle to win their group now.

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  27. Germany were pretty poor in their warm up games too. You can’t just turn it on and off clearly.

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  28. Stuart79:
    I think this could be 2006 all over again. Italy won it and were probably the worst team ever to win a WC. Anybody who thinks England have no chance are idiots.

    Germany will struggle to win their group now.

    I really hope England get to the QF. You can see the papers setting it up though, saying they are “relaxed”. A couple of bad results and relaxed will become “complacent”.

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  29. Brilliant, buzzing for the Mexicans there – that’s the beauty of the WC when you see there reaction to that win.

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  30. Stuart79:
    Germany were pretty poor in their warm up games too. You can’t just turn it on and off clearly.

    They usually do though. I am not writing off Germany yet. I was worried about Argentina because they are not really a team and rely too much on Messi. They are more likely to be the big upset.

    Germany have Sweden and Korea which are not easy but they will probably pull through.

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  31. Southampton and Leicester have agreed £20m fee for James Maddison of Norwich. Can anybody let me know how we can’t compete with these teams now?

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  32. Stuart: I went with QF for England. I flirted with semis but then remembered history. As soon as you start to believe England punch you in the gut. There is always the theory that this time is different, but I prefer not to build my hopes up too much. I do agree that this lot do not seem as entitled and arrogant as past squads. Maybe it is just because they are young and don’t have John Terry.

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  33. I have to say it again that it is only one game but that did sort of encapsulate Mitro’s career at NUFC. If that’s what Rafa sees in training then you start to understand. I am hoping for a few goals though but whatever happens I still think we will get 20 million from Fulham or Palace.

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  34. Stuart79:
    Southampton and Leicester have agreed £20m fee for James Maddison of Norwich. Can anybody let me know how we can’t compete with these teams now?

    Stu – I read £22m plus add ons

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  35. Sharpy17: Stu – I read £22m plus add ons

    Well there you go. I really have no idea why Rafa sticks around with these bunch of amateurs

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  36. Stuart79: Well there you go. I really have no idea why Rafa sticks around with these bunch of amateurs

    Stu – at the same time I don’t think the kid is worth half that really.

    I really don’t think Rafa is about spending big money on average players.

    I don’t think he’s arsed how much money he actually gets to spend, providing the money he does get is enough to bring the players in he needs.

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  37. Sorry but Coutinho’s goal is obviously good but that’s the only type of goal he seems to score. Surely by now a defender knows this and a keeper knows also…

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  38. Sharpy17: Stu – at the same time I don’t think the kid is worth half that really.

    I really don’t think Rafa is about spending big money on average players.

    I don’t think he’s arsed how much money he actually gets to spend, providing the money he does get is enough to bring the players in he needs.

    It’s not the fact that he might be good, average or bad. It’s the fact that he’s going for £22m. That shows how out of date we are once again when it comes to transfers. We can’t or won’t even spend that kind of money on a good player. That good player has just seen their value go even higher when average players are going for £22m.

    What chance do we really have?

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  39. Stu, which is why we must get more than £20m for Mitro or keep him. He’s a forward and they cost, even the average ones. And the reported £10m bid for Gayle from Stoke is an insult .

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  40. Stuart79:
    Sorry but Coutinho’s goal is obviously good but that’s the only type of goal he seems to score. Surely by now a defender knows this and a keeper knows also…

    still got to stop it though .

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  41. Stuart79: It’s not the fact that he might be good, average or bad. It’s the fact that he’s going for £22m. That shows how out of date we are once again when it comes to transfers. We can’t or won’t even spend that kind of money on a good player. That good player has just seen their value go even higher when average players are going for £22m.

    What chance do we really have?

    Stu – I know what you mean, but I don’t think it’s got that bad yet that we can’t operate in a transfer window.
    I actually think that if this kid was to go to Leicester for £22m, Rafa would still be more envious of the Jonny Evans deal. That much PL experience and quality for only £4m.

    I saw a bit of this lad last season, and he looked ok. But he looked no better than what Murphy looked for them before we spent £12m on him. This lad is going for £22m – more than what we’ve been reportedly been quoted for Kenedy. So I’m happy for them to spend big on untested players and we can concentrate on Kenedy.

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  42. kimtoon:
    Shaqiri’sbeen on the kebabs hasn’t he , not the leanest out there .

    Kim – yeah I was watching him thinking there is no way Rafa would have him. He doesn’t work enough. Real talent and could turn full backs inside out. But he doesn’t work without the ball I don’t think.
    If Palace were to sign Antonio from WH, I reckon I could possibly see Townsend become a target again.

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