Can Newcastle be a top-six team in the next two seasons?

Catalysts for a top six challenge?
Much has been made of our lack of transfer activity and constant negativity with players leaving and injuries in recent weeks has bee rife.

Admittedly it is a worrying that key players like Hatem Ben Arfa are going to miss the start of the season as he is a key player and will be missed as we set about trying to improve on last season.

What is improvement though? Where should we be aiming? We’ve heard certain noises particularly on this ‘blog that we should and deserve to be fighting for a top 6 finish within the next two seasons.

Opinion is often divided when it comes to our future and how ambitious we should be in the coming years. When we look at our status as a recently promoted side we do have to look at ourselves and realise that steady rise is needed rather than a sudden delve into the higher realms of the top flight. But then we ponder on how we have arguably the best support in the country regularly fill our stadium and simply the name Newcastle United represents a real cornerstone of English Football.

Arguably the Premier League is as strong as it has ever been. To break the higher levels of the league you need many things; money, desire, ability, money, money oh and MONEY. This is a critical point really. All the top six of the past season have spent millions upon millions to be there. When we look at our spending it simply bears no comparison.

To work out where I think Newcastle would fit into the league potentially we have to work out the teams who are most likely to threaten our chance of a top six place. I personally feel that the Premier League is broken down into small groups of teams at similar levels.

1) Manchester United are simply the best team at the moment closely followed by big spending Chelsea and Manchester City with the creative yet can’t win anything Arsenal.

2) Liverpool will no doubt push for a top five position with the amount they have invested and Tottenham have constantly spent large amounts of money and always test the top teams.

3) This next clutch of teams all have strong squads and are experienced in the Premier League; Everton who without David Moyes would be average, Aston Villa who did have a poor season but are always good team, Bolton who have been steady if somewhat boring, and Stoke who no one likes to play.

4) Sunderland are likely to head this bunch up with the amount of spending they have done, with Fulham who I think will impress this year and potentially West Brom under Roy Hodgson could be a canny outfit.

5) The regular relegation contenders headed up by Blackburn who have lost the plot with their owners, Wolves who are average but sometimes dangerous, Wigan who are looking to be heavily in the mire this year and the three promoted clubs, QPR, Norwich and Swansea.

So they are the five groups I personally feel the Premier League falls into. So what about Newcastle’s position? Which group would they fall in?

Well it’s clear we have the heritage fans and players to beat the likes of group five and possibly group four, so I would say at the current state of our squad we should at best be aiming for group three. Yes we may have better players than Aston Villa or even Stoke and Bolton, but these teams are never easy to beat, especially Everton.

When we see the strength of the top two groups it’s easy to see how our work to reach those heights in almost impossible. The longer the top teams stay at the top the more money they receive and the harder it is for us as a team to break into that bracket. Of the teams in group three I genuinely feel that us and Everton are the two that could challenge BUT not this season.

We are still in transition and we are no closer than we were last season. We have lost our talisman and number 9 with no replacement as yet and lost our captain and also top scorer. It is worrying times indeed.

The likes of Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba and Sylvain Marveux are good additions, but they are not enough. To realistically gain a top ten finish next year we need to buy three more players – a striker, a utility player to cover defence and, although I would prefer yet another striker, a creative winger could be just as effective.

The stumbling block as ever with predicting our future in the league is that we are never sure of our Chairman’s spending or if he really has the clubs interests at heart. If we were to spend big this season and reinvest wisely again next summer who is to say that we cant compete with the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham?

The trouble is that ‘IF’ is booming at us loud and clear with so many variables hinging on it.

Note from Toonsy – Thanks to Liam Southern Toon for giving us this to ponder.

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

118 thoughts on “Can Newcastle be a top-six team in the next two seasons?

  1. BBM your too nice for your own good I would watch the ****er Toonsy I dont think you are the type πŸ˜†
    Wheres me old mate Batts BATTY ❓


  2. SteveP, would love to see Liverpool just balls it up this season! Would laugh my arse off


  3. Andrew and Toonsy unfortunately I cant see them ballsing in up this year πŸ‘Ώ
    Toonsy you need to watch talking like that Spencer might take it bad πŸ˜†


  4. A real Right Wing, not a Left Wing who can play at bit on the right or a Central Midfielder, no matter how successful he was last season, is a MUST. Fast, creative and an excellent crosser. I just watched Gillespie crossing to Asprilla – I want one of those. I can’t believe no-one else objects to another season watching Guthrie waste his talent struggling on the wing or Barton’s excellence and passion being missed in the middle. Come one – a true RIGHT WINGER is what we need before another central defender or even a striker.


  5. Top six in two years:

    my heart says yes – my head says no.

    Not with Ashley at the helm, he has no ambition for the club itself, only himself. He has and will sell sell our best players and treats the better managers/coaches like ****.


  6. Toonsy @65 absolutely right he is pathetic – I’ve unfollowed him. Anyone that thinks that is funny is a low life.


  7. @83

    I would consider Guti to be a RW as he is right footed. That said I’m not conviced he’s particularly good at providing crosses whichever foot he uses.

    For me another striker MUST be our top priority.

    Then a versatile FB and/or versatile RW/RF type player depending on whats available and what we can afford.


  8. Er, not really wishing to start an argument about it lads, but . . .

    I don’t particularly see making a joke about Ashley dying as being in any worse taste than some of the stuff some of you were saying about the nature and plight of addicts just after the news of Winehouse’s death, or some of the jokes you were making about the fact she was dead.

    To be honest I’m not being precious about it one way or the other, but I think some folk shouldn’t be taking the moral highground over it, based on the comments I saw.

    Just sayin’.


  9. No comments from me Pootle regarding Amy Winehouse. She may have had her self to blame but she was only 27 a huge talent and someone’s daughter – sorry but i have difficulty finding the humour in any of it.


  10. 3hrswasted well then I must be a low life because I found it slightly funny but I have heard a hell of a lot worse, I do understand that maybe some that dont like Steve Wraith might use it against him but as I said I have heard a lot worse, maybe its just me being a low life. πŸ˜€


  11. Each to his own Dave – I’ve heard worse too but I just don’t think it’s funny sorry


  12. It’s impossible to predict, I don’t think we will finish in the top 6 ever with Ashley as owner simply because we sell our best players season after season and we don’t spend enough. Plus Ashley is prone to sacking managers which never helps with all the turmoil and change. Pardew will do well to last another two seasons.

    Next season we should be aiming for the top half, if we have a bit of luck with injuries I think we can do it.


  13. AndrewNUFC, you can’t factually state that we sell our best players year after year. The season before last we were relegated so obviously we moved some on. This year Carroll left cuz his head was turned by a sneaky agent Liverpool bought and the encouragement from our captain! Then said captain asks for a ridiculously long contract after his goals started drying up and his place in the squad was seriously being doubted.

    Who knows? Ashley may actually try to keep our best assets in the coming seasons


  14. AndrewT

    He’ll keep our best assets until someone comes in with a reasonable bid for them then we sell, thats the way we are run. We buy cheap young players abroad with potenital re sale value.


  15. I’m honestly not totally sure that will happen. He held onto Carroll throughout January. It was only when the transfer request went in that afternoon that he folded


  16. I think once the bid got to around Β£35m he would have snapped Carroll’s arm off if he HADN’T put in the request.

    I imagine it went something like this:
    Carroll thought he could put pressure on the board for a raise due to the interest from Liverpool. Unbeknownst to him Ashley and Llambias were actually rather keen for holding out for a huge transfer fee but wanted him to put in a transfer request to avoid any potential ‘loyalty’ payments. They act like they are calling his bluff and say “You need to put in a transfer request if you want to talk to Liverpool”. Carroll does this and Ashley and Llambias go, “Wahey!! Accepted – Β£35m here we come!!!”.

    When all is said and done the big failing on Ashley and Llambias’ part was not selling Carroll for that sort of money. That was reasonable business. It was failing to have ANY decent contingency plan in place once he was sold.
    The argument that he was sold at the last minute is slightly disingenuous as they knew big bids were going to be made that week. They refused two high bids several days earlier.
    In my opinion they had no intention of spending money on getting even a half decent player in at that point – the N’Zogbia rumour was never going to become real – I believe they hoped all along that we would just scrape through until the end of the season with our remaining Championship quality strikers. It almost all came undone with injuries towards the end of the season.

    To be honest I don’t get as emotionally embroiled over the coming and going of players as some . I find all this ‘Messiah’ and ‘Judas’ type of over emotional angst regarding players a bit melodramatic.

    Over the last few years the ideas of badge kissing and loving the club have just become symbolic rather than heartfelt.
    One of the many ways the huge influx of money into the game over the last few decades has changed the game. Players are just commodities to the clubs and the clubs are a ticket to the possibility of vast riches to the players.
    There will always be some players for whom money isn’t the primary motivation (potential success is a motivator too – although success always leads to more money) but they seem to becoming fewer every year.

    I dare say precious few of us would say no to the opportunity to triple our salary doing the same work with another employer if the opportunity presented itself.


  17. I might add that if my outline of the Carroll situation is reasonably accurate I don’t think there is anything wrong with selling him or manipulating the situation that way. Carroll tried to use the interest in him as leverage and it backfired. That’s life – he tried what Rooney tried at Man U not so long ago but it backfired. He gets his big payday and so does NUFC – we both win really.

    Where I will find Ashley culpable is if we havent brought in another decent striker (and ideally at least 1 other player) once the window closes.
    I will find that very difficult to reconcile with the amount of money the should have available.

    (and no, that doesn’t mean that i want them to spunk the money away on a Β£35m has-been, for those of you that have difficulty understanding that it is possible to invest wisely)


  18. Oh but it isnt Pootle. Surely we need to spunk Β£35million to prove he hasnt put it in his bank and reaping the interest?! πŸ™„

    The constant negativity is boring. Sick of the clouds and fluffy comments. Glad I am away on holiday for 2 weeks after tonight and dont have to read it.

    They wouldvr been stupid NOT to accept that kind of money. Anyone would be. I think we are stronger as a squad already and I simply wont start slagging the board until after the windows shut. Then we will know for certain. Whining like little ****es isnt going to do anything at all. If people were really bothered they would try and do something about it.


  19. Its funny that bolton and stoke are rated so highly….its a strsnge thing as thry both finished below us last season and Bolton were massively reliant on sturridge for goals after they signed him…I don’t think liverpool will be the threat many consider them to be, their own fans think they will be title chasers, absolutrly no chance πŸ˜† West Brom will struggle to replicate their form under hodgy as well, but we’re still far from top 6 imo


  20. @raffo

    I dont think you’ve understood the meaning of Pootles post one bit. No wonder you are frustrated but you’ve got yourself to blame.

    Go on holiday and recharge your batteries and come back with a more logical outlook. πŸ˜‰


  21. @pootle

    Many can’t seem to get their heads around fans wanting the Carroll money spent so we have the best possible chance of finishing as high as possible. Not one of us wants trophy signings but that is the rubbish they throw back as soon as it’s mentioned.

    Surely our Director of Football Graham Carr has players of quality identified, who may cost more than a free? or who haven’t got injury question marks over their heads?

    There’s nothing wrong with spending decent amounts on players as long as they are quality. That’s what good managers and DoF are supposed to do. It’s our bad managers and DoF who have wasted millions on dross over the years. That’s not what we are after.

    I’ve no doubt that a few senior players will exit on the final day of the window only to be replaced by cheap and lesser quality imitations.


  22. @witters

    Not at all. I have always maintained that I will judge the regime on each transaction and decision they make. I will applaud them if they actually do something positive. I have complimented them in the past for identifying that wage structures needed to be in place.

    However, in general, I believe they are at the opposite end of the spectrum to Shepherd & Co in terms of financial sense of sorting out the clubs coffers and having a decent football team and need to be nearer the middle.

    The lies and deceit are the same as Shepherd & Co and until those two areas improve I will continue to call it how I see it.

    I would always forgive if things changed and that is all I wish. πŸ˜•

    Until I see


  23. @raffo

    Your post sounded as if you were disagreeing with pootle. ?

    Apologies if I’ve misinterpreted your meaning. Ive just woke up. πŸ˜‰


  24. @toonsy

    What are people doing awake at this time?

    Im having a face pack before I go to work on the buildings. 😯


  25. Ive been up all neet at work so thats my excuse!

    I would rather lean a bit to Ashleys side but I agree we need to be alittle nearer the middle in things. I will judge on Sept 1st


  26. Wouldnt it be good to see us go to Man City and try and get Onhua, maybe Jo or Bellers? They are spending big and theres a few players that would really improve us that are sat twiddling thumbs


  27. Raffo, your reply to my post confuses me. It appears to be a typical whinge about me being too’negative’, which presumably means you didn’t read what I wrote or you didn’t understand it.
    If that wasn’t your intention then I’m afraid that’s the way it reads.

    What I plainly said was that I agree with Ashley taking the money for Carroll. The whole ‘Ashley was greedy, Carroll was a Judas’ argument is completely childish in my eyes. It was good business for both parties. He got a massive pay increase, we got a sackfull of cash.

    My only criticism of Ashleys handling of the sale of Carroll is the lack of a contingency plan. The injuries to Shola etc could have cost us very dearly in and Kuqi was, frankly, not much help at all.

    You say you wont start slagging the board until the window shuts.
    As far as I’m concerned If Ashley gets a couple of decent players in by the start of the season (even if it means spending some of the Carroll money) then I will reasonably satisfied.
    If he doesn’t I will be extremely dissatisfied. In essence I am saying I think we should w
    ait and see. Im Not quite sure how that equates to being negative.

    You also appear to be suggesting that people have no cause to complain about Ashley’s reign so far. Frankly that is a ridiculous suggestion.

    You also finish with some vitriolic whinging about people who … You’ve guessed it.. people who whinge.
    Ironic much?


  28. Toonsy @ 54

    Let’s not forget the window isn’t closed, keep hearing how much time there is left. πŸ˜‰


  29. I think our aim for the next couple of years is more realistic to be top 8 breaking into the top six has become even more difficult over the last 3 seasons with the emergence of man city and there millions and spurs seem to have funds far beyond our grasp. Although another failure to reach the champions league this season may spell trouble for Harry.
    But i do feel with a little more investment a top eight finish is a real possibility over the next couple of years.


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