Will we ever be able to compete with the big boys again?

Mike Ashley

Mike Ashley
Mike Ashley - Rich, but not rich enough?
I know what you probably thought when you read that headline. Another moan about Mike Ashley and and a lack of investment, right?

Well, sort of, but it’s kind of a case for the defence of the Sports Direct tycoon also.

I suppose I’d better start by clarifying my stance on the current ownership. If I do that now it may avoid some idiotic comments later on such as “Ashley lover” or any other amount of boring and idle stuff like that. Put simply I don’t have much time for him. However just because I don’t bleat on about him in every post it doesn’t mean that I am overly enamoured by him. Far from it in fact.

There seems to be a misconception about people who like/dislike Mike Ashley. One camp claims that the other hates everything that he does whilst the other camp claims that those who don’t mind Mike Ashley simply love everything that he does. That is false, in both cases. I’m sure there are “haters” who recognise that he has done some good stuff whilst I’m also pretty sure that most “apologists” recognise that he has dropped some clangers.

Like me for example. I like the careful approach to signings and the research that goes into them. It should mean that we don’t end up with more Michael Owen’s at the club. I don’t like his unwillingness to spend, the Sports Direct advertising vehicle that St James’ Park has become, the contempt that we get shown at times.

Anyway, I’m waffling.

I was watching Match of the Day earlier. I recorded it last night as I knew I’d be up stupidly early for work as I have to make sure that this place has enough articles to get through the day with. Sometimes it’s a drag, especially when you have a 13 hour shift lined up, feel like crap, and have very little to work with in terms of news. Thankfully the other writers step up to the plate on a regular basis.

Anyway, I’m waffling again.

Back to Match of the Day. Having just seen the highlights of Manchester United smashing five past Bolton, Manchester City slipping three (although it could have been more) goals past Wigan and Chelsea doing what we do best and dominating Sunderland on their own turf, my gaze flickered to the Premier League table. It’s already got a familiar look to it hasn’t it?

The two Manchester clubs look frighteningly good whilst Chelsea are chugging away in the background without being spectacular. Even more frightening is the fact that we play all three of those teams in a run of fixtures that starts in late November.

Beyond the top three there are oddities at the moment. Stoke are in 4th and could be replaced by us should we manage at least a score draw on Monday night, but it won’t last. The usual suspects will return, and by that I mean teams like Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool. That leaves the top six pretty much sewn up with only the order in which they are placed needing to be sorted out. Remember Tottenham only sneaked into the top four thanks to a dire season from Liverpool.

It’s a sad state of affairs when all the rest of the league can aspire to is a maximum of 7th place. The Premier League claims to be one of the most competitive leagues in the world but it isn’t. People take the piss out of the SPL and La Liga because it is the same old faces winning things, but the Premier League is no different.

What would it take to break that dominance? Well a lot of time and money for a start. Personally I feel that teams like Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool can be got at, but above that there isn’t a chance in hell of us breaking what is already the top three.

It took Manchester City more than what Mike Ashley is worth and about three years to go from an also ran to finally looking like they can mount a title challenge. It will take us longer, and it will take more money than they spent just to catch up with them.

There seems to be this feeling that by having a change of owner we will suddenly be able to compete. An owner willing to invest a bit of cash would do the world of good, but it wouldn’t be the answer to getting us challenging for honours or even for a spot in the Champions League. We’d need Manchester City type owners. Multi-billionaires who don’t mind losing money. Ashley is not in the same ball park as the guys that we need.

Now I know that people will say that Ashley had the chance to sell to the Arabs. He probably did, but I’ve never been one to hang on to what might have been. To me it’s a pointless, self-pitying exercise that does nobody any good.

The fact is that we are stuck with Ashley. We know that if somebody wants the club then they need to show some commitment by buying a box to show that they are serious. In fairness that move has attracted criticism although it’s worth pointing out that the cost of the box would be peanuts compared to the cost of buying the club. Obviously there is nobody out there that is serious enough to put their money where their mouth is.

So with the lack of an Arab tycoon on the cards, and with Mike Ashley being the richest businessman in the North-East there appears to be little chance of anyone with the love for the club, or money, or both, to be able to take us into that top-four shake up.

We are an also ran, but we aren’t the only ones. We are no different to about three-quarters of the Premier League if truth be told. Sad but true.

I had high hopes for this Financial Fair Play initiative and whilst it’s early days I, unfortunately, can’t see it making one bit of difference. I’ve said all along that it depends how hard FIFA and UEFA enforce it, but they bottled it when it come to Manchester City’s stadium sponsorship deal so I’d say that at the moment it looks as though there will be no change coming from those new financial rules.

Unfortunately we are stuck in a rut. Mike Ashley is rich,, although it’s worth pointing out that just because the guy is worth over a billion it doesn’t mean that he has that amount sitting in cash somewhere. He is richer than I could ever hope to be. He isn’t rich enough to bankroll us into Champions League contention however which leaves us as trying to be the best of the rest with only a Europa League spot to play for. Whilst I do agree that he could invest more I realise that he could never invest enough to get us anywhere near the top of the league.

Those days are long gone I’m afraid and it’s not really Ashley’s fault. We missed our chance to be one of the genuine big boys when our title challenging days of the mid-90’s faded away. Even in our brief dabble with the Champions League in the early 00’s we never really looked like maintaining our new found status.

It’s just one of them things and now the best that we can hope for is to be the best of the rest. For the moment anyway.

It’s not a slight on Ashley. Unfortunately it’s just the way it is.

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.

93 thoughts on “Will we ever be able to compete with the big boys again?

  1. Toonsy, you’re waffling. 😉

    Actually, I think we could very much be mixing it with the big boys again if:

    1 We learn to have some consistancy and allow the manager to build a team
    2 We keep talented players and don’t sell them, allowing them time to adjust and grow in confidence
    3 We identify weaknesses in the team eg: up front and depth in defense and invest in quality replacements
    4 We continue to invest heavily in bringing and keeping bright young prospects to NUFC as any world stars would not come here after they have reached full potential but would at around the age of 18/19 years.
    5 We make sure that players all give 100%, creating a culture that they all press in defence and everyone works as hard as the next one, regardless of ability – even Messi tracks back and defends for Barca.

    Then yes, I believe we can start to challenge for that fourth place. But it all starts with us not losing what we have already, and strengthening rather than replacing and keeping consistancy. First to break into that top six.

    But now I’m waffling again… 😉

      (Quote)

  2. JJ, ur bang on the money with wot ur saying, problem is owners don’t see it that way, but good start let’s stay positive, TOON ARMY !!!!

      (Quote)

  3. Well, it all depends on how the “fair play” rules play out isn’t it?

    If the field is leveled, then your money does not count as much as your ability to run your club.

    Seeing the protests from the rest of La Liga as mega wealth owners Barca & Madrid also get half of the TV money could auger a new day where European football becomes more like the way American football is run in terms of salary caps, shared TV revenue and some sort of draft. Only TV execs like the concept of the big 2 and the little 18. And that will change once ratings drop.

      (Quote)

  4. I definitely agree. Unfortunately I think that this year the Premier League will be more like La Liga than ever- two (maybe three) teams who are so far ahead of everyone else that they can even stuff the top teams in the 2nd tier (eg City at Tottenham).
    The question for Newcastle and other teams is not can we mount a challenge for the top 5 as that is next to impossible. To me the rot really set in when we failed to reach the group stages in 03/04 and then only qualified for the UEFA cup. If we had stayed in the CL then maybe we could have built up the cash to compete with the big boys. But now it’s a lost cause, unless we can find investment we are going to stay at this level for a long time to come.

      (Quote)

  5. Yes we can compete, but a lot of things have to go right- you can’t afford mistakes.

    Agree with JJ’s points and would add the folloiwng;

    1. You can’t afford mistakes regarding personnel. The youngsters and any new signings have to have got to pan out (i.e. more Tiote’s and no more Perch’s)
    2. FFP has to be enforced.
    3. Have to create an atmosphere at the club where a player might want to stay for even less money rather than run off top 6 club. Best way is to keep progressing up the table, which is possible with a bit more investment.

      (Quote)

  6. toonsy.. you ashley lover ffs…

    i think we could stand a chance if we did a few simple things. firstly we need to change the ‘ashley long term plan’ as no matter what dekka says, ashleys long term plan is to hang in there as long as possible, selling a good player a year, skimming X amount of millions every year and using the scouting system to bring in young bright talents with a view to flogging them on also when the time is right. All of this while leaving the poor manager with less than 1 million to play with every window and a clear instruction of sell before you buy and you must self finance through departures and bring in replacements on lower wages. Then when he has made back 250 million through player sales.. sell the club for what will be ALL clear profit.

    To be moving upwards we need to look at it from a very long term point of view and first off we must keep our best players, that is a given. Secondly, just invest in one good player per year, thats all, easing out the crap at the same time, ending up with a good squad in the end. For instance, on the other thread, a prime example would be… in janaury bring in peiters and sell simmo. Move Santon to RB and slot Pieters in at LB. You pay 7 million touch for peiters but could prob get 3 million for simmo.. hence a fee of just three million to strengthen our squad by a huge amount. Its not that difficult really.
    The only real real problem is just one thing ………. ashley has no interest in spending any money on nufc… he dont care if we finish 17th every season.

      (Quote)

  7. AGree with JJ @ 1 and MDS @ 7.

    Was only thinking about this earlier on today. Think our biggest challenging is keeping the players we have and building on it. If the board keep the squad and add to it each summer we could get there. Be a long long time though

      (Quote)

  8. I have to agree with JJs article one hundred percent, his points are all very valid, the problem is Mike ashley doesnt have any love or ambition for Newcastle, he has no intention of keeping our young and talented players, i think the fans better get used to our young and most promising players being sold for a huge profit just like andy carroll, but if mike ashley was just a little more ambitious, then yes newcastle could possibly make it into the top six, but it wont happen, because of the reasons i have stated in my letter, sad but these are the facts, and it will remain this way under our present owner.

      (Quote)

  9. having watched motd myself, i had the same feeling, man u and city looked frighteningly good, and when you look at way we’ve played, you would expect were a million miles a way form that. i think it’s time for that to change, starting tonight. i’m expect ba to show us what he’s made of, and more importantly a great team performance from the lads.

    as for breaking to top 4, if we can keep bringing in the same quality of players, i’m sure we can do it in the next 3 or 4 years. imo if arsenal can do it with the same footings, then i’m sure we can. but when it comes to winning the league, can’t see it happen in the next 10 years.

      (Quote)

  10. @Craig…I don’t agree that Ashley’s long term plan is to flog a good player per year as you put it! So far the only cashing in he’s done was when he sold overpriced Carroll and we’ve all agreed that was the best bit of business [possibly the club have ever done] Winning and succeeding in the prem is not merely down to spending loads of cash it’s down to the shrewd management of the resources you’ve got. Pardew may or may not be capable of this but if you analyse ManU especially their ongoing success is down to the superb management team headed by the puce faced scot over the period since the PL started. I think this policy [they’ve stumbled upon] of buying out of favour players like Marveaux, Santon and Cabaye + Tiote etc could actually produce results…It’s all down to how they are managed and if the club can keep a feeling of positivity around the team. Unsettling influences like Barton, Nolan etc combined with fan unrest is guaranteed to cause them to fail. If you look back to the season we threw away the 12 points it was because Keegan lost his bottle and then he walked away mid-season and the rest is history. Footballers can all play football..only the top few are exceptional, most are capable of the basic skills the rest is down to the frame of mind they’re in which is generated by good management and lots of support from the fans!

      (Quote)

  11. @15Joe… interesting points, but as the club have said themselves that their blueprint is to bring in young players with good sell on values i think its safe to say that that is their exact plan.
    Also, i am not sure that Barton etc were unsettling people in the changing room. Some one else said (might have been toonsy) that all this team spirt waffle being broken since the spine has been sold is tosh.. that too might be right but just yesterday our new captain himself said that BArton was huge loss in the changing room and he missed his positive thinking and attitude. So while i might be way out i think its safe to say colo knows exactly what he is saying when it comes down to morale and spirit.

      (Quote)

  12. @Craig…yes I agree, I’m kind of making the same point. Team spirit and the individual confidence of players can make the difference between winning a game and losing, against all but the very best. Most footballers are of equal capability otherwise they wouldn’t even get through the door of most premier league clubs, it’s how you bring those skills out match per match that makes the difference. I think that what I’m saying is with the right coaching we are capable of equalling anything Spurs or liverpool are able to do…not sure about the 2 manchesters or chelsea though!

      (Quote)

  13. The carefull approach to signings and the research that goes into them , is that what was happening an hour before the deadline when we were apparantly making bids for a handfull of strickers trying to scupper other clubs deals or sholas extended contract ?
    out , nolen jose routledge about a 12million gain.
    in, cabeye obertan santon about a 12million spend
    Now this could be just another coincedence but i think not , of course that excludes the carroll money which we know is still untouched somewhere in the club , so if we had kept the proven experience of nolen and barton mixed in with the young talented signings of cabaye and santon and why not carroll that would have cost about 10 to 12 million pounds we would have more competition for places and wouldn’t be so thread bare and have more than a good chance of pushing on , but most importantly would have enough goals in the squad , and more than likely that small investment would be returned with prem league money with a higher finishing position more corporate sales bigger crowds more televised matches , infact he could even make more money (speculate to accumelate) I agree with you i hate staring at sports direct signs and the contemp that he has shown us is apualling and in my opinion there can be no good taken from his time here past present or future .

      (Quote)

  14. Craig – he didn’t say that Barton moving to Champions League contenders QPR had affected morale or team spirit though. He just said he was a noisy fcuker and obviously it will be quieter in the dressing room without him.

      (Quote)

  15. Joe @ 17 I dont think you can judge a team by one game , even though I dont think Liverpool have bought very well this summer and wont challenge for the league as the media would love them to.

      (Quote)

  16. 19.. yep, i will go along with that. i work with a tight bunch of guys in the work we do out here and sometimes one comes along with some bad press but when that happens, often its the case that he turns out fine and is an asset. Its the same with footballers to a certain extent i am sure, when they get to that level, they should all be within the same quality bracket other than the enigmas such as messi, rooney and ronaldo, giggs etc… its all about the metal mindset and the attitude. So al lin all, yep, i think you could be right for the vast majority of players.

      (Quote)

  17. Great article toonsy;

    I think eventually we can; we have a team full of internationals and if say 3/4 more came in why cant we challenge top 6?

    Anyone else nervous for tonight? 🙁

      (Quote)

  18. Thing is if players were robots [and no I’m not talking about crouch here] then team building and coaching would all be about the man city blueprint….spend as much as it takes and eventually you might get it right! I’m old enough to remember Brian Clough and what he did with forest…amazing!!! down to superb man management of a very un-fashionable club and players …it could be done again with the right conditions in place…..it’s not just all about money!

      (Quote)

  19. I know a lot of it was before the big money hit the sport but I think there is still that chance Remember the good teams Revies Leeds, Coughs Derby, and Forest, and Bobby’s Ipswich. These teams were built from the bottom up no great deals of money spent A good manager (and a lucky one) allowed time to build a team.Oh I still live in hope of that miracle.

      (Quote)

  20. @23MDS… nope, not his exact comments but the ones below are.. either way it amounts to colo saying that he misses joeys character as when the chips are down its players like joey that kept us going.. or thats my take on what he said.. what do you think he is saying like?

    Coloccini said: “Joey was a good team-mate. With me being captain, I have had to speak more and he certainly helped me.

    “I had a good relationship with him. When we didn’t have good times at the club – like relegation – we needed players like him who show character.

    “It’s different in the dressing room now though. I think a lot of players have a different style, some are more quiet and some have a strong spirit like Joey.”

      (Quote)

  21. great article, yer Ashley lover 😉

    He has made some terrible mistakes but I think even the Ashley haters understand his predicament regarding debts inherited.

    I think once he’s paid up he’ll either start buying better players to take us to another level or (more likely) he’ll sell asap.

      (Quote)

  22. @Craig….A lot of players talk false modesty and mutual respect for departed team mates. Could just be that Collo is showing respect to Joey Barton before tonight’s game…if we beat them I bet he doesn’t say any thing further regarding how influential Barton was!

      (Quote)

  23. thats true Joe but if we think like that we will never be able to trust a single word anyone ever says.. if we think good comments are really bad and bad are really good etc.. i wont know if i am coming or going. Sooner or later we have to hope that someone is just er… honest.

      (Quote)

  24. CC- I think he is a class guy who when asked about a former teammate had nice things to say.

    “When we didn’t have good times at the club – like relegation – we needed players like him who show character.”

    I took his comment as players like joey (and i assume Nolan as well) were vital during relegation in order to keep the club together. I note that his comment was past tense, “needed” not we “need”.

    “It’s different in the dressing room now though. I think a lot of players have a different style, some are more quiet and some have a strong spirit like Joey.”

    I didn’s pay much mind to this as he is just saying the room is different rather than worse or better. Obviously joey and Nolan were strong personalities so it doesn’t surprise that it would be different and probably more laid back.

    Just my interpretaiton….

      (Quote)

  25. If things in the PL stay as they generally are now, it’s never going to happen, never in a million years.

    Look at the clubs that are doing well now, take a good look.

    Only Man Utd have gotten where they are because of success.

    Chelsea – Middle to bottom of the league before the russian came along.
    Man City – Same again, but different saviours.

    The other “contenders” Arsenal aren’t really contenders anymore, I know I wouldn’t expect them to win the league again anytime soon. Liverpool, well, they’ve got Suarez and I do believe Carroll will come good for them, but they aren’t contenders.

    So, unless we get someone like the Sultan of Brunei to buy us up then we will forever be in the chasing pack, scrapping for that 4th place.

    There isn’t anything anyone can do about it.

    The annoying thing for us is that when we were compeating, 1995,96,97 we could have pushed on like Man Utd did, if we had a decent manager at the club when Keegan walked.
    We were once on par with Man Utd and they have built on that and left us for dead. That was our chance and we blew it.

      (Quote)

  26. @Micky….yes you’re right and had it not been for the greedy gits who owned the club at the time it’s very likely a rich sugar daddy would have bought us out. But if you remember that was at the height of FFS and Douglas Hall who were coining it in and laughing at us…much more p*ss taking than Ashley is now….they wouldn’t sell up they were too busy making themselves rich! That’s partly why I don’t roundly condemn Ashley because I don’t think he’s the worst owner we’ve had by a long chalk!….he just makes more public mistakes!!!

      (Quote)

  27. That was our chance and we blew it
    ——————–
    100% correct. Looking back now, that is where we lost it. In other words, it pre-dates current ownership

      (Quote)

  28. the good think about us…people and media have said we have lost are 4 top players..in nolan barton carrol and enrique…but not replaced them…these were the same players who sent us down…same people who said we would go down with them players…well only enrique was a top player the rest just average…u can play well for 6 months in this league and ever1 says they are world beaters….what we have going for us..is we have young and fresh side…all the teams apart from city and united have just traded players from each other…some great players…but 90% of them crap….thats where we have got a head start from getting players from france who have won things and wont 2 do well…and young santon from inter..if they can bring that same enrgy like tiote then we will do great…

      (Quote)

  29. micky toon…only 1 person 2 blame…doglish..he changed the team..tino and david..for rush and barns..and the scum then had the cheek 2 f..king get all his money for sacking him…how did the board let that happen….

      (Quote)

  30. Very interesting read, toonsy!
    I read this great article earlier about german football a while ago. Something that explained why the Bundesliga is so competitive and challenging. Where newly promoted teams aspire for champions league spots and title holders may fall into a relegation battle. Now wouldn’t that be fun! 😀

      (Quote)

  31. @38. If you can find it would you mind posting the link? I’ve been curious why they seem to have new CL teams (other than Bayern) every couple of years….

      (Quote)

  32. Good article, Toonsy… ya waffler! 🙂

    I do think we’ll compete, and the only way to do it is NOT to become the **** of some amoral ******** who happens to be related to a dictator.

    Personally I’d rather just walk off and support a crown green bowling team than stand there each week trying to give a **** about a match where anything but a crushing victory is an indictment of the club because they’ve blown five times their annual turnover on players.

    I have NO respect for anything Chelski have won using Abramovich’s blood money. Same goes for anything Citeh pick up with oil money from a dictatorship. Sickeningly, Manure DO compete on a relatively stable footing – albeit debt-laden – simply because they do bring in shedloads of cash each year.

    Ashley’s model is the only one I know of that can work. You extend your market, court the USA, Far East etc. and build the club sustainably as your revenues allow.

    They may have a special-needs owl running the place, but Ashley’s model is dead on. I just wish people would be honest and just say they don’t like it rather than invent stupid conspiracy theories. If you want to be a **** to some sugar daddy, that’s your preference – but I disagree with that stance completely.

    Support the club, build sustainably, watch other clubs collapse around us, and by 2015 expect to be challenging for silverware. That’s the strategy, has been for ages, and we’re on target.

    Anyone got a problem with that??

      (Quote)

  33. Good article. Not much can be added. Ever is a long time but in the near future, say 3 to 5 years it will be impossible to get into the top 4 or 5 unless one of those clubs has a financial meltdown. The Chelsea owner looks less interested than he used to look to me. He must be grinding his teeth when he watches Torres. We might be able to get to 6th or 7th in a couple of years but it will depend on which players Ashley sells and with Llambias in there meddling a complete disaster is always possible. Looking forward to the match. The team is very interesting to watch and discuss now. Pardew’s latest statements about Llambias have increased my respect for him also.

      (Quote)

  34. Geordietwo – that’s the key point. Abramovic WILL get bored and go, and Chelski could be in trouble at that point. Same goes for many clubs with these hugely rich owners. If you’re a toy, expect to end up in the landfill sooner or later.

      (Quote)

  35. Just another comment on recent news concerning the questions. Llambias claims that our wage bill has gone up 7% based on our summer’s dealings. I just can’t believe that, considering we now have Nolan, Barton, and Jose’s wages off the books. The incoming players are almost certainly on lower wages than those three. I would imagine they are ignoring the fact that they also got Carroll’s wage off the books this year. So that is 4 outgoing players on high wages and 5 incoming players (Santon, Obertan, Cabaye, Ba, and Marveaux) on lower wages. We also got rid of Campbell’s 35K a week and whatever Kuqi Kuqi was getting. I would say then that the overall wage bill should be lower, not higher for the whole year. Again this smells like attempting to mislead the supporters by Llambias to me. And to say that if we get into the top 10 this year wages will be 65% of total earnings also sounds suspect. Are they including the Carroll 35M in the total earnings? Definitely not, yet they may not spend a large chunk of that money so to me that is income for the year. I just don’t buy any of what Llambias says. It’s just to easy to twist the numbers any way you like (by only talking about summer dealings for instance).

      (Quote)

  36. Anyone think that this player channel 4 are set to expose is Judas?, the player is british and was sold in his club in a multi million pound deal

      (Quote)

  37. liam@25 the the fact is if 3 or 4 more come in it will mean the same going the other way , if we sell tiote for 15 mill we might spend 10 mill thats not building its standing still at best ,but that wont be done with any sense , like when liverpool made sure they had signed carroll before torres was allowed to go to chelsea the deal was part business and part football . That will never happen under ashley if a good offer comes in for any player it will be snapped up with no concern given to filling that position let alone improving it and no concern over morale or what the manager thinks .
    nutmag@27 spot on , but maybe not a miracle just a sensible owner with a little investment and a flexible plan taking football and not just money into account .

      (Quote)

  38. @46. good point. that 65% claim was the shocker for me in those answers. No way that can be true unless the 35K is not counted. I don’t see how that could be true even without it….

      (Quote)

  39. MDS: It’s about the drugs in football they are set to name a premier league player who tested positive for cocaine and then was sold by his club and his new team was not informed of the failure

      (Quote)

  40. Geordietwo – yep, I think there’s some “statistical manipulation” in there – but we’ll find out when the accounts come out.

    I don’t think they’re actually paying that badly on the wage front. It’s WHO they pay that the strategy dictates. There’s no way they’ll give in to demands from a 28-year-old for a 5-year, £60k-a-week contract, but a highly-rated 23-year-old? I don’t think they have a problem with that, which is how we got the likes of Cabaye.

    That’s just common sense to me; shame most people don’t seem to recognise that.

    What I think they’re probably ****e at is realising when those rules just have to be stretched to get the results on the field. That – and I’m guessing – is why we have no number 9. Paying a bit extra through the nose given the stupidity of the current market was necessary – but I think Ashley’s ego doesn’t allow for such things. That’s what having a casino manager for an MD does for you.

      (Quote)

  41. I hope SWP is playing because he’s great for a laugh. Nothing truly productive comes out of anything he does. I don’t know why anyone is talking about him as one of the main threats. Yeah, he’s got pace, but he only uses it to run into trouble. Its great entertainment in our house waiting to see his next **** up.

      (Quote)

  42. Johno: I get the feeling that it’s something he would be involved in what with his heavy drinking etc. Just seems to me it could make sense why he was sold in a way and that he wanted to leave himself. Just have to wait and see. A shame it’s on at eight when the game kicks off, defo gonna record it to find out who it is

      (Quote)

  43. Yeah be worth a look Zoe , regardless if its Judas or not , I hope it not him but have a feeling it is. Cant think of anyone else who it might be

      (Quote)

  44. Always liked the dispatches programmes and this one will get a lot of viewers.

    MDS: haha we are keeping that money if that is him!

    Johno: I can’t think of anyone else either, just have a sneaky suspicion that it is him.

      (Quote)

  45. Just been looking on twitter Zoe , another name that has popped up is Charlie Adam , maybe Adam likes a bit of charlie!! But i think with Carrol out of the 1st team could be him

      (Quote)

  46. Geordietwo@46 exactamundo
    lies lies and damned lies , you can only have the piss taken out of you so many times before you realise enough is enough .

      (Quote)

  47. Whumpie @53 I think we will never really know about the wage bill because they will no longer comment on wages being paid. The Deloittes summaries are always a year behind and things happen fast at our club now so we will never really catch up with the truth about what they are paying out. The only sure thing as far as I can see is that they will always try to make it look like they are absolute saints who would do anything to reach out to the fans. Your comment is exactly the truth about the no. 9. We didn’t get one because we won’t pay the going rate, either the club price or the wage. Llambias and Ashley are praying that Ba and Best come good and that will take a huge amount of pressure off them. If we sink down the standings and aren’t scoring goals the story will be entirely different, their worst nightmare. I hope we do well with what we have but the 2 at the top are so transparent.

      (Quote)

  48. Still can’t see it being Carroll. He’s too fat to be a cokehead. Mind you he only piled on tge pounds when he left us. Maybe he was a raging snorter when he was with us.

    Would piss my pants if it was. Much like Barton I couldn’t really give a toss about Carroll. Not our player anymore. Would be good for amusement purposes.

      (Quote)

  49. Keith @60 yes that is the problem all right. Statistics are just another tool for Llambias to use to twist the facts into something more suitable for them. He is one slippery customer and he clearly has used it to his advantage. Eventually I think he will come a cropper because he knows nothing about football and really the only thing he should know about aside from business dealings is football as far as improving the club is concerned.

      (Quote)

  50. Until we stop griping about Ashley, the club will never move forward. I honestly believed he wanted to be liked by the Newcastle fans and though his business model was always going to be what it is now, I think it was only Keegan walking that truly harmed our relationship with him. I think his legacy will be far better than most club owners. Just a shame Llambias has no charisma.

      (Quote)

  51. MDS@49

    the whole stats issue is a load of ******* when it comes to trying to get to the bottom of it all as they have spent the last 4 years telling us that our wage bill was out of control and that we were this, we were that but when its all said and done according to dekka just this week we are worse off now. the debt is still there and is just a interest free loan from ashley which means just that, we still have a loan. The wages are a head scratcher as when FF left they were 62.5% and now that everyone has left who was on mega money (shearer and owen on 110k a week each, martins, duff, geremi, viduka the list is massive)….. dekka has just said that its now at 65% which means that the wages have gone up under ashley ffs… its just NOT true, its impossible esp when you add in the huge boost in prem money and tv rights since they came to power.. if its accurate, it means that we are in worse financial state now. it is a head sratcher for sure…

      (Quote)

  52. Kind of disagree with you a little bit Lacedaemonian @65. Whether we complain about Ashley or not the club will move forward in the way he has planned. We have no say as far as the plan goes because the focus is money not football. Don’t take me the wrong way, I think Ashley also wants a decent football team but only for a reduced price relative to what other owners are paying. This is financial stability but we will always be balanced on a knife edge as far as the football is concerned, never a great team and sometimes not far from disaster if he sells the wrong players at the wrong time as with Carroll (although the money was good I think we all knew deep down he wouldn’t really be properly replaced). With a constant flow of young incoming players the club should continue to be very interesting to watch though. I definitely prefer the state of our club to that of Sunderland for example. Overspent on older players, no decent strike partner for Bendtner, Gyan leaves the club, can’t win at home, the list goes on and on.

      (Quote)

  53. I cant see us being at the top table again, well not for a fair few yrs anyway. as for the new fair rules coming out they wont work there will always be ways round them.
    Toonsy Re the cokeheed bit I know what your saying about the weight loss etc but that would only work if he was a fulltime cokeheed, he might only be a part time one :).
    When is this dispatch’s thing on tonight while the game is on ?

      (Quote)

  54. MDS, can you not get ESPN3.com at work? That’s the way I watch these Monday matches. Fortunately because we have Comcast, we also have a log in. I keep the match playing in the background, and watch it as time permits. I have a 30 minute meeting during the game, but it will be on when I return.

      (Quote)

  55. its obvious our team 2nyt apart from to positions – left back and upfront!!

    i think the team will be the same as against fulham but with ba instead of loven!! hope ba’s fasting days are over lol!! he was like an old lady against s****horpe and arsenal!!

    my team tonight

    krul
    simpson taylor collo raylor
    obertan cabaye tiote gutierez
    ba best

    subs
    harper
    santon
    guthrie
    gosling
    sameobi
    marveaux
    shola

      (Quote)

  56. Zoe thats a bit **** because im sure someone will say who it is while the game is on, and its a bit **** watching it later when you know who it is.
    Oh congrats on your goal by the way 1st of many

      (Quote)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green