So, would you sign for us?

confused footballI was reading the latest article from Olivier Bernard in the Chronicle today, ( ) and you have to say he makes some thought provoking points.

He argues we need around 10 new players and the need to build a spine of a new Centreback, central midfielder and center forward with Premier league experience and that’s hoping we avoid costly injuries along the way.

Still the thing that stood out for me, was the who would want to sign for us bit of the article. Given the chaos of last season and the not so good previous one and the apparent lack of ambition, then who indeed would want to sign? Factor in the whole attitude the regime has towards players, (Jonas treatment whilst poorly and the manner in which he and Ryan Taylor were let go ) and we look a cheap and nasty outfit to the outside observer.

When Mike Ashley stood before that sky interviewer on our last game of the season and said things would improve and he took the blame, I allowed myself a mediocum of hope but remained wary given his level of ambition over the past few seasons. All the same I had hoped the close shave with relegation and the poor previous season had made him really stop and think about his long term plans for the club.

Now it’s early doors, the transfer window is yet to open, but I’m getting that same old feeling that we just aren’t at the races again. The new momentum we all expected seems to be vanishing with the slow appointment of Steve McClaren and now the long wait for his assistants to arrive as well, and that’s before we even see a bid for a player materialise. Liverpool, Swansea ,Southampton and Chelsea have all been busy sorting Transfers already and their need is no where near as urgent as ours is.

Without a key quality signing it will be extremely difficult to attract players of the relevant skill to our club, likewise they will want to see quality coaches here as well. Given the way some of our players have been treated by the club, and the

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lack of player replacements when our top players are sold, what player in their right mind will want to join us?

Bernards point that Palace look a less risky bet to players seeking a move is a valid one. They look more settled than us and all the fans are united behind the team and manager and the board are giving Pardew funds to improve the team with quality signings.

Meanwhile Newcastle have so far been linked to a lot of championship players, not surprising given that’s where our new coach has been previous to joining us; and a couple of mid table quality players at extortionate prices. Well if we ever end up paying £20million for Troy Deeney, we need sectioning as a club. How can a championship player who hasn’t even proved himself capable at Premier League level be worth that kind of sum?

And this is the problem we face, the whole of football knows we are desperate for reinforcements and will attempt to hold us to ransom. Ofcourse we will bulk at the fees being asked and walk away and bring in our 2nd, 3rd or 4th choices and a few foreign up and comings and hope for the best. We might even go with what we have and try for better deals come january 2016, it’s not like we havn’t before.

But the real key is what do the players want. If you were a decent player looking at us from the outside, would you see a fresh start with a healthy dose of ambition? Or do you see the basket case other clubs fans and the media have portrayed us as?

I do not see a fresh start, sorry but I don’t. I know a lot of you don’t care about what happened with McClarens first press conference and in truth a few hacked off journo’s doesn’t overly trouble me either. But the reality is, that one little act tells you nothing has changed, the regime are still insular,secretive and aloof unless cash is involved. It sets the press and media against us before a ball is even kicked for the new season . They had the perfect chance to start afresh and foster a new understanding with fans and media alike, isn’t that what THAT interview was all about.

If real investment isn’t made and that’s more than the reported £25million, then the fan unrest of last season will become even more toxic . With lots of empty seats it will be interesting to see how the regimes preferred partner Sky feels about their cosy relationship. More to the point, players will be looking at our level of ambition in who we sign over the coming weeks and I suspect that Bernard may of hit the nail on the head with his article.

We may have fifty odd thousand cheering players on and a beautiful stadium but it means nothing without real ambition and desire to improve. At this point we should be pulling out all the stops to attract players, I remember freddie Shepherd saying the fact we aren’t London is a stumbling block so we have to really sell the club and area. Let’s hope Lee and company are doing just that, otherwise it could be another long season.


421 thoughts on “So, would you sign for us?

  1. Yeah AMF, I know you will say “what is he supposed to say”. But who is running the club to let the one player who is universally thought of as not good enough be telling us about next season. Most would piggy back him to any Championship club to prevent the Williamson free-kick and his dithering and hoofing.


  2. Eric @ 376 Willo if deluded, if we have to count on his ability this season then we are in for a rough one.
    TBH I will be pissed off if he is still a member of our 1st team, but then he is cheap and cheerful and thats what the Regime like.


  3. Big D: I hope I am not coming across as totally negative because I am not and think we have a core squd to work with. I just want a statement of intent. Compare us to the Scousers, who had a very bad season in comparison to expectations. You would think there would be a fans’ Red revolution but John Henry and FSG were proactive and have done things to put it right. It may not work but they are doing things. By the way, I think even though Henry owns the Red Sox and is part owner of a successful hedge fund, I think Ashley is richer. It is a matter of ambition, priorities and belief.


  4. Eric, You’re just commenting on what the club are doing or not doing… It’s called commenting on reality not only commenting on hopes.


  5. Allegedly Bobby Moncur is working on the phones for the corporates promising new exciting signings! Now that is desperation! Must be a hell of a lot of cancellation all over the ground.

    It’s true that corporates aren’t particularly interested in watching the ***** that’s been dished up for the last few years. Someone I know had a ten seat box and he could only get people to come on certain games, so he was in there with his wife and son in law for most of the games!!


  6. Eric @ 375 I did make the point “providing we keep Cisse.” I am not certain Austin is better than Cisse. But I was also trying to make the point that in my view the lack of goals was down to the way we played rather than lack of ability by the players. As for Armstrong, do you think he was given a fair chance to show his worth. Trevor Brokking was recently singing his praises. I still think a good CB is the priority before a striker.


  7. have we signed any coaches yet ❓
    surely we have by now, no?
    Did nothing come from this Scottish fella
    Time to go on holiday for a while and stop thinking about NUFC.


  8. Groucho – even Riviere can score if we supply the ball to him properly.
    We have had this problem for a number of years now.
    It needs sorted once and for all.
    I have seen Sammy getting the odd cross in, but not consistently enough.


  9. I think Sammy would benefit from a season long loan in the championship, playing every week at a competitive level.
    How can he possibly improve, playing infrequently in the EPL.
    Same goes for Armstrong


  10. Groucho: I am hoping that Armstrong makes good on his promise. There are not many 17 year olds trusted to start in the PL who burst on the scene – Michael Owen being one of the few exceptions, maybe Sterling, but not many. They are usually nurtured and brought along steadily,and often loaned. I don’t count Armstrong as one of our frontline strikers.

    I do not disagree that better service would lead to more goals but there is a blindingly obvious need for another PROVEN striker.


  11. Watching the U21 and they are playing 4-4-1-1 with Lingard & Redmond as left & right wingers. Good to watch a team with real width and a threat of balls coming into the box for forwards to attack.
    And as i type that, England go 1 down 🙄 but it was from a cross into the box 😛 😆


  12. Stu – it’s a good side there’s just no urgency. I’ve been impressed with that Lingard though, good skill and a real grafter with it. Hope we do get him in this summer.

    Prem – yeah he’s had a good game tonight & I like the look of Berlotti up front as well.


  13. Don’t look like a good side to me and they didn’t in their previous two games. As for Lingard, yes he looks like a decent prospect but I wouldn’t take anyone on loan to be honest, just don’t see the point.


  14. This article from True – Faith Fanzine is probably the best I have read on how it sums up the club and in particular how I feel. Great read!

    There’s a half-baked theory that fanzines and their writers secretly enjoy the bad times at aCharnleyAshley football club because it causes a surge in sales and energises the strength of the polemics penned by their writers. Like most theories of this kind there is a grain of truth in it but it has its limits. I think in the case of Newcastle United we are well beyond the limits. I’m very much aware writing this stuff on a weekly basis that I’m often expressing the same sentiments and on so many occasions they are negative and critical of so much of Newcastle United. I think for some, I’ve developed a bit of a reputation as moaning old ******* whose forgot what it’s about to support a football club and instead has fallen into an addictive need to relentlessly slaughter the doings at St James’ Park.

    Being a reflective, self-critical and analytical sort (I like to think) I frequently wonder if I haven’t just slipped into a well-worn groove of cynicism and easy negativity and am failing to see other sides of how the club operates and what might be rays of sunshine or green shoots of recovery at St James’ Park. I look hard for it, believe me because slaughtering an institution that has been a significant part of my life for longer than I care to mention wearies even an angry, belligerent sod like me. I’m at a point now as a supporter where I’m bored of this whole Ashley narrative at our club and am desperate for a change for the better. I can assure you it’s no good for this fanzine any more that we have a club going around in circles making the same crass misjudgements and our writers having to chart and opine on every inch of the Newcastle United story. We aren’t gaining from that I can assure you.

    I’m one who hasn’t cancelled my season ticket direct debit but I really don’t want to be
    trudging up to the Gallowgate End on match-day wondering what I’m doing with my life and speculating how many of the band of Black & Whiters I’ve been bumping into for years at the match will have chucked it and whether I’m going to die of loneliness one day on Barrack Road.

    I’d hate to ever recognise myself as a cynic. I’ve met cynics and they are life-draining pains in the **** who are not not fun to be around and believe me I know!

    I would however like to think of myself as a sceptic. I’ve no doubt my gradual and Tottenham Hotspur v Middlesbroughdetermined embrace of atheism would have horrified my devoutly Catholic parents but as another ***** trying to make sense of the chaos of the world, I think I’ve decided if I’m going to believe anything anyone tells me, I’m always going to respond by smiling and waiting for the evidence. That now applies to the existence of celestial creators of the universe who believe condoms to be the work of the devil and owners of football clubs who tell me and my fellow supporters they are about to do what they have set their face against for eight long years and invest correctly in an effort to build a competitive football team.

    I hear those who insist it is far too early to start flapping about transfers and they could be right. There are others who are entirely relaxed about McClaren not having appointed his coaching team and that’s fair enough, maybe they aren’t as tightly strung as me and are confident that the manager will have everyone in place by a week Monday when the players return for pre-season training.

    It depends on your perspective whether you are relaxed about the lack of incoming transfers at a club which narrowly avoided relegation in May or if like me your thinking has been set by the experiences of Mike Ashley at United for eight, long, stomach churning years.

    The thing is, for many Mike Ashley’s time is already up. They have followed through on post-match pub threats to walk away and they have done the deed. Many of us have long warned that Newcastle United’s biggest threat wasn’t the anger of fan activism and protest but the sclerotic loss of hope and enthusiasm for the club. Apathy, not anger was always going to do more damage.

    How many games last season at SJP were played out in front of sickened, bored and apathetic fans completely at a loss at why they had bothered turning up? I can’t think of a single reason why anyone would want to repeat the experiences of last season and the one before and that is why the long-predicted and it has to be said hoped (by some) haemorrhage of support has begun and how.

    This close season, the deadline for season ticket renewals has been extended on three occasions. Barely a day goes by without some kind of electronic communique from United hitting my in-box or whatever imploring fans to renew. I sometimes wonder if some kind of Black PR company has assumed control of United’s marketing when exhortations for season ticket renewals are accompanied by a photograph of Mike Williamson, as incompetent a central defender to have pulled on a B&W shirt in all of the years I’ve followed this basket case club. And I saw Keeley and Bird. And Barton. And Scott. And Hedworth. Jesus Christ.

    I learnt yesterday “director”, Bob Moncur (aka Bob Concur) is now on the phones to corporate customers begging them to buy their hospitality packages and promising jam tomorrow. This is through the looking glass stuff now but hints at desperation taking grip at United. Believe me, I know how much everyone at United fears

    The loss of support from the stands isn’t something they didn’t know wasn’t coming. Its been happening for a good while now but they have stuck their heads in the sand and imagined that the criticism of how they were running the club came from a vocal militant minority (hello there) who were unrepresentative of the vast majority of the support. I’ll make no claim as to whether my views on the club are representative or not but I do know this they have been losing season ticket holders for years now and they are filling the stands with ticket-offers that are undermining the value of their own season tickets. That is why despite having the third highest attendances in the PL, the match-day income is falling in real terms year on year. That isn’t any sense of enlightenment with ticket prices it is a simple supply-demand correlation.

    So, whether my concern at the lack of activity is premature or not, Newcastle United has a major credibility problem with its public. The club has no hinterland of goodwill to retreat onto in tough times because at every turn it has left its support feeling undervalued, betrayed, embarrassed and sickened by how it behaves.

    Therefore, now the club finds itself in a position it has not experienced before under Ashley and that is to convince supporters its worth going to the match and to buy season tickets and corporate packages etc. For all of Ashley’s tenure at United the club has never had to do that in meaningful sense. The club attracted support on an emotional level but for many thousands of supporters, the bond has been broken and to coin a phrase fans looking at the outlay of their hard earned money are seeking a pound-for-pound return for their dough. How much enjoyment will they get from the club for their outlay? Isn’t it ironic that having been told for many years that football is a business, many fans are now started to treat it like one. The biter bit.

    So, whether too early to panic or not, it doesn’t really matter – if Mike Ashley doesn’t want his advertising at SJP to decorate a depressing savannah of grey plastic, the people he has appointed to put the cart before the horse or something are going to have to convince many supporters he’s done enough to earn their money. To return to the religious theme, Mike Ashley isn’t a preacher sermonsing to empty-headed believers, he is attracting the glare of an army of sceptics who have their arms folded and all thinking the same thing – prove it.


  15. STUART its easy to see how jabba likes his staff,Beardsly great player but a right kiss ***,now we have Moncer following the same line


  16. Ashley has still never employed a manager or coach who’s been in work. Says absolutely everything. Desperate, grateful **** lickers.


  17. Stuart: you know I don’t live in Newcastle so explain this season ticket scare tactic. They froze the prices, yes. So if you drop your ticket you would have to renew at a higher rate to get back in? But, from the article you posted they are undercutting the season ticket prices for match day tickets to fill up SJP?

    I am guessing the reasoning is that if you have a season ticket you are guaranteed to see the good games which could be sold out.

    But, if you don’t want to see every game it looks like you can get a ticket for a few games pretty easily, especially if there are resellers like Stub Hub over here.

    To renew, you would have to take it on faith that we will be better than we were, because we have been absolutely breathtakingly poor. You would have to put your faith in a glorified accountant and Fatty’s words when he is a proven liar (Keegan saga).

    I don’t see why you would renew? Habit? Camaraderie with people you have sat next to for years? From what I remember from home games there were usually a couple you would gladly move your set away from? Buying on a match to match basis would allow you to do this. It has to come down to habit and being guaranteed a seat at big games. The chances of a vast improvement and there being a waiting list for tickets are far into the future i am afraid so there is little to no risk in tossing the season ticket.


  18. Pretty much sums it up, Eric. The club really have made a complete balls up of the whole thing!

    Daily Star reporting we have met Thauvins buy price but he’s turned us down. Same paper who said we bid £14m for Austin yesterday!!!

    Telegraph reporting that Austin will beg the club to reduce the asking price. Wonder how much influence he will have on the asking price. He should have no influence, but it’s his last year of contract so could be interesting.


  19. There is actually some good news from The Star that NUFC met Marseilles’ asking price for Thauvin. He said he doesn’t want to come here and will wait for Arsenal or Spurs. What if they don’t want him? If it is true I think Marseilles and his Agents might get to work on him and it shows a bit more willingness from us (if true, it is The Star’s story after all).


  20. To be honest it just looks like nobody has a clue what’s going on. But it’s still worrying that we haven’t even got our coaching staff in place considering we start training on Monday! Also disappointing we have no players brought in. But eh ho


  21. Chased by his 2 wives and mistress he will run a lot faster than on the pitch for NUFC.


  22. Just been talking to a client of mine who is a Schalke corporate and he reckons he would be really shocked if Matip joined us. Says he’s too good for a relegation team! Cheeky git! But it makes you wonder if that’s the perception of us now.


  23. So there you have it.
    Bidding for.players who can see the club for what it is, a shambolic shadow of its former self, and would rather say thanks but no thanks.
    Wait for a proper team, like Swansea, or stay put.
    My Cashley has a toxic aasset on his hands now.
    Time to sell up dufus.


  24. stuart79, interesting stuff that you have “dealings” with the bundesliga. schalke are a german heavyweight, who unfortunately like the toon underperform, and haven’t won the league for yonks. I can imagine your colleagues consternation, because the only thing the epl has going for it is the money…. i’d love to see matip join us, but would question his mentallity if he did !


  25. [email protected], the first couple of months of the season are going to be really interesting. i’m curious to see whether mcclaren really can sweep away the pessimism created by charnley, carver and ashley over the last months of last season…


  26. Munich – A good transfer window would go some way to sweeping away that pessimism. The problem is that mediocrity, woeful decisions and inactivity have become the norm at the club so it’s difficult to persuade people you’re going to change. I think we’re at a stage now where it’s stop talking and do it!

    I notice Janmaat is the new club employee to come out and stalk about the summer signings and exciting new season. We must really have sold so few tickets! But again, just shut up and prove it!


  27. spot on boots,jabba has turned what could of been a great asset into a total toxic brand,we will struggle to get any good players here.
    the game is up for the fat one.


  28. Yeah good read Stu @399. Sums it up nicely. I just hope people don’t let the club off the hook if we sign a few decent players this summer. I am sure we will revert to type and I’d like to see the pressure kept on until end of next summer at least, otherwise it’s all been a waste of time.


  29. Kim we need more of that from credible high level players such as Janmaat. It will help no end. No point in carting Williamson out, who nobody will take seriously.


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