I am here to talk about FACTS

Rafa lets it be know what he thinks of the club's model for success.
Rafa lets it be known what he thinks of the club’s model for success.
With our time in the Premier League over for now, Mike Ashley is to sit down tomorrow with Rafa Benitez to discuss the direction Newcastle United intends to go in and whether that future includes Rafa. In case Mike Ashley and his board are scouring fan blogs looking to gauge the Toon Army’s opinion on this very important meeting, I thought it best to point out some actualities for their consideration prior to any proposals being put forward….

It is a FACT that the Newcastle United is a mess from top to bottom. It is a FACT that Lee Charnley does not know what he is doing when it comes to the footballing side of running a club. It is a FACT that Graham Carr has failed in his recent, expensive recruitment drives. It is a FACT that Lee Charnley and Graham Carr were wrong to hire Steve McLaren. It is FACT that we hovered around the relegation zone all season whilst the board dithered. It is a FACT that Steve McLaren should have been sacked before the January transfer window. It is a FACT that the Academy is not keeping up with its rivals. It is FACT that the transfer strategy in place for the last few years has failed.

It is FACT that Rafa Benitez is the first world class manager to grace our club with his presence in our dugout since the late Great Sir Bobby Robson. It is FACT that Rafa Benitez has taken us on a 6 game unbeaten run. It is FACT that Rafa Benitez just orchestrated a 5-1 demolition of a Top 3 side that still had something to play for, even though we did not. It is a FACT that Rafa Benitez represents genuine hope for Newcastle United’s future should he stay.

It is a FACT that Rafa Benitez wants to stay so long as his conditions are met. It is a FACT that his demands are reasonable and logical given the club’s long standing failed footballing and transfer strategy. It is FACT that keeping Rafa Benitez represents more than just signing the first manager more than worth his salt in 12 years. Retaining Benitez represents a change in the structure and strategy of the club from top to bottom. He represents hope and provides a silver lining to a very big storm cloud. Rafa Benitez represents a viable, enjoyable and successful future for Newcastle United.

No other name will do. That is a FACT.

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About Shamrock

Like everyone here, support Newcastle United. Not the easiest side to feel good about at times, but it's our side!

290 thoughts on “I am here to talk about FACTS

  1. I’d be interested in knowing what kind of player Rafa would be targeting. I don’t see too many PL quality players playing in the Championship and I’m not sure he will know too many players who are in the Championship. I’d go for Carrick personally as the first one.

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  2. Well I trust Rafa to only let go the shirkers and try to retain the committed players. He’s a great coach and I hope he adapts to the fizzypop as it’s a mad league.

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  3. Stu, Yes, I think it will be a real test for Rafa, despite what most think. He hasn’t been there before but has the skill to guide us back up, much depends on the players. First thing is to make us really solid at the back and get a couple of prolific forwards or we will struggle. I would have Arma back and bring in a proven forward, I love Mitros passion but not sure how he’ll cope with the fizzypop, he’ll find more physicality from defenders and I don’t want him getting reds left right and centre. Rafa didn’t acknowledge him at the end of the game on sunday, he may of burned his bridges with him after THAT tackle. ❓

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  4. Aye Kim, those who say he’s never managed in the Fizzy so might struggle are a bit strange. Coaching is coaching. He will get them all well drilled, will clearly have money available to strengthen and most of the current squad will be far too good for the other teams.

    Lot of pressure on him to succeed though if he takes the job after his demands are met.

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  5. Stuart79:

    Lot of pressure on him to succeed though if he takes the job after his demands are met.

    Yeah, it would be the stuff of dreams to keep him and the core group of our talented youngsters. But this is NUFC and we know how quickly dreams can turn to nightmares, a few bad results and it will be chaos as usual at SJP!

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  6. The 2nd division is full of 2nd rate managers. Rafa will piss all over them. He has also got teams promoted twice from lower divisions in Spain.

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  7. Townsend’s dad Troy told BBC Five Live: “Newcastle could rise quickly and Andros looks forward to many more seasons with them.”

    Townsend thought he had been substituted against Spurs on Sunday with fans affording him a standing ovation before he returned to the field.

    His dad tweeted: “Still getting goosebumps from that standing ovation for the ‘wrong’ substitution and today’s news just adds to that pride!”

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  8. Shamrock:
    The 2nd division is full of 2nd rate managers. Rafa will piss all over them. He has also got teams promoted twice from lower divisions in Spain.

    Sham – yeah, I didn’t know prior to us appointing him but he has done the graft in Spain, the Championship is very different but as you say he’ll clearly be the best tactician in the league, are Villa really going to go out and get someone better?

    It’s hard to ever feel positive about NUFC and even odder after we’ve been relegated, but look at what Leicester have done just two years after promotion. Obviously we aren’t going to win the league (unless it’s the championship 😛 ) but if we can create a side which works hard for each other and seems to genuinely care for the club and fans (which looked to be the case against Spurs anyway) then at least we’ll have some fun in the next few years…Maybe get past the third round of a cup at some stage :mrgreen:

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  9. Budget discussions today. This is where it can go wrong. Rafa will be told he has twenty five pair of Donnay socks to bring in new players with.

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  10. Aarons the next to commit. Wants a chance next season with more games. He’ll be another who will benefit greatly from Fizzy season.

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  11. Bit worried about the budget discussions, Jabba has already said the cupboard is bare and don’t come crying to him. They will either have to rethink that statement, use the overdraft, sell the crown jewels or just plain lie to Rafa and hope he -A, don’t notice or B, doesn’t do a KK 🙄

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  12. The delusional Geordies are going to be left looking daft yet again, chanting for Rafa, being positive and making him welcome, almost over the line, then Ashley does his thing and snatches a defeat from the jaws of victory. Penfold is beavering away in the background on plan B.

    Ppppppfffffffffffffffttttt the sound of the air leaving the toon balloon

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  13. I don’t see why it would be in Townsend’s interest to leave quite honestly. There’s no international tournament next summer, so he should get a year of playing regularly and then he will be back in the PL. If I was him, I’d be saying that I’ll give 100% for the coming season, but if we don’t get promoted, then the club agree to sell me for a reasonable fee.

    I think the players that I wouldn’t blame wanting to leave are those who are already 26+. Sissoko will be 28 (at the youngest) by the time we play in the PL again. In order to get a really big move, he wouldn’t have long to re-establish himself in the PL then. I reckon those kinds of players will be looking for a CL club to play for, from an international and image perspective. So I suspect Sissoko, Janmaat, Cisse and Tiote will be angling for a move already. Possibly Krul too. I reckon Sammy, Riviere, Goofy, Colo and Bigi will be shipped out by the club.

    Really think we should keep Perez, Colback, Dummett, Elliott, Armstrong, Aarons, Mbabu, Lascelles, Darlow, Townsend, Mbemba and Mitrovic for the next season though.

    Undecided on the future of Saivet, Thauvin, Gini and Shelvey. Perhaps a loan for Thauvin and Gini? Not really fussed about SDJ, Tayls, Haidara or any others as they barely play for us…

    So there you go…that’s my thinking after a few days to digest…

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  14. Need Rafa to commit. If he doesn’t, then things will go horribly downhill quickly…the positive thinking about finally having a top manager will drain out of the club and we’ll be left with the reality of being in the championship with an unproven or journeyman manager and most of our players going. I bet the agents of Redknapp and Pearson are circling…

    Other options like Sherwood, Martinez and Moyes are ok, but everyone is a downward step from Rafa.

    I said it before, Rafa is really backing the club into a corner with the public statements. How could they refuse him?

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  15. There is the 40M pound parachute payment. Plus Ashley will have to stump up to keep Rafa. All in all there will be money to spend. And if we keep more of the better players than expected because of Rafa it doesn’t look bad at all.

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  16. Not exactly Terry mate. But he’s now becoming shrewd enough to realize Rafa is his only chance to satisfy the supporters and bring us back up straight away. There’s no flies on that man.

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  17. Moussa even looks a bit sulky in his wiki picture. He was definitely putting himself in the shop window in that last match along with Wini and Janmaat. Not that I don’t trust them. 😈

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  18. There will be little or no money available from the club unless players are shipped out. The reduced revenue will have to pay for a PL wage bill and high running costs.

    So any money for incoming players will either have to be spent from outgoing sales, money that the club will need later in the season, or Ashley’s pocket. I reckon so anyway.

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  19. I could see him working with the current squad after the inevitable trimming & maybe adding 2 or 3 players to beef up the squad.

    Certainly unlikely to find many players in the championship better than what we already have in their position.

    I wouldn’t mind looking at Mancienne & Cohen from Forest CB/LB being two of the positions we well could do with strengthening after Taylor/Colo probably leaving & Mbabu/Haidaras futures undecided

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  20. It seems that everybody thinks we have to sell to buy, me too, sort of. I think we will sell a few of the older players and others that want to leave like Sissoko. However, we don’t really need to balance the books this year because the carrot of the PL is so large. Ashley can stump up some cash. You have to remember that when we were last relegated it was soon after the financial crash and there was a global recession. Ashley is worth about 3 or 4 times what he was then, even after the recent fall in SD shares.

    I see TDS is talking about finances now 🙂

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  21. If we are looking to build the squad for the future, then I would be looking to see if we can buy Jason Deyaner from Man City, or the likes of Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair from Man Utd – if not buy then at least loan.
    Would Madrid let Odegaard go out on loan?. Or are there other players Rafa wants to raid from Madrid/Castilla.

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  22. We’ve just got rid of Marv & Obertan which was about £75-80k pw in wages. If we can move Colo out, there’s £80k. If we can get rid Saylor, there’s another £50k or so. Tiote & Cisse would probably about the same each.
    If Janmaat, Sissoko & Gini all want away – then our wage bill drops dramatically.

    I think all of those are realistic. We can get 2 CBs on as much as £40k pw which Colos salary would cover.

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  23. People are saying that it is so “Spursy” for them to do what they did. To flatter all season and still finish behind Arsenal, I think that is 21 years straight.

    But how about us. We are so “Toonsy” (Sorry Toonsy on here, but we are). We get a manager who recently left Real Madrid, lose none of our last 5, dismantle the 2nd placed team with 10 men, and then get relegated by the Scum down the road with their jowly bullfrog manager.

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  24. I’m not too sure Rafa would agree to a sell to buy policy. I heard he wants the option to keep the current squad together. That means he decides if we sell anybody.

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  25. Stuart: I think he will sell the older players like Cisse and Tiote though. If he really is looking to the future they will be 32 when we next play in the PL.

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  26. There will be a lot to discuss. What wage bill they can away with in the Championship, which players to release, which players he would like sold, realistic prices for sold players, which players they should sell for fear of unsettling the squad, how the training ground will be funded, how much money is available up front for transfers, how much money will be available from player sales, how much money will need to be diverted to pay for extra stewards and groundsmen due to likely high attendences and increased likelihood of trouble from rival fans, what kind of scouting network they have and what the budget is for it, where those funds come from? An exit option for him should we not go up at first attempt, a financial recovery plan in the event we don’t go straight back up, how will the helicopter be paid for, how big will the plane and banner be flying over Sunderland when we swap places with them next season, the cost of a stadium full of banners mocking Villa atbthe end of the season when we are going up and they are mid table…. That sort of thing…

    ….But he will stay and so will a number of our better players including Townsend….

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  27. Stuart79:
    I’m not too sure Rafa would agree to a sell to buy policy.I heard he wants the option to keep the current squad together. That means he decides if we sell anybody.

    Stu – I think this coming season might be a bit different to be fair mate, and Rafa will likely understand that.
    There will probably be a relatively small transfer kitty which he will be given – then hopefully told that any money generated from player sales will be his too.

    The big thing will be allowing him access to the loan & free transfer market – and getting shot of this stupid age restriction.
    I think that will be more the deal breaker than cold hard cash, as our squad is already pretty well equipped to cope with the Championship.

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  28. I wouldn’t mind us looking at players like Michael Carrick on a free transfer. I also think James Collins would be a decent for the Championship too. Solid no nonsense defender & a leader on the pitch. I know he’s getting on a bit, but we need experienced players in there too.
    I know Rafa is also a big fan & friend of Lucas at Lpool. If Klopp decided to move him on, I reckon Rafa might look at him.

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  29. Sharpy: didn’t Pards want Collins? Not saying that would automatically rule him out for me, like 🙂

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  30. A Mackem turned up at the bar on Sunday. It was actually quite funny because the Yanks were saying to me that he was the first one they had ever spotted. They have only been watching NUFC for about 3 years but this Mackem was the first they had ever seen, with a Sunderland top on anaal. He had “Johnson” on the back of his shirt.

    No he didn’t 🙂 He had Quinn.

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  31. Hells bells, West Ham aren’t hanging like – £31m bid for Lacazette, knocked back like.
    But they aren’t wasting time taking advantage of the tax payers funding are they.

    Bad day actually, with that knock back & Reece Oxford has declined a new contract.

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  32. I meant to say earlier, but I loved Andros Townsends dads tweets – think he’s a fan of the toon army already by the sounds of it.

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  33. Sharpy: West Ham have just been given a gift from the taxpayer of a 700 million pound stadium.

    I really can’t see why people are not more upset about that. Government United !!!!!!!!!!!

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  34. Eric Sykes:
    Sharpy: West Ham have just been given a gift from the taxpayer of a 700 million pound stadium.

    I really can’t see why people are not more upset about that. Government United !!!!!!!!!!!

    Eric, I have ranted about it plenty of times mate. It’s a massive piss take.

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  35. I mean, people complain about Government benefits all of the time and then allow a couple of Porn Merchants to get a handout and say nothing because it is West Ham. Loved by Fleet Street, Bobby Moore to get a posthumous knighthood. Now to spend their government gained riches on Lacazette.

    I am in favour of a safety net for the poor but I am totally against a government gift to Porn Merchants.

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  36. Kimtoon: I know. There should be a disclaimer on every West Ham purchase of players – “Paid for by Her Majesty’s Government”.

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  37. Eric Sykes:
    Kimtoon: I know. There should be a disclaimer on every West Ham purchase of players – “Paid for by Her Majesty’s Government”.

    yep

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  38. I don’t hate anybody but I come close to it with some football owners. The Fat Man is a Saint compared to The Saudis, Abramovic, Kronke, The PSG owners and the Porn Merchants.

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  39. This is what the website FOOTBALL365 are saying about Andros today. They never liked him, they made fun of him, BUT…

    ” The outliers are of course Andros Townsend and Rashford. Nobody should be shocked by the former – as soon as Dat Poor Guy was ruled out, there were three vaguely viable options to replace him: Townsend, Theo Walcott and Lingard. We have been outspoken critics of all three, but Townsend is clearly the right option for right now. His form since joining Newcastle has been nothing short of phenomenal, with his dynamic, direct, cut-in-from-the-right-and-hit-it-really-quite-hard shtick helping the Magpies to the brink of unlikely survival. Since the end of January he has scored four Premier League goals in a struggling side; in the same period both Walcott and Lingard have scored twice.

    As I wrote last month: ‘While some have waltzed into St James’ wearing tuxedos and an air of superiority, Townsend has arrived with his sleeves rolled up and the knowledge that he has the chance to become a hero at a massive club. Barring an England career that could become a bizarre career footnote, Townsend has been Mr Not Quite, bouncing around loan clubs without ever being truly loved. Spurs fans have never sung about ‘one of their own’ with Townsend on the ball. Literally nobody mourned his £12m exit.’

    In a squad that screams ‘much of a muchness’, Townsend is one of the few potential match-winners. With him on the pitch – presumably as an impact sub – nobody will be left wondering what would have happened if only somebody had taken a shot. With their left foot. Really hard.”

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  40. Cheera for the 365 quote Eric. I like the bit about tuxedos and an air of superiority. That was what really annoyed me about Thauvin when he came prancing in the door. From that moment, he was a write off for me and he did not disappoint on the pitch..total fairy.

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  41. Just looked the image up. He is even carrying a little white man bag. Prancing around like he’s something special in a working class town then basically falls over every time he gets challenged and has a meltdown and goes missing when the fans point out he appears to be a footballer impersonator…. Can’t stand the sight of him.

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  42. Id definitely go for Carrick! He’d be perfect. He’s also building a house up here and looks like he will be a free agent.

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  43. This is from a piece in the Chronicle;

    For Rafa Benitez, personality is almost as important as quality. When he gets that, he will back a player to the hilt.

    Anfield failure Penant once railed at the “obsessive” Benitez and his thirst for control.

    “When I was on his touchline all I could hear was him giving me directions and I would think ‘Why don’t you just put the batteries in and turn me into a robot?’

    “Sometimes I just wanted to play my natural game but there were so many instructions – how to go forward, how to defend,” he complained.

    Penant saw it as a problem for Benitez, discipline is the key in any player who arrives.

    His Continental scout Mauro Pederzoli said in 2007: “There are simple but unbreakable rules that Benitez passes on to his scouts.

    “Benitez doesn’t want headline-hogging players but discipline. He avoids small players and ‘fancy dans’. He looks for ‘fair and strong’ players. Put together those players and you get Liverpool. It was a team that tops the fair play league, they had no player sent off in the league.”

    It sounds as if Benitez would never gamble on a Remy Cabella or – worse – a Florian Thauvin. And indeed his former head talent spotter Macia emphasised “mentality” as a key factor.

    “We want strong players who can think for themselves and don’t need to be told what to do,” he said.

    “They are clever guys who can make their own decisions on the pitch and help you win games. Mentality of the player is the most important thing. There are probably a million players with quality in the world. That’s not enough. I don’t want someone who is fantastic in September and November. I want someone who is fantastic all year round.”

    Bearing in mind what is said here – and the way he snubbed Mitro after his needless sending off – I wonder if his time at St. James’ is limited unless he has a serious look at himself. As for Thauvin, well….

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  44. I personally think that Rafa will decide who comes and goes. This is different. The treasure at the end of a successful Championship season makes it more attractive for the club or Ashley to be more loose with the money. He will want and try to persuade most of the squad to stay but there will also be many who he doesn’t want and will want to sell. I suspect players like Gouffran, Saviet, De Jong, Colo, Riviere and Thauvin will be on his chopping board. Others like Taylor and Cisse are out of contract and will leave.

    Reckon he’s going to bring in experience if he stays.

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  45. Don’t forget this is NUFC we’re talking about and there’s plenty time for it to go wrong…

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  46. Generally does Stuart.

    Listened to an interview last week with Steve Walsh – head of recruitment at Leicester. He reckoned the most important thing he looked at was what the player did when his team didn’t have the ball

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  47. This is the real worry for me. Everything seems to be in place. I see the possibility of Jabba lying and Rafa having to walk as the only potential banana skin now. Can’t see him being that stupid though. At least not until he’s back in the promised land.
    Coaching in the 2nd division won’t be an issue for Rafa I don’t think. He’s not a one trick pony. He sets his team up to counter the oppositions strengths and expose their weaknesses whilst nor compromising his own players abilities. If anything he may well find life a little easier. The ins and outs of players over the summer will be most interesting.

    Kimtoon:
    Bit worried about the budget discussions, Jabba has already said the cupboard is bare and don’t come crying to him. They will either have to rethink that statement, use the overdraft, sell the crown jewels or just plain lie to Rafa and hope he -A,don’t notice or B, doesn’t do a KK

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  48. Eric

    Yeah…I got dragged into the finances a little. Only as an overview though. I still hope that we don’t ship out specific players for financial reasons. I’m just thinking in terms of expectations. I’m pretty sure we’ll get rid of a few players in order to buy and I’m pretty sure that it makes sense to some of our higher earners to leave anyway. I don’t blame the likes of Tiote, Sissoko and Janmaat for wanting to leave and get a long-term contract elsewhere.

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  49. Thing about Ashley is that I think he actually really wants to be loved by the fans. Think back to when he took over and he was in the crowd, trying to make out he was one of us. He didn’t truly understand and empathise with the region, its people or the club, so he failed…no surprise there.

    Then, he appointed KK…why? I still believe he did it because he thought it would make him popular. Get rid of the dour Big Sam, that the fans didn’t like, and appoint a club legend. If it had worked, Ashley would have been a hero! Then he engaged his business brain and it all went wrong…

    So although he’s said he wouldn’t put any more money in, I wonder if this is the potential redemption of Mike Ashley? Getting Rafa to stay (and I don’t believe he would stay if he had serious problems with Ashley), getting us promoted back up, and then having a real go at the cups and climbing up the league?

    In 5 years time, could the fans be saying “That Mike Ashley really screwed us up for a few years, but at least he came good and we finally won a cup!”. Hopefully he imagines that too..and will put in a little cash to achieve it…

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