FIVE reasons why January is one of the biggest months in NUFC’s history

In classic Newcastle United style, we are again coming into a crucial period. This month though feels particularly important, with so much on the line for the club both in the short and long term. You get the sense this month will dictate which players do or do not arrive, our relegation chances and also the long-term term futures of both Rafa Benitez and Mike Ashley. So just why is this month so vital?

1. Signings NEED to be made

It has been clear since the summer that we are in desperate need for reinforcements. Benitez wanted quality added last winter and was badly let down by Ashley, who then failed to back the manager in the summer. We need a striker, number 10, left back and goal keeper as priority and whether there is a takeover or not, we need new players. It may be the loan market if the takeover slows down but either way, we need quality additions to secure our status.

2. Swansea at home is HUGE

A decent festive period has saw us climb to 13th but that is still just three points above the relegation zone. We have struggled at home of late and our next league game sees us host bottom side Swansea. It is a fantastic opportunity to move onto 25 points and 3 points closer to the magical 40 point mark. A win would see us move 9 points clear of Swansea, so this really could help us bury one of our relegation rivals and kick-start our awful home form in the process. It’s a huge game for the context of our season and staying up.

3. Takeover finally looming?

Talks are ongoing and any major progression on the potential sale could significantly contribute to our spending this month. If Ashley remains we’ll no doubt see loan deals and signings in the £5-7m bracket at best, however you’d hope funds may be made available (via loans etc) to bring in a top striker if they were in a position to do so.

Rumours last night claimed that a takeover may even be completed on the 6th of January with PCP setting up a new company yesterday, which could be used as a vessel to buy NUFC. It was exciting news however these suggestions have been dismissed – although Staveley is still believed to be ‘very interested’ in buying the club. PCP could take us to the next level and deliver the investment and intent that Ashley never will and this news could change the history of the club.

4. Keeping Rafa happy and in it for the long term?

Signings and the takeover are key to keeping Rafa here for the long term. You get the sense he is staying put to see how the takeover pans out or if it materialises, and he won’t be leading another relegation battle with us next season, either way. He is doing a great job with a limited squad and keeping us up would be a great achievement after such a low net spend as a newly promoted side. Keeping the Spaniard will help us attract players of the calibre needed and his presence has undoubtedly been a draw for PCP.

I suspect there’ll be a big knock on effect from whatever happens from here on in. New owners could lead to new signings and you suspect that’d have a positive impact on our form, Rafa’s happiness and our hopes of survival. No breakthrough on the takeover front could mean bargain basement buys, a highly frustrated Rafa Benitez and a team that goes into the relegation scrap with the bare bones whilst our rivals will no doubt be strengthening. You can just imagine how much that second scenario would infuriate Benitez.

5. FA Cup returns – NUFC finally due a run?

Sandwiched in amongst all this sees the return of the FA Cup; with NUFC hosting Luton Town in the third round this weekend. It is a great chance to get to round 4 and we are long overdue a cup run. Survival is of course the priority this season but our trophy drought is well documented and our run to the quarter-final of the league cup last year suggests Benitez could be the man to give it a go. Any run would avoid further disappointment for fans and offer a platform to build momentum in the league.

A week is a long time in football as we all know, but the next few feel like they could be huge for Newcastle. Let’s hope our patience is rewarded and it’s a month to remember for all the right reasons.

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About Simon Riddlesden

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

90 thoughts on “FIVE reasons why January is one of the biggest months in NUFC’s history

  1. But I do agree that Amanda’s company registration and Ashley’s announcement to buyback shares happenning together make sense if a take over agreement is reached. But the fact that Rafa still gets no transfer fund only means one thing – Ashley is still in reign.


  2. Stuart79:
    Just five points between 10th and 18th. What a strange league. Although it goes to show how fragmented it is.

    We really need to take advantage of our next home game. To have 25 points with 15 games to go will make staying up all the more easier.

    Stuart: it is looking like everybody expected except perhaps Burnley. I thought the current top 4 would be the top 4 with City as Champions. I also thought Swans would go down along with one of the promoted teams and probably Burnley. Still possible except Burnley are safe. As you say any of the bottom 10 could be in trouble.

    I hope the current bottom 3 go down. Partly because that means we stay up but also I would like Arrogant Alan to go down. Mark Hughes is in last chance saloon and just makes excuses now. And I think that Swans have the worst squad and usually when a team avoids relegation for a few years and doesn’t invest they usually sink – see NUFC, Villa, Hull and Sunderland recently.


  3. Sorry, my preference would be West Ham instead of Stoke but they have a decent chance as Moyes is pragmatic enough to get points despite his failures with the Mackems and in Spain.

    It is actually quite funny to think that Moyes might have done a decent job at Sunderland considering where they are now with roughly the same squad.


  4. West Ham and Palace should have enough to be well out of the relegation battle before the end. Watford have had a mare since they beat us too.


  5. Stuart I think we need to get rid of Colback and Mitrovic to make these loan signings happen. Both are not being played and are of no use to the first team. If it help’s get rid of Ashley that’s the main thing. I think Ashley will take some money off his loan then sell for 250 million.


  6. But I totally agree with you Stuart. Its a very big gamble and most clubs around us will be panic buying. I only hope 4 more win’s and a draw is enough to stay up.


  7. I think Spurs are screwed. That stadium is based on CL football every year. It is costing 1 Billion pounds. Now there is talk of Harry Kane getting 200k a week which is his true value. This will have a knock on effect so their payroll will skyrocket to where Liverpool and Arse are now.

    Too many balls in the air to deal with and when the first domino falls I will be mixing metaphors…


  8. If an owner shows ambition there will be a place in the top 6 in a couple of years. There just are not that many quality managers around. Spurs will stagnate under the weight of debt and a mammoth payroll. Mourinho will be off. Conte will be off. Pep will want win the CL, maybe twice, but then will be off. Wenger, he might even retire in the summer if they don’t make the CL.

    It sort of looks all set in stone because the current top 6 make so much money, but there will be an opportunity.


  9. This is our last chance though because if it stays the same the current top 6 will demand more of the TV pie. We have to have a higher profile because it is all about TV money, commercial rights and overseas growth now. The gap will only grow if we allow the top 6 to reap all of these benefits and they will force lower TV revenue on the rest of the league. Maybe even a European super league.

    This is our last chance not to be left behind with the also rans. There is a certain Fat Spurs fan who must see this as well. He is not stupid. Or is he?


  10. I agree, Eric. There’s some uncertainty in the next few years with some clubs. Will it be perfect timing from us for once..? Unlikley given our history.

    Stem – Rafa wouldn’t dare sell Mitro without having a replacement signed surely? Would you trust these pricks to get a replacement in?


  11. Stuart: Spurs are the most likely to suffer because they have a wage structure where Kane was their highest paid player on about 100k. Now the talk is of 200k. But with Ozil and Sanchez wanting 300k and Neymar supposedly getting that tax free, something has to give. Either they pay up to keep their players or Kane, Ali, Alderwelreid, Vertongen, Lloris, Son are gone. That anvil of a stadium around their neck will mean they won’t be able to replace them because they caught lightening in a bottle this time and still didn’t win anything.

    We have seen the blueprint with Arsenal because they did exactly the same thing.


  12. With West Ham’s draw last night, they are on the same points as us in 15th place. The difference between us in 13th and them in 15th is 5 goals. Those 5 goals we could easily have shipped against City had we not played so defensively and tactically. That tactic has earned us 2 places in the table and relegation or not may come down to that at the end of the season.

    Food for thought to all those ****s (Gary Neville) who slated us.


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