According to Paul Merson, Mike Ashley gets ‘unfair stick’ – claiming the NUFC owner has put plenty of his money into the club and questioning why no one from Newcastle has come forward to buy the club off him.
The Sky pundit got it pretty spot on when analysing the game itself, but his assessment of Ashley was nothing short of embarrassing
Here’s what he said about the NUFC owner when speaking on Sky’s Gillette Soccer Saturday over the weekend, somehow coming out to defend Mike Ashley.
“I think Mike Ashley gets unfair stick. He has put his money in.
“This is Newcastle. I’m sure there are lots of rich people in Newcastle, why haven’t any of them come forward to buy it?!”
Firstly, he hasn’t put much of his money in. When he does spend he’ll only use the club’s profits and, as we’ve seen over the summer, he tends to bank most of that when he can.
Secondly, he seems to be missing the point when it comes to finding a buyer. There’ll be plenty interested, but the seller has to be willing and realistic to make it happen.
In Merson’s defence, he did get it pretty spot on when analysing what he saw after Saturday’s 0-2 defeat to Leicester:
“I can’t believe what I watched today.
“Worrying, worrying times for Newcastle. The crowd went mad when Ritchie went off, and for Shelvey, when he looks up, there’s nobody making runs. That’s a problem, and he’s finding it hard now. I think they’re in big, big trouble.
“Teams don’t have to work that hard to beat Newcastle and that’s not good.”
That last line is sad but true at the moment. Both Arsenal and Leicester have now beaten us at St James’ Park without ever getting out of second gear.
Finally, he talked about Joselu’s lack of conviction in front of goal and our unfamiliar struggles in front of the Gallowgate end:
“He was desperate for someone to tackle him,”
“The penalty was a definite penalty and when Vardy scores they never, ever, ever looked like getting back into it and that’s not Newcastle.
“I’ve seen Newcastle a lot, kicking down the hill and you expect pressure. I can’t remember Schmeichel making one save. Their one shot on target was when Shelvey tried to lob him from 60 yards – he got back and he caught it.”
Do you agree with Merson’s assessment of NUFC at the minute?