Paul Merson believes Newcastle United fans and the Saudi-backed buyers will be in for a shock if they think we’ll become an ‘overnight success’ following last week’s £300m takeover.
The Sky Sports pundit feels we need a whole new team to begin competing, insisting the spread of wealth across the Premier League and level of competition will make it much harder to win trophies.
He reckons we’ll be in for Man Utd’s Jesse Lingard and Tottenham’s Dele Alli, but claims any top player heading to Tyneside will be going for nothing but money – and even then he doesn’t see a host of big name buys leading to a ‘team.’
This comes after co-owner Amanda Staveley revealed her big plans to deliver silverware at St James’ Park, stating last week that they want to turn us into Premier League contenders.
Here’s what Merson’s had to say when speaking to Sky Sports News:
“I think people are getting carried away. People are thinking: ‘This is a Jack Walker situation at Blackburn.’ Absolutely no chance.
“I don’t want to be a party-pooper, but one: Everyone has money now, and two: Newcastle need 17 players!
“It’s not like they have a good core of a team already which they can top up with a couple of world-class players. They need everything.
“You can’t just go out and buy the world, and even if you could and bought five £150m players, that won’t win you everything. You have to go and buy a team.
“The sort of players Newcastle will be in for in January are Jesse Lingard and Dele Alli.
“Good players, who will be better than what Newcastle have, but they can’t get into their own teams. What’s that going to win you? Nothing.
“I’m not sure if the owners understand that this won’t be an overnight success. This isn’t Football Manager the game. That isn’t happening.
“In this day and age, if anyone goes to Newcastle, they’ll be accused of going for the money. What else would they be going for? They’re not going to be winning anything! These top players want to play in the Champions League!
“It’s not like Jack Walker and Blackburn in the early 1990s, where they went out and bought the best striker in Alan Shearer and surrounded him with good players, making a near-instant impact.
“Those days are long gone, that was 25 years ago. The playing field is a lot more level now and the spread of wealth is across more teams.”
The new owners may have big ambitions, but I don’t think Merson listened to them properly last week if he thinks they’re expecting ‘overnight success.’
After all, Staveley and Ghodoussi regularly stressed the need for ‘patience’, insisting this was a long-term investment where they will need to build gradually.
Will we win a trophy in the next few years? Probably not, but, for the first time in almost 15 years, we’ll be a club that at least tries.