It was just over a year ago. December 7, 2013 – Manchester United nil, Newcastle United One.
I’d waited my entire life to see us win at Old Trafford and it was just as sweet as I had imagined. The twisty faces of the home fans. The delirious joy of the away support. Magic.
Yohan Cabaye was awesome that day and rounded off his performance with the winning goal. The game of head tennis he had with Tiote near the end was the cherry on top. It was a memorable day and for the Newcastle fans lucky enough to in Old Trafford it finished like this (see video below):
The message from our fans was loud and clear. DON’T. SELL. CABAYE.
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We’d been singing that for months and months and months and yet when it came down to it, money talked. Cabaye had always harboured ambitions of playing for a Champions League team. A more ambitious management structure might have tried to convince him to stay – strengthened last January and attempted to push for a top 4 finish. But if there is one thing we can say for certain, it’s that NUFC has zero ambition beyond premier league survival.
And so we did sell Cabaye. The odious Joe Kinnear oversaw the sale of Cabaye to PSG for £19M And then our form was utterly despondent. The former Newcastle manager Alan Pardew demonstrated his complete lack of tactical nous and failed to adapt his tactics for the latter half of last season, which saw us pick up just 13 points between February and May.
Newcastle’s current league position is largely irrelevant. What matters is we have 27 points. Mike Ashley is about to make some big decisions. I’m sure in his mind we can afford to gamble. Newcastle will probably make it to the magic 40 point mark (I reckon 38 will be enough this year).
He needn’t even appoint a new ‘head coach’ until next season either. Certainly he won’t bother installing anyone until after the January transfer window has closed.
Or maybe he’ll realise that the fanbase is reaching hysterical levels of animosity towards him again and allow the funds to be spent which will placate the toon army into another few months of passive acquiescence before he decides to cash in on his assets.
We can argue over what he will do until we’re blue in the face, the fact of the matter are, the man is going to gamble. Long term or short term, it’s what he does.
Moussa Sissoko, Ayoze Perez and Tim Krul will probably be sold in the next 2-3 transfer windows. Ashley will continue to push his luck for as long as he possibly can. Newcastle United will forever be a soulless, empty shell of a football club under his stewardship.
Einstein once said ‘God does not play dice’ – Well Mike Ashley certainly does.
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