As the line goes from the classic rock song by The Who, Won’t Get Fooled Again, ‘Meet the new boss, same as the old boss’, it really should be the anthem for Newcastle fans, and never has it been more appropriate.
A mere three weeks after surviving a relegation scramble on the last day of the season, a day which saw a player of industry and courage catapulted to cult hero status, a day on which many people totally misinterpreted a threat by the owner as a statement of hope, we are finally beginning to see what the real plans for the summer are.
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Exactly the same as they always were before the threat of relegation was actually considered a reality. The attitude from the club, regardless of statements by the owner, seems to be ‘Crisis? What crisis?’
Why should it not be when Premier League survival is the benchmark of success – so in the eyes of the owner and the board, last season was actually a huge success.
In the second half of the season the club sold a manager who had proved (at best) to be totally incompetent and embarrassing over the preceding 18 months, for a large amount of compensation. Thenreplaced him with a bloke who would do the job for benefits plus a tenner, chopped around £5m off the club wage bill by reducing the squad size, sold a couple of players and still managed to stay in the league.
When you think about it, all the second half of the 2014/15 Premier League season proved to the owner was that he really can do what he wants at Newcastle United and still make money. Ignore the discontent then say a few soothing words to the masses and at least half of them will be back in your stadium handing over their money for your Wonga branded goods. Absolute mugs.
Stepping forward we are now in the seventh calendar month of not actually having a manager, sorry, head coach.
In the top 20 turnovers in the world, a multi-million pound business has gone half a year without a recognised coach. Unbelievable anywhere else other than Newcastle.
Releasing long serving players via shared telephone conversations, an act so devoid of class it could only have come from NUFC, openly lying to fans about a forum meeting,. Then by leaking the name of Patrick Vieira to preferred media partner Sky Sports, performing the worst distraction trick since the former Iraqi Propaganda minister claimed that there were no American forces in Baghdad, with US troop clearly visible in the background of his interview.
All this to seemingly allow themselves to appoint the man they wanted from day one, so why the big pantomime?
Now what of our reported new head coach? Well, he fits the infamous blueprint in so much as his star has fallen so low that he will take the job without a whimper and tow the party line, with as much conviction as the last incumbent.
Also, like Mr Pardew he is a formerly esteemed coach who has seen his Midas touch desert him in recent years; sacked by Wolfsburg, walked out on Twente, walked out on Forest, sacked by Derby, but apparently good enough to hail Mike Ashley’s new horse and cart era at Newcastle, really?
A failed lower league coach whose only real claims to fame are a domestic cup a decade ago and a title win in a much lower standard of competition seven years ago. He managed England to spectacular failure, walked out on Forest after spending a lot of money (for the Championship) and achieving nothing, lost a play-off final with Derby and then failed to get them into the play-offs with the highest wage bill in the division.
My faith in his appointment is far from total, the only glimmer of hope being that, unlike Pardew, he might actually walk if things go against him, or when he discovers just what ‘tools’ he has to perform the job required.
Earlier today I took the ill-advised step of re-reading the Lee Charmless (not a spelling error) interview with the Chronicle in January, it served only to remind me what spectacularly incompetent man he is, unless of course he is actually working under orders to leave the ship rudderless for as long as possible.
He speaks of “ensuring that the person we appoint is absolutely right”, he speaks of appointing a person to “bring a football philosophy to the first team, reserves, youth team and academy”, and then he speaks about improving communications with the fans and how positive the fans forum has been in doing this.
These were the words and yet the actions have been to allow 7 months to pass, to make a failed lower league coach the favourite for the top job and to lie about and totally disregard the fans forum. This man is simply a toady scumbag of Llambias type proportions.
So unsurprisingly it seems that the horse and cart is actually a donkey pulling a wheelbarrow full of money into Mike Ashley’s ample sized pocket of his Donnay chinos.
That the promise not to sell until the club won something was actually a threat to illustrate just how long the parasite will cling onto the corpse of what used to be a football club.
The brave new dawn is cancelled, and in its place we find a continuation of the grey skies over Newcastle, and yet another storm on the horizon.
I have read many on The Mag and elsehwere taking the ‘wait and see’ approach, so if as it appears that approach will yield Schteve Van McClaren and a clutch of cheap domestic and imported prospects, what do the wait and see brigade plan to do next?
Will they wait and see how the first ten games go?
Will they wait and see until Christmas?
Will they wait and see if Uncle Mike dips into his pocket in January?
Will they wait and see until relegation looms once again?
When does the waiting end and the action begin?
Season ticket renewals are up on Wednesday, any supporter who is a part of that process needs to ask themselves what has Mike Ashley done to deserve your money next season?
I can’t think of a single thing.