Like every other Newcastle United player, Shane Ferguson has now said he’s grateful for the fresh start/clean slate he’s got with the arrival of Steve McClaren.

You have to go back three years since the full-back/winger last played competitive football for Newcastle and wasn’t even given a Premier League squad number by United last season, before later going on a bizarre loan to Rangers when already long-term injured.

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Due to a Newcastle squad still way short of quality and quantity, Shane Ferguson has already featured in three of United’s four pre season friendlies, including the bizarre sight of the fragile looking Northern Irish international playing the full game at centre-back against Portland Timbers’ second team.

Shane Ferguson speaking to the Shields Gazette:

“There were a lot of boys who couldn’t really play the game due to the artificial pitch, so I was the only one available to play there.

“It was an experience and I will take a lot from it – I learnt a lot.”

Fresh start:

“I will do anything for the team and work as hard as I can, if I am needed there I will play the best I can.

“It is a clean slate and a fresh start for everyone, I will have to keep working hard pre season to try to get as fit as I can.”

I think it is bad news all round when a player such as Shane Ferguson was on that plane to America.

A player simply filling a shirt and a training position pre season, then playing in a position that he will only have learnt one thing from – never to play centre-back again.

A player like Shane Ferguson should be getting on with his career and playing regular football, not wasting more time at a club and a level where he hasn’t got the remotest chance of succeeding.

Like many other young players, Ferguson has been a victim of the club’s ridiculous policy under Mike Ashley of handing massive Newcastle United contracts to young players who have achieved absolutely nothing.

It is a similar case with a lot of the ‘budget’ players Newcastle have bought in, with the likes of Marveuax, Obertan and now Riviere getting contracts of five years or more – the club then stuck with players who nobody else is going to take on at the wages Newcastle are paying.

newcastle united contracts

Of the younger players, the likes of Nile Ranger got a five year contract, Bigirimana got the same, Curtis Good a SIX year one.

Shane Ferguson was given a new five year contract back in 2011 and will be only days off his 25th birthday when it ends next summer.

A player who will have wasted half of his career already, getting better money at Newcastle for these five years than he will get when he moves on, but on what kind of shape will he be in when competing to get signed on at other clubs?

A 25 year old who hasn’t really played any football in his career, only making 38 first team appearances so far for Newcastle, Birmingham and Rangers.

Mike Ashley’s policy of trying to do things on too limited a budget with both young players and budget signings has proved costly on and off the pitch.

One relegation and two near misses in the last six Premier League seasons, plus accumulating an ever growing list of players on long contracts who aren’t good enough but Newcastle can’t get rid of, due to them getting wages higher than what their true worth is.

Marveaux, Williamson, Ferguson, Bigirimana, Taylor, Riviere, Obertan, Vuckic, Elliot, Gouffran….

Hopefully the transfer activity so far and the noises made by Steve McClaren and others, are an indication that lessons have been learnt and investing in quality such as Wijnaldum actually works out better financially, as well as on the pitch.

Rather than paying the likes of Obertan and Riviere to sit on the bench for years.

This stupid policy has then led to a ridiculous position where in January, Lee Charnley claimed a justified reason for Newcastle not buying anybody was because Newcastle’s squad was already full.

That kind of attitude almost getting United relegated, the squad may have been ‘full’ but you have to ask yourself what it was/is full of…