Harry Redknapp has refused to get caught up in any kind of Newcastle United positivity following the win over Liverpool.
Our favourite unemployed manager says that Newcastle have recruited badly and still have a ‘poor mix of players’.
Redknapp says Newcastle are still nailed on to be one of five or six clubs battling relegation right through the season.
Harry Redknapp thinks that the recruitment process at Newcastle has been shown to have failed and more investment is urgently needed, with an emphasis on adding a ‘British backbone’.
To sum this up, he says that when a couple of our substitutes came on against Liverpool he was thinking ‘Who is he, where has he come from’?
You can only assume he was meaning Florian Thauvin and exaggerating for effect, as the other two subs were Yoan Gouffran who has been here for three years and Ayoze Perez who has proved an excellent bargain buy and who featured in 36 of Newcastle’s 38 Premier League games last season, so hardly an unknown.
Where Harry Redknapp’s reasoning really starts going all over the place is when he criticises those who criticise Mike Ashley’s running of the club.
Redknapp says Newcastle should be top eight every season and putting in strong cup challenges, with all the advantages at the club, including great support.
Mike Ashley has been at Newcastle eight and a half years now and has had a specific policy of NOT competing in the cups for most of that time. It is also of course the owner who has implemented the disastrous transfer policy as well, starving the squad of investment for years and then when players are bought, it is Ashley himself who insists they buy these untried foreign players with the hope that one day they might increase in value.
In Mike Ashley’s eight full seasons, the club have been relegated, spent a year in the Championship, had two near misses with relegation in 2012/13 and 2014/15, plus of course as Harry is saying himself, only once in eight years have Newcastle reached that top eight spot in the Premier League which he says they should be doing every season.
With yet another relegation struggle in this ninth year of Mike Ashley’s reign, when exactly does it become the owner’s responsibility for the club’s failings in league and cups?
Some of the highlights of what Harry Redknapp said to The Telegraph today:
‘Instead of win being a turning point, I can only see Newcastle’s poor mix of players struggling.
It was an important win on Sunday for Newcastle United but there is something still lacking and, along with five or six other teams, it is already obvious that they are going to be fighting a relegation battle this season.
It is such a big club, has such great support and yet the last trophy they won was the Fairs Cup when Bobby Moncur was the captain in 1969. They should be a top-seven or top-eight team every year, really, with what they have got – with that fantastic crowd – and it is about time they were competing for an FA Cup again and having a real bit of success.
The owner, Mike Ashley, for whatever reason, seems to get criticised, but it is very easy to criticise someone and tell them to spend until it is you who has got to put the money in. It is not easy then. They have spent decent money in the transfer market. Ashley has invested. Alan Pardew did a great job there but, over the years, they deserve better than what they have had.
There is such potential there if you can galvanise the crowd and get some momentum.
The first ingredient you need as a manager is good players but also the right blend. I am not sure they have that now. They had a couple of decent buys previously and it was all about how great they were scouting these players from abroad but, since then, they have not been recruiting quite so well.
They have bought lots of players in and it almost looks like they have bought too many foreign players in. They could do with more of a British backbone to the team. They have bought loads of foreign forwards in. A couple came off the bench on Sunday and you are thinking: ‘Who is he, where has he come from?”
It looks to me like the club are going to have to recruit again. That team they have now is not going to get them in the top eight or nine. It is a bottom-half-of-the-table team.
They have got a hard run coming and they are going to be fighting a relegation battle with five or six others. It is going to be between them and — although Chelsea definitely have the class to get out of trouble — I do not think it will change too much.
At half-time on Sunday I could not see where Newcastle were going to score. I thought the best they were going to get out of it was a 0-0 but they got the own-goal and, although there was only one shot each on target all game, they just about deserved to win.’