Lou Macari says he ‘would be amazed’ if Ryan Shawcross chose to play for Newcastle United over Stoke City next season.

Obviously he is always going to say that as being a Stoke City pundit helps him earn a few quid these days and as a former player it ensures he is going to see it from their fans’ point of view.

So if he right?

Well, Lou Macari puts up arguments such as Shawcross being settled in the area and would have to uproot family (he has three kids etc), which is fair enough.

He also points out that now wages are not an issue, as Stoke City with the Premier League money can match whatever Newcastle might offer, which again you can’t really argue with.

However, is the Stoke Captain the type of player who would fancy giving it a go to play in front of crowds twice the size of the twenty seven thousand that watch the Potters?

Also, does Shawcross see Newcastle United, just as Kevin Keegan & Sir Bobby Robson did, and now Rafa Benitez does, as a club that is capable of becoming a real power in the years to come?

Having a Manager to sell your club to potential transfer targets is a massive plus and obviously Rafa ticks those boxes – but can Newcastle prove themselves a bigger draw than their competitors if promoted?

Like Lou Macari, we as Newcastle fans are also biased, and we know what Newcastle United is capable of being, if given the chance to be ambitious under this manager – by Mike Ashley.

Clubs such as Leicester and to a lesser extent Southampton, and others, have shown that if you are well run then you can have a go at challenging towards the top.

Just because Manchester United can spend £90m on Paul Pogba, doesn’t guarantee them the title or even a place in the Champions League.

However, Tottenham are also showing in these past couple of seasons that they can challenge for the title, even though other clubs have far bigger revenues.

Fans and pundits of other clubs may cap the ambition of Newcastle United and its fans but that is irrelevant, it is only when the club’s owner also does that, when it becomes a serious problem.

Maybe players won’t come to Newcastle, or again maybe they will.

All we want to see is Rafa Benitez (if promoted) given the full backing (within a sensible budget) to bring in the players who he believes will progress the team/club.

It is a radical idea that Mike Ashley has veered away from for years but you never know, it might just work.

Lou Macari talking to the Stoke Sentinel:

“You can never be sure in this day and age but I would be amazed if Ryan Shawcross lined up at the start of next season in the black and white stripes of Newcastle and not the red and white of Stoke City.

“Gone are the days when a good Stoke player could be lured away by the promise of a much higher wage elsewhere.

“No disrespect to Newcastle but I can’t see the attraction of them right now, if I’m Ryan Shawcross.

“Newly promoted to the Premier League means they are in for a difficult time next season, while Newcastle is an awful long way north if you and your family are settled in this area.

 “And I understand that Ryan and his young family are well settled in these parts that they know so well.

“He is on a sensational wage already at Stoke and I’m sure remains hugely valued by the club and the fans.

“Ryan has made a big name for himself over many years with Stoke City and that has to count for something.

“It may or may not be a coincidence that this story linking Ryan with Newcastle appeared with him having just over a year left on his current contract at Stoke and with new contract talks probably in the pipeline.

 “I’m sure that if Peter Coates read that article he won’t have pressed the panic button and ordered immediate talks to get a contract signed and sealed as soon as possible.

“He knows stories like that appear at certain times and he will be relaxed about the club going at the right speed to do well by their captain.”

Lou Macari back on 29 February 2016:

“This (Aston Villa) is a great club with a tremendous heritage but they are going down and there’s every chance Newcastle will follow them.

“In both cases, poor management, appointments, investment and recruitment are catching up with them.

“Not so long ago we were told that the French market was the place to shop because Newcastle had a bit of success with one or two players – but it doesn’t look so rosy for them now.

“And it can’t be easy when they see clubs like Bournemouth and Watford, who were widely tipped to struggle and probably go down, doing so well this season.

“Without any fight or character you have got next to no chance of staying up and that’s a lesson both Villa and Newcastle are finally learning, but probably too late.”

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])



  • SH.ER

    Jane Clark ….

    Stop glorifying Benitez ok ??? because I am sick of it
    did he not sign Diame ? Murphy ? Lazaar ? Hanley ? Gamez ? Atsu ? Yedlin ?
    All of them just didn’t perform to the level we AND the manager expected them to
    Lou Macari is saying nothing but a hard facts
    what is the attraction of our club ? compared to Stoke City
    we will go up in a hard hard financial status , don’t think it will be easy & oh it’s okay
    Ashley will give Benitez a £100m to spend in the summer
    While we do have a low wage Budget , might lure some players for the money
    But the harsh harsh harsh truth is, Stoke are a ( SECURED ) club in the mid table
    of the Premier League & even in the top 10 while we? we just don’t know where we will end up next season EVEN if say, we get like 6, 7, or 8 players
    Believe me, Next season will not be easy. even with a manager like Benitez.

    • Taz

      Yep, we’ve bought some crud, I agree. I also can’t see loads of dosh being spent and yes stoke are a secure mid table team that plays some boring football, but as for the attraction to our club goes I would have to say the stadium, the 52000 that watch their team every game and the possibility that one day we might do it a bit different and win something. Oh and have you been to stoke……. what a thriving vibrant city NOT!!!!!

      • SH.ER

        Hopefully we will get better noise in the PL
        because we need it, or the same of the Home woes this season will happen again…

    • Brian Standen

      Still a lot better with Benitez than anything else out there! And yes he did sign the players mentioned above, most of which have done what was required ( just about), and that his premiership return at first time of asking!
      Everyone is entitled to opinion of course, but if your happier with the likes of McClaren, Pardew or even Moyes etc then quite frankly your barking!
      I don’t think the article was glorifying Rafa Benitez at all!

      • SH.ER

        Hmmm did you see me saying anything about Benitez going out
        All I am saying is, the signings must improve to give us a chance of
        staying up next season ( the aim )
        I’m just not happy with the signings we made … sorry, not good
        Might be really good if we get the Southampton director & the chief scout as well … huh ..

        • Brian Standen

          Fair comment and totally agree

        • Surreymag

          Well we need to get promoted first so let’s not get ahead of ourselves. If Rafa does leave then we will be in trouble as I guess we will get some yes man in to run the club. Oh well here’s hoping that results go our way this round of matches and that Rafa decides to give it a go with us next season.

        • Porciestreet

          The players mentioned were always and ever brought in to do the job of promotion and barely nothing else with the view that another major overhaul would be required to hold station next season.. So far so good. The time to cry is after your kicked not while your still on honeymoon. HWTL.

    • Jezza

      Everything you say is valid especially that there will be little or no money for new signings in the summer and that Stoke are a secure mid table Premiership team. Nevertheless you still need to bear in mind that if Rafa goes we are staring the second coming of Pardew directly in the face.

      • SH.ER

        Benitez is a really great tactical manager but he made some mistakes last summer, everyone does
        I just don’t want the same mistakes repeated again.. ;|

    • Porciestreet

      Maybe they are, but no-one can forsee a shocking run of results, so Stoke are not so safe as you might think. Two bad results at the wrong time will dishearten the best of teams and it snowballs, turning to bad press and total loss of confidence.. It even happened to Manure a few years ago.
      No-one is safe, especially when so many in the Premiership are capable of turning anyone else over.

  • 1957

    Why do players generally sign for other clubs, big crowds…No, club potential…No, big name manager…Sometimes, money…Always.
    If Shawcross moves it will be for a potential huge payday, something a lot of players of his age look for

  • Albert Stubbins

    That’s strange because Macari certainly saw something special in Newcastle when he backed them heavily to beat the then team he managed, Swindon Town, In the F.A cup all those years ago- maybe he’s still bitter because he got rumbled the complete wrongun!!!!

    • Jezza

      Good point, not forgetting Macari also wanted to come to Newcastle United in 1988 as assistant to Davie Hay. NUFC didn’t want Macari and as a result the Hay appointment fell through.

    • bobbi fleckman

      apologies, I posted much the same having not read all the posts.

  • Mrkgw

    Macari is clearly a fool and his opinion worthless. Shawcross would be well advised to take advice from elsewhere. We have a huge following, fantastic stadium and the NE is the best place to live. I say that having to live in the SE through work and given half a chance, I’d return home in a flash. Those given that opportunity are hugely fortunate in my opinion and Shawcross would do well to move to St James.

  • Leazes Ender

    I think Rafa will leave in May regardless of which division we find ourselves in, so any speculation over future players is a bit irrelevant.

    • Mrkgw

      Just watch Pardew return. I can see it happening and reckon that’s in part, why he hasn’t gone to another club.

      • Jezza

        I am certain that Pardew will be coming back in the summer. I have been since the events of December and January. Foremost in Ashley’s thinking will be the fact that Pardew previously kept us up in the Premiership for 4 years with no money to spend and all his best players sold from under him. It won’t work out like that again but Ashley is too stupid and too ignorant in the ways of football to see it.

        • Mrkgw

          As we both speculated following that dismal result vs Ipswich! I hope that we are mistaken – time till tell………

          • Geordiegiants

            I agree with everyone above. Unfortunately I think he will be away at the final whistle in cardiff. I just really hope it’s not Pinocchio back.

          • Leazes Ender

            No chance, he knows that he’s hated here…

          • Geordiegiants

            He’s got skin thicker than all the rhinos left on this planet.

        • bobbi fleckman

          I bet £10 that Pardew will not be manager of NUFC come August.

          • Jezza

            If Rafa goes what do you think Ashley will do? Push the boat out to get another top class manager or appoint some no hoper who will work for peanuts and never rock the boat? If I was a gambling man I know which I’d put my money on.

          • bobbi fleckman

            So, I you bet £10 that Pardew will not be manager of NUFC come August 31st. Are you up for it? Do you have The Sundays reading writing arithmetic on vinyl, mine’s warped so you send me that or I’ll send you £10

          • Jezza

            I have never gambled and don’t intend to start now but here’s what I’ll do. If NUFC appoint a new manager in the summer and that new manager is not Alan Pardew I will donate a few quid to any non political/non military charity of your choice.

          • bobbi fleckman

            I wanted the vinyl!

          • Jezza

            Not for a tenner, ha ha. The last copy I had went for £25.

          • Thefootballerwhocouldfly

            Is that £10 x 52,000?!
            Who do you think will pander to Ashley’s beck & call?!

    • Thefootballerwhocouldfly

      You know as I know Rafa will walk in the summer….

  • MadMag83

    He’s right.

  • bobbi fleckman

    Didn’t Lou Macari put a bet on us when he got himself into bother with Swindon? He could see the attraction back then.

  • dannymc21

    “an awful long way north”. Get real man. There’s too many pundits being paid to spout nonsense. He says no disrespect to Newcastle, then he is disrespectful.
    Frankly the thought of Ryan Shawcross doesn’t excite me, surprisingly enough.
    If Rafa is going to be backed and NUFC are going to show ambition, we should be setting our sights higher than him.

  • JewdiciousOrange

    to much light weights in this squad, I miss the day of buying good old direct players instead of flair. In my dream world we would get Wayne Rooney, that said I don’t mind Shawcross either. This team as it is now has no balance on the left side, When Aarons Dyer’d again we lost any ability down the left, t eams know we are going to overplay Ritchie and just isolate him. Add that to the fact that Mitrovic is nothing short of woeful and Gayle going down injured we literally have no forwards

  • Whickhamrobbie

    I think his comments are fair enough .
    Just because we have big crowds does not mean we are a well run ,settled club with future plans or aims that are above Stoke .
    Stoke fans are just as passionate as us there are just less of them in the ground but does that make their fervour or loyalty any less than ours , I think not .