Arise Sir Michael Ashley
‘Arise Sir Michael Ashley’ is maybe not the sort of headline to land on you so early in the day.
At the start of this season Newcastle were widely tipped to be involved in a relegation battle, partly because of the poor form at the end of last season and partly because of the lack of signings in the summer.
On top of that Alan Pardew was one of the bookies’ favourites for the sack, fans were marching through the streets in protest against Ashley, Joe Kinnear was causing major embarrassment whenever he opened his mouth and there was a general malaise hanging over the Toon.
Jump ahead to December and we find ourselves in the heady position of sixth. We have now had four wins in a row against some top teams and are now ready to launch our glorious strike for the Champions League.
Here’s a question: if Ashley, Pardew and Kinnear would be to blame for another dire season of a relegation battle, would they also be to ‘blame’ if were we to qualify for the Champions League?
They would deserve some serious recognition surely, not least from Her Majesty the Queen. A knighthood would be on the cards; just imagine, ‘arise Sir Michael Ashley of Wonga!’
I’ll tell you what, if we finished in the top 4 this season I would drive Sir Mike down to Buckingham Palace myself. Not only that, I would give Alan Pardew Freedom of the City and even commission a 20 foot bronze statue of Joe Kinnear to be positioned at the entrance to the Gallowgate end (alright, I’ve gone too far this time).
My point is, that’s the beauty of being a football fan, down one minute and up the next, depressed at the start of the season, dreaming of glory midway through, hating the villains and cheering the heroes.
Four wins in a row is a bit like crossing the desert with nothing to drink and then being met with an ice cold bottle of Newcastle brown ale. If the beer turns out to be flat then we still drink it anyway.
My challenge to Sir Mike is this: if we enter January in a strong league position will you please take the bull by the horns and sign some top quality reinforcements in our push for Champions League glory.
The signings don’t necessarily have to go straight into the first team but at least be there in case of injuries, tactical changes etc.
My Christmas wish is to sign a striker capable of scoring 20 goals a season. No disrespect to Shola who is playing the football of his life but another goal scorer alongside Remy would take us to the Holy Grail. That would then put us in great shape to push on next season and win the premiership as well as winning the Champions League.
Then it would be Saint Mike and Sir Alan! Joe Kinnear could even be the next England manager.
As I say, down one minute, dreaming the next. Happy Christmas.
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