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Mike Ashley ‘Am I Bovvered?’

6 years ago
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Forget the chronic porous nature of our defence on Saturday. Forget too the weak  as water uselessness of our midfield bite. Then forget, if you can, the Championship standard of Messrs Williamson, Gouffran, Riviere and Obertan.

Let us turn to the most worrying fact to emerge from the weekend.

You would not have seen it on the pitch on Saturday, or in the dugout.

It was in the Chronicle and it was a reported comment from the hierarchy at St James’ Park.

Mike Ashley, said this unidentified person, ‘is not particularly bothered anymore.’

This is not boredom. Far from it. Ashley is as bothered as ever about losing money. If and when we get relegated, Ashley will be bothered.

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Nor is it exhaustion with the barrage of criticism. I doubt if he is aware of it. If he is aware of it, I doubt if he cares. He’s not particularly bothered about criticism. If anything, criticism brings out his astonishingly stubborn side, and makes him utterly determined to persist with his established strategy.

He is usually right to do so. Mike Ashley trusts his instincts above all else. He fancies himself as a gambler, and knows when to walk away.

It’s just that, at Newcastle, he has nowhere to go.

There are, it would appear, no buyers, although he was reportedly scouring the United States recently to discover some sports enthusiast like Ellis Short.

I believe he would certainly sell if he could. But he can’t.

So he is a gambler on a losing streak. It is all going tits up at Newcastle, and he can see it. He knows he is the problem. He knows Pardew is about as good as it is going to get for him. He knows nobody else will come to manage our team unless they are an alcoholic pensioner, a dangerously deluded fantasist, or an average hack with no track record.

He also suspects a replacement will have no long-term effect.

Pardew is his perfect guy. Ashley thinks Pardew is a good coach, and he may be right. He may be wrong, but he may be right.

Ashley knows the problem is him. He can see it. And he knows that paying off Pardew and bringing in another manager who would want to spend money and would make it a condition of his contract that he would be given money to spend, is just a tiresome series of negotiations Ashley can do without.

So a money enthusiast who is not particularly bothered any more, despite the spectre of relegation, means what, exactly?

Well, in my view, it means he is a gambler who has lost and is going to lose big and go on losing big and who cannot get out of the mess he’s in.

He can’t cash in his chips. He’s dying to run away. He’s dying to be told the bill and to leave the casino and to forget all about his doomed series of stupid punts.

But he can’t. Newcastle is wrapped around his neck. So, when you’re a feckless, epic gambler like our bull-headed, ignorant owner, the only thing to do is to mentally withdraw.

That is the worst outcome of all for Newcastle fans. It means he’s just going to sit back and watch, like the rest of us. Except he’s not bothered. Does his face look bothered? Not really.

He wants us to stay up but he’s not going to do much about it.

Sacking Pardew would expose his ridiculous and hopeless lack of alternatives, as well as exposing him as a stupid idiot.

There’s nothing else for it. He’s running away, except he’s staying where he is.

He’s just not bothered.

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