If you thought Mike Ashley had played fast and loose with NUFC in his eight seasons of ownership, then you may be surprised to learn that he could be taking his risk taking to a whole new level next August.

Obviously we are all assuming Newcastle will still be in the Premier League next season and if so, Ashley’s biggest wager yet is almost certain to see him banking Premier League survival on the very lowest possible amount of past form.

Much is said about how hard it is to adapt to the Premier League, whether it is younger players coming through the ranks or those brought in from abroad.

If my guesstimates are correct, then Newcastle United will almost certainly be relying on a midfield and attack next season, that has almost no Premier League experience.

For starters, I can’t see Papiss Cisse, Cheick Tiote or Moussa Sissoko still been at St. James’ Park come August.

Sissoko will surely be away looking to make sure of his Euros 2016 place with France, as well as to fulfil his stated aim of playing Champions League football.

Ashley will also do everything he can to cash in on whatever he can get on both Cisse and Tiote before the striker goes into the final year of his contract, while Tiote is a rapidly depreciating asset and seemingly finding trouble far too easily both on and off the pitch. The fact that this pair and Sissoko are also three of the top earners will be an added bonus for the club owner if he can get them out of the door, as he has done with both Mapou and Santon (initial loan) in the last month.

Accepting that this trio of players could well go in the summer, then Newcastle would be very much relying on the following players to make up the midfield and attacking positions, each player listed with the number of matches they have started in the Premier League in their careers, with the number of goals in brackets.

1 Start (0 Goals) Siem de Jong

0 Starts (1 Goal) Rolando Aarons

15 Starts (2 Goals) Sammy Ameobi

14 Starts (1 Goal) Remy Cabella

7 Starts (0 Goals) Emmanuel Riviere

15 Starts (5 Goals) Ayoze Perez

1 Start (0 Goals) Adam Armstrong

3 Starts (0 Goals) Mehdi Abeid

30 Starts (2 Goals) Gabriel Obertan

You also have to bear in mind that Obertan’s 30 career starts in the Premier League have come over the space of seven seasons at both Manchester United and Newcastle United.

The other midfield/attacking players likely to still be at Newcastle are Vurnon Anita, Yoan Gouffran and Jack Colback.

The pressure on Colback could be immense with such an inexperienced line-up around him, not great when you factor in that he has already picked up ten yellow cards for Newcastle and still a third of the season to go.

Yoan Gouffran Newcastle UnitedWhen it comes to Anita and Gouffran, they may have a decent number of Premier League appearances behind them but for me they are nowhere near the standard needed, especially if we are looking for players to help those who are either progressing from the youth ranks and/or only have experience of other leagues.

Whatever signings are made in the summer, it is difficult to imagine many, if any, coming from other Premier League clubs. Jack Colback probably a one-off, having happily already been a Newcastle United supporter and available for no transfer fee last summer. So adding more foreign players from weaker leagues such as Holland, France etc to the likely pool of inexperienced Newcastle players that remain, will leave a lot of questions to be answered.

Newcastle United are already a club without leadership both on and off the pitch. Whilst Saturday was maybe a real extreme, it is only the latest of a long line of matches where when things turn bad there seems to be nobody stepping up and inspiring those around them, especially in the case of Captain Fabricio Coloccini. This current run of only two wins in thirteen matches bears all the hallmarks of the second half of last season and the near relegation the year before that, once the team get into a losing run they find it near impossible to put a halt to it and put a run of unbeaten matches together.

Adding new players from weaker leagues to that kind of scenario makes it so hard for signings to settle and produce, just look at how Remy Cabella was messed about and ridiculous expectations put on him by Pardew and the club before he’d even kicked a ball for Newcastle.

At the back it is a better situation in terms of experience but while the individuals may have a decent number of appearances between them, the stats and performances we watch tell us this is the weakest part of the team. Williamson is poor, Coloccini is a fading force, while Krul has never again regularly reached the heights of the displays in the fifth place season of 2011/12. Janmaat has been a great buy but I still remain unconvinced that Haidara and Dummett are first choice Premier League players. The fact that only Burnley and QPR have conceded more goals this season tells you all you need to know.

Alan Pardew talked much in the summer of this season being a new look Newcastle United, sadly it has been anything but and the signings have shown an unhealthy mixture of generally not being good enough to improve the team and/or proving prone to injury. Perez, Colback and Janmaat have proved to be good buys but the trio not good enough to make up for the selling of key players and failure to invest properly in other positions.

I can see most fans in advance of next season having a lot of ifs if they are being optimistic for our chances, as in ‘If Siem de Jong stays fit, if Remy Cabella shows the form he did in his last few matches, of these new signings hit the ground running…’

The sensible route for Newcastle United would have been for Mike Ashley to certainly do everything he can to keep Cisse and Sissoko this summer to give the team both ability and experience, whilst on balance I think Cheick Tiote should also be persevered with to see if he can bounce back – though no doubt many of you would disagree with retaining the Ivory Coast midfielder.

The bottom line is that you need a solid base of experienced Premier League players to take you from season to season.

However, the erratic running of Newcastle United could come to a head this summer, with the failings of Newcastle’s transfer policy compounded by a ridiculous situation where the manager/head coach has no say at all in who comes or goes.



  • Your ‘if’ about “ifs” is ifing ridiculous!!

  • Sickandtiredstill

    Very sadly true. If they are good enough they get sold on. If they aren’t good enough then we are stuck with them on long contracts and just making up the numbers on the pitch.

  • No Brainer

    Can’t see any champions league team of note looking at Sissoko’s recent form and deciding he’s the one for them and forking out the £20m that NUFC will want for him. He isn’t a game changer at the moment for nufc which is what all CL teams in the major football countries want.

    Cisse is a difficult one, if there is an Ings (unlikely I know) able to come in then I can see him going but i can’t honestly see anyone paying any more than 5-7mil for an old boy with a dodgy knee.

    I would have thought that it would be more likely we’d get a 10-15m offer for Perez given his obvious talent and rosy future.

    Tiote can go I’d have abeid ahead of him and apart form any game away at man city Vurnon (if we can’t off load him) can be his understudy.  If we can get £15m for those two then we could just by a really decent cdm to go with Mehdi.

    A striker and a centre half are musts of course but the thing that needs to change is the general doom and gloom.
    Everythings always seen as sh*te when it isn’t really is it (APART FROM SATURDAY NIGHT)

  • SGM

    Kin’ell  !!, after only 2 paragraphs it was obvious that this was another doom and gloom piece from another bored sports writer, how long did it take him to write that? crack open the Prozak. Why do people think that other clubs are going to be knocking the door down to get the likes of Cisse, Tiote and Sissoko there nowt more than average players? Bring on the cheap kids, they have something to prove.

  • Polarboy

    SGM Yeah bringing on cheap kids is a great game plan, I don’t know why more clubs don’t just play their kids, foolproof obviously and a hell of a lot cheaper than paying decent money for players. If it’s a doom and gloom piece as you call it is well deserved, perhaps you should take your head out of your jacksie and take a look around.

  • Alexh1984

    Something’s going on at NUFC. We’ve seen over the last 8 years how tight Ashley is prepared to be but this last window took that to a whole new level. I’ve never seen a club so short of defensive options and I mean any club, let alone a premier league one. MYB and santon sold/loaned. Streete loaned and Taylor already confirmed injured. It feels like he’s planning something. Sale? Maybe but will a buyer be around, villa couldn’t find one. He certainly seems to be stockpiling money by any means necessary. Profits are expected at £50m. It may well depend on the Rangers situation, if he has the chance to purchase them I could see him pulling out of NUFC and recalling his loan to complete the Rangers deal. I could quite imagine him dropping us into administration in order to recoup his money as a last kick in the teeth for us. He did it to USC.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    Alexh1984 I don’t think he has any intention of buying Rangers. Never did. He’s already figured out the profitable parts of football and that is the retail operation, supported by advertising. He had that tied up at Rangers back in Oct 2012 and the advertising he just got for 1 quid in return for handing back Ibrox naming rights.
    As I’ve said on other posts, he now has SD involved in Oldham, Sheff Weds, us and Rangers. We played all three in pre-season friendlies last Summer.

  • KevinTaylor1

    SGM Just to put the record straight Mark Jensen is not another bored sports writer. I think I am correct in saying that he co-founded the Mag all those years ago. I can remember chatting with him years ago at Maiden Castle when Kevin Keegan held open training sessions. He is a die hard supporter who people should listen to. Fair enough if you do not agree with him, but don’t lump him with some of the other people who constantly slag Newcastle off for the sake of it

  • Sickandtiredstill

    Alexh1984 Sorry, forgot his/SD involvement with Portsmouth and Carlisle as well.

  • RossYogiGraver

    I agree with all you said but let’s be real here any money recouped by fcb by selling players is extremely unlikely to be reinvested in players

  • Nicolaus Copernicus

    Thoughtful, well-written article. You don’t have to have a particularly acute imagination to see it pan out as described. 
    Very sad indeed.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    KevinTaylor1 SGM His article points out the facts that all sane minded supporters understand and opinions they share.. 
    No matter what happens here, some still choose to believe Fatty has a cunning plan, soon to be unveiled, to actually achieve that 5 year plan.
    You know, the model of Arsenal, which then changed to Villa’s. Well, we definitely seem to be following Villa, I’ll give him that much!

  • StephenBowers

    Heard Mick Lowes on the radio this morning saying we should support the team and not the regime, much as I like this fellas comentry for me the two go hand in hand.
    Has anyone considered that MA just doesn’t know what he’s doing?
    For me I won’t go back but I will admit that clubs have been run a lot worse with Blackpool taking the the prise for an owner looking after personal interests ahead of the club.
    Shame really but the honest truth is I passed caring.

  • Dubaiexpat

    No Brainer What is there to be happy about?

  • The Mag

    Sickandtiredstill KevinTaylor1 SGM Thanks for all the comments. Good to have young players getting a chance but throwing them into a weak/inexperienced team can stop their career before it has even started. Same with players from abroad, getting up to speed in the PL needs to be managed properly.
    Mark

  • The Mag

    No Brainer The fact that France have constantly selected Sissoko no matter what his Newcastle form has been, suggests he would have plenty of takers I believe.
    I think for Ashley getting better paid players off the wage bill is at least as important as any transfer fees for likes of Cisse and Tiote, so think he is more than ready to compromise on asking price, just as he appears to have done with the alleged fee written into Santon’s loan deal.
    Mark

  • Brian Standen

    Whether you agree or disagree we ALL entitled to an opinion! I have not shared the same opinion with Mark many times but I fully respect it. This article however makes perfect sense!

  • No Brainer

    As all that is alleged as you say we’ll have to wait and see at this moment in time there is no evidence of a need and desire to sell cisse or tiote. It was reported on hete that a bid was going in for cisse and later that it had been rejected.
    in Sissoko’s caae he did some hawking of his talents during jauary and he certainly didn’t recieve any interest from the clubs he wanted to go to He may be our big time player but he us not putting in big player performances at the moment. Whilst I believed he was out of pisition on the right the balance of the team looked better that way he and jack are getting in each others way and jack has put in better box to box perfornances than moussa this season. With that in mind flig him he doesn’t seem to be loving the toon.
    dubaiexpat theres lots to be happy about
    arabian peninsula weather
    the shocking but amazing sight of sand storns 24 stories up in your office bkock
    thats you for me
    its a trip tmrw to milan for four days tmrw
    my son coming fourth in todays cross country event
    the lush tea my wide made and some relief its pay day when I get back

  • Alexh1984

    I know what your saying but I don’t think he’s got the grip he wants at Rangers. It’s highly likely king will get his way at the EGM and the board will be replaced. I don’t know enough about the loans he’s provided Rangers to know whether they can repaid and the retail returned to the clubs control but what I do know is Ashley doesn’t like to be made a fool of. If the only way he can beat King is to drop NUFC and buy out Rangers I wouldn’t bet against him doing it.

  • Greggy164

    Did he mention the Rangers 5?

  • MilitantGeordie

    SGM Maybe we keep seeing doom and gloom articles because there’s really no optimism or hope left with the club being ran in such a disgusting profit driven way? Can you say you are looking forward to the summer transfer window and next season? I bet every other clubs fans are but what do we have to look forward to at Newcastle United? Another window of selling and a season of no cups and a survival battle.. let’s all get excited eh?

  • Jarra Jihadi

    We have had eight years of under investmet

  • Jarra Jihadi

    We have had eight years of lack of ambition, no investment, denuding of hope & arrogant dismissive, I’ll informed administration & you say everything is not shite? Well I’m afraid you are either a retarded idiot or a wind up merchant.Your none de plumme suggests the former.
    The one Ray of hope we have is the new TV Deal.
    People say we are stuck with Ashley because he won’t walk away from 100 Million Minimum per season, well consider this…
    When teams in the bottom 3 know they are guaranteed such riches they will have no qualms about spending large amonts of money in transfer fees & wages to guarantee their premiership survival. Whilst at the same time Ashley is such a pathological Mizer He will never be able to bring himself to spend reasonable sums of money to make us competitive no matter how huge our income is.
    The only conclusion to be drawn is that whilst once we outstripped Man Utd in the Transfer Market i.e. Alan Shearer and now we are told we can’t compete with Southampton & Derby very soon Ashley will be selling our players to ‘Bigger’ Clubs like QPR & Burnley.
    When the new TV Deal kicks in Ashley’s business model of no nett expenditure, buy cheap, sell expensive will become untenable. NUFC will season on season become progressively less able to compete & very soon get relegated.
    Anyone who thinks Ashley has not already recouped his investment is delusional and with the advent of the new TV Deal now is the best chance he will ever have of finding a buyer to pay his outrageous fee for OUR club.
    I wish the Fat Parasite nothing but ill but if a huge pay day rids us him I say bring it on.
    Croesus lived & died an empty life & Ashley will too !
    One City, One Team, One Heart!

  • Sickandtiredstill

    Jarra Jihadi Ignore him, mate. he can start an argument in an empty room, which is all he is actually after. He’s an Ashley-ite through and through and only changes tack when he’s losing an argument and being made to look the [email protected]@k he actually is.

  • No Brainer

    Jarra Jihadi One City with fans from the town 8 miles away?
    There are many reasons for our demise this season, we had an awful start and the manager made some mistakes coupled with a bit of bad luck despite good performances.

    The vitriol towards him was utterly uncalled for and not befitting the so called best supporters. The truth of the clubs transfer policy that no first team players leave without a replacement being purchased is borne out by the last two major transfers out of Cabaye and Debuchy, where the guy who sanctioned Cabaye’s was dismissed the next day, with Debuchy Janmatt had to be in before he was allowed to leave we also added some decent quality to the squad with Cabella and Du Jong.

    I love the hindsight visionaries of many contributors many who were happy to shout from the roof tops that WE would bever be able to attract players of Siem’s quality. Then now that he has been injured for most of the season the club should have foreseen that and not purchased him  at all.

    If ever there was a case of a self fulfilling prophecy its NUFC and its fans.

    Its obvious the team loses all surety whenever they go a goal down, as though confidence is drained to the stands of SJP, with fans in a state of uneasy suspense anxious for a win desperate not to be embarrassed. A symptom of over confidence that was unwarranted from our mid nineties escapades maybe but maybe it comes from a hope that this is their only route to success happiness as the toon is only part of their lives where that may possibly happen.

  • No Brainer

    Sickandtiredstill Jarra Jihadi And yet you do need to get involved?
    Its not my birthday for a while but thanks for more gifts

    It is impossible surely for even you to genuinely believe this comment. You can’t honestly believe you have ever made me feel like i have been proven incorrect! I don’t change tack, if anything I’m kinda steadfast, don’t you think? 

    As for being a [email protected]@k that is an oft repeated slant of yours but as I am a bloke with one I don’t see how I could ever take offence.

  • No Brainer

    The Mag No Brainer Is it true that Santon asked his agent to find him a new club? IS 3-4m the right amount for a fella who didn’t have a good game against a poor celtic side last week.

  • Demented_Man

    Jarra Jihadi Good point about the new tv money.  The fact is we’re not that far ahead of the bottom teams in terms of squad quality either.  It wouldn’t take much to overtake us.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    No Brainer Jarra Jihadi  There is only one reason for all this and that lies at the feet of the fat bloke from Kent.
    Vitriol against Pardew was also uncalled for?
    If you ain’t incorrect in your mind, you need therapy sharpish and to stay away from the keyboard.
    But I’m sure Charnley and Fatty appreciate your undying support and for keeping the message alive.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    No Brainer The Mag Is that true, Brainer? Jan 14th –
    “I am happy here – I still have one and a half years left on my contract and I will probably have to speak to Newcastle soon. I’ve always said I am happy here.”
    Newcastle United have rejected claims that defender Davide Santon is set for a move back to his former club Inter Milan.

  • No Brainer

    Sickandtiredstill No Brainer The Mag Posturing, It would be perfect sense for a footballer who wanted to play football who now had two players in front of him in the pecking order, to ask his agent to do some leg work.
    It was also reported by Santon that as soon as he knew Inter were interested he was wanted to go.
    Does anyone think that inter had been tracking him long term with an eye to a move?

    As for denying the deal hasn’t the club recently been quiet on deals until they are done?

  • Sickandtiredstill

    No Brainer Sickandtiredstill The Mag Sure. Once again you side with the club line. No surprise there.
    I guess Mrs Santon just wasn’t in the loop either.

  • No Brainer

    Sickandtiredstill No Brainer The Mag Didn’t she quickly pipe down? When reading the words she actually wrote it was that “….. without getting a chance to play…..which has forced him out”. 

    Does that not infer his position was that he should be playing or he is off?

    Not siding with the club? That is your only retort, does anyone other than those involved really know? That’s the only thing we are sure of. 
    As for players being honest and straight forward about their moves in football, history tells me to be a little wary of their honesty.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    No Brainer Sickandtiredstill The Mag or of course…he’s not playing so we’ll get him off the wage bill. A line which I recall you telling all of us was good business?

    Shame that doesn’t apply to the mythical Ferryra then eh? You appear to have absolutely no issues over agents or player ability when it comes to that marvelous piece of club business. How come?

    Yes therefore, you do always always side with the club. No matter what topic is raised, you raise the party/club line and drum it out again and again.

    Just as you are doing here once again.

  • No Brainer

    Sickandtiredstill No Brainer The Mag
    This is all very sad, is there anything i can do to help?

    As with the Carroll deal it is not necessarily the instigator of the deal that is the only or even main beneficiary. Of course you have neglected the words that those involved have used and used an assumed phrase to try and make a point.

    I’ve said before the only ones who truly know what went on is those involved. That isn’t you or I, on reflection club doing a good bit of business for the club then yes I do think they have, Davide’s ability now or in future isn’t at a level that nufc should be at.

    Of course you suggested I was being hypocritical as in one discussion I said we have a top notch squad and in another said we need a CB and a striker.

    It was easy then to show how the two views are not contradictory just as those here are not party line. As for being a supporter of Ashley well yes i do support many of the things he does. However there are many things the club could do better. My opinion of what that is, is completely different to yours, your impish arguments of a poorly run club could be batted away with a rich man simply buying the club the barcelona and Real Madrid teams and installing Pep as manager. That shows how shallow you are, however as we always see in the champions league there is always someone better who wins the next year. The absolute truth is that all the hate disappeared during October and November a few wins hides the fickle fans.

    Your judgement appears clouded. It is very difficult to plan for mid table which you often assume and accuse of. Neglecting to understand that there are many factors which influence the seasons result, injuries, refereeing decisions, divots on the pitch even.If you expect every thing to be rosy then it’s clear your not in a good place maybe time to take stock and have some balanced review. You’re maybe putting to much of your emotional desire for life into Newcastle United, its important but there are surely much bigger things going on in your life that deserve such strong passionate endeavour that you pour in to the hate you expel here for the clubs owner.

    I have absolutely no knowledge of Ferryra’s transfer, it hasn’t worked out for anyone has it? Much the same way that Darren McDonough’s time  was a pile o’ as was Bebe at Man u.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    No Brainer Sickandtiredstill The Mag Get a real job as you plainly have far too much time on your hands. 
    I suppose life gets lonely in retirement with no one but the Mrs to rant at and lecture.