The Newcastle v West Ham match on Sunday, for me, can definitely be summed up in two words. Relief and Positivity.

The latter is a word that a few of us will have to get our dictionaries out for, but I can promise you, it’s a word, it still exists, and if there was ever a catalyst for positivity, then yesterday was it!

(To feature like Jonathan, send in your articles for our website to [email protected] – all views those of the author etc etc)

The day started off with Mike Ashley giving his first ever TV interview and stated in no uncertain terms that he is here for the long run. So where does that leave the boycotters/protesters?

If anything, we have some clarity, and at the very least something to look forward to this summer going into the next season.

We all have our opinions on Mike Ashley. I myself met him and was lucky enough to chat with him in the boardroom at West Ham away earlier in the season. Contrary to what most of us would think, he came across as a genuine, honest and very nice man.

Don’t get me wrong, I have never been a fan, and probably never truly will be, but he is our owner and as a football club, we need to pull together. Mike Ashley has talked to the talk, now we must wait and see if he is going to walk the walk.

For the first time this season, from start to finish, from goalkeeper to centre-forward, we all put in a graft. Daryl Janmaat and Jack Colback again were fantastic, it’s probably between those two for my player of the season.

The defence was steady and safe, although it must be noted that they only had big Carlton Cole to look after.

Now I’ve been going home and away every single week for 15 years now and I can say for sure, controversially or not, that Vurnon Anita’s performance was the best I’ve ever seen from a toon player at SJP.

He’s faced much criticism since signing, but he covered every single blade of grass and it was his performance that optimized what Newcastle fans want from their players.

Jonas Gutierrez will forever be a Newcastle United legend. It’s a strange thing being a legend at Newcastle. Usually legends are the great players, the ones who are record signings, win you big games, trophies. At Newcastle it’s different.

Our heroes, our legends, are the ones who connect with us on a human level, the footballers that we can relate to, share our emotions with. Newcastle United legends don’t have to be great footballers (don’t get me wrong, Jonas is a great footballer), but a true legend is a Newcastle player who not only plays for himself and his family, but also plays for the city, its people and as Jonas himself put it, “is a part of the Geordie Nation.” Jonas Gutierrez will always be an adopted Geordie and a great role model to any young lad growing up supporting Newcastle.

I have never liked the word ‘invest’ in terms of football and transfer spending, it’s a term that’s bandied about too much at Newcastle United. I study economics at university and one of our basic principles is that ‘an investment is made on a product with an intention that wealth will be created, or a profit will be made on that product in the future’.

newcastle v west ham

Now to me, that’s not good enough, Newcastle United should be buying players. Not to sell on at a later date, not to make a profit out of. We should be buying players to win trophies. If that’s not the case, then what is the point? This summer, it’s imperative that we spend money. It’s my belief that we need 4/5 major signings, otherwise, next season could be more of the same.

Finally, I was luckily enough to sit in the Directors Box yesterday (paid for the privelege), as a present for my Dad’s 50th birthday, and I was the only person who stayed behind at the end of the game to watch the protest in the Gallowgate corner.

I have respect for every Newcastle fan, and of the 150/200 that did stay, they showed their passion and emotions in a mature, grown up manner. However, there were 49,000 toon fans at the game yesterday, which suggests that a large majority of fans are now going to be looking forward to next season and fully getting behind the club.

If you want to go the game next year, great. If you don’t want to go the game and support Mike Ashley’s regime, then great. It’s a personal decision. But let’s all get behind the team and push the club forward to where it should be. For the moment, at least, positivity is the word.

All I want from my Football club is ambition and a chance to dream. This summer will be the most important in the history of the football club, it’s do or die. Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley, over to you…

You can follow the author on Twitter @JonathanComyn

  • nad1892

    NUFCTheMag JonathanComyn (1) I wouldn’t trust the FCB if he said the sky was blue. By goin on live TV he was actually putting NUFC up for

  • IainT0842

    Ignorance is bliss.

  • nad1892

    NUFCTheMag JonathanComyn (3) It’s all about the pound for porky. Someone offers enough of them, he’s off. 8 years too late.

  • prestondave

    So, shall we just forget about the last 8 years and pretend nothing bad happened.? The only reason fatty came out to speak was because the way he has shockingly ran the club into the ground is now very much out in the open and the footballing world is watching. If it wasnt for that then wait for more of the same next season. Action speaks louder than words. Dont hold your breath.

  • Marklp

    Good article. Ashley has to get it right this summer because the whole world has listened to his interview and if we go into next season with carver as manager and a five million investment, he will be lucky if there is 30,000 at SJP. He isn’t a stupid bloke and that interview was calculated, he will know that if he doesn’t back it up he’s in a world of pain. I also think that if he is a football fan as he claims, the atmospher on Sunday would be enough to want to take our club forward. As you say it’s over to him but it’s his last chance to succeed no more mistakes. even keegan says it’s not him it’s the clowns he employs.

  • RexN

    Some interesting points and well done for having a go at airing your thoughts.

    Perhaps your university Economics department should take a broader perspective on what is meant by “invest”. Investment can take many forms, whether micro or macro, after all, some consideration should be given to the Keynes circular flow model. Some investments are short term, some for longer, some to increase revenue, some to reduce costs, some to enhance quality.

    I look back at the likes of Cabaye. PSG were prepared to pay to secure later stages of the Champions League with the extra revenue that brings. His payback period was shirt. The same could be said for the likes of Ba and Remy at Chelsea.

    As an economist, you could also take a different perspective on whether supporters should, as you put it, get behind the team. I am sure you will respect those of us who want to use market forces to make Ashley change, or leave.

  • Brian Standen

    Surprisingly I’m with you on this one , action do indeed speak louder than words!

  • BlueNUFCfan

    NUFCTheMag JonathanComyn You’re going to have busy day deleting grammatically imprecise abuse. Good luck!

  • sleenes

    NUFCTheMag JonathanComyn there doesn’t appear to be much positivity on here, but I for one share your views. MA gave assurances so let’s

  • sleenes

    NUFCTheMag JonathanComyn see if he is true to his word b4 slagging him off and branding him a known liar. It could well be a good summer!

  • Snowie

    I do not have a degree in economics therefore can somebody explain the logic of calling the one person who can invest in the team a fat bast**d at every opportunity

  • RexN

    Snowie You don’t need a degree in Economics. As you say, he is the one man who CAN invest. He is also the man who has chosen NOT to invest for the last 7 years.

    Economics describes one way of expressing likes, dislikes and preferences. Vocal expression is an alternative.

  • warjacqui

    Great article.  I must admit, after his voluntary speech on sky, if you had to measure my love for the “geordie girls are easy slags” duo or John “Thatchers dream” Hall, Ashley isn’t quite so bad! (Unless he let’s us down yet again).

  • geordyjim

    warjacqui  Don’t you mean WHEN he lets us down, I don’t hold much hope with his track record.

  • Wallsendstu

    Some times I think if you go about with your head in the clouds you come back down to earth with a bump. We will have to wait and see if what the fat man said turns into actual signings and thus gives us more of a chance to start showing a little ambition. This can be shown very quickly if Penfold gets his finger out and selects a manager/head coach who has the ambition to aim for the top (even if we know we won’t reach the pinicle) who can motivate all those around him not just the playing staff, who can get fans off their seats and enjoying watching players who are willing and adaptable to change tactics during a game and put in the effort to try and win each match. The choice has to be right and he must have the last say in player purchase, this cannot be left up to the football board as the fat man called them as currently that means Carr only as the others are not football people. The restraint of not paying the level of wages and fees for players that will get you to a higher level has to go and we have to compete in the transfer market with the likes of Southampton, Stoke, Swansea etc.
    If the club communicate their intentions (we are not stupid enough to think we will be told everything) and be honest with what they are doing on a regular (not once in a blue moon) basis they will find that the supporters will ease off with protests, boycotts and the like. They will start to unite supporters they have actively attempted to drive a wedge between and slowly bridges will be built and the toon will be united as has been seen in the past and although the owner and the directors will never be really loved they can be respected if they show that they want the best for NUFC and not only MASH Holdings.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    warjacqui “You lot don’t know how horrible we can be”. Have you forgotten that one already because of Ashley’s 3 mins of BS?

  • Toonarden

    Sir Jimmy Saville was very popular with all and sundry and it’s said that Eva Braun found Hitler a ‘very nice man’. Means absolutely nowt. History is littered with nice, pleasant people who have a much darker side to them.
    We shouldn’t be fooled by Ashley. He hasn’t made billions by chance. A leopard never changes its spots they say. The choice of manager will be crucial in seeing just how ‘sincere’ he is in taking us forward.
    Incidentally the author of this piece is extolling the virtue of Anita in the last game. In the first twenty minutes he hardly placed a pass correctly and his attempt to score on a four against none situation was laughable.
    Keep the overboard praise until somebody really deserves it.
    By the way I’ve watched the Toon since 1958 so if Vernon’s display was the best you’ve ever seen at SJP you’ve missed out a lot.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    Marklp Can’t be any meaningful change when he chooses people like Charnley to run the Club for him. He had the opportunity for all of this 7 years ago and instead of letting KK get on with the job, he had to put his cronies over him. 
    Ashley’s track record with football related appointments has been nothing short of comical. Sorry therefore, he plainly is a very stupid bloke when it comes to this football Club. Wise/Jimenez cost him KK. Kinnear (again) cost him his ally Llambias. Charnley gave us Carver and almost relegation again.
    What’s not so stupid about any of that?

  • Porciestreet

    Strikes me that Ashleys press was all lies and b****x aimed at cajoling fans to renew season tickets. He’s lied through his gritted teeth before now but I wouldn’t trust a sound he utters .  HWTF.
    Ashley Out. ASAP.

  • GToon

    We will know for sure in 3 or 4 years time when the players bought haven’t been sold to recoup this summers necessary outlay. If the books are put aside and a winning team is higher on the agenda. But that’s a big if to me. It starts with the appointment of a decent coach. And I don’t mean one with leather seats and tinted glass either!

  • NottsToon

    “Where does that leave the protesters/ boycotters?”
    Exactly where it did before this latest round of bull sh*t from the owner, fighting a battle for the return of our football club.

  • GToon

    But it needs to be a good few years too, not just a good summer. To put a downer on things if you think about it there are a number of players wanting to leave and a number out of contract so it was always going to be hectic anyway. It’s what comes in that is purely intended to boost the starting 11 that matters to me. Who is the left back? Who will play centre half? A creative midfielder. Two goal scorers, one of whom needs to hold the ball up. Let’s see.

  • GToon

    And feeling that their efforts might be forcing his hand at least.

  • glindoe

    NUFCTheMag JonathanComyn well put and agree Anita was outstanding.

  • Hetton Mag

    I don’t get it. Three minutes of waffle and all is forgiven? I sincerely hope that the best interpretation of Ashley’s words come true but what will you do if it is just another con? Given the way he treats his staff, his previous contempt for you, the fans, it strikes me as naïve to believe him. Anyone who writes about meeting MA says he is polite even charming but even a casual look at his business dealings shows he is ruthless to get where he wants to be. I see his stage managed interview as nothing more than something he knew he had to do rather than any genuine change. All he has said really is I don’t want to be in this mess again let’s see how much he is willing to commit to make that happen. The appointment of the manager will be a massive indicator, Carver or McClaren will tell us where the club is headed.

  • NottsToon

    Bless him, he’s only a young un.

  • wor monga

    Good article putting over the views of a ‘silent majority’ supporter
    who’s followed the team home and away for 15yrs solid…and who even took the
    time to stay behind and show some empathy with the protest movement…and what
    does he get for that ?…

    …a slagging off on this site from that same flag waving
    minority …not the best way to make friends and influence the other 49,000 plus
    that went away happily chuffed that the Toon ‘weren’t gannin doon’…methinks

  • SGM

    NottsToon  It leaves the protesters…………..Dwindling.

  • kuromori

    @sleenes Fair point but he has already been branded a known liar – by KK’s employment tribunal, no less. How do you know when a liar’s telling the truth?

  • TonnekToon

    I always think of Fatty as a Shark , soulless  behind the eyes but always looking for his next victim . Its how he made his millions .

  • GToon

    Look, if he rights his wrongs then people are less likely to protest. That’s a good thing. We all want the same thing, a successful team. Sometimes people need reminding of that fact. That’s all. Everybody makes mistakes, it’s what they do after them. He’s made some noises but let’s see what actually happens. And surely you can’t blame us for being sceptical can you?

  • NottsToon

    Haven’t seen you around here much for the last few weeks, I thought you had dwindled out of existence. I should have know you would reappear like a great full lap dog as soon as your master spoke.
    Don’t worry petal, it will only take a few weeks of promises not being met for you to vanish back under your rock again.

  • gazchampion

    GToon i’d like to think so…hope the recent antics on and off field has finally woken fatboy mike from his profit- induced ignorance! …Until he does ‘invest’ i.e.spend on some quality and keep them then we can perhaps dream of winning something!

  • gazchampion

    prestondave Agreed mate, believe nowt until it happens!

  • gazchampion

    @nad1892 NUFCTheMag JonathanComyn …is that “up for sale”, nad? 
    I never looked at his interview as an advert but an interesting alternative?
    Unfortunately, like EVERYTHING fatboy mike and his crew have said… I believe none of it until it actually happens. 
    hah… FCB said continued investment? we’ll see!

  • keeganRescueUs

    Ted Bundy was a charmer too and look what he got up to in the evenings!!!

  • Adelphi

    Ashley has now publically pledged to stay and invest and all parties, not least the fans, need to find common ground to unite and move forward. Setting up a new internet based pressure group every couple of months, offering little more than predictable abuse, is really not the way to achieve anything whether the desire is more enthusiasm and investment from the present owner or being viewed as an attractive proposition by new investors.
    St James’ on Sunday was a perfect illustration of what can happen when owner, staff, players and fans are united and that needs to be built on going forward.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    Adelphi Actually, he said he’d “continue to invest”. 
    Given that he has continually had a minus on net spend and funded purchases (of lesser quality and value) through player sales, I’m intrigued as to what it is you believe from that statement?
    Sunday was actually a prime example of the failure of Ashley’s ownership and football model which almost resulted in relegation once again.
    Can’t really fathom why anyone is getting excited by all of this, without any evidence (yet) of it happening. 8 years of this and people give him the benefit of the doubt just because he opened his mouth for the first time (for all of a couple of sentences).

  • mm1953

    gazchampion NUFCTheMag JonathanComyn  if we don’t get a manager he will just blame charnley.but I thnk this is the last chance he has got to prove us wrong.

  • Adelphi

    You need to read what was written more carefully. Ashley’s net spend was not mentioned and who exactly is “excited ” ?
    You may see bed sheets and Pardew out. Com type movements as the way forward but most of us see them as tedious, embarrassing and counter productive and want something different.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    Adelphi “I’ll continue to invest” is what the man said live on TV.

    So, where’s the investment, exactly?

    You may see protest as embarrassing, but I see a complete lack of interest or a willingness to do anything about forcing a change just as embarrassing, if not more so.

    Support didn’t bring that statement. His own failures, along with national media pressure brought on by the protests, is what did it. 

    Or perhaps I have it all wrong and Ashley’s really a great guy who has been doing his best and is now going to try harder (again). Is that it?

  • gazchampion

    mm1953 gazchampion NUFCTheMag JonathanComyn He (they) have lied in the past and they will lie to us again. mark my words, this will not be the last time…this ‘shock tactic’ public showing of the FGB is just another exercise to ‘calm us down’ and help him sell some season tickets, etc.etc.
    I reckon the recent bad publicity HAS actually hurt fatboy mike (he doesn’t like it!) and that is the ONLY reason why he has jumped in front of the sky sports cameras…just before kick off on Sunday… to surprise everyone (which he did) but to tell us some prepared bare-arsed lies AGAIN to appease the Toon Army specifically and the media generally.

    I really DO hope I’m wrong this time but I just cannot see him getting his wallet out to buy us 4 or 5 desperately needed quality players.He (I mean , we) won’t win anything without them… 
    Then they announce today that they will be no immediate decisions made…HOW LONG D THEY NEED? 
    Oh, well…we’ll see. Same old 5h1t, methinks

  • RaySte

    RexN we al have wikipedia pal

  • RaySte

    Is this propaganda?

  • Kevin Halliday

    We should be buying players to suit the clubs needs and not fatty’s pockets. Investing doesn’t only mean buying to sell on for a profit.

  • Opiner1

    It’s ridiculous that people still believe Ashley has any ambition for the club. A couple of words orchestrated by his PR manager in response to an interviewer represented by the same PR manager, and suddenly people think he wants to take us to the upper end of the league. We’ve been hearing the same thing for his entire 8 year tenure: let’s wait until summer, that’s when we’ll really see what Ashley’s plan is. Then when we do nothing or the bare minimum in the summer, people will tell us to wait until January because that’s when we’ll really see what Ashley’s plan is. The season ends and the cycle begins again. Wake up man, the evidence of Ashley’s attitude to this football club has been laid out over the past 8 years. Anybody who thinks this summer will see a complete turn around in ambition is either willfully ignorant or just an idiot.

  • Opiner1

    And what if it isn’t a good summer? Wait until the next one and see if he comes good then, then if not we can wait until the summer after, or the one after that until he’s had another 8 years of doing nothing.

  • NottsToon

    Nail > Head.
    Well said that man.

  • dav_art

    Really interesting article.  It’s nice to see something balanced for a change.

    I hope, but don’t expect, Mike Ashley to get a good manager in an start investing in and holding onto players.  But he said it live on TV and he seemed genuine and surprisingly nervous.

    As you say, over to him. If he gets it wrong this time though…

  • wearethenorth


  • LeazesEnder

    Are you mental?

  • LeazesEnder

    wor monga been wading through treacle of late, desperately trying to row back a tide of public opinion that turned more viciously and more rapidly than they ever imagined.

    A Tide of public opinion is not a minority….you are!