After the much reported Mike Ashley interview on Sky Sports at the end of last season, for many fans there was a glimmer of hope about this transfer window and the coming season.  The possibility that lessons had been learnt and that real progress would be made.

We were promised that we would be targeting an 8th place finish in the league and attempting to win a trophy.  Well how are things stacking up so far in that department?

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

We’ve hired a new manager and nearly a month later have managed to bring together his coaching team.  For some this is a sign of progress but ultimately we’ve put together a management team involving a head coach from the lower leagues, along with his backroom staff from said lower league side, as well as another coach, who before being linked to us, was largely unheard of in England.

What about signings? Some say the window only opened a few days ago but let’s be absolutely honest here, transfers have been coming in for the past month, with only the registration waiting to be transferred on or after July 1st.  Every Premier League club has signed at least one player except Crystal Palace, Manchester City and Newcastle United.

If we are to challenge for the top eight then we need to catch up with the likes of Stoke City, Southampton, West Ham, Everton & Swansea.  All of those sides have made excellent acquisitions so far this window, that improve their starting 11 and would likely improve ours.

Instead of signings we get talk of meetings to discuss transfers, discussions of possibly bidding, rumours of unrest in the board and news stories of only targeting players running out of contract.

mike ashley

That last point is key to me, it’s nothing new, but quite importantly … it’s nothing new.

It’s still all about the ‘value for money’ and not about signings the players we need.  It’s why we have about six central midfielders but next to no wingers or strikers of any pedigree.

It’s a policy of signing so we can make money through sales and not to try and get success on the pitch.

You may think ‘it’s only the beginning of July’ but we’re a week away from leaving for the US and we will be unlikely to complete signings whilst over there.  When we’re back we’ll have two weeks until the start of the season.

As usual, and as most of us suspected, it looks like we’re in for a long and uneventful transfer window and another difficult season.

Don’t worry though, Mike Ashley will probably give an interview on Sky to tell us it’ll be alright.

Dan has his very own blog which you can visit at and you can follow him on Twitter @nufcbase

  • Andgeo

    Simple answer is no. Those other clubs are not incumbered by mike ashley.

  • toonterrier

    Maybe these so called smaller clubs have a five year plan to get them up the table and into Europe with the possibility of winning domestic cups. Or maybe they’re using there heads and their money to do what we should but wont do. Good luck to them.

  • amacdee

    The worst thing about Fatman, and there are millions of things to throw at him and his regime, is that we’re failing to match Premier League teams season by season. 

    First it was Tottenham, then Tottenham and Everton, then Tottenham, Everton and Swansea and now  Tottenham, Everton, Swansea and Saints This season it’ll be Stoke and West Ham the next. So eventually we’ll be genuine bottom four material in six or seven years time.

    So now you know the true meaning of the term “Death by a Thousand cuts”.

  • Andrew Swift

    Can Newcastle catch up with Bournemouth?

  • Shipcote Willy

    You nailed it Dan. They are still using the same methods that made Ashley a huge profit but left the team in dire straights. It’s the same old same old and they are oblivious to the trouble the club is in.

  • toon tony

    At this rate we’ll struggle to keep up with. …WATFORD, BOURNEMOUTH and NORWICH.

  • PaulMurray1

    Sorry Mag fans, but if I were one of you I would be worried with McLaren at the helm, failed miserably in every major post he’s ever had and bottled it with Derby last season

  • PabloBrown

    toonterrier So called smaller clubs? Do people think Newcastle are bigger than the mentioned clubs? Newcastle have a bigger local following than these clubs,but that doesn’t make them a bigger club.

  • Blackandwhiteblood

    PaulMurray1 Because your manager has won more than McClaren? Didn”t really put much thought into that, did you? Then again, Everton fan? Nuff said really.

  • Mal44

    We are bigger than most of them, but not successful. There is a difference.

  • ArtyH

    O.K so define what is a big club. NUFC has home gates nearly every week of over 50k, and possibly the highest levels of money in the bank of any other EPL team, most of the top 10 clubs are in debt. Oh we know we are a crap team in a very bad place right now, but NUFC is a big club, its just being run very badly by the current owner. A decent custodian with a little football knowledge could make NUFC a top 3 club and make himself a fortune. After all a fortune has been made on the back of the club and its been run down for the last 8 years, with some decent management and investment it could be the entertainers again on Tyneside, just needs the right moves.

  • paulgowland1973

    amacdee  6 or 7 years time try next season if no one signs then ill say we are relegated

  • Peter Lamb


  • Cuse

    Here’s a suggestion.

    Instead of equating big name players, signed in a hurry for huge fees and ridiculous wages with “success” or “ambition” or being a “big club”, why not look at how that’s worked out for us in the past 20-odd years?

    Oh look. We won nothing. We had a throttling debt pile which meant more of each season’s revenue was spent servicing debt not investing.

    The mentality of NUFC fans on the Mag and Chronicle comment boards is frankly, insane. Yes, we need more players. But to insist on any muppet with a semi-famous name is suicide.

  • Cuse

    Let’s look at these clubs who are apparently, more ambitious than NUFC. And excellent acquisitions, eh? Isn’t hindsight wonderful. I guarantee that the author of this piece wouldn’t have cited a single one of them as worth buying until their names appeared in the tabloids.  Then as soon as “£10m player signs for…”, NUFC fans get rabid.

    Swansea? Yes, they have one or two “big name signings”, but the rest of the squad is still paid Championship wages making the former possible – making their overall business model healthy. NUFC? We’re still paying the price for years of paying no-marks outrageous salaries.

    Southampton? Good business model. Buy players cheap on modest wages from unknown leagues (Austria) and sell them expensively. Sound familiar? Give them 2 or 3 more years and we’ll see if its still working for them.

    West Ham? Seriously? Because they’ve done what West Ham always do which is splurge mega cash on anyone available, they’re more “ambitious” than us? Are NUFC fans really that daft?

    Everton? A well run, relatively stingy club with a strict wage policy and has been for years. It lives off its youth setup – something NUFC is trying (not very well, granted) to replicate.

    Stoke? They’ve had 2 decent seasons and consistency at management level until recently. Now they’re benefiting from it. NUFC fans would have burnt down St James’ if Pulis was ever put in charge of our team. Yet he’s left Hughes with a fantastic setup.

    Sometimes, I despair at the utter lack of common sense that NUFC fans possess. We have been a club run like Leeds for years. The fact we didn’t enter the abyss like them should be celebrated. Yes, we could spend more – but I refuse to follow this herd of grumbling idiots who find conspiracy in every other clubs’ actions.

    If we haven’t signed players to strengthen the team by the close of the Transfer window – then fine. But by not buying Dimitri Payet for £10m like West Ham (I mean really. Which of you had ever heard of the kid until he signed for the Hammers) does not signal Ashley is siphoning money off. It really doesn’t.

  • NottsToon

    Dimitri Payet is an international footballer who I think many will have heard of. Don’t confuse your own lack of knowledge with truth.
    The fact is that all the above clubs are trying to improve their lot and are signing players to do this whilst we still have the same central defenders we were relegated with. See the problem yet?
    And it is the club who have told us that we can’t compete with these clubs, not the posters of The Mag.
    Wake up dopey.

  • desree

    what matters is what players and agents think and if they don’t see us as a big club, then the rest is just fluff to satisfy arguments with mackems

  • Porciestreet

    As a statement, that does not bear thnking about. You couldn’t even that as a dream would ever be possible would ya.    Ashley Out  !!!!!..

  • Porciestreet

    paulgowland1973 amacdee 
    For fkucs sake you lot, the bloody window has only just opened and we havn’t even kicked a ball yet and weve been relegated already . Go and have a night on the Broon ale, then you’ll know what it’s like to be miserable. I’m so pleased that I didn’t live my life in such negativity. Yes, we have been a shower of 5h!t, but give it a chance eh…..!

  • zemtex

    NottsToon Payet is class, his stats speak for themselves. As did Cabella’s in the same league. 

    I’ve felt my hatred for the club soften over the last month and I think I’ve finally realised why that is. I think it’s a sense of schadenfreude at watching nasty, pompous, arrogant people like yourself get wound up. The guy above you made a series of valid points and instead of engaging them you dismiss them all out of hand and go for an ad hominem attack. What a self-righteous prick you are

  • NottsToon

    The guy above me used selective points to create a narrative to reinforce the flawed conclusion which he reached, blatantly ignoring the actual conclusion which is happening right now.
    Your personal feeling towards me are irrelevant, I’ve been called worse by better.

  • Cuse

    zemtex NottsToon

    I find the whole thing despairing. Watching NUFC used to be fun. NUFC fans used to be fun.

    But the emergence of these sort of rabid, spittle-inflected rants on internet comment boards has allowed the ne’er do wells to thrive.

    And now, I’m really going to bring the house down.

    Have we ever considered why fans of other clubs laugh at us? 
    1) We believe and communicate that being a “big club” we have a divine right to be successful. Yet when clubs “smaller” than us do better than us, we patronise them, talk about crowd size and generally tell them they don’t deserve it.

    2) For time immemorial we have equated having “name” players with success. “Name” players that other clubs wouldn’t touch with a barge pole

  • G Dubz

    @Cuse Agree with some of the points, we shouldnt throw money into panic buys, that said, as with any market (lets look at economics and money here like Ashley does) if more money is flushing around we get inflation, an increase in prices. TV revenue has gone wild the last two years. Other leagues, players and agents all know premier league clubs have a wod of extra cash to play with so theres a premium for what could be considered medicore players.
    There is a danger we pay over the top for flops. As you say, if we do we arent learning from mistakes. The other danger is we ignore the changing market and refuse to pay more money in line with our competitors and get left behind.
    An already threadbare and poor quality squad needs some investment or we will go down, especially with the mood another barren window will put the fans in. The plight of our team and the TV money mean that those clubs selling players know we are getting desperate- and that we have money to spend.
    Quibbling for £3m on Austin, having “transfer meeting” after meeting with no end result, no fans forum before the end of the season…. After 8 years of deceit Ashley needs to get the fans back onside and the only way he will is spending some money.

  • Cuse

    G Dubz Good points. But there’s another element I believe has been overlooked up to now. 
    If you were Mclaren – wouldn’t you have wanted some time after taking the job to make sure you were going to get players you wanted – not just taking what the other members of the Football board told you you should have? If that’s the case – weren’t NUFC fans complaining about the manager not having enough influence under Pardew?

    I believe the team needs investment, like everyone else. I just believe the majority of fans already throwing their toys out of the pram about lack of ambition in the Summer haven’t learned the lessons from the recent past.

    And as for whether we’re quibbling over money or having endless transfer meetings – do you know what? I just don’t believe it. Frankly, I’ve never seen so many dubious quotes appearing in the Chronicle about sources and “it is understood” etc etc etc. Wait for the end of the Summer window, then pass judgement. Before then, you’re just clueless and ranting.

  • Cuse

    NottsToon Wow.

    You have literally no self-awareness, do you?

  • Cuse

    ArtyH Oh god, here we go again.

    The big club argument.

    What has that got to do with anything?

  • Chemical Dave

    Do you get upset that fans of other clubs laugh at us ? Have you ever been to s match ?

  • zemtex

    NottsToon Well maybe have a go at addressing those one sided points rather than being condescending.

  • Demented_Man

    Cuse G Dubz “Clueless and ranting” eh?  Clearly, some of us have learnt nothing from the last eight years of skinflint transfer dealing. 
    As for McLaren being hesitant about signing players, I honestly believe he has no real influence whatsoever.  He is a last resort and took the job as a last resort.

  • zemtex

    Chemical Dave I don’t know if you’re talking to me or not, but to answer your questions. Yes and yes. Now can you tell me why that justifies toon fans turning on toon fans for slight disagreements in opinions? Can you tell me why a bunch of adults need to resort to name calling?

  • zemtex

    Demented_Man Cuse G Dubz We had exactly the same naysaying last summer then we signed 8 players in a week.

  • Chemical Dave

    Spot on zemtex, which was your favourite ?

  • Chemical Dave

    Don’t be so sensitive man, fans of other clubs laugh at each other…maybe football’s not for you ?

  • zemtex

    Chemical Dave Tbh, I don’t care that they laugh at us, I care that they have a reason to laugh at us. What winds me up on here though is that whenever someone says something slightly contrarian they’re met with a wave of condescension from people who think they’re experts on  runninng a football club. That NottsToon bloke I’ve seen talking down to people making decent points so many times… and he’s not the only one. If there’s one thing I hate it’s arrogance.

  • zemtex

    Chemical Dave Probably Janmaat. I recall people on here predicting a top 8 finish after those signings

  • Chemical Dave

    You think fans of other clubs would like Ashley ad their owner ? You think they weren’t laughing at Kinnear dof ? We’re a joke, they have a good right to laugh.

  • Chemical Dave

    They certainly were, we avoided relegation on the last day.

  • ArtyH

    Cuse ArtyH  My humble opinion for the other side of the argument or if you like a balance for the sake of it. We keyboards warriors like our say and sometimes it conflicts with other opinions. Big is relative and in the case of football is quite objective, if I had enough crayons I would explain but I think it would be a waste of time.

  • NottsToon

    Sorry, I thought this was football discussion rather than a personal development seminar. My mistake.

  • NottsToon

    The internet is a scary place for you isn’t it?

  • v0ices

    NottsToon i see ashleys pr department got some new usernames. yawn.

  • G Dubz

    Cuse G Dubz 
    Bit more to it than clueless ranting- other than the panic signings in the January window the year we almost went down and investment last year because of all the profit made in the previous transfer windows (where we sold and didnt replace our best players) history tells us Ashley wont sign players unless we sell first or are in danger.
    Cisse, Sissoko, Krul, Janmaat, Perez… one will leave before we sign anyone of significant stature… we may get this £300k 19 year old from Northampton in… and i guess the Notts Forest guys are “like 2 new signings” oh and we have the glass man De Jong so theres 4 new signings….
    As for McClaren reviewing the team- i thought the whole point of labouring his role as “Head Coach”  was to pretty much make sure he had no say in who he wants

  • desree

    Take your pic lads