Lifelong Toon fan Allan Jackson penned a very valid article on The Mag this week and all of his points on the hierarchy at Newcastle United being unfit for purpose certainly ring true, with everybody from the owner down to the Manager culpable for the club finding itself yet again in relegation trouble going into 2016.
However, the only point I see as a bit of a sticky one is the comments made on Graham Carr.
Mr Jackson stated that Carr was “devoid of a successful track record and continues to bring in spineless, gutless and unsuitable footballers in the main.”
Now whilst I find some of the recruits a trifle dodgy, Carr’s track record has had at worst, a small amount of success. He found Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse – undoubted success stories, while I would even point to Mbiwa, Santon and Ben Arfa as being reasonable purchases and in the case of Santon and Ben Arfa, they were either steady away players or were match winners that lacked consistency (Where have we heard that before, Steve?).
Ben Arfa is a perfect copy for Sissoko, whilst being completely different players. Both could flick their own switch and suddenly burst into life and win a match with a run, assist or goal, but they both have that knack of going missing for chunks of games, or entire runs of matches.
One good game in five is worth nowt in the Premier League and when you have a whole team with this infectious disease, it breeds failure on a massive scale.
Back on Graham Carr, his remit is simple, sign players from abroad of 20-25 years of age and make them as cheap as possible. He’s done that in the past and well. Demba Ba was free or thereabouts and Yohan Cabaye was £5m, yet were sold for a reported combined £27m.
Whoever put the buyout clause in Ba’s contract that Harry Redknapp knew about and publicised, was the real villain of the piece.
Similarly, whichever muppet keeps selling the dream that Cabaye was sold, namely that players can come to Newcastle and then move to a bigger club, needs to be dispensed with immediately.
This policy is what’s wrong at Newcastle United and it’s a policy that will cost Mike Ashley in the short, mid and long term.
Nobody will pay silly money for Mitrovic, De Jong or Thauvin. Will we get back £14m, £6m or £12m respectively? No chance. Nor will anyone be willing to fork out much for Cisse, Tiote, Anita, Colback, Gouffran, Cabella or Riviere.
The only assets we really have are Perez and Wijnaldum to make a nifty profit from – two players to offset the losses from a whole team’s worth of players. I hope your selling skills are good Charnley, you might need to get the buying clubs’ directors drunk during negotiations.
THE SHORT- If Mike Ashley’s isn’t quivering yet at the prospect of losing tens of millions on these players, then he should consider the amount needed to put this folly right. I reckon we need three players in January to give us a fighting chance and these three MUST have Premier League experience. Jonjo Shelvey is a welcomed rumour and the one that won’t go away is Charlie Austin, both would walk into this side at the expense of whoever.
THE MID- But more problems still exist, as Allan Jackson pointed out. Everything Mike Ashley does is a direct antagonist to how to run a football club, not successfully, just professionally. You appoint a clown in Lee Charnley, you lose a vital role at the club – the Chairman. When the owner hasn’t a clue about football and he appoints an office boy who hasn’t a clue about football, don’t be surprised that the football suffers as a consequence.
I suggested some weeks ago that there was one man that has this experience and he was the one man that Ashley got rid of first, Freddy Shepherd. He wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea and made some highly questionable decisions, but compared to Chris Mort, Derek Llambias, Joe Kinnear and now Charnley, his knowledge of running this club could be classed as genius, that’s how bad things are.
THE LONG TERM- Given the millions that are on offer at the end of this season, it would be foolish to gamble as we all know Mike Ashley enjoys to do.
We simply won’t be coming back up from relegation this time around. It would also be foolish to keep repeating the same mistakes in the hope that they will work, somehow, sometime…‘Insanity’- as another contributor on The Mag commented this week and referenced Albert Einstein.
If he were alive I would’ve asked him if he knew anything about football. If he said ‘No’, Mike Ashley could do worse than to offer him a job at the club, as he’d fit right in.
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