That’s the way it feels with Newcastle United at the moment.

It’s knowing which narrative to buy into. Which way to interpret this most vital of transfer windows for Newcastle United Football Club. Everyone has a view, good or bad, panicked or calm.

Many fans on the wonderful invention that is social media seem split and I’ve seen some accuse the pages of this website (ED: All contributions from fans welcome to [email protected], negative or…positive) of being too negative.

There remains a good few weeks for the club to bring in some more players. The end of August will be the time when we can properly make the judgements on Mr Ashley and whether or not he’s reneged on promises.

Am I a bit worried? Yes. Would I have preferred all major club business to be done before the Spurs game? Absolutely.

They’ve spent £30m so far, as well as today’s loan deal for Mikel Merino. That’s fact. It is a substantial amount of money and yet it feels like it’s hardly touched the sides. Pardew always said it was a tough market and maybe this summer more than any other that’s correct, given the inflated prices being quoted by other clubs.

We’re all armchair ‘experts’ on football finance, so don’t take my word for it, but it would appear that promotion hasn’t meant an instant uplift of cash into the club’s coffers.

The revenue from TV deals comes through in stages. How many stages, I have no idea. The 100 odd million quid from the broadcasters is a series of staggered payments. The reality is we may have to ensure that we stay up come May 2018 in order to feel the full benefits.

Then there’s the issue of wages. Mr Ashley’s model of sustainability (some call it penny pinching) is one of a club that spends only from the revenue it generates. The budgeted outlay for new players will likely include the wages needed to pay these players. Mr Ashley pumped in £30m after the relegation he caused in 2016, but clearly there’s no more cash from his personal wealth being made available. He’s not going to do what Ellis Short did at Sunderland, something which has led to a fairly big mess down at that particular club.

All this may explain the slow pace of transfers so far. The club has to move players on to generate funds, and it has to move carefully, even with what is a fairly sizeable budget, but one that isn’t going to stretch that far in the current market.

The other worry is the lack of Premier League experience in there. The great John Gibson once called it the top notch beef on the hoof. We’re in need of a very good striker to add goals, as well as one for the left back slot.

This is where it’s tough to know what verdict to form. On the one hand, the likes of Florian Lejeune and Jacob Murphy are great prospects, but on the other side of the coin there is a worry they leave us light on English top flight experience.

What the club do have is a squad that boasts a shed load of team spirit. Unlike the previous years this group seems to genuinely care, they all appear to get on with each other, and they all seem well up for the battle ahead. That will be worth a hell of a lot in what promises to be a very hard season.

I’d love to know what Rafa has made of it so far. Hopefully his glass is half full. There have been murmurings that he’s a bit cheesed off and hasn’t got all of  the players he has wanted.

In ten years under Mike Ashley it’s never been straightforward at that club. There’s been plenty of lets downs, false dawns and implosions.

Glass half full or half empty – there is still time to get a few more key positions filled. It’s critical that they do so, because credibility has slipped a bit since May.

The clock is ticking.

You can follow the author on Twitter @DavePunton

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])

  • funlovingexpress

    Half full definately. English teams usually get beat off the spanish clubs and many spanish players seem to adapt very quickly to the premiership if they have came from a German or Spanish team.

    The players we are getting are the real deal

    • Lhc🇬🇧

      😂your deluded

      • Leazes Ender

        He’s also a racist, and posts under god knows how many aliases.

        • Lhc🇬🇧

          I’ve never come across any racism on here mate, think you may have got mixed up with other sites you’ve been on!

          • Leazes Ender

            Funloving I’ve known for ten years

          • Lhc🇬🇧

            Depends what you define as racism the worlds gone mad and to politically correct!

          • Leazes Ender

            Has it, I must have missed that whatever it means.

          • Lhc🇬🇧

            Probably have tbh with the amount of time you spend on here, little keyboard warrior

          • Mike Woody

            U r full of 💩

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            according to Monga, Leazes is exclusive to the Mag

  • Paul Busby

    Id say the glass is on top of a waiters tray with the Spanish waiter carrying it, just a shame he’s also giving penfold a piggyback

  • Leazes Ender

    Completely full of air.

    • Leazes Bender

      You’re a nice boy

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Rafa at Newcastle Utd is like putting Lewis Hamilton in a Skoda & expecting him to win a race

    • Lhc🇬🇧

      Don’t knock them skoda’s I had the vrs diesel in past very surprising very quick, You should of said a 800cc daewoo matiz

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        it couldn`t catch a Mercedes though could it

  • Leazes Bender

    I like large men.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      well go Blow Ashley, you halfwit

  • Wor Monga

    You ask…’Is the glass half full or is it half empty?’…

    …that’s a very stupid question to ask on this website, isn’t it?…where the self annointed high priest of negativity (LeazesEnder), and his ever obedient servant (MMM) are standing by, from dawn to dusk every day…to give us chapter and verse of the gospel of negativity, according to the prophets of doom and gloom…

    It makes me wonder if the Mag is actually paying them to spread the ‘bad’ word out about the Toon to get some fan reaction…or else why would the pair of ‘Him’ claim to be supporters when they hate it so much?!!!

    • Leazes Bender

      Leave them alone you big bully. They’re nice boys.

      • Andy Mac

        They say it like it is. They dont have brown noses

    • MichaelMaximusMoose


    • Andy Mac

      FFS its not just those two. There are plenty on this site who always view Fatman with suspicion and fear that Rafa is being used as all previous managers have been. If this was Chelski,Everton, Bournemouth or even Burnley we’d be happy knowing that those at the top had the best interests of the club at heart. As it is we’ve got Fatso !

      • magpiefifer

        You’re right – it’s not just those two – and why should it be,given the 10 years of Ashley rule!?
        I don’t see it as negativity but realistic observation/opinion,and as supporters we are entitled to that.
        Here’s hoping that the squad is sufficiently strong enough to survive in the PL,but Ashley’s record doesn’t fill me with too much confidence – oh dear,I’m sounding negative!!!!

    • Mike Woody

      So very true. Well said.

    • Mal

      It is easy to forget sometimes that this is supposedly a supporters website.

      • Wor Lass

        Being a supporter doesn`t mean being an apologist for the owner.

        • Mal

          I agree but it’s a pity that some individuals seem to find negativity in every situation. A good example was the recent signing of Lejeune. I doubt if more than a handful of supporters had seen him play but because he didn’t cost £20+ million and come from a top team it’s immediately assumed he won’t be up to it.
          On the whole I think the website is overly negative. Those forecasting doom and gloom may of course be proved to be correct and the signings so far may not be good enough. I just think we should give the new players and the team some encouragement rather than moan in every post. If they do turn out to be poor, and we don’t make the further signings that in my opinion are still required, then fair enough we can criticise and I’ve done my fair share of that in the past. I sometimes think some contributors are almost hoping we fail so that they can say ‘I told you so’.

          • Wor Lass

            can`t argue with that, Mal!

    • Wor Lass

      Let`s face it, if it wasn`t for the argument and controversy on sites like this most people wouldn`t bother. A hefty dose of cynicism is a good thing, it gets the debates rolling and makes everyone think about their position. Also, dont forget that Leazes and MMM`s views are always counterbalanced by people like yourself, Bobbi and Clarko (not that I`m saying you`re like Clarko, of course). It`s healthy stuff!

  • mactoon

    I am cautiously optimistic given the transfers we have got in and there is still time to sell players and bring more in but it’s the nature we have done our business that frustrates me.

    Ashley’s comments that he would make “every last penny the club generates” available to build the team filled a lot of people with hope and Rafa was pleased with early discussions around transfers but the negotiations have been drawn out and I can’t help feel they have been gambling with the possibility of sickening Rafa who could have walked away which would have been a disaster.

    I would be interested to see the list of players he wanted compared to what he got.

    • Wor Monga

      Why’s that?…when he’s just told us he’s happy with the players he’s got in, and also talked about some of the reasons why he didn’t get some others…but,I’m fairly sure they’d have been in amongst the 100 or so he’s been linked with!!!

      • TheNutJob

        the Pie man wouldn`t fund Rafa`s 1st choice

    • Leazes Ender

      I’m guessing Charnleys list was in alphabetic order and we are down to the letter M.

    • Damon Horner

      Would you say Ashley’s words on the transfer budget gave some fans hope or Rafa’s reaction to the transfer budget?

      • mactoon

        Initially Ashley’s promise led everyone to believe there was £70 to £100 million + in the kitty and all the journalists jumped on this myth and reported it. So I would say the initial comments gave the fans false hope.

        Rafa seemed to be unhappy at the lack of transfer activity in the beginning but this inactivity seems to be because the transfer kitty was a lot less than everyone believed. Rafa seems to have now accepted that the funds were a lot less than expected and Charnley has had to wheel and deal to get the players in, I just don’t think they are Rafa’s first choices.

  • TheFatController

    What does supermarkt tell us about the level in the glass currently …?

    • Wor Monga

      …the glass is empty…Ashley drunk it!!!

      • Kneebotherm8

        And then proceeded to spew it all over the fireplace🔥.

      • Andy Mac


    • Leazes Ender

      Its overpriced.

  • Alan Pardew

    I don’t like people who drain my time and energy. If you’ve seen the Harry Potter films, we use the term ‘dementors’ – people who can draw the life out of you in terms of your energy. So we eradicate the ‘dementors’, encourage the positive people, and that spreads around to create the team spirit we have here

    • Mad magpie

      Wouldn’t be surprised if that was an actual Alan pardew quote

  • Mrkgw

    Good article from Leazes. Sums up the situation well and quite surprising that £30m has been spent. But still, the club is perceived to penny pinch and such is the huge and loyal support at our club that we demand to be able to compete and outdo so called lesser clubs. Perversely, many are outdoing us at the moment and this simply won’t do. Whether it be Ashley or Charnley, someone needs to pull their finger out and give Rafa and the supporters a team befitting of this great city.

  • Damon Horner

    I think this team is better than a lot of fans think. The signings do lack Premier League experience but what makes Premier League experience vital?

    The idea of no place in the team being safe is a good one, it’s been one of our biggest issues over the years and even some in the current setup have probably taken their place for granted at times.

    I’m optimistic but when it matters is when the games are played, starting with Spurs.

  • Steve Pearce

    What indeed does “Premiership experience” matter? We are signing players that Rafa thinks in his own words “Are better than the ones we have”. As he has managed and won trophies for English teams he is the best manager possible to get them used to playing in a different country. So in my case the bottle is always full (as I drink my Broon Dog straight from the bottle) and I raise it on high to toast one of the great Newcastle bosses!

  • Andy Mac

    I’ve always said you dont have to buy big to buy quality as long as you know what you’re looking for and where to find it ? Unfortunately the jury is out on Rafa/Nickson as they failed on several counts last season in Sels, Gamez, Lazaar, Hanley and Diame although Nickson may not have been entirely responsible ?

    Unearthing rough diamonds is fraught with risk but a 45% fail ratio is not good is it ?

    • Wor Lass

      I don`t disagree with the general point you`re making, Andy, but I`d say two things. First, all managers buy duck-eggs somewhere along the line. KK and SBR had their fair share. Second, I don`t think Nickson had anything to do with those signings. He was U 21 scout until he was promoted this summer.

      • Andy Mac

        Undoubtedly true WL everyone buys a turkey occasionally however the problem for Rafa is he has no leeway. The squad is now slightly above Championship level but Premier League lite. If he brings in another five eggs this close season we’re screwed royally.

  • GToon

    With Rafa it’s half full, with Ashley in charge it’s half empty, well probably totally empty actually.

  • HenrySlade

    As John Cleese’s character in ‘Clockwise’ said…

    It’s not the despair, I can take the despair. It’s the hope I can’t stand.

  • Biggs Darklighter

    We still need at least a left back and a striker

  • Lord

    “Now the fans are saying ‘Rafa is saving money for a striker for £30m’,” the former Real Madrid manager continued, with a wry smile.

    “No chance. We have to do what we want to do now, but sometimes we cannot.”

  • 1957

    Maybe as far as transfers are concerned we should just be grateful to have something in the cup at all