Mark Lawrenson has been looking ahead to the Newcastle v West Ham match on Saturday.

Talking about Newcastle and where they stand at the minute, the former Liverpool player thinks that Mike Ashley has been less than truthful.

He says that the NUFC owner talks about how financially Newcastle ‘are unable to compete’ but Mark Lawrenson believes this is a big fat ‘red herring’.

The BBC pundit states that Rafa Benitez simply thinks Newcastle should be competing with the likes of Watford and West Brom, rather than watching them buying players in the £15m-£20m range, whilst Rafa is bringing  in the likes of Manquillo, Joselu and Atsu for around £5m each.

Away from the mess off the pitch caused by Mike Ashley, Mark Lawrenson sees Newcastle picking up their point of the season in a 1-1 draw tomorrow.

He thinks West Ham are having settling in problems this season, which won’t have been helped by having to play all early games away from home due to their stadium being used for the World Athletics championship.

However, over the course of the season with the quality of their squad, both established players and new signings such as Hernandez, Lawrenson says ‘You just know they will be fine’.

As for how ‘fine’ Newcastle United will be this season, much may depend of Mike Ashley swallowing his red herring and backing Rafa Benitez in the remaining six days of this transfer window.

Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:

“Newcastle are winless so far in the league and got beaten 3-2 at home in the EFL Cup by Championship side Nottingham Forest – but I think they will get a draw here.

“Owner Mike Ashley talks about the lack of money there and how they are unable to compete but I think that is a bit of a red herring.

“They might not be able to compete with the top seven but they can surely compete with the rest in terms of finances. They get 50,000 through the door at home.

“Manager Rafa Benitez’s way of dealing with all this is to have a shot across the bows.

“The point he has made is that they should be competing with the likes of Watford and West Brom in terms of spending. It is what he does.

“This is West Ham’s third away game in a row. They have lost the previous two and they really slipped up at Southampton last weekend.

“Getting back to 2-2 after being 2-0 down, they should have closed the game off. But they are better than the results they have got so far suggest.

“Javier Hernandez does not need many chances to score and they have other good players such as Michail Antonio and Manuel Lanzini. Andy Carroll will be good when he is fit. You just know they will be fine.”

“Mark Lawrenson prediction: 1-1.”



  • anyobrien

    Yep he is correct and who’s next to tell us the obvious… Which ex playing super pundit will unleash there pearls of wisdom on us…. I remember when we marched against fat man at the spurs game a couple of seasons back and the media branded us, deluded, ungrateful, to high a expectation, it’s only Newcastle, think they should be in the champions league every year… You get the picture.

  • Steve Pearce

    You must have read the comment about your habit of overloading us with Southern Newcastle-hating so-called pundits and their waves of negativity! Mark is spot on and this is a matter which you need to investigate. There is money available, but why The Fat Fireplace Polluter won’t commit it for transfers is beyond me. In fact why a club owner simply refuses to invest in a business he owns is beyond me. For God’s sake how we ended up having to put up with this human slug’s failure to run our club with care, passion and enthusiasm is beyond me! But like the reign of all dark dictators it will end – and I firmly believe that even now the vultures are circling bearing huge wads of cash in their claws.

  • Jimblag23

    😱Lawrenson talks sense. Wow.
    He must like Rafa because of his Liverpool days because he’s allowed himself to engage his brain instead of spouting schitt.

  • Leazes Ender

    Everything Ashley says should be taken with a pinch of salt…. how many times can he slap his customers around the chops with a wet fish and expect them to come back to be fed?

    • Kneebotherm8

      Just like a seal enclosure, seal claps and is thrown a herring.

    • Jimblag23

      A pinch of salt? More like the amount the fat barsteward pours all over his chips every night.

    • Guest 2

      Every home game it seems!

  • Brian Standen

    At the stage where I’m sick of hearing about it all, every pundit sticks his oar in and states the absolute obvious on a daily basis !
    Ashley must be loving the publicity.

    • Kneebotherm8

      Every pundit states the absolute obvious? Lawrenson’s the first one to come out with this angle on things,most of them back poor,hard up,hard done by Mike Ashley.

      • ToonNL

        few of them actually know what they are talking about anyway and just open their mouths and hope for the best.

        Lawro and Hansen make most pundits look like fools, but neither can really be bothered anymore

    • TheFatController

      Good point. A woman has been sent down for 10 years for lying about attacks on her – imagine her loving all
      that attention…

      Mike does what she does – compulsive liar because it gets him talked about. Both of them are weird. People keep looking for motives behind Ashley’s behaviour. Unless you’re an eminent psycho-analyst, I’d wish anyone good luck with that…

  • Guest 2

    How’s fatty going to back Rafa? His (or rather St James’ Holdings) latest injection of funds largely went to repay himself first (18 million as opposed to 15 the club got) resulting in increased gross debt.
    The only way we’ll get more than any player sale revenue is if fatty decides to allow some borrowing against this season’s tv revenue. Not going to happen, especially when he has the begging bowl out looking for a sale or additional investor.
    As for Lawro, he proved when he came here under KK as a defensive coach exactly why he’s now a tv pundit.

    • Leazes Ender

      Five year Plan

      Ashley penny pinches…..Ashley relegates club….. club incurs debt…. ashley bridges debt with loan…. Club regain status….Ashley repays himself….Ashley penny pinches…..Ashley relegates club….. club incurs debt….. ashley bridges debt with loan…. Club regain status….Ashley repays himself….. Ashley penny pinches…..Ashley relegates club….. club incurs debt…. ashley bridges debt with loan…. Club regain status….Ashley repays himself….Ashley penny pinches…..Ashley relegates club….. club incurs debt….. ashley bridges debt with loan…. Club regain status….Ashley repays himself…..

      • Guest 2

        If only Fleckman and the other bean counters would understand and stop licking the blokes hoop. He’s still arguing with me on another post from days ago!
        Fatso has now reclaimed ALL of his ‘personal’ loans (11 & 18 million) and added the same amount to the gross club debt now provided solely through other companies (i.e. St James’ Holdings).

        • Hughie_Gallacher

          Ashley and his ilk are role models to the likes of Fleckman. A man who has amassed riches whilst not giving a toss about anything or anyone else.
          Do what I do and block him.

  • Rich Lawson

    If Mike is waving it,it must be a ”pickled” herring.

  • Blackburn1066

    He, the fat shop keeper will not spend because he wants to sell the club to the china man around the corner and needs to show them that he spends very little and we are in the prem. Or, He is as I see him, a little fat C**t.