Mark Lawrenson sees very different seasons ahead for Newcastle United and Swansea.

He believes that Renato Sanches is ‘a great signing’, Swansea paying £8m for a one year loan to land the talented midfielder who only turned 20 last month – he was signed last summer by Bayern Munich in a deal which could eventually see them pay over £70m if targets are met,

Swansea earlier paid £16m for Sam Clucas, £12m for Roque Mesa, as well as the loan signing of Tammy Abraham after Mike Ashley failed to back Rafa Benitez in doing a deal for the Chelsea striker.

On top of that, Swansea also made a late £13m move for former striker Wilfried Bony.

Mark Lawrenson contrast this transfer activity for high profile/cost signings with what has happened, or rather hasn’t, at Newcastle.

The BBC Sport pundit can only see ‘a real battle’ for Newcastle to try and stay up.

He is scathing about Mike Ashley, Lawrenson saying that Mike Ashley announced he couldn’t compete in the transfer market with the top clubs, which ‘did not make sense’ to him.

The former Liverpool defender saying that it wasn’t a case of competing with the top six for transfers BUT the ‘bottom six’ and the net result is that Newcastle ‘still have too many Championship players’ in the first team.

An £11.5m net spend allowed by Mike Ashley at Newcastle, has been dwarfed by figures of around £43m and £48m at Huddersfield and Brighton respectively.

Fancy having to agree with Mark Lawrenson for once!

As for Sunday’s game, Lawrenson sees a comfortable 2-0 win for the Welsh club.

Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:

“I think Renato Sanches is a great signing for Swansea and I will be very interested to see how he gets on in the Premier League.

“Another late arrival, Wilfried Bony, is a good buy by the Welsh side too. With his body shape, he is the kind of striker who needs to be match sharp, and if he is playing every week, then we might see him find the kind of form he showed in his first spell there.

“In contrast, Newcastle have not strengthened enough.

“With what they have got, I can see a season of struggle ahead.

“At the start of the season Magpies owner Mike Ashley said he did not have the cash to compete with the top clubs but that did not make sense to me – the top six are not Newcastle’s rivals.

“What they needed to do in the transfer market was compete for players with the bottom six, because they are a newly promoted club, and they still have too many Championship players.

“It is going to be a real battle for them to stay up.

“Mark Lawrenson: 2-0”

  • Mrkgw

    Sadly, Lawrenson is right and we do have too many Championship players. We really do need this toxic regime to ship out.

    • Kneebotherm8

      He’s talking total sense because it is the bottom six we are not competing with in the transfer market. Who does Ashley think he’s kidding when he says he can’t compete with a club/country in the transfer market? He’s not competing with anybody,let alone the supposedly smaller clubs at the lower end of the league.

      • custurd

        Compete with other clubs? Mike Ashley is so busy shafting his own club’s staff and fans that he doesn’t have time for such trivial things.

      • ghostrider

        You don’t have to spend 30 million a player to compete.
        You spend what you can afford and you do it carefully with people who have the ability to identify the players that have the potential to do just that.

        • Peter Stabler

          I agree with what you say but it would have been sensible to buy a back up left back, a composed no 10 and a dynamic centre forward – they woul;dn’t have to be top drawer signings but players that would help get more from existing players so we get better value for their wages and we wouldn’t have to play players out of position – the premier league demands specialists in every position.

        • Guest 2

          Lee Charnley, Justin Barnes and Keith Bishop?

          You talk some utter pony, mate.

          • ghostrider

            What about Lee Charnley, Justin Barnes and Keith Bishop?
            Tell me what you KNOW about them.
            What you KNOW, not what you are guessing.

          • Desree

            Bobbi Fleckmans new call sign – Ghostrider

          • Guest 2

            What do you KNOW about anything – other than pontification.

          • ghostrider

            Not the answer I was looking for but a good cop out for you, nonetheless.

          • Guest 2

            You don’t give any answers to anything. You’re an appeaser. Be gone with you. Blocked.

          • ghostrider

            Blocked. Hahahahaha. You certainly know how to get your point across before totally gutting your opponent.
            I’ll have problems getting over this.
            Ok I’m over it.

        • Kneebotherm8

          Nobody’s saying we’ve got to spend £30 million on a player, only the usual suspects plus Everton have been spending those sort of figures on individual players.

          • ghostrider

            So what exactly is it that fans want?

          • Kneebotherm8

            Some backing for Rafa in the transfer market,simple as that. A bit of faith shown in him by the hierarchy and I think this team/club could go places.

          • ghostrider

            Hasn’t he been backed?
            If he hasn’t, then tell me how he hasn’t been backed and for what players?

          • Kneebotherm8

            His comments and body language tell anybody and everybody that he feels he’s been let down and lied to.

          • ghostrider

            Conte for Chelsea isn’t entirely happy about the transfer dealings.
            In fact most managers tend to display body language that tells us all they aren’t entirely happy about transfers, when things don’t pan out how they wished.
            His body language might suggest he’s been let down but the whole truth and reality might be a lot different to what you think it is.
            The issue is, it’s Mike Ashley and Charnley, so obviously they’re to blame all the time in people’s eyes.

          • Kneebotherm8

            His words and his body language say it all and that’s the whole truth and reality. A blind man could see that, it’s patently obvious.
            He’s in the black with transfer dealings since he’s been here, it’s long overdue backing from the owner that’s required,something of the type that Mclaren was afforded in his brief disastrous tenure at the club.

    • Danimal

      No no no! This is much better than when we used to enjoy going to matches and competed with the top clubs in the land. “Mike” has got us licking out the vomit from the fireplaces of much bigger clubs like Bournemouth, Burnley, Palace, Stoke etc etc. It’s much better for us. All we deserve.

      • ghostrider

        Are those clubs any better than us with what they’ve spewed on players?
        They were better than us when we went down but that means nothing this season until they prove it at the end of the season.
        Football isn’t about being on a constant build anymore, because the premier money has seen to it that the small clubs are able to go gung ho for a season or two until they go into crisis, where only a very rich owner can arrest it.

        Those clubs you mention are paying players wages that are unsustainable and will get half the effort from those players throughout the season.
        I’ll make a sportsman’s bet with you.
        All those teams you mention. I bet we finish higher than them all. Everyone of them.

    • ghostrider

      Too many championship players as in who?

  • Jimblag23

    You have to question what the hells going on when Lawrenson is the voice of reason.

    • ghostrider

      But he’s not the voice of reason. He’s talking his usual garbage.
      He’s adding to the frenzy bandwagon when there’s none to be seen.
      It’s all in people’s minds.

  • Steve Pearce

    Will no one rid us of this upstart Ashley…..

    • Danimal

      I personally think he’s a fat stinking bag of pus from indeterminate geographical origin. But ‘upstart’ will do.

      • Steve Pearce

        He needs a good kick in his “Indeterminate geographical origin”!

  • Stephen

    Sports Direct is cheap and sadly so is its football club.
    If we manage to produce a star player he’ll be gone for profit
    The outsiders looking in who say the fans of Newcastle expect to much should take a good look, where elce in the country would 50k + turn up for every home game hoping to escape relegation.

    • ghostrider

      If we produce a star they’re generally tapped up and decide to go because they believe the grass is greener.
      Look at Cabaye and Debuchy, etc.
      We didn’t sell them against their will.

  • Steve Pearce

    Might I draw your attention to the fact that we are above the mighty Arsenal in the table as it stands. A fact that has escaped all the so-called pundits and serial Toon knockers….

    • MichaelMaximusMoose


  • MadToonFan&VitalPieManDroveOut

    Sadly I can vision that for a very long time pie man not selling up 😢 As this club is of such a value to him now for his garbage shop. There is no way he can he trump this advertising, which is so good it’s on a world stage, and hard to put a figure on it, so I believe that’s why he’s over priced the club, plus with that interview he staged, dually advising both fans & other clubs that in no way is HE paying these footballing prices. Sadly, there you have it, the equivalent to pile em high sell em cheap on the football field, keep the club ticking over with as low a cost as perceivable possible, and in Rafa he has this, probably the only thing he’s learned in a decade is that to keep this prime advertising slot, he needs a top manager that has the ability to keep him at the top on as little kitty as possible, such a depressing thought & the only positives I can take from this is maybe that he’s realised the value of staying in the premiership 😕

    • Kneebotherm8

      He’s always realised the value of staying in the premier league,its just his inept way of running the football club that’s seen us relegated twice.

  • magpiefifer

    I’m not a fan of Lawrenson,but at least he has grasped the situation with Ashley – unlike so many ‘pundits’!

  • Munich Mag

    Wow, 8 mill for a Bayern reserve ! I see similarities between the owners backing there managers with money, but in the toon case Ashley backed the desolutely McLaren to make massive mistakes, and now Rafa is tasked with sorting out the mess of the last 3 years transfer bungling. Ditto the Swansea manager. Trying to buy to stave of relegation, these gambles will not pay off and the Swans will be in the relegation mix.