Ian Wright has been talking about Newcastle United once again.

The topic was clubs standing still in the Premier League, getting to a certain point where they have managed to achieve safety which equals relative success, but then what?

The two clubs mainly under discussion, were Stoke and West Brom.

The last five seasons have seen them with these finishes in the Premier League:

Stoke – 13th, 9th, 9th, 9th, 13th.

West Brom – 8th, 17th, 13th, 14th, 10th.

Maybe you could also add Southampton into the mix:

Southampton – 14th, 8th 7th, 6th, 8th.

Ian Wright says ‘To stand still like West Brom are, like Stoke are…I’m sorry, I’d rather do Newcastle’.

Wright is referring/comparing to Newcastle getting relegated and then as he says ‘They come back, they have ridden that crest and now they are on the move again’.

Obviously this provokes all kinds of debates/points.

Easy to say afterwards when a club has bounced back like Newcastle but not many Aston Villa or Sunderland fans will be seeing the benefits so far of dropping down.

The thing is, no disrespect to the likes of Stoke, West Brom, and Southampton, but they are going to have a glass ceiling on ambitions, they don’t have the fanbase to grow bigger, which is where we would claim Newcastle United do have the potential. Plus of course these other three clubs have all bought players for sums far in excess of what Newcastle have done in recent times.

What is also worthwhile noting is just how bad things have been under Mike Ashley.

Ian Wright talks of these other clubs just being mediocre and standing still but that was far far better than Newcastle had done under Ashley before relegation.

The four seasons before the Championship saw Newcastle finish below both Stoke and Southampton every season, plus West Brom finished higher than Newcastle in three of the four years.

Ian Wright declares that after a ‘bit of excitement in the Championship’ Newcastle now have momentum and ‘are on the move again’.

No Newcastle fan can say with certainty that anything would/could be achieved but the Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby Robson days proved that with some realistic investment, NUFC can be a powerful force when it has that momentum and the right manager in charge.

Ian Wright talking on BBC Radio 5 Live:

“If your players aren’t good enough and  you go down because you’re just not good enough and you go down, at least the fans get something.

“They get a little bit of excitement in the Championship like Newcastle got.

“They come back, they have ridden that crest and now they are on the move again.

“But to stand still like West Brom are, like Stoke are.

“I’m sorry – no – I’m sorry, I’d rather do Newcastle.

“You ask a West Brom fan if, at the moment, he is happy standing still. I’m telling you, they can’t be. I’d love to hear from the ones who are.

“When you are like Newcastle you can come back.

“If I had to be Newcastle or Stoke, I’d be Newcastle.

“Newcastle or West Brom, I’d be Newcastle.”

  • Steve McClaren

    I knew Newcastle would benefit from a year in the championship, I knew they could be the Phoenix that rises from the ashes.
    I had the big picture in mind all along whilst creating a smoke screen talking about top 8 finishes.

    • ghostrider

      Are you actually allowed to use McClaren’s name to say what you say?

      • steve pearce

        No he isn’t – we all know that McClaren’s real name is The Great Minge Headed Idiot….

        • Peaky Magpie

          …..or Ginger Elvis,the bus driver who takes the younguns on school trips or to the swimming baths.

    • Grumpy

      Dont mention McClarens name for gods sake it put me right of me cornflakes

  • ghostrider

    Ian Wright is sort of correct in what he’s saying in terms of it is a bit more exciting having a change in the championship rather than continually festering with little hope of pushing higher,

    However, the thing about football or all sports really, is the fans mindset on just being able to rub shoulders with the elite or being part of the elite if possible, no matter how it’s achieved.

    This is why W.B.A and Stoke, etc saunter along season in and season out.
    The reality of being a fan should be entertainment from the club you pledge your allegiance to. That and also effort and commitment.

    The sad thing is that most fans would sacrifice entertainment for desperate dire football in order to be reprieved from the dreaded trap door and even treat a relegation escape as some kind of cup success.

    The life of a football/sports fan is a mixed bag and a strange mixed bag at that.
    Football/sports can turn the rational into the irrational. It can turn the placid into the sadistic. It can turn acceptance into banishment or vice versa.

    So, although Ian Wright is sort of correct, he’s not fully getting the mindset of the psychology of the fans mind and is cherry picking a scenario.

  • steve pearce

    Ho – Wrighty

    Are ye after a paggerin’?

    What are ye lookin’ at?

    Nee use givin’ me the hard stare – ah’m a Geordie a Geordie boot boy
    For ah am mental and ah am mad
    And ah’ll give you the best howkin’
    That ye have ever had!

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      Lovely bit of keyboard violence there.

    • cmrowley

      F f s man be quiet.


    He must have forgiven us for turning against the best manager ever, his pal Pards.
    He may choose us over W.B.A. etc but we would not want him to be one of us. Hated him as a player – arrogant bar steward and hate him more as a muppet pundit. He excels in the one thing all pundits need to have, the ability to talk Shyte.


    The reality is not that West Brom, Stoke and Southampton have reached a position where they are comfortable or that they no longer have ambition it is that Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea in particular and Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool in general have reached and maintained a higher position.

    Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea can and it’s arguable that they have previously bought success which West Brom, Stoke and Southampton can’t or won’t.

    Liverpool are trying to emulate the big money spenders but without success, so far. Arsenal have the money but appear reluctant to spend much to the puzzlement of their many fans.

    Spurs are the real odd one out. They are notorious low spenders both on transfers and wages. If they win the Premiership they will be worthy winners. Very much like Leicester.

    There is no reason why we cannot do well. All the factors are starting to look good but becoming a member at the top table will be difficult. But we can only try.

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      I see what you mean although, in the post-Munich period, the biggest clubs are: Man you, Liverpool, Arsenal and perhaps Spurs.

      Aston Villa, Ourselves, Everton, Man C, Chelsea, Sheff W and Leeds fall into the next bracket with Chelsea and Man C being the ones that have bought themselves a ticket to live with the big boys.

  • Wor Lass

    “Wrighty” is the archetypal Sky/BBC pundit. He`s heavily London-centric, he can never see past his old club, he condemns fans of other clubs for wanting what he and other Arsenal fans want, he`s in a mutual b*m-licking loop with his ex colleagues and, when conclusively proven wrong at every turn, changes his tune but pretends it`s what he suspected all along.

  • Andy Mac

    The problem, as the article rightly says, is that Fatman’s investment/ambition/commitment was never going to be enough to match those other mid table clubs because he chose to employ “Yes Men” as managers.

    We became the mediocre club that Ian Wright talks about as soon as Fatman took over and brought his pile em high, sell em cheap philosophy to NUFC.

    All this club has needed over the past ten years is a professional management team and an owner who understands the game inside out and leaves those in charge to do the job !

    Rafa is a true professional and someone Fatso would never have entertained if he hadnt been so desperate to stay up in 2015.

    • Down Under Mag

      The danger is that managers are never happy, look at Conte…wins the league at a stroll and then demands more money to overhaul the squad. I think we have needed a manager who is professional and astute but not to give an open chequebook to, maybe Chelsea and City can afford that but we do still need to live in the realms of real world finances. But I agree, we definitely needed someone like Rafa and now it is up to Ashley to meet him at least half way to ensure the club continues to move forward.