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.”