Alan Shearer thought before a ball was kicked that Newcastle faced a season-long relegation battle and has seen nothing to change his opinion.

The Newcastle fan saying that even the positive run of results in September/October didn’t change that view.

As for other Newcastle fans hoping for a quick takeover of the club and a more ambitious/realistic transfer budget being put at Rafa Benitez’ disposal, he finds it hard to see that happening now.

Alan Shearer thinks it will be a ‘long hard season’ and that adding better players in January is exactly what is needed – but he would be ‘surprised’ if it will be new owners making that cash available.

With only one point from the last 18 it has been a tough time for Rafa and his team, although there are at least hopes now that he is getting back to having pretty much all of his current squad fit and available once again.

Mikel Merino has now had two games only a few days apart and with a full week of training should be back to peak condition, whilst the United boss has already indicated that Paul Dummett and Christian Atsu are in line to be available for selection against Leicester.

Jamaal Lascelles is also progressing according to Rafa but it looks like Saturday will come too soon for him.

To greater or lesser degrees Newcastle have made positive starts to the games against Man Utd, Bournemouth and Chelsea but tasted defeat in all three, whilst the West Brom match saw Newcastle finish far the stronger and snatch a point after being two down.

Hopefully with more options available, Rafa Benitez can this weekend put out a first eleven that he can have more confidence in being able to put in a 90 minute performance, especially in a match which coincides with 125 years since Newcastle United were formed.

We all still hope that whoever is in charge, Rafa will get extra help with new quality signings, but whatever happens much/most of this season will depend on what the current squad can give the manager and fans.

They definitely suggested they were capable of better in performances against the likes of Stoke, Southampton, Swansea, West Ham and Liverpool, now there could be a chance of bringing that back in this crucial period – seven matches separated by 23 days – starting with Leicester at home on Saturday and ending with Stoke away on New Year’s Day.

Alan Shearer talking to Coral:

 “I expect them to be in a relegation battle and I did before a ball was kicked because of the squad they have – even when they went three or four games unbeaten.

“They are where they are and it will be a long hard season.

“I hope that something happens with regards the takeover because the manager needs funds and he needs to get some players in January.

“I hope so but I’d be surprised if it were to go through now that quickly and free up funds for the manager in January.

“I hope I’m wrong because that’s exactly what’s needed to freshen things up – get some new players in.”

  • TheNutJob


    • Soldier

      not yet

  • BillytheFish

    Arabs are not easy to deal with, and Ashley as shown before is a difficult seller who missed a meeting in UAE a few years ago to go on the beer, wait a minute, shows he can’t be all bad ;-)

    • Leazes Ender

      On the contrary Ashley is not easy to deal with….

      ….the takeover of City wasn’t as poorly done as this….. and that is a dreadfully racist statement, its not some mathematical complexity over valuation its basic haggling.

      • BillytheFish

        That is what I said, Ashley is a difficult seller.
        Where am I a racist, are you one of these limp wristed PC liberal nutters? All I said was Arabs are difficult to do business with, and from experience as a culture they are, and my Arab friends and colleagues are proud of that fact..

        • Leazes Ender

          There you go again… theres nowt limp about my fist.

  • John Glaister

    What other business leader would let his business struggle while trying to sell it for the best price? One proven goal scorer is all we need to secure mid table safety.

  • Kneebotherm8

    We should have had players in the summer ,surely the pennies dropped for Ashley that the premier league riches on offer need securing via 2 or 3 quality signings.

    • Paul Patterson

      It hasn’t in ten years, so I don’t see why it should now . .

      • Kneebotherm8

        He has a history of panic buys in January,for us,when he fears relegation is on the cards.

        • Paul Patterson

          Yeah, but he still hasn’t learnt that he should just back the manager to the full when it matters, BEFORE a crisis instead of after one.

          • Kneebotherm8

            Totally agree, that’s why we all want him to fck off.

  • Scottie Chugger Dearden

    The opinion of the BBC and the 150 million Everton spent sees them improving on last year and the millions Swansea spent see them securing PL status……

    • Soldier

      and your point is, spending doesn`t mean safety.
      it does if you have a Rafa as manager

      • Scottie Chugger Dearden

        The point is you can’t buy a squad in a summer, you have to build it, like Burnley.
        I’ve got nothing against Rafa getting funds but at what point did Shearer (worst managerial record in the PL) think that Ashley had changed? I just don’t like pundits, he was a great player but as far as im concerned in terms of punditry hes up there with Souness, Merson, Lawerenson!

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Earlier in the season we gave the likes of Southampton, Stoke even Spurs good games so we are capable of beating lot’s of teams. We have Hayden, Shelvey, Atsu, Arrons, Dummett and Lascelles all to come back into the team. To early for doom and gloom Shearer like this site is manic depressive. Not so long ago when we came out of Swansea everyone saying we could finish in the top eight same team same manager. We need a good atmosphere on Saturday not doom and gloom merchants like Shearer.

    • Soldier

      from day 1 we were always going to end up in the bottom six or thereabouts. only fools were looking at a top 10 finish

      • Kneebotherm8

        Of course you’re right,Rafa said as much at the start of the season,we’ll have bad runs etc,which were having now.
        He’s steadying the ship with the players he’s been saddled with and we’ll need to fight and scrape for every point.
        Hopefully he’ll get some long overdue backing from the hierarchy in January.

    • TheFatController

      I think we are capable of beating ‘enough teams’ maybe, with the good players availabke as you say, but a lot of the confidence the team has comes from Rafa’s mood.

      So if Staveley took over but didn’t get to control Jan, I’d expect the feel-good among Rafa and fans to carry the club.

      But have Rafa deal with another window of ifs, buts and maybes and become terse in interviews and this will impact badly on players and supporters – not his fault, he’s only human, but he can only take so much I suspect.

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Good points made but we need to give ourselves a shake and do our best. Rafa is moaning on but I believe we have enough talent to survive this season. The important thing is to win the next two home games and the Mag website will have a better chance of a new owner.

  • FatParosite

    Staveley will not be in the driving seat come January so watch a 30-40 mill Ashley cash spunk-fest when he realises he’s gambled stupidly again. When everyone knows you do not get value for money in January, Ashley uses it like a roulette wheel.

    The first spin in 2013 managed to save us on the last day of the season.

    Jan 2013 Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa Montpellier £6.7m tbc
    Jan 2013 Yoan Gouffran Bordeaux £2m tbc
    Jan 2013 Massadio Haidara AS Nancy £2.5m tbc
    Jan 2013 Moussa Sissoko Toulouse £2m tbc
    Jan 2013 Kevin Mbabu Servette £tbc

    The second spin in 2016 was more expensive and did not work.

    Jan 2016 Henri Saivet Bordeaux £5m tbc
    Jan 2016 Jonjo Shelvey Swansea City £12m tbc
    Jan 2016 Andros Townsend Tottenham £12m tbc
    Feb 2016 Seydou Doumbia AS Roma Loan

    Ashely is not good at gambling so don’t expect Benitez in the dugout either.

    • Kneebotherm8

      Panic buys instead of planned buys,he’s a gambler,as you say, and you could easily see it happening again this January.

  • Peaky Magpie

    I bet Jamie Vardy is more worried about his missus coming home from the jungle than facing our defence 17-30 Saturday evening.

  • Taz

    Thanx for that vital a bit of info, i had no idea. I thought all things would be just dandy, we’d win the league, uncle Mike would see the light and dig deep buying world class players it would be carnival time in the city. Now I’m depressed. If only we weren’t so stupid and thought we’d walk it. REALLY!!!!!!!!!!