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Opinion

Danny Simpson sums up the stupidity of Mike Ashley at Newcastle United

1 year ago
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When Danny Simpson left Newcastle United it wasn’t a case of fans taking to the streets in protest.

The right-back ended up leaving in June 2013 on a free after not being able to agree a new contract.

Danny Simpson claimed that Newcastle were offering him a really poor deal, far lower than players at other clubs were getting.

Mike Ashley was turning the screw on the wage bill and wouldn’t pay what the player wanted, then followed the usual ploy of using friendly media to drive the story that it was Simpson being greedy, rather than the defender not being offered a market rate.

Danny Simpson wasn’t the flashiest of players, a more old-fashioned full-back who rarely got forward and just stuck to his job in defence, how many times over the years have Newcastle supporters wished for that…?

It has been an expensive lesson in very short-term savings and longer-term pain.

Newcastle fans have seen the likes of Debuchy, Janmaat, Santon, Anita, Manquillo and Yedlin all turning out at right-back, none of them anywhere nearly as good as Simpson when it comes to defending.

He was excellent for Newcastle in the promotion (2009/10) season, very good on the return (2010/11) to the Premier League, then excelled when starting 35 games as Newcastle finished fifth in 2011/12.

Injuries mainly led to only 19 games in his final (2012/13) season, although with no new deal agreed that didn’t help either as the season got towards the close.

Joining QPR on a free, he played 36 times as they won promotion to the Premier League before moving on to Leicester where he was in and out the team in his first (2014/15) season.

However, he has been pretty much first choice ever since and started 30 games as Leicester won the Premier League and was a key part of the team that did so well in the Premier League the following season.

This season, the Mr Dependable has played all 15 of Leicester’s Premier League matches as Newcastle yet again wait in hope that DeAndre Yedlin gets the hang of this defending lark.

The sales of Carroll and Cabaye will always take the headlines when it comes to the Ashley era but the stupidity of things like the way Danny Simpson was treated, are arguably even more stupid when it comes to what a mess Mike Ashley has made at the club.

In the past, Aaron Hughes was another great servant who never let Newcastle down and Graeme Souness (what a surprise) sold him off for £2m whilst he wasted fortunes on the likes of Boumsong and others.

As Leicester have shown these past couple of years, you do need the match winners such as Vardy, Mahrez and Kante (in his own way) but you can also go far with the help of lesser figures such as Fuchs, Huth, Morgan and Simpson.

Hopefully Rafa Benitez will be given the time and backing to put together his own winning formula of real quality and dependables.

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Danny Simpson speaking to Leicester’s official TV channel:

“We want to keep it going now.

“It’s confidence and momentum, especially in this busy period in December.

“To get a point at West Ham and then two wins (against Burnley and Spurs), it’s been a good eight days for us.

 “We’ve got two away games (at Newcastle and Southampton) coming up and they’ll be two tough games.

“It’ll be important to have a few days off now, because I think after that, games are every three or four days.”

“It’s always good to get back-to-back wins, especially at home.

“When you are at home, you want to use it to your advantage.

“Burnley are a completely different team to Tottenham – Burnley have changed their style this season.

“They are still a bit direct but they can play as well.

“It was great for the lads though because it’s always good to get an early goal (to beat Burnley).”
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