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Opinion

Paul Merson proves once again how clueless he is talking about Newcastle

1 year ago
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Paul Merson is at it again.

The Arsenal fan explaining to Newcastle supporters what is going wrong at Newcastle United.

As usual though, he doesn’t have a clue.

On the one hand Paul Merson says:

‘Newcastle are in so much trouble this season that it could take £200m for Rafa Benitez to fix them…I knew they would struggle this season. They haven’t got the quality…They need to be buying £30m players in January…

‘Bournemouth, who get about 12,000 through the gate, have already beaten them at St James’ Park this season, in front of 52,000. But how many Newcastle players would get in the Bournemouth team?’

However, he then goes on to add:

‘…it’s too easy to blame Mike Ashley. Rafa gets an easy ride because it’s everybody else’s fault.

‘Well, I thought he would stop the rot because he’s a good manager.’

Rafa Benitez warned repeatedly in the summer that Mike Ashley had to keep is promises when it came to the transfer funds he’d been assured he would have.

Rafa had made a £40m profit on transfers since he arrived at the club but despite that, and Newcastle needing to step up to the Premier League challenge, the United boss was only allowed an £11.5m net spend in the summer.

On the other hand Huddersfield and Brighton had £40m+ net spends in the summer. The odds were stacked against Rafa and his squad before a ball was kicked.

It is no mystery as to why Bournemouth are better than Newcastle. Already with a Premier League squad, they went out and bought proven Premier League players Begovic, Defoe and Ake, paying Premier League wages and spending £20m alone on Nathan Ake.

Rafa Benitez was reduced to buying players who had failed at other Premier League clubs – the likes of Joselu, Atsu and Manquillo.

It’s not rocket science.

The only thing Merson can come up with is that Aleksandar Mitrovic isn’t getting a game. Fair enough, many supporters might agree that you may as well be giving the Serbian a try as nothing else is producing results but deep down most of those same fans wouldn’t expect the outcome to be any different even if Mitro did get a chance. He was poor even in the Championship when playing and looks so lacking in pace, how exactly could he produce in a team relying on counter-attacking?

Paul Merson talking to The Star:

‘Newcastle are in so much trouble this season that it could take £200m for Rafa Benitez to fix them.

I’m not being horrible but, including wages, it’s going to cost a fortune to get the club competing in the Premier League.

I knew they would struggle this season. They haven’t got the quality. They have too many Championship players who are not good enough for this level. But I didn’t expect it to be this bad.

I like Jamaal Lascelles, Jonjo Shelvey and Matt Ritchie. They are all good players. But I don’t see too many others after that who can keep Newcastle up.

They need to be buying £30m players in January and offering them big wages because right now it isn’t a very attractive place to go.

Newcastle have taken one point from 24 and now they have to go to Arsenal, a West Ham team who have picked up under David Moyes, and then they play Manchester City. Good luck.

These investors who want to buy the club must be worried about them going down. How could you not be? It’s a right mess. Do you really want to spend all that money on a team who could go down? Or would you sit tight and wait to see what happens?

They say the deal includes a clause where Mike Ashley will get his money back if he buys some players in January. But that agreement better be rock solid otherwise if you were Ashley you would walk away from it.

It’s like saying, ‘I want to buy your house but you’ll have to do a loft conversion and fit a new kitchen before I pay up’.

I think all this takeover talk has really hurt Newcastle. The players have lost their focus. They seem to think they’ll suddenly be flying up the league once it goes through. But they should be playing for their futures, busting a gut for the club.

I’m not seeing that at the moment. If you can’t raise your game playing in front of 50,000 Geordies, when can you?

Bournemouth, who get about 12,000 through the gate, have already beaten them at St James’ Park this season, in front of 52,000. But how many Newcastle players would get in the Bournemouth team? How does that work? They need to stop penny-pinching.

At the same time, though, it’s too easy to blame Mike Ashley. Rafa gets an easy ride because it’s everybody else’s fault.

Well, I thought he would stop the rot because he’s a good manager. But he’s making some strange decisions. Where is Aleksandar Mitrovic? He wasn’t even on the bench against Everton and they need him in the team, in my opinion.

Dwight Gayle is lively, quick and sharp, and Joselu is the same. But they need someone who’s going to put himself about and do the dirty work. I think he has to play. He gives them something different.

I don’t know what’s gone on there but Rafa needs to swallow his pride and put him back in the team. Ruthless Okay, maybe he can’t always be trusted but it’s time to take a chance. It’s going horribly wrong at the moment. We’ve seen a million slides like this and they don’t often end well.

The Premier League is ruthless. Look at the teams around them. There aren’t too many others on a run like this.

Crystal Palace have turned things around. So have West Ham. Newcastle need to do the same quickly because they are in free fall at the moment and you can’t see where their next win is coming from.’
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