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Opinion

Newcastle United will be in exactly this same position in January 2019, just minus these two things

1 year ago
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We are currently in the middle of a very pivotal month for Newcastle United football club.

Points are desperately required for the battle against relegation, while a takeover is required to free the club of the abject misery and monotonous cycle of underachievement and negativity that owner Mike Ashley has managed to manifest and promote over the last ten years.

Sadly, I do feel that we as Newcastle United fans, and Rafa Benitez, are not going to get what we desire.

This proposed takeover is starting to look dead in the water with each passing day and if Ashley and his mind game merchants persist in their Del Boy style tactics and trickery, I can see Amanda Staveley and whoever she represents sticking two fingers up at the whole shoddy business and moving on, if that stage hasn’t been reached already…

I would be disappointed if that was the outcome but I’d fully understand the frustrations.

In the grand scheme of things, the win against Stoke and any follow up against Swansea will actually have had a negative effect on the takeover, at least the way that I see it. We are led to believe that Mike Ashley was hoping for £400m in October while the club were positioned in the top half of the table. Nice try, but anyone who knows anything about football (Ashley doesn’t) will have been able to advise prospective buyers, if they didn’t know themselves that is, that this was a false league position.

The team/club were on a roll and Manager Rafa Benitez was getting the absolute best out of what is, and always will be, a Championship side. There are a couple of Premier League class players in this squad, with a few decent squad players, but by and large it will need substantial class adding to it which costs money, something which blatantly won’t be coming from the current regime.

As our results floundered in Autumn, any prospective buyer would have been less sure of buying a club that is at risk of playing Championship football next season. If results perk up, the sale looks a better prospect, sadly Ashley’s price becomes slightly more realistic. Still, £400m was a fantasy figure.

Naturally any buyer will look to get the best deal possible so rumours of a £250m bid from PCP was mooted, this being rejected by Ashley, obviously holding out for something nearer his dream price, and since this rejection we have been left in no man’s land on the takeover and as a consequence, player recruitment.

On the subject of transfer deals this month, beware the sting in the tail. I think the ship has already sailed on any prospect of anything actually happening with regards incoming moves – but if a bid comes in for any of our players (Shelvey, Gayle and Mitrovic have been linked with moves so far) then rest assured they will go.

This regime have a decent record at extracting top dollar out of buying clubs, but a shameful record of quality recruitment. How many times have this club been linked with a good player only to back out because the transfer fee seemed a bit high and then to prove the folly of such paucity and penny pinching, the player eventually becomes an excellent buy for another club and to further shame the policy, he is then sold on for some astronomical fee.

The time to buy players for maximum effect and cost is in the summer window NOT the January one, where selling clubs know exactly what to charge desperate buying clubs, another false economy from the powers that be at Newcastle, it has happened time and time again.

So as far as I can see it, there will be no signings made this window and no takeover either. Everything will be gambled on this club still being in the same league in May, something which actually doesn’t seem that hard to achieve in the scheme of things.

It looks as though 35 points will probably be enough to see us safe this season (as it was last season), as the much fabled 40 point safety mark becomes lower and lower each year. That’s 13 points required from these final 16 matches and if we can’t do that then we don’t deserve to stay in the league.

I for one think we will stay up, although it will be close.

I just fear that if we aren’t taken over this window (and I’ve already said that I feel time has ran out) we will be in this exact position come January 2019, just minus two things. 1.

The hope of breaking this depressing cycle, and crucially, Rafa Benitez.
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