Jamie Carragher has done a really long piece on Newcastle United.

Actually, most of it is very good, at least 95% of it…maybe 99%.

The only thing Jamie Carragher gets wrong is when he says Newcastle fans crave signing ‘top class players’ and to get rid of Mike Ashley.

Well of course every fan of every club craves signing ‘top class players’ but Jamie Carragher obviously means that many Newcastle fans realistically crave those type of signings.

Well, last summer I don’t think a single Newcastle plan was waiting for news of Mike Ashley allowing Rafa Benitez to spend money on ‘top class signings’.

What they hoped was that instead of holding a 13 year club transfer record (every other Premier League club has broken their transfer record in the last couple of ears, some of them multiple times), Newcastle would instead be at least competing for a couple of signings in that £16m+ up to £20m bracket, just like Southampton, West Brom, West Ham, Bournemouth..

Instead, Rafa was scratching around in the bargain bins, for example ending up with first choice striker Joselu, a £5m buy who was third or fourth choice at Stoke.

Jamie Carragher speaks a lot of sense and well worth reading the whole thing, these are just snippets below.

He says that regardless of anything else: ‘If Ashley stays, Rafa will have to go’.

I don’t think any rational Newcastle fan can argue with that viewpoint, indeed it is a miracle that he hasn’t gone already. He has been let down so many times and clearly the reality has proved to be nothing like ‘what it said in the brochure’.

Kevin Keegan successfully won his case for constructive dismissal when Mike Ashley undermined him, difficult to see how Ashley would have a leg to stand on if Rafa Benitez did the same.

Jamie Carragher speaking to The Telegraph:

‘Imagine trying to convince a top player to join Newcastle United. What would be the sales pitch?

Come and join us. The fans are depressed and constantly protesting against how the club is run; the manager has his hands tied in the transfer market and makes his frustration known every week; the owner wants to sell the club so does not want to spend any more money; the prospective owner keeps saying she wants to buy but does not seem to have the cash to do it (and we’re not really sure what she’ll do if she ever gets it); the squad is filled with Championship players; and you’ll spend the next six months fighting to keep us in the Premier League. If we get a few bad results, the manager might decide he has had enough and leave.

When Daniel Sturridge decided this was not an attractive brochure, heading nearer home to West Bromwich Albion instead, there were a few expressing their surprise.

“How could you turn down Newcastle for West Brom?” some asked.

The question should be what makes the current Newcastle set-up more appealing than West Brom?

They have a passionate support, a wonderful stadium and a world-renowned manager in Rafa Benitez.

But the best players look for more. They see the bigger picture – the vibe they get from a club.

There are three factors a player will consider before making his move – ambition, geography and finances.

Is it a club ready to win trophies or play in the Champions League? Can he see himself settling at the club and in the area? Will they pay more than clubs of a similar ilk?

Which of these boxes can Newcastle tick at the moment? What makes them more appealing than anyone else in the Premier League?

Without the owner they need there is no realistic chance to progress. Without a realistic chance of progression they will not get the kind of owner they need.

Every year you hear Newcastle fans desperately craving top class signings. Every year you hear of Newcastle fans desperately craving Mike Ashley to leave. But what they really need – what new signings and a change at the top will really represent – is something far more precious.


The cruellest endeavour he – or indeed any owner – can partake in is to drain the supporters’ hope. Hope is the lifeblood of a football club. It is hope that makes 52,000 supporters go to St James’ Park every week; it is hope that makes them support Benitez, seeing what he has achieved elsewhere and knowing what he can do with more financial support; it is hope that prompted supporters to unfurl the banner at the Burnley fixture on Wednesday evening, pleading with everyone inside that arena to never give up.

The majority on Tyneside simply want to believe in their club again; to be able to stop worrying about going down, and to see a regime that can give them a team worthy of the venue and the jersey. You expect to be disappointed when you see a team underperform from time to time, but there is only so much heartbeak and disenchantment you can take.

It would be easy for me to list Ashley’s multitude of errors since buying Newcastle – they have been well chronicled elsewhere.

I’m worried for them because I fear they will go down again. They have the best manager of those at the bottom, but a championship squad.

My hunch is Ashley and any potential Newcastle buyer are awaiting the value of the next TV deal before determining exactly how much the club is worth.

But even if they stay up I am sure Benitez will not want another season like this.

Benitez knew what he was signing up to when he agreed to work with Ashley, but he won’t tolerate this any longer.

If Ashley stays, Rafa will have to go.’

  • anyobrien

    Maybe just maybe the media and pundits are starting to realise exactly what we and raf are up against

    • AP69

      Sadly it appears some of our own fans don’t

  • Peter

    Carragher has been supportive a few times…he is one of the pundits who gets it. I think more are twigging on….at last.

  • Paul Patterson

    Is that in today or tomorrows paper?

  • Peaky Magpie

    Looks like Rafa is giving him the 2 finger salute up top..

  • Desree

    Carragher is 100% right. Of course we crave top class signings. Pull your head in, he is giving us a load of support and has read the situation 100% right.

    • Paul Patterson

      Gradually, most people are coming round to the fact that this club is ran completely against what football is about. Almost totally non competitive.


        We ceased to be a sporting club in 2008. We exist purely for the TV money.

    • Angelswithdirtyfaces

      I can remember a lot of debate about signing PEA a few years back as striker when he was relatively mid priced, after our 5th place. Same argument with robbing Celtic for Virgil about 3 years ago. They were real class yet not overpriced .. then..

      • Mitros gotta start

        Dont forget deli alli…..we could have had him for 5 million…..the fat shyte wouldnt pay it

  • Jezza

    The truth about the Daniel Sturridge fiasco will come out. Newcastle spent days haggling over the loan fee and wages then suddenly West Brom came along and agreed to pay the full ammount. I just can’t get away with this nonsense about him going to West Brom for “geographical reasons” just because he’s originaly from Birmingham. Look at it this way, a Geordie footballer would never choose Sunderland over a bigger club for geographical reasons would he.

    • David S

      No … I think Sturridge’s choice was all about his own insecure and unsteady state of mind. He’d rather the comfort of the familiar low stress option. I don’t think he’ll show much on the pitch for WBA, although doubtless more than he would have done for us.

      Busted flush, sadly.

      • Kneebotherm8

        I don’t think he’ll be on the pitch much for Westbrom…

    • Paul Patterson

      The best story I can compare this two is another one of Keegan’s. It’s on YouTube from a talk in. When he came back in 2008 he tried to sign Sammy Hyypia and it was a paltry amount like £2m and when the offer was made to Liverpool it was £700k or something stupid and behind Keegan’s back who had put in the leg work on the deal (sound familiar?) Turns out we didn’t get him (sound familiar?). Sabotaging deals to avoid making any progress.
      This seems to be a rinse and repeat situation with this regime.

      • Guest 2

        Modric. He was offered to KK for 1 million. It was a done deal, but Ashley’s loons would only go to 500k.

        The rest is history.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      Sturridge didn’t want to come here. we made the agreement with Liverpool then the player. The mystery is stoke wanted him too and Stoke was closer to his house than WBA.

  • JonMag

    He`s always got a good word about Newcastle

  • Finnbar

    Actually one of the more honest and accurate assessments, from a person who has a genuine understanding of how modern football and its associated circus works,that I have read.
    I believe that Carragher has genuine empathy with our concerns and grievances of the Current owners actions.
    How many other in the ‘media’ ex players/managers will have the balls to stand up and voice their opinion on the debacle that the Fat one resides over remains to be seen.

    • Paul Patterson

      I don’t think he cares too much about Newcastle as such, he just has a brain and can see where things are wrong. You could replace Newcastle with any other club bar Liverpool and he could take or leave their situation, but he’s one thing that many pundits and our owner aren’t- he seems honest.

  • East Durham Mag

    In the majority i love Scousers but this whining nasal tw*t really gets my goat.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      I can’t stand Scousers, always whining.

      what he means by geography is sadly, the players’ wives want a nice little enclave of players wives to hang out with. Cheshire offers that, as does London, the NE does not.

      I recall both Clough and ferguson wanting their players to get married etc but I really don’t see the point. You’re famous and can have the pick until you are about 33 years old, stay single and enjoy a city like Newcastle.

  • Chris Gardner

    Makes a change from the drivel we got from Bellamy and Wise.

  • Mrkgw

    Ashley has to go. If it means mass protests, banners, walkouts etc then so be it. We just need this shocker of an owner gone and consigned to the worst piece of history in the books.

  • GeordieZebra

    Somebody in the national media gets it. That’s the last time he’ll get airtime on ‘the debate’ then… good lad Carra.

  • ghostrider

    Ok, so Ashley has to go. Fair enough with that.
    What type owner can take over from him and what do the fans expect of that owner?
    Serious questions.

    • Vito Genovese

      One that, at the very least, wants to stabilise the club in the Premier league.

      • ghostrider

        We’ve got that as it stands.

        • M Wallace

          2 relagations ……? Possibly a third…..? Wouldn’t call that very stable.

          • ghostrider

            Two exciting championship winning seasons . I’d say it is stable and we’ve had more excitement than most teams .
            The problem is we are conditioned to believe getting beat playing dire football in the premier league is somehow a bragging right.

            We are a stable club, more so than most.

          • Kneebotherm8

            Exciting championship winning seasons????…………..😂😂😂😂

          • ghostrider

            Are you telling me you didn’t get excited?

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I thoroughly enjoyed last season, the away games were more fun and we won the league.

            I’d not like to go to hose grounds every season mind.

          • ghostrider

            We don’t go to those grounds every season. We have done it twice in the last 11 years.
            At one stage we were close to being in the old third division under a manager that the fans thought was world class.
            The little man Ardiles using the youngsters to battle their way out of division 2 and ended up battling to stay in it.

            Newcastle United roller coaster rides with a loop the loop every so often.
            Weirdly more exciting than allowing 90% of football teams to throw the kitchen sink at you in a league that’s supposed to make fans feel special.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Ardilles’ side was lovely to watch at times but seeing Quinny run out with what looked like a bunch of young kids looked odd at times!

          • Kneebotherm8

            Looks like Mike’s trying to answer your prayers with another exciting season in the championship……………I think he’s of the opinion that it’s a cakewalk getting out of that division…….just hope his luck holds up………..this football club should not even be contemplating seasons in the second tier ffs.

          • ghostrider

            Where should this club be and why?
            If we go down it’s Rafa to blame as much as Ashley and co.
            However many fans will cite Ashley as sending us down and giving Rafa free reign to walk away as Mr innocent.

            If we stay up comfortably, it’ll be because of Rafa’s genius in getting a championship club to play way above their station where only Rafa could do it and not to mention his fantastic January loan additions that he hand picked.

            He can’t lose can he?

          • Kneebotherm8

            The one common denominator in our several relegation/near relegations these last 10 years has been one Michael James Wallace Ashley…………….guilty as charged…….

        • Vito Genovese

          This isn’t stability.

          • ghostrider

            Then tell me what stability is.

  • Vito Genovese

    ashley views all fans of NUFC in the same way he views the customers of his crappy sports emporiums.
    He makes it look like a bargain but in the case of the loyal customers at the big shop past China town it isn’t a bargain at all but the customers still turn up because they love the product.
    This product hasn’t risen in price too drastically in the last 10 years but has somehow turned a profit on sales whilst the quality has been decreasing, being made cheaper and cheaper.
    Over the years legendary brands have made shortlived comebacks before being cast aside without realising the potential that these brands understand about their customers.
    Brands from abroad have been introduced and have proved immensely popular but always with a fear that the next time you visit the shop they’ll be gone and will have moved to a different type of shop.
    I hate shopping. I love Newcastle and I love Newcastle United.

  • 4th Generation Mag

    “Without the owner they need there is no realistic chance to progress. Without a realistic chance of progression they will not get the kind of owner they need.”
    What is trying to convey here?

    • molend

      Catch 22

  • Kneebotherm8

    Spot on Carragher…

  • Mal

    It’s a good article but it doesn’t really explain why Sturridge opted for bottom of the table West Brom for a 5 month loan deal. We would have been a much better shop window for him as regards his next club and making the World Cup squad.


    We ceased to be a “sporting” club in 2008. We have no interest in the cups, we exist purely for the TV money as a business. The club and shop are run from Sports Direct HQ, it is a hollow shell above Rafa, despite what he says, everything goes through Ashley.
    No dreaming, no romance of the cup for us, thats why I stopped going, treat me like s”it, I’ll do the same back to him.