Mark Lawrenson has been talking ahead of Saturday’s game at St James Park.

He has also commented on how the clubs have got on in the summer transfer window.

Last season saw Jonjo Shelvey throw the game away early in the second half with a senseless red card, up to that point Newcastle looked very comfortable and heading for a point, despite not showing that much attacking ambition.

Lawrenson believes that Rafa will once again set his side up for a point and thinks he will get it this time.

Very hard to predict the two starting elevens as Newcastle’s main new faces – Muto, Rondon and Fernandez have all played zero part in pre-season and indeed until this week, none of them had even trained with the Newcastle squad.

As for Tottenham, Pochettino admitted that a number of his World Cup stars will be missing, Harry Kane and eight others only returning to training this week and the Spurs boss saying some won’t even travel to Newcastle as there would be too great a risk of injury, having had so little preparation.

Mark Lawrenson makes a connection with Newcastle United’s lack of transfer spend and a supposed willingness of Mike Ashley to sell the club.

I find it very strange that people still swallow this, Ashley sees NUFC as a key part in supporting/promoting his retail empire and the idea he was serious about selling last Autumn looks laughable now.

Just as laughable is the idea that not allowing any net investment in the playing squad is somehow a sensible part of a plan in supposedly selling this football club.

Last year there was minimal net spend and then when the club was (allegedly) put up for sale, the big reason put up for it not selling was because the team was threatened by relegation – the idea being nobody could agree a price when nobody was guaranteed as to what division Newcastle would be in come the following summer.

So having made a profit of over £20m this time in the transfer market, how could anybody think the next logical step will be that a sale of NUFC would go through, when Rafa Benitez has had to put a squad together based on loans, frees and bargain buys once again?

Mark Lawrenson says Mike Ashley was never going to give Rafa Benitez £150m to spend but the reality has been over £170m worse than that. Crazy to look at it now and wonder what Rafa could have even done with a £30m+ net spend, which would have given him another £50m+ to play with.

Anyway, farewell transfer window, lets wave away those frustrations and look forward to the Spurs match, one of four of the first five matches where Newcastle are facing a top six side from last season…

Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:

“Mourinho may be unhappy about not making enough signings, but Tottenham did not bring in any new faces whatsoever.

“This is a big season for Spurs with their move into their new ground, but I am not sure about how it will go for them.

Newcastle have had a difficult summer, with their fans and the manager Rafa Benitez questioning the level of investment in the team.

“It was never going to be any different, though, was it?

Magpies owner Mike Ashley wants to sell up and he was never going to say ‘Here’s £150m Rafa, go and enjoy yourself’.

“As for the game, I am going for a draw.

“We already know Rafa will set his side up to get a point and I think he would take that result now.

“Prediction is Newcastle 1 Tottenham 1.”

Actor Joe Thomas (Simon off The Inbetweeners) is a Tottenham fan and is the BBC guest predictor this weekend:

“Spurs have been good on the road recently and I fancy us to win this one – Newcastle 1 Tottenham 2.”

Newcastle v Tottenham Match Betting:

Newcastle win 14/5Draw 5/2Spurs win 11/10

Rondon to score first goal 7/1NUFC win 1-0 19/2NUFC win to nil 11/2

All Newcastle v Tottenham betting HERE

  • SuperDesHamilton

    Mark got sacked more than 20 years ago….still isn’t bitter though, honest

  • toonterrier

    Just read that the fatman is in the process of buying House Of Fraser but will probably only fork out £20 million as that’s all he has in his pocket after the window closed.

    • Wezza

      The 126M TV money as well!

      • Leazes.

        The Ed Sheeran Concert money, Season tickets, sponsors, Premiership reward…. all to the MASH account.

    • Jezza

      Yes he was planning on putting in £50 million to the department shop but that investment was scuppered when nobody came in for Lascelles before the deadline.

      • Leazes.

        Now that was a suprise.

  • ghostrider

    It certainly does appear like Ashley is gearing the club up for sale……..or he’s ensuring that when Rafa leaves at the end of the season, the new manager will have cash to spend to build in his own image.

    Which one?
    I’m not entirely sure.
    I hope it’s the latter, because I’d hate a private owner to take over. I think that would be a big mistake for our club.

    I sincerely hope a real fans buyout would happen.
    It won’t but it would be great to see the fans own their own club and have control over everything that happens.

    • nevfur

      With the sums involved I think that dream has long gone unless we drop at least two divisions. The Mackems have missed a huge opportunity to own their own club though

      • ghostrider

        I agree Sunderland fans have missed a great opportunity to own their own club but you have to ask yourself if it is as feasible as it appears to be.

        I’d like to believe it is.

  • Jimblag23

    As Shearer said, this is all copy and paste from last year. No backing for transfers, speculation about Rafa’s long term future, preparations for a season opening against Spurs. Now we have to wait for Ashley to start pretending to sell the club so he doesn’t have to spend in January.

    Pochettino was saying Spurs are brave for investing in their academy, stadium and player lounge and not making signings. That really makes me wonder what they were thinking forking all that money out for Moussa with that around the corner.

  • Paul Patterson

    Yeah, maybe not £150m, but £30m would have been acceptable, not zero (£30m profit)..

  • East Durham Mag

    A surplus not reinvested and shady accounting and now the usual f#ckwits come out of the woodwork Lawrenson, Merson Owen and co. FFS as if we aren’t angry or depressed enough.

  • Alan Pardew

    Mike has invested something like 25 per cent of his personal wealth in this football club. Ask me for 25 per cent of my money and you’ve got no chance. I don’t care how good your idea is.

    • Sickandtired

      Can’t you count? He’s worth around £2.8 billion. He’s got less than 10% ‘invested’ in the club.
      Not personal wealth either. It’s company money. All NUFC debt owed to St James Holdings, another subsidiary of MASH.
      You always were a knacker, Pards.

      • Alan Pardew

        At least you can logically look at it and say we are in a much better position than most Premier League clubs in terms of our financial position.

        • Sickandtired

          We are meant to be a competitive football club, who exist to compete and try to win things. Financial position (profit) comes before football and therefore Ashley is entirely illogical. As are you, Pards. But you always were his hoop licker.

    • Billmag


    • justchampion

      He buys for £250m which he now values at £400m, he creams off the profit we make and has free global exposure to sell his tat. I would give 25% in a heartbeat for that kind of return wouldn’t you? Or are you just a plum?

  • John D Williams

    Ashley has NO intention of selling. Micky Quinn said on Talksport he heard about some of the “conditions of sale” and no one would touch it with these in place.

    • Paul Patterson

      Do you have a link for that and what were they?

    • Ben Jones

      Micky Quinn. Didn’t he make some big announcement last season that the club had been sold? I seem to remember him making a big fuss as he was in the know and wanted to be the first to share it, I’m not convinced just how much he does know

    • Leazes.

      The talk of a sale was nonsense…. part of the operation to con the local media with the fans being strung along. The chronicle and others said that there was due diligence done but really that was nothing, the effect on the club is more of the same and this owner as entrenched as ever.

      The due diligence could have been part of the trick to bend journalists into compliance and fans into thinking one more year.

      • Hughie_Gallacher

        I’m bloody furious with myself for being suckered into this. The reasoning seemed so good in favour of Fat Boy selling. I guess it was just the hope and not reason doing the thinking.

        • Steven05

          I believed it too. My head tried to tell me otherwise at the time but I didn’t want to listen. I let my heart do my thinking and now my heart has packed up and left.

          We have to do all we can to destroy the evil man. He’s NOT invincible.

          • morryJR

            Someday he’ll come unstuck…there’s no guarantee that his new “empire” will be successful. Let’s hope that it’s sooner rather than later!

  • John D Williams

    If he is “in the know” that is why he was able to say the add ons were ridiculous

  • morryJR

    Think it may have crossed the minds of some fans that Ashley was holding onto his resources to sell the club..even going into the realms of fantasy and hoping that something might be going on in the background as regards selling..but this mornings announcement that he may be about to ..not just invest in House of Fraser.. but buy the chain of stores has just burst that balloon! What a morning to announce it as well…the day after the transfer window closes…..threadbare transfer window for NUFC…punishment for the fans and Rafa for protesting and speaking out ….and ” loads of money” for a possible big new investment. Nice one Ashley!

    • X,WHY,Y MAN.

      it now looks as though Ashley was more bothered about what was happening at HOF than what happening at Newcastle United !

      • morryJR

        Looks like we’re in for the long haul then! I read somewhere that one of the “conditions” is that advertising sports direct is to continue AFTER the sale. Surely this can’t be true… it’s outrageous even for Ashley but if it is…who in their right mind is going to agree to that!!

      • Jonas

        Even if it wasn’t up for sale and he had no interest in buying it, he’d have more interest in it than nufc.

    • Sickandtired

      Sale, my backside. Never mind Staveley, his liars said there was four more interested parties doing due diligence.
      Clearly, they saw enough to make them walk away – if they ever existed.

      • Kneebotherm8

        No nay never a chance of a sale……..Ashley taking the pss with those claims…..if there’d been a serious chance of him selling……we’d have known of the deal only when it actually happened,and not before……..absolute bull💩 on his part……

  • Rob

    £90 million spent on house of Fraser.

    Mike finds the money for the things he wants.

  • molend

    This morning, lads and lasses, I learned the words for ‘goji berries’ in Bulgarian, which is about a relevant as the other posts here. For whatever reason, Ashley doesn’t care about NUFC and that’s it and all about it. I can’t see that we can do anything. We can’t force him out or embarrass him out, Looks to me like we’re stuck with the last in a very long line of really bad Chairmen/Owners. How the club has even survived is down purely to the devotion of the fans., So there.

    • Leazes.

      Maybe you could come onto the site and tell everyone what we are supposed to read so that we all save time…. yes its a hostage scenario….

      • molend

        I’m just saying, man, that it’s as bad as it gets, it seems to me. Apart from the early fifties and the Keegan era we’ve done nowt for nearly 80 years. I don’t see any answer. Not supporting the team is definitely not an option, but then you’re also supporting Mckeag, ….Ashley. I just wish I could look forward to the match tomorrow. Sod it.

  • Kneebotherm8

    NUFC is not for sale.
    NUFC is not for sale.
    NUFC is not for sale.
    Mike saying NUFC is for sale is a patent lie by a proven liar.

  • Jonas

    Its not so much that Mark Lawrenson doesn’t understand much beyond Liverpool, its that he’s cock-sure arrogant, that grates.
    Same can be said of.Samuel in the Mail, anybody see his comments today? “finishing 10th isn’t a bad years work” in defence of Ashley. Any comments on why a club that had never been near a PL relegation battle is perennially in a relegation battle at best 9 times out.of 10 since Ashley’s arrival? How are they for a years work.