Mike Ashley has been warned by a club legend that failing to invest in the Newcastle squad in January could have dire consequences.
The club owner told that if this belated strengthening of the NUFC squad doesn’t happen ‘That could get see Newcastle get drawn into a relegation battle and they don’t want that.’
Most Newcastle fans and neutrals would say that the club/team are every much already in a relegation battle.
Whilst Saturday gave everybody a massive lift, it still means only one win in 11 matches and outside the relegation zone on goal difference.
It isn’t difficult to work out where the biggest weaknesses are, despite beating Watford, Newcastle created next to no chances and had only two efforts on target, the goal and then only one in open play when Foster made a comfortable save from Diame’s shot straight at him.
Over 25 years ago Kevin Keegan broke the then club record when buying Andy Cole for £1.75m, a striker who himself went on to break NUFC club records.
Over two and a half decades later though, Mike Ashley only allowed Rafa Benitez a similar amount to loan Rondon for a season, even to get him in, Rafa had to reluctantly accept that Dwight Gayle would have to go the other way.
Andy Cole points to where the problem is although he downplays it a little bit, considering there was a profit on deals of over £20m made this summer, zero net investment in the squad: ‘This season they are struggling a little bit with no big investment. You need to invest, you need to spend a little bit of money to try and propel the club forward.’
If say Newcastle had made only a net investment in the squad of some £30m in the summer, that would have given Rafa Benitez over £50m extra to play with, meaning that he could have pursued a decent quality centre forward and number 10, as well as an attacking left-back.
Rafa Benitez has repeated many times that he is waiting to see what happens in January before any decision could be made on a contract extension.
Andy Cole spells it out: ‘If you don’t invest, you are going to struggle’, and that is whatever manager you have, especially in the longer-term.
Spending £3.25m on Andy Cole and Peter Beardsley back in 1993 took that Newcastle team to a whole new level, who is to say that with a reasonable modern-day sized equivalent budget, Rafa Benitez couldn’t have built on that tenth place finish last season?
Andy Cole asked by Sky Sports about his impression of how the club is run now…:
“It is different, that is all I can say on that really…
“From the outside looking in, Rafa Benitez did an unbelievable job last season and I think Newcastle ended up finishing 10th.
“However you look at it, they superseded what they should have done.
“That is why this season they are struggling a little bit with no big investment.
“You need to invest, you need to spend a little bit of money to try and propel the club forward.
“In the Premier League, you have got to invest.
“If you don’t invest, you are going to struggle.
“Whatever happens, in January they are going to have to invest.
“There are a lot of teams around Newcastle United at the moment, that could get see them get drawn into a relegation battle, and they don’t want that.”