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I made these five Newcastle United January predictions – Looking on the money with four days to go

2 years ago

Newcastle United.

A club where anything is possible…potentially.

On New Year’s Eve I was at a house party and as often/usually happens at this type of thing, the women were doing  whatever they do, whilst half a dozen blokes ended up in the kitchen talking about football.

Well when I say football, it was really Newcastle United and everything that surrounds the mess/chaos Mike Ashley has visited on us, rather than the ‘beautiful game’, as I have seen fans of other clubs talk about.

There was a mixture of us within the half dozen: three of us who still have season tickets, a couple who still go fairly regularly on a match to match basis, plus one who stopped going last summer and says he won’t step foot inside St James Park ever again unless/until Mike Ashley leaves.

As midnight got close, I gave  them five predictions about what would happen with Newcastle United in January:

Mike Ashley won’t sell the club

Newcastle will be knocked out of the FA Cup

The team will win one Premier League match

We will see loads of PR stunts/nonsense from Mike Ashley and  his people to try and divert attention

Not one player will be signed

Now with only four days to go until the end of the month, taking them one by one…

Selling the club – Was never ever going to happen and only Mike Ashley (and some of his people) will know  exactly why he chose to go on TV and talk the rubbish he did on 3 December 2018.

No sale of the club is happening, certainly not mid-season in the middle of a relegation battle. Pure nonsense.

Where is the Mike Ashley TV appearance now to explain what has/hasn’t happened and reassure fans as to what is happening at the club.

FA Cup – Drawn at home in the third round against a club recently promoted from League One, it ‘only’ took us around four hours to rather fortunately make it into round four and start checking out when the final is…

Well we nearly did it at the first attempt. Only six minutes from the end a fortunate penalty delivered a very much unwanted FA Cup reply.

Went two up quickly in the replay only to be drawing 2-2 at half-time, then Blackburn the better team until two extra time goals from nowhere swung it our way.

Shouldn’t have bothered. A terrible game, even by this season’s standards, saw only a madcap Manquillo run provide our one shot on target, an entire Watford reserve team easily winning at St James Park.

Win one Premier League match – It didn’t take a genius to work out that there was no chance of beating Man Utd, Chelsea and Man City, so Cardiff it had to be.

Luckily Cardiff did everything they could to help make this one happen, the worst team to come to St James Park this season without their first choice central midfielders and zero threat up front.

It still took a Fabian Schar double to deliver this one.

I can’t see Tuesday night (Man City at home) spoiling this prediction.

Mike Ashley PR stunts – These past few weeks have Ashley’s people scraping the very bottom of the barrel as the likes of Richard Keys and Tim Sherwood have played a supporting cast to the embarrassing Rio Ferdinand.

If you think this has all been coincidence then you also no doubt believe the club when they claimed in the fans forum minutes, that they had tried to break the club’s (now) 14 year old transfer record, with bids for any number of transfer targets in the summer.

Now club friendly media are still claiming Ashley is serious about letting Rafa break that Michael Owen transfer record…

Buying a player – No signings allowed at all in January 2017, only loan ones allowed in January 2018.

Summer 2018 saw Mike Ashley refuse to give Rafa Benitez any budget, instead insisting on a £20m+ profit on transfer deals.

Couldn’t even get this cheap loan deal done for Jordan Lukaku, Italian media insisting it was because Mike Ashley had refused to agree to pay enough of the defender’s wages.

The idea of positivity via selling the club, buying (any) players, and an FA Cup run, just pure fantasy.

Roll on February…


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