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Opinion

Mike Ashley can spend £500million but it won’t change my mind

6 months ago
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With two third of this Newcastle United season gone, we have asked a number of regular/irregular contributors to The Mag to answer a few questions.

Only 13 games to go and two points above the relegation zone, what do people think about where we are now?

Is Miguel Almiron the start of something better, or too little too late?

Writer Jonathan Drape-Comyn is next up…

Three words to describe how you feel as a Newcastle fan at this moment in time?

Hopeless, Exasperated, Isolated

As things stand, are you going to go to home matches next season?

No. Not as long as this is Mike Ashley’s football club and as long as those two Sports Direct signs sit either side of ‘Newcastle United’.

Season ticket has been cancelled, and loyalty points lost, but I could not justify giving money to Mike Ashley any longer.

I now give £25 of my cancelled NUFC monthly direct debit to much better charitable causes.

So no, I won’t be at St James Park. Not now, or next season.

What needs to change at NUFC for you to change your mind?

Mike Ashley needs to go. Simple as that.

He can spend £500 million for all I care, it won’t change my mind.

I find it incredible that a man can treat people, staff, politicians, workers, players, managers, legends, a city, a football club and its supporters with such disrespect and people will still go and give money to him. Fans may say ‘oh well I love Newcastle United, not Mike Ashley’ and well okay then, what about Kevin Keegan, Alan Shearer, renaming the stadium etc. Don’t you care about standing up for them? It is absolute bonkers and hypocrisy of the highest order.

This is a regime that was proven in court to have discriminated against one of their own players because he had cancer. Yet, nobody seems to care.

For Newcastle to be looking up and not just surviving, what kind of transfer activity needs to happen in the summer?

Fact is, the squad has been depleted over a sustained period. It hasn’t been one transfer window, it has been six or seven. If we go and spend £50 million in the summer, you can bet your bottom dollar that the teams around us who have been spending will continue to spend.

So for Newcastle to start looking up in terms of the playing squad, they need to spend significantly more than our rivals.

Is that going to happen? No. Is it even realistic? No.

Can Newcastle United ever truly be able to look forward if Mike Ashley is still here?

No.

If Newcastle ever do win a cup, or reach Europe again under Mike Ashley, it will be a stained and tainted achievement.

As a percentage, how confident are you that Newcastle will stay up this season?

75% (it was probably 25% on January 1st).

If Almiron is even half the player he has been made out to be, and he stays fit (along with Rondon), then that is probably 90%.

Do you think Mike Ashley was seriously trying to sell the club this time?

No. If you think so then you are either an idiot or a fool.

I’ll add another question in there for you, ‘Do you think Peter Kenyon was seriously trying to buy Newcastle United?’ No.

We asked fans whether Rafa should be expected to sign a new contract after the January transfer business Mike Ashley allowed, only 12% of Newcastle supporters said yes. Do you think it is enough and if not, what does Ashley need to do to convince Rafa?

Of course it is not enough.

To be honest, I have no idea what it would take. If Rafa agrees to sign a new contract between now and the end of the season he will look like a mug.

I am not sure when his contract expires, lets say it is the 30th June. I think what it would take is Newcastle to invest heavily in early June. Even then, if Rafa has any sense of pride about him, which he has shown over the past three years he certainly does, then he will tell Mike Ashley where to go.

Which six current Newcastle players (not incl Almiron or loan players Kenedy and Rondon) would you choose to definitely keep as a base for next season?

Dubravka, Dummett/Yedlin (sorry I couldn’t choose between them), Schar, Lascelles, Fernandez, Lejeune.

Is signing Salomon Rondon on a permanent deal a no-brainer in the summer?

Yes. Without him, and forget his goals for a second, but his all round performance in terms of holding the ball up, bringing others into player, winning his fair share in the air, where would we be?

Would you keep Dwight Gayle next season?

100%. Another no-brainer. I don’t think Gayle will want to play second fiddle to whoever is leading the line but he is under contract here, he is our player, so we should use him.

If everybody was fit now, which 11 players in the current would you pick for a must win game?

Dubravka, Yedlin, Schar, Lejeune, Fernandez, Dummett, Shelvey, Diame, Almiron (assuming he is decent and better than Perez), Ritchie, Rondon.

To be honest, Lascelles should really be in there. I don’t see much of a difference between all five of our centre halves, Clark included.

What are your views on the protests this season, anything at all you want to say, whether it is agreeing with them or not, the organisation, the effectiveness, the type of protests etc etc?

I think those who are the brains behind the Magpie Group have let themselves down. The decision to cancel protests, and especially the Wolves boycott, was a suicidal decision to say the least.

I’ll be at the meeting on Wednesday night as I think any sort of protest movement is caught at a crossroads at the moment, between the fact that The Magpie Group appear to have lost all accountability and legitimacy, whilst any other ‘new’ group would probably just be laughed at as another failed attempt, by the majority.

Liverpool fans seem to think Newcastle supporters would prefer them to win the title, rather than Man City or Spurs. Discuss.

Could not care less. I have far more entertainment watching the title race in the Championship, and even in the SPL this year, at the moment there are four teams in the running.

Who seriously cares about Man City and Liverpool? The Premier League in general has turned into a bit of a sham in my opinion. I want Newcastle to win every game and be the best they can be but don’t understand the idea that the Premier League is the be all and end all.

Luke Edwards wrote in the telegraph yesterday;: “success is considered nothing more than avoiding catastrophe. How is that fun? The joy has been sucked out of proceedings for the majority.”

I couldn’t think of a more appropriate club than Newcastle United who that quote could allude to.

The Newcastle United season so far…

Best game?

Manchester City 2-1. When you analyse the context, and the 22 players on the pitch, I would go as far as saying it should be up there with one of the best results in the history of the club (or at least one of the most surprising results).

Worst game?

Nottingham Forest in the cup was horrific but Cardiff away was also horrific. Kick off times at both did not help, but the weather was good at Cardiff, so I will go with Nottingham Forest.

In truth, most games this season have been dull and boring.

Best moment?

The first half at Old Trafford.

We spoke about this as a group at Spurs recently, and agreed that the scenes in the away end in that first half, beat the scenes on the day we actually won at Old Trafford in 2013.

Worst moment?

The second half at Old Trafford. In particular, Martial’s equaliser.

By the time Sanchez scored the winner we had already accepted the inevitable, but Martial’s goal to make it 2-2, really pulled all of the hope out of you.

Most impressive player?

Ironically, I would say the one player not getting into the side at the moment… Fernandez. If it is too silly to go for him though, then a toss up between Dubravka, Rondon and Schar.

Longstaff has been brilliant as well.

Most disappointing player?

It can only be one man, can’t it? Kenedy.

Aside from that, I haven’t been ‘disappointed’ with any of them. With the exception of maybe Lascelles, I think they are all pretty much performing to the best of their ability.

You can follow the author on Twitter @JonathanComyn

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