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‘I would take numerous relegations if it meant getting rid of Mike Ashley’

4 weeks ago
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Mike Ashley is now in the 13th season of his Newcastle United reign.

Whilst Steve Bruce has been NUFC Head Coach these past four months.

So what is the state of play at St James Park?

With the (third of the season already!) international break giving us all time to reflect, we have asked some of our regular/irregular contributors a few questions…

First up is GToon:

What were your expectations and what have you judged to be the reality of each of the summer signings?

I expected the usual minimum investment and the sale of Longstaff to Man U to balance any spending. I still expect this to happen in January instead.

The full-back position on either flank needed strengthening, although I think Richie is an excellent wing-back.

The departures of Perez and Rondon obviously left us short up front so I was hoping for a decent couple of attacking/ goalscoring players.

Were they the positions Newcastle needed to strengthen and were they the right individuals?

Emil Krafth – He might come good when he settles in but he looks no better than what we had.

Joelinton – Absolutely useless.

He has been signed purely on how he looks.

He might look like an athletic, imposing forward but the truth of the matter is that he has no pace, can’t hold the ball up, can’t link up play, can’t head the ball or really do anything better than Joselu in my opinion. And all for £40m.

He reminds me of how I used to feel as a little kid on holiday when my parents told me not to spend all of my £1 worth of 2ps on the first day in the amusement arcade. I did of course and then spent the rest of the week wishing I hadn’t.

How we spent £40m on him is beyond me, unless of course Ashley did it to spite Rafa.

Allan Saint-Maximin – Very good. He will be sold at the end of the season.

Andy Carroll – He offers an outlet and could get some useful goals this season. He’s loads better than Joelinton but obviously it’s all about keeping him fit.

Jetro Willems – A decent player who has had some good games.

Newcastle United have 15 points after 12 games, have Steve Bruce and his team deserved that number of points based on performances or have they deserved more/less?

Even though we are only 12 games in, it’s almost like two totally different seasons.

The Brighton home game was horrendous and yet the Man U home game was very good.

It’s hard to say how many points we deserve as there has been no consistency so far so it’s difficult to judge us a team.

Are we the team who blew West Ham away, or are we the team who got a lucky draw at home against Watford, or the team who outfought Man Utd, or the team who were hammered by Norwich. I think Bruce is still working out his best side and the players he wants to use.

With everybody fit what would be your first choice central midfield pair and do you think they are good enough, or does a better option need to be signed to replace one or both?

Hayden and Sean Longstaff are my choice and if Shelvey comes on, he needs to be further forward. Having said that, I think Matty Longstaff is the more attack minded of the four, so maybe he deserves a place. I don’t think we need to buy anybody at the moment.

Did Mike Ashley make any serious attempt to keep Rafa Benitez and was Steve Bruce his first choice replacement?

Ashley made no attempt to keep Rafa. The bloke is a liar and is interested in money and nothing else. I doubt Bruce was his first choice although Ashley might say he was. Perhaps when they were knocked back by other managers they aimed a little lower and got Bruce.

Can I just add that Bruce was the last person I wanted as manager and although I’ll never sing his name at the game, I’m impressed with his start so far.

What are your feelings about Ashley selling off the land opposite the Gallowgate for a personal profit after buying it from the club, realistically ending any chance of ever expanding St James Park in the future?

My first reaction was total and utter disbelief.

What? Mike Ashley put personal profit before the club? He wouldn’t do that would he?

Ok, seriously this got me really angry. I can sort of deal with him ruining our present but to ruin our future too is pretty unforgivable. How much money does he want?

Is there more chance of Mike Ashley selling if Newcastle are doing well or badly on the pitch?

Ashley is interested in one thing. Money. If whatever he is involved with doesn’t make money then he isn’t interested.

I would take numerous relegations if it meant getting rid of Mike Ashley.

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