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Opinion

This Allan Saint-Maximin comment was accidentally telling about Mike Ashley’s Newcastle United

3 weeks ago
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Allan Saint-Maximin has been a breath of fresh air at Newcastle United.

As enthusiastic and entertaining off the pitch as he has been on it.

Thursday night saw the latest French recruit appear in an early evening phone-in on BBC Radio Newcastle.

His ‘F-Bomb’ comment taking all the headlines.

Allan Saint-Maximin was asked ‘Do you get worried about not scoring goals?’ and replied with ‘I don’t care. I care if I don’t score and we lose. If the team wins and I don’t score, I’m happy because the most important…is to win. I don’t give a fu.. if we win and I don’t score. I don’t play for myself, if I don’t score and the team wins, I’m happy.’

Very funny as he was clearly not just saying it for effect/attention and it was priceless the Alan Partridge-like reaction of the presenter as he told an ‘Am I bothered’ Saint-Maximin off.

However, in The Mag write-up of the phone-in highlights, I thought the stand out part was when ASM was asked ‘What are your ambitions with Newcastle?’

The winger replying with: ‘If Newcastle can be a great club, I can stay, no problem. I want to do everything for Newcastle. Steve (Bruce) said to me that the club will do great things and the team will do much better and buy players every year. If they stay like this I don’t have to move. It’s really good when you are somewhere and you know you can be bigger.’

This gets right to the heart of Newcastle United under Mike Ashley.

You look back at that fifth place finish of 2011/12 and by accident/design Newcastle had ended up with the likes of Krul, Ba, Cisse, Ben Arfa, Jonas, Coloccini, Cabaye and Tiote, all quality players and internationals, backed up by a number of lesser players who gave great back up.

The players finished that season on such a high, where could this momentum take Newcastle United.

Alan Pardew went on BBC Radio Newcastle, ironically enough, after that fifth place finish and talked about the targets that had already been identified and how they were going to build on that breakthrough fifth in the table.

The reality instead was that Mike Ashley refused to allow a penny of net spend, instead a number of squad players such as Fraser Forster were sold to fund the only senior signing, squad player Vurnon Anita.

It was like bursting a balloon, all of that momentum and feelgood spirit disappearing, none of those star players from the 2011/12 season ever reached the same level again and Newcastle were almost relegated that following season, only confirming staying up when winning the final away game at QPR.

Mike Ashley has refused to allow investment in summer 2012 on top of success, instead then allowing money to be spent on a remarkable five January 2013 signings because he was afraid of relegation.

Allan Saint-Maximin has been sold a dream of a Newcastle United that will continue to push forward and will show ambition, it isn’t one we recognise in this Mike Ashley era.

Which of course where the big problem comes for so many Newcastle fans.

If players such as ASM prove massive success stories, will the club look to build a better and better team around them, or will he/they end up leaving due to a lack of ambition from the owner, yet again refusing to pay the market level upgrade on wages that successful players will expect and failing to bring in high quality players to push the club on?

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