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Paul Merson is very definitely getting worse – Latest bizarre Newcastle United quotes

1 week ago
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When it comes to Newcastle United, Paul Merson never holds back.

Always happy to go way over the top with his comments, Merson doesn’t believe in letting reality get in the way of trying to attract attention.

In a new Sky Sports report, the broadcaster has been looking at what each Premier League club needs to happen this summer, especially in this summer transfer window that opened on Monday.

They invited Paul Merson to give his ‘expert’ verdict on what needs to happen at Newcastle: ‘If you’re Newcastle, you might spend £200m and it still might not break you into the top six. It probably wouldn’t, so why would you keep on spending now if you were Ashley? The name of the game for Newcastle is to minimise spending and to stay in the league. It’s all well and good saying you need to show ambition, but how much is that going to cost? £300m? £400m?’

The only realistic thing is when Paul Merson talks about Mike Ashley with regard to ‘minimise spending and to stay in the league’, he claims that as the right plan for Ashley this summer, well, that has been Mike Ashley’s NUFC plan for these entire 13 years.

Paul Merson talks about Newcastle / Ashley potentially spending £200m, £300m, £400m and it probably making little difference, how is this relevant in any way to what has happened at NUFC in the past? Under Rafa Benitez there was zero net investment in the transfer market over his three years.

In their new report, Sky Sports show the total gross and net spending for every PL club in 2019/20:

Mike Ashley obviously backed Steve Bruce far more than Rafa BUT it was still only just over £30m net spending, a bit of a leap to the £200m, £300m, £400m Merson is fantasising about.

Merson says: ‘if I was Ashley, I wouldn’t be spending the sort of money needed to just become a top-half team’, well what kind of money is needed to be top half?’

This is the final 2019/20 Premier League table:

Leicester are fifth, Wolves seventh and Sheffield United ninth, the Blades with 54 points, only once in 13 years of Ashley have Newcastle reached 50 PL points or more.

The likes of Paul Merson are totally divorced from realty when it comes to Newcastle United, truly delusional when fantasising about what has supposedly been happening at NUFC.

Sky Sports report:

Premier League transfers: What does every club need this summer?

Analysis, insight and pundit views on what every Premier League club needs to do in the transfer market this summer…

Sky Sports insight: Which positions are Newcastle targeting?

The potential takeover from Saudi investors means recruitment plans could change significantly over the next few weeks.

For now, Steve Bruce continues to plan for next season – and looks likely to be busy. Most of his budget will be spent on landing a young centre-forward and a left centre-back – with both costing up to £20m. The club is also targeting a young central midfielder as well as a left-back and, like so many clubs, a winger.

What do the stats say about Newcastle?

Newcastle averaged just 37.8 per cent possession across the 2019-20 Premier League campaign, their lowest in a single campaign in the competition on record (since 2003-04).

They were also heavily reliant on Allan Saint-Maximin – winning just one of 12 games where he did not feature – while midfielder Jonjo Shelvey was their top scorer with six goals; £40m striker Joelinton managed only two league goals.

The manager’s view

Steve Bruce on Newcastle’s recruitment plans:

“We’ve got one or two irons in the fire right now – let’s hope we can pull them off. We’ve got competition, but I think that will be the case right through the summer. As soon as the window opens, we’ll go to work.

“Things are not on hold. We need that decision [over the takeover] to be made, but the only thing I can do, along with Lee [Charnley, Newcastle’s managing director] is to keep planning as best we can, and that obviously includes the transfer market.”

What do Newcastle need? Sky Sports analysis

Sky Sports’ Ben Grounds:

“Newcastle boss Steve Bruce is in the dark and wants clarity in the coming days over PCP Capital Partners’ largely Saudi-backed bid to buy out current owner Mike Ashley.

“The quick turnaround in seasons means time is of the essence if Bruce is to be able to improve upon his squad in the transfer market but so far, his call for an answer has fallen on deaf ears.

“The proposed takeover has been with the Premier League for almost four months, but with no breakthrough imminent, it appears unlikely that Ashley will dispense with any more transfer funds when he is on the verge of selling the club.”

Sky Sports’ Paul Merson:

“I personally don’t think he will. If you’re Newcastle, you might spend £200m and it still might not break you into the top six. It probably wouldn’t, so why would you keep on spending now if you were Ashley?

“The name of the game for Newcastle is to minimise spending and to stay in the league.

“It’s all well and good saying you need to show ambition, but how much is that going to cost? £300m? £400m? Arsenal are eighth!

“If you’re the owner of a club and no one likes you there, are you going to spend £400m to move you up two more places? If it doesn’t go right, you could get relegated.

“When Rafa Benitez left, the feeling was that Newcastle would struggle but Steve Bruce has done an unbelievable job.

“But if I was Ashley, I wouldn’t be spending the sort of money needed to just become a top-half team.”

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