When it gets even more bizarre and quiet like this at Newcastle, part of me can’t help but hope…
We have long accepted that Newcastle United will be ran with zero ambition by Mike Ashley.
As fans, we have also accepted that on top of the cynical Ashley approach of Premier League survival at minimum cost and promoting his retail empire for free / next to nothing, the running of NUFC will be a total shambles and professionalism a dirty word.
However, just sometimes, when it gets even more bizarre and quiet like this at Newcastle, part of me can’t help but hope…
It might sound daft but when things get really really astonishingly laughable at St James Park, I think, well surely there must be ‘something’ happening on the quiet, that when it is later revealed, will then explain why Mike Ashley and his people were allowing the club to be such a total mess.
We are now at one of those points and personally, I think when you add up everything together, Newcastle United has never been in a more chaotic and fragile state than now under Mike Ashley, which considering what has gone on these past 13 years is saying something.
I have just read this (Thursday) morning that not only did Mike Ashley abuse the government’s furlough scheme, he is still keeping a substantial number of low paid staff on it to the bitter end (government closing in at the end of October 2020). This includes a number of Newcastle United scouts on the recruitment team, Ashley happy that they can’t start work again until AFTER the 2020 summer transfer window ends!
On Wednesday I read an excellent article on The Mag entitled ‘Now Steve Bruce has gone missing’, it is really a must read (read it here). It detailed that as well as the usual Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley silence and failure to communicate with fans, Steve Bruce has joined them.
That article detailing the last time Steve Bruce did anything to camera for any outside media, was 21 August 2020 for Sky Sports, which is now 13 days ago.
Whilst as for even appearing in front of the camera for Newcastle United’s own TV channel (NUFC TV), no sign of Steve Bruce since 25 August 2020 after Newcastle beat Crewe 3-0 in the first friendly of pre-season, which was nine days ago.
Considering the new season kicks off in only nine days time it is just ridiculous, literally nothing has happened of a positive nature since last season ended and now literally nobody from the club will talk to anybody!
I was really trying to think of positives that other people might put forward and all I could come up with was the free transfer signings of Mark Gillespie and Jeff Hendrick, Newcastle banking £3m from Brentford paying £10m for Ivan Toney, plus the Saudi £17m non-refundable deposit. Not that I am getting excited about any of these potential positives other people might suggest. Especially when you’d have to be the ultimate optimist to think that Ashley would put that £17m deposit into the club’s bank account, rather than his own.
The 5-1 friendly defeat at Middlesbrough isn’t significant, unless it points to how the team might start the season of course…
Friendly results aren’t important but the way they defended and conceded the goals was worrying, the performances overall as well as Middlesbrough looked worryingly better in every department and more organised and disciplined.
I am amazed that the journalists / media have all refused to even mention the dismal form Newcastle ended last season in, after Christmas 2019 Steve Bruce’s team had the third worst form over the final 20 matches and only won four of them, which included wins against ten men in two of the four victories.
We now have that same squad, less the players who left in the summer, plus the two free transfers, not a penny spent on transfers so far in this window, the likes of Dubravka, Schar, Gayle injured, Shelvey also missing against Middlesbrough with no explanation, Joelinton and Muto taking absolutely no part in pre-season and the club refusing to comment…
What does this all add up to, ahead of playing West Ham away a week on Saturday?
The club are refusing to interact with the media and allow proper access, following that Steve Bruce missing article on The Mag yesterday, I have seen a number of NUFC journalists confirming that they have been denied any of the usual pre-season access with Steve Bruce, not allowed to speak to him as a group (via Zoom etc) after these friendlies or indeed ahead of them. It is almost as though nobody at Newcastle United wants any awkward questions to be asked.
I come back to my ultra-positive theory…that when it gets more bizarre and quiet like this at Newcastle, part of me can’t help but hope…
Obviously that big (only?) hope is a takeover, however, any positive at all would be massive as things stand!
However, I know deep down that in reality, the absence / silence of Steve Bruce and Lee Charnley, plus the exclusion of the media, will have a far more predictable explanation.
My money is on Charnley and Bruce having been given a wheelbarrow and a couple of spades, told to get on and dig a swimming pool at the training ground for the new hydrotherapy facilities promised by Mike Ashley back in 2013, as part of a state of the art new training ground.
That makes at least as much sense as everything else that is currently happening (or not) at St James Park.
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