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Opinion

Mike Ashley needs to go along with Steve Bruce – Beating Arsenal in the FA Cup is irrelevant

8 months ago
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There was a time when I really valued the FA Cup, as a Newcastle United fan I considered it and the League Cup our best chances of competing for a trophy.

Well, the last 13 years I could hardly turn around and say we have competed in any of the domestic cups.

Three League Cup quarter-finals and one FA cup quarter-final since Mike Ashley bought the club a long painful 13 and a half years ago in May 2007.

Mike Ashley has killed the cup competitions, he has killed off any realistic hope for ending the long barren run without success.

I fear there will come a time when there won’t be a Newcastle United fan left to tell the tale of when they were lucky enough to see the team win a trophy.

If we are ever going to win anything again, Mike Ashley needs to go first of all. The only time I felt maybe we could have won something in the Mike Ashley era, was when we got to the Europa League quarter finals back in 2013, eventually losing to Benfica 4-2 on aggregate. It was a missed opportunity in my book, I felt we had good enough players that could have won games on their given day, that year in the competition, despite how awful we were in the league that year. Mainly due to Mike Ashley refusing to allow money to be spent in summer 2012 to back up and reward Alan Pardew and the players for overachieving and finishing fifth the previous season.

We finished 16th that next season (2012/13), Mike Ashley was happy enough with survival, but didn’t care that we were only a few games away from a major final, poor prize money (in the Europa League) and a risk to Premier League survival was all he could see.

Alan Pardew even turned around after the run to quarter-finals and declared: “I’m glad we are not in Europe next season.”

An utter disgrace for us as fans but music no doubt to Mike Ashley’s ears.

He doesn’t really want Newcastle United to win the FA Cup or League Cup, as to him it’s not success, it’s an enforced Europa League campaign ahead. One which he doesn’t want to spend money to buy better players to compete in, or extra players to simply rotate and manage a high volume of games. That is why Steve Bruce is perfect, in his mind.

Rafa Benitez was never brought in to win trophies by the owner, Rafa came to us first of all and offered his services. Mike Ashley only accepted he had to appoint Rafa Benitez, as he knew the damage he had caused over the years with poor management of the club leading to yet another relegation, only six Premier League seasons after his first.

Mike Ashley simply had to allow a top manager to come in and clean up the mess he created, when the Spaniard came calling. Rafa Benitez did that, did it very well with next to no money, it was perfect for Mike Ashley. Very good manager, in the Premier League again, and the fans were reasonably happy with how things were going.

It was until because like us, Rafa wanted more, ambition to build a good side that was capable of competing, rather than just surviving like Ashley wanted. Well when Rafa Benitez did finally leave at the end of his contract, Mike Ashley succeeded in driving 10,000 season ticket holders away. I wonder how many more fans Steve Bruce’s football would have driven away this season, if things were back to normal? I suspect at least another 10,000 .

Steve Bruce is out of his depth and even if he was to achieve a very credible win at the Emirates, it’s not going to change my opinion on him. Only 16 wins in 54 Premier League games is not good enough, a win ratio of barely 30 per cent, the weekly exhibition of rubbish football to go with it.

The fact he only has won 126 out of 446 Premier league games makes things look even worse, as that overall is even less than the near 30 percent win ratio he has with Newcastle United!

I obviously want to win today, but if I’m honest I don’t really care if we do, because I know it won’t change anything about Steve Bruce and Mike Ashley. They need to go end of.

Comments welcome.

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