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Opinion

Simon Jordan is correct about this with Newcastle United – Which annoys me

11 months ago
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TalkSport does have some interesting characters as pundits and there are none more interesting than Simon Jordan.

The former Crystal Palace owner, a regular on the radio station, has a unique insight into how you run a club and not often do we get that level of commentary from someone in that position.

He doesn’t come across well to me a lot of the time, as his job for talkSport is to provide YouTube content which will get traction and offer a revenue stream to talkSport, you don’t earn your employer money by sitting on the fence.

On Tuesday with Jim White, Simon Jordan set out that Gary Neville drove “a bus through the sentiment that Benitez’ team was different to Steve Bruce’s Newcastle” and that the players will get him the sack.

He then says that we expect too much and that though we say we don’t, that “everyone in football knows that we do.”
He says we only loved Rafa because he stood up to Mike Ashley and controlled the narrative.

But something which I entirely agree with him on, is that he doesn’t think that the Newcastle United team is good enough and that we need a clear out.

It annoys me that I think Simon Jordan is right on that point.

Not in the sense that I believe that this is the BEST Newcastle team for a while.

Not in the sense that the style of deliver saying you cant polish a t.rd.

It is just the fact that we have been saying this FOR YEARS and we have been told that our expectations are too high. Furthermore, it is just so impossible to see how we could change this situation anytime soon with the current ownership and while arbitration is being carried out with the Premier League and Mike Ashley, we will see Mike keep the purse strings tighter than ever.

This is a reality which Simon sets out in a roundabout way and suggest that Steve should stand up to Mike and make sure he knows that the team aren’t good enough (something we loved Rafa for by the way). Steve speaks to Lee Charnley daily according to the manager, if Mike doesn’t know the players aren’t good enough, then there is a problem.

We just aren’t going to see new players this window unless we get one or two loans, but there doesn’t seem to be any progress on players with 10 or so days to go to the transfer window closing.

So, despite Simon Jordan being frustrated and not laying the blame at Steve Bruce’s door for the quality of performances, the situation is not going to change until whatever is going on with the takeover is resolved and Mike Ashley is firmly back at the table or not (whichever it maybe).

Our frustration with the manager is the fact that despite managers such as Chris Hughton, Rafa, and Alan Pardew to an extent, had teams which were similarly lacking in quality, we still played better than the current squad.

The comments from Steve doing things his way are addressed by Simon saying that maybe because of the players available to Steve, his hands are tied in the style of football that can be played. Again, I agree. It can be argued that of the best ten players at Newcastle, in my opinion 3 if not 4 of them are centre halves and goalkeepers.

In my article I wrote the other day regarding Darren Bent, I set out that I want Steve Bruce to get results. I want him to win games. The media spotlight on the performances have got a reaction from the manager and he tried a new system, which didn’t work. After nine games without a win, I believe that the next run of five games are vital, but also interesting in terms of the clubs we are playing against.
Looking at the five clubs we are coming up they are:

Villa (a)

Leeds (h)

Everton (a)

Palace (h)

Southampton (h)

These are clubs which have had varying degrees of quality of owner and appointments of manager. Smith, Bielsa, Ancelotti, Hodgson and Hasenhüttl. Any of these managers could get more from these players. Some more than others, but I think that each of these clubs (except maybe Palace) are moving forward. They are progressing and fans, manager and owners are pulling in the same direction. This is so different at Newcastle.

Owner has been disinterested for years. Manager has the worst win percentage in Premier League history and fans desperate for a bit of hope.

To save his job Bruce needs to get 10 or more points from those games. If he gets eight, but performances are much better, I can live with it. But I believe that after these key games, a decision on the management needs to happen. Both previous times we have been relegated under Ashley, Alan Shearer and Rafa Benitez only had eight and ten games respectively left to save a season. If the manager is replaced, 15 games should give them enough time to save us.

I would quite like an overhaul of the players and a whole new team lining up for us, having the line led by Mbappe and getting Sergio Ramos at centre half for a year or two (he is available on a free in the summer by the way Mike), but we can’t do that. The quickest way to change how the team plays, is to change the manager. That is the reality, which Simon Jordan knows.

As a one-time club owner he knows that and has had his fair share of issues with managers in the past, including our current one, which he recognises. But of all seasons not to get relegated, this is it. The impact of COVID on football clubs is significant and any club which gets relegated this season will feel the effects for many more years into the future. This is even more significant for Newcastle because of the potential takeover which will not happen if the club is relegated.

We do have expectations. We have expectations that the team performs to the best that they can. We expect the manager to fight tooth and nail for the club. We would like to enjoy watching our team and feel pride in the shirt. We want an owner that is interested in the club and we want to finish in as high a position in the table as possible.

We do not expect Champions League. We do not expect a title push. We expect progress.

Is that too much Mr Jordan?

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