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Newcastle United opening day blues under Mike Ashley

1 month ago
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Newcastle United will be looking for the perfect start to the season on Sunday.

A win, no matter how it is achieved, would be gratefully received.

So what does history tell us to expect, especially more recent history under Mike Ashley?

How often have Newcastle United got off to a flyer in these 14 seasons (and counting) of Ashley ownership…

2007/08 Bolton 1 Newcastle 3

2008/09 Man Utd 1 Newcastle United 1

2009/10 West Brom 1 Newcastle 1

2010/11 Man Utd 3 Newcastle United 0

2011/12 Newcastle 0 Arsenal 0

2012/13 Newcastle 2 Tottenham 1

2013/14 Man City 4 Newcastle 0

2014/15 Man City 2 Newcastle 0

2015/16 Newcastle 2 Southampton 2

2016/17 Fulham 1 Newcastle 0

2017/18 Newcastle 0 Tottenham 2

2018/19 Newcastle 1 Tottenham 2

2019/20 Newcastle 0 Arsenal 1

2020/21 West Ham 0 Newcastle 2

Mike Ashley’s very first season started with a victory, indeed when Newcastle won 3-1 at Bolton in Sam Allardyce’s opening game in charge, it was one small step towards thinking we might just possibly be wrong about Fat Sam.

We weren’t.

Fast forward to 11 months ago, a decent performance and Newcastle scored with both of their shots on target at the London Stadium.

Looking at what has happened in between though and fair to say it has been opening day carnage in the Mike Ashley era.

Those 12 opening days seeing only one win, with seven defeats and four draws, with only seven goals scored in the twelve games.. Even in the two Ashley Championship seasons NUFC started with a draw and a defeat.

Is there a connection between how well a club prepares for a new season and how well the team does on the opening day of the season?

Well, Mike Ashley has time and time again refused to allow signings to be made in good time, to allow new players to come in with plenty of time to integrate into the team / squad ahead of the kick-off.

Ahead of the 15th season of his reign, Mike Ashley has so far ensured there won’t be any problem with new signings, simply by not signing anybody at all!

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