Pundit quotes Alan Shearer and Kevin Keegan but still gets Newcastle problems 90 per cent wrong
Noel Whelan has been having his say about the issues / problems at Newcastle United.
Exactly why the former Leeds and Middlesbrough player, who has never had anything at all to do with Newcastle United, thinks he is qualified to speak about events / non-events at St James Park, is a mystery to me.
However, he is only one of the many who believes it is their right / duty to do so, and absolutely not anything to do with getting them attention and boosting their punditry profile.
Now I know that by doing this I am, at least in a small way, boosting the Noel Whelan punditry profile, BUT some of the things he has claimed HAVE to be countered, have to be put right via explaining the actual reality of the situation at NUFC.
Noel Whelan speaking to Football Insider:
“[Steve] Bruce’s job is a thankless task.
“He’s got no money to spend.
“Players go and no players really come in.
“The budget is Mike Ashley’s money and he doesn’t want to spend because he’s looking to sell the club.
“Newcastle actually played quite well at the weekend.
“But look at how much Man United have spent, their blueprint is completely different.
“The fans deserve better.
“You listen to Alan Shearer and I spoke to Kevin Keegan the other day, they want something special back at Newcastle.
“Under that [Mike Ashley] ownership, that’s not going to happen any time soon.
“Everybody wants to see good football back at Newcastle, like when they had Asprilla and Ginola.
“They are standing still and aren’t ever going to move on from this mess until someone else owns that club.”
Yes, we all know that Kevin Keegan and Alan Shearer are on the right side of the fence when it comes to knowing what a shambles Newcastle United is at the moment and just how good it could be, if there were ambitious switched on owners in place…and a credible manager.
No surprise that these two NUFC legends have been the victims of despicable PR /media campaigns waged by Mike Ashley and his people, after the duo were abysmally treated by the current owner.
However, Noel Whelan makes out, like so many others do, that for Newcastle United fans it is simply a case of longing for the days of 1990s Kevin Keegan excitement and comparing it to a quest for Premier League survival now under Mike Ashley.
Of course we would all love to see a repeat of those Keegan times BUT there is also a ridiculous number of other levels that divide NUFC now and those KK days. Realistically, Newcastle fans want ambition to be shown and to have a club they are proud of, rather than embarrassed about. They believe that if the club was ran with even minimal ambition that over a period of time it could grow into a success story on and off the pitch, which indeed was what Rafa Benitez had a plan to do, with realistic first team funding as well as for the first time properly funding the infrastructure, with investment in the Academy and first team training complex (a new state of the art training complex was promised by Mike Ashley back in 2013, said to be essential if the club were going to be able to compete and to be started ASAP, yet eight years later not a brick has been laid).
Noel Whelan says ‘the budget is Mike Ashley’s money’ but that hasn’t been the case, Rafa was given no net spend backing whatsoever and instead the money that was allowed to accumulate inside NUFC (not from Ashley’s private funds) has been largely wasted by Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce, over £60m alone wasted on Joelinton, Krafth and Lewis, none of who get a game under Bruce unless there are injuries.
As for: ‘[Steve] Bruce’s job is a thankless task. He’s got no money to spend. Players go and no players really come in’…there is some marginal truth in that this summer but still Bruce was allowed £25m to be committed, with most of that net spend, as only minimal transfer funds were received from the sale of Florian Lejeune, though there has been a significant lowering of the wage bill as the likes of Saivet, Carroll and Muto all left. Overall though, even Mike Ashley himself in his ridiculous public statement two weeks ago, stated that £160m (some £120m+ net spend) had been committed on transfers since Steve Bruce’s arrival 26 months ago.
Yes, the club is a mess, Mike Ashley is a joke, but Steve Bruce should still be doing far better with the funds that have been spent on the squad, levels of backing Rafa Benitez could only dream of when he was at Newcastle.
Noel Whelan is absolutely correct that problems won’t be properly sorted until Mike Ashley is replaced…though he forgets to add that this transformation would also require a massive upgrade on the likes of Lee Charnley and Steve Bruce as well.
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]