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Mark Lawrenson – New Newcastle United owners finding out the hard way

4 weeks ago
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Mark Lawrenson has been discussing the situation at Newcastle United.

It is now 29 days since the Saudi PIF financed takeover and it has been ‘interesting’ to say the least.

It was a massive relief for Newcastle fans to see Steve Bruce eventually follow Mike Ashley out of the door, a massive media storm whipped up to allow Bruce a ‘sentimental’ final defeat and shambolic performance against Spurs, so that he could join the 1,000 club.

As we speak / write, still no replacement announced but Eddie Howe expected to any time now be formally unveiled as the first managerial appointment of the consortium, after a bit of a mazy / bumpy ride on the way to making this decision / appointment

Mark Lawrenson declaring: ‘Newcastle’s new owners found out the hard way that they should not do their negotiations in public when their interest in Villarreal boss Unai Emery was leaked this week, – and he chose to stay put.’

It did end up a mess but they aren’t the first and won’t be the last Premier League owners to run into very public difficulties in employing a new manager. What exactly went on we will never know for sure and there are claims that Unai Emery did make a u-turn, for whatever reasons.

Trying to appoint a new manager mid-season and when in the relegation zone, is never going to help.

However, for context, if anybody wants to have a laugh at the expense of Newcastle United for this current / latest managerial search, it is worth pointing out that during the previous hunt for a new manager, even though it was in the close season, Mike Ashley was reported to have been turned down by ten different candidates before Steve Bruce got the job in July 2019. That was Steve Bruce who hadn’t been appointed by a Premier League club since Sunderland gave him the job in 2009.

As for the actual football, Mark Lawrenson confidently predicts a 2-0 win for Brighton.

That may well be the case BUT does recent form / results back that view up?

Well needless to say Newcastle will have to play better than they have in recent games and surely Graeme Jones (or Eddie Howe…) will make changes to tactics and personnel, to give United more of a chance of competing.

Brighton have actually won none of their last six games (all competitions) and have only managed a total of five goals in five Premier League matches at home.

Whilst as for Newcastle, they might not have won a match as yet, but have managed three draws in their last six, whilst before that Chelsea game last weekend, eight of NUFC’s first nine PL matches of the season had seen them score at least one goal.

Newcastle can play a lot better than they have shown so far this season and that has to happen sooner rather than later, with a new manager to impress, hopefully the perfect motivation.

Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:

“Newcastle’s new owners found out the hard way that they should not do their negotiations in public when their interest in Villarreal boss Unai Emery was leaked this week, – and he chose to stay put.

“It looks like Eddie Howe is the Magpies main managerial target now and he would fit the bill because he is used to fighting a relegation battle, which is what they are in.

“The sooner the new manager is in place, the better, because this is a big month for Newcastle.

“After the international break, three of their next four games are at home against Brentford, Norwich and Burnley.

“They will need to pick up some points from those fixtures because then they play Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United in quick succession around Christmas and there is a danger the January transfer window could open with them well adrift of safety.

“For now, Graeme Jones is still in charge, and I don’t see him getting anything out of this long trip down to the south coast.

“People are probably used to me being wrong with my predictions, but before Brighton went to Liverpool last week I did an interview where I said that, if the Seagulls go to Anfield and try and take them on it will be asking for a hiding.

“They went there and played three up front, drew 2-2 and should have won.

“I have been laughing about that one, but it was just more evidence of what a good job Brighton manager Graham Potter is doing.

“Prediction is Brighton 2 Newcastle 0.”

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