Newcastle United owners not shouting the odds but…
The Newcastle United owners are keeping a low profile.
This summer we haven’t really heard anything from them of substance but sometimes no news, really is good news.
Very much like the Swan serenely gliding across the water, underneath the surface frantic work is going on away from the public that makes this look so easy / straightforward.
It is pretty much an exact opposite of what we saw under Mike Ashley, year after year.
Ashley and his people pushing message after message out through friendly media, telling fans they are doing everything they can to make progress, to strengthen the team / club, but very difficult transfer market (not their fault the owner refuses to allow proper investment in any part of NUFC…).
This new lot are very different in the way they operate.
Yes you do have Jamie Reuben and Mehrdad Ghodoussi pleasing the masses on Twitter with one word / few words shout outs when something positive happens, that the local media and others turn into whole articles!
However, I am talking about the real stuff, the getting stuff done stuff, that the new Newcastle United owners are single-mindedly focused on. You know, making the club / team / squad stronger in every way possible.
Miracles don’t happen overnight but…we are not yet even nine months into the ‘project’ and the new Newcastle United owners are just piling it on. By the way, when do we get to be able to stop using ‘new’ when referring to those now running / owning the club?
I reckon once a full year is up, we can drop the ‘new’, interesting to see where exactly we will be when we reach 7 October 2022 and 12 months gone for the new NUFC ownership. Amongst many other things, the current transfer window will have been concluded and indeed it will be only just over a month until the Premier League season is suspended for around six weeks, due to the Qatar World Cup.
After a decade and a half, so many Newcastle United fans are struggling with this bizarre concept of a football club trying to be the best it can be. Doing everything it / they can to progress the club on and off the pitch.
Significant improvements to the current training facilities already underway with council planning approval granted, essential work due the training complex not being fit for purpose as a Premier League club. Whilst at the same time planning longer-term behind the scenes for an entire new state of the art training ground and associated facilities, with I’m guessing a location already identified by now.
You have the appointment of the highly regarded Dan Ashworth as Sporting Director with Brighton gutted to lose him, whilst I have no doubt the new CEO is not going to be too far in the future, in terms of his appointment made public. Thing is, as the Dan Ashworth appointment showed, when you are going for the best you can possibly get, not a cae of like me or you putting your notice in and able to start a new job in a month’s time.
However, it is on the football side where we can very much see in public the impact the new Newcastle United owners have had, backing Eddie Howe, Dan Ashworth and others, whose judgement the new owners are trusting.
That trust has already seen Newcastle United have a spectacular second half of the season, the just over four months from mid-January to 22 May 2022 seeing 38 points from the final 19 games. Astonishing. Over a full season that 2.00 points per game average would give you 76 points, enough to finish third in 2021/22 and second in the 2020/21 Premier League season.
It is relentless though, undoubtedly the Newcastle United owners understanding the truth of if you stand still, you go backwards. Despite the incredible second half of the season (considering the situation Eddie Howe and the new owners inherited) and four players bought in January, we now have three additional signings made before pre-season even started.
A whole generation of Newcastle United fans have never experienced anything like it, 14+ years where Mike Ashley had the club in chaos summer after summer, refusing to allow early signings and proper preparation.
This summer was going to be arguably the most important ever for PL clubs to get prepared for the new season, that World Cup in the middle meaning 16 rounds of PL matches have to be swiftly fitted in by 13 November 2022.
The need to hit the ground running is so important. Just look at the shambles under Steve Bruce a year ago, a number of players having since gone public, admitting that the squad weren’t at the fitness levels needed when the 2021/22 season kicked off. Summed up by the West Ham home match, 2-1 lead at half-time but physically folding in the second half, West Ham scoring three and Newcastle not even an effort on target after the break. Losing 4-2 at St James’ Park in the first match of the season and it was downhill from there!
I see clubs like Man Utd and others, who are in need of major team / squad rebuilding and so much to do ahead of this new season (just over four weeks ago now!) and yet still to make a signing. Plus in their case they also have a new manager getting settled in.
In contrast, Eddie Howe is absolutely integrated, plus he has chosen seven new players to come into the club already in 2022.
Compare this situation to where we were at the end of 2021.
England internationals Kieran Trippier and Nick Pope added, Brazil international Bruno G taking the Premier League by storm, Dan Burn an absolutely blinding signing, Matt Targett the same, then the very exciting signing of the much sought after Sven Botman – NUFC beating Serie A champions AC Milan to his signature, despite them able to offer Champions League football as well. Chris Wood is also a very solid squad player to have, he was an absolutely essential signing in January and was superb as he did so much unselfish work to help bring 29 points in 15 starts.
Wood’s signing was essential because of injury to Callum Wilson, he is now back fully fit and we saw at the end of the season just how good he can be. Martin Dubravka with excellent form and stats in that second half of last season, Eddie Howe reinventing Joelinton, pretty much every other existing player improved as well, whilst ASM looked at the very end of last season to be returning to form after a difficult period of injury / illness and struggling for form.
Surely the biggest irony is our enemies mocking up, asking where the cash is from these new Newcastle United owners, richest club in the world etc etc.
The new owners haven’t talked about being the richest or whatever BUT what they have done is prove to be arguably the most effective PL club owners these past nine months AND showing incredible ambition in the transfer market.
Some £160m+ already committed (on only the last six months!) on the players that Eddie Howe and Newcastle United need, NOT the ones our enemies wanted NUFC to waste their time fruitlessly chasing (Mbappe, Neymar, Pele, Kane etc etc).
I am trying not to get too excited BUT when was the last time Newcastle United looked in such good health and in such a great place in terms of where they are at when it comes to preparing for a new season?
No guarantees of a result in any match BUT how good is it when you know for sure that when we reach the weekend of Saturday 6 August, no other team will be better prepared than Newcastle United when they step onto the pitch for the first game of this new season.
The crowd will be well up for it and I can’t help but think about our last home game, the last of the 2021/22 season at St James’ Park, when Arsenal had to win to get Champions League football and instead we blew them away. Newcastle pressing them from the first whistle and absolutely dominating, even Arteta admitting that the Gunners had been incredibly lucky to only lose 2-0.
Nottingham Forest won’t be any pushovers BUT I look at what has happened in 2022 so far and what the new Newcastle United owners, Eddie Howe and the players have achieved…
Bring it on!
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