Will survival equal success?

Posted on August 16th, 2010 | 85 Comments |

Dressed for success?
Dressed for success?
Success is a very relative word and can be applied to any set number of targets. So with that in mind I ask the question, what do you quantify as success for Newcastle United this season?

People have differing views in where we should be, what we should be aiming for and what is acceptable come the end of the season. So why not share them?

I’ll use the game against Manchester United to show you how success can be relative. I guess given our past history at Old Trafford (1 win in 60 years) combined with the fact we are a newly promoted team would suggest that a narrow defeat would be a success for us. A draw would be an achievement and a win would be unbelievable to the point where I don’t think I would go into work this evening!

So you see, even though those targets above can be changed, to be a success there has to be a target to beat, something to measure the success against, but how can that success be related to Newcastle? What would be classed as success for Newcastle this year? For that we need to work out what our goal is.

For me the goal is simply surviving, making sure we have another year of Premier League football to look forward to next season. Once that is achieved, and if we can do it quick enough, then there is nothing wrong with wanting to kick on and see how high we can finish, but that would be a bonus.

Taking the bigger picture into account I would say survival is now the minimum marker for success. If there was going to be a fair transfer kitty made available then perhaps we could have had a target of 15th, 12th or whatever. But we haven’t, which is unfortunate and means that survival is what this season will now be judged by.

It’ll be interesting to see what people would actually class as a successful season for us. I very much doubt we are going to take the Premier League by storm like we did in 1993, and the start we have been given this time around couldn’t have been much tougher.

All the speculation can stop this evening as our season will be underway. We will be back in businesss, and after having to watch all the other teams in action this weekend it will be our turn to take a bit of the limelight.

Tonight is just one game thirty-eight and nothing will be decided by this match. After those thirty-eight games though, what would you class as success?

NUFCBlog Author: toonsy toonsy has written 643 articles on this blog.

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85 Responses

  1. staying up thats what i would call success.
    long term success getting rid of ashley :wink:

  2. I feel that our fans are now more realistic than ever. Our chairman has denied us a transfer kitty forcing us to re-evaluate what we deem to be success.

    Personally I think we will finish about 14th, there are many clubs in the premier league who have ben on borrowed time for a while now.

    To go down – Blackpool, Wolves, West Brom, but you could also throw wigan, west ham and bolton into the mix there. We will more than likely be hovering around the relegation zone but I think we have the team spirit to get us through!

  3. im laying in bed here in missouri, usa. its three in the morning. had a crazy dream we beat man ure 3-0 tonight. i was so excited i couldnt get back to sleep. maybe it was watching the bham scumderland game i recorded saturday and waited til last night to watch. i was so pleased that scumderland gave up a 2-0 lead with 20 to go. they didnt look that great and i think we can handle them home and at the stad of shite. ok ok, so in my dream, carroll got a hat trick to lead us to victory and stevey harper was sent off in the final minutes for opening a can of woop ass on micheal owen. wierd huh. anyways right now success for me would signing ben arfa and a solid striker not evertons reserve striker. then on the pitch i think 14th and below will be a great success. one thing at a time though lets succeed in the window. hwtl

  4. fernando666 says:
    August 16, 2010 at 9:16 am
    & here i thought i was going to cooldj my way in…bugger…

    Wakey wakey fernando – set the alarm a bit earlier, or have an early night!

  5. americangeordie says:
    August 16, 2010 at 9:19 am
    im laying in bed here in missouri, usa. its three in the morning. had a crazy dream

    Any chance of a bottle of the moonshine you’ve been sippin’?

  6. Survival – of course. But not nearly enough. Position on ladder is not really relevant, though, as Europe is too far. However, the rebuilding of a once great club needs to continue both on and off pitch. I would like to see all players consolidate themselves, and fringe players from the academy push on to get regular games, do well, and free the club from the need to constantly look to buy success. Also for the fan-based buy-back of the club to progress, so as to free the club from inappropriate owner-actions and enable a truly long-term vision for the NE’s greatesst club to emerge.

  7. honestly without any rose tinted views…i honestly expect a combination of team spirit, tough fought matches, & maybe even a few fluke wins will see us move up 12th or 13th…

  8. staying up will do me like, but it’s not gonna be a pretty season.

    i’m also expecting us to get humped tonight at least 3-0

  9. Look at it like this: If you go into a match looking for a draw you’re likely to lose.

    So if you go into a season looking just for survival you’re likely to struggle.

    I just hope the club aren’t looking at it like this.

  10. I think I would rather watch us win all the time in the championship than being spanked and have the piss taken out of us week in week out.
    Zero ambition under MA but it seems like people are quite happy with the way things are.

    Are people under the illusion that if we stay up MA will start spending decent money on the 1st team?

    Delusion is a funny old game :lol:

  11. 40 points and survival i reckon could be regarded as a successful 1st season…decent cup run wouldn’t go amiss either…

  12. i think we really cant be looking beyond survival as our squad stands at the moment BUT with a few shrewd additions that will improve our first 11,not just back up players for cover,then i think we can surprise a few and get mid table obscurity.13 place is where we have finished on lots of occasions and been gutted about it,but as a marker of how far we really have fallen since 2004 then 13 place would be the stuff of dreams now.where did it all go wrong?……losing sbr and getting souness in was the catalyst for where we are now

  13. Aim high. As high as possible, if you fall short then your still fairly high up in the ladder. We should not be looking to just survive and we should not go to Old Trafford looking to draw. We should fight and try to win and not give up for 96 mins as thats what Manure do.

    Also, I am sick to **** with this ‘not backing manager’ ‘transfer kitties denied’ WE HAVE NO ******* MONEY, why cant people get this into their head?! we are on a budget and I want a sustainable club. We will be in a position to challenge in a few years time we need patience. I dont want to be a yo-yo club and I dont want to be in the position of Pompey who are going to pay for chasing their FA Cup dreams and Leeds who are still paying for their European dream. For gods sake can people please put this into perspective. We can hope, we can dream, but please lets be realistic. Mid Table for me will be acheivable

  14. I’m with Toonsy and most on here. 17th = minimum, 12th=amazing turn-around in 2 years, with Europe then realistic in 2 more.

    What I really want to see, though, is the silencing of the critics – both in the media and on here (sorry, SJT, but I’m sure you want the same!)

    If we can survive with our team spirit intact, without all the clamouring for heads after whimpish collapses, in-fighting and off-field disgraces, I’ll be very happy indeed. I’d like to see Ashley’s strategy work and continue, while other clubs show what the alternative inevitably brings and fall around us.

    Oh, and Harps finally getting the England spot.

    And spanking the scum. Twice.

  15. For me, we will finish above Blackpool, Wigan, Wolves, West Ham, West Brom.

    Meaning 15th place… So I expect 15th-16th place… I hope we can finish top 12.

    I hope we can sign Ben Arfa and this young left back to cover for Enrique.

    Maybe in January we can bring in one more decent striker.
    That for me, would be an excellent building season.


    R Taylor—–Campbell———–Coloccini———Enrique

    Ben Arfa——Guthrie———Barton—————Jonas

    ———————Nolan/Ben Arfa———————


    Subs: Krul, Perch, S Taylor, Williamson, Knott, Kadar, Routeledge, Vuckic, Gosling, Lovenkrans, Ameobi.
    *Add a quality striker to this list, our squad really looks pretty decent all of a sudden.

  16. I know I’ve posted this thought before, but it’s relevant here:

    Last season – and particularly in January – the bosses set automatic promotion as the target; no play-offs. They planned, recruited and played to achieve that, and once they’d met it, they went out to prove a point.

    Result? We beat that target with TWENTY-THREE points.

    Imagine if we over-achieve by the same again…

    Sorry, just a wee bit of rose-tinting for a Monday morning…

  17. Most nufc fans are sensible enough to know that we are trying to be a sustainable club and have much less money than we did…it’s only a minority of airheads that, just becos we haven’t made any celebrity signings like under Fat Fred, cry out loud that we have no ambition, will be relegated yada yada…for fark’s sake if these people can’t have the patience and can’t see that we at least need a few years to consolidate and get rid of the excesses of yesteryears, go support man utd!

  18. Its amazing how close we are to a really young decent squad:

    GK: Harper, Krul, Forster
    DL: Enrique, Knott, Kadar
    DR: R Taylor, Simpson, Perch (by far our weakest position)
    DC: Campbell, S Taylor, Coloccini, Williamson
    ML: Jonas, Ben Arfa?
    MR: Ben Arfa, Routeledge
    MC: Barton, Gosling, Guthrie, Nolan, Ben Arfa
    FC: Carroll, Ameobi, Lovenkrans, Ranger

    Say all we brough in was Bellamy (loan to buy – 6mil), Ben Arfa (loan to buy – 6mil)

    Two players with pace, determination and creativity that would change us from relegation worries to top eight challengers…

  19. just read some comments from deschamps on la provence site(marseille paper) that would indicate that he has finished with hba and says he wishes him luck in his new career

  20. JJ – I’m not sure I would rop Routledge for HBA if he came. Ignoring defence, I would probably go with;




    That would give us Barton and Guthrie who can pick a pass from deep or move forward when attcking, but could also protect the back 4. Give Jonas, Ben Arfa and Routledge license to get up with Carroll. OR





    That would allow Ben Arfa to drift forward and give room for Barton or Guthrie to move into the space he vacates. Nolan could slip in next to HBA when defending. It would also take the reliance of Carroll to hold things up up top.

  21. Whumpie says:
    August 16, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Dream fcking dream!

    Whumpie says:
    August 16, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Different league, different qualities needed – It’s still not known if we have those qualities.

    Team spirit is great, but it don’t score goals and it don’t make you run any faster.

  22. I did the full season on the BBC predictor which merely endosed my own prejudices. However there are 7 clubs we will be lucky to get anything off, and then 2 or 3 that we should be looking to join next season. I had 10 clubs all within a dozen points of each other fighting relegation. Avoiding relegation would be success, but I’d rather be looking like we are a 10 ten team in the making than have all season in the botton 4 or 5.

    my starting fron 6 would be
    barton – Jonas
    Rotledge – nolan – HBA

    I think Jonas does not create enough and whilst no RB would be a good LDM

    althogh if we got a good DM then I would play 3-2-1 or 3-1-2

  23. Minimum:w 17th, scraping through because of an extra time fluke of an own goal on the last day of the season.

    Maximum: Champions, FA Cup Winners, winners of the other cup, winning every game 6-0.

    I’ll be happy with anywhere between the max and the min.

  24. Drop Nolan for HBA, HBA has been promised the no 10 role, just behind Carroll and he should get it. I think we should then have Routledge-Barton-Guthrie-Jonas as the midfield. I dont think Nolan deserves anything, I dont think anyone has a rightful starting position.

    Sorry to rant but I am really getting sick of the negativity and we havent even played a game yet. Just like Talkshi* this morning ‘is the EPL a two horse race with Chelsea and Manure already?!?!1 WTF? Have Manure played 15 games already? Are they and Chelski 16 points ahead of the chasing pack who are all taking points off eachother? Are the spuds and Man shi**y flattering to deceive again?!

    For ****s sake I cant be doing with this man. Can we have a small amount of common sense. Can we wait until the window has shut before we slag Ashley and CH for not strenghthening, can we wait until Jan before we resign ourselves to relegation? And can we at least make it to 9pm before we resign ourselves to losing badly tonight?!

    I used to be a glass half full person, full of fight and drive but I just cant take the crap spouted on here half the time

  25. Premandup – you are seriously suggesting putting Jonas as a CDM are you?! Dropping Guthrie for that? Why not put Jonas behind Carroll? He could at least run at defences like a headless plum and try and draw fouls instead of running the ball to the line and then out of play or losing it.

  26. Whumpie says:
    August 16, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Dream fcking dream!

    “Whumpie says:
    August 16, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Different league, different qualities needed – It’s still not known if we have those qualities.

    Team spirit is great, but it don’t score goals and it don’t make you run any faster.”

    But it does make you try hard and keep trying! It makes you chase those lost causes which occasionally yeild results.

    When people play for the shirt they play with passion!

  27. Raffo says:
    August 16, 2010 at 10:37 am

    I like to go on form and evidence, Raffo.

    Ashley hasn’t give me anything to be positive about on either counts I’m afraid.

    I’ll judge him on his past performances like you would a player.

    His history is poor so I’ll think the worst until the I see anything better – That way it will be a nice suprise.

    You’re probably the kind of left wing liberal who thinks Saddam Hussain should have been given the benefit of the doubt, regardless of his past record.

    Actions speak louder than er, well actually I cannot even say words as we get fck all like that out of Ashley.

  28. Raffo – Don’t let it grind you man. Join my secret club that doesn’t write the team off instead ;) ;)

  29. Darren says:
    August 16, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Does it make them better passers, finishers or tacklers?

    That’s what wins you games.

    I actually think our first team is capable of finishing in the top 12 but unfortunately we won’t be playing our first team in every single game. Our squad is just woefully short. The under belly is made up of young lads who haven’t even done it in the lower leagues let alone the PL.

  30. sorry, just suggesting that a headless chicken is neither what we need or getting the best out of him. Playing with him in a more disciplined role would allow more freedom for a genuinely creative player.

  31. Toonsy – will the site be able to show the historic predictions come the end of May? – I hope so – because there’s gonna be some shit that will have to be eaten. Heres my prediction – 8th minimum.
    We have the capacity within the squad to be better than a dozen of the others. FFS – WE ARE 200% BETTER THAN WE WERE AFTER THE SHAMBLES OF 2008-2009 – AND WE COULD HAVE ESCAPED RELEGATION ON THE LAST DAY.THE LEAGUE ITSELF IS A POOR ONE – HTL!!!!.

  32. Tattyheed – It’s called an archive, and looking back through it to the start of last season, it is quite amusing to see just who said we wouldn’t get promoted and who wouldn’t :lol:

  33. Raffo – if you just ignore Stuart and SJT you’ll soon notice the vast majority are on roughly the same, realistic page here. It’s all good.

    Stuart, me ol’ mukka: “Team spirit is great, but it don’t score goals and it don’t make you run any faster”.

    Erm, totally wrong on both counts. It does EXACTLY those things. It also makes you defend better – you missed that one. ;)

  34. Do not presume to judge me Stu – you dont know me from adam. I am for the record no such left winger, in fact I am more a right winger if you must know.

    I think the squad needs beefing up, no doubt, but I assume you wish ashley to go back to investing money we dont have in a blind gamble to try and ensure safety do you? The same gamble that Hull and Pompey took last year? You dont want to try and ensure OUR club has a sustainable future? Yeah we arent going to pull up trees and we sure as f*** wont win anything, but we havent won anything for 50 odd years now so whats a few more.

    I want to be able to have my club playing to be able to support it, not a footnote on history when we go out of business

  35. I will say 15th, and I shall be bloody happy with that too. I would love for us to be safe with 5 games to go too

  36. TOONSY@33 i would go with that looks about right to me could permatate a bit too with that.

    Northern/e on news now saying B.A. will be watching at O.T.so ill go for draw ;)

  37. Whumpie says:
    August 16, 2010 at 10:50 am

    So you think that because there’s a great team spirit Kevin Nolan will turn into Usain Bolt?

    I will no longer take anything you say regarding football serious.

    What a joker…

  38. Get it all off yer chest Raffo and while it’s a pity the clubs in the financial straits it’s in, it could be a darn sight worse – at least there’s a stragey in place to move us on and up.

    It’s gonna be frustrating for many I’m sure and the sooner the whingers and pessemists wake up to and accept the reality, the better.

    It’s important to get behind the club, get behind the management and coaching staff and most of all, get behind the lads who are playing their football with your colours on.

    If times do get tough – as I’m sure they will at some stage- the fans’ 100% support is crucial.

    Big smilies for tonight and rememebr that Man U have lost on their own turf before.

  39. Lads, why get so worked up about another person’s opinion? Just let it go man.

    Deep down I share some of stu’s foreboding but to be honest, I’m looking forward to the season. Yes, it might be grim but I’m going to be willfully optimistic. Even if that means major disappointment. I wouldn’t have it any other way as a Mag.

    But getting offended by each other’s views is crackers. Nothing I say will make any difference whatsoever but this a blog that we set up to allow everyone to have their say and essentially agree to disagree. Let it be.

  40. Raffo says:
    August 16, 2010 at 10:50 am

    I don’t actually think £15-20m would realistically put the clubs future in jeopody. Don’t forget were we are financially this season:

    Turnover of approx £90m (Possibly higher considering the TV rights here and abroad are higher), a wage bill of approx £40m (Down from £72m the last time we were in the PL), A healthy average home attendance (Probably only beaten by two/three other clubs) and a very, very wealthy owner.

    You telling me by investing £20m we’ll cease to exist?

    Another joker just happy to except mediocrity (If it gets that good).

  41. Icedog

    I dont think that is great if Ben Arfa sees us got a hammering he may think twice about joining… :cry:

  42. RAFFO i persume to know you, your a toon fan thats all we need to know ill go for 14/15 and be happy with it,but think we need a couple in to get that like,but cannot understand “fans” putting us down when we have 38+games to go.
    think ashley should have put in 10/15mil to make sure.
    ps.hows you m8

  43. Stuart: you’re right on the injuries and backup, mind – but we’re in the same boat with most of the prem on that one. Can you name me a bottom-half team that has two top-end players for each position?

    Of course not. Because you can’t afford that; it just doesn’t stack up on the income of a ‘normal’ prem team.

    You know the joke about the two blokes being chased by a lion, and one stops to put trainers on? His mate says “you can’t out-run the lion” and he says “I only have to out-run you”. It’s the same thing.

  44. Oh I am sorry Stu. I did not realise you were privy to the inner sanctum of the halls of power.

    I am not a joker, I just happen to be a realist that disagrees with you, which automatically means I am wrong and spouting crap.

    I havent said that we shouldnt spend money, I have said we should wait until we get to 9am Sept 2nd before we start throwing knives at CH and the fat one. Theres still time for players to be brought in.

    I will not and do not accept mediocrity, I will not and do not accept less than 150% effort on all fronts, I do however accept that the financial times of football are changing, Man City aside and we should put things into perspective for crying out load

  45. Ice – I am royally Fcukd off today and dont need plums getting on my arse for stuff I havent said. I also want players brought in but ultimately want a club in existance to support. I dont want to go backwards.

    Hows you then bud, I need to calm down and apologies for all other bloggers for my curtness

  46. Rich @ 61 – Twat, just spat my drink out when I read that :lol:

    Hitman – Billy Hill’s are giving 10/1 for a Newcastle win with your money back ;)

  47. Whumpie says:
    August 16, 2010 at 11:07 am

    You’re presuming that the other PL clubs we’ll be competing against haven’t improved their squads since we were last in the PL – They have!

    History tells us that promoted clubs struggle – Why? It’s because the PL clubs have better squads and better players. We haven’t strengthened enough for me – I might be proved wrong (I hope I am) but look at what we’ve signed:

    Campbell – 35 yr old who’s not match fit and we don’t know when he will be.

    Perch – Championship player who we ‘hope’ might be good enough for the PL.

    Gosling – A player who is still recovering from a career threatening injury – Will he be the same again?

    Doesn’t stack up well with the history of the PL’s promoted teams.

    Birmingham and Wolves got promoted and had to spend at least £15m each – They’ve both added this year, so will only be better. Stoke have just spent £9m on one player!

    Hughton has named Birmingham and Wolves as the shining examples of how it’s done – What he forgot to add was the amount of cash they had spent last year, so straight away were not in the same boat as them two clubs.

  48. Just out of interest, Stuart – and Toonsy, you can check on this – what was your prediction for last season on the day of the first game?

    Or have you just been cutting and pasting your posts from then?

    Like BBM says – don’t get so worked up, man. How can you take such offence when your fellow supporters are seeing positives, even if you don’t?

    I see a lot of your points, but I balance them with other stuff; most of it more recent evidence of huge improvement.

    Anyway, on to something we can both be a bit less rosy about: what’s your prediction for tonight? I think we’ll play a flat back 10 and keep a clean sheet until the 2nd half; end up losing 2-0. And that may be optimistic!

  49. CC lol could be m8,then again he might “i could be a hero in this team”lol

    thats me hopeing like

  50. ..and as long as we come off the pitch having given a decent, battling display, I’ll be happy. I just hope people on here see it for what it is: a game to get out of the way, with a slim chance to nick something against the odds, as we did last time. If we get spanked, just move on; it proves nowt.

  51. Hughton has named Birmingham and Wolves as the shining examples of how it’s done – What he forgot to add was the amount of cash they had spent last year, so straight away were not in the same boat as them two clubs.

    No we arent in the same boat as them clubs as our side is much stronger than both of them clubs when they were promoted, Full of premier league and european experience…

  52. Stuart, it’s one thing quoting numbers and income streams but don’t forget, they haven’t been paid into the club and aren’t in the accounts.

    Taking that approach is precisley the same as FFS when he mortgaged the club’s sponsorship money to get Owen. What were/ are we left with? No sponsorship money from Northern Rock!

    We’re not out of the financial woods yet – we aint got the money to spend….. yet!

  53. @68 your so ryt whatever happens tonite is not gonna hav any indication on what we will do this season, I wanna c us make a statement though tht we ain’t gonna b push overs

  54. Whumpie says:
    August 16, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Last season I said we wouldn’t et promoted with the squad we had (I said that at the start of the season) I was right. We had to add to the squad and without the likes of Routledge, Hall, Williamson and Van Arnolt we’d have struggled to maintain what we were doing.

    ….and who’s getting worked up? I’m confident in my opinion, I don’t know whether we’ll stay up, I’ll make that judgment on Sept 1st.

    But I know one thing – It’s going to be a lot harder than alot of people are suggesting on here. The likes of Bolton, Blackburn, Stoke and Manckems aren’t as bad as a lot are saying. They all have the ‘team spirit’ that we have.

    70 lesh says:
    August 16, 2010 at 11:22 am

    That’s why having a very wealthy owner is supposed to be an advantage – It’s guaranteed income so what about a advancement from Ashley just to give us a better chance of staying in the PL?

  55. Stu – Bowburn says there is a prediction game on the Fantasy Football site. Do you want to take a look at it?

  56. Fair enough, Stuart – so what’s wrong with doing the same this year? See how we fair, then strengthen if needed.

    I should point out: if the Ben Arfa deal doesn’t come through and we don’t get any more players at all, I will be a lot more concerned. But experience shows we should judge only once the door closes. And even then, don’t put it past CH to pull off some cleverness in the loan market if needed.

    We’ll be ok, but it won’t be pretty. I just want to see some sustained guts and spirit; no more collapses and tantrums, please!

  57. real 50/50 season for newcastle,yes they can stay up due to other teams being just as bad or worse as they are.
    i expect a similar season to the one,when we were relegated.i can see us drawing too many games,especially at home,and we wont win many away.
    expect another down to the wire battle,that could go to the last day of the season.
    the trouble we have that rival clubs dont,is the ASHLEY FACTOR,you just dont know what that classless moron will do next.if there is to be any unrest,you can bet your bottom dollar fat boy will be behind it.
    we will be under the spotlight more than other teams,with the media wanting us to fail.
    we can survive,but only by the skin of our teeth.

  58. success = staying in the premier – getting rid of chunky & hopefully the plastic internet supporters that do nothing but – slag off the proper fans – fck off with him.

    failure = the above doesn’t happen.

  59. all depends on first few games, we’ll prob get a stuffing tonight but a close game against villa tho prob defeat and a win against wolves could give us some confidence
    I reckon we have the squad to finish lower mid table 14-15th but we need to get at 3 points out of our first few games or confidence will plummet and we’ll be in relegation battle all season

    looking forward to the game tonight – if we draw or win I’m getting drunk, a narrow defeat and I’ll just get merry :(