Will McLaren be sacked after Chelsea game?

Posted on February 11th, 2016 | 77 Comments |

Is McLaren's Newcastle future doomed?
Is McLaren’s Newcastle future doomed?
Could it be that Steve McLaren’s future depends on what happens on Saturday? After we play Chelsea we have 17 days without a game and that might be the ideal time to change managers.

Of all the things Ashley’s bad at when it comes to running a football club – and there are many – one of his worst is his management of managers. His reluctance to change managers at the drop of a hat is not a bad thing in itself, but only if you have the right manager in the first place and, with the possible exception of Chris Hughton, I’d argue he hasn’t picked the right manager for Newcastle United since he bought the club.


Well, in the seven seasons we’ve been in the Premier League since Ashley bought the club, our average finishing position has been 12.57 (I’ve not counted the season in the Championship) and in the seven seasons prior to Ashley buying the club our average finishing position was 8.14. That might not sound like a huge difference but before Ashley we were, on average, a mid-table team who sometimes flirted with Europe whereas now we are, on average, a mid-table team who sometimes flirts with relegation. And of course in 2008-2009 we did more than merely flirt with relegation – we kissed it, fondled it and knocked it up behind the bike sheds.

The misery inflicted on us can’t be entirely blamed on managers of course. The players we’ve bought, the players we’ve sold and the ethos and sentiment of the club all had a hand in things. But football managers play a key role in the grand scheme of things.

Many have speculated that Ashley’s main criteria for a manager is that he should be easily controlled. Maybe that’s true. Maybe he was so embittered after being found guilty of constructively dismissing Kevin Keegan that a manager’s malleability is now very important to him. So he picks managers that are either out of work or serving in a lowly league so that they’re simply grateful for a job at a club like Newcastle and willing to accept any contract conditions. But I think it’s more than that. I just don’t think Ashley has that much respect for the role a manager – or head coach, if you like – plays.

The thing is, though, the club has spent over £80m on players since last summer and our return on that has been a season where we’ve been in a relegation fight almost from the start. There is something in what McLaren has said in that there have been signs, in some games, that the team is capable of more than their lowly league position reflects, but McLaren is dropping himself in the doo-doo when he says this. If the team is capable of more then whose fault is it that they’re underachieving?

I agree with McLaren. We do have a better team than our league position suggests. I think with the right manager we have at least a solid mid-table team but I’m not so sure McLaren’s that ‘right manager’. There have just been too many games where we simply didn’t turn up and then there’s the dubious sort of tactics we employed against Everton, for example. McLaren said our whole game plan was to catch them on the break. Now I will admit that against a much better team that’s sometimes a tactic you’re forced to employ but this is Everton, not Barcelona. I just can’t see how that can be the main plan at the the outset – to try and score via the half a dozen or so good breaks you might expect in 90 minutes when our misfiring strikers need about 100 shots on goal to score.

All these things suggest to me we could do better than McLaren.

The big question, though, is what does Ashley think? His may not be the name that heads the club’s notepaper these days but I’m pretty sure he’s still the man who pulls all the strings.

McLaren did himself a favour winning against West Brom and dragging us out of the relegation zone but I think Ashley will look long and hard at things after the game against Chelsea on Saturday. If we were to fall back into the relegation zone after that then I suspect McLaren’s days might be numbered and the new manager would have 12 games to save us. How confident am I of that? Well, not very, I admit. Ashley is unpredictable but I just struggle to believe that he would risk relegation after spending £80m.

And why is McLaren always grinning? We’re trying to avoid relegation, not kill Batman.

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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77 Responses

  1. Well a surprise blog, but yes I agree there are better talents available than McClaren and if our owner is willing to spend an enormous amount on players, then why not avail himself of the equally important part of the equation, a top manager/head coach.

    To-days successful clubs understand the value of a top management team and are willing to both pay and compete for them.

    It’s not a case of going after an established manager, as shown by Man.U’s case of hiring LVG, who looks like he may only last until the seasons end, after spending a fortune.

    Or a Mourinho, whatever happened to him, following a great season.

    No it’s people like, Potchetino at Spurs along with money man Levi in charge of the purse strings, or West Hams Bilic, or Boro’s Karanka, even Koeman at Southampton.

    It’s unusual in to-days game to find a Manager who does everything, better to have a duo, one who understands the game itself, the manager who in conjunction with a smart money man who can take care of all of the negotiations, but who are also in a trusting agreement on both policy and what’s best for the club.

    Then look at who Newcastle united have in those roles, its no wonder the club has been in turmoil since Ashley took over.

    i’m surely not the only one who has reached this conclusion and constantly voiced it, but it has apparently fallen on deaf ears, ah well !

  2. “Could it be that Steve McLaren’s future depends on what happens on Saturday?”

    Well if that is the case he’s up shit creek without a paddle after that!

  3. Erm ! I guess it’s been so long since I saw the masthead, that I forgot what it looked like, thought you had installed a new version.

    Well another disaster to-day, which was somewhat expected, to be honest , but to be thrashed the way we were, without putting up any resemblance of a fight, that’s totally unacceptable.

    What to do, what to do ?

    Whatever will we do with all of our highly compensated players in the second tier, give em all new contracts and
    bonuses to the board, is my recipe, as opposed to firing everyone from Ashley on down to the coaches, too bad we cant fire Ashley, being he is the major problem.

    If McClaren cant get the side to put out an effort, then fire his ass, do it now, I mean what are we waiting for, a f**cking miracle ?

    We cant ask, ‘Shearer’, or ‘Hughton’, or even ‘Big Sam’, they all have jobs, maybe ‘Souness’, or ‘KK’ ? Nah!
    Perhaps ‘Pardew’ can come back, as Palace are steadily dropping down the league.

    What to do? what to do?

    It’s a mess that throwing money at ain’t gonna work, we like Man. U. need a new management team that knows how to run a football club.

  4. “The big question, though, is what does Ashley think?”

    I could hazard a very good guess at one thing he’ll be thinking (using the kind of crude terminology he would): “I’ve spunked over a hundred fakkin’ million in two seasons and I’m still in the bottom fakkin’ three!”

    If he gave McClaren a contract where he had to pay him a fortune if he sacked him then he would have been completely bonkers. I would think it would be a million or two. When you look at the spend on the players though, it puts things into perspective.

    I did try to watch all the game this time but that first half was literally unwatchable. I had to keep walking away from it. What I did see was truly awful defensively. Fat Sam’s rising like a Phoenix from the ashes at Wearside again too. They’re just pulling out into the fast lane, ready to overtake us.

  5. If there are still those who believe that McClaren should be given more time, then it’s obvious they believe in miracles, he has proven to be unable to instill a winning attitude, or anything like it.

    The comparison with a ‘no name Leicester’ side, who play as if they are inspired and give 100% game after game, is astounding.

    To-day we played a halfhearted game and were soundly thrashed, an embarrassment, where the side looked as if they couldn’t care less, jogging around like it was a practice match.

    Yeah ! no doubt we will hear about it, the excuses are easy, it seems McClaren has as many as Pardew, but there has to be changes and that means we hve to get rid of this loser and whoever suggested hiring him in the first place.

    Perhaps we should hire Nigel Pearson, who deserves a lot of the responsibility for Leicester’s success and would be willing to kick a few asses to get this lot playing football.

    But that’s only treating the symptoms, Ashley should have a sit down with a ‘David Dien’ type, who could perhaps advise him on how to run a football club, at least advise him on how important it is to have top people in upper management and a good coach, that could work in sync with one-another.

    Or we will live with the same failures we have experienced under his ownership, which hasn’t been exactly a barrel of laughs so far.

  6. “But that’s only treating the symptoms, Ashley should have a sit down with a ‘David Dien’ type, who could perhaps advise him on how to run a football club, at least advise him on how important it is to have top people in upper management and a good coach, that could work in sync with one-another.”

    Got any more recent examples than David Dein, Chuck? It’s forgotten that he was only ever the vice-Chairman at Arsenal, not the Chairman. He was a bit a Henry Kissinger kind of vice chairman though.

    “Perhaps we should hire Nigel Pearson, who deserves a lot of the responsibility for Leicester’s success and would be willing to kick a few asses to get this lot playing football.”

    Nigel Pearson? That’s Ashley clutching at straws type thinking. On his replacement at Leicester, Monaco were completely and utterly bonkers to get rid of Claudio Ranieri and Leceister were very wise to sack Pearson and get him. That just sounds like hindsight now of course, but if you look at Ranieri’s record in the last few years, Monaco were in the French League Two when he got there. He won that and got them promoted at the first attempt, then came second to PSG in League 1 next season, getting them in the Champions League at the first attempt. He couldn’t have done any better but they sacked him. His four games with Greece were a disaster and they even lost to the Faroe Islands in his last game, but Leicester could see through that and judged him over his two seasons at Monaco. On the other hand, McClaren showed no signs whatsoever that he’d got his mojo working again in his two seasons at Derby.

    Another question is Graham Carr?

  7. Well someone built and inspired Leicester and i’m certain it wasn’t Ranieri, though I have nowt against him, a vey experienced manager, who it appears is no more than a cheerleader and is smart enough to leave matters as they are.

    Though I don’t really want Pearson, it’s someone of his stature that commands respect/fear and get the side to at least put out a f***ing effort.

    There’s talent in the side, but no inspiration and we have a thousand midfielders, always have, to the detriment of the defense, I mean when we are down to playing a young left winger at left back I want to know who is responsible for that, yeah injuries I know…

    Is Carr responsible, then get rid of him, is Charnley listening to Carr, fire him too, that’s where the problem lies, but it also lies with Ashley, for listening and hiring either one, so go figure….

    I can forgive a side for losing and was prepared for a loss against Chelsea, but to just fold entirely and refuse to put any effort into the game is unforgivable and the fans all know it, yet McClaren is still here making excuses, what the f**k is Ashley waiting for, a f***ing miracle or something ?

    Hey Moye’s or Rodgers are available, not my first choice, but would hopefully stop the rot.

    I was wondering what Shelvey and Townsend were thinking, out of the frying pan into the fire, come’s to mind.

    And unless this side recovers somewhat (hopefully under a new manager, who can either inspire or kick ass) who would want to play with this bunch of losers this summer, right! no-body in their right mind.

  8. “Hey Moye’s or Rodgers are available, not my first choice, but would hopefully stop the rot.”

    Chuck, that sounds like a counsel of despair. I’ll leave out Rodgers as I know you still have a flame in your heart for him despite your protestions that he is “not your first choice.” However, Moyes just fits the same sort of profile as McClaren.

    Before the season, my annual realistic choice of the free manager I wish we’d got instead of another team was Quique Sanchez Flores, not just because of his qualities and history, but because he was a very good coach who was obviously willing to work within a selling club environment as he’d gone to Watford. Of course though, when poor choices leave you in the shit over half way through the season, it’s a different situation.

  9. Moyes or Rodgers are available and have EPL experience.

    A case of any port in a storm, plus they were both decent
    PL managers.

    Yeah I mean can you see Mourinho or anyone decent coming here, certainly no one with any self respect is interested in working for Ashley.

    As for the side,

    Full backs,

    Janmaat is the best RB we have had in years, puts in an effort and is responsible for most attacking play and is decent in defense.

    Haidara, decent but a bit of a sick note.

    Dummitt, not good enough.

    M’Babu, a prospect.

    That’s it ! which suggests we need help there.

    Center Backs ?

    Taylor, a sick note, who is not gonna improve.

    Collo, sell by date approaching.

    M’bemba, decent.

    Lascelles, not from what I have seen of him.

    Good, who knows, apparently not so good.

    We certainly need help here.

    Midfielders ?

    If we are not gonna use,
    Gouffran, then sell them.

    Anita, inconsistent and not exactly a Cabaye.
    Shelvey, seems decent.
    Townsend, I like what I have seen.
    Colback, gives 100% each game.
    DeJong, sick note not good enough.
    Saivet, aint seen enough of him.
    Sissoko, a keeper, runs all day, though not a Vieria.
    Wijnaldum, like Sissoko, runs all day, but perhaps a bit over-rated.
    Aarons, a decent prospect, though as a winger, not LB.
    Tiote, should be playing in front of the back four, but has to cut out the yellow cards received.

    Seydou Duombia, don’t know, but would be more than happy to see the rest f**k off, as they are crap, yes even Perez.

  10. chuck says:
    February 15, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    “Moyes or Rodgers are available and have EPL experience.

    “A case of any port in a storm, plus they were both decent
    PL managers.”

    You could say the same things about McClaren though, except he won a League Cup, with the Smoggies! Moyes and Rodgers have won nothing. Rodgers couldn’t even win a trophy when he had a Liverpool with the likes of Suarez and Sturridge at a peak of creativity. I think it would be a sideways move.

  11. Worky

    Lets not get out of our depth here, as far as choices are concerned, tell me who apart from those two (Moyes and Rodgers) would be either better choices or even willing to take this job on.

    They were not appointed to both Man.U. and Liverpool because they didn’t know what they were doing.

    Moyes went to Everton after a few good seasons with Preston and managed to keep the side in the PL his first couple of seasons, from there on, every decent player developed by the club, was promptly sold for big bucks by Kenwright, whereas he had to find cheap replacements at prices Kemwright could afford, at the same time keeping a respectable mid league place each season.

    It was in fact a poisoned chalice, but he did extremely well during his tenure there.

    As for his time at Man. U., could he have done any worse than LVG ? I doubt it, but it appears the odds and everyone, including the players were against him from day one.

    Rodgers had some very good seasons at Swansea, the club were a pleasure to watch as far as the style of football was concerned.

    The point is he lost some good players at Liverpool and though considered a bigger club, than NUFC, are not exactly in the top group as far as wealth is concerned, finding it difficult to hang onto their best players.

    Especially when Barca. come calling.

    I’m sure he has learned some lessons from his experiences there, but is Klopp actually doing any better ?

    Look as I previously stated, neither one of these guys would be my first choice, but as far as resolving our place as a PL club, who knows this league better and is also available.

  12. It’s no secret that Ashley has his thumb on the panic button.

    Afraid he is about to lose the riches of EPL membership.

    But exactly why is/has he waited so long to do something about it, other than rely on Carr to buy the necessary players that can keep us up.

    I mean if it’s not Carr who is running this club, then who is ?

    It was never Pardew (that was the bone of contention)
    and it’s not our rotund pencil sharpener, who inherited the Managing Directors job, who is no more than another figurehead, without any real say other than as a go between for Ashley during any negotiations.

    So it has to be Carr, of course with the final word always being Ashley’s.

    Perhaps it’s time for a change, within a system that has never worked, face it who remains of all the players Carr has chosen, Sissoko, Wijnaldum, M’Bemba, are the only ones of any merit who remain, unless you want to include Shelvey and Townsend, the recent panic buys.

    Yeah, we also have a couple of prospects, but no guaranteed stars among them.

    An too continue as we are doing would only result in more of the same, a poor side constantly facing the inevitable relegation we already went through, just doesn’t make sense.

    What to do ?

  13. Oh ! forgot to add Janmaat to the players of merit above.
    which gives us around six PL quality players.
    No wonder we are in trouble.

  14. Chuck, the idea of Carr running Newcastle United is ridiculous, even if it’s true.


    “Lets not get out of our depth here…”

    No depths are too deep for me, Chuck. As I’ve already explained in my infinite wisdom, that myth about poor little Everton being hobbled by poverty is bollocks. If very big teams have bought some of their best players, they have with other clubs just as much, including Newcastle. Just look at Southampton as another example recently. The thought of Rodgers’ ego landing in Newcastle just fills me with inertia as well. It would be like a return to Pardew.

    Remi Garde was mooted in the past as a potential dream Newcastle manager, a move for a bright young manager that would show ambition, but look at him now after getting sucked into the Villa vortex.

  15. Yo ! easy enough to figure out what’s wrong with the club, I do it all the time, to the point most people are sick and tired of hearing it.

    However as we are currently “in extremis”, which raises the question, “what to do” ?

    Not what not to do , which appears to be your only reply.

    Lets hear what your suggestion of “what to do”, is ?

    Though neither Rodgers or Moyes, as I have stated, wouldn’t be my preferred choice to take over from that grinning useless excuse for a manager, that is McClaren.

    At least they have significant experience and probably the ability to avoid the drop, but we cant hesitate, time is is of the essence.

    If Ashley want’s a side that can avoid the drop and maintain a respectable mid table spot in the future, either one could probably fulfill that requirement, that’s all i’m saying.

    Hey I would love to see some radical innovative guy to take over, a ‘Marcelus Bielsa’ type if you will, but knowing Ashley’s conservative attitude, there’s no way it’s gonna happen.

    My belief is McClaren will be fired and being there’s no ‘Chris Hughton’ or ‘Carver’ available that we are aware of, among ‘McClarens’ entourage, it’s probably gonna be whoever among Moyes and Rodgers is willing to be the most pliable, which means accepting a less than great deal, as both need to get back into the game and have points to prove, for which NUFC could prove to be a good stepping stone.

    Lets see .

  16. “Lets hear what your suggestion of “what to do”, is ?”

    OK then chuck, fair enough. Firstly I would have sorted out the situation at the right time, ie just after the previous cock up with Carver, ie bringing in someone better than McClaren in the first place. However they didn’t so things are harder now. Statistics suggest that overall, bringing in a new manager in situations like this can often make situations worse. Aston Villa brought in the highly regarded young Remi Garde from Lyon, but results haven’t changed yet – They are really in it now and got thumped 6-0 in their last game. On the other hand (and I said it at the time) I would have given Koeman and Pochettino a shot without any hesitation and they hadn’t managed in the Premier League either. Why? They play nice football, but it’s their combination of that with strength and stoicism. They are the sort of people who are good in a war. Koeman walked into a Southampton that were falling apart and didn’t give a thing away. I would say one of the closest to him is Ajax’s Frankie de Boer. Like Koeman he was one of the greatest centre backs in Dutch history. They are tough and they don’t let things get to them. The disadvantage being that de Boer is a few years behind Koeman and a bit less experienced in management. Apart from the national team, he has only ever managed Ajax, whereas Koeman had managed in several countries.

    So there you go. As Ashley has been spreading the cash on players at last, maybe he should spray a bit more of that on pushing the boat out. So maybe he should “paint a very pretty picture” to de Boer (using de Boer’s own words).

  17. Mmmmm…. I still have no idea what your solution is ?

    Let me just say, Ashley is not about to bring in any ‘Jonnie Foreigner’ manager, the guy if you look at his history, is not someone with a lot of sophistication, which reflects somewhat in his distant relationship with both the press and the public in general.

    His appointments are based on references from people he trusts, like Llambias, (yeah right) who was responsible for Pardew’s hiring (birds of a feather) but even as an owner he seldom makes contact with the Newcastle management.

    So why would he hire a foreign manager.

    Whereas as I stated above, both Rodgers and Moyes are known factors to him (or should be) on a footballing level.

    The sticking point may come as far as control is concerned, we don’t know the demands of either, but we do know Ashley (though he may deny it) is a control freak, trusting no one.

    But he obviously needs a new manager ASAP and his hesitation, waiting for McClaren to produce a miracle is only wasting time, or perhaps negotiations may be taking place, I would hope so.

    However who does he have to advise him, Carr ?

    As it’s obvious he knows little about football, but should understand losers, as he has picked more of them than any owner in the history of the EPL.

    Look the guy is not that interested in winning any silverware and a comfortable mid table spot each season would satisfy any desires he has for the club, that and the riches of EPL membership,, in which case either of these two guys would suffice.

    Though if I remember right, we could see a more entertaining style and tactical approach from Rodgers and Geordies like everyone else enjoy watching a bit of flair from the side, after all it is the entertainment business
    not the retail business and there is a difference.

  18. Chuckles, you are impossible. Why ask for my “solution” then just pooh-pooh it, saying that Ashley will just ask Llambias and Carr, then appoint a British bum who’s down on his luck anyway? You asked for my way, not a prediction of what Ashley might decide.

  19. It’s both a prediction and an analysis of which way Ashley will go.

    No Jonnie Foreigners, perhaps when he saturates the European market with SD Stores, we may see a continental manager.

    Though with the amount of French and Dutch players in the side, he could go half-way and hire a Belgium manager.

    Kidding aside, the club may be better off hiring a manager from the continent, as the present majority of players are either from there or have played there.

    Unfortunately Koeman aint available, but DeBoer is, though anyone managing Ajax, its not unlike managing Celtic in Scotland, even you could win something there.

    Which in turn saz little about the quality of the manager.

    Better to look at those younger guys who succeed with the unglamorous sides in the European leagues, which signifies they can do more with less.

    I don’t see any signs of panic at St James’ these days, but that means nothing, i’m gonna project that unless we get rid of “the Wally with the Brolly”, we will slowly slide our way down the tubes, with him grinning and making excuses all the way.

  20. I see the Brexit vote is becoming closer and there appears to be a considerable amount of opposition in some parts, to remaining as a member of the EU.

    Then again those who purport to be in favor of leaving, may actually be doing so as a perceived threat to the union as a means of getting a better deal.

    No one really wants the UK to leave, including Cameron, it’s just another attempt at brinkmanship by Britain, in order to get a better deal.

    IMO they should make up their minds, do they want to be a part of the Union or not, as it appears from an outsiders point of view, they are attempting to have only the advantage of the vast market, without any of the responsibilities.

    But have no fear, Cameron won’t allow any Brexit, as he understands why Britain joined in the first place, they need the markets and this is just another ploy that won’t succeed, in which case he will attempt to put some lipstick on the pig and declare victory.

    I’m sure the EU ministers are just sick and tired of these continual attempts to play what used to be the old balance of power political game and are just as ready to cut the ties between and understand it for he ploy it is.

    In which case, don’t expect a lot.

  21. Well there’s one thing I can’t argue with, Chuck, that Keegan, Kinnear, Shearer, Hughton, Pardew, Carver and McClaren aren’t really a “United Nations” of world managerial talent! Psychoanalysing Ashley by looking at that list, what can we see apart from Ashley staying close to home, we can also see that his football references seem to be of a certain period too, the period he followed England as a fan. It reeks of the 1990s / early 2000s.

    I think I might another legendary English name from Ashley’s time that would fit on that list. I’ve joked about Ashley bringing in managers like Big Ron and Peter Reid in the past, but one I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet which isn’t quite so ridiculous is ex-England manager, Glenn Hoddle.

  22. The tragedy of Cameron’s referendum is that such an important issue is being put in the balance over such selfish and trivial issues. Cameron did this as a way of calling the bluff of a right wing anti immigration party (UKIP) who were pulling a few votes from the Conservatives before the election. Now he has crossed the Rubicon without thinking of the consequences, we have this charade of a negotiation, the issues are even more trivial, over things which only cost mere millions, rather than billions and trillions. In or out, pro EU or skeptical, it’s embarrassing to try and make us believe the UK’s membership of the EU hangs on a handful of issues like the amount of child benefit paid to immigrants. It’s insulting to all intelligent people, though not as insultng as Donald Trump!

    ps The most talked negotiation point, the one I mentioned above about paying benefits overseas involves just under £30 million. In the scale of an economy like the UK that is just laughable and embarrassing. It’s like arguing over a few pence down the back of the sofa.

  23. Yeah, that’s more or less how I see things, in regard to Cameron’s gamble and he may have to put a bit of rouge and powder on the pig, along with lipstick.

    The penny’s involved are hardly worth arguing about and any real Brexit is an illusion that no sensible politician would even dream of.

    However the UK went into the EU a bit reluctantly, being more or less forced, by the economic sense it made.

    But over the years has been even more reluctant to accept any number of changes, from the monetary union, to decisions made by the European Court, to immigration and the Shengen travel zone, (obviously an anti immigration
    policy), not to mention the European Constitution (which is so long winded that few have any conception of what it contains) Whereas Britain has no formal constitution.

    And of course the claim, the UK pays a lot more than it gets in return.

    A constant stream of complaints, in which case, it’s no wonder many UK citizens believe they get a poor deal.

    Certainly there are countries that have rejected full membership in the EU, both Switzerland and Norway come to mind, however both are more or less self sufficient, Norway with it’s Oil and The Swiss with their banking and modern industries, not to mention their historical independence, though each still have strong economic ties to the EU.

    No doubt Cameron will fight hard to get at least one meaningful concession, though I doubt whether the results will be very successful, in which case he may have a difficult time convincing the electorate, to vote for something he once appeared opposed to.

    However this small piece, explains it all.

    Naturally the common people don’t want war, but after all it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it’s always a simple matter to drag people along whether it’s a democracy or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.
    Voice or no voice the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.
    This is easy, all you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifist’s for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger, it works the same in every country.
    comments from
    Hermann Goering.
    at the Nuremberg trials.

  24. I take your point concerning “The Donald”.

    I believe for the most part, many of the worlds electorates, are really ignorant of who to cast their votes for, that is in countries where that choice is available.

    Take those in the US, where a buffoon like Donald Trump, (i’n not implying he is stupid by any means) is currently leading in the race for the Republican nomination for the presidency.

    Many of whom are/were members of the ‘Tea Party’, a majority of who are white, once middle class until their jobs were exported to low wage countries, (deindustrialization)

    Who are both confused and angry (mostly at Government) in which case they listen to whatever demagogue promises them a restoration of their once comfortable middle class living standards.

    Which is echoed by the Trump mantra, “i’m gonna make America great again” with no explanation of how.

    But they are so angry, they are willing to thrust him into the presidency, regardless of the consequences.

    Causing panic within the Republican establishment, being they have never experienced such anti government anger and have failed to find an answer to it.

    On the other side of the coin, the Democratic party, composed of many ex anti Wall St. movement adherents are duking it out, with on the left a Socialist/ Democrat, Bernie Sanders, virtually unknown (not unlike Corbyn who is now the shadow PM, in the UK) prior to his bid and possibly the only realistic socialist candidate since Eugene Debs in 1920.

    Versus the ex Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, ex democratic opponent of Obama and an ex senator of NY State, not to forget current wife of ex president Bill Clinton, a lotta exes there.

    Though virtually unknown the current opponent of Clinton, appears to be giving her a run for the money, (his from small donators, he refuses to accept super PAC’s money)
    her funding mainly from both Wall St. and super PACs and of course the democratic establishment.

    It appears the Democratic opposition is a more savvy group, as they have listened to both sides projected policies and seem to prefer that of the socialist Sanders, and the unusual part being, Sanders has come out way ahead of Clinton in poles among women, go figure !

    Unfortunately the Poles also show, that Socialists have the lowest rating of any party or ethnic group, due no doubt to the general association with communism during the cold war years and even before from the early struggles of such labor movements as the WWW.

    I haven’t gone into some of the other republicans, but there’s,

    Ted Cruz, an ethnic Cuban, born in Canada, who is somewhat of an extreme Conservative and a religious Zealot.

    His fellow Latino, Marco Rubio, son of another Cuban immigrant and considered to be also conservative, but has been accused of being somewhat Robotic and unable to deal with any unprepared circumstance.

    Of course we also have the brother of George Bush, currently governor of Florida, who is so wishy-washy I just don’t know how best to describe him, maybe wishy washy will do.

    Another state Governor from Ohio John Kasich, a seemingly sane individual, but not one to get anyone’s pulse racing.

    Then there’s Neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who’s attempt is so half hearted, I believe he’s in it just to say he ran.

    And of course there’s real estate mogul Donald Trump, who I believe came into the race on an ego trip, but has tapped into the voice of the disaffected to such a degree he is still leading the vote and may even be taking himself seriously.

    Yes folks, you should be so lucky as to have one of this crowd as your new ‘Great Leader. and I wish you had, as they scare the shit outta me, who thought that after George Bush, how bad could the next candidate be, wrong again chuck.

  25. Oh ! just remembered your suggestion as a possibility to replace Schteve, with ‘Glen Hoddle’.

    I don’t know whether that’s a serious statement or not ?

    It seems that everyone who looks good wearing an England Blazer, lacks something in their makeup, especially the managers, with only SBR actually being a man of ubstance.

    Though it wouldn’t surprise me to see our ex manager, Alan Pardew after Palace suss out he’s useless get the Engerland job, he would look great in a blazer with he three lions badge.

    And no I don’t think Hoddle would make a good manager, wasn’t he involved with some so called psychic, too much like Pardew’s “How to make friends and influence people’

  26. chuck says:
    February 20, 2016 at 11:48 pm

    “Oh ! just remembered your suggestion as a possibility to replace Schteve, with ‘Glen Hoddle’.

    “I don’t know whether that’s a serious statement or not ?”

    Oh Chuck, I explained everything! I was playing along with you and trying to think like Mike Ashley, going on his patterns of behaviour from the past and it led me to Glenn Hoddle.

    Disabled people got very angry with Hoddle when he strayed into theology (footballers and theology don’t usually mix well). He speculated that being disabled might be some kind of punishment from him upstairs and on top of Eileen Drewery’s voodoo sessions, that was game over for him as England manager. He actually did quite well though, and was robbed by some very bad decisions in a world cup quarter final against Argentina. Controversy doesn’t bother Ashley though, it attracts him if anything as makes him think he can get something cheaper.

  27. “Ted Cruz, an ethnic Cuban, born in Canada, who is somewhat of an extreme Conservative and a religious Zealot.”

    I know. Everyone’s going on about Trump but if it isn’t him as Republican candidate, it will be nutjob #2. Not as flamboyant and loud perhaps, but still a dangerous right wing nutjob nonetheless.

    Are you quite sure that old Bernie is a “socialist?” For a start, he seems to confuse Democratic Socialism with Social Democracy, and though they sound the same, they’re not quite the same thing. Secondly he’s no Jeremy Corbyn when it comes to making a stand on “socialist” or even “social democratic” principles in the past. Basically, he’s been almost another Hillary in Congress and is an AIPAC supporter etc… Maybe he’s the least worst option in a nightmare scenario, but he’s not quite what he seems.

  28. You may not be aware of political feelings in the US, but let me explain, to declare ones-self as even a socialist /democrat is like declaring yourself a “commie”, being most Americans, fail to see the difference.

    I would say as apposed to the UK, the isolation and constant bombardment with anti-communist (including Socialists) propaganda over the last hundred years or more
    has had it’s affect, with what may be considered the political center here, a position way to the right of the present British Conservative Party.

    You have to experience it to believe it.

    On the other hand, I see you have almost as many idiot politicians over there, with Campbell’s stupid opening of problems for himself, with Brexit and his equally idiotic schoolmate Boris, apparently backing the idea, along with a number of conservatives, wishing to make names for themselves as being pro British and ultra conservative, I wonder what they would all do if the public decided to vote for Brexit ?

    No there’s no limit to political idiocy.

    Then of course there arises the possibility of another referenda on Scottish independence, which would in fact pass, they being pro EU, seeing it as something of a protecting force, as the Scots looked upon their association with France in the middle ages.

    I would be inclined to laugh at some of he situations politicians get themselves into, were it not so serious.

    All I can say is Campbell better get out the lipstick and powder, being I believe there are as many angry voters in the UK, who might just believe the years of blaming EU membership on every problem that has arisen and opt for a Brexit, only to find they were supposed to vote the other way.

    Ah well !

  29. One must remember, Americans have constantly been bombarded with the idea of American exceptionalism and most firmly believe The US to be the only truly democratic country in the world.

    Unfortunately they are for he most part ignorant when it comes to politics outside the US.

    Most could not distinguish between the National Socialists, (Nazi Party) and The Soviet socialist Party (Communist Party) and many don’t understand the UK’s Labour Party was and hopefully remains a socialist party,
    or for that matter recognize the fact that most European countries have sizeable socialist parties that have little in common with communism.

    It’s somehow reminds me of that great swath of fundamentalist Christians, who inhabit the ‘bible belt’, many decent people, who take their understanding of life, from some fire and brimstone preacher, who simply finds quotes from the bible to justify anything and everything.

    But then there are all kinds of strange religious beliefs here, (mostly tax free) and stranger cult movements, it’s certainly the one country in this world, that is undefinable in real terms.

    It’s a trip !

  30. chuck says:
    February 21, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    “You may not be aware of political feelings in the US, but let me explain, to declare ones-self as even a socialist /democrat is like declaring yourself a “commie”, being most Americans, fail to see the difference.”

    No, no no, I know all that! That would point the other way, anyway. It would point towards Sanders blanching at the full strength “Socialism,” preferring the softer “Social Democracy” of his beloved Scandinavian model. But he doesn’t, he uses the full strength “Socialism” unabashedly and deliberately. I think that Sanders’s people have hit on something counterintuitive by the usual wisdom. There are alot of young Yanks who don’t remember Joe McCarthy and the cold war stuff, time as moved on and since 2008, it hasnt been the dirty word among the young, and an increasing amount of others too. He wasn’t going far as a pretty average style Democrat and thinking the unthinkable has defined him from the crowd.

    It’s “Cameron” not “Campbell.”

  31. “don’t understand the UK’s Labour Party was and hopefully remains a socialist party,”

    Not going back as far as the days of Keir Hardie but post WW2, It’s been a mixture of Social Democrats and Democratic Socialists. The more Social Democrat side were known as the “Gaitskellites” at one stage after Hugh Gaitskell. So you’d have your Gaitskells on one side and your proper Socialists like Aneurin Bevan on the other. Decades on (in the 80s) you had your some of the Gaitskell kind who left the Labour Party to form a party which was actually called the Social Democratic Party. After the Thatcher phenomenon and some election beatings for Labour, a fake “New” Labour emerged which was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but very successful for a while. Not counting Blair as “Labour” but as a twat instead, the two most successful postwar “real” labour prime ministers, Attlee and Wilson were the ones who could balance the two forces without everything breaking down into a fight. Even over there, I’m sure you can see the battle continuing currently with Corbyn’s “New Old Labour” vs the wounded “Old New Labour” of the Blairites.

    Then again, there are some “Old, Old Labour” people too, the people who used to be at the centre of everything Labour stood for, manual workers and the children of manual workers in a less manual world. Many of them have little time for large scale immigration, think it is taking their jobs away or driving down their wages etc. You know how it works because it’s no different over there. Though UKIP have faded a bit since the election, quite alot of these old, old school Labour people are still alienated and that’s a problem for Corbyn along with winning back more Jocks and Greens (especially Jocks). The thing is that it’s hard to resolve the two in some cases.

  32. No ! Sanders has always used the term socialist to define his political position, (whatever he means by that, we can only guess) I believe he cherry picks his image of socialism, which is roughly based on the Nordic ‘Social Democracy’ model, but as far as I can define is based a lot more on FDR’s depression era social programs.

    He ran for Mayor of Burlington as a socialist years ago, so one cannot come to the conclusion, he introduced term socialist as something recent in order to garner attention, (though that may be so incidentally), certainly he is more of a populist than either and no doubt he introduced the term ‘revolution’ into his speeches for the sake of attention, which always appeals to a youthful or angry electorate.

    The son of a east European Jewish Immigrants, brought up in Brooklyn, he no doubt was present during family and friends political discussions, which i’m sure were hot and heavy and certainly more so during the post WW2 years when New York absorbed a large number of Jewish displaced persons.

    Of course FDR was one of the most discussed political figures and was either worshiped or detested.

    All of this has obviously factored into Bernie becoming the political person he projects, however as much as I like certain policies he intends to implement, he remains something of a political enigma, having cherry picked a little here and a little there and like Trump, is aware he appeals to a dissatisfied and angry electorate willing to bring down the present establishment, just look at how they dismissed Bush, who was supposed to be the party’s choice.

    And Hillary is not exactly having an easy time as the Dems. choice.

    Well I see things are no better on your side of the pond
    with Cameron/Campbell in deep shit, he’s as big a clown as his schoolmate Boris, who is trying hard to back out of his statement, now claiming he meant, leave the Union entirely and re-join, negotiating an entirely new deal, as if that made any sense and people actually voted for this guy as Mayor of London.

    I’m afraid Cameron is going to find it more difficult to pull his chestnuts out of the fire on this issue and will lose a great deal of face because of it, which some may dismiss but as the Asians are aware has great significance, especially on a world stage.

  33. Yes I get and understand about the various factions within what’s known as ‘The Labour Party’

    However it’s not the Political parties that have changed, it’s the conditions of the electorate

    With de-industrialization came the dissolution of a vast union organization, just think of the Durham Miners Gala, when they and their fellow union members understood their position in life and the constant struggle for a decent living, there was no deciding who to vote for, everyone knew where their best interest’s lay.

    In to-days Britain, with a vastly reduced labour movement
    due to de-industrialization it’s easy to divide the vote, even within the Labour Party itself, where infighting is constant.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see a reorganization of all the current parties in order to redefine what each party stands for, certainly within Labour.

    Just as in the US, few people to-day define themselves as ‘Working Class’, most believing they belong to a catchall group known as the ‘Middle Class’.

    Another situation brought about with de-industrialization.

    With this definition comes a decision on who to vote for, in other words which candidate will better serve my interests, making it easier for some parties to claim you as a possible voter, while confusing the issues, not unlike the present chancellor, who claimed (falsely) that
    social benefits would/could be better, by changing the (then) present system.

    I don’t really see a bright future for the present Labour party, due to it’s internal squabbles and add the demographic changes and de-stratification of the class system, where you end up with a certain amount of confusion as to where ones best interests lie.

    Add poor government to these issues and you have a recipe for disaster.

  34. Apparently the deal has been done and to be fair, it sounds as though Cameron has got what he asked for, nothing.

    A charade which now may come back to bite him in the ass.

    Though I see most anti Union parliamentarians as being
    another red herring, for future use, being no doubt the UK will be back for more concessions and to make it appear there is a chance of a split (brexit)

    Yea ! he will save pennies, with the changes in certain social welfare cases, (nothing but a red herring for the Brit’s who believe the immigrants are afforded too much)

    Then there’s he opt out for the UK as far as having to be a part of any further political move to-wards a closer arrangement, (which they already have, with the threat of a Brixit) Duh !

    The fact is those EU members moving to the UK, use less than 2% of all social benefits, many are well educated and who (like the Polish Plumbers) are a benefit to the country and should be welcomed.

    There are numerous benefits, besides the vast market available and the truth is the UK cannot afford to go it alone and the EU needs the UK for both it’s military muscle and manufacturing, it along with France, Germany, and Italy being the main pillars of the Union.

    Though on listening to other EU citizens many consider the UK to be a selfish country, less interested in the EU as something positive to belong too, but rather only there for the monatery benefits it brings them.

    Immigration ? one of the basic tenants of EU membership is freedom to move and work anywhere within the EU.

    That’s not gonna change, hell there’s the Schengen arrangement which the UK has opted out of, what more do they need.

    The Germans have an old saying, which covers it, “what more do you want, Eggs in your Beer”

  35. “The son of a east European Jewish Immigrants, brought up in Brooklyn”

    That reminds me of the Jazz Singer and the Jolson Story, Chuck (my dad used to watch them alot when I was a kid). I know you all love that sort of American Dream stuff over there but our Labour candidate for London Mayor, Sadiq Khan is making much of the fact that he is the son of a Pakistani immigrant bus driver. This implicitly compares with the Tory candidate, Zac Goldsmith, the flaneur son of a highly controversial billionaire financier, Sir James Goldsmith. He’s dead now, but he was a right wing bastard of the first order and the father of the modern EU referendum movement in the UK before UKIP.

    I think the cause of many of our current woes is the packaging of news and politics as entertainment, so much over there that the US Presidential election has now morphed with a top TV show called “the Apprentice”. I was thinking about it over here with the EU referendum, a hugely important issue yet it has been covered like a soap. All the talk has been of “characters” like Boris Johnson, David Cameron and Nigel Farage, and career intrigue between Tory protanganists, is Boris using the referendum as a gambit for the Tory leadership if it goes tits up for Cameron? Is he stabbing his old friend in the back? etc… with next to nothing about the real issues. It’s a Circus. Corbyn said something similar.

    “I don’t really see a bright future for the present Labour party,”

    Chuck, the worst election Labour ever had was way back in 1931. Ramsey MacDonald left and Labour completely and utterly collapsed. Looking up the results, Stanley Baldwin’s Conservatives got 470 seats (up 210), and Labour got 52 (down 225). Compared with that, their current state is nothing and like Gloria Gaynor, they will survive and come back.

    It was someone very much like Corbyn who carried the party from their lowest point, Henry Lansbury. He led Labour from that post apocalypse scenario to Attlee, who led the party to a full part in a wartime coalition nine years after their 1931 meltdown, and full Labour control after a landslide election victory five years after that. Corbyn isn’t a pacifist as they keep saying, though he’s certainly the opposite of trigger happy. On the other hand, Lansbury was a real Christian pacifist with very strong beliefs. Of course though, this was the the 30s in Europe with the likes of Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini was definitely the wrong time for that sort of thing, and even Lansbury knew he had to resign after around three years. Attlee had the same commitment to social justice, but he was a former Major who fought in WW1, became a very strong wartime leader beside Churchill, and had no qualms whatsoever about building the British bomb etc…

    Getting back to Corbyn, like a football manager, Corbyn needs to bring through alot of young, left wing talent to offset the bias of all the Blairite MPs Blair filled the party with after he changed the rules for selecting candidates. Thats’s the problem though, many of them have been forced out. Perhaps his brightest young talent is his “Obama”, Clive Lewis, a former reserve army officer who fought in Afghanistan, hence he can’t be accused of being a pacifist. He was also a young TV presenter and has no problem at all with getting his message across. He needs many more to fill the squad though and Lewis is very inexperienced as an MP.

  36. chuck says:
    February 21, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    “Just as in the US, few people to-day define themselves as ‘Working Class’, most believing they belong to a catchall group known as the ‘Middle Class’.

    “Another situation brought about with de-industrialization.

    “With this definition comes a decision on who to vote for, in other words which candidate will better serve my interests, ”

    Steinbeck! That was it! I’ve been trying to think of it apropos of your comments above, Chuck. He said:

    “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

    And that’s it. The thing is though is that they are now succeeding in pulling the same trick over here now. There are “winners” and “losers” and no one wants to be seen as a loser. Who defines what a “winner” and a “loser” are though? And how do they define it?

    Coming back to what you said, Chuck, it’s not necessarily about “who will best serve my interests?” but “who will best serve the interest of the person I think I am?” There are too many turkeys voting for Christmas (and possibly Thanksgiving if they were American turkeys) because they think they are something they are not. They are voting for the person they are in their dreams when their ship comes in. That so called “American dream” where a shoeshine boy can become the Chairman of the Board is actually an instrument of control to make the common man or woman identify with the rich and powerful. All that celebrity shite is the same too, like all those women with the big arses over there; the Kadashians, Beyonce etc…

  37. Yes ! I saw a clip of Boris being interviewed, where he stated he had been in favor of a Brexit for a long time, but when asked why he had not declared that until recently , he was reduced to waffling about something else and running away.

    Obviously since some clown had upped his image , he actually believes he has a chance at taking over the party, those Eton boys have no scruples about backstabbing and believe they have some divine right to rule, even though not that bright.

    Another interesting election will take place in that Island due west of you, a general election, that may bring some clarity to both the Brexit and US elections.

    Being this is the second general election held since the beginning of the 07/08 recession.

    What I mean is the fact all parties in Ireland did poorly during the last elections, especially Fianna Fail, the party in power, due to anger at the political establishment, whereas those who ran as independents did exceptionally well (where some party members even switched to an independent ticket so angry were the voters).

    This is the same anti establishment vote that had a presence in the UK’s general election, outing the ruling Labour government, (though here were also other factors involved).

    The same conditions apply in the US at present, as everyone is aware, the voting public is still enraged at those they blame (and rightly so) for the recession and general demise of living standards.

    It wont take long before the UK electorate find they may have made one of he biggest mistakes in their lives, if they haven’t already by examining the budget from the most dangerous presence in the Conservative party ‘George Osbourne’.

    One of the most unusual aberrations in this weekends Irish General election is the fact, That ‘Sinn Fein’ the party of Gerry Adams, a party that has members in not only the Dail (Irish Parliament)of which he is an elected TD, having resigned his position as a MP for West Belfast, (elected on the same ticket Sinn Fein) because he refused to take his seat, the reason being abstensionism, for political reasons.

    I’m not quite sure how it works but I wonder is it possible that an elected member the Stormount Assembly and a British MP, belonging to Sinn Fein, could also become an elected member of the Dail Eireann, I suppose that residency would be the deciding factor, though few members of Parliament live in their constituencies.

    However it is not beyond the foreseeable that Adams could become the elected Taoiseach in what would probably be a
    coalition government, which would certainly put the cat among the canaries.

    But getting back to my original point, it will or should be of interest, to see if there is a recurrence of the anger and anti establishment vote that occurred previously.

    I think it would make for great political theatre, if it came to the point where Gerry Adams was elected as the Irish head of state and had to renegotiate the decided (good Friday) terms with Cameron following a possible Brexit scenario.

    Though i’m sure the people on both sides of the border would find it no laughing matter.

  38. While we are on the subject, there are rumors that Celtic may be about to hire a former NUFC player from the late eighties.

    The present manager of ‘Norn Iron’ Michael O’Neill.

    Who led the side to their first ever European championship, not only qualifying but topping the entire division, which consisted of some decent teams.

    Now that may be the kind of Manager/Coach, that we need, a guy who can take a side consisting of average players, from a small pool and prove successful with them.

    As opposed to someone like a “De Boer’ at ‘Ajax’ who may win the Dutch league, but had better, being it was expected considering the talent at hand.

    But I suppose that’s too much to ask for, being Ashley is consistent in his choices of finding re-treads that never were much good and never will be’s.

    Ah well !

  39. “if they haven’t already by examining the budget from the most dangerous presence in the Conservative party ‘George Osbourne’.”

    Chuck, there are galleries of “dangerous presences” in the Conservative party right now. Things are straightforward with Osbourne, he looks like and sounds like what he is, a charmless, upper middle class twat. There’s Iain Duncan Smith driving the poor and the disabled to suicide, and he looks like a Nazi. There are many others. However, perhaps the most dengerous is Boris Johnson with his bumbling charm and stand up comedy. He is currently more of a favourite to be the next Conservative leader than the charmless Osbourne.

    It’s all about enterainment now and Johnson is entertaining. He disarms people with his charm, but he’s still a shit just like the rest of them though. He just blatantly tells lies all the time. People say you can tell when politicians are lying because their lips move etc, but he really seems to take that one up to a new bar. Without all the knuckledragging stupidity and boorishness, he’s like Trump in some ways (and has the mad hair too) but with jokes instead of bigoted insanity. Oh it’s Boris and he’s such a laugh though! He was born in your city BTW Chuck, so although he sounds very English he’s a Yank really! You should have him as the Mayor of New York after being Mayor of London. Please have him as mayor of New York! He’s one of your own! Take him back! :-)

    I don’t know about all the other things but Sinn Fein have about five seats in the House of Commons, but I think they are still refusing to sit in them.

  40. “Martin O’Neill”

    I don’t get it, Chuck. You used to like all these bright young managers (so long as they weren’t English), but now you’ve gone all “old school” with Moyes and O’Neill.

  41. Look I would take a Bielsa or one of his acolytes, of which there are more than a few’ as opposed to anything Ashley/Carr will come up with.

    But one has to urge him to go for a more conservative choice, probably British, knowing Asley’s not about to make any moves at this stage.

    And when a club has both a unadventurous owner and a crap old fashioned manager/coach, the obvious end result is usually a side that reflects those values.

    But as everyone now knows, time is of the essence, and it would be against all logic, to expect any more from McClaren, unless one believes in miracles.

  42. chuck says:
    February 27, 2016 at 5:21 am

    “Look I would take a Bielsa or one of his acolytes”

    Jorge Sampaoli is available, he recently resigned as the Chile manager. The Copa America winner was on the shortlist for FIFA’s “World Coach of the Year” alongside Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique. He’s great to watch, he’s a funny little bald gadgie who goes absolutely bananas during games. I wanted Newcastle United to have a punt on him after seeing Chile in the World Cup. He’s never managed in Europe though.


  43. Ah ! what does it matter who we hire to manage, there will always be Ashley in the background with his decisions, he being the final arbitrator in all circumstances.

    It has become well known, his interest is nothing more than the steady revenue payments and to use NUFC in any way he can to advertise his (now failing business) ‘SD’.

    Meaning there’s no desire for silverware, no real desire for anything except remaining in the PL, with its annual revenue streams, accept it or not, that’s the most we the fans can expect as long as he owns the club.

    Of course, like this present season, we may be fighting against relegation, a case where money has to be spent and was, but it obviously was spent on the wrong players and to hang on to our present manager, will only ensure relegation, he will go with us into the second tier, with that bemused grin of his, while stating just hang on a bit more and I will make things happen.

    While our owner watches, but has no clue what to do about it, obviously Shteve must have been his choice for the job and will no doubt be a blow to his ego, but that’s not what it’s about, or is it ?

    Well there may still be two North-Eastern PL clubs in the
    Division next season, as Boro. are looking good and Sunderland have escaped the relegation zone.

    Better start preparing for the second tier, playing against Millwall, Brighton and Huddersfield, , as we appear to be destined to go down, due to the same ignorance shown since day one of (Ashleys) arrival, when he was an unknown factor and following SBR’s failing to keep us in the top four.

    Things just never clicked since then, what to do ?

  44. chuck says:
    March 1, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    “Ah ! what does it matter who we hire to manage, there will always be Ashley in the background with his decisions, he being the final arbitrator in all circumstances.”

    Aye Chuck, there’s also the small matter of the end of the world sometime after you lot go and elect Trump as well! Another game this evening then. What will that bring?

  45. It brought f all as usual. Did they play for a 0-0 draw, defend quite well, then, inevitably, finally fall to a very good goal later on? Or is it that they defended ok (especially so as it was the reserves) but are just toothless at the front and just can’t score very much? Only Aston Villa have scored fewer goals. I would give Doumbia a good go. He wasn’t on for long but I think he might have some more goals in him than Mitrovic right now.

  46. It was a horror show, terrible football from both sides.

    Some of the worst passing games yet, but at least Stoke had one winger who seemed determined to win the game
    and did.

    Our usual attacking comes from breakouts involving Sissoko and Janmaat, yesterday nothing, as a matter of fact we had no clue of what to do whenever we crossed the halfway line, which was rare.

    Shelveys passing was shit, it appears he is either on his game or way off.

    This side tactically has no clue and little real talent, plus a coach who is about to (I hope) get deservedly fired for the sixth time and hopefully retire.

    It’s gonna take another fifty million to fix this mess, though we may have plenty of time in which to do it, that’s while playing against those other former giants Leeds and Forrest.

  47. An interesting proposal has been discussed by a number of top EPL clubs, yes it’s the inevitable probability of a complete change in the European league system.

    Now that both Fifa and Uefa heads have been successfully toppled, combined that with the present unrest in certain former top leagues, now being raided by the current EPL sides for their best players, plus the earning differentials throughout those leagues, has re-interested the former clubs who once considered a major change, like the group of Eighteen ,etc.

    It is inevitable that to leave the EPL with it’s present revenues as is, certainly is of no benefit the other top leagues, in which case they may be seeking to establish a super league, which would be the one big draw, that could out do, the EPL as far as acquiring a bigger audience and probably more revenue.

    It Appears a certain Mathew Ross, (an American) has recently sounded out the two Manchester sides, Liverpool and Chelsea as to how they felt about a selective number of European sides to take part in a selective offer, to form a new European Super League.

    Certainly it’s an idea not before it’s time and will eventually come to pass, though naturally with a lot of infighting which could even result in a rival league forming as a competitor.

    One has only to look at the development of those US pro athletic leagues, Ice Hockey going from six teams in the sixties to clubs in virtually every major city, basketball and US football, the expansion has been enormous and with it the wealth generated.

    So now with the fact that both FIFA & UEFA are weakened and there’s a certain resentment in regard to the EPL’s present revenues, it’s understandable that there is both concern for the future unless something radical takes place and naturally a Super League may just be the answer.

  48. Worky what happened to the blog? Have not been able to get it for a month. Though you and Chuck had found an old monastery somewhere to see out your days.
    Nothing new on the football side of things everything at NUFC is rotten to the core. Ashley sits at the head commanding his completely useless staff to certain relegation. The “sheep” will continue to file in while having a little moan on social media. Ashley knows if they do make a noise he only needs to give another five minute interview on tv and they will all fall in line again.
    It was Martin Luther King who said something like “The ones that are worse than the criminals are the good people that do nothing.
    Well it is good to have the blog back just wish I could get NUFC back

  49. Seems the latest is our under fire manager, accusing certain media member/members of printing negative stuff concerning himself and obviously the players, ended in his beating a hasty retreat following a loud row.

    How this fool can claim he is bein done in by the press is just more of his nonsense, with a record like his he should have been fired months ago.

    Then there is the story of Ashley being upset at what’s happening, but denying it has anything to do with him, basically laying it on the chubby managing director, who we all know doesn’t have the authority to fire McClaren.

    Ashley being the one who hired McClarin, should in turn accept the blame and get rid of him, the man is half crazy, mentioning how well the side played at Stoke, which only proves my point, he’s either totally crazy or on the wrong medication.

    To have watched the fortunes of NUFC over time, any half idiot would be able to understand, it’s not because of bad luck McClaren has been fired five times alredy and looking for a sixth.

    This club is the worse run club in the country, where from the top down, ignorance reigns and as long as the owner and his crazy decisions continue the club will end up as another Leeds United.

    What’s he answer, a complete top management of people with positive track record, from general manager to coaches, including the Scouting staff, as I believe Carr is the whisperer in Ashley’s ear.

    Otherwise, more of the same, which no one wants.

  50. Nutmag says:
    March 4, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    “Worky what happened to the blog? Have not been able to get it for a month.”

    There was some severe turbulence for a few days quite a while ago now, and Hugh had to get a new server. Lots of them are being taken over by a giant company who are really bad and just rip off their clients. You find a good one, it’s good for a while, then it gets taken over by his horrible company and all goes to shite. Hugh’s in charge of the saver and he sorted things out this time, but exactly the same thing happened to me with this same site and my others a few years ago. That was taken over by the same company and just became unusable.

    “the man is half crazy,”

    In the world of the crazy, the half crazy man is king though, Nutmag.

    “as I believe Carr is the whisperer in Ashley’s ear.”

    He can’t be though as that would be ridiculous. Carr is a scout, he found his level and the stuff with him after he came to Newcastle got out of hand. It’s like Ashley passing off his cheap market standard T shirts as “designer” wear by buying a brand and sticking it on. He’s convinced himself he can do the same with football by repackaging scouts and book keepers as directors, bringing in cheap old has beens as managers etc.

    How is your painting going, Nutmag?

  51. chuck says:
    March 3, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    “An interesting proposal has been discussed by a number of top EPL clubs, yes it’s the inevitable probability of a complete change in the European league system.”

    Chuck, ultimately, putting a few of the best teams in a super league to play each other over and over again will be sterile. Bayern Munich vs Barcelona will just become boring after a while. You need a Leicester to upset the bigger teams every now and then, and that is one of the reasons why the Premier league is so popular.

    On the FIFA elections, I wanted Tokyo Sexwale to get Blatter’s job on the basis of his name alone. There would have been years of chuckles there but it was an Italian called Infantino in the end. I presume he made them an offer they couldn’t refuse.

  52. chuck says:
    March 4, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    “Seems the latest is our under fire manager, accusing certain media member/members of printing negative stuff concerning himself and obviously the players, ended in his beating a hasty retreat following a loud row.”

    Journalist to McClaren: “Don’t you dare accuse me of having an agenda, you are second bottom of the league. Is this your latest excuse? You’re the problem not me. Walk away Steve, smile, grin. He has been out of his depth since the moment he walked in.”

    The happy media policy is working well then.

  53. worky@53
    Paintings going really well, really loving it, because Ive changed from doing what I thought was commercial to what gives me the most satisfaction. I’m putting together an exhibition of old north eastern industrial stuff coal mining shipbuilding etc I haven’t given up my landscapes and seascapes totally with some canvases of hill farming and fishing thrown in. Will try a few in our gallery and exhibitions here before taking it all up north. Haven’t had the buzz like this since I retired. from “chefing”.
    Keeps me away from the stupidity NUFC which is a bonus!!

  54. Another debacle that hopefully will ensure McClaren is gone by Monday.

    If it’s not fully understood by now that hiring cheap losers to manage (and do as told) then it never will.

    Time to put this guy out in retirement, before he does some real danger.

    The man obviously cant cut it, has lost the dressing room, no player cares at the club and most are hopeful of moving on to some decently run club.

    When players openly fight among each other, it’s obvious there’s no stability and each is looking out for his own interests.

    How is it possible for someone, who is in a position like McClaren, to cling onto some hope of a miracle and even dumber is the owner who keeps him hoping for the same miracle.

    Is this the extent of Ashley’s eight years of running a football club, has he learned nothing, better for him and the fans were he to decide to sell up (regardless of the increases in revenue) and concentrate on selling rubbish, with a very expensive label.

    Being he has caused nothing but fear and loathing, since his arrival.

  55. Well it certainly looks like the McClaren era is about to come to a final close, it certainly took long enough for our dear leader to figure it out though.

    In which case the question of who his successor may be, is next.

    There are a number of names being bandied around, most prominent at the moment is ex Everton/Man. U’s David Moyes.

    Then of course we have Brendan Rodgers, with Rafa. Benitez also receiving a mention.

    Funny how the club becomes associated with out of work managers, even those still working, over the years.

    Were I a betting man, I would put my money on Moyes, who showed he could live with a cheap owner at Everton, yet produce a fairly competitive side, basically a top ten PL side.

    Which of course is exactly what Ashley is looking for, no more , no less.

    Rodgers being younger, has both more ambition and with a bit of success would probably start parlaying that to a bigger club with more ambition, as I don’t see him as someone who would be satisfied with mid league mediocrity.

    As for Rafa, perhaps as a stop gap, for a while, but he’s a guy who has managed at the top level and it’s doubtful he would be satisfied at NUFC, other than to pull their chestnuts out of the fire.

    I suppose other names have been mentioned besides the above, but if you gotta few extra bob, put it on Moyes, unless of course his demands are above and beyond that which Ashley is willing to pay, but that being the case he aught to take a good look in the mirror and realize that the other clowns he has hired over an eight year period because they came cheap and were hopeless yes men, was the crux of the problem at NUFC.

    And remains so to his day, there aught to be a revamp of the whole upper management situation, a good beginning would be to hire some competent figures (with track records)in management and let them have a free hand to straighten out this f***ed up mess, known as NUFC.

  56. Well it seems that day has arrived that most of us have been predicting for years. Ashley and his crew of incompetents should not be allowed to try and cover things with up with another of their Kinnear Pardew Carver McClaren sticking plasters. NUFC needs major surgery starting with Ashley and his cheapskate system right down to the tea lady.
    Then and only then it should be rebuilt with people who know what this club means to the whole region. Its not just a football club or just the thousands that turn up for matches. Its a belief a passion a religion shared by all who live in the area. For past generations it was a great release from their daily grind in mines shipyards etc. Do not let Ashley belittle it as part of his Cheap Shoddy Tat Empires advertising. It can only succeed if run by people who understand the passion the faith and the hope the people have in it. People like Bobby Robson Kevin Keegan Alan Shearer and others.

  57. chuck says:
    March 5, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    “Another debacle that hopefully will ensure McClaren is gone by Monday.”

    By your previous remarks, I’m hardly shocked at that, Chuck.

    Nutmag, I’ve said this before but why don’t you put some of your paintings online? Are you totally sick of cooking things now or do you still rustle up the odd gourmet masterpiece?

    Sorry, I thought I posted that comment yesterday but it was just left there for the best part of a day.

  58. Worky @60
    What I’m doing now I plan to show as a whole, a lot of large canvases with smaller ones as an infill. All of which will make up the whole theme. If you get my drift?
    I don’t think they lend themselves to online hard to explain. My commercial type paintings may have worked online.
    Yes I still have a passion for food and still cook. Now its mainly for family and friends. I used to do a lot of dinner parties but I have since moved into a small cottage not big enough for the dinners we used to have.
    There used to be a dozen or more we would all foot the bill and I was given a bottle of plonk to have while I cooked. The discussions went on into the morning. Lots of times I also had to cook breakfast.
    Good times because I think I enjoy talking better than I do writing.

  59. What appears to be a period of quiet, is no doubt a hive of activity behind the scenes, hopefully our Great Leader has realized everything is turning brown and it’s become time for action, that or continue with the program, which is drawing us ever closer to a quiet (grinning idiot) relegation.

    I’m sure most candidates for McClaren’s job have their CV’s dusted off and are adjusting their asking prices (realzing Ashley has a reputation as being a bit cheap)

    Appears to be from what we can garner a four horse race, with Moyes leading the betting, followed by Rodgers, Rafa and Big Nigel, none of which would be my choice, however it looks like Moyes from where I stand, meets all the requirements, not a bad tactician, with a good eye for decent players and a history of keeping Everton away from the dizzy heights where money has to be spent, yet seldom drops below the halfway mark, exactly suited to the Ashley plan.

    Rodgers ? hungry for success and would want more control and with it, more money spent, which would put off Ashley, but this guy believes he is destined for bigger things, no not at NUFC.

    Rafa ? perhaps for a short period, but we know from his time at Liverpool, he was a big spender and it’s doubtfull if Ashley would even consider him.

    Wothington ? look the present Leciester side was not put to-gether by the present manager (thogh no doubt he is one of the worlds most experienced) I believe it was Big Nigel who was responsible, now there’s a real unknown factor, exactly how successful could he be as a replacement for Mcclaren.

    Certainly he takes no nonsense and that’s one of the big problems at this club, talking about how guys like Pardew and he treated the players, with kid gloves, neither owning he dressing room.

    Whereas Big Nigel would be more inclined to kick a few asses, which may in fact be the answer to the problem.

  60. Sounds like a concept for another cookery show, Nutmag, “The Artistic Chef.” It’s no worse than fat Geordies on motorbikes, or fat old ladies on a motorbike and sidecar etc.

    No paintings lend themselves to being online in comparison to being actually there in a well lit gallery, but you’ve got to get them out there so people will come and see them.

    Chuck, you’ve either been reading too much Lee Ryder again, smoking some more of that weird shit over there in New York, or both. How can you compare Rodgers, Moyes, Nigel Pearson (Nigel Worthington is a white haired old Irish fella) and Benitez in the same list as if there was some sort of difficult choice there? Rodgers – won bugger all, Moyes – won bugger all, Pearson – won bugger all, Benitez – 12 major trophies in Spain, England and Italy including the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and World Club Cup.

  61. Why you ask ?
    Should be fairly obvious, being they are the bookies choices and how often are they wrong, sure there may be people not listed and not all of those listed are really candidates.

    Actually I believe the last I heard was they were putting the job up for bids, seeking those interested and evaluating them.

    You know that dreary theory about which manager won what is totally bogus, only players win, plus the fact you may be someone who is in charge of a top team/s, where the odds are you will win silverware.

    More the fact the where and when, than where and how you manage, luck can play a large part of success.

    Is it a case for national security whether McClaren gets fired or not? with the lack of any offering from the official (NUFC) mouthpieces, must be another major crisis.

    But as usual, the board and the boring are in the shelters, not having any clue to a solution, but certainly trying not to look any stupider than usual.

    Get ready for a calamity, as things just go from bad to worse and the club is and has been, a laughing stock among EPL sides, a joke.

  62. Well a continuous state of panic is the situation playing out in the boardroom of St.James’Park.

    I’m sure they are confused, everyone awaiting Ashleys decision on who to replace our loser ‘heed coach’.

    Of course only Ashley can make any decision, the others are used to nodding in agreement with him, as he attempts to figure out how to remain in the EPL, especially at such an historic moment (the real big bucks era)

    It’s shameful to keep McClaren hanging on, being the decision to fire him has already been made, but no more than a typical reflection of the Ashley style of doing business.

    But that’s how things are done at the present NUFC, the Board or Ashley, don’t want to let either the fans or media realize how poorly the top management is, in which case everything is hushed up.

    Any seriously run club, would not only have fired McClaren weeks ago, but would have had his replacement already picked out.

    Not here at NUFC, everything is a secret, we have been waiting for Ashley to tell them to fire McClaren, for over a month now, being no one currently has the authority to do so.

    Sure we know who will take the blame, our Managing Director,
    Erm! that’s the chubby guy who sits next to Ashley at home games.

    We had The London Banker, Wise, Llambias, the managing director who resigned, also Joe who proposed signing a left winger, who was already on the NUFC books, yes folke a series of Cockups that continue as we speak.

    What surprises me is the fact now that we are about to ditch McClarin, why have we no one lined up.

    Because only Ashley runs this club and little can be done without his decree, in which case the recently appointed chubby guy will take the hit for Ashleys lack of nous.

    Rafa ? no too expensive and would want more control, though as a short term manager would give the side it’s best opportunity to survive the drop.

    Rodgers decent tactician, would over time develop his own style of play, but believes he can do better at a bigger club, though certainly wouldn’t turn down the Magpies if on offer.

    Nigel ? nah! too combative, though when one looks at his former club Leicester, it appears he didn’t do such a bad job there, perhaps he could induce this bunch of strolling players to run and put a bit of effort into their game.

    Then there’s the bookies favorite “Moyes” decent defensive coach, has all the requirements needed for Ashley, having done it for years at Everton and not a bad judge in the transfer market, though you won’t see the likes of flair most fans love, but definitely the right choice for Ashley’
    Regardless it always comes back to the same question, does Ashley really think he knows how to run a football club, certainly his record so far indicates the opposite, so in fact is it not time to re-evaluate and change a system that’s obviously not working, I believe it is.

    Rodgers ? doubt it, as his playing style

  63. is not exactly one that would prevent the drop, have to find a defensive style coach, being every game from now on is going to be critical, a case of fighting for every point.
    Whereas Rodgers has changed tactically over time using a more attacking style prior to his firing.

  64. It’s amazing, talking bout the transition about to take place at the club.

    Other clubs would no doubt have got rid of McClaren months ago and would have gone through a normal transition, one guy out the other in.

    However even with the number of successive managers at this club, one would think they would have it covered by now, no such luck, we are no more familiar with what’s going on than
    we were last week, I mean what’s all the drama about, it’s not as if no one expected McClaren to be fired and why all the secrecy.

    All I can do is agree with Shearer, claiming he whole organization is a mess.

    Well as of to-day it appears no move has yet been completed
    though it seems Rafa. is not only the club, but a general choice of most.

    Three year deal has apparently been offered, though there are rumors of Rafa. demanding control over many of the decisions, which is of course better than leaving those decisions to Asley, who was described by KK as someone who knows nothing about football.

    Well no one has to convince us of that, who are well aware watching his dumbass decisions for the last eight years.

    I think Rafa is a decent manager, very good defensively and could be, out of those involved, be the most likely to survive the drop and possibly build a decent side.

    Question is, will Ashley let go of total control, I somehow doubt it, in which case it could go to someone else, (another yes man)

    Somehow I don’t see Rafa as the in charge manager of NUFC,
    unless Ashley is sick and tired of the dramas attached to this club and wants to leave the running of the club to someone else, lets see ?

  65. Soh ! Finally it’s Rafa. which is a pleasant surprise as I was sure Ashley would go for Moyes, who would appear to be closer to the type of manager wanted, someone who could maintain EPL status and live on a tight budget.

    On agreeing to a three year deal with Rafa. (providing he doesn’t make the drop) it’s going to be a case of two control freaks, looking to achieve or maintain control of whats going on at the club, which should be interesting.

    Though in fact if Ashley were to re-examine his years of virtually running the club, yes a number of idiots were given titles and roles, but only HE made those all important decisions, including who replaced Kathy the tea lady.

    Actually not run very well, but following eight years of attempting to cover two business’s, he has obviously reachd the conclusion, that screw it let Benitez take care of the footballing side and I can take care of SD.

    Though once again, the fact the man has no class, came through as McClaren was left swinging in the wind, still claiming he could save the club were he left to continue.

    Just nothing goes easily at this club, there’s just no respect for anyone, players, management or fans, well I hope Ashley has no regrets, being Rafa is an expensive guy
    and may cost him a bob or two.

    Ah ! wtf. it’s only money !

  66. Sorry Chuck, I posted a long reply about Benitez and other stuff but it disappeared into the ether. I’ve been having a few problems with the site again from this end. I was reminiscing about how I used to go and watch Valencia when Benitez was manager there, and how they upset the stranglehold of the big two in Spain, much like Diego Simeone with Atletico Madrid nowadays. I think that Benitez is very stubborn about his football. You said “control freak” which is a rather negative way of looking at it, Because of that, I believe that he will have insisted on real control without any interference from those other pudgy clowns. He’s never flopped at a club and has won trophies at every one, if you bear in mind he never got the chance at Real Madrid.

    Oh! I also mentioned that I would be writing a new blog in the next few days, before the game and looking at recent events.

  67. chuck says:
    March 11, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    “being Rafa is an expensive guy and may cost him a bob or two.”

    Chuck, you have to buy and pay the wages of alot of players, but you only need one manager. Even if Ashley’s paying him £15 million for three seasons, that isn’t much more than the transfer fee alone for a Wijnaldum or a Mitrovic. That’s the way I think about it anyway.

  68. I guess you misunderstood my remark about Rafa.,what I meant was he almost broke Liverpool’s former owners, spending big time on players.

    Face it any money spent on Rafa. will be pocket change when compared to the alternative, the rapidly increasing wealth of EPL membership.

    Yes the Premiership semi-breakaway, did they realize the extent of the changes they were about to bring to British Football and those that will soon take place, with the latest infusion of wealth, this approaching season being possibly the beginning of a massive spending spree.

    One wonders what effects will take place in the lower leagues, or how the less fortunate leagues in Europe will re-act, perhaps it may spur the inevitable super league
    in to being.

  69. Better those fortunate enough to receive EPL funding spend it on improving their grounds, being most stadiums are pretty slummy and could improve their facilities, hell it’s the fans that generate that wealth, give them some consideration, instead of ignoring them.

  70. chuck says:
    March 12, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    “I guess you misunderstood my remark about Rafa.,what I meant was he almost broke Liverpool’s former owners, spending big time on players.”

    Chuck, OK, but I know you like bickering with me really so I won’t hesitate in saying that was another media myth like Everton the paupers who punch above their weight. Maybe he did spend alot for Liverpool at that time but they were still behind the Man Us and the Chelseas. When they took on AC Milan in 2005, Milan were the best team in the world and in comparison, Liverpool were like David with his little catapult. Have you ever seen a greater turnaround than in that game?

    I really like Rafa Benitez. He’s like Bobby Robson in many respects, and as somone else observed (roughly) that could be why Newcastle United is lucky enough to have him. Sitting around too long waiting for that big club offer isn’t for him. Like Robson, he has to be on the training ground otherwise he goes bonkers, even if it’s a potential banana skin like Newcastle. Again like Robson, he has total integrity, and he’ll never do BS like Pardew.

    It’s the little things that tell you about a person sometimes, like the way Benitez sits at his computer personally explaining and discussing tactics with fans on his site. Any comment with a question gets answered.

  71. We will see what happens, talking about Rafa.

    But it appears you are not alone in your perception of Rafa., most fans believing it to be somewhat of a coup.

    I’m gonna take a wait and see attitude and I don’t want to compare his prior record at various clubs, as most mean little.

    Actually I was taken aback by his appointment, another panic appointment, a gamble by a know nothing owner, as apparently Rafa. refused to talk to Charnley until the club actually fired McClaren, which shows both a bit of respect, followed by a stating of his terms.

    At least this proves that there are a lotta hungry managers around, who will jump on any EPL job that becomes available.

    And dispels any idea that decisions are made by anyone other than Ashley at this club, despite the fiction of non involvement he has attempted to create.

    It’s now a ten game schedule with an enormous outcome, lets see what happens.

    I would hope within Rafa’s. contract, he is given complete charge of the same things that managers used to do, not for instance buying players he doesn’t want or need, simply because they may earn a few bob when sold on.

    I can see a problem arise with Carr, unless he reverts from whispering in Ashley’s ear, to being what his job title signifies, chief scout and takes his orders from Rafa.

    As this would be the way to go, hopefully decent management not by being controlled by a know nothing owner and a board consisting of squabbling fellow know nowt’s like Charnley, Carr, and Moncour.

  72. Given I considered the only way I would ever think of supporting NUFC again was when I saw “Dispicable Me” dragging his sorry arse back down the A1.Taking his gang of incompetent “Minions” with him.
    Could this be yet another false dawn? (We’ve Had Quite A Few). The promise of the riches beyond that dawn may just have made him see the light. Its taken nearly a decade of some really howling cock ups and more. So he hasn’t quite convinced me yet
    I think if he finally backs this “Proper” manager we could be in for some better times at last.
    I don’t think we could have hoped for a better manager than Rafa in our position.
    I may even watch the last few matches if I have time.

  73. Chuck
    Ashley seems to have it covered. If it goes pear shaped and we are relegated it had nothing to do with him “The Board” were to blame. Then if we survive he can claim all the credit. What are “Yes men” for anyway? Its the only way they earn their money they certainly don’t earn it running a football club.

  74. Well gotta go down the pub, on his rainy day, get something to eat, a coupla pints and watch the game.

    I really don’t care that much any more, being we have been subjected to some of the worst football seen by a Newcastle side, despite the wasted money spent on players who are not particularly interested.

    There’s a bit of schadenfreude involved and I hope Ashley now realizes how poorly he has been as both owner and every other job hehas taken on and that finally he reache’s the conclusion he knows less than most about either Newcastle United or running a football club.

    Were we to make the drop, what would he do then, in which case hopefully we don’t, being instead of having choice among managers and having Rafa, to end up with some retread manager and end up being a second Leeds United.