Newcastle – The best panto in town

by Dexy Longshot

Saturday, September 13th, 2008

Oh no it isn’t, oh yes it is!

What a month it’s been for Newcastle United. Keegan and his beloved Toon started the season with an impressive point at Old Trafford, things were looking good, until Keegan gave Mike Ashley a wish list which consisted of Thierry Henry, Ronaldinho and Frank Lampard. Wise got him Collocini and Gutierrez, good players non the less but ones Keegan knew nothing about. Two weeks on and Keegan’s left, oh no is hasn’t, Keegan’s back, oh no he isn’t, Keegan’s leaves again, oh yes he has. How much more can their poor fans take? ‘My life is finished ‘ said one disgruntled lady fan on Match of the Day. And top all this, they lose at home to Hull City.

If the tumult and fanfare was anything to go by in the extraordinary re-appointment of King Kev at Tyneside, then his swift booting out of the back door by owner Mistah Michael Ashley is just the sort of revelation needed to sustain the unhappy rumblings of disquiet being played out at St James’ Park in recent years.

Ever since Keegan took them to the most tantalisingly close challenge to the Premiership crown in the mid-90s, the club has had an air of uneasiness to it – there’s desire and passion in the bellies of the hoards of fans in the terraces who should, quite frankly, not have their shirts off in the middle of December. And boy, there are some rather massive bellies on display. That ferocious drive has been masked in recent years by the nagging possibility of failure. King Kev said himself, to trigger the unrest in the boardroom, that you need to spend big in order to have the remotest chance of challenging the Big Four. The subliminal message was clear; Ashley simply wasn’t sticking his hand in his pocket to bring in the players needed to make such an assault on the billy big-times.

Now it’s all come to a head, and Keegan now has another P45 to add to his collection. You can’t help but feel sorry for him, and in some ways, he has a very good point. He couldn’t have possibly let this on himself for fear of instantly losing the dressing room, but Newcastle United is a shadow of its former self in terms of player quality. Without naming names, a fair handful of players there are, for want of a politer word, rejects. Many of their players make their last big transfer to the North East, knowing there may be very little chance of equalling such a move later in their careers.

Keegan would’ve loved it, he really would’ve loved it, if he could’ve had the cash to join the bidding wars for the big name stars. Instead, he’s lumbered with Xisco, someone who I’m sure once upon a time rapped about girl’s pants, and more Italians with ridiculous hairstyles. For six players signed, they’ve had to let five go, making at the very least a total of £17m for their efforts. All of their transfers in were undisclosed fees, bar one which was a loan.

Michael Ashley certainly shares the same strong will and might for Geordie success, a point by proved by sitting among carefully-selected fans. It’s quite hard to see what decisions on the field can really restore Toon to anywhere near their former greatness. In the meantime, they’re doomed to Aston Villa’s plight under the former Ellis era – the dreaded mid-table obscurity.

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  • Darren

    I’m not surprised to be honest, in fact I predicted this would happen when he took over, yet all the silly Geordies thought they’d finish in the top 4 and King Kev was the man to do it! How foolish they are, a big ground but not a big club. They must be gutted about City too, especially as Abou Diarby (who has been moonlighting) looked at Newcastle before he bought City.

    No doubt Shearer is the man to take them to the next level and that’s finish in the top half of the table.

  • Jackie Emu

    It’s a joke…I’m a boro fan and seeing everything go from bad to worse is giving me no pleasure…it’s gone beyond that now. They have a massive fan base, loyal fans although some very deluded but some deserving of much better. In my opinion they should have stuck with Big Sam I do not see the point in chopping and changing and Newcastle are one of the worst examples of this.
    The latest Keegan situation really does smack of too many people meddling in team affairs I don’t blame King Kev why stick around in a job where you don’t have any say.

    Looks like another 50 years before they win anything and Boro to be top dogs in the North east again!

  • Darren

    Boro pride of North East!! Actually, it’s true!

    The problem with Newcastle is every fan wears his heart on his sleeve, if Bud is reading and girls, they pick who they want in charge, it’s a vicious circle and one which will never change until they give someone a decent crack at trying to get it right. Imagine if Sir ALex, the most successful manager in English history went to Newcastle, if he had the start he had and Man U he’d be out of the door as well!

    I did hear a rumor that a certain ginger headed English/Ducthman is interested in the job! Now that would be hilarious!!

  • Jackie Emu

    Big Sam is available?

    So lets get this straight Keegan left a circus to go to a circus…is he going back to his original circus.

    circus circus circus…of clowns

  • tef1on

    Gotta laugh… Football is the biggest comedy of the year so far!

    Its rediculous… I swear im loosing interest in it… i am seriously just starting to hate the game

  • tef1on

    Gotta laugh… Football is the biggest comedy of the year so far!

    Its ridiculous… I swear im loosing interest in it… i am seriously just starting to hate the game

  • Stevie

    Rugger, rugger, ra ra ra!!

    Anyone for a game rugger old chap?

  • Stevie

    Keegan, giz a wave,
    Keegan, Keegan, giz a wave!

  • Jamie Farrier

    It’s saying something when the article needs to be reposted after it took 48 hours to sort this mess out.

    Keegan’s come out of this looking very good and Mike Ashley looking like a fraud – not just with transfers but with his whole ‘regular supporter’ image.

    Rumour is Dennis Wise may be appointed, which will be just Avram Grant Mark II – unpopular choice and a man who won’t have the same teeth as Keegan.

  • Stevie

    wise will get murdered, not literally but the fans will not take to him. The question is, have Manchester United got a director of football? Are they successful? I rest my case!

  • Parks numero uno

    mike ashley is no good for newcastle. at least with freddy shepard in charge there was always money for players

  • tef1on

    find it amazing that this post has been bumped to the top 3 times and with good reason… this drama is not good for our game! Get to forgien £££ out and get the idiots like Ashley out…. Come on chaps, this is football! what was once known as the Beautiful game… Now only known as a farce

  • Stevie

    long live the panto and this post, it’s become the North East’s version of Eastenders. what ever will happen next? Maybe Dot Cotton should take over, her lovely son Nick Cotton could pick the team, maybe Well Hard (the real one) could play up front, it could work…

  • Darren

    the panto hasn’t even started yet.

    the papers are full of stories this morning

    In the The Sunday Telegraph they said Ashley is prepared to open one final round of talks aimed at reaching a compromise agreement that would pave the way for Kevin Keegan’s return to St James’ Park.

    News of the World reckon Ashley is ready to tell fans baying for his blood: Give me £1,000 each and you can run the club yourselves.

    Brilliant, as Stevo said, it’s better than Eastenders!!!

  • Jamie Farrier

    Mistah Ashley’s now put Toon up for sale, according to BBC. I would normally say this is the end of this saga, but Newcastle’s used goods now – the buyer needs to be mighty brave to step in here. This one ain’t over yet.

  • Darren

    the way football is going a very rich Arab billionaire will come in and save them, Chelsea were in debt when Abramavich came along.

    But you’re right, this anit over by a long mile. This post could re-uploaded on a daily basis!

  • Gaz

    If what Ashley say’s is true and he has bailed the club out then the “Toon Army” need to have a good long look at themselves.

    Newcastle are no “Bigger” a team than Everton and yet the blue half of Merseyside have to watch what they spend, pay prudent wages and play football suited to the players they have.
    There are no multi millons to spend at Goodison, and no Arab backers, and yet we see a club in the top 6 almost every year.

    So i’m sorry to any toon fans out there but getting rid of a rich owner, who loves the club, is not a good idea. If anyone thought he was acting in the interests of NUFC then it would be Mike Ashley, do you think a Sheik would let Keegan loose with Millions of pounds after being out of football for half a decade? Apparently his trasfer targets were Ronahdinho, Lampard etc…… what a great knowedge of the game to be able to “find” such untapped talent!!!! And if KK though thoose players would go to Newcastle he’s more deluded than the some of the hardcore toon army themselves……

    Newcaslte do not play in Europe and have won nothing for 50+ years and yet the door is revolving if managers dont succed by xmas.

    Big Sam was building a CLUB, Ashley was building a club, but all Newcastle fans want are chep thrills….. Because apparently rome WAS built in a day eh boys…….

    Oh and for gods sake – PAUL INCE? Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

  • Darren

    Everton are a great example of how to run a club, come to think of Arsenal are too. Both clubs have to sell players to balance the books and both clubs play in Europe every year.

    Moyes has been superb because he is allowed the run the club his way. Newcastle seem to living in Walt Disney land, with Keegan being a life size cartoon character. It’s all to romantic and unrealistic, if they can’t get Keegan, they will want Shearer. It’s crazy, they need to get behind who ever is in charge and be patient.

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