Mike Ashley – It’s time to spend that money!

by admin

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

In my two decades as Newcastle fan I have had worse Christmases, tucking into my turkey in 2008 whilst languishing four points above the relegation zone springs immediately to mind. This was made all the worse by having to bypass drinking my despair away due to a nice early drive to Wigan the next morning. These were the days before Ryan Taylor wore black and white, and a trip to Wigan meant the inevitable loss with a wonder goal from Merseyside’s finest left/right /full/wing/back/winger extraordinaire. A repeat of Boxing Day 2007 was firmly on my mind, and of course it happened. Thank you, St. Nick.

As I write this two weeks before the next Lancashire boxing day installment (albeit Bolton this time, not Wigan) we are sitting pretty, fourteen points ahead of relegation and laughing at the plight of those down the road, even with ‘I’m a Sunderland fan, honest’ Martin O’Neill in the lukewarm seat.  Yes, I have had better Christmases, but being just five years old did not soften the blow caused by the 12-points-clear-at–Christmas  in 1995 debacle. Topping the tree in 2001 was sweet, but ending the London Hoodoo by beating Arsenal 3-1 at Highbury was the main present. In comparison to those two years seventh place seems a disappointment, we are after all currently only one place better than at Christmas last year, but we have two games before Christmas Day and are already four points better off.

There are worries though, and the same item is on the Christmas wish list this year as most years before. Centre Halves. The only difference is that this year it is through no fault of those who usually occupy that berth. Fabriccio Coloccini and Steven Taylor have performed admirably – and, along messrs Ba, Ryan Taylor, Cabaye and Krul, the obvious candidates for player of the season so far. However, as luck will have it, Fab and Stevey have got themselves crocked by those nasty West London lions. Norwich City then ruthlessly exposed the shortcomings of Newcastle’s squad last Saturday and, no disrespect to the Canaries, but if Alan Pardew wants to improve or even consolidate on Newcastle’s current position, then he should be taking points from grounds like Carrow Road. Yes the loss to Norwich can be blamed on injuries but playing four fullbacks again in defence again on Saturday could cost dearly. The emission of two  central defenders of that quality is the difference between battling draws at Manchester United, and potential capitulation at home to Swansea.

Hopefully Pardew can convince Ashley to stump up for one or two quality defenders to reinforce our already strong first choice back four, if not I fear Newcastle may well become a laughing stock on the pitch again, not just off.  The period after Kevin Keegan’s sacking was the last time that happened and I do not have to tell you what happened at the end of that season. I am resisting tempting fate by closing this piece by suggesting that it could be worse, we could be in Sunderland’s position, but as soon as Pardew signs Gerard Pique I will…

By Simon Meechan.

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  • George Walker

    It certainly is time for him to spend the Andy Carroll money…. but he wont.
    I expect a couple of cheap signings to make up the numbers and £30+ million in Ashleys pocket when he sells Tiote and Krul.

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Mystical Mike

    Tiote will go the Chelsea, if they come knocking with a 20m he wont say no.

    Shame, as Pardew has worked wonders with that squad, sign a few decent players and they could easily have a crack at the top 4

  • Simon Meechan

    Will be interesting to see how they cope without Ba and Tiote during the African Cup of Nations, that leaves two very big gaps in the side. Luckily Nigeria didn’t qualify so Shola will still be around upfront with Best. I doubt Ashley wants to spend on another striker, as Ba and Best (less so) have made a decent case for themselves.

    Tiote may well go, but I do not think he is irreplaceable, for all his perks he loses the ball quite often and very prone to bookings and suspension. I can’t name any candidates to replace him myself, but then I didnt know who Cheik Tiote was when Newcastle signed him, so I will leave my faith in Alan Carr.

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