There are few more enjoyable sights in football than watching Newcastle United lose. I don’t wish to alienate my many followers on Tyneside (as if), but there is so much to dislike about the club. The arrogant billionaire owner who has made his fortune selling tat through zero hour minimum wage staff, the best and most knowledgeable fans in the land (yeah, right) and the fact that this “massive club” has won sod all in living memory.
Like most clubs, the Toon have few, if any, local lads in their team. Unlike at clubs like Manchester City and Chelsea, whose overwhelming majority of foreign players are big stars, most of Newcastle’s probably aren’t even known in their own countries. A rag tag collection of overseas journeymen and, as opposed to has beens, never seres. No wonder English football is in such a mess when the most average of average Premier League clubs employs cheap labour from abroad. Well, cheaper labour anyway.
And there’s the new manager, Steve McClaren. He seems to get big jobs from time to time but you know full well how it will end. McClaren is known to be one of the finest coaches in the land, but he doesn’t appear to be a particularly good manager. He did very well at FC Twente in the Netherlands, winning the league too, but he was there as coach, not manager. He did very well as Manchester United coach, he did very well as England coach, but he doesn’t seem to do all that well when the name of the job changes. But when the highly underrated Alan Pardew left for Crystal Palace, Mike Ashley made the decision to take McClaren from Derby County, whom he has failed to steer out of the Championship. The rest will follow its normal pattern, until McClaren is axed following a long run of defeats. It might even be sooner rather than later.
Ashley is but another Newcastle owner who has the interests of himself, rather than the club, at heart. The previous owners all did very nicely out of the club, thank you very much, and you can bet Ashley won’t leave any poorer when he decides to do something else with his money.
As with all clubs, it’s up to the supporters really. If they really think it’s acceptable for the club’s sole ambition to finish in the top ten (they should be so lucky), then they deserve all they get. They might own the spirit of the club but Ashley owns everything else.