Carragher And Nevilles Patronising, Disrespectful Nonsense About Newcastle And Its Fans

Did many of you catch MNF last night and Carragher and Neville's ramblings about Newcastle?
As a Toon fan I tuned in to witness one of two things. Chelsea being heavily criticised or Newcastle being heavily praised. However I did not expect Newcastle to be heavily criticised, mocked, disrespected and patronised to an extent I am still trying to sink into my brain a day later.
When asked if McClarens quote of 'this is the benchmark now' was correct. Carragher bluntly said 'NO' and then spent 5 mins 'explaining' how Newcastle's tactics were negative and not how they could play against the likes of Watford as the fans would go crazy in the stands.
Words can not describe how much nonsense this drivel is as what seems totally lost on @Carra23 is that Watford would not turn up to St James' with the quality of players Chelsea have and play such attack minded, possession dominating football. Or is that too obvious?
Plus its obvious what McClaren meant by 'benchmark' as in the desire, the fight, the pressing, the much better defending, the brilliant centre forward play from Mitrovic and in many aspects the brave, confident football being played.
For him then to drag out the 'stats' from the Newcastle game vs Watford and basically declare they played better against Watford then Chelsea is perhaps the biggest misuse of stats to form whatever point he was attempting to make I have ever witnessed. Seriously what exactly was his point? The game was totally different as Watford had a 2 goal lead, which they then defended. Which is what we had vs Chelsea. Again, have I missed something obvious?
The best part was left to GNev who came in with the words 'I agree' for then to totally contradict and to talk the complete opposite of what Carragher was waffling on about (still to this day dont know what it was). Here are some bullet points of G Nev's 1 minute cameo.
- The fans need to get out of the mentality of the mid 90's
- To play 4-2-4 against the lesser teams is disrespectful
- They need to do what Pulis, Pardew at Palace etc do and start from the back and counter teams.
- The fans need re-educating but do you think the management can do that?
At this point my jaw was on the floor. Not only has he completely contradicted everything Carragher went on about, in agreement dont forget, however he uses the Chelsea game as a tool to completely patronise and mock the fans of Newcastle Utd. All of which using no evidence whatsoever to back up his claims. Since when have we played 4-2-4 this season? We had Siem De Jong in as a false number 9 against Sheff Wed and had one shot on goal. Thats why we lost.
The less I say about 'the fans need re-educating' the better. I think it speaks for itself for what kind of opinion The Nev has about Geordies. Disgusting doesnt cover it. If anyone needs re-educating its him on the Newcastle fans. Not the fans on the their own team.
I like Carragher and GNev and watch MNF on a regular basis but their incredible disregard, total lack of respect and most importantly lack of any actual knowledge about this 'wee north east club' and its fans is nothing short of ridiculous. They get paid to talk about 20 Premier League clubs. Not the ones they like or respect. ALL 20. Get off your high horse and do some homework. Maybe speak to a Geordie now and again, they wont hurt you. Honest.
I still cant get over it. Last night had to be seen, recorded, rewound and watched again to be believed...and even then I cant believe the levels of total ignorance and disrespect.
I swear they either made it up as they went along, totally contradicting the previous sentence they had just used or it was the greatest scripted comedy writing I have ever heard.

Full quotes can be read here
Follow on @ToonBano

Newcastle Gamble Bringing Mario Balotelli On Loan Is Totally Worth It

There have been recent rumours around Newcastle bringing in everyone's favourite nutcase Mario Balotelli. Which apparently have been swiftly denied by new boss Steve McClaren. Most would be relieved at no entertainment of such a move given his baggage and total lack of productivity for Liverpool last season. But should it be? If we were to take a massive gamble on Balotelli in the shape of a season long loan with the option to cancel it at would surely be totally worth it with what we could get in return?

He does crazy things. He doesn't always deliver on the pitch. He always delivers off the pitch. Having mental Mario consistently on the Toon every other weekend has guaranteed misdemeanors written all over it. But so what? The lad can be class on his day and if we were to show him 100% faith he could respond in a very positive fashion. People like Balotelli just need love and no fans in the country love a centre forward more than the Geordies. It could be a match made in heaven.

Let me put it another way. Emmanuel Riviere arrived for the sum of £6 million and scored the eye watering total of one league goal all season. ONE. Now Balotelli did the same for Liverpool, however there is no doubt whatsoever which one has more talent. We could never be in the market for a high flying Balotelli but a misfiring one could be our chance to pounce. I mentioned that Balotelli is guaranteed to create headlines off the field but I cant actually remember too many from last season so maybe he has toned down slightly.

Given the relief of not having the Liverpool glare from all pundits and ex players off his back and having a solid first team spot in the Black and White could be exactly what he needs. He could relish in the admiration and worship Toon fans bestow on their goalscorers like no other. For the sake of a loan move, for me this seemingly far fetched story should have more legs then it seems.

No Newcastle fan can tell me if Mario Balotelli raked up outside the ground to sign for us we
wouldn't welcome him with open arms, intrigue and a little bit of excitement. There will be doubters, of course, but if he were to smash one in on his debut those doubters would become very quiet quite quickly. We haven't had a consistent league campaign for three years so turning our noses up at Balotelli's lack of consistency would be rich to say the least. At least he is entertaining.

We can't do much worse then what we have to offer up front as it stands. QPR wanting £15 million for Charlie Austin is somewhat obscene. The Bas Dost deal is dragging its heels. All we want from this season going forward is excitement. Mario Balotelli provides that. He is still only 24, so if we were to bring him in on loan, have a couple of clauses in there to either cut it short if it goes pair shaped or a nominal fee to make it permanent if he is a revelation.

Bring him in I say. Got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Follow on Twitter @ToonBano

Javier Hernandez Would Feel 'Important' Again At Newcastle Utd

Javier Hernandez is surplus to requirements at Man Utd and has returned from a 'frustrating' loan move at Real Madrid in his own words. He has described his time recently as 'being made to feel un-important' as he was restricted to a bit-part player at the Bernabeu, only making 13 starts throughout the whole season. This despite Karim Benzema being the only recognised top striker at the club.

Now seeing as we are crying out for a centre forward with the qualities to consistently bang them in in the Premier League, surely bringing in Chicharito on loan at the very least would be a no-brainer? If there is a club in the PL who make their strikers feel important its NUFC. No other club can compete with the love and worship the Toon Army bestow upon any individual who can find the back of the net.

A season at St James' Park could be the dream scenario for him as a player to feel loved again as well as to find his scoring boots. Whilst we as a club find that marksmen we can rely on to grab us 15+ goals in a season we have severely lacked since the likes of Demba Ba and Loic Remy felt being 3rd choice Chelsea striker was more appealing.

I am certain a man like McClaren would jump at the chance to work with a player with Hernandez's qualities as a talent as well as his hard work who, somewhat despicably, has been cast aside by Van Gaal in favour of the shadow of Falcao and an hastily ageing Van Persie last season. His time at Real didn't exactly show Van Gaal he was wrong so we could take advantage of this and bring in a player who was as sharp as anyone in the PL when he worked under Alex Ferguson.

Good in the air, clinical finisher, pace to burn & available on the cheap...a no-brainer surely?!

.....that's considering Lee Charnley has a brain. What does he actually do anyway...?

Follow on Twitter @ToonBano

Newcastle Utd Set To Make Steve McClaren Next Head Coach This Week

Derby County have sacked Steve McClaren and they hinted at the fact his link to the Newcastle job had some part in their nosedive in form this season which saw them drop from top of the Championship, to not even making the playoffs. Something McClaren was quick to deny in a statement of his own shortly after the news was released.

McClaren, allegedly, turned the Newcastle job down twice including just a few weeks ago when Derby were confirmed as missing out on the playoffs. However seeing as he is now jobless and Newcastle Utd are still managerlesx, it now seems certain that he will come together with Lee Charnley to sort out a contract as the next Head Coach Newcastle Utd. Or is it...?

Mike Ashley seems, if nothing else, a stubborn head strong man who doesn't think twice to burn bridges quickly without hesitation so the fact McClaren had his chance to join his club and refused it in favour of a Championship team may have ended any chance of the former England manager being named Toon boss. Albeit Ashley has made it clear in his recent TV interview (who saw that coming?) that Charnley and the football board make all the decisions on the next manager, the company he keeps don't seem to be that much different to him. So perhaps Charnleys 'pride' may block any future talks or the football board feel McClare showed a lack of desire to take the job and has practically 'blown it' so the club has moved on.

From my point of view I can't see such bridges being burned. It wouldn't really make much sense given the circumstances. At the end of the day McClaren basically showed loyalty to his employers which isn't a bad trait to have as a head coach is it? You would think Charnley and co would have seen that and understood it. Plus considering McClaren was identified as the man to take this club on nothing has changed in three weeks. One plus with McClaren being sacked, for especially Mike Ashley, is that there is no compensation to be paid now so you would think it's just a matter of time before Newcastle make their offer and finally have a long official chat.

I personally have no problem with Steve McClaren being the next man to take over. The club,
whether you agree or not, have made it clear they want a head coach to take control of the first team as Graeme Carr and co have the main say on transfers so considering this we can't do much worse then McClaren. I would go as far to say as he is probably the best English Head Coach we could possibly get. His previous experience down at Middlesbrough doesn't do him any harm in what to expect.

If we were to bring in a man from the continent, would he understand this club? He may admire it from a far and think he knows what to expect, but this club is unique. Even the most experienced of managers who have worked here STILL have no clue what this football club is about. You just have to listen to the insufferable Graeme Souness whenever he tries to offer his opinion about our clubs affairs to see his total ignorance. McClaren has been around a bit and has proven to be capable of handling difficult situations.

The England job did not exactly go well, but who exactly has been successful in the past 20 years? Even our king of all kings Kevin Keegan struggled as England boss but is arguably our best manager of all time. McClaren won a trophy at Middlesbrough which is more then we have done in my lifetime. He even took them to a European final. He went to Holland and won the league with a relatively small club in FC Twente. How many English managers can say they have done that. Obvious comparison is another hero of ours Sir Bobby. The comparisons are apt.

Steve McClaren is a top Head Coach. I believe he understands the club. He is available and no doubt interested. The shoe fits on all fronts so I expect this appointment to be made sooner rather then later as McClaren has already been on holiday as Derby's season finished weeks ago.

Whether McClaren will keep John Carver on as first team coach or otherwise is another story...!!

Follow on Twitter @ToonBano

SkySports Have Shamelessly Switched Their Main Coverage To 'Hopefully' Show Newcastle Drop!

So all week we have seen that on Survival Sunday Hull vs Man Utd will be shown on SkySports 1 from 2pm with Newcastle vs West Ham on SkySports 3 from 2.55pm & Chelsea vs mackems on Sky1. Even though the mackems are now safe, they are still going to be shown as it will be Chelsea's title winning party with the trophy being lifted and all that nonsense. However Sky have decided to change their main coverage on SkySports 1 from the KC Stadium to St. James Park. How do they explain this?

It is clear that Hull City are the most likely team to go down and seeing as Arsenal failed to win last night, Man Utd are still technically in with a very outside shot at 3rd place on goal difference. So why would SkySports make a sudden U-turn in which stadium to send their head presenter & pundits to be at offering all of their wisdom? Well it's only for one reasonable explanation and that's because they want to be there to show our demise first hand. They want to crank up the pressure as much as they can to see the mighty Newcastle Utd deliver the perfect punchline of the nations favourite football joke, as we amazingly get relegated.

Now this isn't paranoia or some Geordie moaning about the world is against us and many other cliches, just look at the plain facts. If you were a television company and you had to choose a story to show and tell on Sunday, surely the one with two dramatic scenarios which Hull face right now is the best. They either miracously stay up with a win against Man Utd or they do indeed go down. The ecstasy and the agony of either one of these GUARANTEED scenes at the final whistle is exactly why they chose to have this match as their main game to begin with. It's obvious. Isn't it?

Well no, apparently not. Sky don't want that. They want something else. They want to see Newcastle's possible demise beyond anything Hull could provide. They want to be there when Newcastle Utd go down. They want to crank up the pressure as much as they can and build up the game for a whole hour (instead of the original 5 mins) as well as the days leading up to it. They want to leave no stone unturned in reminding footballing world, as well as NUFC themselves, what a disaster this season has been. What a disaster relegation would mean. What a joke this football club is. These scenario come Sunday is more important to them beyond anything else.

SkySports are choosing to switch theirs and in hand the footballing worlds attention to our game versus West Ham which could in theory be totally meaningless. We could get beat 10-0 on Sunday and it could not mean a thing if Hull fail in beating Man Utd. It's stunts like this that fuels my disgust and almost hatred towards this Murdoch money making machine joke of a broadcasting provider. What exactly are they trying to achieve IF they get what they want? Why is Newcastle Utd going down more important that if they have any influence over it actually happen, they will do it. With bells on!

We have been here before albeit in different circumstances. We have experienced this total lack of respect and blatant bias from these clown as far back as 20 years ago when we were actually trying achieve something remarkable in winning the title from the dominant Man Utd. Watching the games tick by on Sky comprehensive coverage that season you experienced an overwhelming feeling that Man Utd losing out on another title, after Blackburn won it a year earlier, would be a PR disaster for BSkyB. They couldn't have their ultimate cash cow lose again...surely not?!

Now as much as I didn't like it, I at least could understand it. What I don't understand is their latest stunt. Why are they almost begging to see our club be relegated to the Championship? Why? All we ever hear from Sky pundits is how we aren't a big club and are nothing but an also ran in the Premier League. How we are 'no where near as good as Stoke'. So why this obsession in seeing us fail? Sky were overjoyed with the mackems saving themselves, again, last night. Will they be the same on Sunday with Newcastle?

Have a think about it. Will Sky Sports on Sunday at the final whistle be congratulating Newcastle Utd in getting the result they need in staying in the Premier League if we pull it off or will they totally ignore that and head straight over to the KC Stadium to console Steve Bruce and the Hull players for putting up a brave fight? What do you think?! Am I wrong? Are you expecting anything other then this?

Am I paranoid? No. Because what I'm saying is perfectly true. Sky don't have any interest in being at St James Park to see if we can survive and are their to congratulate us for doing so. They are their for only one thing. To see us lose, to see us go down and to rub as much salt in the wound as they can find to pander to this culture in English football at 'laughing at daft Geordies crying at football matches'. You all know it and no one can deny it.

Not even I saw this latest stunt from Sky Sports coming. I saw they had Hull, correctly, as their main game to be there if either the miracle is produced or relegation is confirmed  and thought nothing else of it. Seeing now that they have decided to switch this focus to our games instead, which I repeat will be totally MEANINGLESS of Hull don't win, is a total disgrace. It's nothing but another example of how Sky Sports decide to 'promote' our football club.

They don't just pander to the notion of the Daft Geordie nation...they created it!

See you all on Sunday. Dont forget...its SkySports1 now!

Utterly Shameless.

Follow on Twitter @ToonBano

Dear NUFC Fans, We're Around 6/1 To Be Relegated. TAKE IT!

Getting relegated will set this football club back for years to come and the financial impact will have inconceivable repercussions. The amount of money we will miss out on from Sky's ridiculous new TV deal is eye watering. Whereas other clubs as small as my now local team AFC Bournemouth will be raking it in instead. It's sickening.

Nothing will make us feel any better if we do go down however that doesn't mean we can't be compensated in some way. Checking out the latest odds you can get around 6/1 for Newcastle to be relegated, so why not stick what you can afford on that happening? You won't celebrate if the bet comes in but at least you will have a night out paid for as you drown your sorrows.

This football club has given us nothing for a long time. Make yourself some money from this misery. Take the best odds you can and have a bit of income come in from Mike Ashley's train wreck.

I have and I hope I lose my bet royally. If I don't lose and it pays out...that's at least some compensation. I suggest you do the same. Why not? They owe you.

Oddschecker Relegation Odds

Follow on Twitter @ToonBano

WAKE UP! Don't Lose Touch With Reality, Newcastle WILL NOT Go Down

Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots have been said on Newcastle's fall from mid-table
security to a full blown relegation fight as they lose disgustingly EIGHT league games in a row. Every man and his dog, as per usual, throughout the footballing media world add there two pence opinion as to how bad we are, how we are facing relegation in the face, how we are the worst team in the league, how we wont get another point this season etc etc etc. Now not that i'm saying I don't agree or think they don't have a point but this should not deflect what is the actual reality. We still wont go down.

Reason being Newcastle still, after all of the pathetic performances we have sat through, have their destiny in their own hands and have pretty much the perfect fixtures any team in our position could hope for. Home games against West Brom who have now confirmed their Premier League status by getting to the 40 point mark and West Ham on the last day who have nothing to play for and their form this calendar year isn't that much better then ours. Between these games is the perfect away game at QPR who should be already down and out by the time we play them.

Considering the fact that very realistically one win could be enough to keep us up, for us to go ELEVEN games without a win in total come the season end is something even NUFC would stuggle to 'achieve'. Whereas our most likely direct opponents in this fight to stave of relegation have pretty horrendous games to find points. Sunderland have to travel to in-form Everton, Arsenal & Champions Chelsea. They also have a home game against flying Leicester and of course they cant both win so we will keep one of these teams in our sights at the very least.

Hull have to face flying Arsenal this evening and if that result goes to plan they will join Leicester in
having less points then us with the same amount of games left to play. They will probably pick up 3 points versus Burnley at home but then have to overcome Spurs away and Man Utd at home. Not exactly favourites for either of those remaining two games. Now Leicester are an interesting one. They have a point less then us but have decent fixtures left to play.

A home game versus Southampton is a flip of coin as to how it will go. Either Saints will not show up like they did pretty much against the mackems with nothing to play for or they will stick in the type of performance that has got them so much success this season with no pressure on them to perform. If this were happen then the game against the mackems at the stadium of plight falls perfectly into our hands. We cant lost either way no matter the result.

Then there is Aston Villa. The FA Cup finalists have turned their season around and aren't odds on to go down as it stands but all it takes is a dodgy result at home to West Ham and they will have something to think about with trips to Southampton and Arsenal to come and the FA Cup final distraction. They sit on the same points as us right now and a much needed win for us versus West Brom could pile the pressure back on them.

Now all of the above is meaningless unless we sort our selves out and start picking up some serious points ie a home win against West Brom. Form is only ever temporary and it doesnt matter if you have lost eight games in a row or won eight in a row it always comes to end at some point. Always. If those Newcastle players aren't terrified enough of being relegated from an almost impossible positions then they will be now. The fear must surely kick them out their slump. Even if Carvers 'motivational' team talks aren't capable.

We're in the worst form of our Premier League lives. We don't have a manager in place to at least inspire calm and confidence we can stop the rot. Every man and his dog are licking their lips in the hope our club will continue to lose every game it plays to either point and laugh at or because they support one of the other clubs near the bottom. Fact is we are Newcastle United. We were in an almost impossible position to be relegated for a reason, we were good enough to get to 35 points in February. We are good enough to get at least 3 from 9 with the fixtures we have left. Let's get real.

If we don't get real and continue to embrace the negativity the whole footballing world insist on throwing on top of us to suicidal proportions then we will go down after 38 games asking ourselves how in the hell did that happen?! We have the players to get us out of this so let's back em to get the job done. Williamson being unavailable for two games is a GOOD thing. He is a coward and I would much rather local lad Dummett be in central defence then that plank. Good riddens. Cisse is back so we have at least a goal scorer on the pitch. Even if it takes Sammy to strike one against his backside to get it in the net like last season. I'll take it!

We can't allow ourselves to sleep walk our way through this nightmare just because the footballing
media enjoy ramming sleeping pills down our throat for their own amusement. Spit em out, get a good firm slap on the face and sort this nonsense out. One win from a home game against West Brom, QPR away or West Ham at home on the final day is not the stuff of nightmares by anyones standards. Just think about Burnley and QPR right now. They would give any amount of money to have our points tally and fixtures so like I say...GET REAL.

Wake the hell up, get the win we need and we won't go down in a month of Sundays. Enough is enough.

Follow me on Twitter @ToonBano

Papiss Cisse To Get 7 Game Ban For Spitting At Jonny Evans

Papiss Cisse is all set to receive a 7 game ban for spitting at Jonny Evans. This is due to the rules being changed this season as players receive a 6 game ban for spitting and as Cisse has already been banned for violent conduct, he will have an extra game lumped on. Brilliant.

So it's safe to say if our season wasn't over already, especially after giving away one of worst goals I have ever seen in the last minute last night, it definitely is now. Riviere couldn't score an open goal if he tried and we can't rely on Perez alone to get us goals.

I'm not condoning spitting at all but Cisse only spat at Evans as he was adamant Evans spat at him first. Banning him for 7 games is harsh considering it was a fight fire with fire reaction...but that won't stop The FA banning him. It wouldn't surprise me if Evans is the one that gets away with it. Seeing as he wears a Man Utd shirt.

Follow on Twitter @ToonBano

Siem De Jong To Be Moulded Into Next Newcastle Utd Centre Forward

De Jong is back in full training and scoring in behind closed doors games. Question is when he is fully fit and available where is he going to play? Moussa Sissoko (assuming he's still here) has made the No.10 role his own this season and shoving him anywhere else on the pitch would be a step backwards. Most people would slot De Jong in the No.10 role and then shove Sissoko out wide or into central midfield. I don't agree.

Sissoko can not play centre midfield to save his life. Not because he can't get forward and do some damage from this position but because he can't defend. At all. He has no awareness of players around him and doesn't break his back to help out the defence like he does to get forward. The amount of times opposition midfielders just waltz past him into our box is embarrassing. We lost to the mackems because Sissoko was slipped back into centre midfield and it cost us big time.

He lost the ball in the centre of pitch, had no sense of bringing the player down for a professional foul to prevent the counter attack and then may as well had been invisible with the total lack of picking men up when he ran all the way back into our area. Just watch the Johnson goal again just focussing on Sissoko. Horrendous. He also has shown not to be the same player once put out wide on the right this season. He just doesn't have the same impact as driving through the middle like a wrecking ball.

So if Sissoko must stay in the No.10 role, where is De Jong gonna play? He isn't a disciplined central
midfield player, similar to Sissoko, so playing him there would cause more damage then good. He isn't a winger or even a wide forward designed to cut in to attack at goal. We have better players in this position like Perez, Sammy, Aarons and Obertan when they are fit. So the only logical thing we should do as a club is mould Siem De Jong into an centre foward. Here's why:

He's a finisher. He has proven over the years at Ajax that he know's where the back of the net is. That's why we bought him. People say he is a Cabaye type replacement, he isn't. He is more Kevin Nolan than he is Yohan Cabaye. Coming in from deep to score. There are no worries that given a chance he would stick it away more often then not.

He can hold the ball up. He is decent on the ball and if played up to him, you would expect it to stick. He offers this better than Cisse who can have no touch whatsoever on some days and Ayoze Perez is just too lightweight to play up front on his own. He's a battler and likes to run in behind defences, not chest the ball down with a big lump of a centre back up his arse.

He's good in the air. De Jong can head it, very well. He has scored his fair share of headers and gives us this threat in the box for any crosses that come into the area. Something Perez doesn't and Cisse isn't exactly Les Ferdinand when he get's up there. I think I only remember Cisse scoring a couple of headers since he has been here. De Jong will attack any ball in the box and hang there like Shearer.

Fact is we don't have many reliable strikers at the club and we won't be signing any in January, so
moulding De Jong would, in the words of Alan Pardew, be like a brand new signing. Centre forwards are hard to come by and are expensive. Even when we do go out and sign one it might not work like it hasn't with Riviere. De Jong is one of a few top class players we have in our squad and if we were to be able to play him up front whilst keeping Sissoko in his best position, then have the likes of Perez and Aarons around them, this excites me.

That could be an attacking line-up to give any team a run for there money. We always have the option of Cisse making his late sub appearance to add to that and others like Obertan and Sammy to mix things up. Our season is pretty much over. 4 more wins would see us safe so unless we have a meltdown of results and get dragged into a relegation fight, John Carver could show off his coaching abilities and have a go with De Jong up front. What exactly do we have to lose?

End of day...he can't be any worse than his brother!


PICTURE SHOCKER: Dennis Wise Ridiculous Hair Is Absolutely Hilarious - Must See

I'm not going to write too much about this as pictures sometimes speak for themselves.

Dennis Wise has appeared on television looking like this:

What in the blue hell is he thinking of? Fooling no-one there mate. Sweet lord. Reminds me of this:

This has made my year so far and has took my mind completely off the fact Chelsea, Man City, Spurs and Southampton all crashed out of the FA Cup at home while where are we? In Dubai training. Best chance of winning the FA Cup you could possibly hope for but yet we crashed out in the first round of asking. Pathetic.

But never mind that. Thank you Dennis Wise. Thank you.

Follow me on Twitter @ToonBano and Facebook ToonBano

Mike Ashley To Be Owner Of Rangers By Start Of Next Season

There's no secret Mike Ashley is sniffing around Rangers like flies on (insert own word) and we all
know as Newcastle fans why he hasn't just stumped up the cash yet to become owner. They aren't in the Scottish Premier League yet. Ash doesn't like to part with his money until he is good and ready, so to own Rangers this season isn't something he is interested in. Just in case they manage to mess up promotion. He already has Derek Llambias in place and is just waiting for Rangers to officially be in the top flight again until he strikes.

For us, his inevitable ownership of Rangers will hopefully come with him releasing his stranglehold on our club with his interests purely focused on getting Rangers into the Champions League. Where he hope his Sports Direct empire will get the publicity he craves. Something he has given all hope on with Newcastle Utd as he has pretty much battened down the hatches and is totally contempt at having a Top 10 finish in the Premier League to keep the revenue it brings ticking over.

The Deloitte Money League released yesterday just shows how impressive the revenue streams are in being a Premier League team. Albeit an also-ran. I went into why these financial results are a total disgrace for our club which you can read here.

Now if Ashley has any sense then he will be open to offers to NUFC right now, to see what price he could possibly get in the summer if nothing else. There are small rumours around that Dubai based investors are having a look at Newcastle and that informal talks have been made with Ashley's representatives. Something that will always be flatly denied by the club if ever asked, so unless you were sat at the next table, rumours is all they will remain.

We know how Ash works. He's tight, he's cheap, he only gets his wallet out when he wants (reluctantly). He sold off for himself £117m worth of Sports Direct shares at just 2.6% the other day and it doesn't take a financial insider to work out what it is for. Directly or indirectly, his takeover of Rangers.

Now interestingly he has loans held against Newcastle for a very similar amount and whether this has something to do with it would take Columbo or Murder She Wrote to try and put together, so I wont bother going into that. All I will say is it wont take anywhere near that much money to take control of Rangers so why he decided to sell so much, which decreased the value of Sports Direct shares in the process, is up for debate. Is he prepared to right off our loans to make the club more viable to sell?

Everything is up for debate but what I have no doubt over is Mike Ashley will not allow any other
consortium getting in the way of what he wants. He wants his Sports Direct brand plastered all over Ibrox on a Wednesday night in the Champions League. He has even made moves to own Ibrox which tells you everything you need to know. Once Rangers are confirmed as a Scottish Premier League side again, Mike Ashley will be owner come the first game of next season. No doubt about it.

All we can hope for is come the first game of our season, he has already sold us to someone with a shred of ambition or is at least in publicly open talks to sell to best suitor. It's the only thing we as fans have to look forward to, because as long as he is here, we will never reach our full potential. Ever

Follow me on Twitter @ToonBano and now on Facebook ToonBano

Deloitte Football Rich List: Newcastle Utd Finances Are A Disgrace

Deloitte have released the 18th edition of their annual football money league to rank which are the Top 20 'richest' clubs in the world based purely on revenue. Which of course used to be a 'where about's are we?' scenario for our fans to look into since it started, rather than 'are we back in yet?' type scenario since we dropped out in 2007/2008. We made a brief appearance in the 16th edition in 20th place a couple of years ago due to the 5th place finish in 2012, however we soon dropped back out in last years list.

This year however we have made our return in 19th place due to the Premier League having a total shed load of more money pumped into it from TV rights, mainly from BT Sport taking on Sky. So as long as we stay in the Premier League we should be in the Top 20 richest clubs for a long time to come. Now what may surprise Newcastle fans is, it isn't purely down to our TV money as to why we are the 19th richest club. Our commercial revenue has never been so high in our history. We increased our commercial revenue by 50% due to the Wonga shirt sponsor and other deals with Thomas Cook (who knew) and kit maker Puma.

Here are the numbers:

Deloitte Money League: 19th place (out of 20)
Total revenue: £129.7m (35% increase)
Broadcast revenue: £78.2m (53% increase)
Matchday revenue: £25.9m (7% decrease)
Commercial revenue: £25.6m (50% increase)

Now given the fact we have all known TV money is injecting this club with more money than ever
before, with also the fact our commercial revenue has increased by 50%, the fact we as a club have such a mediocre, unambitious, completely out of touch mob running things from the directors chair is nothing short of a disgrace. Frank De Boer summed our club up perfectly recently when he described us as 'a sleeping giant'. Now this is a man who is over in the Netherlands doing some sterling work at Ajax, looking at our club from a far and he recognises this clubs potential.

We are a club with the 3rd highest attendance figures in the Premier League. Literally 89 of the 92 professional football clubs in this country would give a small fortune to have what we have. Liverpool & Spurs for e.g are prepared to invest heavily in upgrading their already impressive stadiums or say goodbye to their sacred homes and a build a completely brand new one, just to compete. Even though our fans have been mainly fed up with the club last year, they still averaged 50,000 for home games. A truly impressive fact that repeatedly gets swept under the carpet.

Our illustrious owner doesn't know how lucky he is. He is as clueless as he is cheap. This is a man who is able to sell just 2.6% of his Sports Direct stake and make himself a cool £117 million in the process. Now he still owns 55%. So a bit of quick scouse maths tells you he is worth somewhere in the region of £2.75 billion, until his sale reduced the price of the Sports Direct shares. Point being the man is worth an absolute fortune yet never puts his hand in his pocket to help build his already financially successful asset in Newcastle Utd FC.

The man has sold a very tiny amount of shares in order to help his ongoing power struggle at Scottish championship motley crew Rangers. Yet he still holds his Premier League, Top 20 richest club in the world, to loans which 'we' owe him if he ever ups and leaves the North East for a directors seat a bit more North over the border. If just 2.6% of his wealth is worth £117m then why the hell does he continue to hold our football club for loans for a very similar amount? Its small fries to him but has huge importance to us as a club and business. Fact is he doesn't care about the club. He can do what he wants, he owns it. Fair enough, but don't you want to do what's best for your asset? Or is that just nonsense?

Newcastle Utd are one of the healthiest football clubs in terms of revenue in the world. We have one of the best 'wages to revenue' percentages in the world. We have one of the largest match day attendance figures and fan bases in the world. We have a proven Premier League record of being able to compete for not just Champions league places but even the league title itself. We have represented this country in Europe on countless occasions and are one of a handful of clubs that have been in the Champions League more than once. We are not just a sleeping giant, we are a Juggernaut that are being gagged, held down with chains and drugged up to the eyeballs with horse tranquilizes by our very own owner.

All we want as fans is to at least try to compete. To at least try to reach out potential. We don't expect to win trophies, we expect to try to win trophies. We don't expect to play in the Champions League, we expect to try to play in the Champions League. Not having the financial muscle to try and compete is total nonsense. We as a football club are expected announce our financial figures in detail soon which are expected to show a £50million profit. A PROFIT. Yet we spend nothing on the team. NOTHING. 2 loan signings last season, no one bought. We then sell our best player along with his best mate and use that money to buy players. Net spend ZERO.

The times of being financially restraint as we have huge amounts for debt are over. Or they should
be. The only 'debt' we have is to Mike Ashley. As I touched on already, considering his worth as a man should this debt even be there? Should it even be considered or recognised as debt? If Ash ever wants to sell, then surely you will get more for your money selling a club that is in the high end of the football world rather than a run of the mill mediocre one we are right now? Freddy Shephard has stated that rich investors aren't interested in the North East, he's right. But what speaks above all is money. Money talks and we have it. Building a successful team would bring even more. It's common sense.

Some might say Ash has helped create this new wealth. Sorry but he has nothing to do with the TV money and the commercial income may have gone up, thanks to his Wonga deal, but we still aren't reaching any where near our potential. In fact,Wonga are one of the last companies we should be dealing with, Newcastle Utd can do so much better. What the hell is Sports Direct doing for our bank balance plastered everywhere? Nothing. Ashley uses our club as nothing but a tool to promote his own cheap sports shops. The fact he isn't prepared to get the club into the Champions League shows how gutless he is. He would rather buy Rangers on the cheap, get them in the Champions League and promote that way. Cheap and minimal risk (in his eyes at least). Sums us Ashley perfectly.

Ashley just doesn't understand how much potential this club HE OWNS has. Totally clueless. What exactly is he afraid of if we as a club invested some of this wealth in top players that can take it to the next level? We won't be relegated so what's the issue? What is stopping Newcastle Utd, the 19th richest club in the world, having more ambition then finishing 10th in the Premier League and going out of the FA Cup at the 3rd round every year? Nothing. Nothing except one thing. Mike Ashley. The man saved this club from financial melt down. However, that doesn't then give you the right to keep it held hostage in your home made dungeon, feeding it nothing but bread and water.

We have means to thrive but are rationing in ways to merely survive. There is no logic in how our club is ran and no Lee Charnley yes man is going to convince us otherwise. We are a club who are being out bid for players from Southampton, West Ham and Hull. What the hell is going on? How cheap do you want to be? Investing in players doesn't guarantee success. Look at Everton, they are struggling after spending £28m on Lukaku. Look at Southampton, they are thriving after selling £100m worth of their talent. Nothing is a guaranteed formula. What is guaranteed is if you don't have any ambition you won't get anywhere.

Southampton didn't sell out, lose their manager, then sit back and give the job to their academy coach whilst counting the profit. They brought in a highly rated head coach, spent large amounts of the money gained and dreamed of Europe and cup success. Even Everton fans can't complain at a lack of ambition even though they aren't performing. They have an underlined belief that their club will come back next season and fight for success. Newcastle fans don't. That is the point. That's why we are a disgrace of a football club and it needs to change. Especially looking at these financial figures. Fact is, we don't need Ash anymore.

All of the potential in the world, with the fan base and stadium most teams are crying out for, with the financial capabilities to compete at the top, for it all to be wasted because the owner of our club has neither the ambition, balls or interest in doing so. Mike Ashley is a total disgrace and the sooner he sells up and buggers off to Rangers the better. Only then can this football club have the chance to reach it's true potential.

Somebody needs to wake up the beast!

Follow on Twitter @ToonBano and now like on Facebook ToonBano

Things We Have Learned From EXCLUSIVE Newcastle Utd MD Lee Charnley Interview

Reading the Chronicle EXCLUSIVE!!! with Lee Charnley is somewhat a task. If you can't be bothered to sieve through the waffle here then here are the things we've learned in a nutshell:

  • We weren't expecting Pardew to leave so we didn't know what to do. That's why it's taking ages
  • 80 people have applied for the role. How many of these are chancers using there Football Manager profile is unconfirmed. Joe Kinnear may have applied several times after forgetting he already had.
  • A Head Coach means we want someone who doesn't bother us with asking for players he would like in the team to pick and will accept the players we give him. And like it.
  • We are not buying anyone in January.
  • Carver may be in charge until the summer.
  • We might know by the end of week if someone will be coming in. Or maybe not. We don't know. Not a clue.
  • We will not be bringing in a 'Yes Man'. Because he won't be asked anything.
  • We want someone who develops players and gives youngsters a chance. So someone who will have no problem when we sell the senior players and have to play the kids in their place, till we find someone cheap to bring in many months later.
  • We may sell someone in January.
  • We are going to communicate to the fans more. So expect more statements. Rather than talking to the media. As Charnley doesn't 'Do That'
  • Mike Ashley isn't going to sell the club. Unless he gets an offer he can't refuse.

So we have learned nothing.

Great. Moving on.

Follow on Twitter @ToonBano and now like on Facebook ToonBano

Solano AND Robert Are In Premier League Greatest 10 Free-Kick Takers Ever!

ITV have been looking into who are the Premier Leagues greatest free kick takers ever (for no real reason) and have come to their decision based on nothing but stats. How original. To be precise, how many shots you have had to how many times it went in the net, then summed up into a nice percentage conversion rate.

Using this data they have come to a Top 10 and, of course, Newcastle Utd are represented in the list. By TWO men in fact, in the shape of Nobby Solano and Laurent Robert. Solano is actually 5th in the list and Robert scrapes into tenth place.

Now this poll, list or whatever it is has one unique failure in the fact it only considers data collected from the past 14 years. So all of those Beckham beauties, Shearer thunderbolts and everybody else from the 90's are not taken into consideration. Which is obviously a little bit ridiculous to call the winner of this list as 'the greatest' because he isn't. If Beckham came out on top then maybe it could be forgiven, but given the fact Juan Mata is number one....I suggest this list is somewhat a non event.

However that doesn't prevent me happily bigging up the fact two of our famous free kick specialists make the list, so here it is in all its glory complete with the 'data':

Top 10

1: Juan Mata: Shots 28, Goals 5, Conversion 17.9 (per cent)

2: Sebastian Larsson: 90, 11, 12.2.

3: Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink: 62, 6, 9.7.

4: David Beckham: 54, 5, 9.3.

5: Nolberto Solano: 78, 7, 9.0.

6: Thierry Henry: 144, 12, 8.3.

7: Danny Murphy: 67, 5, 7.5.

8: Ryan Giggs: 73, 5, 6.8.

9: Leighton Baines: 76, 5, 6.6.

10: Laurent Robert: 154, 10, 6.5.

Some big absentees are Cristiano Ronaldo, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard. 

We all knew Nobby could peel an onion with his right boot and Robert could smash one to pieces from 35 yards so it's nice to see someone, somewhere at least recognise it also.

Stats don't lie....sometimes

Follow on Twitter @ToonBano & now Like on Facebook ToonBano

Santon To AC Milan For £8million Plus M'Baye Niang In Part Exchange

A lot more reports are coming out of Italy & that long term admirers AC Milan are finally going to step up their pursuit of Davide Santon and make a concrete offer this transfer window. They have been tracking Santon for over a year now and since he has recovered from his long term injury which has meant he hasn't kicked a ball in the Premier League yet, they will make their move with a slight incentive thrown in.

Newcastle have been tracking someone of their own this season in the shape of Milan winger M'Baye Niang, who's contract is up at the end of the season, and have been willing to bring him in on loan. Milan are not keen on doing so and wish to off load him for a fee now before losing him for nothing in the summer. Given the fact both clubs are after one of each others players, 2 + 2 = around 10 million Euros with Niang in part exchange.

Mike Ashley doesn't let players go for cheap. When we signed Santon from Inter for £5million it was an investment as much as bringing in (what we thought) was a top full back. Santon has flattered to deceive in a Newcastle shirt and has made such quotes like he is 'the next Maldini' a little wide of the mark. In fact he has looked like the next Alessandro Pistone on more than one occasion. Given his age, the club will be looking for a 8 figure sum if they were to part with the (still) young Italian and if Milan want him then they must put up the cash.

To save a few bob they will throw Niang into the mix who is worth around £2million given his 5 months left on his contract, so we would be looking at a deal of around the £8million mark plus Niang which to be honest would be a good deal for Newcastle. If Santon then goes on to improve with playing in his native league at a club like Milan, then it could be a good deal for Milan also. For our sake I just hope Niang turns into a real talent and not a big tantrum waiting to happen...if you were to believe the hype.

I wont be that sorry to see Santon go as he has never convinced me as a full back. In my opinion he has never been a full back. There is one fundamental flaw to his game which will never make him into one of Europe's best and that is his lack of positional sense. If a full back needs one thing it's knowing where he is on the pitch, especially in line with his centre back. Not only does he show complete lack of this quality but he shows lack of any understanding of where his opposing winger is. Not exactly a great combination to have if you want to be a top full back. Where am I and where is he?

He has the stamina and running power with the ball to be a midfielder of some description or at the very least a wing back in a 3-5-2 system. Something I highly doubt Newcastle Utd will ever adopt. In Italy he has a chance of this however. A formation Serie A has made its own over the past few years and one Santon may flourish.

I wish Santon luck if he were to go and hope a manager plays him and trains him to his full potential.

Follow on Twitter @ToonBano