Enough settling - Time for Mike Ashley to make Newcastle ''an enormous club'' again


The Magpies made a step towards safety at the weekend but the Baggies boss believes Mike Ashley must now prevent the club from being in this position again.


Newcastle owner Mike Ashley saw his 55 per cent stake in Sports Direct rise £95million on Friday because David Cameron’s Tories won the ­election.

On Saturday his 100 per cent stake in the Magpies moved a point closer to guaranteeing a £90m Premier League payday next season.

Zero-hours contracts are safe under the Conservatives, went the FTSE 100 investor logic.

His zero-ambition football is safe – just about – thanks to Ayoze Perez’s equaliser and Hull’s desperate-looking plight.

Newcastle fans put aside their differences with all things United and appreciated a hard-working performance, once the nerves had been overcome.

Looking over the precipice at 3.32pm, when Victor Anichebe put West Brom ahead and shunted Toon into the bottom three, Newcastle rallied quicker than the owner’s assets had the day before.

After Toon’s first point since February 28, a win at Queens Park Rangers on Saturday will ­guarantee survival.

But that will only open up a whole new line of ­questions for Ashley and his leaders.

Like captain Fabricio Coloccini said: “This result leaves it in our hands – we have to win and then we will be safe.

“We have to look forward now and try to make sure we don’t put ourselves at risk next season.”

And how might Newcastle do that? Be ambitious in the appointment of a new manager?

And as Baggies boss Tony Pulis observed: “This is an enormous club, but it has to get back to being an enormous club.

“The only way to do that is to put a team on the pitch which can compete with other enormous clubs.”

How about declaring the ­intention of at least trying to win the cups?

Clear the squad of half-a-dozen players who are not good enough and replace them all with young talent.

Then sign another half-dozen players who are ready-made for the Premier League.

Add some ­physicality to the mix. Add a goalscorer and two solid centre-halves.


Buy some leadership and an English heart to go with the punts on foreign talent.

It takes investment – and will take more than the £34million cash in the Magpies’ bank account.

It might sound a lot of work and a bit expensive for Ashley.

But if he does not do it then his Newcastle United “customers” will desert next season and there will be a repeat of the misery since January. West Brom earned themselves mathematical safety with this draw.

It is amazing what a transformation can be made with an injection of Pulis’ ­organisation, discipline and tactical acumen.

They are all underrated ­qualities that should not be sniffed at.

Newcastle head coach John Carver said: “It’s just another week in my world. It’s been a tough week. Some of the things I’ve said were taken in the wrong context.

“I would like to just say, every time I go and play golf and am on the first tee, I think I’m the best golfer in the world.

“When I played cricket as a youngster, I thought I was the best young cricketer in the world. Read into that whatever you want.”

Source: Daily Mirror


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