Tag Archives: Newcastle United

How long will it take Newcastle to break into the Champions League?

Ever since the Saudi PIF took Newcastle over at the back end of 2021, the question has been when, not if, will they break into the UEFA Champions League?

This season the priority under Eddie Howe was safety, having won just one of their first 20 Premier League games under Howe and previous manager Steve Bruce.

But now unbeaten in eight games, with six wins in that run, the Magpies now sit seven points above the relegation zone and can start planning ahead for their assault on football’s elite.

Many reports have been shared of Newcastle targeting top level players to add to their squad, including the likes of Antonio Rudiger, Kalvin Phillips and even Marcus Rashford.

Bringing in that calibre of talent would undoubtedly accelerate their push towards breaking through the glass ceiling, but how realistic is that? Not very.

The first priority for the Tyneside club is going to be to separate themselves from the clubs at the bottom of the league in order to avoid this same situation next season.

Players like Chris Wood were brought in more to weaken their opposition than strengthen their squad and are unlikely to be starters going into the new season, while there is room to improve almost all other positions.

But they won’t be able to skip stages and go straight to signing top level players because of the money they now have available to them.

The ‘Big Six’ in the Premier League – Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham – all have huge amounts of money available to them also and they won’t stop spending just because Newcastle are going to start.

When Man City got their billions overnight, they had several years of competing in a much weaker league than now before they were able to break that barrier.

They didn’t have FFP regulations to deal with either back then, which is something that the Saudi’s must adhere to.

My prediction for Newcastle to make it into Europe’s elite competition is at least four seasons because of the standard of the big six currently and all the teams in between them too.

They will likely improve year on year, but not everything will go their way. They will miss out on key targets to other clubs, they will lose players to top sides, they’ll have spells where their form is bad and the manager gets changed.

They will get there eventually, I have no doubts, but it will be longer than many are expecting it to be in my eyes.

Unai Emery expected to REJECT offer to take over at Newcastle United

Newcastle United have suffered another blow in their managerial chase after it emerged Unai Emery will reject their proposal to become the new boss.

The Magpies sacked Steve Bruce last month following the completion of a takeover by the Saudi Arabian PIF from Mike Ashley a few weeks prior.

An appointment was expected to be made by this point, but the club wanted to ensure that they made the right choice when trying to take steps to stay in the Premier League and also plan a long-term project.

After being linked with the likes of Brendan Rodgers and Roberto Martinez, the club had now settled on former Sevilla and Arsenal manager Unai Emery to take the reigns and it was believed there was positivity around a deal happening.

But after overseeing Villarreal’s win over Young Boys in the Champions League on Tuesday night, Spanish press have reported that he has taken the decision to reject their offer and ultimately stay with the La Liga side.

Emery was in charge of Sevilla when they wont a hat-trick of Europa League trophies, and oversaw a domestic treble during his time as manager of Paris Saint-Germain too.

Most recently Emery made the final of the Europa League as Arsenal manager before then winning the tournament with Villarreal against Manchester United last season.

A vastly experienced coach with a clear vision for how he wants to play, Emery seemed a very sensible choice for the role where he will have money to spend on new players and also be given time to oversee his project.

Newcastle were willing to pay £5m in compensation to Villarreal and agree to his financial demands, but it now seems that the deal is dead in the water.

Eddie Howe was also in the picture for the role as a backup to Emery and it now seems as though he will become the first-choice option to be in charge against Brighton this weekend.

Newcastle looking to bring in two huge names following takeover

Newcastle United are keen to bring in both Erik Ten Haag and Ousmane Dembele as they look to make a statement following their takeover.

The Magpies were bought by the Saudi Arabian government last month unofficially, but have now got almost unlimited funds to spend over the next several years to become a major force in football.

After sacking manager Steve Bruce last week, the club have now turned their attentions to incomings and reports are suggesting that there are two huge names they are eyeing up.

According to several reports the new owners are targeting current Ajax boss Erik Ten Haag as their new manager and are willing to offer him £6million-per-year after tax to get him to join the club.

The Dutch boss has overseen a renaissance at the Amsterdam club following their Champions League run a few years ago and they are now back to their free-flowing best, with youngsters shining and lots of goals being scored.

That is something that is appealing to the north-east club, but Ten Haag is reportedly not sold on the idea. He has also been linked with the Manchester United job, should Ole Gunnar Solskjaer get the sack after the recent poor run of results.

The amount of cash available in the transfer market could potentially convince him though, especially with the news that Newcastle are planning to splash the cash on trying to persuade Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele to join.

Ousmane Dembele of FC Barcelona waves the fans prior to the Joan Gamper Trophy match between FC Barcelona and Juventus at Estadi Johan Cruyff on...

The French winger joined the Catalan giants in a €145m deal back in August 2017 as Neymar’s replacement after he joined Paris Saint-Germain.

However a string of injury problems and attitude issues in training have seen him fail to really live up to expectations and the club and he is currently in the final year of his contract.

Barcelona are desperate to re-sign him to a new deal but Dembele is reportedly unsure about signing after a lack of game time, leaving Newcastle to believe they could swoop in and bring him to the Premier League.

Newcastle fans are excited and the Premier League is waiting to see what they do first. January is only around the corner, so not long to wait now.

Steve Bruce sacked by Newcastle United

Steve Bruce has officially been sacked by Newcastle United.

The 60-year-old had been heavily linked with an exit from St James’ Park for weeks after the takeover of the club went through during the most recent international break.

However with the search for a new manager not complete, the club opted to keep him in the role for his 1000th game in management in the 3-2 defeat to Tottenham on Sunday.

But the club have decided to pull the trigger now following a winless start to the Premier League campaign.

Assistant coach Graeme Jones has been put in temporary charge ahead of this weekend’s game with Crystal Palace while the club continue to search for their next boss.

In a statement released by the club, Newcastle said;

“Newcastle United Football Club can confirm that Steve Bruce has left his position as head coach by mutual consent. The club would like to place on record its gratitude to Steve for his contribution and wishes him well for the future.”

Steve Bruce also made a parting comment in the statement, thanking his staff and players and wishing the club well.

“I would like to thank my coaching team, the players and the support staff in particular for all their hard work. There have been highs and lows, but they have given everything even in difficult moments and should be proud of their efforts.

“This is a club with incredible support, and I hope the new owners can take it forward to where we all want it to be. I wish everyone the very best of luck for the rest of this season and beyond.”

Reports suggest that the Magpies have narrowed their search down to three managers with former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe, former Dortmund boss Lucien Favre and former Roma boss Paulo Fonseca in the running for the role.

Brendan Rodgers is right to turn down Newcastle manager’s job

Newcastle United are the shiny new toy in the Premier League after their takeover, but they’ve been dealt their first blow already.

With Steve Bruce set to leave the club following unrest among fans and the new owners wanting to bring their own man in, it seemed that Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers was the man at the top of their list to takeover.

Unfortunately for them, the former Liverpool and Celtic boss has rejected the job, stating he has no interest in leaving Leicester for the Magpies.

While Newcastle are set to become a major force in the football world with their new found riches, but as stated previously on Tap Ins & Tap Outs patience is needed.

That includes from the people that could be joining the club, including the next manager.

You can’t blame Newcastle for aiming high with Rodgers. He has taken Leicester to a new level, becoming a consistent top six side under his tutelage while he has built a brilliant young squad too.

But that is the exact reason why Rodgers is right for not being distracted by the new riches in the north-east and sticking where he is.

Right now, Rodgers is beloved at the King Power Stadium and is being backed by the owners and players. They just won the FA Cup last season and for a second season in a row narrowly missed out on securing Champions League football, despite paling in comparison financially to the teams they’re competing with.

Rodgers is in a spot right now where he is under pressure to succeed, but there is no timeline on that success and the expectations are realistic. At Newcastle that won’t be the case.

Big money will be spent at St James’ Park and whether by design or just because of the situation at the club, expectations will be high immediately.

Leicester are playing European football currently and will almost certainly finish among the European places again this season barring an implosion. Newcastle are currently embroiled in a relegation battle and are likely to be there for most of the season regardless of what transfers are made in January.


There are several steps between where Newcastle are currently and where they want to be, and Rodgers is already based above them in that running.

The opportunity to manage Newcastle with all their money, riches and expectation will no doubt come around again at some point because the club will get decisions wrong and there will be setbacks.

For now, Rodgers is in the perfect place for his development as a coach and manager and taking a backwards step would make zero sense.

Fair play for trying Newcastle, but you’ll have to aim slightly lower on this occasion!

Patience needed in Newcastle takeover, but they’re coming

It was well over a year in the making but Mike Ashley is finally no longer the owner of Newcastle United Football Club.

While that isn’t the story in the media right now, that’s what Newcastle fans are celebrating mostly. The fact that they have been bought by the Saudi Arabian royal family is just a big bonus for them.

Ignore the politics of the deal for now and lets focus on the football side of it. Newcastle now have the resources to become an absolute powerhouse in European football.

As soon as it was confirmed that Newcastle were mega-rich, the links immediately began with top class players.

The likes of Mauro Icardi, Jesse Lingard, Donny Van de Beek, James Tarkowski and others have been linked with a January move to the club with the new owners stating their intentions to challenge for major honours in the not too distant future.

But while people have imagined that Newcastle will become a Chelsea or Man City overnight in the Premier League, some patience needs to be noticed.

Steve Bruce is expected to be sacked before their first game under new owners against Tottenham at the weekend, but the playing squad won’t change until January at the earliest.

Newcastle United Directors Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi pose for photographs inside their stadium after meeting with staff at St. James Park...

Add to that, they’re still not exactly the most attractive proposition unless it’s from a purely financial standpoint. The “big six” plus the likes of Leicester and even West Ham currently are still in a far better position to earn European football.

Newcastle will need to undergo an entire rebuild from top to bottom, with a manager, new recruitment team and then a squad of players that can compete.

With FFP it will take far longer than it did for the likes of Chelsea and Man City, but eventually it will happen. Fans should be patient as it takes place.

Newcastle United supporters celebrate outside the club's stadium St James' Park in Newcastle upon Tyne in northeast England on October 7 after the...

Success is inevitable, but it’s hard to ship off deadwood and even harder to bring top quality footballers to your football club when there is so much competition.

But they’re coming. And once they arrive, they will be a huge problem for everyone in England and Europe when it comes to competing for the biggest trophies.

Alan Shearer – The most underrated Premier League player ever?

Is there a striker in the history of the game more underrated and disrespected than Alan Shearer? Probably not.

Now a BBC pundit, Shearer is the all-time top goalscorer for his boyhood club Newcastle United and was the main man as Blackburn won the Premier League title back in 1995. He also hit 30 goals for England in 63 appearances, so how is he left out of the conversations about the best strikers of his generation?

There’s a conversation that needs to be had about how whenever there are conversations about the best strikers of the 90’s, he is conveniently left out for bigger superstars.

If you look at his record from the 1990/91 season up to the end of 1999/00, Shearer scored a remarkable 251 goals at club level. Compare that to the other greats of the 90’s and he’s right up there with them. The legendary R9 scored 197 (starting from 1993), Gabriel Batistuta scored 226 and Roberto Baggio scored 174.

His numbers were ridiculous but he was also doing it in an era where defending was tougher and the game was far more physical.

In fact, during that period Shearer only failed to hit 20+ goals in all competitions twice – once in the 1990/91 season in what was only his second full season in first-team football and then again in the 1997/98 season when he suffered a serious ankle ligament injury and missed a huge chunk of the season.

He scored all types of goals whether it be tap ins, penalties, towering headers, left foot, right foot, edge of the box piledrivers or even free-kicks – he was the total package.

His strength meant he was capable of going into physical battles with the best defenders of his era and he maintained his fantastic numbers even as Newcastle fell away as title challengers and started challenging for top four as he got older.

He enjoyed scoring against the better teams too, so he couldn’t be described as a flat-track bully either. He scored 20 times against Leeds, 18 times against Everton, 17 times against Tottenham, 11 times against Chelsea and ten times against Manchester United throughout his career.

Not to mention the fact that he won three golden boots in the Premier League, came third place in the 1996 Ballon d’Or awards behind Matthias Sammer and Ronaldo. He’s also the all-time top goalscorer in the Premier League with 260 goals, one of only two players to pass the 200 mark along with Wayne Rooney.

Alan Shearer Blackburn Rovers Premiership Champions 1995 : News Photo

Whenever there is a conversation about the greatest Premier League side ever he is often left out, which is just mental.

Yes, there have been other attacking players that have lit up the league in their careers and that were arguably better than him individually. But that makes his achievements even greater.

The reason he’s often overlooked is probably the fact that he stayed at Newcastle during the peak of his powers, despite interest from Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United on several occasions. It makes you wonder that if he accomplished all he did at the teams he did, what more could he have done in a team that completely dominated the domestic game for the best part of two decades.

There is a reason that Newcastle have only managed to finish in the top half of the Premier League three times since his retirement in 2006, and have been relegated twice. They’ve never replaced his goals – simply because it’s so difficult to replace that volume.

In this day and age there are goal scorers all over Europe but I have no doubt in my mind that they’d have an extra name alongside them competing – and that man is Alan Shearer. The most underrated Premier League player ever.

Newcastle United’s Poor Form Was Summed Up In Just One Half Against Chelsea

Few people involved in the footballing world, specifically the Premier League, would call Steve Bruce a “master tactician”.

The man himself has even gone so far in the past as to admit that he “doesn’t do tactics”. For those watching modern day football, where ‘Pep-style’ technical play has emerged, this admission is nothing short of alarming.

A striking graphic emerged over the weekend displaying Newcastle United’s average formation this season. As shown, it displays an absolute lack of forward-thinking football, and at any one time nearly every player is in their own half.

Coupled with the frightening statistics displayed during the Newcastle v Chelsea game at the weekend- Newcastle sit 20th in the league for total shots, touches in the opposition box and passes into the final third. This highlights a damning need for a change in the way Newcastle United play.

At the weekend Chelsea came to St James’ Park, by their own admission a “bogey” ground where results are unpredictable, and outplayed Newcastle United in every sense of the word.

With their main (and only reliable, respectively) striker out, Newcastle United barely got out of the starting blocks having only one shot on target and 29% possession. Without Callum Wilson, Newcastle have barely any threat going forward at all, unless you include Miguel Almiron who was benched, brought on at 65 minutes and created the only attacking threat.

This Bruce-style defensive football, which quite frankly barely includes any counter attacking nature, is simply not working- Newcastle have faced the most shots in the league up to this point and Karl Darlow has made the most saves.

The media like to portray Bruce as a great man who is “doing a good job” at Newcastle United. They sit 15th in the league, and have two 2-0 losses back to back, but prior to this beat a very strong Everton side 2-1 and drew with another strong Wolves team.

These types of unexpected results are what is giving the media, and other football fans at that, a false view on Bruce’s capability as a Premier League manager.

Southampton v Newcastle United - Premier League : News Photo

His managerial win rate at Newcastle United so far is 30% and for a team who wants to progress this is simply not acceptable. Especially when you take transfers under Bruce’s tenure on board; around £95m spent in his 18 months as manager and no progression being made as a team.

The football is extremely frustrating to watch and creative players like Saint-Maximin, who is regarded as one of the most exciting prospects in recent Newcastle United history, are being pulled back almost to wing backs as the lines are too deep.

Formations are being kept the same game to game despite different challenges faced from completely different teams which means our opposition have already found us out before the game kicks off.

With the emergence of attacking football this season which has allowed teams like Aston Villa, Everton and Leicester to surprise us all, this sitting back style of play will leave Newcastle United in very hot water unless something is done quickly.

Newcastle fans aren’t deluded enough to solely blame Bruce for this adversity but he IS in charge of the team selection and tactics and as a symptom of the Mike Ashley disease, this needs to be treated before it’s too late for Newcastle United.

Newcastle: Is Mike Ashley Their Unlikely Takeover Hero?

2020 – the year of the coronavirus pandemic, masked shoppers and Pizza-gate.

However seemingly even more wild is the emergence of Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley as the unlikely saviour of the Saudi takeover deal, and in turn, Newcastle United.

As we all know and saw, April 2020 brought news of a constant unsurprising aspect of Newcastle United fans lives – a takeover story.

PIF, the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, came armed and dangerous with allies of renowned businesswoman Amanda Staveley and current owners of Queens Park Rangers Football Club, the Reuben brothers. Together tried to rally a bid that would’ve seen Newcastle United as one of not only the richest clubs in the Premier League but in the world.

The Premier League rejected the takeover deal, and the rejection brought with it the threat of legal action from Mr Ashley himself with all interested parties insisting that this was not the end.

This brings us to October 2020 and the news that members of a fan-led consortium, Newcastle Consortium Supporters Limited, have issued a ‘Letter Before Action’ to the Premier League supposedly backed by Mike Ashley and his current legal team, including leading Sports law QC Nick De Marco.

This fan-led group and their instructed QC, namely Robert O’Donoghue, have sent documents to the Premier League purporting that the halting of the £300million plus deal was against UK anti-competition law.

In their statement, the group believe the rejection of the takeover “infringed competition law”, specifically through the Owners & Directors test, and are seeking any and all documents in possession of the Premier League relating to this deal. The letter gives the Premier League until 4pm on 3rd November 2020 to respond and if this is not adhered to, the group intend to “commence legal proceedings forthwith against the Premier League for breach of competition law”. Their main aim is to be understood as to get the rejection overturned.


This news comes on the back of a week which saw Jamie Reuben, one of the spearheads of the Newcastle takeover deal stepping down from his position at QPR Football Club in “respect” for QPR fans, on top of Newcastle manager Steve Bruce claiming he “won’t be in the job much longer” and ‘bread-gate,’ where the lawyer in charge of Mike Ashley’s legal team sent Twitter into a meltdown over pictures of bread that included Black & White named champagne and bottles of Newcastle Brown Ale.

Also this week, Ashley himself shockingly & unusually released a statement opposing to the £14.95 pay-per-view costs that were introduced for Premier league games at the beginning of the month.

In his statement Ashley said;

I am calling on the Premier League to immediately act and review its current pay-per-view arrangements. Charging £14.95 for single televised matches in the current climate is not acceptable to any football fan.

He then goes onto advise the Premier League that reducing the price to £4.95 would make the matches “more accessible” to those who cannot attend games currently and any money retained from these PPV arrangements should be split equally between the Premier League & the football pyramid below.”

This all came as a huge surprise to Newcastle fans who know Ashley as a greedy businessman only interested in himself, and also a kick in the teeth to those fans still having season ticket money taken from the club monthly.

We know that Mike Ashley is more willing than ever to sell the club and is actively doing everything in his power to get this deal the green light. He is even attending most games which comes as a surprise to fans considering his notable absence in recent years, since the anti-Ashley chants echoed around St James’ Park. Maybe he is only there because the beloved fans aren’t allowed in stadiums for the foreseeable.

No one truly knows for certain what the real reason is, or what will happen at the club regarding the takeover. However, I think all Newcastle United fans can agree that the even less expected outcome of this is that the infamous Toon villain Ashley may just end up being Newcastle United’s hero.

Allan Saint-Maximin: Tyneside Saviour Ready To Explode

Over the last year and a bit, Newcastle United fans haven’t had the most to cheer about.

They managed to survive in the Premier League despite struggling for goals, with manager Steve Bruce opting for defence-first tactics. They had a big win over Manchester United during the campaign too and have started this season relatively well, securing 7 points from their first four games.

The good news continued this season too as it was revealed star-man Allan Saint-Maximin has put pen-to-paper on a brand new six-year deal, tying him to the club until 2026. Essentially the deal is just a one-year extension to his previous deal but on much improved terms to match his status in the squad.

His explosiveness, dribbling ability and unpredictability has seen him become a fan favourite at St James’ Park and he’s quite comfortably their best player. Not only have his performances matched it for the most part, but the player seems genuinely happy to be at the club too.

The new contract will obviously give Newcastle all sorts of leverage if any team decides they want to come in for the 23 year old winger, but the truth of the matter is there’s no rush right now.

Saint-Maximin is playing regular football, performing to a high standard and is a contributing factor in almost anything good coming out of the club right now.

Steve Bruce has made a considerable effort to ensure that Saint-Maximin doesn’t get burdened with being the only creative hub at the club this summer too. They signed Callum Wilson to play up front from Bournemouth while also signing Ryan Fraser, Jeff Hendrick and Jamal Lewis to strengthen the starting line-up.

The side have been a bit more daring this season too. Bruce has abandoned the five-at-the-back formation and opted for a more traditional 4-4-2, with Saint-Maximin given the freedom of the left-wing. Jamal Lewis operates behind him and is an upgrade on former midfielder Matt Ritchie in that position, helping in the attacks when necessary but more often than not just ensuring that defensively it isn’t a gaping weakness in the side.

The addition of Jeff Hendrick adds cover to the central midfield position while Callum Wilson’s addition to the attack means that Saint-Maximin’s hard work isn’t going without reward now since Joelinton’s role as the main goalscorer has been reduced.

Now that the club have got a star to build their club around once again, it’s time for results on the pitch to match so that Tyneside can have a giant of a football club for the first time in over a decade.