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Close but not close enough for Newcastle United

It’s a very interesting story concerning Newcastle United. This is a fantastic football club which has massively underachieved ever since the Premier League started way back in 1992. NUFC have had and still do have the foundations of a top 6 Premier League club. The fan base is phenomenal no one can ever criticise the Geordie faithful’s support through the good times and the bad. 52,000 pack into St James’ park every game, every season. Newcastle is a football city, the people live and breathe the game. However, constantly being let down is something the fans have become used too.

There have only been a few moments in the Premiership years that have produced moments of a unforgettable nature. The reign of Kevin Keegan (first time round) and the great Sir Bobby Robson. Both achieved success at the helm. Most certainly to succeed as a club these days, pushing for European places and trophies money is key. Look at Manchester City, the magpies were arguably a way bigger club than City 10 years ago. City spent a lot of their time below Newcastle in the league or sometimes in the league below. Why couldn’t owners like City’s take over Newcastle instead? Surely they would be greatly appreciated more in a one club city, unlike Manchester which already had Manchester United and trying to emulate them was always going to be tricky. If any owner’s with the money of Manchester City’s took over at NUFC, the whole city would be buzzing constantly. Let’s not forget Newcastle United have had the taste of the big time, staring in a few Champions League encounters.Personally, the most memorable game was under Sir Bobby a 1-0 victory over Italian giants Juventus thanks to an Andy Griffin goal, which sunk the Italians who were loaded with stars like Gianlugi Buffon,Pavel Nedved, and Alessandro Del Piero. Unfortunately player’s like this have not graced the turf at St James’ as much as they should off.

One problem that has occurred on many a occasion is signing the right players at Newcastle. There has been some fantastic players to wear the black and white strip, but playing them with average players isn’t going to bring success. There’s only so much one player can bring. Alan Shearer found this out mostly in later years of his Newcastle career.

The season of 1996, where Manchester United loaded with Eric Cantona and the young class of 92 snatched the title away from the rampant magpies. The famous Keegan rant showed the pressure getting to the former Liverpool star which Ferguson’s men took full advantage off. This Newcastle team that eventually finished 2nd, had a number of quality players who all drifted away from the club. When Sir Bobby Robson took over from Ruud Gullit’s torrid time there was a sense of hope and fairy-tale circling the city of Newcastle. This misfiring team needed the former England manager to drastically turn things around as currently they were stranded at the foot of the table. Robson and his man-management ways managed to bring back the successes that Keegan delivered in the mid 90’s .Branded as the ‘Entertainers’ Newcastle quickly became every football fans ‘2nd favourite team’ armed with the England captain the Toon army soared up the league challenging for Champions League places. During this time there was a number of good players but a few average ones too. Shearer was ultimately the real force behind the successes. Kieron Dyer, Craig Bellamy, Nobby Solono, Gary Speed, Shay Given to name a few; all good players in their own right but not world class talents that should of been signed to push Newcastle to the next level. This was a chance missed. Critical funds collected by the Champions League runs and high league finishes is something that should be used in developing a promising team like Newcastle’s at that stage.

In more recent times, it’s been more of the same at St James’ Park, sometimes awful, sometimes brilliant. Owner Mike Ashley is no doubt an very successful man outside football, but it seems he just doesn’t care that much. Defiantly not enough to provide the funds needed to move forward as a football club. It seem’s Ashley is more than happy to consider Newcastle ‘a selling club’. Fans can understand occasionally selling the best players to super clubs e.g Yohan Cabaye to PSG.  However, that 20 million received from the transfer should of been used immediately in strengthening a weaken squad, which coped miserably without Frenchman dictating the midfield. Following a terrible start to this season, there was again major pressure of both Alan Pardew and Mike Ashley to leave their posts. Both still remain, thanks to a string of excellent results. As hope builds once again after a monumental climb up to 8th, I fear it could end as most Newcastle United season’s finish, A massive what if?

Modern day football craves success and success is created unfortunately by money. For NUFC to fulfill there potential and stay fighting for European places each season, investment either from Ashley or another source is essential. Let’s hope the return of the ‘Entertainers’ isn’t too far away, for this to happen money is the answer.

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