Newcastle United, once more, crashed out of the FA Cup without so much as a whimper and for another year, Newcastle United fans will have to wait to see their beloved team lift any silverware. Ever since lifting the European Fairs Cup back in 1969, United fans have been starved of any form of success (unless you want to count the Inter-toto Cup, or the Championship? Thought not).
When one looks at the lack of silverware in the Newcastle United trophy cabinet, one has to beg the question of ‘Why? Why has it been so long since this big club, one of England’s biggest clubs, has won a trophy?’ While the question is easy to pose, it is much harder to answer.
While I cannot explain our lack of cup success in the years leading up to Mike Ashley becoming the custodian of this great club, I can offer an explanation as to why, under his tenure, we will never win a trophy.
Mike Ashley is the running this great football club for the benefit of 1 person – Mike Ashley. Trophies do not matter. Titles do not matter. European qualification does not matter. Why? Because it takes a decent squad to achieve all of the above, and you cannot have a decent squad without investment.
We have one of the finest assembled first elevens we have had since the heady days of Sir Bobby Robson, yet when you scratch the surface, our squad is woeful, to say the very least. Are we to believe that the likes of Steven ‘Up for the Fight’ Taylor is good enough to represent this club? Or Jonas Gutierrez? Or Sylvain Marveaux? Or Gabriel Obertan? Our squad, simply put, is filled with absolute tripe, and the sooner this tripe is eradicated and replaced with actual talent, the better off this club will be.
That will never happen though, because when someone is let go, eventually that person will need to be replaced – ideally with someone else of a higher standard – which costs money. Money that Mike Ashley has amply demonstrated that he is not willing to spend. Ergo, these players must be retained. If our squad is going to be packed to the rafters with utter garbage, then how are we ever expected to maintain a decent league position, and challenge for a cup?
If you found it difficult to follow that train of thought, how about following this, much simpler one. In the last Fans Forum meeting, club director John Irving was asked whether or not Newcastle United will tackle one of the cups. The very swift answer to that question was ‘No’. The cups are not a priority, and are merely training exercises in which we give our fringe players a run-around. Not too many teams win trophies with that kind of mentality.
So what have to look forward to while we remain under the custodianship of Mike Ashley? Mid-table most of the time. Knocked out in the cups early and a fluked 5th place finish maybe. Don’t worry though, if that fluked 5th place finish gets your blood pumping and thinking we may actually achieve something, Mike Ashley will swiftly fail to invest and see us fighting a relegation battle the very next season.
Wake up Newcastle fans and smell the rich aroma of mediocrity. It may awaken you from your apathetic slumber.