Newcastle United 19-20: Fundamentally Indeterminate

Joe D Reid

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8/2 edits; nothing to really blow your hair back. Saint-Maxim has been described in print as "the most frustrating French prospect since Hatem ben Arfa" which is goddamn magical.

8/8 edits: Klift and Carroll, discussed below.

After extended anguished reflection, I've figured out Mike Ashley's weltanschauung as owner: he doesn't care about relegation because he figures he'll just keep the team together with the parachute money and they'll go right back up. He views the two recent one-year relegations as the norm, rather than the clicks of empty chambers in a game of Russian roulette. He should be forced to watch Netflix's Sunderland documentary which (in addition to being the funniest filmed entertainment of the past 30 years) shows what happens when the bullet comes.

News in brief; I'll try to update as we go.

OUT: Rafa Benitez (Dalian Lifan); F Ayoze Perez (Leicester, 30M(!)); F Solomon Rondon (Dalian Lifan, free); F/MF Kenedy (Chelsea, free/loan return); F Joselu (Alaves, small order patatas bravas)

IN: Steve Bruce; F Joelinton (40M, Hoffenheim); F/MF Allan Saint-Maxim (25M, Nice); LB Jetro Willems (loan; PSV backup); various bad players (loan returnees)

So for total spend (including salaries), they're probably about even from last year. Largest current question mark is whether Sean Longstaff will go at a rumored sale price of between 30-50M. I don't know who they'd spend that money on at this point, or who would even sign off on the deal given the ongoing Schroedinger's Cat sale of the club (with the fans playing the part of the potentially dead cat). The only current rumor on incoming players is Charlie Austin, I guess on the theory that vertical stripes are slimming.

If everything stays the same, the projected best XI is . . . actually not terrible, if unproven going forward:

Dubrovka

Yedlin-Lascelles-Schaar-Dummett

Longstaff-Hayden

Almiron-Shelvey-Saint-Maxim

Joelinton


The depth is atrocious, though, so any injury issues and they're sunk. Looks like the sale won't go through before the end of the summer transfer window, so best case looks like the new owner OKing some panic buys in January.
 
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benhogan

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toon toon, black and white army

Met a British Airways stewardess, from the North, while living in London in the late 90s. Since I was relatively new to the UK/Premiership she convinced me to support Shearer/Bellamy and to dust Keane/Sherringham. Went from winning trebles to relegation, worst sporting fandom decision ever.

A year of mediocre sex and a lifetime of bad football.
 

Joe D Reid

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An actual bump post because Newcastle have brought in a right back, 25 y/o Emil Krafth from Amiens. By itself that is not exciting--Steve Bruce's celebratory quote notably leads with the guy's height and ability to speak English rather than his ability level--but it will be interesting to see what it ends up meaning for DeAndre Yedlin's playing time.

They've also signed Newcastle city centre legend Andy Carroll on a free transfer. He apparently will only get paid for games in which he appears (or possibly games for which he makes the matchday squad, unclear). Steven Taylor could not be reached for comment at press time.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
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toon toon, black and white army

Met a British Airways stewardess, from the North, while living in London in the late 90s. Since I was relatively new to the UK/Premiership she convinced me to support Shearer/Bellamy and to dust Keane/Sherringham. Went from winning trebles to relegation, worst sporting fandom decision ever.

A year of mediocre sex and a lifetime of bad football.
The gift that keeps on giving.

What's up with the sale rumors? I thought Ashley intended to hold onto the team like grim death.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
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A history of Mike Ashley's ownership and new attempts to sell, via the Athletic:


If interested parties here don't subscribe, I'm happy to quote some of the juicier parts.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
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Nice longform on why MBS wants to buy Newcastle to burnish his image, post the Kashoggi murder.


Seems Staveley is pretty much a figurehead, rather than the smart-money operating partner with some silent money behind her.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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Nice longform on why MBS wants to buy Newcastle to burnish his image, post the Kashoggi murder.


Seems Staveley is pretty much a figurehead, rather than the smart-money operating partner with some silent money behind her.
Just finished that .. it’s an excellent overview. Sadly money will probably win out. Although I’m not sure any of the top six wants another City on their hands. The BeIn pirated cable problem would seem to be a bigger issue at the board level than a mere human rights PR hit.
 

Dummy Hoy

Angry Pissbum
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Jul 22, 2006
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FW today was mainly about Newcastle and the takover and the ethical dilemma etc. Well worth a listen I thought.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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The Stavely sale is off. the Saudi partners have pulled the plug .. thank god.

(sucks for Newcastle though)


The writing seemed to be on the wall when SA officially kicked Bein (and Premier League broadcast partner) sports out of the country a week or two ago.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Jan 10, 2004
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So there the league is imposing a cap on murderous petrodollar oligarchs, bit with a grandfather clause.