10 Jan 2022 | 19:18 | Football
When the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF) spent money to buy Newcastle from owner Mike Ashley, they probably didn’t think the situation of the team in the North East of England would be as dire as it is now.
The defeat to third-place Cambridge United in the FA Cup is Newcastle’s latest defeat in what is considered a transitional season for this team.
This unbelievable result is creating a lot of gloating in the British press. The Guardian considers this a “fairy tale”. The Independent likened this to a “shock”. Joe Ironside, the only scorer for the tiny away team, is a fan of Newcastle itself.
The striker grew up with vivid memories from Alan Shearer’s goal celebrations in a black and white striped shirt. That fact made Newcastle’s defeat even more bitter. Money is clearly not able to help Newcastle achieve the success they expect, or at least return to the position of the past, when Shearer roamed the Premier League grass.
The Newcastle squad that lost to Cambridge can be encapsulated in two words “bad”. Emil Krafth, one of the two central defenders of Newcastle this match, is a low-quality right-back. Matt Ritchie, the old winger, was pushed down to play left-back.
Joelinton, a striker brought in for £ 40 million in the summer transfer window of 2021, is playing in the position of a shuttle midfielder. Allan Saint-Maximin, Jacob Murphy and Ryan Fraser, the other wingers, were shoved onto the pitch in erratic roles.
With such a patchwork and forced squad, Newcastle’s defeat is probably not a strange thing.
Kieran Trippier, Newcastle’s expected signature, could do nothing in a game that was too difficult to manage. The former Tottenham star is considered the first brick in the rebuilding process of Newcastle, but soon had to receive cold water.
The quality of “Shoot” is clearly different from Atletico Madrid. And Trippier will have to try harder than usual if he wants to really “position the dynasty” as coach Eddie Howe enthusiastically put it on the defender’s debut.
However, defeat in the FA Cup is not the worst thing for Newcastle. In the Premier League, the performance of this team is really alarming. The 19th position on the rankings with 11 points after 19 rounds makes Newcastle the leading candidate for relegation.
“Shoot” just won a match. The “Shoots” defense has received 42 goals so far, the most in the Premier League. Newcastle show that they are one of the weakest clubs in the league in the foggy country, although the PIF owner’s money is 10 times more than its counterpart Man City, the team that is at the top of the table and won the championship last season.
At this time, the leadership team of Newcastle is aggressively jumping into the transfer market with the ambition to help “Pick dogs” change their skin in the second half of the season. Sven Botman, Diego Carlos, Lucas Digne, Aaron Ramsey are all being contacted.
All need to understand that Newcastle is not short of money. They don’t even have a barrier to spending money when the stinginess of the previous boss Mike Ashley creates conditions for the new boss to comfortably spend.
But Newcastle’s problem now is to convince potential stars to believe in their plans. Botman or Carlos are signatures pursued by many European giants. How do Newcastle convince this group of players to come to St James Park, a co-experience in the process of relegation is forecasted to be extremely difficult for the rest of the season?
What if Newcastle are relegated? It is an invisible barrier to these stars.
Trippier has resigned from Atletico Madrid, La Liga champions and currently playing in the Champions League, to go to Newcastle for the biggest reason: money. Newcastle pay the England national defender £ 100,000 / week, the highest in the team and also a good level in the Premier League. Botman or Carlos, if they nod to Newcastle, will receive the same or even higher treatment.
Newcastle will have to accept the use of money to patch the disadvantages that the rookies of this team will have to face. They are forced to develop hot during this period, and pray that this number of rookies will soon find a common voice to pull Newcastle out of the relegation group before trying to refresh the squad in the summer transfer window.
Daily Mail said that after the shock defeat to Cambridge, the leadership team of Newcastle came down to encourage the players in the dressing room. They expressed their full support for the team in the relegation process.
However, no matter how optimistic, perhaps Newcastle owners also feel heartbroken. No other team in Premier League history has had a disastrous start to the season like Newcastle right now.
At the time of the new Roman Abramovich’s hand, Chelsea finished the season in 2nd place, just behind Arsenal’s legendary unbeaten Arsene Wenger. Man City in the first season in the hands of Abu Dhabi also finished 10th in the Premier League.
“Relegation” is generally not in the dictionary of the two teams that have now reached the heights of European giants. Yet Newcastle are now facing this risky battle, although in terms of money, PIF has enough power to crush both Abramovich and Sheikh Mansour.