Saturday, 29 November 2008
The expected the announcement came yesterday, which was two-fold
a) Ashely can't find a buyer for the club
b) JFK is staying on until the end of the season
My initial response to both of those was a shoulder shrug and a smug "I knew that was going to happen". With regards to a) hasn't Big Mike noticed the state of the world-wide economy? Even if someone had a few hundred million to spend, would you want to risk it on a venture like NUFC? I doubt it... Also if I were in the buying market for a football club I'd want to wait until the end of the season to see if Newcastle slip into The Championship (which the way this season is going is a real possibility). Then either pick up the club in a fire sale, or if the club is in The Premiership, have the whole of the summer to re-evaluate and re-trench, ready for the start of next season.
With regards to b) it feels like good news. Which is probably more a statement on my rapidly lowering expectations for the club. JFK has managed to manage the players. He's getting them playing as a team, in a slightly different style and he's getting results. Nothing spectacular, no Rednapp inspired conversion of the team, but never the less he's making a positive difference.
He's also taken the role as acting as official spokesman for the club with some degree of professionalism and relish. He's skilled at making the right type of comment at the right time, from a vicious verbal volley at the press, to this statement yesterday...
I am over the moon about it - Mike has asked me to stay as manager until the end of the season, and I am absolutely delighted
Its a heart-warming statement (with obligatory football cliche) and shows that he cares. I can't quite see Allardyce, Souness or even Roeder being that excited. It's easy to be cynical and say that he's pandering to what the fans want to hear, but I feel that it's a genuine statement from him; someone who wants the job, has had an opportunity thrust onto him and is grabbing it with both hands.
JFK has said that one of his first priorities will be to sort out players contracts, including EMO's, Steve Harper's and Nicky Butt's. Again, all makes good sense, but I wish that EMO would just disappear back to Cheshire and leave us be... I can't see the sense in an injury prone, disinterested, ex-international on a huge pay deal hanging around a club that is fighting to stay in the division. I've wittered on about this before and the sooner he goes the better. As for Butt, I hope he does get offered a new deal, he's getting older, slowing down but has the ability to read the game in a way that the rest of the midfield is sadly lacking.
Today - it's the Smoggies, away... So fingers crossed for JFK to lead us to our first away win of the season.
Howay the lads.