Failure to land Emery exposes cracks in Newcastle’s lofty ambitions


Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – A month on since a takeover from the Saudi sovereign wealth fund sparked scenes of wild celebration at St. James’ Park, Newcastle fans are still waiting for their windfall.

Without a win in the Premier League after 10 games and rooted in the relegation zone, six points adrift of safety, questions are already being asked of the club’s ambitious new project off the field.

Villarreal boss Unai Emery rejected the chance to become the Magpies’ new manager this week, despite a public courting by Newcastle’s new owners and the riches on offer.

The former Arsenal manager was reportedly wary of joining the project in its infancy without a clear structure of how to make their new wealth pay on the field.

“No matter how much noise there was yesterday in another country, within the club there was transparency and loyalty,” said Emery in declaring his intention to remain in Spain on Wednesday.

Former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe is the new frontrunner.

But the vast difference in playing style and experience between Howe and Emery only serves to highlight the lack of a clear plan.

Governor of the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), Yassir Al-Rumayyan has been named the club’s new chairman.

But they have no sporting director and managing director Lee Charnley remains in his post having been a key ally of unpopular former owner Mike Ashley.

Caretaker coach Graeme Carr looks set to take charge of a third match at Brighton on Saturday despite dismal performances against Crystal Palace and Chelsea since Steve Bruce was sacked two weeks ago.

Newcastle director Amanda Staveley boldly declared in the days after the controversial takeover was given the green light by the Premier League of her ambition to be English champions in the next decade.

Staveley, who took a minority stake in the £300 million ($408 million) deal, has been the public face of the consortium backed by the PIF.

However, she has watched on ashen-faced from the directors box of St. James’ in recent weeks as Tottenham and Chelsea have strolled to victory on the field. 

The current Newcastle squad is clearly not good enough to match the club’s new ambitions, but an overhaul in the January transfer window also has risks.

With 10 more league games to come before the window even opens, including clashes with Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United next month, Newcastle could be even more desperate come January.

Panic buying at inflated prices for those players willing to come and roll the dice that they can avoid playing in the Championship next season is an extremely short-term solution that holds no guarantee of staving off relegation.

Chelsea, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are often touted as the templates for Newcastle to follow.

But they did not have to fend off the fear of relegation in the early days of their surge towards the elite of European football.

Newcastle need a plan that can firefight in the short-term and lay the foundations for long-term success at the same time.

At the moment they do not appear to have either.

25+ Channels With Sports & News
  • Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
  • Watch Premier League, Liga MX, MLS & World Cup
  • Includes ESPN, FOX, Univision, TUDN and more
Favorite Leagues At The Best Price
  • Starting price: $7.99/mo. for Live TV Package
  • Watch Argentine league, Brasileirāo and Copa Libertadores
  • Includes beIN SPORTS, GolTV, TyC Sports and more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
  • Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
  • Features LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, Copa del Rey & more
  • Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
Live TV, Soccer & Originals
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo.
  • Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & more
  • Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
  • Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
  • Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
Get All 3 And Save 30%
  • $13.99/mo. for ESPN+, Disney+ & Hulu
  • Includes Bundesliga, LaLiga, NHL & the home to UFC
  • Features Marvel, Star Wars + shows & movies for your entire family

Leave a Reply

Translate »