Newcastle Utd signing Asian players for purely commercial reasons?

Newcastle Utd are set to sign their second Asian player in a matter of weeks with Yoshinori Muto on his way to Tyneside from Japan to complete his medical. This follows the free transfer of Ki Sung-Yeung from Swansea.

This raises some questions of what is the sudden interest in Asian players, considering that before these signings Newcastle had never had an Asian player in their history? Ever.

Now I am not saying these aren’t good players and won’t do well for us. They might. However, if you take a look at our new shirt I think the main answer is staring us in the face.

As of last season, NUFC gained a new shirt sponsor from the awful Wonga debacle to the new and ‘funky’ Fun88bet.com who are an Asian online betting company. So I don’t think it really requires an investigation from Sherlock to work out where I sudden interest in Asian players has come from.

Now, I am not saying investing in Asian players to make moves into the Asian market is a bad thing, in fact I have been asking why Newcastle haven’t done this in the past as it’s easy money to be made with the right player on the books.

However, given our massive restraints in signing football players, especially ones that Rafa Benitez wants, if we are in anyway signing footballers for mainly commercial reasons to appease our main sponsor, then more serious questions need to be asked of this Ashley establishment.

I personally have analysed Bundesliga matches for two seasons as part of my job as a performance analyst and I can sum up what I have seen of Muto as; he is ok. Nothing special. So, to spend just under £10 million on him would be a massive punt on our part.

If Muto ends up being our only investment in the forward line come the start of the season then Lee Charnley deserves to be hauled up in front of parliament never mind a petition. Muto at best will serve as competition for Ayoze Perez in the no.10 position. He is not a prolific goalscorer by any stretch.

I am still of the belief that once Mitrovic is sold to Fulham we will bring in a No.9, most likely Rondon from West Brom but I will put nothing past our administration in leaving any sale until deadline day and we end up with no replacement.

However, sticking on point, Fun88 bet will be extremely happy with our two Asian signings and no doubt they will both be front and centre of all our commercial campaigns this season as they promote the bright blue Fun88 logo with pride.

It just so happens Keisuke Honda is available on a free transfer and reminded everyone of his quality in the World Cup so don’t be surprised if Charnley has made an enquiry to his agent.

I am just surprised he hasn’t brought in Southampton’s Maya Yoshida instead of Fabian Schar…

All hail Fun88.com. Bet now!

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#DontTakeYourSeat #DontBuyTheShirt

Newcastle Utd are at a crossroads.

Ashley and Rafa have drawn their line in the sand on how this football club moves forward.

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On the side are the fans, they have a choice and must make a decision on which side of the line they want to be on.

Ashley side of the line is to carry on regardless, filling out the stadium and accepting lack of investment in the team.

Rafa’s side is to make a stand against this nonsense and refuse to accept it. This choice is the most obvious, however, is the most difficult to make. As it would require some harsh actions…

Ashley’s side of just carrying on regardless in this mindless fashion of sitting motionless in the back seat of a car as it rolls down a hill towards the edge of a cliff is pathetic.

Two things are set in stone in the current climate. Rafa Benitez WILL leave in the current state of play at the end of the season and there WILL be anger and uproar when it happens.

So my question is very straight forward. If we know both these things WILL happen, why wait? Why are 50,000+ people buying the new shirt, filling out the stadium and waiting for the inevitable?

What are they mindless, cowardly sheep?

I have witnessed and lived through every situation under Ashley in the past 10 years but I have to say this latest one is showing badly on the fans more than him.

We all know what Ashley is by now. A cheap, ignorant and unfathomable moron when it comes to his understanding of running a football club. He doesn’t know what he is doing.

He only understands a handful of things. A premier league team, with passionate supporters filling out a 53,000 seater stadium with his Sports Direct banners all over it promotes his baby.

That is it. That’s why he is here.

So fans must realise that they have it in their power to get rid of him? Surely?

If you want rid of Ashley then don’t fill out the stadium. It’s that simple. An empty stadium on a Premier League level embarrasses him. It embarrasses the logos surrounding the empty seats.

This embarrassment is the only message that will get through to him. Bed sheets spray painted with small cliche messages don’t get through to him.

He laughs at you. You know why? Because you paid him for the privilege of getting into the stadium and paying for your seat. He cares about your money, not your opinion.

The situation of Mike Ashley vs The People of Newcastle has come to a head now and it must be resolved. The fans have a direct choice.

Continue to fill out the stadium, sell out the £65 new kit and try to enjoy Rafa Benitez last season as manager before he waves goodbye for good.

Or

Kick up a fuss and refuse to take your seat or buy the new kit and make Ashley realise once and for all what he needs to do. He needs to go.

Once Ashley enters serious and genuine negotiations to sell the club, then the Toon Army can flock back into the stadium to support Rafa and his boys.

It’s short term pain for long term gain.

Newcastle fans have the power in their hands to end this nonsense and save the club from inevitable doom.

The only way forward is with Rafa. The only way to keep Rafa is if Ashley goes. The only way Ashley will go is if the one thing keeping him here is killed.

That one thing is passionate match day support to a worldwide audience that actively promotes his sweat shop. Stop this. Kill it and he will go.

Once he goes, the new owner will invest in the team and in Rafa and we will be free to reach our potential.

If Ashley stays, Rafa will leave and some average manager will come in and we will go round the same old wheel of misfortune all over again.

It’s your choice lads and lasses. Make it.

#DontTakeYourSeats #DontBuyTheShirt

Ginger Pirlo

(I’ve not stepped foot in St James nor bought a kit for 10 years now. It really isn’t that hard knowing it’s for the greater good)

Why Rafa taking over as Spain national boss makes sense

Fernando Hierro has left the Spanish football federation and with it leaves the Spain job open for a new manager and beginning.

Rafa Benitez name has been linked and dismissed by many as nothing but paper talk. However, when you consider it logically, it makes sense.

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Spain have been horrendous in the last two World Cups since becoming champions of the world in 2010. Dumped out in the group stage in 2014 and embarrassingly losing to Russia in 2018.

Defensively they were shocking and in attack they were several lacking in cutting edge as they pass, pass, passed the ball around side to side seemingly for the sheer sake of it.

Their midfield maestro’s of Xavi and Iniesta are now gone and Cesc Fabregas won’t be around come the next World Cup and wasn’t even picked in the squad for Russia.

What Spain need is a new generation and with it a new style. Tiki-taka looks like yesterday’s style and boringly out of date. They also don’t have the right players to do it.

When you have Diego Costa up front then passing the ball around for fun is not going to get the best out of him. Going slightly more direct is just what the doctor ordered.

They have young players like Asensio who is full of pace and full of running. Iago Aspas is in a similar mould. They need a manager who will carry the transition from purely possession based football to effective football. Rafa Benitez could be the perfect fit.

He will build their team from back to front and make sure they are defensively sound first and foremost. He will also pick and develop the players that will do the best job to do the end goal; win.

Rafa also has an incredible record in cup tournaments. Champions League, UEFA Cup, FA Cup & Italian Cup are on his CV. He knows how to win. Plus he is obviously one other thing. Spanish.

Not just Spanish but a boy from Madrid who would be nothing but proud to take control of his country. He cried tears of joy when appointed Real Madrid manager. He would do the same as Spanish national coach.

As a Toon fan, I clearly don’t want it to happen right now as he has a job to do building my club into something special. But if Mike Ashley messes him around over the next few weeks of the transfer window, it could be an offer to good to turn down.

Let’s hope Spain don’t ask…

Ginger Pirlo

Belgium should be sending Japan a thank you note.

When Japan left the World Cup they left a thank you note, in Russian I believe, for their hosts which received worldwide acclaim.

If Belgium end up lifting the World Cup trophy next week, then they should be sending their own thank you note to Japan.

In their last 16 match, the Japanese raced into a two goal lead which came from them taking advantage of Belgium’s lopsided system.

Martinez has insisted on playing a 3-4-3 formation with a right back on the right of a midfield four and an attacking winger on the left.

In theory, some people would say this gives you the best of both worlds. However, in reality it can also give you neither.

The Japanese took advantage of what seemed a blatant weakness in the Belgium fortress, in behind the fake wing backs.

Vast gaps were there for all to see and Japan took advantage like the rebel alliance blasting a couple of shots down a massive hole in the Death Star.

A clear weakness overlooked that would inevitably be there downfall to the right opponent. Luckily for Belgium, it was ‘only Japan’.

If that match played out like most anticipated and the Belgian red devils ran out 2-0 comfortable winners, then Martinez would very likely have stuck to his guns going into the Brazil game. As why would he change?

The 3-4-3 would no doubt have been absolutely demolished by the likes of Neymar and Willian, which would have made this quarter final a very different affair.

Not only would they have been weak without the ball but playing De Bruyne in a midfield two against the Brazilian three, would have also seen him stifled.

As it turns out, Martinez learned his lesson from Japan after a miracle comeback and plugged the gaps and free his biggest weapon.

Belgium were the clear better team last night and Martinez is being lauded a tactical master. Yet this Jedi may need to remember what has lead him to this moment.

When you consider how well they played in a 4-3-3 with his big hitters in better positions to play, you should be asking why he has insisted with the doomed 3-4-3 for his entire reign as Belgium boss.

Yet nobody will if they lift that trophy. It will all be forgotten. But I would be keen to stress to Martinez if I ever met him to insist he remembers the Japanese.

If it weren’t for them, Belgium could well be going home right now. I suggest Mr Martinez should be sending a thank you note of his own to Japan, perhaps in Russian would be apt.

Ginger Pirlo