MATCH REPORT: Newcastle United 0 – 3 Sunderland; St.James Park, 1st Feb 2014, 12:45pm; Premier League; Att 52,280

by • February 1, 2014 • Match reportsComments (43)3082

Have you ever felt more depressed as a Newcastle fan?  I’ve been following United home

Gimp suit required

Gimp suit required

and away for 30 years.  I’ve been to Elm Park, the Manor Ground, Leeds Road, the Abbey Stadium and Broadhall Way with my dad, the bloke I love more than anything in the world, the bloke who has shaped me as a human being, driving us to Prenton Park, Boundary Park and Millmoor.  Hours together, hours following Newcastle through thin and thinner.  Hours dreaming of the day we had a football team we could be proud of.

There have been days, years even when everything has clicked on the pitch and in the city.  I felt as proud of NUFC as I ever have when we were standing on the edge of the abyss with eight men at Derby twenty-odd years ago and the noise from the away end was as loud as I’ve heard as I did when we were scoring our third against Barcelona in the Champions League all those years ago.

We’ve had our ups and downs and there have been days when you felt it couldn’t get any worse.  Three nil down at Barnsley, losing at Wigan under Souness, life couldn’t get any worse, right?  Well, no actually, not right.

In the 1000+ games that I’ve gone to watch Newcastle United, I can’t think of a time when I’ve been more ashamed to follow the club than I did today.  I won’t even bother with a match report as such – they scored three and if they had upped their game they could have scored a dozen.  Sunderland, our deadliest rivals, came and took the piss for the second season running.

Ben Arfa, a player I have eulogised for the past two years was a disgrace.  Disinterested, anonymous.  We know that Pardew is a fucking idiot, we know that he hasn’t got the vaguest idea how to play a man of your ability.  We know all that, but how can we forgive you not giving two shits about our team?

Santon was the worst of a very bad lot.  Again, a player I’ve defended repeatedly, putting in a performance that was absolutely beyond the pail.  I’d be happy if he never pulled on a black and white shirt again. Anita?  Celebrating the complete pinnacle of mediocrity.  Sissoko?  Three good games out of a hundred.  I felt sorry for Sammy Ameobi, that’s as bad as we’ve got.  The kid was the best player we had and he is absolute dogshit.  His brother?  Jesus.  Just Jesus.

I don’t mind getting beat and honestly, I don’t even mind losing to them.  They were the better side again and it is a blessing that it was only three.  If you’ll allow me this indulgence, I’ll tell you what I do mind.  I mind walking down Stowell Street with my dad after the game and watching a bloke in his sixties who has no prospect of going to the match to watch a United side he can be proud of with his son.

I resent Ashley. I hate him truth be told and the same can be said for Pardew.  Chancer.  Shit player, shit manager.  I would love to think that he wakes up every morning and realises how lucky he is but he won’t.  You don’t get us, Alan, not really.  For all your slimy bullshit in front of the cameras, you’ll never know what it means and I wouldn’t even give a shrug if you got sacked in the morning.  Dispensable.  Just like us.  How does it feel?

I feel as powerless as the rest of you do.  Ashley will stay there as long as he’s making money out of us and we’ll either have to like it or lump it.  And you know what?  After however many trips away watching the lads, however many ups and downs, I’m almost at the point where if it were the latter, then so be it.  Cheers, Mike.  Cheers, Alan.  You’ve got me.

Congratulations to the Mackems.  I hope you have a great weekend in London in a month’s time, you deserve it.  Equally, I obviously hope you get stuffed.  But more than anything, I hope we get the teams we deserve.  Both of us.

Newcastle United: – Krul 5, Debuchy 1, Williamson 3, S Taylor 2, Santon 0 (Dummett 5) Sissoko 1, Anita 0 (Marveaux 1), Tiote 3, Ben Arfa 0, SAMMY 5 (De Jong 1), Shola 0

Ref – Dowd – 6 – Barely noticed him

Our Fans – 5 – Depressed

Their Fans – 7 – Happy, obviously, but in the circumstances, I’d have expected them to be swinging from the proverbial chandeliers.  Are we that easy?

Keep the Faith

GARETH HARRISON TF_INITIALS_LOGO

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43 Responses to MATCH REPORT: Newcastle United 0 – 3 Sunderland; St.James Park, 1st Feb 2014, 12:45pm; Premier League; Att 52,280

  1. horsebuckfast says:

    So right son, we r a fukin embarrassment and until we stop giving that fat cunt our cash nowt will change.

    Stop payin for season tickets and stop fukin goin

  2. Lee Convery says:

    Well said Gareth. You’ve just about summed up the way I feel and I’m sure many others feel tonight. I’ve put up with this for too long now and I’m not sure I can be bothered to take it much longer. Pardew just looks as disinterested as some of the players. I saw nothing on that pitch today from our team and I use that term loosely as it looked like they’d never met each other before. As long as Ashley us recouping his money and then even starting to make a profit year on year I can’t see him going anywhere and if a few thousand of us decide not to go back he won’t care. Most of the money is from tv revenue isn’t it? Like you said I’m not that bothered we lost to the mackems, I hate losing whoever the opposition it’s more the manner in which we lost today that worries and matters to me.

  3. John Burn says:

    It was desperate stuff and I feel sorry for those that had paid to go and watch that today. I chose not to give Ashley any more of my cash and I certainly won’t be heading back to St James any time soon, and I imagine I won’t be the last. I believe that he is well on his way to breaking the back of the supporters and perhaps that’s what it is partly about now?

    I’ve experienced some lows in my time as a Mag – the 2-0 play-off defeat was worse given the stakes, but today was just an inept showing, From the owner, Kinnear, Pardew and the players – they are all cowards. Yellow cunts.

  4. The gadgie says:

    Let me put it in business terms for Mike Ashley. Given our stated disinterest in the cups and Europe when the season ticket renewal comes through the letter box what’s the ‘value proposition’ you’re making? Right now it looks like spend hundreds of quid to come watch a ‘team’ that strives to win nothing. From top to bottom the club look like they don’t care.

    • Milo Slim says:

      Exactly…where will Ashley’s fabled business acumen be when NUFC ceases to be a saleable product to its supporters? Because when it feels as though the players are instructed to throw cup games and deliberately fall short of Europe – because that would require greater squad investment – then really, what’s the fucking point?

      The thing that really baffles me is that, even operating on his self-imposed shoestring budget, we have threatened the top six on a couple of occasions. Clearly, his frugal transfer policy has some merit. For the most part, we’ve picked up players on the cheap who’ve turned out to be solid Premiership players. We’re financially rock solid, and that is thanks to him. But why, why, why won’t he simply invest enough to see that we remain competitive? Half the Cabaye money would have bought a decent replacement and the other half might have persuaded QPR to do business to secure Remy. That’s not flamboyant spending. That’s basic maintenance is what that is.

      However I think Ashley’s tight-fistedness is going to met with disaster and soon. By season’s end, we could be in a position where we need to buy two or three strikers (minimum) replacing £10m Cisse / £16m Remy and £12m De Jong, on top of £10m Colocinni and £20m Cabaye, and see what the likes of Santon, Ben Arfa and Anita decide to make of their careers here.

      In short, we’re probably looking at a £40m overhaul as a conservative estimate to simply consolidate in this league. No way will Ashley sanction that – so what can we expect?
      And good players won’t join a club that’s happy to make up the numbers. It’s a very depressing business following NUFC right now.

  5. Dave says:

    After 40 years following home and away I jacked in 4 years ago so maybe don’t have as much right to comment as those that still chose to go however.
    Nothing will change til Ashley goes.
    Those that say staying away won’t affect revenues are so wrong!! Why are we on tv all the time because there is a full ground, why are the makems for example not on as much as us? Empty seats that’s why!!! Sky do not want grounds with empty seats. If people do not go it will have a massive impact.
    That said today was the worst derby performance I have seen in my lifetime.
    Pathetic embarrassing limp feeble.

  6. Hiya Gareth, hope you don’t mind me commenting on your excellent match report but it struck a chord with me. My father took me to my first game in 1972 against Leeds and now in his seventies I’ve lost count of the times he’s grumbled to me “I’ve given up hope of us winning something in my lifetime”. As I head depressingly close to my fifties I can’t help but be envious of the fact that at least he has seen us win something, It’s me who should be worried it’s something I’ll never see. Indeed, I’m slowly turning into my father in that I’m regularly saying to my son “the only way you’ll change things is by staying away” just as he said similar things to me in the 70s and 80s. My son loves it and I’m proud of him for being so passionate about ‘his’ team. I’ve been to one game this season, a promised first away game for him at Aston Villa and while I utterly despise going to our own ground draped in shite advertising for Wonga and SD, I felt no resentment at Villa park, just a buzz from a great team performance and being with my laddie at his first away game. My wife takes him to home games and she recently came home narked at a poor performance and by another coincidence, I pointed out she was still a novice at being pissed off watching NUFC, “wait until you’ve gone to a shit hole like Barnsley and are 3-0 down after 20 minutes”. So while we may have been poles apart in our political outllooks Gareth, we at least share some common ground in our way of thinking about NUFC.
    Best wishes x

  7. Andrew says:

    You hate Ashley? He loaned the club £250m to clean up the mess created by Shepherd. Where do you think the club would be without Ashley’s investment? And our you surprised he obsesses over the clubs finances having seen the previous regime sqaunder millions on the likes of Luque, Owen etc.?

    • David says:

      I think the figure was more like £120m. I don’t know where you got £250m from. If you compare that to Man Utd (£680m debt at the same time as Newcastles £120m) it wasn’t so bad – a manageable debt if you like!

      I bet you were over the moon when we signed Owen – it was an unlucky signing. Luque looked good in Spain – he just couldn’t transfer it to England.

      What you fail to recognise is the complete lack of ambition. No cup run, no push for Europe, definitely no title bash (EVER). Whats the point in that? Where’s the joy? How can you be passionate about that?

      Every team in the land from North Shields AFC to Manchester City has an ambition. Something to aim for. Something to strive for. Thats every team except Newcastle United.

    • SteveP says:

      Sorry, but if Ashley had done due dilligence, he would not have been handed the bill for the stadium extension, meaning we would have had a club debt of probably 20-30 million.
      Its HIS fault he bought the club without looking into it properly and HIM that has to take the hit on his shoddy business deal, not the fans and the playing staff..
      He should be looking at other ways of expanding the finances to recoup that money, rather than placing us in a position of a 2 year cycle of boom and bust (almost qualifying for Europe, then a relegation battle) till he sees fit to declare that he has been repaid.
      The £250M you mention includes his purchase of shares from Hall and Shepherd, so the debt is probably only half of that figure

    • if HE had done due diligence he wouldn’t have had to. If HE hadn’t got us relegated he wouldn’t have had to. If HE had competent people running the club the income would be greater.

      • SteveP says:

        Exactly, HIS mistakes and HIS poor decision making have cost everybody, not just himself,, but it’s us and the team that suffers.
        In no other market or business can you alienate your ‘customers’ like that that and get away with it.
        Anyone remember Gerald Ratner!!!!

    • Bob Stead says:

      He bought the club for 250 million, simple as that. For whatever reason he then put 120 million as a debt. He probably would sell but would want to get his money back plus a profit.

  8. STEPHEN says:

    Forget Ashley and Kinnear for a moment. Today was about Alan Pardew and his backroom team having two weeks – no cup tie’s , no Europe, a holiday in Dubai and a warm up against piss poor Norwich – to get his group of players up for this game. On it mentally and tactically and going about taking the game to the away team. He failed (again). Last season if we’d beat them they were down. Five weeks ago everyone had them written off,down. We have not even put up a fight in either game. It’s now their time, Pardew has handed it to them. Today was about two teams, two managers. Ours were clueless.

  9. Shearer 9 says:

    Thanks to true faith for a excellent web site and for making a southern mag feel a bit better knowing there are people out there that feel the same way
    I feel that as long as the club is on the prem league gravy train Ashley will stick around to pick up the money the only way I can see him leaving is if the club is relegated again were I feel he won’t have the desire to finance a promotion campaign like he did last time
    While this May be a sad way to look at things I feel long term it’s the only way to get rid of this chancer
    For the sort term I would say to the people who go to the games make st James park very hostile for the Ashley regemie even support the idiots that want to make them selves famous by running on a chucking there tickets at pardew because the more negative press the more pressure it Puts on Ashely if we hit him with enough blows one might be fatal and we can see the back of him
    it’s not about results any more it’s about getting our club back and getting people in who see this club as not business but were a city can come together and be proud of our football club again and try to achieve our hopes and dreams on the pitch
    I too started going to the games with my dad and I have a kid on the way and would love to carry on our tradition I just hope there will be something there and not the empty shell after Ashley has suck the life out of this football club
    Rant over

  10. Micky Miller says:

    Some poignant heartfelt posts from lads who just want to see a team give their all when pulling on the black and white shirt, and we get that!
    Gutless, uninterested, inept fucking garbage representing Newcastle United. We’ve all seen some shite over the years but that today was as bad as it gets. Outplayed, outfought, outwitted by, lets be honest a mediocre mackem side who for once deserved their points. Brown and O’shea must have been secretly pissing themselves at the thought of facing Shola Ameobi…Shola fucking Ameobi…Shola fucking Ameobi who was shite ten fuckin years ago and is still today in 2014 leading the line in the last match of any importance this season…mackem slayer my big hairy spotty arse!
    Work commitments nowadays mean I only get to half a dozen games a season but thats it for me, the embarrasing slimy puppet and the half arsed overpaid cretins on the pitch, but mostly that fat cockney sack of shit upstairs have finished me..The sad thing is there will be someone straight there buying any ticket I dont, along with 50,000 others…Sad owld day..

  11. Mick says:

    If you pay your season ticket by direct debit then the deadline for cancelling was the 31st Jan. The middle of Feb is the last payment on the current season. If you haven’t informed the club in writing by the 31st then as I understand it you are now tied in for next season. Three of us reached our Ashley threshold and cancelled after 22yrs. Absolutely gutted and feel sick but I think yesterday justified our decision. I know a few of us chucking it won’t make any difference to Ashley but at least we have the satisfaction knowing we aren’t giving him any more of our money. When he goes we will return.

    • David says:

      This is not true – you can cancel whenever you want! You will lose whatever you have already paid in advance but it will be worth it in the long run! (I did it 2 seasons ago and it was the best decision I’ve made and I have NEVER regretted it!)

    • Onmeedsun says:

      My blurb when I signed up to the 10 year DD scheme says that I just need to inform the Club in February. First DD for next season’s ticket is March so makes sense. Also says they will write to me in the NYear to remind me I’m about to enter another year of purgatory – never received anything. I take my godson to the game – he’s 17 and feels abused by the Club. I’m inclined to advise him to find another club before his life is ruined! We have decided to cancel our tickets as money is the only language that Ashley understands. The leadership ( whoever they are – definitely not there yesterday – cowards) have decided the season is over, so has the manager, so can you blame the players. You should never give players excuses to fail, and we have. I will go back, but on my terms. The Club would benefit from having no season ticket holders. they won’t speak to us, they ban the NUST and the local press. We have to be able to vote with our feet. Committing to a whole year plays into Ashley’s hands, he’s then got us. I know gate money is an ever decreasing % of total revenue, but does he really want SJP to be empty. Would not look good. bring it on. We’d be better off with that nutter from North Korea.

  12. Pat Hughes says:

    So well put and it reflects the desperate and hopeless feelings I felt yesterday. I walked home from this fixture last season in tears but it was different yesterday somehow, I still walked home but no tears, instead resignation, helplessness and depression ruled. I didn’t arrive with great expectations either which must be a first for me but the stage was set for a great day, full stadium, the derby, etc. Nothing happened though, the occasion didn’t take off and the usual banter had gone – only our visitors had a lot to say for themselves. Pardew stood in his little area but there was no animation, no encouragement, no nothing. I rarely use the word ‘hate’ but it’s the only one I can think of to describe how I feel about the leeches at our club. All I came away with yesterday were rubber bands from the crappy clappers – always useful I suppose. I’m lucky as I didn’t join the 10 year DD scheme and have some time to reflect on what to do when it comes to renewing. Can’t imagine not going after so many years but can’t bear the prospect of being slapped around on a constant basis either.

  13. Robbo says:

    At one time a fan’s boycott of games and refusal to buy merchandise might have meant something. Not now: money from gate receipts and shirt sales is dwarfed by the windfall the club gets from Sky. All clubs get that, which is why Southampton, Swansea, Norwich etc. can compete on terms previously undreamed of. So if the solution is to get Ashley to sell up, a different strategy is required.

    Fans seem to be coalescing around the idea that Ashley must go. Sacking the manager alone would change nothing. Any new manager would have to sign up to the same Ashley ethos, which is to buy cheap and sell on at a profit. This means staying mid table in the Premier League for ETERNITY. No relegation, but certainly no ambition to get in the top four. Achieving top four would ruin the sell on strategy, which requires players to want to leave in order to get Champions League football and/or win trophies. The Cabaye exit is of course a classic example of how the clubs strategy works in practice.

    So how to persuade MA to leave? Well first of all he is not going to walk away without getting back all of the money he put into the club. We have to accept that as a given. He has already started to claw back some of that money, but some debt still remains. So a new buyer is required, a buyer prepared to pay for the club and clear the remaining debt. Such a buyer would only make a move if they believed Ashley was prepared to sell. Despite various rumours, there is no evidence that Ashley wants to sell, so how can he persuaded to do so?

    Hitting him in his pocket with match boycott? No. See above re Sky money.

    Merchandise ban? No. See above, and anyway many fans already do this.

    Rallies and demos? Yes, would play a part in building a campaign, but on their own would be ignored.

    Organise more effectively? Yes, a key requirement. At the moment there is no coherent collective voice. The fanzines, websites, fans forums need to be co-ordinated behind the single objective, persuading MA to sell up.

    Is that it? Surely it can’t be. No, there has to be a series of newsworthy events that would get front page and TV coverage at a national level. We have to study what has been done at other clubs, like Liverpool where fans have won the day. We have to involve and get the support of former players and managers, get the local press fully on board. It may take a long time. It might not work (we win a few games and the fans forget all about it – that’s happened before). But surely it’s better than doing nothing.

  14. Davey says:

    Very well said, Gareth, (I’ll ignore Andrew’s patter as I’ll go in to meltdown if I have to listen to an Ashley apologist right now). I share the pride and remember that Baseball Ground match, didn’t see the Barcelona games, (Am I a Glorydodger?), but the pride of my club even in adversity has usually shone through. How can you be proud of that, though? There’s something about this club right now that sucks out our lifeblood and puts something plastic, tacky and man made in its place. Alan Pardew can honestly go forth and multiply, he’s ‘fanked’ Mike enough times and played the game, if he gets sacked then there’s no sympathy here, he’s been very happy to dance with devil from day one. Get rid.

  15. Andrew says:

    No push for Europe? We qualified for Europe the season before last and were unlucky not to go through to the semi-finals. We are currently three points behind a Europa League position.
    No title bash? You must be joking?

    Newcastle strive to operate as a stable business and use that success to build a team that can ultimately break in to the top 4. Unfortunately, this won’t produce the instant success Newcastle fans crave and certainly won’t provide the title bash you expect. What it will do is avoid the mistakes made by the likes of Shepherd which came close to running Newcastle in to the ground.

    It is also unthinkable to compare Newcastle to Man Utd. Their commercial reach spans across the world, and Newcastle simply does not have that exposure.

    • Nedwcastle United don’t have ANY commercial reach, it doesn’t span NE fucking 1.

    • SteveP says:

      I look forward to seeing you at the civic centre for the open top bus parade showing off the balance sheet then

      • Andrew says:

        Unfortunately, in modern football a healthy balance sheet is the main concern for the majority of clubs (excluding Man City, Chelsea).

        In the last 20 years, Wigan and Portsmouth were the only clubs who won the FA Cup outside the traditional top 5. They neglected their balance sheet and league form and will probably never recover.

        Would you suggest Newcastle prioritise the FA Cup over the league?

        • we are Newcastle United, not Wigan or Portsmouth, man. Have some respect for the tradition and scale of the club.

          • Andrew says:

            Regardless of the history of the club, Newcastle were playing in the second tier three years ago. Last season, on a weekly basis you called for Pardew to field weakened sides in Europa League matches. Your sentiment was echoed by the regular sight of 20,000 + empty seats at SJP in that competition.

          • Davey says:

            Wasting your breath on Andrew, I’m afraid.

        • Davey says:

          Yes. Especially considering we’re ok in the league.

          • Andrew says:

            Davey, it was definitely a surprise that such a weakened side was put out against Cardiff. The club’s priority is a top 10 finish and given the inevitable departure of Cabaye, we don’t have the strength in depth to fit a cup run alongside a top half finish.

            Surely given what has happened to Leeds, Portsmouth, Blackburn, Charlton and ourselves in recent history, you can understand the club’s stance that stability in the league is the absolute priority?

  16. Haha this Andrew fellah is either thick as pig shit or on a wind up. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

    • Andrew says:

      I haven’t expressed any opinions here just laid out facts. I admit I’m not sure on the exact amount of Ashley’s interest free loan.

      • Just “laid out facts” have you ? Interesting, start with the figure of £250m ‘loan’ to the club, where did you get that ‘fact’ from ?

        • Andrew says:

          If you read my previous comment, it says, “I admit I’m not sure on the exact amount of Ashley’s interest free loan.”

          My source for saying £250m: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/n/newcastle_united/7615618.stm

          The point is, he has invested substantially to keep Newcastle afloat.

          Hope that makes sense to you.

          • Ah right, so you’re not dealing in ‘facts’ really are you ? Have you seen the league table on ‘themag’ website relating to transfer expenditure by pl clubs since fatty bought the club and for last twelve months Andrew ? Nobody other than you and your ilk will be surprised but we’re rock bottom with a net surplus of over 45m. Where’s the money gone Andrew ? None of the interest free loan has been paid off so as you deal only in facts, where is it ? I’m no accountant mind so if i’m talking shite then fair enough but please forgive me for my ‘speculation’ as opposed to your facts. I don’t believe for one minute ‘due dilligence’ wasn’t done before the purchase. Most of the 125m debt was for the stadium rebuild plus some add ons and outstanding transfer fees. I find it hard to believe this came as a shock, how difficult would it be for an accountant to discover the club had a fucking mortgage for the stadium ? And a ‘black hole’ of 125m ?! For a top businessman it would seem a bit negligent to be unable to discover a debt of that magnitude surely ? I reckon they’ve split the purchase price into two, and made a very deliberate policy of maintaining a huge debt for a tax gain on his other interests. I would suggest the ganis he’s made by syphoning off the clubs’ commercial revenue into sports direct positively DWARFS the interest he’d be paying on a loan or losing in interest. At a time when there’s never been a more lucrative time to be a premier league club, why is none of the debt being paid off ? Here’s some more speculation from me, you think fat Fred left the club in a ‘mess’ ? I’m confident it will be nothing like the mess this fat bastard will be leaving.

  17. GARETH'S DAD says:

    I love my son and I’m proud of him. I love NUFC and……………. The thousands of matches home and away, the memories good and bad, the company of our friends before/after the match have been/still are a part of life which only being a dad/supporter can understand. I hope that Ashley/Kinnear/Pardew/any player reads this and realises that all we ask is that you care about the club as much as we do. Not a lot of hope but as I said to Gareth yesterday “keep the faith and dream on”.

  18. When I think of Newcastle United, I think of great people like Gareth and Ronnie Harrison, proper Mags, B&W to the bone and the salt of the earth. It makes me sick to know those two and many more like them are being fucked over by the likes of Kinnear, Pardew and Ashley.

  19. Tony says:

    Unfortunately I think it’s the wrong time for an entrepreneur to step in and take Ashley’s position. Although we could probably promise 70,000 gates (with a bigger ground obviously), massive shirt sales and good commercial opportunities given success …….. where will that success come from? The top clubs have such a head start on us any would-be buyer will be well aware it could be a long, and costly, gamble. Once Man U are back, and they will be, it’s a case of squeezing a pint into a half pot as far as teams chasing silver goes. City, United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, rich clubs chasing three domestic trophies. And even United could probably raise a minimum of £50 million more than us for saleable assets.

    How many players do we need for a team, nevermind a squad? I’m not optimistic things are going to improve anytime soon.

  20. Stocker says:

    Ha ha this Andrew is something else -ill have whatever he’s having.

  21. Tom Bates says:

    Andrew, no one is expecting a crack at the league. We are not Wigan, portsmouth or Blackburn. just accept that ashley is trying to claw back as much money as he can from us. We’re not asking for a 20 million glamour signing, just to invest a bit of the money on replacements for the players we;ve had a massive profit on.
    You believe the garbage spouted by Pardew that players cant manage a cup run on top of the league campaign? his brainwashing has worked then.
    Wigan went down because they were poor for years. Its not a race to the bottom, using clubs that have f***ed up as a reason for us to be happy with Ashley will not achieve anything.Just because they have struggled we should be happy with Ashley?