Thru Black and White Eyes

THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – Money Talks – 29/Aug/17

by • August 29, 2017 • TBAWEComments (5)1200



I don’t think anyone had us down for such a convincing and comprehensive performance and result as the one we enjoyed over West Ham on Saturday gone. Certainly not coke-addled simpletons in the pay of SKY TV and other assorted goons with an axe to grind!

We were competitive all over the park with Merino and Ritchie in particular putting in eye-catching performances. After the disappointing result at home to Forest in the League Cup it was important to arrest a pretty ropey start to the season and raise some spirits amongst Black & Whiters. That was achieved and we all left SJP with something of a spring in our steps. No matter that the media narrative switched to Bilic’s immediate future at West Ham and the possibility of Rafa moving to East London to replace him. Every silver lining has a cloud in Newcastle United’s world.

For a few hours at least the stomach churning frustration of following Ashley’s club was put on the back burner and many of us enjoyed a great night in NE1 hailing old friends after the first Saturday afternoon KO of the season.

Then of course reality sets in. The Mirror led with a tale that Ashley’s hirelings Keith Bishop PR and his solicitor Justin Barnes, neither of whom have any known or specific role at United, spoke with Rafa afterwards and warned him as to his comments about transfers to the media. Interestingly, Lee Charnley was also said to be at that meeting though as Ashley has told us, he answers to Benitez, that is a curious arrangement. Ashley could have been lying again though.

I’m sure this was meant to be a private matter so it’s dubious how effective that was given it appeared in the press only hours later. This of course comes hot on the heels of Ashley’s PR man (whose company he has a major stake in) turning up at the training ground last Tuesday to keep a watchful eye over Rafa’s press conference.

In the last week the club has moved on Riviere and De Jong. Two highly remunerated and under-performing players who can hardly said to be ringing endorsements of Graeme Carr’s super-scout status. The departure of those two players should allow space on the payroll for new players of Rafa’s choices and it is to be hoped Lazaar, Krul, Colback and Haidara are moved on this week.

More curious however has been reports that Dwight Gayle is “disillusioned” at United. What the cause of this disillusion is can only be speculated upon but it might be the case there is smoke and mirrors with Gayle’s value never being higher and some doubts about both his quality and hamstrings for the rigours of life in the Premier League.

Mind, this is Ashley’s Newcastle United so there’s every chance we could be shot of Riviere, De Jong and Gayle and not bring any players in to replace them.

I don’t think it’s too outlandish to pin-point where we are lacking at the moment. Clearly, we need a striker(s). We needed

The people on the street are Rafa’s Mags!

them before we swept Riviere and De Jong out of the back of the cupboard and the need is even greater now. That said, I was impressed by Joselu. His movement and running was intelligent, he has a bit of pace and his aerial ability and other assorted flick-ons were impressive. I liked the cut of his jib.

Having lost Anita in the summer as well as Vuckic and an unloved Colback at United we do need more creativity in midfield and recruits are required for what will be a long, hard season. I was impressed by Merino but the English game is brutal in its intensity and if we expect those kinds of performances against West Ham every weekend we are going to be disappointed.

The big one for me though is left-back. I don’t think we’ve really had a proper time-served left-back since Jose Enrique departed Barrack Road for the Anfield buffet car. I don’t think I’ve seen a half decent United team in all the years I’ve been throwing my head in my hands on Gallowgate that hasn’t had accomplished full-backs and particularly on the left-hand side. I did get a frisson when we signed Lazaar but he hasn’t worked out and is down as one of Rafa’s rare mistakes.

Hopefully, we’ll get all of those positions in the next few days but let’s be honest, we probably won’t.

The big question of course is what does this mean for Rafa. He has clearly been deceived by Ashley who now communicates with his manager via SKY TV and some PR hireling and a solicitor. The lesson he appears to have learned from the Keegan debacle in 2008 is to cover his tracks with greater care rather than change his behaviour. There does appear to be a job about to become vacant at West Ham and it is common knowledge the weird Tories that run the Hammers have an admiration for our favourite Spaniard. Whether the combination of Rafa’s clear unhappiness at being lied to by Ashley, his appalling treatment by a couple of go-fors would combine with West Ham’s readiness to buy our manager out of his contract remains to be seen but it is the undetonated bomb the club is going to be sitting on over the next few weeks.

Rafa no longer speaks of a long term project at United and a lot has soured in this calendar years transfer windows so there is a likelihood Rafa could walk if West Ham want him as much as we think they do. There’s no way Ashley will stand in the way of a troublesome though gifted manager. That is when the balloon should go up but who knows if it will?

We’ve long discussed here the inability of our support to organise and commit itself to any course of action. Anyone with any experience of our support on social media will confirm its head-banging stupidity, pedantry and ignorance. That I expect will be another occasion when as a collective entity, our supporter-base will once more fluff its lines. Me? I’m out of all of that stuff now and leave it to others. Attempting to do anything to organise our support is about as inviting as sticking your head out the window of an Inter-City 125 at high speed. There’s none more vicious our support can be than against its own. Believe me, I know.


Anyway, we will be organising the first true faith Press Forum at the Tyneside Irish Centre on Thursday 7/Sep/17 at 7:30. There is a stellar cast of football journalists who have been covering Newcastle United in painstaking detail for more years than we care to remember. For the record, here are the turns:

George Caulkin – The Times

Louise Taylor – The Guardian

Luke Edwards – The Telegraph

Mark Douglas – The Chronicle

Martin Hardy – The Independent

Simon Bird – The Independent

Craig Hope – The Mail.


These people are the journalists closest the club, who have an insight into the goings on at Newcastle United that average supporters simply don’t have. We will be putting your questions to them about everything under the Black & White sun.

The event is in aid of the Newcastle United Fans Foodbank. All of the profit raised from ticket sales will go directly to the Foodbank. None of the journalists have requested a fee and there is nothing in it financially for this fanzine. The only people who we hope benefit from this event are disadvantaged people in our community in desperate need. We also hope those attending will have an enriched understanding of life at Newcastle United FC under Mike Ashley.

You can get a ticket by clicking here.

There really are a limited number of tickets on sale so we strongly advise you to get a wriggle on to make sure you get yours.

And that’s it.

The next time you’ll hear from me is when the window is closed.

Keep On, Keepin’ On …


Michael Martin. Follow Michael on @tfMichael1892

Related Posts

5 Responses to THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – Money Talks – 29/Aug/17

  1. The “inability of our support to organise and commit itself to any course of action” is why Ashley is still here. And will be until we do (or he can make a fortune by selling us). But like you I am not holding my breath as the harsh truth seems to be not enough of us care enough to see the action through. In that respect we deserve Ashley. Our support has proved to be a very poor “Toon-army”. Shame the keyboard warriors never joined us at the protests. Although they were not the only ones missing! Many people suggested Ashley would not like the power Rafa has, but the view was even Ashley is not that daft. Now it seems a very real possibility that he will leave. And again the fan response is……….

    • Mike Dixon says:

      yep 50k every game regardless of the dross lies and going thro the motions football no wonder Cashley is laughing, 5m buy out on Raffas contract… he will take that …..welcome Shteve Im a Geordie Bruce.

  2. Dempsey says:

    Credit to you for organising the press forum event purely in aid of deserving charity. Well done TF

  3. Peter Ward says:

    Really sad Michael that you have to write in this vein. When will ‘the mob’ wake up and realize Ashley has to go the sooner the better. The club will simply stagnate and continue to decline. When I read what is happening with most other clubs in the League, who we used to compete with, it just shows how far we have fallen under Ashley. Liverpool managed to get rid of the terrible twosome somehow or other, yet we continue to be treated with contempt by the repulsive Ashley and his minions and he gets away with it.

  4. Ian Summers says:

    Sadly I doubt there is much to organize if Rafa leaves. Of the group I go to the match with I don’t know any who will continue to support the club if that happens. It’s hard to understand how out of touch the hierarchy of the club are with their own supporters. Anyone know the consequences of stopping direct debits part of the way through their term? As long as Rafa is here he and his players are worthy of our whole hearted support as against West Ham but the moment he leaves then I guess we all have time for more rewarding pursuits and just need to find other excuses to drink with our mates? Thanks for organizing the Press Forum and see you there.