The Newcastle United Takeover - A Conflicted Fan's View

The Newcastle United Takeover - A Conflicted Fan's View

After 14 years of neglect, Newcastle United are entering a new era. On Thursday, it was confirmed that Mike Ashley had sold the football club to a consortium headed by Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund. The Public Investment Fund are taking an 80% share of the club. The other 20% will be split between Amanda Staveley's PCP partners and the Reuben Brothers, the second wealthiest family in UK. The last decade has been a joyless existence for Newcastle supporters, myself …
Is this the right time for Newcastle United to be taken over?

Is this the right time for Newcastle United to be taken over?

Mike Ashley is approaching ten years as owner of Newcastle United and his tenure can be described as eventful but unsuccessful. There has been plenty going on at St James’ Park off the pitch, but the football hasn’t been great, with the Magpies suffering two relegations during that time. Supporters will never take to the English businessman, as he lacks ambition and has done a lot to antagonise them. However, there has been a cooling of tensions over the last …
Can Rafa Benitez Save Newcastle's Season?

Can Rafa Benitez Save Newcastle's Season?

It isn't confirmed yet, but it is extremely likely that Rafa Benitez is going to take over from Steve McClaren as Newcastle manager in the coming days, with Sky and various other sources reporting as much. Although this appears a massive step down from Real Madrid and coaching some of the world's best players, it is believed that Benitez wants a long term project and would favour a Premier League job. Newcastle United are a sleeping giant and the room …
Newcastle United - Is this the Dawn of a New Era?

Newcastle United - Is this the Dawn of a New Era?

The league table never lies according to an old football saying, but the board at Newcastle United will know that they are lucky to remain in the Premier League after a series of mistakes. They have only picked up four points since February, which is an awful run for any side and is the worst run of form of any Premier League side this season. After a poor start to the season and a very bad end, many will state that …
Newcastle United - A Club At A Crossroads?

Newcastle United - A Club At A Crossroads?

Under Mike Ashley, Newcastle have been stagnating and the under par working conditions for a manager or, as the next appointment will be, head coach make it difficult for the club to achieve success. Many will have raised their eyebrows at Alan Pardew's decision to leave Newcastle for relegation threatened Crystal Palace, but those with a working knowledge of Ashley and his current regime wouldn't have been surprised at all. It would make an interesting sub plot if Pardew leads …
Cole vs. Baines - Time to Make that Shift in England colours? Stats

Cole vs. Baines - Time to Make that Shift in England colours? Stats

Systems Football: 'Defence' Part III – Tiki Taka / Totaal-Voetbal

Systems Football: 'Defence' Part III – Tiki Taka / Totaal-Voetbal

Introduction: the foundations (part 3/5) – Defence
This is a five-part series of articles that aims to introduce football coaches and fanatics to basic concepts in a systems football approach (such as tiki-taka). The systems approach to football is founded upon a system of complexity and unity.
Part three of this series promised an illustrative insight into the defensive components that make up a successful systems football approach. In truth, each part of this series of articles are overlapping and …