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When will Newcastle win the league?
Playmaker

When will Newcastle win the league?

When will Newcastle win the league?

It’s one thing for Newcastle to get a lot of money to spend from their new Saudi owners. It’s another altogether to build a successful team with it.


Transcript

Hi, I’m Chloe and this is the Playmaker.

One story every day to make sense of the world of football.

Today, how does a newly-rich club attract the right players?

***

There’s been so much talk about Newcastle United since they were bought by the Saudis for three hundred million pounds earlier this month. 

We covered the story by profiling the woman behind the deal, Amanda Staveley, in episode 47. Today, we move on to matters on the pitch. 

Newcastle have just become one of the world’s richest football clubs. In theory, they can afford to bring in whoever they want.

And now that football’s worst-kept secret is finally out and Steve Bruce has left the club, they’ll be looking for a new manager. The fans will be expecting an exciting appointment and a name they recognise.

One thing’s for sure: Newcastle will have to spend big if they’re serious about thinking big. 

Spurs now charge forward, we’ve had the four minutes. And Spurs get the win. Newcastle’s new era ends in defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur.

Tottenham Hotspur YouTube

Newcastle are in the relegation zone right now, with just three points and no wins from their opening eight games.

Their Spanish right-back, Javier Manquillo, has a couple of ideas. 

When asked who they should sign by the Telegraph this week, he said they should go for Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe, which just goes to show, even pros play Fantasy Football. 

But who can blame him? He only wants the best for his team. 

Unfortunately for Manquillo, although Newcastle could afford these players, their current league position suggests they are highly unlikely to be able to attract them…at the moment at least. 

This is going to take forever. I mean forever! I mean let’s not beat around the bush here. You know, you can’t just go out, it’s not like football manager and you just go out and buy Messi, Mbappe, Neymar and whoever I wanna buy.

Sky Sports

But how does a newly enriched club attract the right players?

There is a blueprint as any Manchester City fan can tell you. 

In 2008, they were taken over by the Abu Dhabi Royal Family and – like Newcastle – the club immediately became immensely rich. 

City had finished ninth the season before, but the new owners had much higher ambitions than that. 

They signed the best players they could at the time. 

Chelsea full back Wayne Bridge and Liverpool forward Craig Bellamy bolstered the squad, while it took 32.5 million pounds to tempt Real Madrid’s Robinho to join City. At the time, that was the most expensive transfer in Premier League history.  

Yet splashing the cash arguably didn’t really help. 

City ended up 10th that year – worse than the season before. 

However, alongside the expensive signings were some cut price bargains who would go on to form the backbone of what became a stunningly successful team.

I’m thinking about players like Pablo Zabaleta and the man who became the captain and a club legend, Vincent Kompany. He cost a mere 6.5 million pounds.

“City’s grip on the Premier League title looked to be fading. Step in Captain Vincent Kompany.” “Kompany. Have a crack, he’s getting closer. Ohhhhhh Ohhhhhhhhh! Captain Marvel! Manchester City with a massive goal!”

Sky Sports

These players would provide a platform that City could build upon.  

Suddenly the team included Patrick Vieira, Yaya Toure and the cheeky signing of Carlos Tevez from derby rivals Manchester United. 

Now they had recognisable stars, and with them on board, City had the prestige to attract breakout players like David Silva and Sergio Aguero. 

It was only then they were ready to win the league, which they did in 2012. 

Manchester City are still alive here. Balotelli… Aguero! I swear you’ll never see anything like this ever again!

Sky Sports

It had taken four years for City to deliver the first silverware to their new owners.

And so Newcastle could do a lot worse than to follow that blueprint for success when it comes to signing players – and, of course, managers. 

Let’s not forget that City started with Mark Hughes before they got their man in Roberto Mancini and ultimately, Pep Guardiola.  

So yes, Newcastle right-back Javier Manquillo may have been joking about signing Haaland and Mbappe, but isn’t it intriguing to think that Newcastle could unearth their own Vincent Kompany over the next few months?

For Manquillo and the fans, a Rolling Stones song lyric spring to mind.

“You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, well, you might find, you get what you need.”

Today’s story was written by Chloe Beresford and produced by Studio Klong.