I’m not blaming Joelinton. He is what he is.
A very average player who is generally doing his best but is just not good enough for the Premier League.
Pretty depressing stuff, when your football club paid £ 40m + for the Brazilian in July 2019 and now apparently July 2021, the closet is completely empty. Not even a small change to buy in players Newcastle United now desperately needs.
Tomorrow (July 23, 2021) it will be exactly two years since Mike Ashley proudly introduced Joelinton to all of us.
If ever there was a day that marked the epicenter of Ashley’s latest attempt to completely destroy Newcastle United, it was it.
As is so often the case despite its destructive leadership of NUFC after Mike Ashley brought it to its knees again, incredible luck came down the club owner’s path. In March 2016, Rafa Benitez once again offered his services to a club and owner on the way to the championship.
Just over three years later, Rafa Benitez had promoted Newcastle United to champions, stabilized the club as a mid-range Premier League team and actually started showing clear signs that it could be expanded into something even better – Rafa’s last 28 Premier League clubs showed NUFC in the eighth best form in the division, then after the Spaniard finally allowed to buy a player for more than £ 10m since promotion, Almiron’s pace used to help Newcastle cope with the 2018-19 season fifth-best form in the last 16 PL games and also the fifth highest number of goals scored in the last 16 games. All of this while also making a WIN for Mike Ashley on transfers in and out of the club!
It all sounds like a dream scenario … the only problem is that Mike Ashley doesn’t want to put control / authority over anyone.
Rafa Benitez ended the 2018/19 season with just over a month left after presenting Mike Ashley with a plan to move Newcastle United forward with a long-term plan. A plan that included investments in infrastructure, academy, and the first-team training complex, as well as realistic but substantial net spending on the first-team squad. Rafa Benitez sees an important part of having a large, ambitious one-time transfer window with large (by Ashley standards) spending to get the ball rolling, with the idea that there will be very limited spending over the next couple of windows Compensation would be incurred for these large initial expenses. The larger initial investment would make it possible to achieve better quality signings, a plan that Rafa used to great effect at Napoli and that has put the club on the transfer / squad front for years after his departure.
Mike Ashley wasn’t convinced of Rafa’s plans, he had his own, as we were soon to find out.
Just over a week before Rafa Benitez’s contract was due to expire on June 30, 2019, Mike Ashley made a statement – without informing the manager beforehand that Rafa would not stay with NUFC after this current contract expired. Ashley treated Benitez with the utter lack of respect that had been a constant throughout his three-year contract.
So what would Mike Ashley’s alternate plan be?
On July 17, 2021, Mike Ashley secured Steve Bruce after paying Sheffield Wednesday £ 3 million in compensation. Ashley, who replaced Benitez with a championship-level manager that most Newcastle fans had always feared, would one day get the job, someone many fans actively despise, in fact.
To make sure we knew how much of a henchman Steve Bruce would be, he gave him the title of head coach rather than manager like it was with McClaren etc (but not Rafa, of course).
To be absolutely sure that Bruce had nothing to say, six days after the head coach was named Mike Ashley decided that Newcastle United would spend £ 40m (Ashley says it was £ 43m) on Joelinton.
After Mike Ashley pushed Rafa Benitez out, he had also sold Newcastle’s top scorer (12 PL goals) in 2018/19, Ayoze Perez, to Leicester for £ 30m, as well as Player of the Year Salomon Rondon (11 goals and 7 assists in 2018 ) sent / 19 PL season).
These feats were followed by the replacement of the 23-goal partnership (14 goals in the last 13 PL games in 2018/19, indicating an increasingly better and evolving partnership after Almiron was introduced) by Joelinton and Andy Carroll, who together seven Manage would score goals in the 76 Premier League games of the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons.
If you had any doubts that Joelinton was at the epicenter of the Mike Ashley plan, the owner made it absolutely clear just three days after the Brazilian announced the arrival of the Brazilian.
In an embarrassing hatchet job at Rafa Benitez at the time (July 26, 2019), Mike Ashley published a PR statement through his buddy Martin Samuel at The Mail (see below) in which he tried to ridicule the Spaniard and stated, that “Joelinton” was the test of ‘how different Rafa Benitez and Mike Ashley saw the future development of Newcastle United.
If Ashley’s ax job looked embarrassing back then, it’s hard to quantify how much worse it looks now, with the evidence of the past two years.
Rafa Benitez had brought Newcastle United back from the championship and put them in a decent position to move forward with less than zero net spending. He wanted a £ 100m transfer window to take Newcastle United to a whole new level and be back on track for competition. It’s worth noting that Mike Ashley then allowed net spending in excess of £ 100 million in the first 13 months of Steve Bruce’s reign.
Poor Joelinton turns 25 in August and is not a young player who is suddenly going to be a huge hit as an odd minority of Newcastle fans claim based on random statistics such as z – threatening) part of the pitch.
This against the backdrop of Steve Bruce finally admitting that Joelinton wasn’t a natural goalscorer and is actually a striker who doesn’t even really enjoy coming into the box.
We’re up to date and we’re now nine weeks from the end of last season and only three weeks from the start of the new one. Not a single signing and the only plan in the last few months to simply give the current players new contracts / renewals to keep them at the club. This against the backdrop of the harsh reality that so many of them are not really good enough and Newcastle United are massively overly dependent on ASM for creativity / sparks and Callum Wilson for goals. No effort has been made to buy Joe Willock, who added that important extra dimension late last season, another goalscorer on the team.
In fact, no effort to buy someone …
We are told that Mike Ashley does not want to spend anything in this window as he dreamed that the takeover happened suddenly so he could do a runner.
The news this morning that Steve Bruce and Lee Charnley had to ask Ashley to spend £ 4m on a fringe player (Mario Lemina) in Southampton to become our first choice midfielder.
Meanwhile, Rafa Benitez is starting a new project at Everton, making Newcastle fans wonder what could have been if he had been supported in any realistic way at St James Park.
Mike Ashley PR statement in The Mail with help from Martin Samuel – Jul 26, 2019:
Mike Ashley insisted on Friday night that it was “impossible” for Newcastle to keep Rafa Benitez – and that the former manager was determined from the start to make a lucrative deal to China.
Ashley announced that at a May 16 meeting he even launched the idea of an eight-year deal with Benitez and that the manager’s refusal to sign could cost Joelinton’s club record.
Ashley claims the club suspected there would be problems with the Benitez negotiations when he refused to sign the £ 40m deal for new striker Joelinton in February. As manager, Benitez had the final say on all transfers but did not give Joelinton the go-ahead despite Newcastle’s fee and personal terms and conditions and the player having passed a medical exam.
Ashley revealed: “We reached Rafa’s number one goal in January, Miguel Almiron, but Hoffenheim wasn’t going to sell Joelinton. Then in February they said we could get him earlier but it would cost £ 40million. It was a name we discussed with Rafa, and our recruiting people had it at the top of their list. I thought it was one of those who would keep drifting away, but no, we made it.
“I was so excited to tell Rafa we had another one, but when Lee Charnley, our general manager, took the lead, he said he didn’t want to commit to the transfer until he knew what his position was was. ” with the club next season. And I didn’t understand that. Is this the guy who gave it to me for the past 12 months?
“I got buckets full of what I may or may not deserve, but in this case, I don’t deserve it because I did. I have his first choice, Almiron, and this other player who was so exciting we thought he was out of our reach. When we first sat down with Rafa, we didn’t think we’d pay that much for a player. We had never done that before.
“From then on, the relationship deteriorated very quickly. I was very disappointed personally, and that’s politely put. I was freaking out. I think: “I clearly don’t know anything about football” because I’m just celebrating and crazy and suddenly it says: “No, you have to sort my deal first.” So we had a couple of weeks of correspondence and then it wasn’t just that his deal, he thought the £ 40million for Joelinton wasn’t worth it. It’s too much and the club shouldn’t spend it.
“And very occasionally in this world I will be myself. So here is the deal. I will personally pay £ 20 million of that. Has nothing to do with the club. Over budget. Rafa valued him at £ 20 million. So that would come from the club’s budget. I’ll pay the rest, £ 23 million. And he still hasn’t signed it. Looking back, I think he knew for a long time that he was going to China because it was like we couldn’t do anything. Joelinton was the test.
“Why in the world don’t you want that? As a football manager, for all the things you said, why wouldn’t you want Joelinton? It wasn’t even like it was him or Salomon Rondon. And that’s what we told him. We just wanted Joelinton to be secured. ‘