Massive rebuild needed on Tyneside

Newcastle United fans may have thought that things couldn’t get any worse following their relegation to the Championship.

Deemed by many to be ‘too good to go down’, the Geordies were pipped to the post for 17th place – and safety – by Phil Brown’s Hull City

However, Toon dreams of bouncing straight back could be shattered as the club continues its slide into turmoil.

As recently as this month the future of Mike Ashley as owner of the club has been thrown into doubt, with a number of interested parties lining up the necessary £100m needed to buy the club.

The trouble at board level has left a question mark by the managers role, with Shearer likely to walk away if Ashley retains the reins.

On the pitch, with Newcastle having more than a dozen plays earning huge wages (rumoured to be in excess of £2.5m a year) there will have to be a clearout to trim the wage bill.

And the likes of Obafemi Martins, Jonas Gutierrez, Michael Owen, Mark Viduka, Alan Smith and Nicky Butt will have to be sold the in order to make the savings.

The Geordies will have to recruit a completely new team, and bring through some of its youth players, to form a suitable Championship squad.

To play Premier League football by 2010/11, the club will have to settle its ownership, hire a peramanent manager and completely revamp its entire playing squad.

Maybe the fans, for the first time since the 1950s, the fans have to seriously lower their expectations.


Tinkerman Abramovich hands title momentum to Man Utd

Even the most ardent football fans with anti- Man Utd sentiment would agree that the newly crowned champions have been immense over the last three seasons.

The Red Devils have picked up three Premier League titles on the spin and appeared in two consecutive Champions League finals.

While it was Liverpool who pushed them the closest this season, the recent demise of Chelsea has eased United’s path to domestic dominance.

Rewind to 2005/06 and Chelsea were on their way to their second consecutive title under Jose Mourinho with an emphatic 3-0 over United at Stamford Bridge.

But just a year later – after failing to win their own hat-trick of titles – Chelsea and Mourinho parted ways.

The departure of Mourinho in itself did not set Chelsea’s slump in motion but dithering at the top certainly has.

Today’s arrival of Carlo Ancelotti marks the fifth manager at the since September 2007 and, in that time, the club has only picked up one FA Cup.

With Grant, Scolari and Hiddink all passing through the revolving door Chelsea must now stabilise if they are to regain the ground they lost to Man Utd (and to a lesser extent Liverpool) in the last three seasons.

They have the squad and, perhaps more importantly, the money to pick up where they left of in 2005/06 – as long as Ancelotti is given the room for manoeuvre.