Is Ashley Nine Years Too Late?

Last updated : 30 January 2016 By Footy Mad - Editor

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There will be a centre forward before the window closes – Saido Berahino, Loïc Rémy and Bafetimbi Gomis are the current frontrunners. There could yet be a new left-back.

It is still, however, a club desperately fighting relegation – they face a wounded Everton at Goodison Park on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Newcastle played a secret derby against rivals Sunderland at the Stadium of Light behind closed doors. Newcastle, who have lost the last six derbies to Sunderland, were beaten 6-0.

No one at the club has taken responsibility for agreeing to a fixture that has aided the fitness of their relegation-threatened rivals 13 miles away.

It is a reminder, as is their position in the Premier League relegation zone, that much has still to be done.

There will also be increasing scrutiny of  Steve McClaren’s growing role in player recruitment since he was kept at arm’s length in the summer.

However, there is a feeling, backed up by 18 months of signing players, that Newcastle United are finally changing direction.

The Mike Ashley system of letting scouts bring in the players has not worked, and it has taken eight or nine years for the penny to drop.

Is Ashley changing his ways?

It certainly seems that way.