Ashley punching the air in a black and white shirt - would you credit it?

By Lee Ryder on Aug 26, 07 06:58 PM


I wonder what Mike Ashley made of it all?

The man who doesn't like the public eye, was in his seat at the Riverside wearing a black and white shirt with Smith on the back.

Would you credit it?

Just like the Toon's tycoon had taken the world of football surprise by buying a share in the club and then eventually taking over, the billionaire did it again by finally making his United debut of sorts at the third time of asking.

Reports that Newcastle are interesting Chinese and Icelandic takeover groups had to be put on the backburner as Ashley voted with his feet and gave the Geordie public a taste of what they wanted to see.

And that was the Ashley punching the air after both Toon goals, goals that should have won the bragging rights in the North East derby.

But the question is, was this a PR stunt to silence doubters that feel he is here to sell the club and make a profit?

Or is Ashley here for the long run?

We'll have to wait and see but as far as the match was concerned Newcastle players left the Riverside dejected.

Some spoke of their disappointment, some marched straight back on to the bus.

Mido emerged from the dressing room visibly upset after enduring a grilling from the Toon Army on a day when it was supposed to be Mark Viduka getting the stick.

And after Viduka had watched Charles N'Zogbia go nuts after scoring a wonderful curled effort to silence the Boro fans, he must have thought he was in for a winning return.

Not so, enter Mido for 1-1 and an instant response to the Toon fans who had hurled abuse at him.

But perhaps the script had something written in the smog for good old Dukes, who kept his word that he would not celebrate if he opened his Newcastle account at Boro.

It looked like it was going to be the winner but it didn't turn out that way.

Not many would have predicted a Brazilian setting up an Argie for the equaliser in the Tees-Tyne derby but that's exactly what happened.

And for the Newcastle supporters a cruel twist as Julio Arca - once stung off a jellyfish in his days as a Mackem - netted to make it 2-2.

OK, Newcastle should probably have held on to their two leads but Ashley would have taken a point before the game after making the decision to become a Geordie officially and don the black and white top.

It means Newcastle are still unbeaten, and they found their touch in front of goal again.

However, with United going through THREE right backs today, it's obvious the squad still needs strengthening.

And it will be interesting to see which player Ashley has on the back of his top for his next away game.


Kenny said:

nice one ashley, where's the big guns though?

Brendan Kelly said:

This was a dreadful game, no matter how you care to dress it up. We've taken four points from two away games, so that sounds good; however, we should've won this one but we looked shapeless and shaky at the back on occasion. I bet they're laughing through the smog down there. Without an in-form Emre or someone with a little more vision, we look lost at times. No offence to Owen, but I would've gone for Shola at the end - he has more presence these days.

What's the situation with Nobby? I'm guessing he's got compassionate leave or something similar. He was one of our better players in the close season and did a good job for us last year when he was often our best defender on the pitch (although some of you may think this doesn't say much!). Surely, if he's still a Newcastle player, he ought to be out there, or at least on the bench.

Genghiz said:

Positives: 1 point in an away game and 2 goals.

Negatives: Competition isn't going to roll over.

Get Ashley a shirt that says Ashley and I think it would be more ligit.

Stu said:

It was depressing to be outpassed so consistently by the Smoggies. At least we got a point but for us in footballing terms it was worth nothing (and remember Boro are rubbish!).

Mark said:

I thought we were lucky to get a point of the game with two quality goals but no other attcking options. We need Emre and Barton back to give us the creativity in midfield. Postives to come out the match- Casacada Viduka NZogbia and the possibility of now being forced to finally bring in a quality right back. Negatives - Taylor (for Mido's goal) Smith (no impact) Owen (Lack of threat).

Ronnie ( Busker ) Lambert said:

Question is, did Mike Ashley put Smith on his shirt to blend into the crowd, or borrow Smudger's dad's xxl ?

Duncan Baines said:

Solano is our best player and should be captain. We need creativity in midfield and I don't think Emre, Duff, Barton will solve this problem.

Tom said:

Whats the fuss? We have a right back - Geremi! From the first 3 matches its clear to see that he is to defensive to play along side Butt in medfield, we were lacking someone create next to Butt (this will be Barton when he returns). So as at chelsea, lets stick him at right back. I would like to se solano part-exed for Papa bouba Diop from fullam, who could be used as cover for barton.

funlovingexpress said:

Who says he dosen't support the toon?
He's a private bloke maybe he has always shared our love of the mags.

We will do alright this season. As far as I am aware any player Sam has asked for, the toon has went and pursued...maybe not successfully but hey, we arent in Europe so what do you expect?

Up to now his signings have been quality. More are coming!

I think if we are riding high come november and are mopre or less certs for european football the stars will come then.

Well thats if sam wants them


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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