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Newcastle United given permission to talk to Dan Ashworth over Director of Football role

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Credit - Dan Mullan via Getty Images: NUFC make approach for Ashworth over DoF role...

Since the Saudi-led takeover of Newcastle United back in October, the clubs owners have been searching for a new Director of Football to take the club forward in their new era – could Ashworth be the man?

Today, the Magpies have been given permission to speak to Brighton’s Dan Ashworth to take over the role after weeks of frustration trying to find the right person for the job.

In an exclusive report from The Athletic on Monday morning, it has been reported that Newcastle have been given permission to speak to Ashworth as Brighton follow their club procedures in letting staff discuss new deals with clubs, if an approach is made.

The Athletic state:

“The conduct of both Newcastle and Nolan Partners (who NUFC are using to help identify the ideal Director of Football), a firm that handled Ashworth’s last two moves and Brighton know well, is thought to have been faultless.”

As a publication, the Athletic have form in providing exclusives when it comes to backroom staff changes at St. James’ Park – they were the first to report on the appointment of Nick Hammond, as a temporary consultant to help advise the club as the searched for the right fit to take on the Director of Football role.

WHAT DOES THE MEAN FOR NUFC?

Since the long-awaiting departure of Mike Ashley, the club has once again become relevant as the new owners seem to be following a structured and considered approach after over a decade of neglect and energy sapping ownership that crushed all hope on Tyneside.

Ashley put his own business above the well-being of the club for years and made no official appointments apart from that of Lee Charnley and his Sports Direct cronies – Keith Bishop and Justin Barnes.

The decision for the new owners to bring in Nick Hammond on a interim basis shows the direction the club is heading and highlights the importance of the finding the right DOF to take Newcastle forward in a positive manner – especially given the widely publicised transfer budget that has become available.

Dan Ashworth could be the first of many fresh faces at SJP and represents progression at the club, much to the relief of everyone involved with the Magpies, most importantly, the supporters.

WHO IS DAN ASHWORTH? 

Ashworth had a respectable career as a player and started his carer in the yellow shirt of Norwich City. Since his playing days, he has experienced a wide range of background roles. Including, the academy director at Peterborough United and the centre of excellence director at Cambridge United.

The 50-year-old then found himself assisting youth team manager Aidy Boothroyd before taking over as youth team manager when Boothroyd left – then Ashworth was promoted to be the club’s sporting and technical director back in December 2007.

Four years later, the ex-Canaries defender was appointed the FA’s Director of Elite Development – a massive role for somebody still developing a career after his playing career. In 2018, Ashworth applied to become Technical Director at Manchester United, before resigning from his role at the FA to become the new Technical Director at Brighton and Hove Albion.

While the approach made by Newcastle has been confirmed, the club are thought to still be looking for other candidates and will work closely with Nolan Partners, the recruitment firm hired by the club a few weeks ago, to help find a new DoF who is the correct fit for the role.

Ashworth is on a rolling contract at Brighton and if a subsequent deal is agreed between himself and Newcastle United, the Magpies will have to negotiate a settlement agreement with the club from Sussex.

The process of finding a new Director of Football is a long one and has many layers to it, meaning the appointment is unlikely to be made in time for the fast-approaching January transfer window but is expected to be confirmed within the next few weeks.

WHAT IS A DIRECTOR OF FOOTBALL?

In days gone by, the DoF used to be directly involved in almost every aspect of the club, be it training sessions, working on transfers and contracts or laying foundations for the future.

However, their responsibilities can vary from club to club, with some being heavily involved in all aspects of the business, including the hiring and firing of managers, scouting, recruitment of players, long-term strategy and the improvement of facilities.

In other cases, the role can be slightly more specialised, depending on an individual’s particular talents.

Thoughts?

Are you happy with the approach of the new owners? Will Ashworth be a good fit at NUFC? Can Howe improve the squad enough in January to help guide the club to safety?

Join in the conversation and have your say…

 

 

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Saudi Arabia wants its investors to own Manchester United

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North East Updates - Breaking News

Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.

 

Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.

 

It follows the Manchester United board announcing that they are open to a sale of the club.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisalstated he would be keen on Ronaldo signing for a Saudi Pro League after the World Cup, with the 37-year-old a free agent following a controversial interview and exit to Manchester United earlier this week..

 

“Who wouldn’t want him to play in their league?” “He’s a role model to a lot of young players – him and Messi.”

 

Sky news are reporting – It is the availability of United – after the Glazers announced plans for a potential sale – and Ronaldo that is interesting Prince Abdulaziz.

 

What are your thoughts on this – join the conversation on our Facebook page.

 

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Which Newcastle Players Are Going To The World Cup?

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Newcastle

The FIFA World Cup in Qatar gets underway next week and here are all the Newcastle players involved in the tournament

Callum Wilson (England)

Newcastle striker Callum Wilson is a player that has consistently shown the quality to earn a spot in an England squad at a major tournament but has sadly had his chances diminished by injuries in the past.

However, Wilson is currently injury free and is on the plane to Qatar! The Coventry City academy graduate averages a goal every 130 minutes in the Premier League this season, which is the second-best return of all English players behind Harry Kane.

The 30-year-old may have to bide his time for an opportunity due to England captain Harry Kane being the first-choice striker. That said, Wilson gives Gareth Southgate a great alternative should England find themselves chasing a game.

Kieran Trippier (England)

Gareth Southgate has always been very fond of Kieran Trippier’s abilities and what he brings to a team. For example, in Euro 2020 Southgate opted to play Trippier at left-back ahead of a more natural option in Ben Chilwell due to the 32-year-old’s experience and leadership qualities.

Trippier brings bags of experience at major tournaments after reaching the semi-final of the 2018 World Cup and the final of Euro 2020.

With injuries at right-back to the likes of Reece James and uncertainty around the fitness of Kyle Walker, Trippier could start at right wing-back in England’s World Cup opener against Iran.

Nick Pope (England)

The last player to complete The Magpies’ England trio is Nick Pope. Toon’s No.1 has been outstanding since arriving from Burnley in the Summer and has earnt his place in England’s World Cup squad.

Pope has the joint most clean sheets in the Premier League this season (6) alongside Manchester City goalkeeper, Ederson and fellow England goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

It remains to be seen if Gareth Southgate picks Pope to be his first-choice goalkeeper in Qatar ahead of Jordan Pickford and Aaron Ramsdale. Pope started both of England’s last games in the Nations League back in September.

Bruno Guimarães (Brazil)

Moving to South America and the favourites to win the competition, Brazil. Bruno Guimarães has been one of Newcastle’s stand-out players this season and has deservedly earned himself a spot in Brazil’s very competitive World Cup Squad.

Guimarães has statistically been the best midfielder in the Premier League so far this season and will be hoping his performances have done enough to earn him a start against Serbia in Brazil’s opening fixture.

That said, Brazil manager Adenor Leonardo Bacchi has predominantly played with a midfield two of Manchester United duo, Casemiro and Fred at the base of the Brazilian midfield.

Fabian Schär (Switzerland)

The Magpies’ centre-back has been in great form alongside Sven Botman at the heart of Newcastle’s defence this season and will be hoping to continue his form in Qatar.

Schär has some tough competition in his position in the form of Manchester City centre-back Manuel Akanji and Borussia Monchengladbach’s Nico Elvedi.

Switzerland find themselves in the same group as tournament favourites Brazil, which will see Schär reunited with Toon teammate Bruno Guimarães in Gameweek 2.

Who didn’t make the squad?

The most surprising player to not make their country’s squad is Sven Botman. The former Lille centre-back has been a major part of why Newcastle has the Premier League’s best defence so far this campaign.

Louis van Gaal has a great pool of centre-backs available to him and opted for the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Matthijs de Ligt, Stefan de Vrij and Nathan Ake over Botman.

Another Toon player with World Cup disappointment is Joelinton, who has failed to follow Bruno Guimarães on the plane to Qatar.

Joelinton has been a revelation under Eddie Howe following his remarkable transformation from a striker to a box-to-box midfielder. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for Joelinton this year.

Have Your Say

Who do you think will win the World Cup?

Which Newcastle player will be the best performer?

Let us know on our Facebook page!

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What We Learnt (Spurs 1-2 Newcastle)

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deadline day

Newcastle United were victorious at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium yesterday, winning 2-1 and now sit fourth in the Premier League. This is the first time they’ve been there at this stage of the season in 10 years.

 

Goals from Callum Wilson and Miguel Almiron were enough to scare away any chances of a second-half Spurs comeback. That’s six goals for Miggy in what is now his best-ever season for goals in black and white.

 

With 21 points, just five behind Manchester City and seven behind current league leaders Arsenal, the Toon are looking better than ever, but what did the victory yesterday tell us?

 

Toon are charging for Europe

 

If you didn’t believe it at the start of the season you should now. Eddie Howe has transformed Newcastle into a team with a winning mentality with a real sense of togetherness in a squad who are willing to battle for one another, week in and week out.

 

Very few teams will travel to London this season and manage to come away with a point, never mind three when playing Spurs. Not only this game, however, but Man City (3-3), Liverpool (2-1) and Brentford (5-1) have also shown that Howe and his side mean business this season and are willing to go toe to toe with some of the very best teams, coaches and players in the world. 

 

In his first signing interview, Sven Botman said, “Newcastle wants to reach the top and the top is in the league and, at the end, maybe in Europe.” Maybe he didn’t specifically mean this season but now he and the rest of his teammates should believe that they have a real chance of playing European football next season.

 

Almiron transformation shouldn’t go unnoticed

 

Almiron made 30 appearances last season in the league and finished with just one goal and no assists. Now, after just 12 games and six goals, the Paraguayan is already on course to smash his previous goal-scoring records which have seen him accumulate nine Premier League goals over the course of four seasons. 

 

Loved by the fans and with the full support of his teammates, it can only get better for the Paraguayan at this point. His goal against Tottenham showed the dribbling, flair and finishing quality he withholds, something that Steve Bruce and Rafael Benitez could never get out of him.

 

Eddie Howe must be awarded credit for this development, as with the current budget the club has, he could’ve easily found a replacement in the summer. But, just like Joelinton, Miggy has cemented his spot in Newcastle’s starting eleven and is proving every week why he deserves to be there.

 

Wilson & Burn should be considered by Southgate 

 

On TalkSport recently, Neil Warnock warned Gareth Southgate saying his loyalty to players might be his downfall and said Dan Burn is “Mr Steady Eddie” referring to his versatility, being able to play left-back or centre-back.

 

Burn started 28 Premier League games last season and this season has 11 out of 12. His consistent dominating performances in Newcastle’s back line have put him into the conversation for a first-ever England call-up and I don’t think many would disagree. With John Stoned injured, Harry Maguire and Tyrone Mings not in good form and not getting regular game time, Gareth Southgate’s defensive decisions should now be a lot more challenging.

 

Callum Wilson has proved yet again his abilities as a top Premier League striker. His goal against Spurs not only put him in the headlines over England captain Harry Kane but also made it four in eight for the English man this season who has averaged 2.8 shots per game with an average scoring frequency of 162 minutes. 

 

With no clear-cut backup striker to Kane, is Wilson ahead of Ivan Toney and Tammy Abraham in the race to be England’s number two striker?

 

So, what do you think? Do Newcastle have a serious chance at European football next season, can Almiron stay at his best and should Wilson and Burn be considered for a World Cup call-up?

 

Join the conversation on our Facebook page …

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