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The role of Dan Ashworth, Newcastle’s new Sporting Director

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Dan Ashworth Newcastle united

Yesterday, Dan Ashworth officially kick-started his Newcastle career as the new Sporting Director. This comes following previous jobs as technical director at Brighton & Hove Albion, director of elite development at the Football Association (FA) and sporting and technical director at West Bromwich Albion.

 

Ashworth is known for implementing “England’s DNA” to help create winning senior teams in men’s and women’s games.

 

However, the title ‘Sporting Director’ is thrown around a lot in professional football and many don’t quite understand what the main roles and responsibilities are, so, what will Dan Ashworth actually be doing as Newcastle United’s Sporting Director?

 

First of all, as outlined on the club’s official website, “Ashworth will be responsible for the club’s overarching sporting strategy, football development and recruitment at all age levels, and will work closely with head coach Eddie Howe, academy manager Steve Harper and head of recruitment Steve Nickson.” So, this gives us a general idea of how important Ashworth’s role will be and the types of people that he will be working around.

 

When asked about his role at Brighton in an interview with BT Sport two years ago, Ashworth said, “A technical director’s role is always best described as looking after the interests of the club in a medium to long-term.”

 

He continued, “There are six things that come into me, the men’s first team, women’s first team, player recruitment, the academy, medical and sport science and the player loan department.” It is clear that the role of a Sporting Director is one of the most vital when it comes to the progression of any professional football club from the bottom right up to the top.

 

“All of those [six things] are medium to long term such as medical, player loans, the academy, in order to try and make sure that the club is sustainable, we spend our money wisely, we open up pathways for young players to come through the system.”

 

When talking about how much impact Ashworth had on the philosophy side of things when he worked under Graham Potter at Brighton, Ashworth responded, “You hire a coach that matches the philosophy that the club thinks they want to go and the direction of travel they see the club going, my job is to stitch all of that together.” As Ashworth will be working directly with manager Eddie Howe it is almost certain that talks will currently be going on right through the summer on the vision and future of Newcastle United and how they will go about it.

 

“Making sure that the 23s, the 18s and the academy put the right plans around the young players, we get them out on loan at the right places to give them every chance of being able to play for Brighton and play for Graham.” Development and youth are something that looks to be a key part of Ashworth’s work and is definitely something that we will see implemented on a stronger basis at the club. Newcastle United was one of four clubs that didn’t give a single minute to a teenager in the Premier League last season, along with Burnley, Chelsea and Leicester City. I’m sure this is a statistic that Howe and Ashworth will be exploring to try and push more youth players through the system to then go on and play for the first team.

 

“My view is if you keep changing the head coach every 14 months or so which I think is about the average lifespan of a manager unfortunately nowadays and then you go from one philosophy to the other, you’ve got no chance of joining up your loans, your academy, your development program and your player recruitment […] so its about long-term planning in order to get the best out of our resources.” With Graham Potter still in charge at Brighton and doing a fantastic job, it looks like Eddie Howe is here to stay for the long-term and this partnership with Dan Ashworth should get all Newcastle fans very excited for the start of a new era at the club.

 

In a statement on the club’s official website, Dan Ashworth said, “Each time I’ve been to St. James’ Park in the past, I have been reminded of the club’s long history and the unrivalled passion of its fan base. It is a huge football club with great potential, and I am incredibly positive about what we can collectively achieve… I’m excited to start work immediately and look forward to being part of a team that is helping the club to grow and achieve long-term success.”

 

So, what are your thoughts on the appointment of Dan Ashworth and where can you see The Toon finishing in the Premier League next season?

 

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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.

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Who do you think will win the World Cup?

Which Newcastle player will be the best performer?

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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?

 

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