Nearly 13 Years Have Passed and Michael Owen is Still NUFC’s Record Signing

Michael Owen became the most expensive signing in the history of Newcastle United Football Club when he joined for a fee of around £16 million in the summer of 2005.

Many predicted this transfer would help Newcastle in becoming a force in English football, and a club who would spend whatever was necessary to attract the best players and push for major honours. But, almost thirteen years have passed, and Owen remains the most expensive player in the history of Newcastle United Football Club.

As transfer fees throughout football have grown exponentially, clubs have been forced to spend more in order to keep themselves in with a chance of cutting it among the best teams domestically and across Europe.

Unfortunately for the loyal fans of Newcastle United, their club’s failure to make those big marquee signings could be the reason why they are no longer thought of as one of the big boys in English football.

History of NUFC’s Transfer Record

When Harry Clifton joined Newcastle from Chesterfield for a fee of £8,500 in 1938, the club broke their transfer record which had stood for ten years. This length of time between Newcastle breaking their transfer record was itself a record until 2016.

In the summer of 2015, it was ten years since Owen had become Newcastle’s record signing and that equalled the time between Jack Hill and Harry Clifton. In 2016, the previous record was broken and this summer it will be thirteen years without the club breaking its record transfer fee.

Newcastle had gotten close to matching the previous time between breaking their transfer record, with it being nine years between Alan Shearer and Michael Owen. Which was surprising, considering they broke their transfer record seven times between 1993 and 1996.

Andy Cole became the first million-pound player in the club’s history when he signed for £1.75m in 1993. A year later, Ruel Fox and Darren Peacock both broke the record within a month of each other, and a year later Warren Barton and Les Ferdinand were also record breakers.

Faustino Asprilla was signed for £6.7m in February 1996, but his record fee was shattered when Shearer joined the club before the start of the 1996/97 season. The £8.3m difference was a rise of 123.88% on the previous record fee paid out.

Michael Owen’s transfer fee was over £1m more than what the club paid for Shearer nine years earlier and still remains as Newcastle’s record signing, much to the dismay of the Toon Army.

The Rise of Transfer Fees Since 2005

When Owen joined Newcastle in 2005, his fee was nowhere near as much as the British or World record at the time.

The British record transfer fee was £29.1m paid by Manchester United for Rio Ferdinand from Leeds United in 2002. The world record fee was £46.6m for Zinedine Zidane, who joined Real Madrid from Juventus for that fee in 2001.

Since then, both of these records have been shattered several times and currently stand at £198m for the world record fee and £89.7m for the British record. That £89.7m is the record fee paid out by a British club, which was achieved when Paul Pogba joined Manchester United in July 2016.

However, the overall British transfer record is the £105m Barcelona paid to Liverpool for Philippe Coutinho in January 2018.

Taking football inflation into account, the approximate £16m paid for Owen would equate to around £80m in the market today, according to a recent Betway blog post.

Three Iconic Former NUFC Players and How Much They Would Be Worth in Today’s Transfer Market

Newcastle in the Transfer Market Since 2005

Newcastle have spent money in the transfer market since signing Owen, with three of their top five most expensive players in history being signed in 2015.

However, taking the fact that Owen would be worth around £80m in the market today and he’s still their record signing, shows that the club have spent nowhere near enough to keep up with their rivals.

Newcastle’s most expensive signing since Owen joined the club is Georginio Wijnaldum, who cost £14.5m from PSV in July 2015, and there have also been several players signed for around £12/£13m.

Nobody expects Newcastle to be spending as much as the £80m Owen would reportedly be worth today, but their failure to bring in a marquee signing and at least keep up with most other bottom-half Premier League teams is a big worry for their fans.

Only five Premier League clubs have a lower record transfer fee than Newcastle, with even historically tight spenders Crystal Palace and Leicester City having records nearing £30m.

When Owen signed for Newcastle, the club were hoping to push on and constantly challenge for at least a top-six position. Now, they are in the bottom half of the table having last year been playing in the Championship.

Their failure to keep up with other clubs in the transfer market could be the main reason why they haven’t fulfilled the promise they showed and why they haven’t gone on to become a force in English football.

Europa League 2017-18 Roundup 1

Napoli were 3rd favourite and they got knocked out last night against RB Leipzig and Dortmund needed an 83rd minute equaliser to go through against Atalanta. This is a tough tournament to win and now there are still 3 more rounds before the final.

Update

Outrights

Sporting 34 (33/1) with Bet365 (1/2pt each way) – 25/1 generally

Marseille 34 (33/1) generally  (1/2pt each way) – 18/1 generally

Villarreal 26 (25/1) generally (1/2pt each way) – OUT -1

Round of 32 bets

Ludogrets to qualify vs AC Milan 4 with Bet365 (1/2 pt) – LOST -0.5

 

The draw for the next round will have a big effect on the prices and Arsenal look very short at 5.0

Relegation riot: who will be playing Championship football next season?

While the battle for the Premier League title usually grabs the imagination of football fans, it is often the case that the fight to avoid relegation is equally compelling.

This year’s relegation fight promises to be particularly fascinating. Usually, the tussle at the bottom involves perhaps six or seven teams, but this time around, we can make a plausible case for as many as 12 sides to end up in the Championship. Part of the reason for this is the increasing dominance of the big teams. Over the last few seasons, the typical Big Four of Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea has expanded to include Liverpool and Tottenham, and these six are engaged in what is almost a separate league.

In the current season, Manchester City have been hoovering up all of the points on offer, while the chasing five have done their best to keep pace, and in the absence of one or two clearly inferior teams, the remaining points have been shared out more or less equally among the bottom 12. With 11 games to go, the gap between Watford in 11th and West Brom at the bottom is just ten points. How will this relegation battle develop? Here, we take a look at the main candidates to drop into the Championship.

 

The favourites

West Brom began the season with a couple of wins, but a run of six defeats in ten games saw the club act to remove manager Tony Pulis and replace him with Alan Pardew. Results, however, have not improved, and Albion’s problem is that they’ve already called on two men renowned for saving clubs from relegation – Pulis and Roy Hodgson. Meanwhile, they have continued to find goals hard to come by. In a typical year, they might be down already.

If anything is going to save West Brom, it could be the ineptitude of their rivals, the closest of which is another former Pulis side – Stoke City. Like Albion, the Potters pulled the plug on the incumbent manager, but Paul Lambert has not proven much more successful than Mark Hughes, though he has managed to make them a little stronger defensively. One thing in Stoke’s favour is that they have enough winnable fixtures remaining to survive.

If Stoke’s combative defensiveness under Lambert gives them a chance, the same cannot be said for Southampton. They secured a priceless 3-2 win at Albion last month, but that was their first win since November, and they’ve drawn too many games. Having stuck with manager Mauricio Pellegrino, it’s too late for the club to make a change now, and this inability to turn draws into victories could prove costly.

Southampton’s plight is made starker by the recent improvements at Huddersfield and Swansea. After a solid start to life in the Premiership, the Terriers appeared to be heading back to the Championship following a run of six straight defeats in 2018, but a stunning 4-1 home win over Bournemouth stopped the rot, and if David Wagner’s players can continue to show that level of spirit, they can yet survive.

The other bottom-five side who appear to be heading in the right direction are Swansea. Having dispensed with Paul Clement when the Swans were bottom of the table, they moved quickly for former Sheffield Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal, who has masterminded a stunning turnaround. Under his leadership, Swansea have lost one in seven, beaten Arsenal and Liverpool, and moved decisively out of the bottom three.

 

The other contenders

It has taken Roy Hodgson slightly longer than Carvalhal to turn around his relegation-threatened team, but he seems to have Crystal Palace well organised, and they will surely be too tough to get sucked back into the relegation mire – comments that also apply to West Ham, who under David Moyes have only lost once this year.

Brighton have proven to be a surprise package this season, and have managed to pull out enough good results to keep themselves clear of the relegation zone. What could count against them in a close-run battle is their fixture schedule, which pits them against Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United in their last four games. If they aren’t safe by then, things could be getting very tense on the South Coast.

Bournemouth’s shock 4-1 defeat at Huddersfield may have rattled the Cherries’ supporters, but they have enough in their squad to avoid slipping into the relegation zone, and the same can probably be said for Watford and Everton.

Newcastle’s safety, however, is very much up for grabs. The ongoing saga of the club’s sale and the lack of transfer investment has left the Magpies perilously close to the drop. What may count in their favour is the expertise of manager Rafa Benítez, who was able to engineer a crucial victory over Manchester United and is likely to have one or two more tricks up his sleeve that could keep them safe.

Even if your club isn’t involved in the struggle, the desperate tussle to avoid slipping out of the Premier League basement offers plenty of drama and spectacle, and those who like to play the sports betting markets at this time of year are well aware that the fight to avoid relegation can sometimes lead to surprising results at big odds as lowly teams find an extra gear or an extra level of effort as they scrap for every single point.

With so many teams potentially involved, almost every match from now to the end of the season will have relevance to the relegation picture, which should make for a thoroughly gripping and entertaining close to the season – unless, of course, your team is involved!

Is Harry Kane the Best Striker in World Football?

Source: Harry Kane via Facebook

Love him or hate him, Harry Kane is one of the most dangerous forwards in world football. The Tottenham Hotspur striker isn’t going to earn plaudits for audacity or skill but he is arguably the best in the business when it comes to putting the ball in the back of the net. With a number of Europe’s elite clubs now sniffing about for his signature, Spurs will be keen to tie the England international down to an extended deal.

Kane has scored 31 goals in 33 competitive games for Tottenham this season – a record that puts him at the forefront of European football. Only Mo Salah comes close to his Premier League goals tally and Spurs will hope that he can keep it up for the rest of the campaign. With a Champions League double header against Juventus approaching, Kane has the chance to send a timely reminder to any lingering doubters.

In order to enhance his status further, Kane must sparkle on the biggest stage of all. He could lead England to World Cup glory this summer; Gareth Southgate’s side were sensational during the qualifying campaign, avoiding defeat in all ten of their group stage fixtures. At the time of writing, England are priced at 20/1 to lift the Jules Rimet Trophy this summer and fans will be expecting Kane to make a positive impact.

In addition, the Spurs striker is priced at an industry best 25/1 to win the Golden Boot. Given his efforts so far this season, Kane deserves to be considered seriously and he could flourish against Tunisia and Panama in the group stages. The Three Lions have struggled at major tournaments in recent years but an in-form Kane may give Southgate’s men that added boost as they try to reach the latter stages of the competition.

Secondly, Kane could move to an elite club in the summer. Playing at the top level for a Real Madrid or a Manchester United would certainly cement his standing as the best striker on the planet. It would be hard to turn down a transfer to Santiago Bernabeu but a move to one of England’s biggest clubs may be preferable. He has Alan Shearer’s top-flight record of 260 goals well and truly in his sights and he is still just 24 years old.

Tottenham’s main man has already scored 22 Premier League goals this season and he will be looking to eclipse the 25-goal mark for the third year in a row. Plenty of punters will be tempted by Kane’s odds ahead of the World Cup and you can keep up with the latest betting news and odds via https://www.freebets.com in the build-up to, during and following, the 2018 World Cup.

Harry Kane is the ultimate goal scorer and Tottenham will be desperately trying to fend off any advances to sign the 24-year-old in the upcoming transfer window. If Kane shines at the World Cup this summer, Real Madrid may come knocking and shrewd operator Daniel Levy may enter negotiations. Is he the best in world football? You’d be hard-pressed to make a serious case against him at this moment in time.

Europa League 2017-18

The Champions League kicks in this week with some amazing matches but also the Europa League will sneak back into play as well on Thursday. The Europa League fits in one more round than the Champions League.

The Europa League was rebranded in 2009-10 and that is a good starting point for analysis as we have 8 tournaments. Since that time it has been won by Spanish teams 5 teams, English teams twice and 1 win for Porto (Portugal).  Of the 32 semi-finalists 11 have gone from Spain, 6 from Portugal (none since 2013-14), 5 from England and 3 from Italy and just 1 from Germany with the rest shared out elsewhere.

In that time Spain has also dominated the Champions League so their record is especially impressive as it has been the second tier teams winning this tournament.

The current odds are Atletico Madrid (4.5), Arsenal (7), Napoli (12), Dortmund (12), Lazio (17) and AC Milan (19). No idea how they calculate these odds but AC are currently 7th in Serie A and not having a good season so it looks like reputation which is putting them so high in the odds. Napoli would be much shorter but they have a tough draw. Neither Italy or Germany have had a finalist in this tournament in the last 8 years and we’re happy to avoid them.

Atletico Madrid are short in the market but they are not big scorers and could easily have a couple of 0-0 draws and end up having a penalty shootout during the tournament. In the Spanish League they have managed just 34 goals in 23 games and their price is plenty short enough in such a long knockout tournament and this is not a vintage Atletico team.

As you look down the list there are some bigger prices for the Spanish teams such as Villarreal (26), Sociedad (34) and Bilbao (34). There is just one Portuguese team in this which is Sporting Lisbon and they are 34 and have a decent draw. Could it be that the standard of the French League has improved as Lyon were unlucky to not make it to the final last season and with PSG in the league everyone gets the chance to test themselves against the best. Marseille are priced 34 and Lyon are priced 26 and Marseille are above them in the French league and have a much easier draw.

Arsenal are the lone English representative but the feel of the club is not good and even with the new signings the anti-Wenger feeling creates too much of a toxic atmosphere.

We’re taking a few teams teams in this and first is Villarreal. They have a tough draw but they are having a much better season that either Bilbao or Sociedad. Marseille are a big enough price to be the pick of the French teams and hopefully have enough to beat Braga. There are some easy ties in this round and so the draw to the next round will present some teams with easy matches.


Outrights

Sporting 34 (33/1) with Bet365 (1/2pt each way)

Marseille 34 (33/1) generally  (1/2pt each way)

Villarreal 26 (25/1) generally (1/2pt each way)

Round of 32 bets

Ludogrets to qualify vs AC Milan 4 with Bet365 (1/2 pt)