Why Dan Ashworth won’t be missed by Newcastle United actually

Editor F365
Dan Ashworth with Newcastle and Man Utd badges
Dan Ashworth with Newcastle and Man Utd badges.

‘Newcastle United bosses won’t suffer if Dan Ashworth leaves’ for Manchester United. Plus, autonomy chat and some Ruben Neves nonsense.


I want you, Autonomy
The coverage of the Dan Ashworth to Manchester United story has been pretty much uniform in suggesting that the for-now-Newcastle man wants the move because he does not have as much control as he craves at the Saudi Arabian north-east club.

The excellently connected north-east man Craig Hope in the Daily Mail writes: ‘He has not been handed the keys to the kingdom.’

As Hope continues:

‘At Old Trafford, sources say, Ashworth would have far greater control. There is the lure of an increased salary, being closer to home and, significantly, the draw of being the man charged with re-aligning the biggest club in the world.

‘Those are the pull factors, but what about the push? It all comes back to autonomy. Ashworth uses an analogy about being ‘the man at the centre of the wheel, connecting the spokes of the different departments’. At Newcastle, however, there is more than one wheel, and all roads lead back to Riyadh.’

So Ashworth wants to leave and Newcastle will ultimately be powerless to stop him if Manchester United come up with the right money and are willing to wait (or pay) through an inevitable period of gardening leave.

Now over to Jamie Paradise Jackson in The Guardian. And per usual, the finger is everywhere but on the pulse:

‘Taking charge of the football department at Old Trafford is one of the few jobs for which ­Ashworth would consider departing ­Newcastle. Despite this, he would need ­assurances from United that he would have the same level of autonomy he enjoys at Newcastle.’

Pretty sure the last thing he wants is ‘the same level of autonomy he enjoys at Newcastle’, Jamie.


Never say Neves
The Dan Ashworth to Manchester United bus is moving so quickly that ‘Man Utd’s scary XI with four new signings if Dan Ashworth joins from Newcastle’ has made an appearance on the Express website.

Anybody expecting the current Manchester United side with a couple of former Ashworth players from Brighton or Newcastle thrown in will be very disappointed indeed. Not even a sniff of a Danny Welbeck in sight.

READ: Kaoru Mitoma tops ranking of Dan Ashworth signings by chance of following him to Man Utd

Instead, it’s the current Manchester United side with four new signings, three of which have been linked with the club long before the Ashworth chatter got louder: Jean-Clair Todibo, Jarrad Branthwaite and Michael Olise. ‘Scared’, yet?

The other potential new signing?

Ruben Neves stock may have lowered since leaving European football for Saudi Arabia last summer in a deal worth £47million.

However, the 26-year-old has plenty left to offer and was heavily linked with Newcastle in January before opting to stay at Al Hilal.

He could be tempted with a Premier League return at United, who may be looking to replace Casemiro while not derailing Kobbie Mainoo’s development.

He could be ‘tempted’ all he bloody wants. But do you really think that PIF – who own both Al Hilal and Newcastle United – will sell Neves to Manchester United if they poach Ashworth?

There’s a reason he was ‘heavily linked with Newcastle in January’ and it has f*** all to do with Ashworth.

READ: Ranking Man Utd signings since Fergie shows scale of job facing Dan Ashworth…


Laptop guru
Meanwhile, an old man writes…

It’s called the internet, Henry.

Oh and you might think that such a ‘meticulous recruiter’ would have realised that his big-ticket £55m signing was about to face a massive betting ban.


Dan not the man
Some amazing ‘never liked him anyway’ work going on in the north-east, with the Newcastle Evening Chronicle boldly telling us that ‘Newcastle United bosses won’t suffer if Dan Ashworth leaves but Man United face layers of contractual obligations to get their man’. He’s shite, you see.

‘Even if Ashworth ends up on gardening leave and effectively becomes of no use to either Man United or Newcastle for a while, then the Magpies would not necessarily struggle on the transfer front.

‘The board also have a lot of faith in head of recruitment Steve Nickson while Eddie Howe’s nephew Andy is deemed as Head of First Team Technical Scouting. It is difficult to believe that Howe does not already have a good idea of what he wants this summer with his scouting network already at work.’

‘Deemed as Head of First Team Technical Scouting’? By who? Uncle Eddie, we presume.

Ryder then assesses the work of Ashworth and basically concludes that most of the good ones weren’t down to him.

‘His first transfer window saw him pick up on the work of Nickson, Staveley and others to complete the signing of Sven Botman after winter talks in 2022 before presenting the Dutchman as a new signing later that year.’

And then…

‘Ashworth was filmed enthusiastically whisking Anthony Gordon away for a stadium tour on the Amazon documentary although Andy Howe was also a figure in the background.’

‘Deemed’ in the background? Or literally in the background?

We’re then told that ‘while the quality of Botman, Pope, Gordon and Isak have been first class, others have taken longer to settle and their best form could come later’.

‘Longer to settle’? Harvey Barnes has basically missed half the season through injury and the excellent Tino Livramento is being blocked by Kieran Trippier.

We can’t help but think that Ryder is grasping at straws when he writes that ‘Newcastle’s Under-21s are closer to the bottom of Premier League 2 than the top’. Pesky fact: Manchester City are bottom.

Oh and the last time Newcastle’s Under-21 players took to the pitch in late January, the game came one day after Newcastle United beat Fulham in the FA Cup with six players aged 21 or under in their squad. Including Lewis Miley, a 17-year-old championed by Ashworth.

But this is our favourite line: ‘Ashworth helped push the club’s women’s team in the right direction and sitting top of the table but this is another dimension of the club that Staveley has been close to the heart of too.’

Maybe Manchester United should try to poach Staveley instead.

READ: Ranking the signings made by those filthy rich Saudis at Newcastle United