No picture today. Picture a world where Mike Ashley no longer has anything to do with this club.
The backlash against Mike Ashley continues among columnists and bloggers alike. John Nicholson of EPLTalk calls him "asinine," which is nearly always a good word choice in my book. Richard Williams of The Guardian makes a couple of statements about Newcastle that I take issue with, but I'm on board with his main point: Mike Ashley is a "disgrace to football." Paul Fraser of The Northern Echo wonders if there is somebody waiting in the wings. Doocey of TyneTime calls Ashley "incompetent, clueless, [and] arrogant." Michael Richard of The Canadian Geordie considers boycott, among other things.
Mike Ashley wants to have Hughton's replacement in place by Saturday's match. (Louise Taylor, The Guardian) Ashley is reportedly ready to give whoever that replacement is a 5 year contract. Somehow I doubt that anybody would last that long. (Simon Bird, MirrorFootball)
As for who that replacement is, I'm not going to run through the rumors of the day as they happened like I did yesterday. Here's where this thing stands, as of this moment and to the best of my knowledge (feel free to correct/update me in the comments if you have good info): Alan Shearer is out. (MirrorFootball) Alan Curbishley is out. (Harry Harris, ESPN Soccernet) Martin Jol is out, because he doesn't want to betray his friend Chris Hughton. That's noble, Martin, and I respect that, but I want you here more than the other guys. Please reconsider. (Simon Bird, MirrorFootball) Also in the last link: Alan Pardew wants the job, and he seems to be the only serious candidate that feels that way. Steve Stammers of MirrorFootball reviews the candidacy of Pardew and Jol and finds them both wanting.
Kevin Nolan is taking his captaincy seriously. (MirrorFootball)
Reports of locker room unrest have teams looking to pounce on Andy Carroll. Normally I place a note here about how Newcastle would be crazy to let Carroll go, but given recent events...I think you know where I'm going. (CaughtOffside) Carroll called himself "100 per cent [sic] committed" to the club. (Sky Sports)
I'm told this first video is funny. I find it only mildly amusing, but I'll let you decide. (Steve Anglesey, The Guardian)
The Journal has a tribute to Chris Hughton that's pretty cool to look at. Just make sure you're not already in a foul mood, because this made me angry all over again.