Hall - Magpies are 'rubbish'
Former Newcastle owner Sir John Hall has branded the club's current squad as 'rubbish' and 'useless'. The Magpies slipped out of the Premier League on Sunday as a dismal season was compounded with relegation into the second tier. Their demise over the last few years has been dramatic, with the North East outfit competing in the UEFA Champions League as recently as the 2002/03 campaign. However, turmoil both on and off the field has seen the club on a downward spiral for some time. Championship football now beckons next term and Hall, who left St James' Park in 2007 when he sold his shares to Mike Ashley, admits Newcastle's plight has come as no surprise to him. "The table doesn't lie," Hall told The Sun. "It's been desperately poor all season and the worst thing is they didn't even appear to try on Sunday (during a 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa). "I'm not going to pull any punches. This current side is rubbish. Useless." Baffled Hall also savaged the club's policy in the transfer market in recent seasons. "I'm as baffled as anyone with the signings of players like Joey Barton. Then again, (former manager) Sam Allardyce said he could put him right," he added. "As for Michael Owen, he's had too many injuries and he's never seemed to be on the ball. "Now we are saddled with a huge wage bill. The lesson here is obvious: you can't take on yesterday's men and hope to survive. That's for a club with no ambition." While doom and gloom descends on Tyneside, Hall believes redemption is possible providing the Newcastle board can persuade Alan Shearer to stay on as manager. "Shearer must stay," he said. "He doesn't have experience but then neither did Kevin Keegan the first time round. But, like Keegan, the fans have faith in him. The club is in his blood and he is a rallying point for all the supporters." Shearer is expected to hold talks with Ashley over the next 24 hours in a bid to thrash out his future at St James' Park.
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