While most teams tend to float around the same part of the table for a few years at least, the Magpies have barely established any degree of consistency in their position over the past 21 years... Breaking into the top 7 may be beyond Newcastle United, but improving on last season and moving up the Premier League certainly isn't.
The only thing that has appeased fans until now is the 2011/12 season where Newcastle finished 5th in the League and qualified for Europe - a position that many fans believe is where the club truly belongs... This may just be Ashley's last chance to prove to them that he is not in football simply for to turn a profit from a venerable and beloved North East institution.
Not only are Southampton F.C miles ahead of Newcastle United in terms of how much better they move the ball around the football field, and how they carved out chances at will, while we failed to threaten their goal even once, they are ahead of us in every practical department - even the ones that Mike Ashley would have you believe we are excelling in!
The club we are supporting right now is not Newcastle United. It is a pale imitation of the great club it once was. Until Mike Ashley leaves and takes Kinnear and Pardew we will not see this great club back to where it belongs; showing ambition, playing good football, and exciting the fans with the (ever heartbreaking) possibility that this year will be our year in the cups.
Ashley quite obviously thinks he can remove freedom of information from the equation and Newcastle United fans will take this lying down too. I won't focus on the act of banning newspapers too much. Quite clearly Ashley is feeling the pressure and is reacting in the only way he knows how to - badly.
Whether it be young people selling sports shoes, or carers looking after the elderly, workers in the UK are increasingly being forced into zero-hour contracts. This hasn't happened by accident: it is a product of many years of moving towards a "flexible" labour market, one that in practice means more power for employers over employees.
As an employer in a small business, I fully endorse the use of zero hours contracts to create a more dynamic, responsive workforce. Zero hours contracts make perfect sense. To fulfil the demand for temporary workers in casual positions, they allow the employer to flex their staffing muscle according to the needs of the business and the whims of the customer.