The folly of United's cup policy will be proved today at Wembley.
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THE voice boomed down from the mount. Newcastle United, we were informed, will not be sold until they win something.
Now the cynics may declare that Mike Ashley will look like Methuselah by the time he gets his crock of gold as United last won a meaningful trophy 46 long, barren years ago.
However, optimists will be hoping Ashley's rare television interview hails a significant change in club policy and that a concerted effort will be made in the domestic cups next campaign.
After all, United can't win owt else!
If Ashley seeks final confirmation that such boldness, which would placate furious Geordies, won't put United's Premier League status in jeopardy then he need look no further than Wembley this afternoon.
There he will find Aston Villa enjoying a glorious day out which they clinched without the automatic relegation Ashley has been convinced awaits those of limited means who chase glory.
Though Villa ended up beneath Newcastle in the final table they actually confirmed safety before the Mags. The upsurge under new boss Tim Sherwood saw league and cup victories come in happy tandem.
Without question John Carver's problems began in only his second game in charge when he sent out the usual vastly under-strength team in the FA Cup at Leicester and lost.
That threw his authority with players willing to swing the lead into question and his standing with the fans.
Let Ashley also remember that he has in the past put United in the gravest of danger without the FA Cup or league cup muddying waters.
He has, after all, presided over one United relegation and a second campaign which went to the very last day against West Ham before a recent cancer sufferer who was not having his contract renewed scored one goal and made the other to allow Ashley to escape.
United's owner blamed himself for relegation last time, but obviously he has a short memory because arrogance allowed him and his minions to make further grave mistakes we could all see before it dawned upon them.
Such is the rarity of an Ashley speech - many a supporter had never actually heard his voice - that his words are now cast in stone to be regurgitated and pored over as every major or minor problem arises.
I don't think for one moment that his Sky interview is the start of an openness at Newcastle. Far from it.
It served a purpose when United were in the gravest danger, perhaps only a couple of hours from relegation, but now it's back into the bunker.
The cynics may declare that Mike Ashley will look like Methuselah by the time he gets his crock of gold
Mike Ashley and |Lee Charnley were all smiles by the end of Sunday's game against West Ham as United avoided relegation - a day when the United owner gave a rare interview (inset) in which he stated he would not sell up until the club won a trophy or qualified for the Champions League