Where outsiders, especially the media, get Newcastle fans so wrong, is that they mistake (intentionally or not) the supporters’ passionate hope for things to go well, as instead an expectation of success.

So when the slightest glimmer of light appears and fans start getting optimistic and talking of what could be possible, all we get is ‘here we go again, the daft Toon Army think they are going to win the Premier League, Champions League, World Cup…’.

newcastle fansSadly, most fans wanting to permanently look at their glasses as half full, plays right into the hands of somebody like Mike Ashley and indeed John Hall & Freddy Shepherd before him.

Back then it was buy Michael Owen or some foreign player on a massive fee and they’ll fill the ground – and do you know what, they were right.

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After a shocking ten months and only five Premier League wins in that time, October/November brought five wins on the bounce and the half season tickets went on sale…the rest is of course history.

Job done, guarantee of St. James’ Park more or less full, just about enough points to pretty much make sure of staying up, why buy any players or indeed hurry to have somebody in charge of the team.

With players as well our punters are always looking on the upside.

It is a bit like when any of us reminisce about our own playing days, we like to concentrate on that time when we were younger, fitter, basically at our best, no matter how ‘slim’ a period that was. We don’t think about still feeling knackered after huffing and puffing the way around the five a side pitch four days ago.

I think Newcastle have one player who could play for any Premier League team in the shape of Moussa Sissoko.

Then you have Daryl Janmaat who could potentially do more or less the same but as a defender he can only have so much influence on our team when others aren’t up to it.

After that you have Ayoze Pere who is doing well and has the potential to progress and be very good, then there is…

Coming back to thinking about when you were at your best, I think pretty much all of us have been guilty when it comes to Fabricio Coloccini and Tim Krul.

They are two of our better players still but are they really that good? Neither of them are the player that was part of the team that finished fifth, apart from the odd one-off game for each, such as Krul at White Hart Lane last season.

I bet most fans when talking about the team list these two players as ones who could fit in at Man City or Chelsea. Once they could have but not any more.

Yesterday, watching that game would you honestly take Colo and Krul over Forster and Fonte for Southampton?

Maybe Krul would have kept more of his form at an ambitious club but his time may have gone for that chance.

If our pair were that good, why did one not even go to Brazil last summer and the other was seen as only a penalty shoot-out specialist?

The two of them will continue to be two of our better players and do their best but their decline in form is a serious pointer to the declining underlying standard of our squad.

It isn’t just a new manager/head coach United desperately need, there is serious investment needed in the squad if we aren’t to face mounting problems very soon.