There has been only one thing going through my mind since the final whistle blew on Saturday at Leicester. With my voice hoarse , my heart heavy and my senses shocked; anger suddenly gave way to an inevitable feeling of….is this finally the end?
Standing in an away support that made up nearly quarter of the attendance, a vociferous vocal outpouring of anger greeted ‘Judas’ Carver as he showed unbelievable naivety in approaching the travelling fans. His and the players’ applause was as condescending as their inept display was embarrassing.
Standing in the pub pre-match, the feeling of once more being sold down the Tyne hit home as the team news filtered through. After his honest summing up post -Burnley, then his assertion that a team would be fielded at the King Power Stadium to win the game, I found his teamsheet for a very winnable game unbelievable. Call me naive if you want, but I like to think if you support a team you are entitled to at least hope, to harbour expectations no matter how futile, and who knows maybe, just maybe, attempt to win an FA Cup match.
However, this is the new Newcastle United; a football club in name only, a club whose heritage is fast paling into a forgotten time, its modern facade portraying all the egotistical traits of the here and now owner. John Carver’s team selection and subsequent protestations about injuries to Sissoko et al, only confirmed what his loyalty to Pardew had suggested.
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What this selection does to the likes of young Armstrong’s confidence beggars belief. The lack of coaching ability on the sidelines and their attached puppet strings all the way to the boardroom, will see his and other youngsters’ careers stall.
Yet another point worth stating is the worrying fact that some fans (as well as Carver) seem to think the inclusion of Vuckic, Anita, Riviere and Williamson are capable of beating Leicester. Sadly these players are only deemed good enough to wear the hallowed black and white because we are in the midst of a new era of ‘total acceptance of the ordinary’.
We as fans have had our collective expectations lowered to such an extent that the average continental shines at this ridiculously run club. Unfortunately however, their absolute mediocrity is constantly shown up against teams of extremely poor quality like the Foxes.
So now the rumours are rife just days after the game, as Carver switches the blame onto the players; Colback, Sissoko, Janmaat and Coloccini all allegedly asking to be excused match day duties due to each carrying an injury!!
If this is true, have they sensed the club would be sympathetic to them fancying a shift off every time the ‘magic of the cup’ comes around ? If so, it would account for the total lack of soul from the dressing room to the boardroom.
I mean let’s be honest, Carver is in good company in accepting the 30 pieces of silver; boyhood idols like Moncur and Beardsley have already defend the regime in their status as club employees.
It also emphasizes the absence of characters striding the corridors of St. James’ Park these days. There’s been many egotistical chairmen over the years but none have flatlined the club like the present incumbent.
So as this club spirals into an abyss of negligence, an abyss that is frustratingly ignored by a blinkered media, we continue to be lied to. I’m afraid no amount of badge kissing or heart thumping can disguise the attitudes of players or coaches who prepare for and play a football match with the intention of losing it.
Keegan walked away when he realised the club we knew and love was heading for the end under Ashley, unfortunately the majority of us are not that brave.