The record books don’t always tell the full tale when it comes to history and in Newcastle United’s own particular past, the bare facts don’t often do the real story justice.
A 0-0 draw can be one of the best matches you can see and likewise, a look at the league table can hide a multitude of lies/half-truths.
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The popular perception (outside Tyneside) appears to be that Mike Ashley has done a decent job at Newcastle, making them into a stable club and apart from the 2008/09 relegation season ‘blip’, it’s been a steady ride under his ownership.
The trouble is that if you look at the final league table from the 2012/13 season you will see that Newcastle finished 16th, five points above the relegation zone and actually 13 and 16 points above second bottom and bottom.
What it can’t tell you is that second last match of that season, Newcastle could have dropped into the bottom three if results went against them, and indeed United went a goal down in that QPR game to a Loic Remy penalty.
The record books of course say that as well as other results going NUFC’s way, our players did fight back (unlike last weekend) and beat Rangers that day, QPR ending up bottom on only 25 points.
When Remy scored that goal, most fans were convinced United already had one foot in the Championship, with only Arsenal at home left to play, a game that Newcastle did end up losing.
As I say though, the record books simply show a season ending with Newcastle comfortably clear of relegation. A disappointing 16th but the bare facts not telling you how close the brush with relegation had been.
Likewise, looking at last year’s league table would tell you that Alan Pardew’s second half of the season (5 wins in 21 matches) was almost as bad as John Carver’s this season – unless you delved into the individual results.
Which brings us to 48 hours before Sunday’s relegation decider.
As we all know, 5pm Sunday could see Newcastle United in the Championship.
However, if everything went United’s way, bizarrely the season could end with Newcastle in 14th place, a comfortable five points above third bottom and indeed nine points ahead of both the bottom two.
Not forgetting of course that yet again we would be awarded the prestigious north east top dogs award…
If this scenario came to pass then I’m convinced that within months, if not weeks, if not days, comments/articles would start to appear accusing Newcastle fans of expecting success, being deluded, what’s wrong with mid-table for a club like NUFC and so on.
The trouble for Mike Ashley is that whilst those outside the Newcastle United fanbase will not forget the reality this time.
So if he sticks with his disastrous flawed budget plan, which must be obvious to all by now, the fans will no longer tolerate it.
Sticking with Carver, Charnley and a bucketful of budget overseas signings is only going to lead to abject failure.
It is time to change, or preferably time to go, for Mike Ashley.