Years of struggle have left Newcastle United fans feeling lost, bored, or angry, and often, all three.
We are so far out of reach of the top four, that without a change in the rules regarding spending caps, or a massive influx of cash of our own from somewhere, we aren’t going to be mounting a serious challenge at the top end of the table for some years to come.
But I’m confused. I don’t really know what I should want as a Newcastle fan these days. The team is treading water down in the relegation zone, yet I maintain that I’ve seen some of the best football this season than at any point post-Robson.
Should I be content with us trying to play a decent brand of football with the limited means available to us, or would a more pragmatic approach of the Pulis/Allardyce school, concerned with grinding points out of a season, be preferable?
Neither way is likely to bring silverware, both could see us relegated, but chances are we’ll be stuck in mid-table limbo, surviving and not much else.
I’m also struggling to feel much anger anymore. For a long while, this was the default emotion; the only thing left to talk about after another disgraceful display by the toon was listing all the things wrong with the club.
Mike Ashley was always first on the list (and perhaps still is) and the easiest target for hate. I hated him as much as anybody and have written on here in the past advocating boycott and rebellion – anything to get rid.
But he has spent around £50m this summer with the promise of more to come, and apart from Thauvin (who still has time to come good), it seems to be money well spent so far.
Good owners shouldn’t be seen or heard and as long as he stops fannying around with the club’s heritage and continues to spend well on the team, then I can’t really see a problem anymore.
One possible bone of contention though is his selections in the manager/head coach position. Steve McClaren isn’t, and never will be, a glamorous manager, and he may well turn out to be another Ashley appointed duff, but seriously, who else could we possibly attract at the moment?
I half thought about Brendan Rodgers when he got the sack at Anfield and whether or not he would do a good job at Newcastle, but if we did make a switch that would mean ANOTHER manager through the revolving doors without anything to show for it, AGAIN.
Plus, why on earth would he, or anyone else with similar ambitions, come up here? Not yet anyway. SMC may be the best of a bad bunch, but he might be the man to steady the ship for a few seasons and to neutralise some of the toxicity associated with the hot seat at St James Park, making it more comfortable for someone more highly thought of in the future.
There is of course, the distinct possibility that I’m once again being hopelessly naive and there actually isn’t a light on at the end of the tunnel. The current run of poor results could very well continue and the only thing waiting around the corner is relegation.
If you ask me though, winning every week in the Championship was a damn sight more fun than losing every week in the Premiership. I don’t WANT that to happen, I want the best for the team and I’d much rather be winning the Champions League; but if the worst was to happen and we freefall down the Football League, so what?
It will still be the same club, in the same place, wearing the same black and white stripes.
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