I’ve been thinking about luck recently. Or the lack of it.
I’m not a superstitious person – at all. But sometimes things happen which make you think – this can’t just be happening by chance, there must be something else going on here.
So as the first half went by the other week at the Stadium of Light, I was torn between a feeling of optimism (we’re playing all right here, Sunderland are abysmal, surely it’s just a matter of time before we pop one in and after that the floodgates will surely open…) and a growing sense of impending doom (it’s like we’re playing the blind school, they’re that bad…and we still haven’t scored…this is all going to go wrong in a minute).
And of course, this being Newcastle, if things can go wrong, then they will go wrong – and, inevitably, they did go suddenly and catastrophically wrong.
I don’t doubt that followers of any football team will dwell on their bad luck – but surely Newcastle must be uniquely unlucky. I mean, just look at the facts.
There isn’t any other team, anywhere, that gets close to our level of persistent underachievement. Yes, we’ve had good times. But when other clubs have their good times, they fill up the trophy cabinet.
Aston Villa….and Leeds, and Forest, and Everton, and Liverpool have all had their days in the sun, and they have won League titles and European Cups and what not. Chelsea and Man City are having their day in the sun now, and they are filling their boots. We had our golden period in the 10 years or so from 1994 on. And we won….nothing.
Just from our own painful experience watching matches week in and week out – when do we ever get a lucky break? When do we ever get a lucky penalty? When does the opposition get someone sent off for something innocuous? Lucky things just don’t seem to happen to us.
Now the rational view of course is that what goes around comes around, and that if we’re unlucky this week, chances are we’ll get a lucky break somewhere down the line, and things will all come out even. But that doesn’t seem to be the case with Newcastle.
I remember an exception to the rule. If you cast your mind back to the season we finished 5th under Pardew.
That was a season when for once it seemed like the breaks were going our way. But since then it has all been one way traffic. And the derby matches just sum up the whole thing. Every time it’s the same thing. Every time it’s as plain as day that we’re the best team. And every time we lose.
In truth, over the last few years our bad luck and misfortune has been so persistent that it makes you wonder if some other force is at play. Something….supernatural.
And so I have looked for help and advice from the spirit world. I have crossed a gypsy’s palm with silver and had a reading of the tarot cards.
The way it works is this. You have to approach the deck of cards with a particular question in mind. You shuffle and cut them, then various weird looking cards are laid out in some sort of strange pattern. Each position refers to some aspect of the question you have asked, and the card you lay in that position refers to that particular aspect.
My question was:
“What does the rest of this season hold for Newcastle United?”
The scribbled notes of the reading are as follows:
What is the current position, where are we at the moment?
A lot on our plate, hard to move forward, verge on being overwhelmed, need to let dust settle before we can move forward.
What are the obstacles we face?
This seems a strange one, because it is a really positive card. It says that objectives are being achieved, and what people have been seeking to achieve is falling into place. That doesn’t sound like a problem – except if the obstacle we face is that someone is achieving his objectives as things stand (is that you Mr Ashley?)
The immediate past is dominated by The Emperor – a dominant, authoritarian figure.
Current influences are that conditions are favourable for progress. There is financial security, and scope for progress in partnerships.
The thing which is driving things forward is insecurity, a fear of financial loss. We are missing out on the fun because of lack of funds.
The immediate future – Temperance. There is a need for moderation and patience. There is potential for progress but we mustn’t panic.
How do we move forwards?
There is lots of youthful energy which needs to be guided and harnessed.
How do others see you?
There is someone out there – an unexpected source – who is going to become a business associate and there is the possibility of a major windfall.
What are our hopes and dreams?
You are looking for reconciliation after a rift, and for things to become creative, fun and enjoyable once again.
What is the overall outcome?
There is a major opportunity coming that will bring material reward, and the cards say it should be accepted.
So the overall reading is that things are in a difficult place at present, dominated by an overpowering authority figure. The problem we face is that as things stand, that person is achieving his objectives.
Everything in the reading revolves around money and power. We are hampered by lack of money and a fear of taking any risk. But there is potential for progress – and in particular the cards say that there is someone out there who wants to invest in the club, and that is the way forward.
So there you are. I was hoping it would say that it was all going to come right, and that good times were just around the corner. But as far as I can see it just means Mr Ashley might be in for a bit of a windfall.
Or, of course, it might just be a load of old cobblers.
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