There is very little I can add to the already saturated (probably not a good choice of word at the minute…) weight of opinion regarding the situation at our beloved club.  What is there to say?

It’s plain for all to see that things are not going as desired, the team are performing far below their expected levels, the manager is losing a grip on what power he was able to muster pre-season, the backroom staff are beginning to unravel, the fans are as divided as ever and the owner retains his position as the overseer.

All in all, it’s a pretty dire situation.  This has been tempered somewhat following the result on Sunday, but one swallow a summer does not make.

I don’t want to contribute to the discussion on whether or not to attend matches, as I feel it does nothing but fuel the divide between Newcastle fans who ultimately want the same thing.

Pointing fingers and name-calling is about as childish and small-minded as it can get in this case, so my position is this: if you want to go to matches, go to matches; if you don’t want to go to matches, don’t go to matches.

It’s really as simple as that, there is no need to chastise anybody who decides to do one or the other.  I am not going to try to persuade or coerce anybody into coming to a football match who doesn’t want to, and I wouldn’t expect anybody to make me feel guilty about choosing to go to a football match if I want to.

Much to the chagrin of a large element on here though, I am continuing to attend matches, along with the majority of the capacity of St James’ Park (the attendance was 51,000+ against Liverpool).

Like most of the other supporters who turn up, I have paid for my ticket in advance, my money has gone, so all that remains is for me to show my face and loudly support my team in the hope that they recognise that despite all the crap going on around them, there are people who remain loyal, and that they should perform for these ‘idiots’ (I’m paraphrasing).

On Sunday the penny seemed to drop and there were some really good performances from the lads.

Probably the most maligned player is Sissoko, closely followed by Coloccini – I thought both of them had good games against the Scousers.  Despite the criticism Moussa receives (and rightly so) he does create an awful lot of our goals, and in fact, both of them on Sunday, so let’s give credit where it’s due; well played.

Gini won the plaudits, and the match, that lad is genuinely world class, but for me Paul Dummett symbolised what it means to be a Geordie playing for his hometown club, he may not be the most gifted player going forward, but he displayed beast-like qualities the other day, well done young un’.

I don’t think there was a single player who didn’t put a shift in, and as I was saying to my neighbour, whether we win or lose is almost immaterial as long as we can see that they are completely knackered at the end of 90 minutes having worked their little cotton Gucci socks off.

Speaking of which, where on earth did that French referee get his 5 minutes from?  The physio only came on the field once, and that was after 90 mins had ticked over…I suspect Ian Sky Sports had a word in Kevin Friend’s (ahhh, friend) ear demanding a grandstand finish.  They certainly got one.

As for the storm that surrounds this break of sunshine, trust me, I am as deeply troubled by our plight as any of you.

I have only been attending matches for 20 years, so I am not as experienced in the highs and lows as many of you, the name Richard Dinnis means little to me as I wasn’t born, and I never saw Bobby Moncur or Supermac play, but I was around in the Keegan era.

I have experienced the highs of beating Man Utd and Barcelona, I have experienced our striking options being an ageing Ian Rush, I have experienced Fumaca.  What that experience did teach me is that this is not, by far, the worst team we have had.  We have seen some of the worst performances yes, but the team is there.  We need some more players of course, but there is no reason we shouldn’t pull ourselves out of this rut, perhaps the Liverpool match signals a turn in fortunes?

I just want to end my monthly missive with a note about the Leicester match, or rather, after the Leicester match.

It had been snowing up on the hills and my parent’s car was covered in about 4 inches of the stuff.  I go to the matches with my old Ma, she loves coming in to town to cheer the lads on (she’s such an Ashley sympathiser, you wouldn’t believe) and sometimes they give me a lift home afterwards.

On this occasion there was a group of kids, probably around 100 of them, marching down the road next to the RVI and chanting, which is completely fine, of course.  Then they sat in the road, so cars had to swerve around them.  They were pretending to be Newcastle fans, pretending to be upset, but really they were just children who hadn’t been to the match and who were looking for trouble.

It so happened that they spied the snow on the folks’ car and decided to surround us, scraping snow off the roof and pelting snowballs about.  Funny, right?  Not really.  They then began to rock the car and bang on the side panels, it took my old man all his patience not to just reverse over the little sh**s.  Now, I’m not about to blame them, they were young, ranging from what looked like about 7 to around 18, and snow to a child is like arsical matter to a fly, so it is understandable they singled out the one car covered in snow.

newcastle fans

The sad thing for me is the fact that they were congregated in a massive group, chanting and generally being destructive (chucking traffic cones about etc.) and clearly mimicking their ‘adult’ role models.

Is this the future of Newcastle United?

You might blame Mike Ashley, but that would be foolish in the extreme, he didn’t raise them.  I thought we were better than this.  It doesn’t matter what background you are from, there is no excuse for hooliganism.  If your child was in that group the other week, no matter how disaffected with the club you are, I hope you speak to them, tell them that rocking and banging the car of an elderly couple is not acceptable behaviour.

I feel a great sense of pride in being a Newcastle United supporter, I think we are a special group of people, but behaviour like that makes me feel nothing but shame.

(To feature like Ben, send in your articles for our website to [email protected])