Failure, failure, failure.

Newcastle’s abject performance at Southampton?  No (well it was), rather my inability to switch off and avoid any contact with scores or updates while in Edinburgh at the weekend.

First mistake was the hotel bar where Sky Sports soccer Saturday was blasting out from no less than four screens above my head, it really is hard to avoid.

Next error was not leaving my phone in the hotel room, at 2.50 it vibrated into life, Glen a good mate watching on the dodgy channels in…asked in a most straightforward manner, do I want updates or not, I half-heartedly replied NO!

At this point the phone should have been despatched to the hotel room, but no, it’s Grand National day and bets needed to be put on, Gallant Oscar and Holywell doing little to improve my mood later in the day!

Bus into Edinburgh centre, very conscious of the fact the match had now kicked off, phone switched to do not disturb mode.

Glen, to his credit, kept his word and did not spoil things, unfortunately a local in the aptly named Shoogly Peg spoilt things,  hearing my accent and pointing out how sh*t Newcastle had become.I agreed saying that you never know today might be the time when things change, to which he said something that sounded like “ye ken ye getting beat 2-0” , I did not need further translation but who is Ken anyway?

So, most of you were right and I could not fully avoid, the rest of the afternoon was back to normal…constant checking of phone and TV and further disappointment.

I have not seen the game nor have I read any reports but it would seem we were abjectly awful yet again.

I half wish Norwich had won on Saturday and that like a diseased dog I could be put out of my misery, instead we linger on a tiny bit longer with another must win game this Saturday, must win?

Really? I don’t see it, Rafa has inherited the most spineless group of players ever seen at St James Park, at least Bobby Shinton tried (ask your dad or Grandad).

Mike Ashley is fully to blame and before anyone says he spent upwards of £80 million this season, let us not forget he has scrimped and saved to such an extent that this money was self-generated.

mike ashley

So he is to blame and I swear when it comes to NUFC, he is so tight he turns the gas off when turning his bacon over, combine this absurd frugalness with a succession of ridiculous appointments at boardroom level and management level and no wonder we are destined for years of mediocrity (unless Rafa stays).

Ashley has built the foundations of failure: the under 21s, under 18s etc all have appalling records, there seems to be nothing coming through the academy, the future is built on foundations of jelly, there is no doubt NUFC is being left behind

In years gone by NUFC could always fall back on the loyalty of its fans, and that might not change, but these days it makes no difference, from next season every Premier league club has the funds to compete – in days gone by we prided ourselves on our superb support and why should we not have?

This club has undeservedly enjoyed and took the p*ss out of the good folk who follow this club both on and off the pitch by producing season after season of utter sh*te on the pitch and off it, making it a challenge to go to any away game if you’re not part of a ridiculously priced membership scheme.

No, I am afraid we have to face facts, we are sh*t on the pitch and off the pitch, and by Ashley-appointed buffoons of the highest order, it has reached the stage where club legends like Peter Beardsley and Bobby Moncur face criticism for being Ashley’s men.

I mentioned once before that I was privy to information that came out of a business meeting attended by Ashley and various NE businessmen when he first came to Newcastle, and it is fact he loudly boasted about marquee signings and extending the ground, taking the club to where it belongs, needless to say those things didn’t happen and we have been misled so many times since.

Despite what other people might think, Ashley has simply used NUFC as a tool to promote his tat empire. I can’t bring myself to wish ill on SD as it employs quite a few people in the north east and while he seems to treat those employees with the same disdain as he treats the fans of NUFC, the SD employees do rely on him for a living wage…

We all get old eventually, some quicker than others, but I bet fans of about my age saw worse football in the late 70s and late 80s but still found it was fun going to the game.

Each match was an adventure and going away was a thrill in itself, these days it is about meeting your mates for a few beers with the match being nothing more than an inconvenience. Sad fact is, mates are fewer as Ashley has drove them away, some will never return – I hate you Mike Ashley and even if Rafa does oversee a miracle, or stay on next season and start from scratch and build something exciting, my hate for you will always be there.

To think, Mike Ashley could have become as big a hero as anyone who had gone before…

Swansea this weekend?  Is it? I really don’t think I care anymore!