Premier League survival looked unlikely a long way out and so Newcastle fans had some time to come to terms with the eventual relegation.
Once Rafa Benitez was installed, any incentive (removal of McClaren, Ashley selling up…) for wanting relegation either disappeared or was substantially diminished.
So this leaves us all hoping that this will only be a short-term visit to the second tier, just as we had in 2009/10.
Taking that as our hope and expectation (everything crossed), what have Newcastle fans got to look forward to?
Well many supporters will enjoy having a break from the relentless brainwashing of how great the Premier League is.
Whilst I would argue that another massive plus is the away trips that Newcastle fans can look forward to.
A host of different venues compared to the usual PL fayre, more tickets and the prospect of many clubs hopefully allowing Newcastle fans to pay on the day, undermining Ashley’s attempt to force all fans to pay at least £35 for a year’s membership before you are allowed to buy a single away ticket.
So which away games are you looking forward to?
My choice of the top 10 away trips is based partly on nostalgia (memories of early 80s especially and promotion with Keegan), partly on location (so many in Yorkshire/Lancashire and Nottinghamshire etc), partly on former glories, the novelty (never been there before) and also the pubs!
In my younger days this was probably Newcastle’s biggest rivalry/hatred after Sunderland. Played them regularly in both first and second division, only an hour and a half down the road and massive away followings. What more could you ask for?
Newcastle have never visited the Pirellii stadium and so this will be another away ground to tick off, some great beer as well from the local breweries!
Great memories and massive away followings, obviously the tragedy in 1989 has changed so much but still a great place to visit and good atmosphere.
My favourite away trip in London. Great pubs in close proximity and a ground full of character – just a nice place to go and watch football.
One of the bigger games of the season in terms of clubs with a history, Forest having won the league title and European Cup (twice) in recent memory and thoughts of Brian Clough are still inescapable when you visit.
Another relatively local trip and one where transit vans and minibuses would descend en masse from Tyneside in my younger days. Big away followings always, though I can’t really remembers us winning too many times – that could of course have been the alcohol…
Another London venue that I love (as opposed to most that I hate – Chelsea, Spurs, the current Arsenal one etc). Feels like you are on top of the pitch and usually good atmosphere generated despite the low capacity.
This is a true blast from the past and Keegan scoring four when Newcastle won 5-1 in the 1982/83 season is one of those brilliant memories that are forever etched in the memory. Went on a football special train that day as I recall – they were a whole story in themselves!
A club with great history and tradition, who just can’t seem to quite get it right. They have briefly managed to get up to the Premier League but haven’t sustained it – a great stadium to visit and once again one with character and a good feel to it.
Relative short trip and where Keegan and NUFC won promotion in 1984, with the clinching goal from David Mills as I remember it and Newcastle fans climbing up the floodlights – happy days.
Ones that I couldn’t give a toss about visiting:
Aston Villa (too many reasons to list!)
Wigan (the most soulless/pointless football venue I have ever been to)
Cardiff (a long way and not much to like about it when you get there)
Blackburn (only thing going for it was that in PL at least you got loads of tickets – not so much a novelty in Championship)
Birmingham (see Cardiff – just not as far)