In everything I have read about yesterday’s match, I don’t think I have seen anything that comes close to a true representation of the atmosphere.
Amongst others, Rafa Benitez has praised the supporters, whilst media have fallen over themselves to say how great Saturday was from a fan perspective.
I hold my hands up and admit I didn’t see anything of the Gallowgate flags thing before the match.
I’m all for anything that might add to a match day and well done to all who are involved…but being inside the ground before kick-off isn’t for me. Yesterday, me and my mates did as we always do, a last one in the Strawberry before a last minute dash across the road around kick-off time.
So I have read all about how great apparently it was before the match but can only comment on what happened in the 90 minutes, which is the important bit after all.
I have to say that it was the worst atmosphere we have had in a long long time, especially when there has been over fifty two thousand inside St James Park.
Not sure of the reasons as to why but fans seemed to be of the mood to just turn up and let it all happen, without any help from them.
Maybe everybody had worn themselves out with the flag waving and singing beforehand but certainly whilst the game was on, you could have heard a pin drop most of the time. I had read pre-match that the flags had to be lowered before kick-off, why? If the atmosphere was good why not let it continue during the match and any season ticket holders who don’t like it can transfer out of that section?
Anyway, whatever the reasons, the atmosphere was shocking. Yet there appears to be a collective effort not to mention it, to bask in the reflected glory of the positive reporting on what happened before the game.
Yes it is impressive that over 52,000 people paid to watch a Championship match but they were absolutely zero help to the team.
When Dwight Gayle scored there was obviously celebrations for the goal, but that carried on for only 30 or so seconds once the match kicked off again, and everybody back to sitting in silence.
Yes the team were really poor against Huddersfield but the Newcastle supporters were just as bad during the 90 minutes.
I have to say I was shocked at how many people were booing at half-time, I realise the team had been poor and conceded in the final seconds, but considering there were still forty four and a half Championship matches remaining at that point, it could be a long old season!
As the winning goal went in I also couldn’t believe how many fans left St James Park, thousands streaming out despite there being the best part of a quarter of an hour left including expected stoppage time. Newcastle had been dominant for the previous 20 minutes since the goal and were simply undone by a soft sucker punch.
Predictably, there was more booing (from those who were still there…) at the end from the home ‘support’.
I left the stadium feeling disheartened, as much by the crowd as by the players.
A much better effort needed by all on Wednesday night, from those on and off the pitch.