The loyalty of Newcastle United fans is unbelievable.
Whatever happens on the pitch in these remaining matches, the end of season stats will show some incredible numbers where Newcastle United fans are concerned.
The Fulham match was the 18th home league game this season and 920,032 have paid to watch those games.
An average at the moment of 51,113. Amazing.
Just as amazing though is the level of actual ‘support’ at these games.
Away from home, just like at pretty much every other club, the support is excellent.
The difference being of course that Newcastle take many more than most clubs, with the sold out away sections at Brighton, Huddersfield and Reading within the space of a week being quite extraordinary.
Back to these home matches though.
The Newcastle United fans who turn up at St James Park – what happens?
Before the match the pubs are still buzzing and in the streets leading up to the game the atmosphere is excellent.
Then people pass through the turnstiles and it is almost as if all enthusiasm has been sucked out of the vast majority when actually entering the stadium.
Most sit in silence and unless the team are really up for it, that is how it pretty much stays. Fans didn’t turn on the team when Fulham went ahead but there wasn’t exactly a mood of defiance emanating from the terraces.
Quite why people boo is another thing altogether, the players and Manager have done more than enough this season to deserve better and it doesn’t exactly help.
Having said that, Rafa’s style of play doesn’t exactly help, with most matches seeing Newcastle start painfully slowly with tactics of keeping the ball first and foremost.
The exception tends to be when Shelvey gets further up the pitch and works with Yedlin and Ritchie to create openings, the rest of the time we see mostly ponderous build-up play and predictable long passing spells amongst defenders – hardly what is likely to get fans off their seats.
Only the contribution of sub Daryl Murphy threatened to change anything both on and off the pitch, his excellent goal and impressive link-up play briefly getting the crowd vocally behind the team.
When we play Wigan in the next game at St James Park, it must surely be worth a try of dispensing with the disappointing Diame and Perez, instead giving Murphy a chance up front with Dwight Gayle. Not a case of hit and hope football, more one of getting the ball up to/into the strikers and supporting them quickly, take a few more chances instead of trying to slowly prise open the visiting defence.
As for the supporters, most need to have a good look in the mirror and consider what they want to get out of the matches at St James Park – most definitely a case of what you put into it, will dictate what you get out of it, when it comes to atmosphere and supporting the team.
Championship matches at St James Park 2016/17 so far:
A total of 920,032 for the first 18 Championship games at St James Park at an average of exactly 51,113;
52,079 Newcastle v Huddersfield
48,209 Newcastle v Reading
49,196 Newcastle v Brighton
52,117 Newcastle v Wolves
48,236 Newcastle v Norwich
51,885 Newcastle v Brentford
51,963 Newcastle v Ipswich
51,257 Newcastle v Cardiff
52,092 Newcastle v Blackburn
52,145 Newcastle v Birmingham
52,179 Newcastle v Sheffield Wednesday
52,208 Newcastle v Rotherham
47,909 Newcastle v QPR
52,271 Newcastle v Derby
50,024 Newcastle v Aston Villa
52,131 Newcastle v Bristol City
51,903 Newcastle v Fulham
(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])