The Biggest Problem At St.James’ Park Is The Newcastle Fans

I guess you can’t get away from the fact that some fans are of the ‘glass half full’ persuasion while others more recently seem to be leaning towards the ‘glass half empty’ camp.

Essentially, this well known analogy refers to what we make of the information put in front of us. How we choose to interpret that information. The attitude we take forwards with us.

Alan_Pardew_Newcastle_United_NUFC_67 (2)I’m not talking about the grinning oaf brigade, who just wander round smiling ear to ear saying things like “it could be worse!”

I’m talking about the average fan.

Of course, it would make things a lot easier if we actually looked at the information first, rather than just, well, pulling ‘facts’ from our collective backsides.

The majority of recent articles published both on the net and in the press about Newcastle United seem to be attempting to solve the equation if A+B=C, and A = 2, what is X?

And they somehow manage to come up with an answer, which they firmly believe to be correct.

Not so much ‘glass half full / glass half empty’ as ‘there is no spoon’.

Possibly a good idea for a line in The Matrix but hardly the basis for an article.

Having watched Andy Murray win Wimbledon yesterday  it was obvious that he and Djokovic were both physically and mentally shattered, following 5 set semi-finals with only a couple of days to rest.

This must also be the case for many of the so-called ‘correspondents’ who appear to have spent the last 3 weeks exhausting themselves writing articles with no factual basis, or even accurate content.

This jumping to conclusions lark can be extremely tiring.

Of course, with the transfer window banging open a few days ago we were hardly jumping out of the way to avoid the stampede. We don’t do transfer stampedes at Newcastle. More ‘Transfer Trickles’.

We’ll get the usual barrage of entirely fictitious targets. This will be padded by agents trying to convince the world that we have spoken to their clients. And in amongst all that nonsense there may be a smattering of legitimate names. But who knows how to filter those ones out? No seriously, does anyone know? I normally work on the assumption that if it’s being reported – don’t believe it.

The biggest problem during this midsummer chaos isn’t the club, or the journalists, or the agents. The biggest problem is the fans.

We get caught up in the excitement – the furore. The momentum carries us along and before you know it we are shouting for the Owner to sell, the Director to leave and claiming that the only person we trust is the Manager, who we wanted out last month, but now it fits in more with our mob driven agenda if we say we like him and portray him as an object of pity.

So – let’s take a look at the facts. Just the facts. Not between the lines. No jumping to conclusions.

1              After a terrible season and narrowly avoiding relegation the club held a ‘Season Review’.

2              Apparently, as a result of this review, Ashley brought in Kinnear.

3              Liambas resigned.

That’s about it really. Nothing else confirmed by anyone at the club, or otherwise genuinely in the know.

So everything beyond that is speculation and guesswork.

We don’t know why Deke buggered off. Regardless, he left us in good financial shape. The media has suggested he wasn’t happy with Kinnear, but no solid quotes. Odd really considering that he would have played a major part in recruiting Kinnear in 2008.

Ashley did not then put the club up for sale, for any amount. He even officially denied doing so, a huge step for a man who is usually only quoted in the papers as saying “17 black and another Gin and Tonic Please”, but the press just moved from saying he was selling, to saying he was selling “for 267 million”. Of course we know he’s not. I’ll touch on that later. Sorry – probably not supposed to say things like that these days.

OK – Kinnear may have pulled the plug on Douglas – not surprising if he did, as he walks in the door responsible for all transfer activity. It’s called due diligence, something Ashley failed to properly execute when he bought the club, and ended up being conned by Hall and Oates. Sorry , Hall and Shepherd.

Pardew went on holiday. He goes on holiday with his family every summer for a few weeks before coming back for summer training. That’s actually a fact. Not made up. No sensationalism.


Before going, and following Kinnear’s appointment, Pards said publicly that he was “staying with the club” and off he went. Abroad. Away from the media. Now, that was a fairly straightforward statement, hardly open to interpretation (or should that be ‘misinterpretation’?)  so not having anywhere to run with those words the press (and internet more so) went instead with the idea that Ashley was trying to get Pardew to quit.  All of this crap that he is ‘in hiding’ and has said nothing is simply media hype. I would suggest that if he’s hiding from anyone, he’s in hiding from the fans. Especially those with low IQs and wireless keyboards.

As soon as Pardew was back in country, Kinnear went on holiday. This would be a normal business arrangement. Director and Manager can’t go on their hols together – somebody has to stay on board and look out for Icebergs.

They may have done something resembling a ‘hand-over’ in a car park on the M1 somewhere and Pards will be fully aware of what’s going on and will have his hand on the tiller. Bit of advice Alan – Put your life vest on first, mate. Tin hat wouldn’t go amiss either.

On a completely unrelated note, Shearer’s bar was refitted and renamed. A process that would have been planned months ago, long before this latest fiasco, but it’s yet another opportunity for the press and disgruntled fans to come up with a solution for X. Some of the cleverer hacks (isn’t that like saying ‘faster snails’?) even made a point of saying it was ‘probably’ unrelated to Shearer’s spat with Kinnear, but still felt the need to mention it.

No doubt by the time we get halfway through August and Bale, Baines, Rooney and Oxlade-Chamberthing have failed to appear at SJP there will be some serious bitchin’ to be done by the fans, but the first week in July is surely just a tad premature for this, is it not?

Ashley has been described as a businessman who “parks his tank on other peoples lawns”. Kinda suggests he doesn’t really care what people say or think.

Ranked as one of the richest men in the UK I would suggest that he is trying to make a profit with Newcastle United. I appreciate many of you find that shameful, and a disgrace, and would prefer the club to have continued full tilt towards bankruptcy, but stick with me for a minute.

I would suggest he’s serious about us being successful.

He will have a plan.

Not so much a Blackadder-type “cunning plan my lord” as a 5, 7 or more realistically even a 10 year plan.

The plan will include NUFC becoming completely self sustaining, profitable and will hopefully include the requirement for an extension. Not, this time to the physio room, as we have come to expect, but this time to the trophy cabinet. Somewhere in his plan may be a requirement to have us all eating jellied eels, slapping each other on the back shouting “Awight Mayt?”, but that might be a bit too ambitious.

TV money is essential so we are looking at continued Prem survival.

Each position in the league is worth a million so top half gets Mike an extra night on the town, and hopefully the kitchen staff a bonus.

Europe – the real one, not the one with an ‘a’ on the end where you play 45 extra games and get vouchers for a cruise – could be even more lucrative, so that’s got to be worth a punt.

Essentially we should be looking at something like “Investment – Improvement – success – profit – investment”, which keeps the fans happy.

Success requires – and no one is in any doubt here – investment.

Is there anyone out there who truly believes that Mike Ashley wants the Toon to be unsuccessful? So how do you think that would work then?

Layout 1So while you may not like him, or like his methods, he wants the same thing for the Toon that the fans want, though maybe for a different reason.

According to today’s reports Kinnear is now responsible for persuading Ashley to part with the dosh to buy the right players. Something Pardew didn’t do too well last season.

We do know that Kinnear, however ineloquent he may be, is capable of using a telephone, though I have no doubt that he already has his list of targets in with Club Secretary Lee Charnley, who Pardew said is responsible for “getting them over the line”, so let’s not jump to the conclusion that everything stops because Joe is off to “Sardinneria”. However sensationalistic we can make his holiday sound, it really is nothing out of the ordinary.

He’s not running training and he’s not responsible for tactics. He’s responsible for bringing in a broader depth of talent; providing a better squad than the one that cost us so dearly last year; basically taking a load from Alan Pardew’s plate and making his life just a little easier. It’s possible that he may also have been brought in to provide sufficient manure to keep the training pitch and SJP in top condition.

The players that other teams are bringing in this early are either free agents or 5 million pound players being sold for 8 or 9. They are getting in there first. If Carr produces his usual form we can expect a few ‘cheaper’ and ‘better’ players through the door with possibly a couple of ‘experienced’ lags to help out.

Hopefully a little less ‘experienced’ than Sol Campbell or Shefki Kuqi, but the experience we may actually need.

A week into the transfer window is not the time to be turning up at the gates of SJP with pitchforks and blazing torches.

August the first, now that’s the time to start kicking off.

Until then, who would want to sign up for Newcastle with the club going through such a transition and the fans baying for blood? Hardly instills confidence.

We really are our own worst enemies.

Sit back. Chill for a month. And how about we just sit back and see what happens. And let’s try to make an extra effort not to get tanked up and start spraying messages on walls with aerosols.

Oh by the way. Al and Joe – just get the players you want. No need to run them by me first.

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27 Responses to “The Biggest Problem At St.James’ Park Is The Newcastle Fans”

  1. OhSholaAmeobi

    Couldn’t have put it better myself. People are embarassingly influenced by media.

  2. ZICO MARTIN

    Excellent article, as I said, cards are being kept close to chest, Ashley wants the best for him/his club, so we will be the last to find out. Have faith, wait a month before panicking

  3. tonytoon

    A round of applause. I have become so frustrated with so many of our supporters unrealistic opinions. This article says everything I would have liked to have said.

  4. J.H.Finlayson

    At the centre of your thesis is the suggestion Mr Ashley wished the club to play in the ECL. To do this you need to finish top 4 btw. With his 5 year plus plan in place, as you suggest , that means P&K are booked in for this long haul.

    Now have a glance at the management & players at Arsenal, Man U, Man C, Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs, Swansea and Everton (to name but 8) and ask if you would put your hard earned on the P&K ‘dream team’ finishing above any one of them clubs – let alone above 5 or more of them?

    No, I’m afraid The Plan is strictly survival in mid-table and creaming off the TV revenues until the £100m black hole Ashley (stupidly) jumped into has been filled in and paved over; then the club will be sold and a profit returned with no need at all for expenditure on a trophy room.

    ‘The best’ for Ashley is not the same as ‘the best’ for the fans (or the club).

  5. NUFCDavid

    Possibly the most condescending article ever to have appeared on this website.

  6. goggsy

    Certainly agree that fans are influenced by the media thats something that irks me and not just in football. But I would also say it was a fact that our squad was short last year, and its a fact we’ve sold and let players leave, so it’s a fact that the sqaud is even smaller now. Personally even in july I find that worrying. And the bloke who has the final say on transfers, has gone on holiday, to me that seems strange when there is a very small transfer window, most jobs including the one that I work in wouldn’t sanction holidays in what would be my busiest time, that seems a bit odd to me, maybe you could enlighten us? Are you confident we’ll sign a player while joes away?

  7. goggsy

    It’s also a fact that allerdyce begged him to sign players in the summer, to the extent of giving harper an outfield run out against celtic. It’s also fact that kk struggled to get money out of him in the summer, well at least on players he wanted. And it’s also a fact we signed 1 seniour player last summer. If my cup is half empty in terms of ashely signing people in the summer, then I feel it’s fully vindicated from what i’ve wittnessed in previous summers, and seen with my own eyes. Regardless of what anyone else says, the facts are there.

  8. Rossy79

    Total nonsense of an article, ignoring the plain fact that Ashley has no plan(s) whatsoever for the club other than recovering the balance of his interest free loan(s). “Glass half empty” is a flippant dismissal of those of us who, frankly, are simply disheartened by the entirety of Ashley’s 6 year tenure and the negativity it has wrought on our great club. Forget the finances – you can’t tell your kids about good balance sheets – why shouldn’t we expect to actually see the club compete for a trophy or two? Why shouldn’t we expect better than we get from this man and his second rate employees?

  9. scotty63

    I agree with NUFC David that this is an extremely condescending article. I could pick holes in many of your arguments if I could be bothered but in a nutshell if you seriously believe fat mike is in this for anything other than a profit then I honestly believe you are a glass full to the brim fan fitted with blinkers. If he had wanted champions league and the associated spin offs we would have seen major investment long before now. The sky money is so good now he can repay himself very quickly and stick two fingers up at us.

  10. Simon Walker

    If, as per your article, the fans feed off information and thus believe the information given by journalists or believe rumour, surely it would be wise for the club to provide answers to a few important questions:-

    - have they explained why a man who was not warmly received or fondly remembered has been given a major role now?
    - have they or the manager explained how this affects the manager, having an ex manager of the club above him?
    - have they explained why the man who ran the club resigned two days after the unpopular ex manager returned in his new role, a new role to the club?
    - given the last man to fill a Director of Football role at the club was also not respected by fans, and this appointment led to a complete shambles both on the field and off it in terms of bad pr and ultimate relegation, have they allayed supporters’ concerns that history may repeat itself?

    Maybe the fans should just sit back and chill as you suggest, but in recent years joe kinnear has not been a success here as manager, the last director of football arrangement saw us relegated and last season’s transfer business was not executed well at all.

    Hardly helping is kinnear apparently wanting a signing in by the time he went away. When no signing is made, it’s not the supporters fault that they are reminded of last summer’s empty promises….

    The club and management don’t help – rather than ask the fans to chill, I would think better advice could be directed at the club to consider how well they communicate – valid questions and concerns are left unaddressed, what are supporters supposed to think? – “its always ending up a shambles but it’ll be ok this time, so I’ll chill and have faith…?”

  11. Richard

    A reasonable article based on fact as far as we know. Are you sure you work in the British media are have the Toon bought a French journalist in to replace the overpriced, underskilled British variety

  12. Mr T

    Ashley got conned by Hall and Shepard?
    If he didn’t do due diligence before buying something that is his fault and his fault only.
    To me that has set the pattern for the last 6 years, Ashley never really thinks properly about things before doing them and then has to go around and try to rectify them, so he gives the manager a 8 year deal because he played his part in one of our best league seasons for years but then within 12 months has changed his mind and brings somebody else in to oversee the previously well thought of manager.
    He has done some good things for the club in the last few years with regards to finances but without a decent footballing backbone the club will fall apart eventually. Fans have a right to be sceptical because Ashleys history at the club is littered with empty promises and proven in court lies.
    If, by the end of August (although it should be before the season starts), Kinnear has played his part in bringing in new, talented, players you can be congratulated for your foresight. However if that situation doesn’t arise I hope you come back and explain to us all what’s went wrong.

  13. Alex

    I figure this article to be almost beyond comment.

    With the type of people in charge of this club, and the amazing way they are running it, to suggest that WE are the problem simply beggars belief.

  14. Mal

    You’re so right Archie. It’s all our fault. The lack of investment last summer, the dire football that was played, the lack of imagination and creativity in our coaching, the continual excuses trotted out (we got fed up with them but they were all justified) and why are we so upset that we now have probably the best Director of Football in the world. The lack of comment from the manager was indeed just because he was on his hols (though it didn’t stop him last year) and nothing to do with the fact that he doesn’t want to prejudice his constructive dismissal case. And we’re all forgetting that we signed 5 players in january so why are we bothered that we’ve just lost 4 with no-one coming in – we’re still 1 up for goodness sake. Yes, we’ll al just sit back, shut up and applaud the further gems coming out of the mouth of JFK – we can’t wait.

  15. Rob Brown

    Brilliant stuff.

    Shows pretty clearly that most fans don’t read the facts with comments ranging from condescending, Sh#te and beyond contempt through to reasonable, great, a round of applause and excellent.
    Some of the comments are even arguing the same points that Archie tried to make.

    I honestly do not believe that Ashley can be worth so much, but be so dumb

    He has to be trying to put it right, and he has to be intelligent enough to figure out that his experiment last season (consolidation) didn’t work and he now has to invest.

    Anyone want to take a bet that we have 5 players in within the next 3 weeks?

    • Mal

      I take it you mean 5 extra compared with what we have now. So, if we sell a couple, that’ll be 7 in. I hope you’re right and they include a couple of decent strikers. We’ll have to see.

  16. hoglan

    You have a go at fans for jumping to conclusions then do the exact same thing yourself:

    “2 Apparently, as a result of this review, Ashley brought in Kinnear.”

    How do *you* know Kinnears appointment was the result of the review?

    These are the facts:

    1 We narrowly avoided relegation.
    2 Ashley brought in Kinnear.
    3 Liambas resigned.

    You don’t know for a fact that they had an end of season review, and you don’t know that Kinnear was appointed off the back of it.

    So we just avoid relegation, we then see a man unavoidably associated with our relegation season appointed as “Director of football” and see the appointment announced in a way which can only be described as a total embarrassment.

    And we are to blame?

  17. goggsy

    Does it not just show that folk have different opinions, and that you ,me and anyboday else wouldn’t bother posting anything if we all thought the same? Do you think we’ll sign 5 players in the next 3 weeks? I don’t.

  18. chris

    It looks to me that Ash has again pulled of a master stroke to equal the JFK appointment. Congrats to Archie Brand for his new role at NUFC as Director of Verbal Sh*te and Chief Rear Passage Cleaner to King Mike.

  19. GToon GToon

    The problem with the fans of NUFC is that they are intelligent, often far more intelligent than the manager and owner etc etc. Your line about a club going through such a transition sums the situation up perfectly. There should be no such transition. We are in this mess cos the idiots in charge didnt bother with last summers transfer window. A moron could quickly give you 3 or 4 positions where we need improving and yet there is no activity. Players have been signing for clubs and agreeing to moves for weeks. Look at that Van Wincklewhatever. He agreed to go to Norwich months ago. So who have we lined up? Or is it a sudden surprise that we need a forward etc etc. Fail to plan, plan to fail. Like i said morons in charge etc etc. Even a token signing would have got the momentum going, giving us a feeling of “right come on then lads, lets get this season going”. If you are blaming the media then you need to blame NUFC for not having the sense to weigh up the impact of the media and act accordingly, feeding them the necessary info to keep fans happy rather than irritate them. Any reasonably intelligent person would make a better job of keeping fans informed and vetting media info (JFK). And if you think its not important then wait for the lack of season ticket sales…..

  20. Archie Brand

    So, GToon, seriously – do you honestly believe that Mike Ashley is not intelligent?

    I have to agree that he is not conventional, hence the not talking to the press stuff, but surely a bloke who is currently valued at 3.5 billion quid and is entirely self made, can’t be short of the odd braincell?

    We’ve seen how business has been done with people like Cabaye, Cisse, Sissoko, Tiote and a few others coming in quietly and under the radar. I see no reason why that would change.

    Yes we are short all over the squad. That being the case why do you think they are letting players go and even agreeing loans for the likes of Sammy and Campbell?

    Players are lined up and on the way.

  21. Archie Brand

    Scotty63 – Usain Bolt was once told by a fan “I could run faster than you if I practised” – all sounds a bit “I could pick holes in many of your arguments if I could be bothered”.

    But you I doubt if you could. Mainly because you didn’t read the article properly. I agree with all of you – Ashley is only in it for the profit. To make more profit he wants us to be successful. Pretty straight forward.

    • Rossy79

      That depends entirely on your definition of success. For Ashley that means staying in the PL, replacing the better players with cheaper alternatives as soon as satisfactory bid comes in and getting your interest free loan(s) repaid double quick. Forgive me if my idea of success is something different to that. And before anyone suggests that I’m being delusional expecting us to at least challenge the top sides, I’ll point you in the direction of Swansea City.

  22. Archie Brand

    Rob Brown – not sure if I’d be brave enough to to say 5 players in, in 3 weeks, but not far off.

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