In the new issue out this weekend we talked to Stoke City fan, Jez Alcock, and here we give you a snapshot of what he had to say about Newcastle United, events at Stoke City and the football world in general.
To read the full interview and the rest of our 44 page relegation fight special, The Mag is now on sale in our online shop - buy a copy for only £3 (plus p&p) or a subscription from only £23, copies also now on sale in all Tyneside newsagents.
Do They Mean Us? Stoke City
What do you think of Newcastle…
As a club?
In my view, you can no more choose your football team than you can choose your parents. You may not want to see them, they may embarrass you, you may even want to disown them; but you can never change that reality! Football allegiances should be determined by your roots and not by consumer choice. My father was born in Stoke in 1929. He still goes to Stoke City with me as do my two sons. NUFC is a team rooted in its own community with a long and proud (underachieving) history much like Stoke City in essence. Hence I have real affection for the club.
I’m unconvinced by Pardew. It may be something prejudicial on my part to him being a Southerner. It may be due to the mistreatment of Chris Hughton (not Pardew’s fault) but I think the 8 year deal will be a proverbial albatross around the club’s neck. Pardew’s scouting network has signed some impressive players (note Demba Ba would have signed for Stoke had he not failed his medical) and his team (when fully staffed) play with verve so I don’t know why I’m ambivalent.
As stated, you’re passionate and loyal (and long suffering). My Middlesbrough friend says you are all delusional and to point out that his side from a town of 130,000 population has been to two Domestic and one European Cup Final whilst you have been huffing and puffiing! Leaving that on one side, that passion led to the misguided second appointment of the Messianic Keegan in my view.
As I’ve said, I have affection for your team, leaving tribal feelings aside. You’re too far away to have any regional rivalry playing and despite your supporter base being much larger than ours I think that we have more in common than that which divides us.
I see Michael Owen is still earning his money…?
Tony Pulis becomes occasionally star struck. Last season he dismantled the formidable Huth/Shawcross centre back pairing to accommodate an unfit Woodgate. This meant periodically playing Huth or Woodgate at right back: an unmitigated and entirely predictable disaster. Owen hasn’t been fit (surprise!) and whilst his deal will be largely performance related, I’m guessing he’s probably on a £10K a week deal which, if so, is half a million quid wasted. What is galling is the quality of Cameron Jerome who consistently comes on late and changes games. He did that against you and you will have seen his wonder strike against Southampton but had Owen been fit, Jerome would have been pushed further down the order.