Even though as Newcastle fans we haven’t won anything for over forty years and most of us are resigned to never winning anything for at least as long again – we still get accusations of being deluded thrown at us.
What others don’t get, isn’t that we expect to win something, is is that we always hope to do so. We approach pretty much every season with enthusiasm and the faintest encouragement means fans talk about the possibility of doing whatever, not the expectation of doing so.
Of course we all know that Newcastle could and should be competing in that top seven or eight every season, year after year United featured in the top twenty clubs in the world by revenue thanks almost exclusively to the money generated by the fanbase, sticking out like a sore thumb amongst all the Champions League competing clubs.
What is our natural place these days? A fifth position and a very good elite group of players under the ‘Manager Of The Year’, shouldn’t we be aspiring to stay up there and maybe even expect it with the current playing resources and financial outlook at the club?
Newcastle are a big club with a lot who are smaller and a some who are bigger but who are they?
When Jonathan Woodgate was sold to Real Madrid there was a general acceptance by many that it was fair enough as it was Real Madrid. Yes they are one of the biggest, if not the biggest, but I find it hard to accept any player leaving Newcastle for a ‘bigger’ club.
Kevin Keegan gave us back our self-belief and most definitely woke up a sleeping giant with his brilliant management, I never once considered any player choosing to leave for a bigger club and they didn’t. Keegan decided to sell Andy Cole, not the other way around, and he was proved right as Les Ferdinand almost led us to Premier League glory…but that’s another story!
A Liverpool fans website (Liverpool-kop.com) have been speculating about their club coming in for Ben Arfa and wrote the following;
‘Newcastle are a great club, but Liverpool is undoubtedly a bigger club, and if the reds really wanted Ben Arfa, then I’m sure Brendan Rodgers would be able to convince him to come to Anfield’.
I’m not upset that Liverpool fans might think they are a bigger club than Newcastle but I would be upset if a player like Ben Arfa opted to join them.
I don’t blame any player for wanting to put himself in the best position to win medals but you could hardly say Liverpool were in that position at the moment.
I think at this moment in time Newcastle have got an awful lot to offer players at the moment, unless you were purely talking about Chelsea style extra tens of thousands of pounds on top of what Newcastle’s players get at the moment.
The league table says that Newcastle were thirteen points better than Liverpool last season and when I look at the respective players then I would say it is very hard to claim that there should be more Liverpool players in the starting eleven if you combined the two squads.
Liverpool have continued their knack of getting to cup finals in the last twenty years but in the Premier League era, Newcastle came a lot closer in 1996 to lifting it than Liverpool have ever had.
Due to their trophy success back in the seventies and eighties the scousers do have fans all over the world, second only to Manchester United of the English clubs.
However, Newcastle have a vastly superior stadium and attract bigger attendances.
The real test though in attractiveness to potential signings should only be who is set up best to go forward in the next few years and maybe it is a toss of the coin as to which of the two that is.
I think the way Dalglish has wasted the American dollars could prove hugely damaging to Liverpool over the next few seasons, if Newcastle can retain their best players and add a couple of astute signings then ‘This Is St.James’ Park’ will have a better ring to it than ‘This Is Anfield’.
If Ben Arfa did move anywhere this summer then I would count it as betrayal considering how the club and fans have played such a key part in his rehabilitation on and off the pitch.
Up to a point I could understand when Carroll and Enrique went to Anfield but for any Newcastle player to leave and go to Liverpool at this present time would be a sick joke.