Half-Hearted In Europe Isn’t An Option For Newcastle Fans
The whole Europa League experience leaves me cold, my team Newcastle United the latest to be brainwashed into trying to get out of the competition as quickly as possible, after fighting so hard to get into it!
Of course I’ve got my ticket for tonight but I’m hardly going to be skipping up to St.James’ Park tonight in anticipation of watching the likes of Marveaux, Vuckic, Obertan, Shola and Gosling trying to give us our European dream.
Just because other English teams have treated the competition so dismally doesn’t mean we have to. I think one of the differences between us and many of the teams that have competed is that we have got players who are good enough to win it!
With failure to bring in extra players in the summer there is no way we are going to get anywhere near the top four but in a cup competition like this I think we have a great chance of going far….if we play our best players!
If, as I expect we will, we continue to play only 2 or 3 of our best players at the very most, we will bow out meekly and the very best this season would then offer is a half decent chance of….qualifying for the Europa League again!
Sir Bobby treated every match as important to Newcastle United and the fans, he ended up with a remarkable record of winning Premier League matches after playing European matches, picking his big players in almost every match.
These are a couple of stand out examples;
On 16th Sept 1999 with Newcastle rooted in the relegation zone with only 1 point from 7 matches, the team travelled to CSKA Sofia and Bobby Robson played; Harper, Barton, Domi, Dabizas, Goma, Solano, Lee, Speed, Dyer, Ferguson, Shearer
They won that UEFA Cup match 2-0 and then three days later played Sheffield Wednesday in a crucial relegation zone match, the team;
Harper, Barton, Hughes, Domi, Goma, Solano, Lee, Speed, Dyer, Ketsbaia, Shearer
Moving forward to our Champions League adventure under Sir Bobby and on the 18th Sept 2002 Newcastle had the tricky trip to Kiev for their first group match and played;
Given, Griffin, O’Brien, Dabizas, Bernard, Hughes, Dyer, Speed, Viana, Bellamy, Shearer
They lost what was always going to be a hard match but put out that team knowing the biggest game of the season was only three days away, home to the Mackems with the following starting eleven;
Given, Griffin, O’Brien, Dabizas, Hughes, Dyer, Speed, Solano, Robert, Bellamy, Shearer
Solano and Robert, for Bernard and Viana, the only changes, Newcastle comfortably winning 2-0.
Going into matches half-hearted isn’t an option for the supporters.
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