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Entertainment Is The Key With Newcastle United

9 years ago

Glory or entertainment?

Keegan’s reign as manager saw Newcastle gain the title ‘the entertainers’ but is it entertainment or silverware that fans crave?

A question I have been asked by many a fellow football fan is ‘would you sacrifice the entertaining games, the heartbreaks, the drama, for solidarity and a cup?’. My reply is always the same; no. Under Souness, especially Allardyce and to an extent Pardew, we have witnessed this ‘boring’ football. But did it bring success? No. And there is an explanation to this.

Newcastle fans, myself included, will not accept poor, long ball dross week in week out. Naturally the odd 1-0 scrap is acceptable, of course it is. Manchester United are the masters of securing unlikely victories and undeserved draws; this is why they’re the most successful Premier League team.

However, when this becomes the norm, which has happened at Stoke, it becomes unacceptable. Pulis’ recent departure highlights this.

His success with Stoke had been remarkable. Initially saving them from relegation following his first appointment, his second spell at The Potters secured a return to the Premier League in his second year for the first time in 23 years. Subsequent successful runs in the FA cup, making it to the final once, and even a run in the Europa League seemed to make Pulis’ job one of the safest in the business. However, when their direct style of football began faltering and their Britannia ‘fortress’ was breached, the fans’ discontent grew.

Entertainment is the key. Once Stoke became a secure Premier League team they craved more than just results – they wanted entertaining football. Pulis could not deliver.

Newcastle is, in a way, similar.

We have tasted the poison chalice of supreme entertainment under Keegan and Robson and now we cannot accept anything less. Success at Newcastle must be a result of entertainment, not the other way round.

The fans around the ground crave it. Football, after all, is an entertainment business and when fans pay a lot of money (although, I feel, pricing at St. James’ is very reasonable in comparison to other Premier League grounds) they expect to witness excitement. I think it is fair to say we’ve experienced our share over the past two decades. Pardew, therefore, must take note.

Personally, I will not get on his back when we play entertaining football but when we are getting Mike Williamson to hoof it up to Pappis Cisse I think a line has been crossed. The crowd at St. James’ literally is the twelth man – when we feel uneasy and nervy so do the team. It has shown on too many occasions this season (Reading at home springs to mind). We cannot hold onto these 1-0 margins that Pardew attempts to do.

It doesn’t work. It isn’t in Newcastle’s innate philosophy to grind out results. To go forward as a club we must play forward as a team. Entertainment is the key with Newcastle and always will be.

Success, hopefully, will follow.



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