In the past couple of seasons there has been a distinct decrease in the level of noise at our beloved St James’ Park. Some fans have seemingly blamed the extension of the family area as the main culprit and I can’t disagree with them – but why has the noise decreased and how can we solve the problem?

SJP3I’m not going to lie, I am a season ticket holder in Level 7, and have been since the start of the 2011/12 season. In that season, even though Level 7 had become the family area, the noise levels still seemed to be as deafening as they are known for. The noise was unbelievable in games against both big and smaller teams, like it was during the Championship season, I distinctly remember losing my voice at a dull 1-0 win over Leicester. So can the extension of the family area really be blamed?

In some ways, yes, because even though for the majority of my first season as a season ticket holder the ground was bouncing and it was a truly amazing time to be a Newcastle supporter, not all games were like this. Norwich was a game that stood out to me as being almost completely dead except for the goal and the sound of conversations between friends. The Swansea game can also be used as an example where SJP was like sitting in the Stadium of Light. The problem only got worse last season when the results weren’t going our way. Every game, everyone wants the crowd to get going, waiting for the first man to chant. The only problem is there’s no big, fat, bald 40 year old men that’s stood there ready to belt out the familiar phrases. They’re all now sat in the Gallowgate end.

But these leaders of fans are surely under utilised in the Gallowgate. They already have men who are prepared to be the first singers. Level 7 did, but now they need them back. This meant I spent many a game last season wishing somebody in Level 7 would start chanting to show the team that we were behind them. This random hero amongst us all never stepped forward. This can be put down to a simple reason, and the same reason I haven’t stepped forward myself. I don’t consider myself to be brave enough, and neither does anyone else in level 7 by the sounds of it.

Do we get help from other areas of the ground? Every so often. But not on a consistent basis. People will point out how much noise comes from the Gallowgate end every game. However, the only problem with this is that the Gallowgate sounds about as loud as a librarian’s funeral from Level 7. So no help can be received from the other singing section of the ground.

Then you have the majority of the stadium that grumbles about there being a lack of noise and choose to do nothing productive like actually trying to get a chant going. These people will even take to Twitter and other social networking sites to complain about how the youngsters and the extended family area is killing the noise within SJP. All I have seen in the past season is abuse be sent towards Level 7. But what these people fail to grasp is that the vast majority of the people in Level 7 are the future of Newcastle United and need to receive a better example than the one being currently set.

In a football ground it should be all for one and one for all, but you just didn’t get that feeling at SJP last season. We need to start feeling like a family again, shouting and chanting as one giant body of what we are: Newcastle United Football Club Supporters.

So how else do we make our beloved stadium as loud as a Pavarotti concert? We need those leaders amongst fans (and they know who they are) to come away from the Gallowgate end, climb the millions of steps to Level 7 and use the power from within their almighty lungs to spur on the thousands sat in the heavens to join them in chanting for Newcastle United. We have all seen with our own eyes the effects that a noisy St James’ park can have on a football game. We have made the players on the pitch feel invincible. That they can take on the world because they have 52,000 fans roaring behind them.

We need that feeling back. The players need that feeling back, because God help us, with Joe Kinnear in charge of transfers, the players on the pitch need all the help they can get.

  • Rich Gibbons

    I guess for me one of the problems is that the brand of football just isn’t very exciting these days. It’s difficult to get that spine tingling feeling that makes you want to jump up and shout after Jonas gets ten yards into the opposition half, cuts back, then either loses the ball or passes it back to the defence…rinse and repeat with different players until someone (often Saylor/Williamson) hoofs it long so that Cisse can lose it.

    • ArfurGlassful

      You are not alone Rich G. The type of football served up by Pardwho is nothing short of inept. OK he may have changed from his stock 4-4-2 after many criticised his woeful mismanagement of the Ba/Cisse partnership but 4-2-3-1 needs a number of things if its to work effectively and Pardwho doesnt seem to have grasped any of the fundamentals.

      Pardwho’s gameplan usually involves players out of position doing jobs they’re not entirely comfortable with. HBA will never track back as you’d want him to and Sissoko aint a winger whatever Pardwho thinks. Unfortunately his Plan B is just like Plan A but sitting deeper.

      You can bring in the very finest players to work alongside those at the club right now but if you dont get it right tactically then players lose confidence quickly, losing possession becomes the norm and any attacking invention goes out the window. Just ask those poor unfortunates who had to sit through the Liverpool nightmare if thats about right ?.

      • glasshalfempty

        supporting the team is nothing to do with what’s happening on the pitch (although it does help to some extent). some of the best atmospheres I’ve witnessed come in the face of adversity such as Derby (a) 4-1 down with 8 men on the field, QPR (a) 3-0 down after 15 minutes, Arsenal (h) 4-0 down after 20 minutes. that’s what makes a proper football fan, instead of nicking off to the pub cos it’s going a bit Pete Tong you just decide that siege mentality is best and sing louder than the opposition in defiance

        • ArfurGlassful

          Well I’m pretty sure you’ll have plenty of opportunities this coming season to experience the siege mentality. The problem comes when they’ve scored six and looking for a seventh……………

  • Atticus

    I think this is a much bigger problem – I don’t think people are fiercely passionate about supporting Newcastle United any more.

  • richard johnson
  • Mike

    Free lager in the family area should do it.

  • jimty

    The arrtical isn’t about running the club down or arguing tactics, it’s asking the why and how the fans have stopped the noise. It makes valid points about fan leadership or lack of it on level 7, fans can’t influence the running of the club.(like it or not you can’t). Fans can influence players by getting behind whoever pulls on the shirt. We are in danger of following many other prem clubs in forgetting about the part we as fans and more importantly newcastle fans play in our club. I for one hope that this season one man stands tall and starts the noise.

  • GToon

    Its hard to feel much when our club is run by MA and JFK and AP. They set the tone these days and AP sets a team to play “lets not lose football”. Thats hardly inspires people to go mental does it. Just imagine how we will feel when we play say West Brom at home this coming season. In years gone by it would have been come on lads lets hammer these lot and the noise and expectation levels would have been right up there. This year it will be a case of “if we could win it would be great, them having the ball more than us and playing better football, us probably conceding first” etc etc etc. Now who wants to sing about that? Especially when there a part of most of us who want those in power to know we are not happy. Especially when it could be so so different. We are the worst run team in the premier league. If Ashley just wanted to make money he should have bought Fulham or West Brom or somebody like that for a lot less and just been happy to stay in the league. Unfortunately we want a lot more: therein lies the problem.

    • glasshalfempty

      …then MA has already won!!!

  • glasshalfempty

    My understanding as someone who was kicked out of level 7, (yes I may be 40+ and bald but I take offence to the fat bit!!!) is that you have to be under 21 to actually sit there now unless you have a child with you. So straight away the request for us to return to level 7 which many of us would like to do is flawed. Consequently we are trying to get the singing going in the corner and the gallowgate. However, the problem lies in that we are now among the people who do not want to sing, shout and occasionally dance so inevitably conflict arises. This was MA’s plan all along I’m afraid. There are no winners in this scenario and much as it pains me to say it I do not see a return until there is a dedicated area of the ground, like what Mr Ashley created himself several years ago. It’s not going to happen while he’s running our club though, hence his change of heart. Meanwhile we’ll continually be sent threatening letters by the club for standing more than 2 seconds after something exciting happens. Modern football supporting eh, it’s phish!!!