Newcastle United – 25 Years (and 1 month) Later
In the new issue of The Mag which goes into newsagents on Saturday and is available to order now online in The Mag shop, monthly columnist ‘The Corner’ compares the situation now and 25 years 1 months ago when The Mag was first published.
‘Confidence in manager Alan Pardew has also been at an all-time low following last season, with probably less than half the fans hoping he’d still be there come August.
Prudence quickly took over, however, once it became apparent that he’d probably only be replaced by the club’s official new ‘yes man’, incoming director of f***-all, Joe Kinnear.
Without having had to do anything (aside of not being JFK), Pardew’s approval rating thus soared during the close season, although most fans would probably still rather have seen a change – if only it were genuinely for the better.
As for JFK, the less said the better – at least he failed in his principal task of flogging our ‘best player’ for big money… on this occasion! Just as well we managed to get a few new signings ‘over the line’ back in January, although that time-worn cliché ‘putting square pegs in round holes’ – or even: ‘not enough pegs to stop the tent from blowing away completely’ – may yet come to pass…
As in ’88, the season began with a no-hoper of a game at the home of perennial title-chasers, only this time it was the blue half of Manchester, rather than the blue half of Liverpool. We were duly outclassed to the tune of 0-4 again; only at least on this occasion we managed to hold out for five minutes before going a goal down! Next up, once again, there was a home game against a London club boasting two ex-Newcastle favourites in their side.
This time, however, one of those ex’s was out injured and, far from being verbally or physically harassed, the one that did play was afforded a warm reception. The result was still a disappointing home draw in an archetypal game of two halves, however, and by now, I really was starting to get worried. Déjà vu… Nightmare on Barrack Road? Surely it couldn’t happen again!
Thankfully, that’s where most similarities have ended up to now, and Newcastle – KO-ed by lower division opposition in the League Cup second round in 1988 – this time overcame their ‘plucky’ League Two opponents, Morecambe. The third league match of the season duly followed -at home rather than away- and even though it took 86 minutes for the sheer class of Ben Arfa to convert itself into a winning goal (for a while it had looked like Fulham might hold out for a thoroughly undeserved share of the spoils) we duly bagged our first three point haul of the season to deviate further from that star-crossed path of quarter of a century before.’
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]