Newcastle United Premier League Title – ‘Daft Enough’ To Win It?
Newcastle United Premier League Title – the question is, Are United ‘Daft Enough’ To Win It?
I took a break on Xmas Day from flying the remote-control UFO my brother got me for Xmas (I got him a Mag subscription in return, you tell me who was the winner) to write this and ask the question: Are Newcastle United “Daft Enough” to win The Barclays Premier League in 2013/14?
Not a team of absolute world-beaters, not hell-bent winners or the financed favourites – the complete underdogs and rank outsiders Newcastle United, Captained by Bob Moncur, were simply “daft enough to win the trophy”!
That was The Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in Budapest in 1969 where they beat Upjesti Dosza, who only lost FOUR home games in 10 seasons winning 7 consecutive Hungarian titles scoring 500 goals. We beat them 3-2 over there (and Feyenoord 4-0 and a tough Rangers team en route to The Final) and the rest is football history.
Bob Moncur, Newcastle Captain, scorer of 3 goals over the two-legged Final from his position as SWEEPER (Philippe Albert eat your heart out), said of the side that year:
“The best team I’ve played in, not the best collection of individual players but the best team. Someone’s strength was someone else’s weakness and vice versa…”
Legendary Newcastle boss and former player Joe Harvey agreed and said that the secret of the 1969 success was a fantastic team spirit on and off the pitch.
Any parallels to the hard-working, jubilant, Brazil strip-wearing 2013/4 team?
Players and Alan Pardew have spoken of the brilliant team spirit in the camp this season lifted by the luminous Brazil kit and it’s clearly a good time to play for NUFC.
Between Wor Mike and Joe Kinnear at the helm and a mad, loyal, passionate fanbase who tweet Shola Ama hundreds of daily messages about Shola Ameobi – to be paid for playing for Newcastle United must feel like having won Life’s lottery.
Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby Robson both had arguably better squads of players yet Pardew’s side makes up for that with tactics, organisation and an all-for-one mentality based on hard work and dedication.
Not to mention the odd world-beater in the shape of (easily) the 91st best footballer in the world, Yohan Cabaye (according to The Guardian Sport) and an XI plus subs of practically all fully-fledged internationals.
Gouffran’s Duracell bunny grafting sets the tone for the team yet every one of the players is playing out of their skins with shirts at The World Cup at stake and giving it all they’ve got while they have the chance to play in football’s ultimate tournament.
The Get Mike Brazilliamson To The World Cup campaign (Follow @getmike2brazil ASAP) is gathering pace based on his phenomenal clean sheet record and expect the best from Hatem Ben Arfa as he desperately tries to make it into Deschamps thinking between now and the end of the season.
Yet what of our mighty competitors?
Suspicously-timed injuries are piling up across the other title contenders while thanks to our new fitness consultant, Faye Downey, our squad has been bottom of The Injury League all season.
Gerrard, Van Persie, Aguero and co are all enjoying a ‘forced’ winter break following the example of Messi who panicked as soon as he was drawn against Shola in The World Cup draw and decided to hibernate for 8 weeks to prepare for the greatest on-pitch battle since Pele vs George Best.
(Check out the Tony Green Flooring George 2nd Best video I’ve just uploaded on YouTube for a taste of how that one might go…)
While the rest of The Premier League’s top teams fall over themselves to spend tens of millions on players and fight mercilessly for the right to be at the top of The Pressure League at Xmas, Newcastle like any racing tortoise worth its salt, is slowly but steadily marching up the table overtaking the hares en route.
Remember that The Fairs Cup was the modern equivalent of The Europa League whose Champions – Chelsea, Newcastle have beaten twice in 2013 and 2-0 this season and we’ve also beaten the current Champions of England at Old Trafford.
Who is going to stop the march of The French ‘Warriors’?
Man City? They got off to a flier and beat us on the opening day yet we didn’t have the Cabaye, Remy and Iron Mike spine that day and they really struggle away from home and have yet to travel to us, Spurs, Moyes United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Everton. Ouch.
Bring on January 12th, they won’t know what’s hit them.
Moyes United? Behave. Manchester United under Sir Alex and The Fergie Association might have came back, they’re a different team though and are playing under a manager who has never won anything. Game over.
Arsenal? Not the best in Winter or away from home, or to the top teams, and having been smashed off Man City and frustrated by Chelsea, are showing their soft core and are there for the taking.
As well as us, they have still to travel to Liverpool, Spurs, Chelsea and Everton. Let’s knock them out on Boxing Day.
Chelsea? Jose’s not that Special anymore after he got his heart and ego broken in Madrid and returned to the Blues “looking for love” and to be The Happy One.
They are still to travel to Man City and Liverpool and have all the big boys like us to come at home.
Continue our 100% London away record at Stamford Bridge on Feb 8th & its over.
Everton? Xmas 1908/09. The Toffees were top of the League 4 points ahead of 2nd placed Newcastle.
By the end of the season, we’d leapfrogged them and were crowned Champions of England. Easy.
Away still to Liverpool, Spurs, Chelsea and us, Martinez’s run of luck/cheating runs out on March 8th at St. James’ Park.
Liverpool? They couldn’t even beat us with 10 men at St James’ Park and we’d have definitely beaten them with 11 if not for an avoidable red and its a matter of time before Suarez bites a referee and is banned forever.
Away to Man City and Chelsea consecutively next, they travel to Man U soon and have tricky homes vs Everton, Spurs the best away side in the League and us.
Roll on Anfield on the last day of the season to clinch the title!
Coincidentally, The Fairs Cup of 1968/9 winning team played Liverpool in their final League game and before you say 6-0 in April – after Newcastle’s last two record home defeats – 1-9 off Sunderland in 1908 and 1-7 off Blackburn in 1925, Newcastle won the top flight in England the year after. Done.
So winning our first Premier League title is clearly written in the stars. Back to flying that UFO, Merry Xmas one and all…FHWTL
You can follow Stuart on Twitter @ultrastartime
Cover star Yohan features in the latest issue of The Mag on sale outside St.James’ Park before the Stoke match and available in all Tyneside newsagents, or buy online now from THE MAG online shop only £3 +p&p. CLICK HERE TO BUY
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]