What do Newcastle fans really expect?
It is Xmas day 1974. My dad is grumbling in his chair as he is forced to endure Top Of The Pops. He looks at me and says;
“Dear God, what is this tripe. Why are men dressed as women and women dressed as men?”
Now if you should care to google the likes of Sweet and Suzi Quatro then you will see that the old man probably had a point. The music stars of the 70’s were a very odd bunch.
The point I am trying to make, all be it obliquely, is that people’s opinions, attitudes and expectations are based upon what they have been previously exposed to. My dad had been brought up on Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, so watching blokes wearing more eye shadow and bigger heels than his wife, didn’t best suit him.
Hence these days Arsenal fans want Wenger sacked because the club hasn’t won the league in 10 years, some Liverpool fans aren’t happy with Rodgers because his side aren’t challenging for the title again, however you have Southampton fans rubbing their eyes in disbelief because their team is second in the league. It comes down to what you expect from your team.
So what about Newcastle?
Do we demand that the present incumbents of the black and white shirt win the league?
Do we think European qualification is the very least that should be achieved?
Or are we happy if they finish mid-table and above the Mackems?
(To feature like Jinky, send in your articles for our website to [email protected])
It’s amazing how a couple of seasons (good or bad) can change people’s perceptions.
Having been close to oblivion in 1992, back then we just wanted our football club to still be around to support. Yet a couple of seasons later, having been promoted and then finishing third, we dropped down to sixth. For many, this was a big let down because it felt like we had underachieved. We had started to believe that we were destined for greater things.
For many of my generation, a topic of conversation is whether back in 1996, rather than blow the title in the way we did, it would have been better to have spent the season on the heels of Man Utd and then when we finished second, which lest you forget, was as good as anything we have achieved in the last 70 years, it would have felt like a wonderful triumph, rather than something that still makes me want to weep.
The trouble is, those football Gods just love to kick us in the stots when we start to dream.
Actually the Football Gods are happy to kick any set of fans who start to dream. Back in 1995 who do you think finished above us? Well it was Blackburn (1st) Nottingham Forest (3rd) and Leeds (5th) Also in the top 10 were QPR and Wimbledon.
Remember I am not on about the days of black and white telly; I am talking about less than 20 short years ago. How things have changed. These days there is more chance of Dennis Wise being Newcastle’s next manager than any one of those clubs getting near a Champions League place.
My personal opinion is that we are going to finish around where we did last year, which is basically what I have seen our club do for the past 45 years. Along the way there has been the odd high, and obviously a lot more lows, but overall Newcastle United have averaged a league finish of 10th .
And it’s because of this that I think my expectations are not quite as high as those amongst us who are that bit younger than me, have a bit more testosterone flowing through their veins than me, and a damn site more hair than me. You guys believe that Newcastle can become a powerhouse in the Premier League to rival the obscenely rich Chelsea and Man City. I really hope you are right but history suggests that it’s going to be very difficult to pull off
However, having said that, it still does not stop me dreaming that Newcastle just might win something before I draw my pension.
These days I find myself starting to think that if we can just win at Spurs, then draw Bournemouth in the semis, we just might go on to beat Derby in the final. You would think that I would know better at my age.
Guess I had better go and get myself one of those cricketer’s box things to protect my stots, as there is probably another kicking on its way!
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]