I can’t remember which match it was, it was at the apex before our slide (not much of an apex).

Pardew had just left and John Carver was a couple of matches into his reign (or shower, you might call it).

(To feature like Ben, send in your articles for our website to [email protected] – all views those of the author etc etc)

The bloke who sits behind me has had a face like a slapped arse for the last 3 or 4 seasons, he constantly bemoans the team, often criticising the set-up on the pitch just before kick-off and maintaining this negative attitude right up to the final whistle.  He seems to draw more pleasure from us losing than winning, indeed, when Colback equalised in the game against Tottenham he just sat there and said ‘he was offside, shouldn’t have counted’.

Now, I can understand as well as anyone why he is unhappy with the club, with Ashley, and I understand that he may have issues at home, but this attitude is poison.  Divide et impera in other words, divide and rule may not have been Mike Ashley’s intention at the outset, but blimey, that is certainly what he has achieved.

When I started attending matches regularly as a young teenager, Kevin Keegan had us playing beautiful football and everyone was on board, we had a reputation as the world’s best fans and the noise inside SJP was deafening. The following years have reduced us to a squabbling mess, with the atmosphere sucked out of our famous stadium and people like the bloke behind me turning their back on supporting the team, but continuing to attend matches in some morbid attempt at Masochism.

I have mentioned before that I am an optimist, and I always try to see reason in situations regardless of my emotions, and it is this logical reasoning that makes me wonder why this man continues to pay to come and watch something he clearly does not enjoy?  The boycotts are all good and well, but if things are so bad, why did we have the highest attendance of the day at that match?

It’s quite simple, if you don’t enjoy something, don’t pay, don’t go.  So, it makes me think I mustn’t be alone in my optimism, the other tens of thousands who continue to attend MUST do so for a reason, and it is the same reason John Carver continues to lead the team when any sane man would walk away.

If I came to work and was booed by nearly every person there, had abuse hurled at me and newspapers and blogs constantly telling me I was sh*t at my job, I’d probably think ‘sod this, I’ve made enough money to be comfortable now (if I earned what JC does) I’m going back to Canada’, but he doesn’t, and the reason isn’t money, it’s love, as a Geordie.

The guy behind me who had been calling Pardew a Cockney tw*t the last few years, had started calling Stone, Beardsley and Carver ‘rent-a-Geordies’ and abusing them because they are Geordie!

john carver

Would he prefer to have a midlander perhaps?  Or maybe a nice Spaniard or Frenchman?  Just as long as it is someone with no connection to the area…

This last statement will be met with an inevitable retort ‘but we just want someone with tactical nous and some decent qualifications’, true, and Carver clearly isn’t the right man for the job, short or long-term, but he’s in the job and that’s a fact.

If he left, who would come in?  Realistically, which nutcase with the required nous and qualifications would take us for the last few games of the season?  Harry Redknapp?  Joe Kinnear? Ossie Ardiles?  Seriously, what do you expect?

Then, it’s Carver, and at this point it’s worth noting that, due to serious mismanagement at a more senior level, Carver has had a crappy hand dealt to him.  The team were tumbling, half the defence was/is missing, three of our best players are missing (De Jong, Cisse and surprisingly, Aarons) and the one shining light in an otherwise rubbish season, Perez, was tired out.  Hand me the polish, this turd is melting.

A friend of mine is quite into yoga and general ‘right on’ type stuff, she always says that anger, disappointment and fear are negative emotions, and that negative emotions serve no other purpose than to breed negativity and ultimately and self-fulfillingly, negative results.  In the case of NUFC I happen to agree.

People have a choice whether or not to attend matches, and I’d like to think that if you choose to attend and support the team, you do just that, support them.

Support John Carver, the Geordie who is desperately trying to fix things.  Support the good name of Newcastle United, which is getting dragged through the dirt.

If you don’t feel like supporting the team, then don’t go to matches.  I care about the team, I want them to win, I want to encourage them when they do something well, and help them get back on their feet when they make a mistake.

I want the players to feel proud of putting on the shirt, to want to fight for the loyal supporters who cheer them through thick or thin, not worry about what abuse they will receive, not shy away and hide in a match because they fear what ridicule will be meted out if they mis-control the ball or shoot wide.  I remember a few years ago visiting the Camp Nou, the fans applauded a miscontrolled ball that led to a throw in for the opposition on the 64th minute because it was the first mistake they’d made in the match, that is support.

If we turn up and abuse the team, hinder the players and berate the managers we are not supporters, we are not fans, we are disgruntled customers, we have succumbed to the idea that we are consumers rather than sport lovers.  Boring.

I want passion, I want the hairs on the back of my neck to stand up.  I have made the choice to spend my money and go to the match, so I want to feed my emotion onto the pitch so the players feel it and respond to it, and they do respond to it.  They also respond to fear, but not positively.  Yes, they are mostly mercenaries, but they always have been.

Do you think Andy Cole or Rob Lee, Les Ferdinand or Tino Asprilla had ANY idea what Newcastle was like before they came?

john carver

Do you think they cared?  No.  It was the enthusiasm of Kevin Keegan, off the back of the world famous support of the fans, it was the prospect of big money, but big money in front of adoring fans.

These days I can’t see any players wanting to come here.  Andre Ayew is exactly the kind of player we would like to see, he’s quick, powerful, exciting, free…but if he reads the press, speaks to journos, speaks to agents or even speaks to fans, he will soon realise this club is a poisoned chalice right now, it’s dangerous, the fans are angry and the owner is a tyrant.

His bargepole will be safely in its case, not touching anything.  It will be the same with any other half decent player, not to mention the ones we already have.  The player would get good money, and that might tempt a few (but if it does, we really know they are mercenaries), but the passion of the fans has gone, so the old ‘I came to Newcastle because of the beautiful stadium and passionate fans’ rhetoric has gone.  Mike Ashley is 99% to blame for this.

If we just accept that from within the ground we are not going to change anything with negativity, we might be able to change something positively.

Maybe then there would be less people inside SJP and Ashley might take note, but if whoever is in the ground really really supports the team, the players will take note, and they will respond.  We can be the difference between relegation and staying up.

Outside the ground, outside, inside Sp**ts D***ct, anything is game, protest, abuse, campaign, whatever, it might make a difference, but what would really make the footballing world sit up and take notice, what would get the bods on Sunday Supplement nattering, would be if we, the supporters started backing the 11 lads on the pitch, however useless they are, however badly they’ve been set up and they played out of their skins and excelled themselves.  That is the only way we are going to get anywhere.

Finally, if we start having a go at each other because we do or don’t attend matches, then Mike Ashley truly has won.  Divide and conquer in full poetic motion, he would be so happy to know that we are turning on each other.  We are much better together.

Those that go to the matches provide the positivity that spurs the team on, those that choose not to stand outside and protest, but afterwards and before we are all friends, joined in a common cause, help the team win, get Ashley out and restore our position as the best fans in the world.

  • Brian Standen

    Another good article that no doubt will attract some negativity, but I can always listen to a balanced point of view!

  • Little Davey

    couldn’t agree more
    excellent article
    easier said than done though
    we need leaders in the stands to rally the fans into being more positive and supporting the team we have.
    just as we need leaders on the pitch to galvanise the Lads.
    unfortunately Ashley has broken the spirit of so many and many fans are just going through the ritual of attending, not supporting.
    SJP is a very sad place right now

  • Sickandtiredstill

    If you turned up at work and produced results like Carvers, you’d be on the dole, matey.

  • Chemical Dave

    Ben, we all have a tipping point, even the bird you know who does yoga will get the hump sometimes. Personally I saw through the fat parasite years ago but I’ve noticed that several people I know with a similar outlook to yours at one stage are now desperately unhappy and want him gone. My guess is if things continue as they are, even you and your yoga mate might get fed up. And breathe….

  • Pulse33

    This sums up my view towards the club at the moment. Fantastic article I just wish more people would take this point of view instead of spewing negativity at every opportunity. I dislike Carver as much as the rest and loath Ashley but the constant whining about our situation isnt going to make it any better. Sure organise protests and what not but SUPPORT the team not the regime. Spur the team on in matches and act like you actually want to be there. The players will take note with the right support and maybe the results will improve.

  • Bishbosh11

    The stadium has had a poor atmosphere for years! Too many people keep going to the match even though they don’t enjoy it. They sit and moan and groan about everything. What’s the point? If you are not going to support the team, don’t go!

  • mrkgw

    Carver must go. His win ratio is dire. Irrespective of the hand dealt – things have deteriated post Pardew and Carver has to carry the can for that.

  • kevba1971

    NUFCTheMag why? We dont put the sh**e in his mouth that he comes out with. We are all fans.but we all kno wen we cant do a job properly

  • dude 1

    No next question

  • kevba1971

    NUFCTheMag MikeAshleyLies any FAN would walk away from job if its too big but clueless thinks of himself over the good of nufc.our club!

  • Jordan Nichol


  • wray_ben

    NUFCTheMag MikeAshleyLies Good piece and I can understand what your on about. However time for drastic change #NUFC

  • MichaelHodgson

    carver himself said the squad was strong enough in january when it clearly wasnt and that was just to try and reinforce his position with fcb so no he deserves everything that comes his way

  • Little Davey

    He has also been honest and stated publicly half the squad are not good enough and need to move on in the summer. He cant win either way can he ?
    I’m sure he now knows he isn’t good enough himself, and is way out of his depth, but the damage is done now, No good will come from him walking away with 3 or 4 matches to go.
    He may aswell stay on and fight to the bitter end.
    1 win is all he needs.
    He can get that with our support.

  • Corkyjohn

    Regardless of what goes on outside the stadium, keep turning up spending money & Ashley is less likely to leave. Carver is the worst manager ever, he couldn’t keep Manure in the PL. The man is a bare face liar & will stoop to any level to keep this job, upsetting fans in the process. I have no sympathy at all for him & hope the stress is becoming too much for him. The players are nowhere near as bad as they’ve been playing, he lost the dressing room a long time ago…

  • WallaceWilson

    I think people keep going for a number of reasons, such as
    1. It’s a chance to meet socially with friends
    2. They hope that if they keep going things will eventually get better
    3. They think they can outlast Ashley
    4. A sense of tradition and duty
    5. They take the kids and see their growing up in the one true faith as part of passing on their heritage
    6. They’d rather go to the match than shopping
    7. They’re prepared to sit through a number of poor matches in the hope that the next one will be memorable
    None of which are going to persuade you to sit in silence if you think players aren’t trying, are poorly organised, unmotivated or generally not giving value for money. Why should we have sympathy with someone who is getting paid a fortune to do something we in the stands can only dream of. Carver must have known the price on the ticket when he was sitting next to Pardew. Did he think the fact he comes from Newcastle gave him some sort of immunity from criticism? We have been treated as consumers and taken for mugs for years – well before the present regime. If you go to a restaurant and your meal is rubbish, you complain. If the train you travel to work in is always late you complain. The fact that people keep going does not remove their right to complain. Most businesses would regard this as excellent customer feedback. Maybe Carver needs to recognise that he’s getting off relatively lightly considering the shambles he is responsible for putting on the pitch. He doesn’t have full responsibility but he is culpable

  • Demented_Man

    It’s an extremely well-written article, but if the fans cheered non-stop from minute 1 to minute 90, do you think it would make the slightest difference to the performance of the players?  From experience, I doubt it.  They’re more likely to respond to boos and abuse out of sheer bloody mindedness.
    The fact is, the players’ morale and confidence are absolutely shot.  Being cheered on would probably make them feel better during the game, but that’s about it.  What really perks them up is when they check their bank balance after the game.
    There were a couple of callers on Total Sport last night more or less blaming protesters for the losing streak.  But, for me, the noise of protest is more motivational than the stony silence that those callers probably maintain at SJP along with most others.
    As for Carver, I have no sympathy at all.  He honestly expects fans to toady to the regime in exactly the same way he has done, and throws abuse at those who refuse to do so.  He is a vulgar, ignorant lickspittle.

  • northumbrianboy

    NUFCTheMag MikeAshleyLies wow,so some of us aren’t fans or supporters? We’ve cheered the team on thru months of average football and 1/2

  • northumbrianboy

    NUFCTheMag MikeAshleyLies stood by them thru the dross.Surely now is the time for the players and staff to repay us.Just a thought 2/2

  • toon tony

    Stood and cheered for 90 mins being humiliated at Wembley in the Charity Shield both cup finals both semi finals (Wembley and Cardiff ) at the 5-0 hammering at Arsenal, the debacle at Stevenage, the Souness ,Dalglish and Allardyce years even had a mate sit next to me who complained about Lauren Robert constantly. The difference now is the soul snd hope has been ripped out of the fans by a greedy individual. If fans want the club back a team we can be proud of, then we have to get this parasite out of our club. ASHLEY OUT.

  • Chemical Dave

    @toontony, spot on.

  • Tony79

    Yes it is.   Don’t cheer for carver, don;t give him grief, just ignore him.   I will top myself if he gets the permanent job, i also think he treats us with contempt despite being a Geordie himself, his arrogance knows no bounds and he is Ashley’s patsy.

    In spite of that – or perhaps because of the last one – we should cut him some slack.

    Ashley is the disease at the heart of all this.  He hires fall guys for us to attack.  Be it Carver or Charnley (before that it was Pardew and Lambias).  He’ll be laughing at us giving him grief.

    Keep the anger fixed on Ashley.  .

    And there is no need to give hime grief if you are boycotting st james’ park as about 10k to 15k of us have decided to do

  • Tony79

    toon tony Spot on.  Its all down to Ashley.  Get him our and we get our club back

  • Malcolm Green

    I would never openly abuse the team during the game as I would consider it counter-productive. However, there are 50,000+ other human beings there, all with their own personalities and opinions. We all express ourselves in different ways so I find it hard to condemn those who do. I don’t go to games any more and even my interest in football is not what it was. That’s how the ownership of Mike Ashley has affected me! But I have supported Newcastle United for 44 years and it is the itch that won’t go away. Ultimately I still care deeply about the club. We have had our dreams removed. Cups or Europe are too risky, not cost effective. If we do well in the first half of a season there will be no push for Europe or cup glory. More likely a cynical decision will be made to cash in our assets and coast for the remainder of the season. 
    This attitude may yet relegate us this season. As many have voiced this would hurt Mike Ashley. So would the Championship be so bad? I have witnessed 3 promotions over 44 years and they are 3 of my best football memories. Ashley would not settle for mid-table in the Championship, nor do I think he would sell up. Neither would make economic sense! So the necessary investment for a promotion push would be made and we may even see some good football. At least it would have some purpose, something colourful compared to the greyness of another season of trying to tread water in the Premiership.
    So there we have it a club so bereft of hope that even relegation has a positive spin. Sir Bobby I was sad to see your passing but so glad you didn’t have to witness this.

  • DrNewcastle9

    NUFCTheMag carver has had more than enough chances to pull nufc out of the mess we are in.. Good radiance to the clown.

  • John Watson


  • Morpeth mag

    He’s only saying that now, to pass the buck,,,,,,,,,,

  • GToon

    Carver isnt the man for the job but he cant be expected to walk now. He took his chance and nobody can blame him for wanting a go. When you add in the fact that the shopkeeper couldn’t find a manager willing to accept his zero hours/ambition terms then who else would do the job. Its a shame he is getting the abuse but he does have to take some responsibility as thats what comes with being in charge. Of course Ashley is totally to blame for all of this but in the general scheme of things his goals and ambitions are being fulfilled. The fact 50 odd thousand people don’t smile after paying him £20 odd quid is neither here nor there to him. He doesn’t support Newcastle United, he merely owns it. I just hope the fans aren’t expecting any players of quality to arrive when the transfer window opens. Lets not forget we haven’t even got a manager yet!!

  • DownUnderMag

    We all know Ashley is the problem, but that being said Carver has not exactly covered himself in glory since taking over the reigns at the club.  Beyond the obvious results issues that are dragging us slowly into a relegation fight, he has alienated from the very fans he wishes to count himself as…all so he can ingratiate himself to the owner in an attempt to get the full time position and ensure he doesn’t lose his job.  He has spouted contradictions to the media, even bare faced lies, and fallen into the Pardew hole of blaming everyone but himself for things he clearly gets wrong.

    He may have a tough time of things and even Mourinho would struggle to make anything of this lot of players, BUT Carver is far from an angelic figure who is blame free either…I think that is what he missed, he could have given himself a lot more slack and benefit of the doubt had he not turned on fans, not taken the Owners side so obviously and not turned his back on the very fans who make up the lifeblood of this club!

  • Brown Bottle

    Pulse33 …The Team not The Regime……sailed a long time ago bonnylad/lass.

  • Brown Bottle

    Bishbosh11 …Nowt like a fun matchday though but.

  • Brown Bottle

    mrkgw ..Pardew began the rot, now his apprentice carries on his legacy.

  • IntravenusMP

    Here, Here. It’s becoming clear that the club sounded out a few managers and one of those will take the reins in June with Carver likely to stand down but it was perfectly OK to give carver a chance. Giving the no.2 worked with Chris hughton, it worked at Swansea with Gary Monk and for Carver, it just seems to be too much for him, so be it, as long as we stay up, it was worth a go (perhaps not if we go down). 

    The biggest issue with having a temporary manager has been the issue of not bringing in players in January and the players themselves not putting themselves out too much for Carver as he’s only temporary. 

    Carver is not a bad coach, he did a lot of work in Robson’s time so it can’t be all bad. The pressure has been too much and the atmosphere poisonous. Some of this has been bought on himself, some has been through association with Pardew and a lot of thick people such as TBBM in the author’s piece. 

    Cut him and the team some slack, the club will be replacing him but the club still need him.

    Time to support rather than be so vitriolic.

  • Michael McLeod