‘I’m here, I’m back, I’m enjoying playing football’, words spoken by the remarkable Jonas Guttierrez  at full-time on Sunday, words said with a gleaming smile to a backdrop of raw relief and emotion.

Make no mistake about it, relegation would have been too much, but for once the players on the pitch turned up and earned a few quid.

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

Perpetually awful Vurnon Anita made me eat my words as time and time again he tackled, harried and broke up play in midfield, breaking forward dynamically, we will on this occasion excuse the miss that could have been so costly, where has he been all season?

The day started in a tense town, as rumours of revenge with Hammers fans were rife for goings on in Germany pre-season, tense because relegation was a real possibility, tense because there was an edge in town!

More than usual pre-match beers were soaked up, this is not good I was telling myself, but it might numb the pain?

Getting into the ground I was astonished to see a TV screen with a stranger’s head on, who is he I asked myself, it can’t be, but it was! Lord Lucan himself had decided to say a few words, does he mean them, is he lying, well If he is, there are nigh on 10 million witnesses to what he said, why does it take desperate times for him to speak publicly, why does he not communicate regularly, it could change so much.

Taking my seat it was evident that the crowd was better than Derby day, why can’t we be like this week in week out, has the life been sucked out of us by those above – it looks that way. When St James Park is at its raw best there is no better place in the world.

The atmosphere was absolutely electric, there is not another club in the world who would get this level of support; not Barcelona, Real Madrid and certainly not Manchester United.

When the emotion dies down and the dust settles, Mike Ashley must be true to his word and invest. £20 million is no good,  if as he says he wants to get amongst the top 4 then £60 or £70 million for starters at least is needed, but that is without selling anybody of value.

Actions speak louder than words, so really the ball is in his court now, the hatred and venom will not go away until he does something positive. My own thoughts are that the club will spend, but I have my doubts about just how much. The cynic in me suggests yesterday’s TV interview was his way of deflecting attention away from himself yesterday, unwanted abusive attention! We shall wait and see.

Back in the pub at full-time the atmosphere was vibrant, celebratory, relief and the beers flowed like the old days, fans laughed joked and mixed together. A special mention to Jane Potter and her fabulous NUFC tattoo which she was happy and proud for all to see! It is loyal fans like her, like me, like you, who deserve so much more than what is on show.

I myself also had a sense of sadness inside, looking at my match day mates, guys who I had gone through school with in some cases, knowing that next season we would be fewer, family commitments and growing old means we only get together on match days, I blame Mike Ashley for this.

So, what is needed?

Well we need players with the skills that will improve and take the team massively forward, but skills are only useful if you have the heart to wear the famous shirt, a combination of both and nobody will complain. I don’t ever want to hear the chant of ‘you’re not fit to wear the shirt’ ever again – spineless cowards must be cast aside forever.

We need two centre-backs, a hulk of a centre forward, a centre forward who can take the pressure off young Ayoze Perez. His sublime skills would benefit if someone like ….dare I say it …a fit Andy Carroll was up front with him.

We need a centre-half in the John Terry mode, no nonsense physical centre-half. To be honest we could go through the team saying who we need, I just hope the club does spend the money to get us to challenge.

manchester united

So, it’s over now, and although the FA cup is yet to come, unlike the old days when cup final day was special, I have no interest at all. I like cricket so will watch a bit of that and no doubt the Aussies will give us a pasting in the Ashes.

But wait a minute, I am also a glory hunting red ( and white) rugby league fan, and the magic weekend is at St James Park next weekend, so I will be back one more time before next season, come on St Helens! £40 for 2 days of games is value for money.

No doubt we will all be glued to the Internet, TV newspapers etc, looking for information, who will we sign, who will be in charge, let us hope it is interesting times ahead. It is Newcastle United and nothing is ever simple.

2014/15 is gone, so roll on 2015/16. I have been carrying my bat to reach 51 not out so far, of which 45 of those years have been spent following the loons at the theatre of comedy, missing only 18 home games since 1970, and still the wait goes on. We are further away than ever from winning anything and  I don’t want to die a trophy virgin. Yet each passing year brings that prospect nearer to reality.

A final mention to the person whose words I started with, Jonas Guttierrez.

He epitomises what life is all about and is the one shining light of what has been a most depressing episode in the history of Newcastle United. His smile at full-time spoke volumes about his feeling for both us, and the team, God bless you, honorary Geordie indeed.



  • Hez

    It’s views and. Headlines like these which certainly dont endear us to other fans, all clubs are passionate automate

  • Brian Standen

    If you read what I said my point was the atmosphere was electric on SUNDAY it has been a library recently, the life sucked out of us by him and his policies, so I beg to differ with your comment! Cast your mind back to the mid 90s or SBR days and the atmosphere was electric week in week out!

  • nnnnnmmmmm

    Brian Standen
    it should be like that every week- over to ashley
    all we need is a half decent team that tries

  • ShaantanuSingh

    Really? The atmosphere at Tyneside is better than that of of the Nou Camp, or Old Trafford, or the Signal Iduna Park? Clearly someone who’s never set one foot outside the cauldron of drab mediocrity that is Newcastle United? And, if you really want to prove your courage, go to Barcelona and say that to a large group of Catalonians. Chances are they’ll hang you, which be might be bad for you, but good for your readers.

  • Brian Standen

    Been to Camp Nou to see Barcelona play Real Sociedad, have you been there! You will find its a library until a goal goes in! Your comments are that of someone who watches foreign football on sky! catalonians are indeed passionate people but 60 years of failure would suck the life out of even them!
    And to add further I have no wish to step out if the drab mediocrity that is served up at St James Park,

  • Brian Standen

    I also look forward to your next article on the website as clearly you are more knowledgeable than me on footballing matters, I will of course be constructive in my feed back, please note I also write under my real name……would you?

  • Brian Standen

    Agree totally

  • GToon

    My mate is Spanish and says the Camp Nou is just full of tourists waiting to be entertained rather than a stadium of supporters. He also says Newcastle and their fans are regarded as very passionate in Spain but Man U are just seen as another tourist attraction. And by the way I enjoy reading what Brian has to say so I hope he doesn’t get hanged. Don’t put things like that please. Have your say but hoping somebody dies is a bit unpleasant.

  • GToon

    Hez, I don’t agree with you. The pride and the passion is the one thing we are renowned for. Listen to any player, current or ex and they all agree about what SJP can be like and certainly used to be like.

  • Brian Standen

    Cheers, nice of you to say so, and you are right Barcelona Camp Nou is a tourist destination, as is Real Madrids Santiago Berabeu, Dortmund however do produce a cracking atmosphere, however they allow standing for league games and only charge about £20 to get in and that helps! As for me being hung…..I wont lose any sleep, unless Mr Singh wants to bring the rope himself lol

  • BillytheFish

    I have been to all these stadiums many times, and Real Madrid is the only one i would hold up as a cauldron of passion.
    Manchester United and Barcelona would have half empty stadia if they were to go through only a few years of bottom half, and relegation, as the tourists and glory hunters abandon them for the current flavour of the month.
    You cannot buy PASSION!!!! REAL PASSION!!!!  Ask Man City fans..

  • LeazesEnder

    ShaantanuSingh Hello

  • Brian Standen

    Just noticed your a glory hunting Manchester United fan! Says it all to me! You will certainly know what a library is like, however I would like to bet good money that I have been to Old Trafford more than you, if you do ever need directions than I would be happy to provide them! Just head for SALFORD and it’s well signposted!
    And to think I bit at your comment,silly me!

  • GToon

    Aye, I know you don’t care about what he said and I like to see other fans views but without the nastiness. Have seen plenty of mackem fans on here without threats etc etc. kids look at these sites too. He ought to know better really. Without wanting to sound boring I think there’s a negative correlation between the likeliness of success and crowd support – the more a win is expected the less the support and the less likely the win the greater the support. I’m sure it would be similar for us if we were ever in that position!

  • bobbyjw

    BillytheFish Manchester United had the largest average attendance in England when they were relegated in 1974

  • LeazesEnder

    Brian Standen Doubt that he’s ever been….. probably in Kuala Lumpar fishing for prawns to fill all those sarnies at OT

  • bobbyjw

    Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United are the 3 most famous club in the world for there history. When it comes to fans, you usually think of the likes of Borrusia Dortmund, Galatasary and Boca Juniors. Then you’ve got some of the worlds biggest derby’s: the old firm, the della Madonnina and the della Capitale. Unfortunately Newcastle aren’t really famous for anything on the World stage.

  • Brian Standen

    Controversial but true fact, it is doubtful whether Man Utd were the biggest club in the NW let alone England before the tragic events of 1958! Have a look at the honours list pre that date!

  • GToon

    They still had a team with stars in it didn’t they and a big ground too. They do have good support despite the prawn sandwich brigade.

  • bobbyjw

    Brian Standen they won the league and cup 3 times each in the 50s and they were about to play a european cup semi final which a bunch of kids, they probably would have won more without Munich. I think they originally wanted Old Trafford to hold 100,000 when it was built in 1910, so they must have been quite big.

  • Brian Standen

    Oh really have another look , they did not win the FA cup from 48 to 63 , yes 3 titles but that only took them to one more than us at that time!, you may be confusing FA cuos with charity shield.

  • bobbyjw

    Brian Standen you’re right. Apologies

  • grahame49

    I’m a season ticket holder in block u, this season in block v, man u game a lot of Asian and Europeans, gunners lots of European and africans same for man city Chelsea Liverpool spurs , on Sunday it was loyal black and whites Asian black and European but wearing black and white. Also we’ve a canny few Muslims this season who don’t the black and white. Geordie’s by birth or choice created Sundays noise