Newcastle fans are deluded, we expect a team to be winning trophies despite a drought spanning decades, we think we have a golden right to Champions League qualification, we have ideas above our station.

These are the baseless accusations which have been commonly levelled at Newcastle United fans by supporters of other clubs for the last 20 years, but not so much these days, I wonder why?

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There was a time when we competed with Manchester United for the title, when a visit by Chelsea or Manchester City meant an almost guaranteed three points, when walloping Tottenham 7 – 1 wasn’t seen as a freak result, just another great attacking display by what journalists called, without a hint of irony, the Barcelona of the North.

Understandably, fan expectation and excitement used to be high, we were rightly proud of our team and its attempts to crash the Manchester domination, then it went wrong.

Long before any of us had even heard the name Mike Ashley, back in the days when your main choice for a pair of Nike basketball boots on the high street was JD Sports, JJB or Inter Sports, we employed Kenny Dalglish who systematically took apart the best team in the history of the club.

Now Kenny did some good things also, he brought back the reserve team which Keegan had dismissed with a typical cavalier flourish, but his damage to the first team was almost total (though obviously not by today’s standards).

Aside from an all too brief return to glory under my personal favourite football man ever to walk the earth, Sir Bobby Robson, we have been slowly slipping backwards since.

The arrival of a billionaire owner brought a small surge of excitement back to the Toon, until things started to go wrong, from here it is a story with which we are all far too familiar.

The old accusations of delusion and false pride have never rung so hollow as they do today, as we are a club devoid of hope, resources and pride, left to flounder by an owner who has less interest in Newcastle United than he has in his decision of whether to have toast or Crunchy Nut Cornflakes with his morning fry up.

Declarations of no interest in domestic cups or the Europa league, the sale of any player capable of stringing more than two passes together, the sponsors, the insults and disrespect shown to the club heroes and heritage have all served to first diminish, and then destroy, whatever hope and expectation the fans had of actual success.

We are certainly no longer deluded, we have no pride, false or otherwise, we know exactly where our level is because it has been rammed home to us from all corners.

Something the current regime are extremely good at is laying out in no uncertain terms, by word and deed, exactly the competitive level of the club. In short, there isn’t one outside of top flight survival.

For a club which has in relatively recent memory enjoyed nights in the Champions league, trips to Wembley and seen its name at the top end of the league, this is not good enough.

What it has served to do is not just drastically lower fan expectations, it has removed them and replaced them with fatalistic cynicism which none of us really enjoy.

So when the owner makes a vaguely suggestive speech, as he did at the weekend, it has the effect of offering a starving man a turd sandwich. He knows he shouldn’t eat it, he knows it’s a turd, but it’s all that is on offer so why not see if he likes it whilst pretending that it’s a roast dinner to his starving friends.

To carry the analogy a stage further, I am amazed how many hungry people (Newcastle United fans) would rather eat a turd sandwich (believe Ashley’s statement, or regard it with a ‘wait and see’ attitude) than starve.

This is the real indication of how the expectation and pride have been slowly but surely drained from the once proud Toon Army.

  • Corkyjohn

    Agreed mate….The fact Charnley has ignored Carvers demand to know whats happening before his holidays might mean we could possibly get a decent manager. We live in hope

  • gazchampion

    Bang On there Notts! I couldn’t have said it better myself!
    It makes you weep when you consider where we were and…dare I say it, where I and the majority of the Toon Army thought we would be going… once our new billionaire owner took the Toon over on that fateful day… what next, I wonder?

  • pengprm

    Excellent article and bang on! But imagine if Ashley had sanctioned moves for Balotelli, Falcao and Di Maria for £130m. We would have been over the moon with him. Yet all 3 players proved to be no better than Cabella, Riviere and Ayoze Perez. With Tiote, Cisse, De Jong, Steven Taylor, Aarons, Obertan, Coloccini and Haidara all out for long spells it was always gonna be hard to find any consistency and sharpness. Carver is out of his depth and we need a new manager but its harsh to blame him entirely and Im personaly glad Ashley didnt just chuck a ton of money at it. With all our squad fit, and 4 or 5 good players added we would be more than good enough to finish in the top ten.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    pengprm  This is not a one season problem because of injuries etc. As we have only managed a top 10 finish twice in Ashley’s 8 seasons, your optimism could be called naive at best.

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating and it’s a fact that Ashley has taken this Club backwards in every footballing sense when measured against our PL history before he arrived.

  • Andgeo

    Why should we accept aiming for a top 10 finish? This football club should be aiming to finish in the top 6, it is big enough and should have the resources to do this. Unfortunately ashley has stripped these resources from us, is not investing in it and won’t even employ a manager to run it for him. Why should we have to accept mediocrity?

  • Andgeo

    They are just delaying carvers appointment until they have a couple of players ‘over the line’ to soften the blow but I’ve got a feeling, Fatty’s cheapskate approach to running our football club is going to back fire on him big time over the next 6 months.

  • prestondave

    Tell you what Notts. not sure what you do for a living but if it’s not writing you are in the wrong job. You need to find a newspaper and write for the sports section so the football world can see what is really happening to us. Another great piece full of facts unlike the fat one who blatantly says something that can be taken so many ways. Can you write to Cameron and get us out of the EU by the way?

  • Steve Cross

    Good article and the analogy at the end of the piece is perfect! Thanks for the offer Mike but I’ll not be taking a bite.

  • DavidDrape

    spot on again, that is the reality. You can also add 60 years of mis management (give and take a few seasons) at our club. you would have thought we were used to it by now, but the fans keep coming back for more.

  • DavidDrape

    pengprm good points…as you know the most important employee in any football club is the manager. he is central to everything. agree i don’t blame carver like i don’t blame JPK,(even tho he never helped himself)  the blame lies with the person who put them in charge. Had JPK heart scare been more serious i would have still blamed FCB for that as well

  • magpiefifer

    DavidDrape  David,that is the crux of the problem – ‘the fans keep coming back for more’ – victims of such staunch loyalty.
    It’s been bad in the past (I’ve been a fan since 1953),but I’ve never felt as low as I do under this shambolic,embarrassing ownership.Ashley doesn’t care about the fans,doesn’t understand how a football club should be run,and surrounds himself with incompetent yes-men.As I’ve posted before,my season ticket will not be renewed until Ashley sells up.

  • DavidDrape

    magpiefifer that is amazing support. well done and i am not surprised this is the worst its ever been. agree with all your comments and well done re renewal. I mean how can us fans be to blame for 60 years without a domestic trophy – all we have ever done is turned up in great and loud numbers home and away and supported our team but we are to blame becuase our expectations are too high according to the outside world

  • magpiefifer

    DavidDrape magpiefifer  Thanks David.The problem with the outside world is that they don’t have all the facts,and are fed misleading info by so-called expert pundits whether they be ex-players,managers or journalists.Example – Souness said on Sky after the game last Sunday that a new manager should be given time,5 years – am I mistaken or did Pardew last over 4 years,and he was given an 8 year contract!
    The misinformation about Toon fans excessive expectations is precisely that!!