A few key things are missing from Newcastle United, and no I am not talking about strikers, defenders, a manager, points, or even the basic ability to compete in a game of football.
I am talking about the few absent things which have brought about all of the others; responsibility, dignity and self-respect.
(To feature like Notts Toon, send in your articles for our website to [email protected] – all views those of the author etc etc)
It begins at the top, where it usually does, where we have an owner who refuses to take responsibility for his actions in not strengthening the squad and lack of action in arresting an alarming slide.
This then filters down to a Managing Director who operates without any real power to affect change upon the football club, for fear of god knows what? Upsetting the dark lord perhaps?
We then move onto the coaching and playing staff who have, more than any other group in the history of the Premier league, behaved with total and utter contempt for their profession and their fans, showing a complete lack of dignity and a total absence of self-respect.
The blame doesn’t stop there though, what of us fans?
What about the laughing stock created by those who continue to attend the game, line the owners pockets all whilst claiming to despise him, the fans waving their ‘Ashley Out’ cards in front of the TV cameras whilst wearing their W**ga shirts, the fans who will continue to attend “no matter what”, where is their self-respect?
What price their dignity in continuing to patronise the establishments of Ashley whilst proclaiming their opposition? A cheap, fixed price, long-term season ticket?
Newcastle United is thoroughly rotten in every aspect and it could have been so very different.
Only three years ago we reached a crossroads by coming within touching distance of that hallowed ground of the Champions League, luckily perhaps, but we were so nearly there nevertheless.
That was the last opportunity to really change this, to make the club competitive again, with some serious investment at that time and a commitment to build we all (owner, players and fans) could have reaped the benefits for years, instead we bought nobody as the owner saw nothing but an opportunity to save money.
It has been mentioned time and time again on this very site that should relegation happen it will not be so easy to bounce back this time. I sincerely believe that, I also believe that there may not be such a willingness to bounce back this time either.
We have no Barton, Nolan, Andy Carroll, or even a decent and committed Jonas or Colocinni, the characters are all gone in one sense or another, replaced by spineless excuses for footballers with absolutely zero respect for the privileged position in which they work.
We will struggle to respond because the football club simply cannot be bothered.
Many commenters have spoken at length of the malaise surrounding the club, but I would even say that we are past the stage of apathy and into the territory of wanton and wilful destruction, a kind of scorched earth policy that a retreating army implements to stop their pursuers making use of any resources that are left behind. The current regime is now steadily withdrawing its influence from the club, leaving the asylum to be run by the inmates.
Newcastle United is in the process of being cast aside by a group of people who have no respect for themselves, so it is probably a leap too far for us to ask them to respect the history and heritage of a football club.
When this is over, and they inevitably move on to their next hollow venture, then maybe we can try to reclaim a little dignity for what was once an institution of local pride.