So, the dust has settled. We managed to avoid the trapdoor on a triumphant, relief-drenched St James Park afternoon back in May, Newcastle fans heading into the close season with just the faintest sense of – dare we utter it? – optimism.

Maybe it was all a bad dream, maybe we really could play, and just maybe…Ashley would make good on that fighting talk he spouted as we stared down the barrel on Survival Sunday.

(Emma is one of our ever expanding team of regular/irregular writers, send in your original articles for our website to [email protected] and share them with the world – all views are the author’s own etc etc)

Fast forward a month or so, we have a new face in the dugout, but a familiarly depressing story unfolding from the boardroom. An eerie sense of deja vu, accompanied by an all too recognisable soundtrack of deafening silence.

We’ve certainly been burned during some of our recent transfer dealings (Chucky, anyone?), but once again it feels like while other clubs are moving and shaking, we’re faltering and hesitating. Couple this with the general underwhelming response to the McClaren appointment, and the rain clouds seem to be gathering faster than at a British Bank Holiday BBQ.

Plenty of opinion pieces have been put forward on McClaren by far wiser, more articulate scribes than myself. I’m not going to go into detail on what I think his track record and status mean for the next few instalments of the black and white soap opera (for the record – uninspiring, predictable and all a little bit vanilla); what’s interesting to me is the perverse sort of enjoyment that I think a lot of the fan base is getting out of it.

There is certainly value and wisdom in going for a decent level of managerial experience, but at the risk of sounding like one of those desperately naïve Geordie caricatures that Jim White and his cronies love to parade on Deadline Day, I would have been so much more fired up over a Vieira or a Laudrup.

Yes, they both come with a certain measure of risk, but at this point my feeling was that a change is as good as a rest, with McClaren smacking all too heavily of Pardew II.

newcastle fans

Regardless – we are where we are, and our job now is to get behind the new gaffer and whoever he manages to bring in, however we feel about his suitability.

But herein lies the problem – so many amongst the ranks have written McClaren off before a ball has been kicked.

Is that really what we’re like? Loudly foretelling certain failure, decreeing malcontent at another lamentable transfer window and bemoaning our lot left, right and centre with a big fat ‘I told you so’?

I heartily wish we were already celebrating genuinely exciting signings, daydreaming about opening weekend and just exactly how we’re going to finally give the Mackems what we owe them.

No, it hasn’t happened yet, and no, we don’t have a transformative new head coach to jump up and down about, but wallowing in pre-ordained doom and gloom will surely only unfold as a miserable self-fulfilling prophecy when it’s time to kick the ball around the field.

People like to be right, and certainly Newcastle fans are still battling with enormous acrimony towards Ashley and his empire, but let’s not be the sort of fan base that revel in this horrible sort of native Schadenfreude towards our own.

The negativity can feel like we’re actually yearning for failure, just so we can say that we knew it would always be the case.

Despite how utterly crap recent years have been, it can’t be so bad that moaning and writing the team off has become a pre-requisite on the Toon devotee job description.

It feels really counter-productive, and more than a touch unfair on the new man who undoubtedly wants to lift the spirits of a wonderful club currently boiling in bitterness, just as much as we need them lifted.

Let’s not make his already mammoth task any more difficult, eh?

Emma has also started her very own blog which you can visit HERE and you can follow her on Twitter @Jowse

City Hall Gifts -

  • NottsToon

    So there’s nothing to be optimistic about at all, and we’re shafted at every turn…..but we shouldn’t complain. Hmmm………

  • Chemical Dave

    Mike Ashley is an expert at buying time, that’s why we’ve had the best part of a decade of him here. So what’s another few months ?

  • HansKrankl

    loved the schadenfreude bit emma lol brought back
    memories! but on a serious note a great write up and i hope it makes people think about the current state as it made me think! yes we got to Schteve a chance and get behind him!

  • Andgeo

    Ashley out!!!

  • JamesShaughnessyLawrence

    An absolute cracking point Emma!!! 
    I was going to write an article but struggling to find the time; One thing that I don’t think anyone has pointed out yet – The club said in January that the new ‘Head Coach’ would not have the final say on transfers. Fair enough, however, Steve is an exception to the rule – he DOES!!! Correct me if I am wrong but he is on the board and as the club have said, the board decide who we sign.
    I too call not to write us off yet, its not even July yet guys – patience!! If we are still the same in a month than let the skeptics have their say…………..

  • RayBrown2


  • Jarra MIck

    Unfortunately fans now find it is generally safer to be pessimistic as it saves disappointment later. I guess most of us have had the optimism well and truly kicked out of us over the last few years. Please Emma don’t tell us to suddenly become optimistic faced with what is likely to be another season of henry hollicks. Unfortunately McLaren has an uphill battle convincing fans he is the solution as anyone who works for this regime is tainted by association. If it was any closer to Xmas I would say bah humbug.

  • Jimmywayhay

    At this rate McLaren won’t make the ten games he had at Forest ,the poor soul will resign in total despair at being sold a lie and then being told to tell lies !

  • Andgeo

    We still need 2 centre halfs and two strikers, we’ve being saying it for over 2 years now! Where is the money fat man?

  • LeazesEnder

    HansKrankl The War

  • GToon

    Emma, it isn’t the hope of failure it’s the absolute frustration at being able to sit at home and know exactly what could solve so many of the clubs problems and yet our previous coaches and billionaire owner don’t. There are so many mistakes made at our club that even an idiot wouldn’t make or a mackem think up for us to do as a joke. There just doesn’t seem to be anything right. I really hope McClaren does well but already we are behind the game, waiting for some club to say “Ok Mike you can have him for 70 percent off. Gosh you do drive a hard bargain don’t you”. It just won’t happen but we just know how things will go that’s all. Sell, sell, sell, lose, lose, lose, panic, buy (but cheap though!)

  • GToon

    What transfers? Have I missed something?

  • DownUnderMag

    I don’t think we want to see failure, we just want to affect some sort of change for the better, a renewed attitude at the club and some investment int he playing squad.  I think you would be surprised at how quickly the optimism returns if those things happened.

  • Demented_Man

    I think the lack of optimism about McClaren, at least partly, stems from the fact he never really wanted to come to Newcastle in the first place.  Don’t ask us to be enthusiastic about someone who treats the club as a last resort.

    We deserve better than that.

  • Timptoon

    JamesShaughnessyLawrence Did you say the same when Joe Kinnear asked to be judged on his signings? If the fans don’t let our frustrations be heard now then by the time we do it will be too late.
    Don’t get me wrong, the club could turn this around in 24 hours. Three strong signings that show intent and ambition would encourage other quality players to look at nufc as a team with ambition to match their own. 
    The sad fact is, Charnley & Carr have proved for year after year after year that they are only interested in mediocrity and the bargain basement. That’s why there has been the inevitable descent to the position we’re in now. We barely survived relegation last season and if something doesn’t change you can bet the house we’ll be going down this season.

  • Hez

    Sounds the word of a duped season ticket holder! the fans of NUFC have been treated like idiots, ripped off, embarrassed and made to feel that supporting their club is virtually pointless. Its difficult to support a club run by someone who has no interest in it and uses it to grow his personal wealth in whatever way he can. If people want to go and “support” this fair play, its your money but I always find people telling fans to back to the club a bit awkward when you look at recent history of ownership and dishonesty.

  • ToonTone100

    Brilliant – well written … scribed even … Emma – totally agree. Too mich pessimism without just cause at the moment. There is time to turn this around in transfer activity (I’m not saying they will …) and the new manager & team need to be … supported in full. Time will tell if they will be effective – the transfer window doesn’t shut for a long time yet. One thing is for certain, when the transfer window shuts, we will know how effective the management team have been. Thats when to judge.

  • Rowla

    Demented_Man We do. We know we do. But this is where we are with the parasite

  • Ollie Burtons Grandad

    Toontone; I reckon you should stop taking your medication mate. “Too much pessimism without just cause” Myarse!
    Where have you been in the last 6 years? You Tool