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Ian Wright and Robbie Savage: Discuss

6 years ago

The Ian Wright saga has opened up the age old debate about Newcastle United and the national press.

It’s the notion our club gets pretty shoddy treatment/coverage from a largely London-based media pack, not to mention ex-players from other clubs who work in media roles.

The likes of Ian Wright and Robbie Savage stand out at the moment. Michael Owen to an extent, and the thoroughly reprehensible cliché machine that is Martin Keown. It’s a long list and I’ll have missed a few off. Niall Quinn summarising derby games at St James’ Park for god’s sake.

I’ve always felt Savage can barely hide his disdain for NUFC, and his appearances on the lamentable BT Sport coverage, and the slightly better MOTD, have done little to alter that view. He hates us more than David Speedie ever did!

Are we too sensitive to this though? Are we paranoid? Maybe. Are we bothered what others think? The Millwall analogy – no one likes us, but we don’t care.

After more than two decades following Newcastle’s fortunes I have come to the view that the whole region is seen as something of a footballing backwater. We’re perceived as the upstarts just on the border with Scotland.

Even the Mackems would probably agree, despite their own notions of a ‘Magedia’ (Newcastle biased press to me and you), which is a whole other article entirely.

It has to be said that a good few of the writers on national titles do cover NUFC entirely fairly, and far be it from me to be seen on a soapbox bleating that we got a bit of stick. It comes with the territory.

However, we are seeing many games covered at SJP when the broadcast is slanted towards the visitors.

We are seeing pundits going to town on NUFC without stopping to consider bias, or to actually research all that much about the club they are commenting upon.

Ian Wright doubtless just recalls ‘Newcaarsel’ as that freezing cold place up north where he got a bit more stick than at other venues.

When Wright says something needs to be done about the abuse referees get, I’d throw it back at him and say he should do something about the way he comments on clubs he has no affiliation with, and actually engage his brain.

Make no mistake, Wright was a class player. He got lots of goals, but he was also a workie ticket who got into scrapes with officials. His holier than thou comments about our fans booing Andre Marriner were absolutely ridiculous.

It’s called passion Wrighty. Newcastle fans have it in spades. Yes, Marriner got criticised by 50,000 people, but that comes with the job of being a professional referee.

There exists a cabal of London clubs, and a few from the North West, that are just media darlings. They pull in the bigger broadcast figures than areas like the north east, with its smaller populace.

I see no evidence that any of that is about to change.

It’s a fact we’ll just have to live with, like we have done for years.

From watching such woeful coverage it actually makes me more likely to buy a ticket and go back to games at SJP.

And don’t forget the golden rule, if you don’t like what these ‘experts’ have to say then hit the mute button or flick over to the movie channels.

You can follow the author on Twitter @DavePunton

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