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An(other) Annus Horribilis for Newcastle United

7 years ago

… “again” I hear you all say.  It seems at the minute that year on year things just get worse and worse.  It makes you wonder if things will ever get better for supporters of Newcastle United.  Surely though the past 12 months have been among the worst so it’s good riddance to 2015!!

Just like it was good riddance to 2014, 2013…

Annus Horribilis could quite easily be latin for ‘NUFC, making an arse of it’.  Maybe that will be our new club motto!!!

Since I’m trying to make the most of the festive season I didn’t want to dwell too much on NUFC spoiling it.  However, while walking slowly down the stairs with 30 seconds to go against Everton so I could get on the first Metro out of dodge, I thought it was a good point given how bad the first half had been.  We all know what happened by the time I’d got a few steps from the bottom, bloody typical!!

So heading into 2016 what do I expect?  Well pretty much nothing as usual.  McClaren said it would take three transfer windows to sort things out so the next month should tell us if he and the club are going to bother trying to put things right.  If they don’t then I fully expect the footballing board to act…oh right, the manager’s on the board with his bessie mates Lee and Graham…erm.

If 2016 brought about the departure of Ashley then it would be most welcome if we can replace him with someone who has the product on the pitch at the forefront of their thoughts, rather than the bottom line on the accounts.

I’d even tolerate Ashley still being here if he’d get rid of his Managing Director & Chief Scout and replace them with more knowledgeable football people who have some idea of how to run a sporting institution for the benefit of the community we live in.

However, history suggests this is not how Mr Ashley likes to roll.  What a ridiculous idea to have experienced and competent footballing people running a football club, when you can have incompetent fools ruining it.

On the playing front we’ve needed a new spine (which we are told is the cornerstone of any team) for several seasons.

A defence that gives away 10-20 chances a game suggests goals for the opposition.

A midfield with no creative players suggests chances will be at a premium for ourselves and when those chances do come along, we don’t have a reliable striker to stick that round leather thing into the big rectangular net thingamajig.

Our goalkeeping situation is a worry, Colo should have been peddled long ago, Colback and Anita (the munchkins in the middle) doesn’t work and Mitrovic is at best a work in progress…if I’m being kind to him.

Why we can’t just stick Sissoko in the middle for 10 games and see what he can do there, is beyond me.  But I suppose if you’re going to fritter away millions on wingers who aren’t any good and have a threadbare squad, then this is what you get left with.  Now is the time to buy big, strong, capable Premier League quality players, not unproven, injury prone, diminutive foreign imports.  I wonder if we have even bothered trying to line anyone up?

In the stands, I’d love to think the thousands who continue the 17th minute applause (a wonderful tribute for last season but run its course now) would make an effort to join in the general atmosphere on a match day for the other 89 plus minutes.

It only seems to get lairy (like it did on Boxing Day) when something goes against us (the referee usually).  At one time we were famed for our atmosphere, even when the team were poor, although maybe the effort made up for their lack of ability.  Currently, it’s largely embarrassing to see how things have deteriorated both on the pitch and on the terraces.  And that Adam Johnson song just has to stop.  It may sound clever if you are winning derby games (if you can remember that far back) but it just makes him play better and makes us look pathetic when we can’t even score a goal against them lot.

I never thought I’d see such a dramatic turnaround in form in derby games when we generally had the better of it.  I’d take a draw off them now if you offered it to me, just to stop the rot, as it is clear the players we have had for the past three seasons just aren’t up for the fight.

Arsenal and Man United first up in the New Year and the best I can hope for in these games is to squint through my fingers and pray our terrible goal difference doesn’t take another hiding.  The TV companies for once have done me a favour for the latter game.

I was all set to be finished work in good time for the original date but now it’s been moved to the Tuesday, I’m not due to finish work until 2030, cheers!!  Normally I’d move heaven and earth to get a swap, or come to some sort of arrangement to be there, but quite frankly I just can’t be arsed anymore.  As for the FA Cup…well what’s the point?  There could even be irony of ironies come May if Derby replace us in the top flight!!

Current existence for Newcastle fans just seems like being stuck in a loveless marriage.  Plodding along, unable to leave, not really enjoying it and like life is just being frittered away year on year.

It feels like such a waste when a new owner could surely grab someone like Keegan to inject some direction and passion back into the club and send it rocketing back to life.  It will be interesting to see how many more season tickets get cancelled if we do not make some significant transfer progress and don’t try to fight our way out of the bottom three by the end of the month.

Finally, the tribute to Pav on Boxing Day was moving and such a tragedy he has since passed away, he was only 2 years older than me.  I suppose it puts following our club and life in general back into perspective.

I wonder how many (if any) of the current squad will be remembered with such affection in 20 years time?

Pavel will always be a Geordie –  R.I.P.

Crappy New Year


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