I would like to tell you a story
Let’s start this with a few obvious things, just to clarify…
No one wants to read again about how bad we were on Saturday. We all saw it and know it.
Steve McClaren is dreadful. He’s so far out of his depth it’s untrue. He needs to go.
Mike Ashley is useless and in my opinion, he is to blame.
We also need to accept something deeply unpleasant.
In no way is Mike Ashley going to sack McClaren any time soon. He’s let him spend a vast amount of his vast fortune on players. If he is going to stick with Carver through the sh**e we endured last season, he’s certainly not going to bin off Steve now. Plus, who would take the job? No one good enough to keep us up is the answer.
Good. Glad we’ve got that sorted.
Moving on and past the Chelsea game, I’d like to tell you a story.
I used to coach a football team a few years ago and they had been together since the under 10 age group. They had never won a game or even avoided defeat when I started coaching them at under 15 level.
Each week a victory for us was a goal, or sometimes against the best teams in the league, even a shot on target. We stayed together through to under 16 level which was to be their last season together as a group before they moved up to youth football. We were the only ‘B’ team in the league until that point, and when we noticed another ‘B’ team in our league with similar results to ours we all knew this was our best chance to get the win, or even draw we craved.
In the first game against them, we drew 1-1 thanks to a late leveller from my centre-half who scored following a corner. The first time we had ever avoided defeat. Epic.
The rest of the season went on and due to weather postponements and other such things, our last game of the season (and last game ever!) was against this other team. Despite going one nil down, we recovered to win 3-1. It was an amazing day which I will never forget.
Each week, we all knew what our ultimate goal was. It was to beat that ‘B’ team at one point during the season. We knew we wouldn’t beat the best teams. Each game against the best teams became a contest without our team.
Who could score, or create a chance, or in some cases could we keep the result within single figures. We lost 9-0 once and at the end of the game my defence came off genuinely excited. It was the first time they have had ever avoided a double figure defeat by that opposition.
We knew we had two chances in that year to win a game. It became our sole focus. We trained for that game and tried the players in different positions each week, all with the ultimate goal of winning that one game having seen where they could or couldn’t play when required. It worked.
There were times when we came off and were dreadful, and everyone was annoyed and disappointed. There was even a time when I had to go in goal as our keeper got so pi**ed off with the people around him he walked off, and the opposition coach invited me to do so to try and keep the scoreline relatively respectable (which didn’t work…I’m more of a Hooper than a Krul to be honest).
Whatever happened though, we all knew what the aim of that season was. It all paid off and we got 4 points from a possible 6 and avoided being bottom of the league for the first time.
Why have I told you this heartwarming story I hear you ask?
It’s simple. Newcastle right now are in the same situation. Moaning and worrying about the Chelsea game is futile and will not help us achieve our goal which is Premier League survival. We need to build and focus on 5 games which will keep us up. Sunderland (h), Swansea (h), Bournemouth (h), Villa (a) and Norwich (a).
Winning those five games keeps us up. Simple as that. Worry about the defeats in those games when or if it happens. Take to Twitter and go mental if we go down and organise protests and burn effigies and get that fella in to walk through the city with a coffin again if you want.
Until then though, let’s stay realistic. Let’s focus on our real goals. Chelsea away isn’t a game where we were going to do anything. The manner of the defeat is unpleasant, and credit to the people who went to the game – you deserve your money back – but nothing changes.
What does it matter who else has won there this season, or where Chelsea are in the league. Who cares about the performance, or that Aarons isn’t a left back or that the lads are now having a holiday camp in Spain.
Win the games we need to win and bin off the others. It’s in our hands. Let’s stay positive and see what Steve can rustle up for us, but until we are either mathematically safe or relegated, let’s stay together and hope Steve and the players realise what they have to do.
The hope is all we have left to keep us positive, so let’s do it. Stay positive, believe we can do it like we did last season and go from there. After that, get a real manager in, buy a defender or twelve and start hoping again we can achieve something other than a constant fight against relegation.
Come on the Mags.
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