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Same as it ever was

5 years ago

It’s January 1972 and little Jinky is sitting at the back of Mr Hough’s double maths lesson, wondering what the hell the old goat is going on about.

I did not understand logarithms then and I do not  understand them now.

So while Baz occupied his time writing SLADE on the knuckles of one hand and ACAB on the other, Donk flicked his bogies into the hair of the lass in front of him and Waughy stuck his hands down his pants and fiddled  with his genitals,  my mind took me to St James Park, where in another seven hours I would be standing  watching Newcastle United put at least eight goals past some non-league team of farmers.

Of course it didn’t turn out quite like that. Somehow the team that had won a European trophy just three years earlier couldn’t beat Hereford. So by ten o’clock that night I had learnt a very valuable lesson about supporting Newcastle United.

Never  expect things to work out the way you want them to.

A couple of Saturdays later, me and Barry are trudging two miles up Waldridge Bank to meet up  with Mandy and Rita, because these young ladies had promised to spend the afternoon with us in the woods. After waiting for two hours for them to appear, only to be stood up, I had learnt a very valuable lesson about girls.

Never expect things to work out the way you want it to.

On the walk home to Chester Le Street, the heavens opened upon us, our Marc Bolan haircuts were stuck to our face and we were totally peed off. We then walked into the front room to find out that Newcastle had lost the replay at Hereford.  Suffice to say, this wasn’t the greatest day of my life.

And what has this tale got to do with 2016?  Well it’s my way of saying that nothing ever changes at St James Park and sadly I have come to believe that it never will.

Owners, Managers, players and fans come and go, but the only thing that stays the same is this football club’s uncanny ability to well and truly screw it up.

If  I were to list the low times in our history since Hereford 72, I could fill a book, and God knows we are all miserable enough without raking over the past.

However, what makes the current crisis so hard to take, is that it seems so self-inflicted. Rank bad decisions about the purchase of players and rank bad decisions about the appointment of managers just keep compounding the problem, although I sometimes wonder if  even that purple nosed bloke who used to manage in Manchester could have made it work here.

A look back at some old issues of The Mag helps to make my point perfectly

Mag 1 (1988)

This was the year relegation was virtually certain by Christmas and “sack the board” was our only chant.

Chris Tait wrote:

“As long as these  men have absolute control of Newcastle, mediocrity will continue to be tolerated and to them, probably appreciated. They have proved beyond doubt that their ambitions are in total conflict with those of the people of Tyneside.”.

Chris may have been talking about McKeag and his cronies but those sentiments could have been written  today.

Mag 26 (1991)

Football is emerging from its dark ages and is becoming sexy. That’s if you regarded watching bleached blonde footballers in very tight shorts as sexy. Think of Barry Venison in a pair of hot pants and you get the idea.

Actually it’s probably better that you don’t. So to quote what was said at the time by an Editor who has managed to outlast 15 managers at Newcastle.

“Will it ever end? Are all clubs like this? Everybody must be sick to death hearing about the politics at Newcastle but until some kind of harmony is achieved the pain will continue.”

Sound familiar ?


Mag 205 ( 2006)

“Whether Glenn Roeder will indeed be a success may be down to the reasons why he was given the job.  If he was simply a cheaper option and seen as likely to be less demanding than a higher profile candidate then the outlook is very bleak for us all.”

Substitute  Steve McClaren for Roeder and that paragraph will also work just fine in 2016.

I have come to the conclusion that supporting this club is the equivalent of being a squaddie at Rorke’s drift.

As  the blood red sun comes up on the horizon  and millions of Zulus start to come over the hill.

You’re buggered mate, so just accept your fate.

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