This is why the build-up for Newcastle fans has all got a bit tricky…
For Newcastle fans this season feels seemingly endless, yet at the same time…strangely flying over.
The main reason I think, is that one match very much blends into the next and the next and the next….
It is a bit like those movies where characters are driving across America and the scenery never changes, it is very easy to find your mind going completely blank and then suddenly snapping back into the present – then wondering whether you are already at the end of your journey, or only just setting off.
Normal seasons, whether good or bad, usually have many peaks and troughs.
Your spirits raised and then dashed, or vice-versa.
This season though, it is just more of the same every week.
Early December saw wins over Spurs and Liverpool a week apart then there was the trio of home games on the bounce against Man Utd, West Ham and West Brom that produced seven points – but beyond that it has just been constant drudgery/misery.
Steve McClaren kept claiming that Newcastle were only missing consistency but the truth was anything but.
The tactics were universally negative and the play dreary and unimaginative, odd chances created by accident and any reason for optimism like the flickering of a candle in a gale force wind.
A pattern has been settled into, where pre-match chatter is so half-hearted, whether discussed on The Mag or in the pub.
We still talk about team selection and the players are on a rota to come up with claims of how this next match is going to be different – but none of us take any notice anymore.
Well I say ‘take no notice’ but that isn’t quite true – everybody starts to get angry, to a greater or lesser degree, as Sissoko, Wijnaldum etc say just much they care and what they have been up to in training this past week.
For too long we have had to hold onto the faint hope that Gini Wijnaldum was going to prove that Norwich match wasn’t a freak event but even that trail has gone stone cold now.
We need players to step up against Swansea and do something interesting.
Whether it is a few many runs (Townsend?), crosses flying into the box and somebody (Mitrovic) throwing themselves at everything, incisive passing (Shelvey?), or even a few crunching tackles (anybody?).
We need people to lead by example and break the monotony.
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