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The Championship is great fun…but only if you are winning

4 years ago

Welcome to the Championship, what a refreshing change from the Premier League, if you are winning that is.

Anybody under the age of 35 is excused from the following, youth and ignorance is a defence on this occasion.

There seems to be a widespread consciousness amongst Newcastle supporters these days, whereby dropping into the Championship is a risk-free/stress-free great laugh, rather than walking a tightrope to possible disaster.

In 2009/10 Newcastle started pretty well before September/October saw defeats at Blackpool, Forest & Scunthorpe, as well as poor home draws against QPR and Bristol City.

Once United got into their stride though, any concerns were quickly forgotten, with NUFC losing only one of their final 33 Championship matches.

You have to go back 24 years from now for the last Championship season before that Chris Hughton one, Kevin Keegan of course doing a brilliant job of taking Newcastle United up as Champions in 1992/93.

Not tempting fate or anything but with the form Rafa Benitez has his squad in, there is looking every chance of United finishing top once again.

If they did, it would mean that the only three seasons in the past twenty five, when Newcastle have been in the second tier, they would have finished as champions all three times.

No wonder so many people think it is a right laugh getting relegated!

These last three Championship seasons have the following stats:

1992/93 P46 W29 D9 L8 GF92 GA38

2009/10 P46 W30 D12 L4 GF90 GA35

2016/17 P15 W11 D1 L3 GF32 GA12

This gives overall stats over the three seasons of P107 W70 D22 L15 GF214 GA85

At any level of football it is great watching your team scoring goals and winning matches, at least in the short-term.

The problem for so many is that they don’t see the Championship in any other context, or prefer to forget just how miserable it was when we were stuck there in the past.

The misery of seasons such as 1980/81, what was a third season in a row in the then Division Two, terrible football, few goals, and spending pretty much all season in mid-table obscurity with zero chance of going up.

Then of course you had 1991/92, again it was a third season in a row at the second level and this time it got even worse, the club was falling apart and the team on their way to the third tier, until Kevin Keegan performed his first miracle (as a manager) at St James Park.

Thankfully we have the benefit of Rafa Benitez’ experience this time and he is steering a steady course back to respectability.

Yet still I hear some saying that they wouldn’t mind if we stayed in the Championship for another year or two because of how enjoyable it is.

No, it is only enjoyable in the short-term because we look like we are heading out of it (the Championship), it is the winning and scoring goals that is fun. If we’d just won 11 of our last 13 games in the Premier League that would be the current fun x10, or x100.

Drawing and/or getting beat every week by Rotherham, Barnsley and Burton would be no laughing matter and those of us who were around for those previous struggles in the 70s, 80s and 90s have the (mental) scars to prove it.

It was the poison within our club that needed dealing with, not necessarily jumping ship from the Premier League.

Hopefully that demotion has helped to bring back the patient towards a full recovery – but that can only happen in the top tier.



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