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My older Newcastle United mate surprised me when choosing promotion or Cup glory…

4 years ago

Three points in the bag, maybe not the best performance, but three points nonetheless…the history books don’t remember the performance.

I spent my Saturday afternoon in a small bar in the North East of Malta – I live here, I work here, I am officially an ex-pat.

I’m not the only one, and my visit to the bar today coincided with one my best friends, another ex-pat who just so happens to be, who would of guessed, a fellow Geordie.

Due to the ridiculous TV rights deals that circulate nowadays, Championship games just aren’t shown on TV here, so, we settled ourselves in, and watched what we could; The Mackems getting thumped 4-1, currently rated as 10.0 on IMDB; great watch if you haven’t seen it yet.

Anyway, before we knew it, kick-off was upon us, and so, the constant need to discuss all things NUFC whilst not being able to physically watch ensued. Our conversations ranged from Tino to Robledo, SuperMac to Batty, Championship to Premiership.

Now, me and my friend have been through completely different experiences when it comes to supporting Newcastle United.

For a start, he has witnessed a trophy procession. He is one of the very few that has witnessed Newcastle lifting a relevant trophy above their heads. He was there in 69, he saw the trophy, he saw the winning goal. In my eyes, he has lived the dream.

He is twice my age. I will be 31 in 6 weeks, we celebrated his 60th in style 4 months ago. Despite the age difference, when I posed the question that I did, I genuinely expected him to be of the same opinion as me.

What would you take, right now if given the choice; Guaranteed promotion and no League cup win, or win the League cup and spend 1 more year in the Championship.

Me, I would take the EFL any day.

Despite not being able to watch the games on a weekly basis, I am loving my footballing life at the minute. I enjoy going to my bookmarks and clicking on the Mag, I enjoy watching the highlights on whatever platform I find first, I mean come on, it’s fun, it is.

If I was in Newcastle I would be at every game; my personal responsibilities, plus the industry that I have worked in for the last 12 years have taken me away from home, but I kick every ball with you, I really do.

I would take the EFL over promotion this year, I just want to win something, anything, but my friend is the absolute polar opposite. As far as he is concerned, the Premiership is the all-important end game, and anything that could potentially get in the way of that should be squashed and moved aside.

We spoke about this for a good hour, and no matter what I said, nothing could change his mind; his opinion could not be swayed. Premiership or nothing.

It makes me wonder, am I wrong?

Is the Premiership really that important?

Is being in the top division more important than winning a real legitimate trophy?

Do I want my club to be in the premiership? Of course, but if you were to ask me why, I don’t know if I could give you a good, solid justifiable reason; pride? Bragging rights maybe? As far as the actual football is concerned, I haven’t enjoyed it this much in a long time, and is that not why we love the game? For the enjoyment?

Bring on Hull, bring on the Semis, then hopefully Wembley. Let’s put everything we have into it, let’s target some silverware. Hopefully we can take it home, and then also maintain our current position in the Championship, getting the automatic promotion we probably deserve.

If the EFL derails our promotion, I say fine, let it happen. Burton has better pubs than Manchester anyway.



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