What exactly are the expectations of us, the loyal Newcastle fans?
Were the press to be believed: nothing short of finishing top 4 with a trophy in the cabinet would count as acceptable on our return to the top flight. But then again, they’ve regarded us as deluded fools for many a year now. How gullible we must be, to turn up and at least almost sell-out every single home game in the Championship, in a stadium that boasts a still impressive 52,405 capacity!
We have expectations of course, but just how wrong are the press, do they even know us at all?
We’ve been relegated twice in the past seven years and on both occasions have finished the following season as champions. That in itself is no mean feat and shows an abundance of character. We are much like the boxer who is knocked down, back on their feet as soon as they hit the canvas, desperate to make amends for the damage to their pride.
To most Newcastle fans, the press are very wrong in their assessment of us, in fact it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to say they couldn’t be further from the truth.
‘We don’t demand a team that wins, we demand a club that tries.’
The now famous message on a banner displayed at St. James Park, during our soulless period under Mike Ashley’s tenure. It stood for exactly how the vast majority of us feel about our club and typifies the Geordie Nation’s mentality. We’re a proud lot up here and we take our football club very seriously.
We also expect those lucky enough to be in charge or playing for our beloved Toon, to show passion, heart and soul, just as we would, and we won’t accept anything less! Newcastle United is often written about as being a religion for the people of the area. It’s a pretty accurate analogy.
The difference between Newcastle United and any other team in the Premier League, and this is the sticking point that most journalists just can’t quite fathom, is this. We get average gates of over 51,000 (in the second tier) DESPITE not having won a major trophy for 48 years, or a domestic trophy for 62 years!
Were that drought to come to an end, the celebrations in Newcastle would be something the like of which has not been seen in the modern game.
Playing European football again would be amazing, winning domestic silverware would be an absolute dream, but they are not our expectations.
Personally, this coming season I’d be happy going into March, clear of the relegation dogfight, having scared some of the bigger teams and taken a fair few points off them. Enjoying a few memorable matches during which we’ve played some attractive football, scored an acceptable amount of goals, some of which were top quality, all the while being resilient at the back.
This would give a solid foundation for Rafa to build upon as well as boosting revenue and re-establishing ourselves once more.
One huge difference over our recent campaigns is that we no longer have a defence which looks like the Keystone Cops in stripes!
(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])