For all of its (many) faults, the Premier League is indeed the only place to be.
That is not to demean clubs lower down the leagues but if you are a Newcastle fan, you are used to watching games in the top tier.
It isn’t that Newcastle, or indeed any club, have a right to be playing in the top division but the size of the fanbase, St James Park and indeed the City of Newcastle, all enhance the Premier League.
The Championship has proved to be a bit of an adventure once again, just like 2009/10. Playing other clubs, visiting different stadiums, winning and scoring goals, a refreshing change but you wouldn’t want it to be permanent.
In the Premier League you are always looking towards the next game: players you fear or dislike, previous meetings, the level of rivalry with the other club and their fans. You don’t exactly get that when it is a constant diet of Burton, Brentford, Rotherham, Preston and so on…
Most of the games/opposition just blended into one, when it came to rivalry you had Aston Villa and then after that, it would probably be Leeds if you were over 30.
In the Championship you are almost anonymous, even when getting over fifty thousand fans paying to watch you every home game, Bournemouth and Burnley in the Premier League are a far bigger story.
When the Premier League fixtures came out on Wednesday, they provoke the usual ritual.
Fair enough, Sunderland – the first thing to look for usually, were missing. However, the rest of it went as usual.
Check who Newcastle have first (Tottenham home) and last (Chelsea home) – absolutely ideal in terms of starting and finishing at St James Park, plus they are games against clubs you are bothered about when you play them.
Next up checking out the festive period – home to Manchester City on Boxing Day and Brighton on the 30th December are positives, whilst aways at West Ham (23rd Dec) and Stoke (1st Jan) aren’t ideal but could be worse.
In the absence of the Mackems, home games with Manchester United (10 Feb 2018) and Liverpool (30 Sept 2017) were probably the go to games to look out for.
Newcastle are back in the Premier League and another year of your life sorted – what more could a man (or woman) want?
(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])