As I have mentioned in past articles, I live in the southern section of this green and pleasant land, so I often find myself as a bit of an island when it comes to supporting our beloved Newcastle United.
Part of living down here is having to put up with the wonderfully screwed up view of our club and the toon army in general.
This came to a head the other day when a gooner supporting colleague approached me with a grinch like grin on his face, which usually means that some sort of football related wind up was about to commence.
“So it looks like Benitez will be missing the Swansea game then?”
Now I was aware that Rafa may miss the game due to a stint in hospital this past week due to a pretty nasty infection but before I could draw breath to respond he continued…
“Guess that instead of travelling to Swansea he will continue on to London to get a club down here!”
A short chuckle whistled through his teeth as I gritted mine.
The reason why I didn’t empty the hot contents of my black and white mug over his smug head was that I’m pretty much used to this sort of nonsense these days.
Truth is, ever since our relegation was confirmed sixteen months ago, I have been on the receiving end of this sort of doom mongering in regards to our manager.
We go down?
“Haha you’re losing him to Everton!”
No money spent in January?
“Haha you’re losing him to Swansea!”
No big name signings in the past transfer window?
“Haha you’re losing him to West Ham/Palace/Hammersmith Irregulars XI!!!”
When I enquire where this “insider” knowledge comes from?
“I read it in the paper!”
Ah well why didn’t you say? It must be true!
I have to say statements like these don’t surprise me. I’m sure we have all opened a tabloid or tuned into sky sports news to find our wonderful club and it’s name being made the target of mocking, or generally being dragged through the mud.
The red tops and “news” channels including talking heads and ex “professionals” like Paul Merson and David Prutton and countless others, spew the view that we are on the verge of a footballing apocalypse every five minutes and it’s not just the club itself that they set their sights on.
We supporters are also not immune from their Fleet Street bile. To the majority of these outlets we are nothing more than a bunch of delusional horse punchers who feel we have the right to be challenging for every major honour season after season!
The thing that bothers me is that because of when asinine statements like these are sent out to the general public via print or visual medium, the general population accept this as fact.
I know for a fact I don’t feel this way, all I ask for is a team that plays to the best of their capabilities and gives their all for us supporters.
Thanks to the emperor of elasticated jogging bottoms and his broken promise,s we are all aware that a tough season is ahead of us. However, losing 2-0 with our heads up and fight in our hearts is a damn sight better than losing by the same scoreline with slumped shoulders and a half-hearted performance.
This narrow view from our nation’s “finest” pundits and scribes will not be changing anytime soon and I am under no illusions that these doomsday scenarios will continue to be printed and aired regardless of their truth and substance as long as they attract eyeballs.
So i guess I’ll just have to continue gritting my pearly whites and focus my attention where it counts most….cheering on our lads!
(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])