After time to deliberate, cogitate and digest last night’s match I thought I might as well hoy my two penneth in with everybody else’s for what it’s worth (nowt!).

Siege mentality is now required at Newcastle United, if it hasn’t been already for the last ten years.

As a spectacle, or at least in the first 30 minutes, it was pretty hard to watch. I’d probably get more of a buzz from licking a hornets nest with a mouth full of Cola cubes if I’m brutally honest.

However, if one game ever highlighted the rampant neglect of our owner and catastrophic running of our once glorious club, then this was it.

Circumstances dictate the tactic and this can only make you sad that this is where we are at. I get it, I understand it – but don’t necessarily like it. I hate the situation Mike Ashley has put us in. Rafa is playing Poker with a bogus hand against a Royal Flush.

Bags of heart and big cajones, but that will only take you so far; and over a long season not nearly enough. Got a lot of time for our current squad and players like big Lascelles are going to the top.

I don’t doubt for one second that this was the right thing to do, however unpalatable. We could have had a right go and got blootered, condemning us to an embarrassing and above all ‘demoralising’ defeat.

Or I suppose in some people’s imaginations, like in a Roy of the Rovers FA Cup style tale of old, we could have bloodied their noses and swiped a famous scalp. Hoorah!

No Fairytales of St. James Park this Christmas.

I know which odds were greater (13/1 to win at home for Christ’s sake) and in a league of such fine margins at the bottom, it’s a percentages game, and Rafa went with the odds and looked for a different way to survive.

Not like we haven’t seen it before this season is it? The second half against Liverpool was a carbon copy – yet because we grabbed the goal and a point it was a massive positive, aye?

Don’t lose sight of just where we would be without Rafa. Probably in the Championship slumming it with the Mackems with some other Ashley puppet at the helm and getting our own hooters burst every other week.

This same squad lost at least ten games in the Championship from memory, maybe more – so this season without proper investment pointed directly at the season we are having.

This tactic of self-preservation is used across all sports and nobody really bats an eyelid.

The great Mohammed Ali versus the monstrous and undefeated World Champion George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle is a case in point. Ali put his guard up on the ropes and for eight rounds, took a pounding to the body, barely returning a punch.

He had a plan to tire Foreman out and it worked when he sprung to life and knocked his knackered backside out. One of the greatest underdog achievemnets of all time.

Had he gone toe to toe, he’d have had seven shades of brown and sticky knocked out of him in no time and had an early kip on the canvas. Foreman had put Frazier down six times in their fight.

There was supposedly no way he could win that fight, a bit like the chance we were given against City last night.

Cricket does the same with night watchmen and playing yourself in, though not so much as it used to. There’s bound to be more but can’t think at this time in the morning.

That’s where the similarities end. No way am I saying that last night anyway resembled a great sporting achievement and defeat isn’t to be celebrated, but to put it into context, our contest was like the Corpse of Apollo Creed exhumed from the grave and put in against Anthony Joshua.

It certainly wasn’t the sporting version of the Omen and Rafa being pilloried as having the mark of the beast on his nappa for bringing down the Premier League.

Some of the comments and commentary from last night heard with a clear mind this morning, leave me absolutely convinced of a media narrative to perpetuate the negative and try to keep the so called basket case rocking.

I had a half time barney last night with someone. having not heard the comments in full. Some big nosed Man Utd ex-player having said that it was the most negative 30 mins he’d ever seen. I couldn’t disagree with that at the time but not complaining.

The start was like the QE2 dropping anchor, never mind a bus!

Some of the rest of the bile spouted by him and an ex-Rafa disciple is just bizarre.

Let’s get this right, had we when we got the ball in the first half not just punted it up field (Jonjo Shelvey in particular), we could have played it a little better.

In the end we gave them their one of their tightest games in their last twenty odd and a bit of a fright. This without injury, suspensions, batterings and the potential to save some legs for Brighton and beyond.

City are ridiculously good in every single position. They’ve bought the best and got in the best manager and they truly are on a different planet to most we’ve seen.

I still hark back to Keegan’s first stint as manager and think how lucky we were. But that’s a different era and more than a generation ago.

Mind you, if only Rafa had been number two instead of Terry Mac! With our attack and Rafa’s defensive nous we’d have won the lot, hey ho that’s fantasy land.

We were spoiled back then but the reality is now.

That reality is not great unless our owner helps our world class manager. He is to be celebrated.

Likelihood is the loan market and players from top six teams not getting game time, but there will be plenty of sharks sniffing that same whiff of cheap new blood, and with our owner’s wallet laser sensor protected in a concrete bunker, even getting those over this effing line might prove mission impossible.

I’m keeping fingers, toes, legs, eyes everything crossed that the takeover happens sooner rather than later and that it enables incomings and doesn’t hinder it.

Happy new (nearly) New Year. All the best to everyone.

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  • TheNutJob

    with 15 mins to go the oranges at half time kicked in and the boys went at Peps invincibles. my god the best manager in the world had to replace the great Sergio with a centre back to stem the tide. Rolando hit a fine chip & was unlucky not to score & Dwight took a dive when he should have shot. if only !
    but it`s been if only for a decade under the pie man, hasn`t it

    • Leazes Ender

      If Gayle had been Playing in a Liverpool shirt it would have been a penalty, the MOTD team would freeze the frame at a point of contact and mumble something about it being ‘conclusive’.

      • TheNutJob

        stonewall, backed up by the boys at sky

  • HappyToons

    I bet when Luton are up here they won’t treat us like we did Citeh and they’ll win by a couple of goals, as they can certainly score them.

    Pre Keegan days and as a young fan in the old First Division we seemed to always finish around 12th and win 3 and draw 3 or 4 away, at least it seemed that way to my own ambitious plans to win the League. We always won away when I wasn’t there. Yet the cup was always exciting whether Hereford or Hendon and my best memories include the Burnley semi final and also Citeh in the League Cup final. Then latterly we had some trips to Wembley with Shearer as our talisman.

    Now we approach the cups like we are scared to advance past any team as the cost is so great if we start a bad run in the league or lose a ‘star’ player to injury. So what is the point of attending any cup games?

    Never did I believe we would approach a ‘home’ premiership game like we did on Wednesday. A cold Wednesday night is made for a cup shock or even the shock of ‘the mighty magpies’ beating Citeh, but ….

    When Hereford knocked us out of the Cup folk forget they outplayed us as St James park having scored after 12 seconds or so in a 2-2 draw. It wasn’t a shock to me that we then lost on a field of clarts in the replay. NON-LEAGUE HEREFORD? They won because they were part time players up for it and they went for it, even though we had the Fairs Cup winning captain and a CF who could run like an Olympian Sprinter and was nailed on for at least hat trick.

    So who knows if the mighty Citeh, full of turkey and mince pies, could have been there for the taking on that cold post xmas night. Was it clever tactics and hang on for a 0-0, or if 0-1, then bring the Calvary near the end and go for a draw?

    If we are now keeping are best team for the visits of the bottom teams, what is the point of going to any games at all? Our ambition is to go out of the cups early and finish out of the bottom three. Seems mightily depressing.

    Let’s hope Rafa has the money to sign some players, or it will be a depressing 2018 and beyond even for the optimist.

    • Tony Mann

      Took my then 8 year old brother to the Hereford game at SJP. He said that he thought Hereford were the first division side and the toon were the none-leaguers. Out of the mouth of babes.

    • Phil Yare

      rafa would have probably parked the bus for hereford. even half the wins in the championship were hard to watch

  • Leazes Ender

    Uncanny…… I was going to write the same thing about Ali….

  • Gary McCarron

    I don’t like losing 6-0, 7-0…who does. BUT losing 1-0 in the manner (particularly first half) was for me embarrassing
    Sometimes it’s nice when a respected person in the game gives you praise even when you lose and now having seen Peps comments about “Newcastle didn’t want to play”, well he’s right and I feel rather more ashamed now on reflection…..sorry!!

    • TheNutJob

      my dad was 13 at the final in 69, he took me & my bro to our 1st games
      at St James, he stopped going 6 yrs ago through ill health, he was totally disgusted by the game last night. everybody is entitled to an opinion

      • Gary McCarron

        indeed, I hate feeling like this. I hope your Dad and I find solace soon!!

    • Phil Yare

      totally agree. look at fa cup draws when minnows play the big boys, they can’t wait to have a go – none of them apply themselves as negatively as that. dare i say, imagine hereford didn’t beat us because ronnie radford didn’t fancy a shot, instead he give us the ball and retreated back for the rest of the game to punt it clear everytime it came near him.
      gateshead would have been more adventurous last night

  • blueknight

    It was a was a dive it was a dive it was a dive.. how many times before the penny drops and you get it?

    • giimps

      if there was contact it wasnt a dive, an exaggeration maybe but Dele Ali and every one of the Man U front players would have been given it and not booked…….