There was probably only ever to be the one outcome in the Manchester City versus Newcastle United fixture, but yet again the away allocation was a complete sell out, unlike the home allocation (allegedly).

This last week and the takeover on / off ‘revelations’ from Mike Ashley (lies) and the Amanda Staveley interview, have left me feeling more hopelessly in limbo than ever, flatter than a steam rollered witch’s teat.

I can’t be the only one who has had that sinking feeling again and it is this fact that makes it even the more impressive that anyone can drag their sorry backsides out of bed at all, never mind head off into no man’s land on a guaranteed suicide mission!

However, like the obvious punishment perverts we are, we return for more! And like all good parents who have had their fingers repeatedly burned like a moth on a black and white lightbulb – it’s time to share that pain with the wee cubs!

So regardless of what lay ahead, a special day as my nine year old Joe attended his first away game full of the innocence of youth, not yet minced into the cynical gristle of age.

Four of us went down: two dads, two sons and I drove. No beers for me. Just kets, crisps and sausage rolls – off my nut on E numbers. Rave on.

Up over the M62 and the sleet and snow started, no surprise as it was like ice station zebra outdoors and it always effing rains down there in Gotham doesn’t it?

Parking a tenner, yes a tenner and then togged up for the conditions.

If no one has been to the Etihad, it’s like it’s landed from Mars on a vast patch of Tarmac and concrete in the middle of an industrial estate.

There is plenty of stuff going on around the outside of the ground, very friendly for the kids, but it feels very manufacured. Thats probably because it is, and sadly always will, with these new purpose built Stadiums.

After being bollocked for putting Chinese curry on my fish and chips (whats wrong with that?) at Maine Road cafe – kick off looms. (Chippy recommended compared to the expensive gash inside the confines of Skull island across the road – not a euphemism).

Fanzones outside with big screens and New Order pumping out and caricature mancunian accented speakers try to force feed you into feeling all ‘Madchester’.

manchester city 3 newcastle 1

Pre-match in the ground on the big screens and tannoy, another sickly-sweet ode to Manchester City to lights, moving pictures and poetic narration is given to build this whole thing up.  OK man, I get it, I can see where you are going but it’s so stomach churning being force-fed this guff and it really is laboured.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved the Manchester scene back in the day and my best teenage years were spent listening to the Stone Roses, New Order, Oasis and the Smiths.

Maybe my teenage self would have lapped it up, sunhat on, and waddled around like Liam Gallagher on mogadon?

Man City have got one of the best teams I have ever seen, but they’ve not got the soul that they had at Maine Road, and they know it.

Trying too hard, most definitely.

Time for one final pep talk with young Joe before going over the top of the trench to face the machine guns of Manchester City.

No matter what, it’s boys on tour and we are going to enjoy it! At least I think that’s what I said, as it had dropped to about minus three degrees and me gob had frosted over.

Let’s get this straight, we are on two different footballing planets right now. The first half was like a blur of Sky Blue and white. Was like peeking through a keyhole and being repeatedly jabbed in the eye with a chopstick. Maybe that’s why the stewards all wore safety glasses?

Hard watching, but the away fans in magnificent voice as ever, let’s you forget almost about what’s going on.

Backs against the wall could describe it, but it would be an understatement, it was like the Alamo, but rewritten as catapult slingers versus a team of terminators from the future.

But short of Rafa turning water into wine, he has us set up very difficult to beat and we defended magnificently. Last ditch mind – but in the face of a front seven it was needs must.

A disallowed goal for Man City brought cheers, and the eventual first goal brought some prolonged argie bargy on the border between the good and the bad and the ugly (our seats only a few yards distance away from the City fans).

Makes me laugh the pantomime between the two lines facing off with only a metal handrail and three zero hour contract students keeping the baying mob at hand. Grrrr I’m crazy.

One nil at half time, still in it and compared to other teams that have gone there and got completely banjo’d – good on them.

However, we needed to get some kind of act together in midfield and final third to stand any chance of holding out. Big Joselu had two chances to slip someone in with relatively simple balls and blew his beans – but glimmers of them giving a chance.

Another half time pep-talk and desperately trying to remove the new swear words written all over the bairn’s face in his knowing grin and confirming that Mams and Grannies must never know of these things!

We started brighter and the away end got louder again. Think the half time pints had upped the volume.

So much so, I might never stop singing ‘Southgate’s got his number, he’s taking him to Russia- JAMAAL LASCELLES!’

Still the noise ramped up and our bare faced lying scumbag of an owner got it next. Rumoured to be in the ground before the game, and I hope he was, as he got pelters. Deservedly so and that discussion rages on. (#Ashley Out!).

A soft pen comes and it’s Aguero (who else?) adding his second of the night and seven millionth career goal against us. At least it seems like it.

Up steps our shining light in Jacob Murphy, a ball played out from the back  (poss Clark) and he ran 40 yards and then dinked it over the keeper! Get in man 2-1!

Cue a spell of pinball football insanity with Diame charging around like a headless maniac in the box and their keeper flapping like a budgie, making three or four saves on the trot. Easily could have been two each.

For all City are footballing freaks of nature, they do give teams chances.

Don’t get me wrong, they could have scored as many as they liked, if not for the brilliant defending of Lascelles, Clark and goalkeeping of Darlow. (Do we really need another unknown keeper bringing in? Not for me).

At this point it’s fever pitch, but we are undone by a bit of Sané brilliance and typical finish by Aguero for his hat-trick – his seven million and first goal against us.

Game over. Or nearly. We still had a couple of chances, substitute Gayle missing another headed chance to the collection and Murphy with some more jinking runs.

Final whistle, no disgrace in defeat. An expected result, but a gutsy performance matched by the performance in the away stand.

Good luck to Manchester City and their billion dollar quest for greatness and acceptance.

They are striving to be the best they can be and I can’t knock it. In my opinion, with players like De Bruyne (what a footballer by the way), Silva, Sané and Aguero they could win the Champions league.

Bigger fish for NUFC to fry on and off the field. Back out of dodge with dignity intact and future regular away fans thawing out nicely in the back of the car, not in shell shock, but still singing ‘JAMAAL LASCELLES!’.

Some day we will have a club and an owner to match the fans. What a fantastic club and day that will be.

Stay United.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Manchester City 3 Newcastle 1


Newcastle: Murphy 67

Man City: Aguero 34, 63 (Pen), 83

Possession was Man City 81% Newcastle 19%

Total shots were  Man City 21 Newcastle 6

Shots on target were Man City 9 Newcastle 4

Corners were  Man City 18 Newcastle 0

Referee: Paul Tierney

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Manquillo (Yedlin 66), Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Hayden, Murphy, Diame, Shelvey, Atsu (Perez 64), Joselu (Gayle 76)

Unused Subs:

Elliot, Haidara, Merino, Ritchie

Crowd: 54,452 (Newcastle 3,000)

(Read instant fan/writer reaction to the Man City game HERE)

(To read the player ratings by fans and add your own go HERE)

(Alan Shearer explains in simple language why Newcastle fans want rid of Mike Ashley – Read HERE)

(Pep Guardiola congratulates Newcastle on getting over the halfway line…once – Read HERE)

(Read what Rafa had to say about the match AND transfers HERE)

You can follow the author on Twitter @JamieSwan1

To feature like Jamie Swan submit your article to [email protected] and/or for more info go here

  • Leazes.

    Jamie wrote…..’Hard watching, but the away fans in magnificent voice as ever, let’s you forget almost about what’s going on’….

    That’s Ryder’s job.

    He’s just done an article about Murphy scoring past a £35m goalkeeper…. I knew it was his article before I opened it….

    ….bigging up players…..thinks ‘how can I add a superlative’…. got it…. scored against an unbeatable goalie….’how’s he unbeatable”…. he cost three times Alan Shearer!

    Click….Saw the writer… didn’t bother reading further.

    • JonMag

      you still banned from the chron, bet Ryder`s over the moon

  • ghostrider

    Does that mean someday we’ll have an owner to match Man City’s owner?
    What does an owner to match Newcastle United fans look like if it isn’t a Man City type owner?

    Steve Gibson type?

    • anyobrien

      Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

      • ghostrider

        Sleep tight kid.

  • JonMag

    Aguero had the freedom of the park yesterday, error 1 playing Manquillo against the jet heeled Sane, errors 2 & 3 Sergio Aguero getting between the two central defenders who stood like dummies in Fenwicks window.
    3 defensive errors, 3 goals & the points down the schitta. if ever there was a car crash it`s Joselu

    • Kev-82

      Yedlin was so much better against Sane when he came on was he? He was turned inside out and had his pants round his ankles for the third goal.

      • JonMag
        • Kev-82

          Why? Because I’ve proved your comment to be stupid? I’m not going to argue Manquillo is better or any good as he’s not, but Yedlin was absolutely done for that 3rd goal with fresh legs so god knows how he’d have done if he played the full 90.

          • Wor Lass

            You`re right but Sane will do far better players than Yedlin – he`s quality.

    • Wor Lass

      Manquillo does his best but he`s just not good enough. I suppose rafa wanted him because he would concentrate on the defending.

  • Mike

    Great report! Well done.

  • John

    Yes let’s drop John stones from the England set up and play lascelles, who plays with 9 other defenders and a goalkeeper on his team every week.

    • Wor Lass

      Stones is a gifted footballer but he often tries to do too much. In a way, he reminds me of Gaza always trying for the Hollywood ball – he was at his best when he played within himself and saved the outrageous skill for the right moment. Stones needs to learn that – I hope he does.

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    The sad thing about the whole sorry scenario is it reads something like “Hobson’s Choice.”

    We currently have an owner that is like something from the 1980’s mixed in with the Victorian Era who is ripping out the soul of the club.

    That’s okay though don’t worry, We will one day have an owner that will be like Man City’s who will create a fake “Big Club” backed by Arabian Billionaires money.
    The reality of the situation is that the club of Manchester City without that cash is a struggling nothing third division club !
    Is that what we want as fans in the end ?, A grotesque corporate carnival of people who have basically ripped out the heart and soul of the club and recreated it for themselves ?
    A club in which the article states has become try hard and full of Manc caricatures laid on by business people who do not get the fans or true culture of the club ?

    It seems like either choice is not worth a light without a middle ground in sight !

  • “Some day we will have a club and an owner to match the fans. What a fantastic club and day that will be.”
    Got to pick you up on that one, mate – we’ve seen that before and it was indeed fantastic – best days in my 40-odd years supporting United.
    Owner: Sir John Hall, who built the ground we now enjoy
    Manager: Sir Kevin Keegan, who built a great side

  • Cockneytrev

    What a great report,,
    I hope your son had a brilliant day (in-spite of the result) 👍👍👍👍

  • kingfisher

    It may sound like sour grapes and jealousy, but would we really want to be like Man City, Man Utd, Arsenal,Chelsea etc, when you are expected to win something every season ( even if it is only the F.A.Cup) ? Take Arsenal for example, the fans are calling for Wenger to be sacked because they haven’t won anything for ages (Apart from the F.A Cup in 2014 and 2015, but who wants to win that, when you are still in The C.L.?).
    Fans of these perennial winners get blasé and complacent about winning, and take winning at least one trophy per season for granted ! My bet is that Leicester fans got more enjoyment, satisfaction call it what you will, from winning the Premiership than all of these so called Super clubs fans put together.

    The longer you wait for something, the better it is when you achieve it, a bit like waiting for Frank Clark to score his first goal for Newcastle which, when it did happen v Doncaster Rovers in The League Cup in 1973, S.J.P exploded! I was behind the goal in the Gallowgate End when it went in, and even though it wasn’t an important goal, that experience is what makes football what it is, an entertainment business, not a commercial juggernaut spewing out Trophy’s,Titles etc on a production line. That’s why the fans of “ordinary” teams were over the moon with Leicesters Title win.

    • Cockneytrev

      Frank Clarke was never appreciated,,
      But he would jockey and jockey until the winger ran the ball out of play,,
      He used to get his dry cleaning done on chillingham road in heaton on a Saturday morning,, we would go and see him on the morning of the match, remember one winter ( can’t remember who we were playing ) he told us they were looking for people to help clean the pitch of snow, so we went across and helped we got in the match for nowt,, Brilliant memory!!

      • kingfisher

        That’s what I mean about football.Those insignificant memories from years ago still re- surface every now and then and bring pleasure and a smile to your face,excellent !
        When I was an apprentice in 68/69 I went to S.J.P with my boss to measure the Fairs Cup, as we had to make a presentation box for it.We ended up in Joe Harveys office, and only being 16 was totally awe struck,as not only was Joe Harvey there,but also the man himself Jackie Milburn.Almost 50 years later it just seems like yesterday. 🤣🤣🤣

        • Wor Lass

          Nice one. Could you make an XXXXL-sized box for a certain fat cockney minger?

          • kingfisher

            No prob.Could put some lead in the box and throw it off the Tyne Bridge.📋😁😁😁

      • Wor Lass

        I was there when he scored his first goal for the club. If I remember rightly, it was Bournemouth in a cup game. They were 3rd or 4th didvision and John Bond was their manager. Their team came out with placards and when they held them up it said, “We aim to entertain” – and they did!

    • TheNutJob

      me i`d rather be winning something on a regular basis than being in the state we are

      • kingfisher

        We’ve won approx 16 various Trophys and League Titles in 125 years,which averages out at winning something every 8 years approximately. Obviously our early successess give the stats an unrealistic portrayal.
        I wouldn’t say winning Championship and second division titles are signs of greatness ! Winning the Fairs Cup in 68/69 is the highlight ( so far) of my 50 odd years supporting Newcastle.

        • Wor Lass

          It`s getting on for 50 years since we won anything worth getting excited about. No wonder we had the gag about renaming the trophy room the Philippe room.

          • kingfisher

            Aye,but just wait until Rafas lifting the F.A Cup aloft at Wemberly 🤣🤣🤣

        • Kneebotherm8

          Did you include the Texaco cup and the Anglo Italian cups in that?

          • kingfisher

            No, it’s strange that some sites have different results. The official nufc site includes the Texaco Cup twice (74 & 75) and the Anglo Italian Cup (1973) but no mention of The Intertoto Cup, (surprisingly) and only 1 Championship Title. They also include 1 Charity Shield win (1909) when at least 1 other reference site states that we won it twice !
            I suppose most of our Trophys were won that long ago, that statistics sometimes gets a tad mixed up,but well spotted !👍👍👍

          • Kneebotherm8

            73/74 we beat Burnley in the final…..74/75 we beat Southampton in the final
            72/73 we beat Fiorentina in the Anglo Italian cup final…………..heady days😂😂……..and as you say we did win the intertoto cup under Glenn Roeder……………….Arsenal fans don’t know they’re born complaining they’ve only won the FA cup these last couple of years….

    • Wor Lass

      Are you sure it was Donny? I was there but I thought it was Bournemouth in a cup game. Is my memory playing me up?

      I`ve just Googled it and you`re quite right. I`m going to Google the Bournemouth game now. Something must have happened in that one!

      • kingfisher

        Actually Wor Lass,I thought it was Doncaster as I was there, but as it was that long ago I had to Google it to confirm.We must be of a certain age,unless of course,supporting Newcastle for that long does something to the little grey cells😁

        • Wor Lass

          Yeah – I can`t find my “looking-for-my-glasses glasses”!

    • Toon Arnie

      I wouldn’t mind a go at winning trophies for a few years in a row tbh ! totally agree with your comments on the spoiled fans of the so called ‘ Big 6 ‘ though – a few months without a trophy and they’re on the managers case.

    • paul mclaughlan

      And 2017

  • GToon

    A nice report. I’ve just typed up all the games my three have ever been to since they were tiny so they will always know. Nowt like standing next to your kids at the game is there.

    • Leazes.

      You do know that your avatar is upside down don’t you?

      • TheNutJob


      • Wor Lass

        He`s in Oz!

        • TheNutJob


      • GToon

        Yeah and I don’t know how to fix it and I’ve got a degree in ICT!! Hahahaha

        • TheNutJob

          you must work for Mike then

  • TheNutJob

    so fatty`s opening the wallet according to reports this morning, he must have watched the horror show yesterday, he has the club that low some think a 3-1 loss plus around 18% possession is ok

  • Wor Lass

    Great article, jamie. We could do with more of this sort of thing instead of the constant click-baiting and vitriolic attacks on anyone who isn`t at the club any more. One thing we know is that the lads on the pitch will battle to the final whistle now, unlike some times in the past (er, that`s as long as Lascelles is out there with them, maybe). I`m glad one of the favoured whipping boys of the recent past (Dummy) was a MoM contender. Murphy`s busy putting the doubters straight and even SloMo is having a decent run. There`s only Rafa left to slag off for some people now.

    • TheNutJob

      Dummy was MoM, Hayden did a good job unseen i think by a few people.
      4-5-1 looked more like 4-5-0 with the Hoss not even out of the paddock
      overall the game was shocking. hard work & endeavour cannot make up for lack of quality, not at this level anyway

      • TheNutJob

        Hoss, Manquillo & Diame should never be in the first team, that alone shows you the state of the squad

        • Wor Lass

          I didn`t see the match but a lot of people who were there reckon SloMo had a good game and has been a lot better recently. No argument where Hoss and Manquillo are concerned. Decent lads but just not up to EPL standard.

          • Soldier

            the nuts right, that trio are hopeless. we need players that can play consistently, those 3 can`t even play

        • Ram Kishore

          What can a lone striker do without any forward play..
          Come on guys Joselu was played just to add a body

    • Toon Arnie

      Enough people on here slag Rafa ( probably the same ones that leave early every game ) so don’t give them any encouragement ! You’re right about Dummett, he’s been solid since his return.

  • Soldier

    we play Burnley at home on the day the window closes, i hope we aren`t fielding the same team as yesterday

    • Jezza

      No good giving yourself false hope.

      • Soldier

        thanks for that, but you may well be right going on Ashley`s record

        • TheFatController

          It’s why they invented the helicopter ….

        • Tony Mann

          Is that one of those 12″ LP vinyl thingies that’s warped and scratched and doesn’t do anything.

      • TheNutJob

        aye he`s up to his old tricks Jezza saying he`s going to fund the Gaffa

    • glassjawsh-got-banned

      I’ve been reduced to simply hoping Lescelles isn’t sold at the last minute…

    • Toon Arnie

      You’ve probably hit the nail on the head Soldier – there’ll be the usual excuses about how they couldn’t ‘get deals over the line’ etc etc. We’ll have to accept that and really get the support at home sorted out even though it’s hard to watch. The amount of people that leave early is ridiculous and the players can’t take encouragement from seeing the fans sit in silence for large parts of the game then flood out with 5 – 10 mins left. Our away support is right up there with the best but the home support, while great in numbers, needs to do more.

      • Ram Kishore

        I fell almost asleep during the first half .. we did what we had to do to get a positive result.. just my 1st half experience

  • Tony Mann

    Top class article – we need a few more of these – well done Jamie Swan.

  • TheNutJob

    online reports Newcastle in for left back Joe Bryon for £7m

    • anyobrien

      Fake news 😂

      • TheNutJob

        i hope so, or it means the deal for Kenedy is dead.

        • Jezza

          The curse of the Kennedys strikes again.

          • Wor Lass

            In years to come, people will be saying, “Where were you when Kenedy wasn`t signed?”.

          • JonMag

            fitting an ejector seat in the Fat Pigs Helicopter

          • Wor Lass

            Make it a double!

          • TheFatController

            ‘Reading a Chron exclusive saying his signing was likely’….?

          • JonMag

            no worries there, the Warren commission was completed faster than Penfold can sign a player

    • Mitros gotta start

      Everton aswell…..thats us f00ked then

  • JonMag

    what we need is a left back that can play left wing & striker, or a left winger that can play left back or striker, last on the list will be a striker who can play as a striker

    • Dave Pattinson

      How old is Obafemi Martins nowadays? Still 23?