I am one of those Newcastle fans nearing 50 and as a season ticket holder I have witnessed the highs and many lows of this great club.
Originally from Consett and now living in Chesterfield, I have read plenty of article and columns about Newcastle United.
I have also had the pleasure of enduring the dulcet tones of many ‘loyal’ fans of Chelsea and Man Utd.
I thought I had heard it all until my visit to the Etihad or should I say arrogant-had/library had. My journey started with a train journey into Manchester and in the distance a fantastic view of the stadium I had been so excited to visit.
I clung onto the hope that we could pull off a famous draw but if I had put a bet on, I think 6-0 to Man City would have been favourable.
The walk from Piccadilly station was strange, a few people about, some with city scarves, but it’s so eerily quiet. Agreed Newcastle doesn’t have the same buzz as years ago pre-match but there still an excitement and frustration felt running through the veins of the supporters. Thanks Mike for that.
As I reached the ground, to the sides of the walkways were the stalls selling half Man City/Newcastle scarves. Now maybe I’m wrong but what the hell. There can only be one reason people sell scarves like this and that is to tourists. I would not be seen dead with another team’s colours. Why would I? I support NUFC and I hope I never see this in Newcastle.
There was no sense of feeling outside the ground, it was another day. You couldn’t see the swarm of ants, making the pilgrimage to the cathedral on the hill, wearing their team colours with pride.
City’s ground is sterile and the fans’ lack enthusiasm, with an expectation of a win. Unfortunately, when talking to the new City faithful, there was the arrogance that I had so hoped wouldn’t happen to them. Not long ago they were a club so like Newcastle, with what I thought were great fans – oh how quickly times have changed.
In the ground a fantastic set-up, I was in level 3 and had a great view of the stadium overall. Having a few beers and enjoying watching the young one bouncing to the Tunes with the odd beer thrown. Which made me think ‘At £4.50 a pint how can you waste it by chucking it over someone’ the mind does boggle..
Five minutes before kick-off and into the stands, finding my seat and again, hoping to hear the banter between the fans. Being spread over three tiers it’s difficult to know whether all tiers sang at once but tier three was trying.
To make a great atmosphere you need two to compete – this is what I was amazed at – City’s ground is a library, the atmosphere is shocking. I appreciate Newcastle aren’t the greatest draw in their current state and I may be wrong…but I heard the Manchester City fans sing twice in 90 minutes, the rest of the time oh so quiet.
What a shame – one of the best teams I think I’ll ever get to see, in one of the best stadiums in the world, but there’s missing the most important things – loyal football supporters.
I left the Etihad reflecting on what football is all about. Man City are a fantastic team and I so wish Newcastle had their reserve side, never mind first team.
But there’s one thing for sure, City will win trophies but what I suspect is that the majority of the Manchester City fans who stood on those terraces at Maine Road, won’t be there to see it.
If Newcastle ever get a team near Man City’s standards, I just hope we do not become supporters who are soulless arrogant winners.
Can Man City change the situation? I don’t think so.
Money does change everything and yes I do wish Mike to sell but there’s trepidation – what would happen to the attitude of Newcastle supporters if we had money?