Since I first walked onto the Popular terraces way back in 1969, there has never been a calendar year when I have failed to attend a match at St James Park alongside my fellow Newcastle fans. Even since I gave up my season ticket, I still manage to attend a handful of games each season.

However, because I fell ill last spring, 2017 was destined to be the first time in nearly 50 years that I wasn’t going to do it. That was until Christmas Day, when my daughter presented me with posh Milburn seat tickets for the Brighton game.

This didn’t go down very well with Wifey, who looked  unimpressed: ‘Are you sure your heart is up to this?’… ‘Will you be able to cope with the stress and excitement?’.

Well It won’t come as too much of a surprise to you when I  say that I managed to get through the 90 minutes without incident. There was a stage when my daughter stated to shake me because I was making grunting noises and she thought I was struggling to breathe. The truth is, I had started to snore .

Actually that’s not true, but to say it wasn’t the most exciting game ever seen at St James Park would be an understatement. However, what struck me about the day was the lack of criticism and anger aimed at the players and management.

When you read those who leave comments after articles on The Mag, our supporters seem to be polarised in their views, one way or the other.  It always makes me wonder if they are representative of the 50,000.  From what I witnessed on the 30th, I would say they are not.

From my vantage point, which I accept was in the Milburn and is hardly renowned for its seething passion, there was absolutely nothing bad aimed at the pitch, whilst we watched the team play for 0-0 and hope for a lucky break.

Compare this with Fat boy Sam’s last game in charge, a 0-0 cup shocker at Stoke.  I remember the dogs abuse that rained down on him for his utterly negative tactics.

So what’s the difference between the two events, ten years apart .

Well, my opinion is that back in January 2008, that team contained the likes of Owen, Viduka, Duff, N’Zogbia & Smith .  A bunch of players, who on paper at least, should have been capable of taking a shot at goal. The fact that they didn’t, was seen as the fault of one man and one man only, Sam Allardyce.

This time, I believe that the majority of fans look at the players on the park and think that in the main they are Championship players, playing to their best ability, and that Rafa is playing a style that may just about produce enough results to keep us up

It’s not good and it’s not pretty, and to be truthful, If I had shelled out 600 quid to watch that week in week out, I would find it very difficult to stomach, but like the thousands around me that day,  I accepted it.

Newcastle fans getting on the backs of the players is not going to achieve anything. A toxic St James Park will guarantee relegation, just as it did back in 1989. That season, my rubbish support, along with thousands of others, where we screamed abuse each time they went one down, helped to finish them off.

So as I remove some more splinters from my backside from sitting on the fence again, I can see both sides of the argument. Surely this football club is better than playing for a point at home?  Of course we are – but in 2018 that is what we are.  I don’t like it but I understand it.

I hope to God that we beat Swansea, which in my opinion, will mean that we may only need another 11 points. If those points are achieved by three 1-0 wins and two scoreless draws then so be it.

That can be accepted for this season but it cannot be accepted after that.

It seems that these days, many people feel that we can’t win the Premier League, we can’t qualify for Europe and we can’t compete for a cup

If you then take away entertainment as well, you seriously have to ask yourself….

What’s the point?

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  • Dan the toon fan

    Can’t argue with any of this

    • Clarko

      You waited 10 months to post your first comment and you chose that? Talk about anticlimactic…

      • Dan the toon fan

        Don’t really get involved with social media bollocks pal bit long in the tooth, just struck a chord with me as I had the same crack with my pals after Brighton game. Sorry to disappoint !

        • TheFatController

          You could learn a lot from Clarko.

          Said no one. Ever.

          • Clarko

            That’s the ignorance talking.

          • TheFatController

            If agreeing with you would make me intelligent, I’m happy with the status ‘ignorant Clarko objector’.

            Do you have a match day flag yet? ‘Clarko: “23% of flags get taken home on a matchday” ‘

          • Clarko

            Agreeing with someone who is intelligent doesn’t make you intelligent, it’s about the understanding, you don’t understand, you’re not capable of understanding, your IQ, ignorance, bias, prevents you from understanding.

            Hope that helps.

          • Dillon Tovak

            Just calm down, come back with a fresh positive attitude and I’m sure life will be more tolerable.

          • KRS1

            After another day of irritating everyone he comes into contact with, Clarko goes to bed alone. Crying himself to sleep again, why does everyone hate me so much he wonders…..

        • KRS1

          Don’t worry, Clarko is a constant disappointment.

          • KRS1

            He will shortly provide some flawed statistics to prove things are 20% more interesting under Ashley

          • Clarko

            If my statistics are so “flawed” why don’t you try and tell me and the rest of us, why and how they are flawed? Oh that’s right, I forgot, you don’t contribute anything to this platform:

            “FFS – I can only conclude that Ashley actually wants us to be relegated”

            “The fat bas#ard has squeezed any sense of optimism out of me”

            “See that bell end Clarko is spewing his rubbish again”

            “Can all you armchair managers criticising Rafa tell me who you would rather have managing the team. Most of you would struggle to manage a good sh*t”

            “No he doesn’t. Talk’s a load of biased rubbish, a bit like yourself”

            “Bell end”

            All you do is whinge and whinge and whinge, no insight, no information and no intelligence. Have fun whinging 👍🏿

          • TheNutJob


          • 8prestondave

            Do you print previous responses off to store them or do you have a special folder so you can regurgitate peoples past posts. Either way its creepy. Cant wait for the response.

          • Clarko

            It’s called research, you should try it.

          • KRS1

            it’s called having too much time on your hands and living at home with your mum!

          • Cockneytrev

            It’s not a pleasant image, him sitting in his stained white jockeys infront of a computer screen writing statistical nonsense, inbetween bouts of watching “HamsterX”

          • Mitros gotta start

            Fists of fury while browsing the fake taxi section

          • HarryHype59

            In fairness to him, there’s not much to do in Pennywell in January!

          • Clarko

            And there we go, another unintelligent, unfunny, generic internet insult. And I’m the one with “too much time” on their hands, sure, that makes sense.

          • KRS1

            doesn’t the fact that you receive so many insults tell you something?

          • Clarko

            It tells me when I’m right.

          • Cockneytrev

            All You do is lick hoops 👅

          • KRS1

            One of the great pleasures in life is debating and arguing with people. However this only works if you and those your are speaking with are open minded and prepared to be swayed by a reasoned argument. You are so biased and myopic in your support for Ashley that I wouldn’t waste my valuable time trying to discuss NUFC with you.

          • Clarko

            You say that as if you debate or argue, you don’t, as proven, all you do on this platform is complain and name call.

            I am perfectly willing to be wrong and to change my opinion when new information is presented, but you saying my statistics are “flawed” is not that, as I said, why don’t you try and tell me and the rest of us, why and how they are flawed?

          • KRS1

            you do realise there is a world away from this site don’t you? Debate and argue all the time with colleagues and friends. I am guessing you struggle with the friends bit……

          • Clarko

            Of course you do…

            You refuse to do it here though don’t you. Because it would waste your “valuable time” and we all know that you like to spend that whinging and complaining instead.

          • Lhc

            Why do you constantly take cheap insults at people? You bullied at school? Your missus at home wear the trousers? Little man syndrome? What is it. Your one of life’s modern day keyboard warriors who deep down face to face would be an total pussy.

          • Clarko

            How embarrassing.

          • Dillon Tovak

            Hahaha pot calling the kettle.

          • KRS1

            I think it’s incredibly unlikely there is a missus at home. Unless it’s a blow up one or he’s bought a sex bot from Japan.

          • Dillon Tovak

            What a nerd.

        • Clarko

          I waited 10 months man, 10 months.

        • Geordiegiants

          He is the scourge of this site m8, just ignore him every one else does.

  • Paul Patterson

    Agreed. The most important point is that this side is Championship squad and it will be for as long as Ashley is here.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    The fans need to be behind the team from start to finish they were very edgey
    against Brighton especially with Darlow releasing the ball no need for it stick with the team till the bitter end. One thousand Swansea returns left so get along on Saturday and cheer us to victory the players need your support.

  • gallowgate26

    ‘It seems that these days, many people feel that we can’t win the Premier League, we can’t qualify for Europe and we can’t compete for a cup’…. Yes but apart from a few piddly years under Keegan & Sir Bobby, you have to go back to the 1950s to one of the period’s when the club ever has! Just because we look around at 49,000 home fans and think, ‘there’s potential here, there’s gold in them there hills’… doesn’t mean anything…. The fact is, the history of Newcastle United Football Club is years upon years of total mediocrity and abject failure.

    • Geordiegiants

      Yes but up until those piddly few years there wasn’t really a lot of fans going. They will fall away again if Jabba stays, and doesnt do anything.

      • Down Under Mag

        I disagree. We have always competed with Man Utd and Liverpool for avg attendances throughout the decades. There’s been some ups and downs but so have the other clubs and our attendances have always been respectable when compared to other clubs…clubs with far greater historical success than NUFC. The fans love their football and while that should be a thing to be proud of, Fatty just uses it as a stick to beat us with knowing he can do whatever he wants and the masses will still turn up in their thousands.

        • Geordiegiants

          If nothing has changed by the end of this year we will not be getting these attendances next season. We only got them last season because of one person.

        • kingfisher

          My thoughts exactly .D.U.M I know it must be hard to stay away, especially if you’ve bought a season ticket, and as you say, Ashley knows this, so as long as he gets a full house at S.J.P. why should he change anything ?
          I’ve supported Newcastle for over 50 years and historically you have always had teams which dominate the league for a while, then another team comes along i.e Leeds United in the 60’s, Liverpool in the 70’s, Manure in the 80’s etc etc, and our hope is that sooner or later ( or very later) it will be our turn,but I suspect that the top teams have moved so far in front of us that N.U.F.C.and the other ” mediocre teams ” are left to fight it out for the scraps !
          I turn 65 this year and I very much doubt that I will ever see a Newcastle captain lifting a notable Trophy, but like thousands of others, I live in hope !

  • mactoon

    to stay in the Premiership and hope that the sale goes through which means we may get an owner who is willing and capable of running the club like a football club and not a SD advertising vessel

  • Roblee7

    Newcastle fans have tolerated Ashley for 10 years and will continue to. Not having a pop at those who go to games but the appeal is just to much for some and the toon is in the dna. Can’t see it changing and I think Ashley thinks that too

  • Alan

    Brighton was a particularly frustrating game.
    Rafa’s idea of playing the ball out of defence fails at the first hurdle when Shelvey is not playing quarterback as the distribution from Clark / Darlow / Lascelles is hopeless. This was compounded with no height in the forward line as the long ball to Gayle came back quicker than it went up.
    The result was we played the ball across the back line till someone hoofed it then Brighton were allowed 55% possession.
    We got locked into this approach from the first five minutes and could not get out of it until late in the game.
    Easy to understand why supporters get frustrated especially when we did the double over Brighton last season and this was a must win match but we were ‘lost’ after the first five minutes.
    Let’s see what happens at the next ‘must win’ match against Swansea.