Wow! Who saw that coming?

Well actually I did. Despite what Gary Neville would have you believe, Newcastle had actually not been on an awful run. For sure we had not won many but we have become very hard to beat, and while Man Utd had been on a good run, they are definitely not a team to be feared like they were in the Fergie era.

Of course the nation will say the gods were on our side and maybe they were a little bit, but yet again a stonewall penalty eludes us, and given what happened at Palace a week earlier it is becoming somewhat irritating.

Then we have a goalkeeper who reminded us that it is possible to command the box as a succession of clean catches and punches helps the two central defenders, who were also magnificent throughout. In all honesty everyone was magnificent and it is that spirit that will keep NUFC up this season.

Has anyone seen Mohamed Diame recently?

The impersonator turning up in Black  and White these days is indeed his double in every way, except he is actually a footballer, long may the real Mo Diame stay missing!

We might not have the most talented of teams but we have players with Buster Gonad sized testicles and that is something we have lacked in the recent past, and in our captain, we have a proper ‘in the trenches’ type leader.

So Manchester United, what is the obsession with them? I just don’t get it.

Of course their great team of ‘68 put them on the map a little bit, but they were relegated just six years later, and through the 70s and 80s they were mostly quite ordinary.

Their fan base was also dubious as they marauded across the UK bringing mayhem everywhere they went, that was until they turned up in NE1 where errr…your boys took one helluva beating!  Red Army General Tony O’Neill boasts about their escapades in his books, however he is honest enough ( unlike West Ham fan Cass Pennant who sneaks in a few untruths in his books and films) to admit when it all went wrong, it’s worth a read indeed if you like that sort of thing!

The other fixation is their so-called massive fan base, I have been in Old Trafford for games against them including an attendance of less than seventeen thousand for a midweek cup game (ok it was the Simod Cup), I have also been in a fifty thousand crowd where the NUFC contingent numbered five figures! Even today Old Trafford does not sell out for every home game, and when it does, the number of tourists wearing those silly half and half scarfs is sizeable.

For sure they are a worldwide brand but are they as big as they boast? It’s no more than ‘my dad’s bigger than your dad’ syndrome. Oh yeah, don’t get me started about their favourite son Bobby Charlton, a man who in my eyes has no NE roots whatsoever.

I don’t like them and I don’t get it: plastic club, plastic fan base, passionless and soulless.

Anyway, obsessive Manchester United rant over, the points are ours, get over it.

Around the relegation zone it is clear any number of teams could go down, our goal difference may yet prove pivotal.

However, it is delicious to see Alan Pardew slowly but surely get isolated at the bottom. I have no problem with WBA and their fans, indeed it is one of the better away trips, but I do take delight in seeing Mr Smug struggle to keep his cringeworthy calm demeanour. Then of course we had the ‘Brucey bonus’ of Daniel Sturridge limping off injured after five minutes last night, we did indeed dodge that bullet.

It is hard to pick who will go down, but my feeling is it will be WBA, Stoke and possibly Crystal Palace, now that the talented  Zaha is out injured.

The joys of social media bought my own humbling at the weekend, as at half-time on Saturday I put a silly Facebook comment about Bristol City declaring at half-time against Sunderland, only for our Red and White friends to confound everyone with a stirring comeback. Was I actually wrong? Maybe Bristol City did declare…how else can it be explained? Well two own goals goes some way to explaining the truth!

Football is a great game and the happenings last weekend is why we love it so much. The current owner does not get Newcastle United, so let us hope that when a takeover does happen the incoming owners do get what NUFC is all about.

Wow, a weekend off, let’s enjoy the breathing space and reflect on recent happenings.

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



  • MooMoo

    Oh dear. This embarrassing, and that’s coming from a fellow Toon fan.

    • Brian Standen

      I can take criticism of anyone but please change your name first, Howay man! Moo Moo, really? The article is not the only thing embarrassing on this page!

  • John

    What’s the obsession… writes an obsessed article about United what also includes Sunderland. What?

    • Brian Standen

      I guess I deserved that one!

    • Jimmy_toons

      Are you Man U?

  • pedrodelgardo

    Bobby Charlton wore the black and white no 9 at Tony Green’s testimonial and alot of sympathy is extended to them after the Munich crash, apart from that it’s always nice to see them get beat – except when they play the soap dodgers.

  • Tom Page

    Brian, you have also missed a big point. Man U lost a lot of very young talented players in 1958 but Matt Busby & Jimmy Murphy then were allowed the pick of the leagues to help restore there losses and that included wor Earnie Taylor. He was the hub of Newcastle’s team – the ball player that supplied our team’s killer balls to the scorers such as Charlie Wayman and wor Jackie.
    Other teams were also ‘rifled’ for their best players so that Man U could function.
    Then, using their ‘sorrowful plight’ they embarked upon the world domination of football fans by the determined use of engaging overseas football ‘give-aways’ to encourage Asian enthusiasts to follow their team I.e. Man U.
    It is still in operation today!

    • Brian Standen

      Tom. Everyone of your points is valid but I was reticent to put anything Munich based as it would possibly offend to many! Massive horrible tragedy which should never be forgotten but I repeat your points are spot on!

      • Soldier

        according to you your points are spot on, you reek of arrogance.

        • Brian Standen

          Arrogance? Really? Everyone is entitled to give an opinion! I don’t see that as arrogance! But if you think that then I got no problem with it!

      • Cockneytrev

        I agree that it was a terrible tragedy,, but I get a little sick of hearing about it,,

  • Rich Lawson

    liked your comments about their ”hooligans”. Have you seen Hib’s ”These colours don’t run” ? It’s a good read .

    • Brian Standen

      Certainly will read it

    • Cockneytrev

      Yes,, is that the book about when they took over from Aberdeen as the top firm in Scotland?

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Denigrating Bobby Charlton.
    Oh Dear

    • Brian Standen

      Yeah and I stand by that. Go and read Tony O Neil’s book, see what he says about the ‘great’ one – and he supports Man Utd!!

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        He was one of the greatest footballers ever & when you`re talking football he deserves respect.

        • Brian Standen

          Tremendous footballer without doubt, I was referring to his NE roots or distant links to them

          • Cockneytrev

            After gasgoine he is England’s greatest player,,
            I agree he doesn’t care about the north east,, but what a footballer,,

          • Rich Lawson

            Link on the book is blocked elsewhere,Yes it was,they seem to have been a fearsome bunch but I was impressed that the day after the match they were quite good to away fans who had been locked up for fighting with them and would meet them on release,buy them a beer and give them a safe escort to the train station.

        • Albert Stubbins

          As a footballer yes as a bloke an man of the area he’s a shytebag.

        • Wor Lass

          With you on that!

  • Hughie_Gallacher

    The obsession stretches back to Munich and was intensified when Man U became the first English winners of the European Cup.
    I can’t stand them now either, but did enjoy watching Tommy Docherty’s side with Hill, Coppell, Pearson et al. Totally cavalier football even at the risk of a pasting.

  • Grahame Johnson

    Man u fans openly admit we took the largest away support to a league game, have a look at some of their home games and you will see empty sections due to segregation, then have a look at our game in 84 all on you tube, worth reading the comments, as 19 year old it was a bit of a mad day, I remember a bus pulling up near near the ground and after a few got off the police said wait for a escort in the end they just said walk up as it resembled a most wanted list, as I had a lacoste jumper on and flares I got hit by a man u fan, it was the first time I had ever seen blokes over 40 get well and truely stuck into it, the police where a bit stunned on the day as no club ever turned up in numbers like we did, the amount of social club and pub buses was huge alas 5-0 was the score, if you went to an away match in the 70s and 80s and your age was 16 to 40 chances where you got hit at a game and had to fight I’m glad its safer now

    • pedrodelgardo

      Got hit or squashed by a horse.

      • Grahame Johnson

        The police behaved terrible in the 70s and 80s special mention to the Yorkshire police and their habit of using the rose on their helmet to hit fans with

        • Cockneytrev

          Yorkshire police are a disgrace, the worst by a mile,,
          We once got turned round by them as the said we were flying pickets.
          I have to add we are the best policed in the country and have been since the petrol bomb against West Ham (before you say monkseaton mag, I know you were there and you held the petrol bomb for the guy before he threw it)
          For me personally the worst ground was Spurs,, we were literally fighting for our lives,,
          As for Cass, I’ve asked a few people and no one knows where this wedding was he is supposed to have invaded up here? Does anyone know?

          • Albert Stubbins

            Said he did a social club. Total balls although they did turn up real early one year and did a few bars.

          • Brian Standen

            But not on a Friday night as his film depicts, WHU seldom travelled in numbers on a Saturday let alone a Friday. They were however keen to get to QPR when we played at Loftus Rd a few months after the petrol bomb – bit of an exciting day for a genuinely scared teenager!

          • Albert Stubbins

            No but they were very organised that was their real strength. My older brother went to the game down there following the petrol bomb incident despite the club advising supporters not to go and not putting busses on. Now that’s a tail that should be published one day.

          • Brian Standen

            Would love to read it, I heard rumour and myth, hard to separate what was true and what was not!

          • Albert Stubbins

            He saw a lad lose his lug with the swish of a sharpened golf brolly. A plastic cordon separating the fans. Spam fans sporting balaclavas and the polis turning a lot of blind eyes put it that way as spam filtered through. The two brothers were there trying to keep order. It was a frightening experience for him and as my brother I can safely say he was nuts and wasn’t the shy and retiring type. My favva even tried to stop him going although that was a non starter. There were only a few hundred brave souls who went. Fortunately I was a bit too young myself.

          • Wor Lass

            I have a mate who`s a big Grimsby Town fan and a bit of a nutter back in the day. He reckons the worst place by far was the Den – every fan who went there (in the 70`s) got chinned wherever they were in the ground.

          • Albert Stubbins

            Newcastle played them first game after panarama documentary and turned that theory on its head!!

          • Cockneytrev

            I was there, they were handing out flyers on the Friday night,, there were loads down there,,
            As for ICF we bumped into them in Rhodes in about 1982,, there was only 4 of us and there was about 20 of them , they were chining kids all over, ( even a few on the beach) I don’t know if that Cass was there, but we were in a club and they surrounded and us my mate fronted them and they left us alone (I was bricking it)
            ,,,,,,I mean for gods sake on holiday,,,

          • Albert Stubbins

            And at Leyton Orient!!!

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            They did not do any bars as did not get in them but put a couple of windows out at the black bull on Westgate Road

          • Albert Stubbins

            The black bulls on barrack road and on a couple of occasions in mid 80’s they had some big mobs up here indisputable. Horrible f***** carrying Stanley knives like their Chelsea counterparts.

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            The Black Bull where the West Ham fans tried to attack in 1980 was on Westgate Road they only managed to put a couple of windows out as Newcastle came out the bar.
            It was the Chelsea fans who slashed three fans outside the Farmers Rest after one game fans just waiting to get in the pub.. An ex Newcastle fan from Darlington was behind it who defected to Chelsea but he got sorted out a couple of years later in another brawl.

          • Albert Stubbins

            Yes I know the kid your talking about. The old farmers rest. I was an impressionable eleven year old outside the waterloo with my oldest brother in 81 when they went past. The farmers rest incident was 83 I think. There’d been hell on in Gateshead high standard same day.

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            I did not throw or hold the petrol bomb but I was with the bloke who did it before the game when we had a set to with Cass and his mates. The bloke is dead now I was in the Leazes and the bomb was thrown from the east stand paddock. He got three years as his girlfriend grassed him up when he finished with her. A Battle at the then black bull pub on Westgate Road not there now at twelve fifteen set the scene for the day
            the best ever mob West Ham brought to Newcastle .

          • Cockneytrev

            haha,,, you sad little hoop licker,,,👅👅👅

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Think the countries love of Man Utd went back to the days of Matt Busby and the unfortunate events at Munich then they won the European Cup and had one of the greatest ever players in George Best. Liverpool are next with a large following in Ireland and Arsenal have a large Scandinavian support. With Newcastle it’s mainly passed down family generations due a large extent to the wonderful Margaret Thatcher who scattered the Geordies all over the country. I have no special hatred for Man Utd as they have played some good football over the years but then again I hate all the opposition teams.
    You are right in that Man Utds following of six and a half thousand became three the next season as they did not get the real welcome up here they wanted. As for Cass while the film was a lie he brought a very tidy mob up that day as I was there.

    • GToon

      Wow! Were u a gremlin?

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        The Gremlins were not formed then they are only thirty years old it was the Bender squad. The Gremlins had their twenty fifth anniversary in York recently.

        • Wor Lass

          You were a bender? Ha ha …

          • Cockneytrev

            He still is,,,,,,

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            See above each to their own cockney

          • Cockneytrev

            See above what? Troll

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            The name of the bender squad was formed because of the drinking preferences I went with them in the seventies to most of the games
            steel cap boots on the outside a right nasty bunch

        • paul mclaughlan

          My mate wore a Gremlins t shirt in Corfu back in 87.

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            The bother with West Ham was in the season 1980/81 and the following year the Gremlins were formed in 1985 so yes possible he had a tee shirt but they certainly did not wear them at matches.

          • paul mclaughlan

            Never said he/they did. Just 25 years is at least 5 years short of the actual length they’ve been operating. Although I’m guessing maths isn’t a strong subject for those absolute morons

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            When we went to Man Utd this season families of our supporters got attacked with bottles and bricks and the same blokes attacked the queue of Newcastle supporters this new group Manchester just seem to attack anyone at least the Gremlins had higher morals.

          • paul mclaughlan

            No they don’t. Ive mates who are into this sort of thing. They all say that if you don’t want to be involved you don’t have to be. Absolute nonsense. Try telling that to the terrified women and children at the central station a few years back after a running battle across the platforms. Try telling that to that makem who was hit over the back of the head with an iron bar (down the Shields ferry landing during the day in full view of the public) and ended up in a wheelchair. It’s piffle to suggest there’s any sort of honour amongst any hooligan groups.

        • GToon

          I didn’t mean any particular time frame. I meant during their existence.

  • Jonas

    What obsession? They’re the biggest and best supported club in the country. Therefore they get more attention than other teams.
    96 stung like fk, still does by the way

  • Coble’s Return

    The Mancs also got a huge stroke of luck. Whilst Liverpool (and to a degree Forest) dominated the ’70s and ’80s, they did so at a time when the bulk of the money coming into the game was from gate receipts and sponsorship. The ’90s arrived with the Sky dosh, just as the Mancs were coming good on the pitch and it is fair to say that they made hay. Just a pity that the ground is wasted on them. I remember the FA Cup Semi against Spurs in 1999 – Old Trafford has never rocked like it, before or since.

    I’m with you on ’96 Jonas – oh how different it could have been.

  • Andynufc

    Man Utd have been one of the most consistently successful English clubs of the past 25 years. Success attracts enemy’s aswel as new fans. Certainly with Fergie at the helm who in my eyes, WAS Manchester Utd. Without him, I don’t think they have that same aura about them. It’s still always nice to get one over them tho like on Sunday. Especially their fans as they aren’t shy to through the whole trophy argument in our faces.

  • Scott Robinson

    On the other hand the men in black did us outside St James Park if you read our own hooligan book and probably the hardest bunch up here and the only lads who have had any success. Man U are probably the best away supporters even today and if you talk to any, they are normally from Salford, and not their fault that they are so glamorous a club that they attract so many tourist followers from all over. The only club who filled the Gallowgate corner and more when they came here in the 70’s for a ticketless league game. Liverpool usually had about 50 fans. So they travelled to what must be as exciting as our visits to Stoke and Bolton, when they came up here in numbers.

    I was at the 5-0 hammering and the embarrassment of us singing ‘we have more fans than you’. Leeds of course being closer filled the whole side up to the Stretford, so the biggest away support pre-premiership, but apparently we are still second.

    Man U is still the biggest draw up here, far more exciting than Citeh, Liverpool or Chelsea and only the derby is a bigger game. Man U and Liverpool are fantastic clubs. Loyal and loud support. Have more history and success than we can even dream of and there isstill an aura that we just do not have. We did in the 50’s winning the Cups and it was there under Keegan. I guess we had plenty of tourists then as I recall plenty from London began following us also!

    • Monkseaton Magpies

      What Brian was referring to was the 1970’s when they brought trouble and wrecked every town but when they came to Tyneside 6,600 of them they got a good hiding. The Gremlins book refers to an incident in recent years.

  • Scott Robinson

    Also why did we celebrate like a little non -league team putting 5 past Man U. That gives you the answer to what Man U are in comparison!!

  • GToon

    I think the obsession is purely age related. Around the 80/90s the people in power in the media had seen a successful man Utd team. I remember Desmond Lynam constantly asking if it was going to be their year on football focus. In 40 years time it will be all about Man City if they still aren’t winning everything the same way it is about Liverpool not winning the league now because the MOTD pundits grew up with Liverpool dominance in their formative years. The people in the media simply remember the top team of their youth.
    I went round their training complex once at the cliffe when my son played their academy. They had loads of photos about the Munich incident. I don’t suppose outsiders get to see those photos but it is nice that their future players are reminded of it.

  • Landon Donavan

    i think the fact that Newcastle, for the first and probably only time this season, put in 100% against Man Utd, something they can’t get motivated for any other team. The obsession with Man Utd is because they bring in most of the money, the TV audience, the clicks on websites. Fan’s or rival fan’s everyone is Man Utd obsessed because they are the most successful team in england with the most unique history.

    Also…….i have been to St. James a few times and it full of tourists and students as well, not real fans, so lets not pretend its only Man Utd.

    • Albert Stubbins

      Trying to create another myth when your grounds like a suberb of Tokyo? On you go.

    • Albert Stubbins

      You haven’t got a unique history. Not winning anything for fifty years and still having the best support in the land is unique history. Everyone knows you would all be long gone after two years!!

  • Albert Stubbins

    I AM obsessed with the b*******. Always hated them. Overrated mob, overrated team, overrated fanbase I could go on but you get the picture. Glad they’re finally in the noisy neighbours shadow although there just as bad. Oh yes hate that Manchester Lancashire cockney drawl and shyte they spout. Think there one of footballs hotbeds, lol lol. If they’d not won anything for two seasons there’d be less than twenty thousand there never mind fifty years. One rung below
    the makems but it’s close!!

  • Wor Lass

    Brian, Man U are undoubtedly the biggest club in Britain and one of the biggest in the world. For me they have always tried to play football. Even in the years when Revie and Howe between them almost ruinned English football and stopped youngsters wanting to be forwards, Man U, from Busby to Docherty, played football. Maybe if they`d kicked more they would have been more succesful. There`s lots about them now I don`t like, not least their arrogant fans and the media love-in they enjoy – not to mention the likes of the Chuckle Brothers all over the box – but they were the first English team to win the European Cup, they had Best, Law and Charlton at the birth of the TV era and- I understand why you didn`t bring it up … but – the Munich disaster cemented their place in history.

    • Brian Standen

      Willie Morgan, Nobby Stiles etc were similar to the likes of Billy Bremner and Johnny Giles. Lots of players in the 70s were a little bit naughty , and got away with it!

      • Wor Lass

        True enough but the whole philosophy of the team wasn`t to start with a point and kick the schitte out of the opposition to get the other one. Leeds were a great footballing team eventually but did it over the broken and bruised bones of every other team going. Noone was deadlier than Johnny Giles in the tunnel, apparently.

        • Leazes.

          Jack Charlton said that he didn’t consider himself to be a football player….. but it was his job to stop football players.

          • Wor Lass

            Exactly. Remember his “little black book”?

    • Tomb

      yep its a mixture of
      the munich disaster, their success (which by the way they had a few titles in their history before munich) having a large support historically by being based in a big city, having big name flair players like best charlton law which attracted a lot of young fans to them, and the fact that for most of their history they are an attacking side that play good football. First english team to win the european cup also. We are a big club in England but the huge global popularity of the premier league overseas is because people worldwide want to watch Man U and Liverpool, the two english sides with huge global support. Theyl never get to enjoy watching their local side though which surely gives more satisfaction

  • Danimal

    My comment got removed??? It was along the lines of how tragic it is that a grown man could take so much pleasure in other people’s misfortune and above all the glorification of football hooliganism. This article and some of the stuff in the comments below it, very sad stuff. Cheers.

    • Brian Standen

      What misfortune? It’s an absolute fact that I’m the 70s and 80s every club has a sizeable hooligan following! It was totally different times socially

      • Danimal

        There’s a difference between acknowledging the existence of something and admiring it. There seems to be a tone of admiration in some of the comments below (I know Captain Monkfish’s comments should always be taken with a bucket of salt). I wouldn’t dream of lining the pockets of supposedly reformed criminals by buying their books but each to their own.

        • Leazes.

          Well he’s physically threatened me so I guess Standen is a thug!

          • Brian Standen

            I think you might find it was the other way round, but as you failed to turn up to carry out your threats it matters not anyway! anyway, where have you been? is it your hibernation period?

      • Rich Lawson

        Your getting a bit of a kicking on here yourself,but I have to say it’s refreshing for the writer of an article to actually come on here and defend it.Are you reading this Graham Porter ?

        • Brian Standen

          To be honest you always set yourself up for some abuse when writing on here, however the ones who do most of the kicking hide behind pseudonyms. For sure I am opinionated but so is everyone!

  • nevfur

    Hi Brian mate, how’s the Sunderland dress doing lol. Have the same dislike of Man U and delight at beating them but acknowledge their achievements under Fergie whatever we think about him and the 68 win not to mention the Busby babes legend however they may or may not have done if not for the Munich disaster. My feelings however are mainly at competing with another great club and can’t deny their success. Any dislike is against the plastic part timer fans but sadly they are a reality of the game attached to any successful club and we would have the same in their position. We had a great win against a great British club who compete in a much much harder league than Madrid or Barca and deserve the credit for that as do Liverpool in their time. The saddest thing is that Newcastle should be at least around that level and if not it’s not Man U or Liverpool’s fault. You should admire the real Man U and Liverpool and aspire to be like them. Saddens me that Bobby Charlton seems to never mention us but it is what it is, he’s still a legend. Plastic fans are pathetic but are a reality of the game. I hope but doubt I will ever see us have major success but if we ever do we will get the hate to go with the plastic fans we will collect. Hope to meet up soon mate

    • Brian Standen

      I never will live that down Nev! But I kept my part of the bet and raised a canny bit for charity! But… won’t ever go to work in a dress again! Too cold!

  • Davey drape

    Thats Shaun Peppard (above pic) more commonly known as the Irish hulk wit is son. Like many many thousands in Ireland most fans appear to be either liverpool or man united with a few Leeds, arsenal etc

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    Man Utd’s support comes from that awful air crash that claimed the lives of all those young players.
    It was a story that captured the imagination of the world with their triumph in the face of adversity the way they came back from it which endeared them to so many across the globe.
    It was a tragedy no doubt but the human condition loves a hard luck, Tragedy, Human interest story that gathers momentum like a snow ball rolling down hill !
    Since then it has been a constant love in with them despite them being a bang average club throughout most of their history !
    Clubs from the North West like Blackburn, Blackpool, Preston, Bolton, Burnley etc were the real “Big Clubs” of the golden era.

    Along with Liverpool who were also a nothing club until Shankley came along, Them and Man Utd share a kind of fake reality status in the game of football.
    It’s only in recent times that those two clubs have been successful and Man Utd more so with the advent of The Premier League.