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Opinion

Why all I really wanted was a team of Joselus…

11 months ago
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“We all dream of a team of Joselus… a team of Joselus”

It doesn’t quite have a catchy ring to it, does it? A laughable chant in fact given that our centre forward has only scored four Premier League goals this season and has passed up key chances in key games (that would probably mean by this point we would be safe).

However, for quite a while now, all I have ever really wanted at Newcastle United is a team of Joselus.

A team filled with players who are quite clearly proud to wear the shirt and who give 100% whenever they are on the field. As fans, that is all we can really demand from players, is it not?

The Mag highlighted a few idiots (see HERE) on Tuesday, who had left horrible comments on one of the club’s official social media feeds after they wished Joselu happy birthday.

First thing, this isn’t an isolated incident. A quick look through the player’s own twitter profile shows that there are quite a few fans who constantly leave comments of this sort, whenever he uploads anything to social media. They are by no means the majority – but certainly enough for it draw your attention.

I am sure there are many reading this who think that Joselu is a load of rubbish – I for one don’t think he is that good, or good enough for us at this level. However, he plays for Newcastle United, he certainly seems like a nice guy, and he clearly goes out there onto the pitch to give his all.

So what is the problem? I just don’t get it.

Those slagging off Joselu directly to his profile just can’t be real Newcastle fans. It might be an idealist train of thought but I would like to think that anyone who was actually a Newcastle fan would get behind any player wearing a black and white shirt.

Here is another way of looking at it if anyone disagrees with that…

I think Ayoze Perez is rubbish. Aside from his first season at Newcastle in which he played up front by himself and did well, and aside from the past few weeks in which I think every member of the playing squad has done well, I would describe him as useless.

However, he plays for Newcastle United and that’s good enough for me to get behind him and support him. When he goes out onto that pitch, I am not going to slag him off, or boo him off the pitch, or sarcastically jeer when he is subbed (as happened with Joselu) – there are very few unwritten rules about what makes a good football fan, but getting behind your team for 90 minutes when you are in the stadium watching them is one of them.

Likewise, there are few rules about what makes a bad football fan – and I am sure directly slagging off good honest professionals on social media is one of them. The only positive to take from it is that they are only kids – although suggestions from a few in the comments section of the original suggesting that this is a total one-off, and not representative of even a fraction of the fanbase, I’m afraid is not true.

Alas, I write another article in which I refer to the 10-year-old kid and his father who sit behind me at the in the Gallowgate. Whenever the ball is passed to Joselu the kid will shout ‘why are you passing to him’ or just shout directly ‘you are rubbish man’. His Dad does nothing at all to tell him that isn’t really the way of going about things – so I do weep for the future in this regard.

Having a short memory is a classic attribute of the modern day football fan: I hope many don’t forget the group of players we had only two years ago, the mercenaries of the last relegation… while I am constantly reminded by my father of how bad we were in the eighties (although at least those guys tried, they just weren’t very good).

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In January 2015 we played Watford twice at Vicarage Road over a two week spell. Once in the league and once in the FA Cup. We lost both games. It featured a Newcastle side containing such as Janmaat, Coloccini, Sissoko, Thauvin, Wijnaldum, Riviere, Gouffran, Saivet and Aarons. I am sure some of you will say a few of those guys give their all for Newcastle United but at certain times I would certainly disagree.

The first match will live long in my memory as a game in which Newcastle fans sang “you’re not fit to wear the shirt” to Florian Thauvin, as he lay rolling around on the pitch, five yards in front of the away end.

It was pretty brutal – but a stark reminder that more than anything, all we can ask for are players with a little bit of heart and desire. In fact, Thauvin’s miraculous performances for Marseille this season show it certainly wasn’t ability that he was lacking.

In the second game Newcastle were absolutely terrible – it was Jonjo Shelvey’s first away game and he was running around to make an impression. He actually tried so hard that day that it showed up the rest of the team – Wijnaldum, Sissoko, Saivet, Aarons etc. Newcastle lost and the players were booed off the pitch – so much so that the few who did brave it to come over to the away end, were very impolitely told where they could go.

It was since that day, that all I have ever really wanted was a team of players who just try. They honestly don’t have to be that good. The Championship isn’t even that bad (although god help us if we were playing in League 1 next season…).

All I really wanted was a group of players who were proud to wear the shirt, gave their all and looked liked they cared about playing for Newcastle United.

All I really wanted was a team of Joselus…

You can follow the author on Twitter @JonathanComyn
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