It is Newcastle v Blackburn later today and I’m actually quite looking forward to it.
Like a lot of others, I will be taking along non-regulars for this game.
At only a fiver each it is a bit of a no-brainer to take along extra kids from our wider family in the shape of nieces and nephews.
Also, a lot of the miserable bast…s that sit around me never go to cup matches, so I don’t have to put up with them today. Having lost eight out of eleven at home already, plus the shocking 0-0 with Fulham, they have been in their element this season.
Others (who probably never have gone to many/any matches anyway) say that we shouldn’t be giving all this extra money to Mike Ashley.
I hate Ashley as much as anybody and want rid of him but am I really supposed to go and tell my five, six, seven and nine year old nieces and nephews that they can’t go to their one match of the season (which they are all excited about) because it could be the final straw to get rid of him?
I just checked and it looks like gate receipts for FA Cup matches still see 45% go to the visitors, 10% to the central pot, and 45% to the home club. So for each of the kids I make it that Mike Ashley will be getting £2.25 at the very most.
Also, don’t worry, we will be visiting Greggs on the way to the match to stock up on food and drink, so no extras spent at the ground, plus I will try to divert their attention away from programme sellers…
As for others saying all the regulars should be boycotting this particular match, clearly they haven’t been to many cup games in the past decade.
I reckon there will be around 30,000 there today but only maybe 10,000 at the very most who usually go to the league games. So 40,000 or so are boycotting regardless! (Plus, a boycott only works when people are showing they are willing to give up something they would otherwise be going to!!)
The vast majority of punters at these games now are the irregulars, which pretty much means one game a season due to Mike Ashley refusing to allow us to compete in the cups. Young children vastly outnumber adults and you just hope the experience doesn’t put them off supporting Newcastle for life!
My main reason though for looking forward to today, is that we should see Newcastle trying to score a goal, rather than just trying to stop the other team.
This isn’t a case of having a go at Rafa Benitez (well maybe a tiny wee bit up to a small point…) because we all know how limited his options are and te lack of quality – but it does wear you down.
Match after match where we just sit back and hope to counter attack occasionally. That Fulham game before Xmas was the absolute pits, why on earth play five at the back against them???
Anyway, at least today we can all be forward-looking and hope to see the team play without the usual fear, try to score goals, and if the other team scores more, then no real damage done.
Also a chance to see hopefully the likes of Longstaff and Woodman, plus maybe the odd other younger player getting a game, as well as Murphy and others trying to show why they should get more matches.
I try to forget about the fact Joselu will no doubt be playing but you can’t have everything – I would have loved to have seen Elias Sorensen on the bench and throw him on with 20 minutes to go and see what happens..but having helped NUFC Under 23s beat Sunderland on Friday, scoring his 19th goal of the season, it won’t happen.
So enjoy the game if you are there today, this might just be our year…to reach the fifth round!