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Opinion

How can I care about a ‘club’ managed by Steve Bruce, led by Lee Charnley and owned by Mike Ashley?

2 months ago
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We are on the road to nowhere…

It has been a while since I properly sat down to write anything about Newcastle United.

The main (75%) reason for that is due to work and travel commitments stopping me from having the time to sit down and flick through twitter, keep up with what is going on, or even read The Mag.

However, I am happy to admit that the other 25% is because I have completely zoned out from what is going on at Newcastle.

I gave up my season ticket back in January but my enthusiasm certainly didn’t die, I still went to away games and then I moved to Singapore and watched the remaining games of the season with as much enthusiasm as I always have done.

Then this summer happened.

No takeover. No Rafa and Steve Bruce was brought in as manager. That for me was the final nail in the coffin. How could I bring myself to care about a ‘club’ that is managed by Steve Bruce, led by Lee Charnley and owned by Mike Ashley.

Sure they may be called Newcastle United, they may play in black and white, and their home ground is St James Park, but it is not really Newcastle United.

It isn’t the Newcastle United that I grew up watching. By that I don’t mean it is not the Newcastle United that played in the Champions League, was captained by Alan Shearer and managed by Bobby Robson. Obviously those days are long gone.

What I mean is that the club I grew up watching was one with passion, the ground was full, the kits were perfect, the owners had ambition and I got excited for a match day. Sure, for the most part we were still sh.. and won fu.. all but it was still Newcastle United. It was still bloody brilliant.

Is it the same now? Not a cat in hell’s chance.

I have lost interest. After all, what is there to be interested in?

I wrote an article in pre-season of 2018 after the trip to Ireland, saying what is the point in going to watch Newcastle this season? I argued that this season was already a write-off because Benitez will leave at the end of it and we will be back to square one. Many responded negatively to it.

Yet here we are. I don’t know what comes before square one but we are probably there.

I suspect that a few of those people have probably changed their minds this time round.

Of course it is difficult to change people’s minds. I have learnt with Newcastle fans that the only thing that will do so is results on the pitch. That doesn’t mean that we should stop trying, in regard to The Magpie Group… if you think that a course of action for the football club that would lead to its betterment then you should go for it.

For those fans who continue to pay money to go through the gates and therefore continue to give money to Mike Ashley… it is not a case of fans trying to tell you how to support your club… but more of a case of this is what I think will help Newcastle United in the long term, and this is how I am going to persuade you.

I would love to write an article about the football on the pitch but I just don’t think I really care about it anymore. I feel nothing watching Newcastle United on TV this season. A good example is the Tottenham game which I watched on in a bar in Singapore… when the VAR decision was being made to award a Tottenham penalty, I literally felt nothing. I think I spent that whole two minutes checking the emails on my phone. The old me, with the old Newcastle United, wouldn’t have been able to take my eyes off the screen.

Even the football so far… what has been going on? It has all been a bit mind-numbing hasn’t it? A defeat to Arsenal, terrible at Norwich, great at Spurs, out of the cup in the first round and a draw with Watford. Is there anything else to add?

As ever with Newcastle united, the football is the sideshow, the thing that happens while everything else is going on at the forefront.

The future really is bleak. Even from Singapore, it feels like a dead football club on the road to nowhere.

Videos and pictures from the rugby last weekend at a Sports Direct-less St James Park serve as a reminder to how great our stadium can be again one day.

Please Mike Ashley. Please sell up. Give us back our football club.

You can follow the author on Twitter @JonathanComyn

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