If you don’t have the stomach for the fight then get out of our club
The beauty of my job over the last 20 years is that I can plan work in and around Newcastle United away games, yesterday I was able to take in Leicester with ease and even accommodate myself by staying in the hotel about 48 paces from the ground, very handy when biblical conditions descend upon us.
The downside of my job is more often than not I have to travel to towns and villages all across the UK and spend many nights away from home, back from Leicester today but Thursday I have the horrific 430 mile trip to Liskeard in Cornwall before returning on Friday!
Why mention that, you are entitled to ask? More on the later!
Yesterday pre-match, had a few beers in and around the King Power, unlike days gone by Leicester is now quite a friendly place where home and away fans mix freely and there does not seem any of the unwelcoming signs in pub windows saying “Home fans only”, Burnley and the like take note.
The buzz was from the Leicester fans was a general disappointment that Maddison was missing, this only fuelled the beer driven optimism amongst the visitors…if only!
Into the ground and while NUFC boasted the game was a sell out for visiting fans, it was clear NUFC had accepted a slightly smaller allocation which is disappointing given this away trip ALWAYS sells out.
However, from those that were there, the support from the first minute was unwavering.
You will all have seen the match so I will only make a few of my own personal observations.
I was disappointed ASM was on the bench but I could see the logic given he is only just back from injury. I thought we started brightly, Almiron had a couple of pacey impressive bursts, and I actually thought for a moment this could be the day, we had a half chance when Hayden scuffed a snapshot but the fleet footed Muto showed he is anything but fleet footed as the ball went under his feet totally unmarked about 12 yards out….and onside!
Leicester got into their stride but did not really threaten until suddenly our lot stopped and allowed some bloke to run from the halfway line and score from 20 yards, correct me if I am wrong but I did not look at the replays, but he clearly wandered through unchallenged.
Shortly after came the red card for Hayden, we looked on in disbelief as he clearly played the ball first. However, before the ref had time to blow for a foul he had his red card in his hand and brandished it, much to the astonishment of all around me, surely VAR would intervene……as if?
Texts came from those watching on the TV back in Newcastle and were mixed, some saying definite red, some saying yellow at worst, having now seen it I would ask what football has become, us older fans remember proper hard players (not Roy Keane or Julian Dicks!) but players like Ron “Chopper” Harris, Billy Bonds and our own John McNamee, players who would always let the opponent know they were about, they were countered by players like our own Wyn “the leap” Davies, these people could look after themselves when games became physical, sadly that element of the game has gone forever!
When you are down to ten men you need the right people in the trenches alongside you and sadly for NUFC they were missing today as in the second half sloppy goals were conceded that were all preventable, in essence they threw in the towel and that is not acceptable, if you are not good enough then that’s not your fault, if you don’t have the stomach for the fight then get out of our club.
Steve Bruce, who did receive some support, did make an astonishing substitution by bringing on Andy Carroll when the game was lost, why? To risk him getting crocked again is total stupidity in my eyes and this could easily have backfired.
The ones who did not throw the towel in were the travelling support who as each goal went in, simply upped the volume to higher levels. I don’t know how it came across on the TV but there was something like 35 minutes of incessant singing, proper old school support that went on and on and quite simply deserves better, a feeling of absolute defiance came over all that were in there and simply showed the Blue Happy clappers how to support a team, credit to 99.9% of them!
Why only credit 99.9%?
Well sadly I witnessed some fans trying to start a very offensive chant. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no snowflake, but given the football world has rightly condemned the idiots singing a very offensive song about Gary Speed, we don’t need our fans to drop to that level. banter is good and the Leicester fans chanting “there’s only one Mike Ashley” is just banter, we did not need a tiny minority of our fans to try and start up a chant about the tragedy that fell upon Leicester last season. Thankfully it was ignored and did not get beyond a few idiotic shouts.
As I said, the support was unwavering, even after the final whistle went. Some players, heads bowed, sloped off but credit to Jamaal Lascelles who came over to the corner hands held up in apologetic manner, there was no real abuse or booing just simply unwavering support.
Leaving the game but staying close by, I did speak to many Leicester fans who said the same as me, we threw in the towel, you have to remember we have won there the last two seasons. Sadly I missed both, my record at the King Power is not impressive – six visits, zero wins, one draw, five defeats, goals for zero, goals against 10ish……maybe it’s me!
Ok, so what now?
Well the visit of the not so mighty Manchester United next weekend, I have to be honest I actually fancied us more against them than against Leicester, but after Sunday even my glass is draining rapidly, but this is football and you just never know!
Back at the beginning I mentioned having to work in Liskeard this week. I have since learned that Liskeard Athletic play in the South West peninsula league Premier division, it is probably about the 10th level of football in the pyramid system. If Mike Ashley does not disappear soon we could end up nearer to that level than where we are now in just a few years time.
Yes of course I exaggerate but the decline and rot at Newcastle United is well established.
Relegation could be terminal for NUFC.
Have a good week everyone.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Leicester 5 Newcastle 0 – Sunday 29 September 4.30pm
Pereira 16, Vardy 54 and 64, Dummett OG 57, Ndidi 90
Possession was Leicester 69% Newcastle 31%
Total shots were Leicester 13 Newcastle 3
Shots on target were Leicester 5 Newcastle 0
Corners were Leicester 9 Newcastle 0
Referee: Craig Pawson
Newcastle team v Leicester:
Dubravka, Krafth, Schar, Lascelles, Dummett, Atsu, Hayden (Sent off 43), Longstaff, Almiron (Yedlin 74), Muto (Ki 46), Joelinton (Carroll 63)
Darlow, Saint-Maximin, Manquillo, Fernandez
Crowd: 32,168 (2,650 NUFC – Newcastle United refused to take the full 3,305 away allocation)
(Newcastle fan smashes it on BBC Radio 5 Live – Must listen ‘Should only be talking about Mike Ashley’ – Watch/listen HERE)
(Steve Bruce throws his players under the bus – Comments after Leicester 5 Newcastle 0 – Read HERE)
(Newcastle fans need to get angry and passionate for change after Leicester 5 Newcastle 0 – Final proof – Read HERE)
(Can’t disagree with what Brendan Rodgers had to say after hammering Newcastle United – Read HERE)
(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the five goal humiliation – Read HERE)
(Steve Bruce has to go after this shambles – Read HERE)
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