Diary Of The Armchair Fan – Still boycotting Newcastle United throughout 2019/20
Another from The Armchair Fan.
Boycotting Newcastle United through the 19/20 premiership season.
Here is part three as we progress through September:
St James Park, Sunday 20th October 1996 5.54pm
Newcastle United 5-0 Manchester United
What a wonderful 90 minutes!
United (the real United) absolutely ripped the reds apart! Boasting world record signing Alan Shearer, we exacted revenge for our Charity Shield humiliation by pounding our rivals on a day that we could have scored double figures. Goals from Peacock, Ginola, Ferdinand, Shearer and most gloriously of all, Philippe Albert, made the front page of some national newspapers. This was the pinnacle, the peak, the ultimate high. Even those that hate Newcastle United with a passion can’t help salivating at one of the all time greatest attacking performances the Premier League will ever see.
Every single Newcastle fan is walking on cloud nine …except one.
Corbridge born Steve Bruce sits sulking in a Sky Sports studio.
Whilst the rest of the pundits wax lyrical about our performance, our goals and the sheer brilliance of our build up play, Bruce opens his mouth to voice the following opinion:
“If Man United had been given a penalty at 1-0 and Eric Cantona had scored then it would have been a different game.”
Showing not the slightest hint of objectivity, he slumps in his chair utterly demoralised that the team he wanted to win so badly has been so outclassed.
Tuesday September 3rd 2019 10.58am
I hate the international break.
Not only is there no enjoyable football to watch, we have the added problem of every conceivable media filling acres of space with what can only be described as ‘soft news’.
This morning we woke up to twisty faced, bitter old Michael Owen trying to make a quick buck on his new book by slating Newcastle United and their fans. When King Alan Shearer quite rightly slapped him down, little Michael replied by having the gall to question Shearer’s loyalty. Michael Owen calling anyone disloyal is the most hypocritical statement in football since Diego Maradona accused England of cheating in last summer’s World Cup.
Sloths had less rest than Owen did during his time on Tyneside and to be honest they could probably write a better book.
My take on Michael Owen’s Toon career is as follows: I was excited when we signed him in 2005, disappointed when he got injured a few months later, annoyed that he rushed himself back to get even more seriously injured at the 2006 World Cup and indifferent when he chose to leave in 2009. I’ve barely given him a second thought since. The guy’s career peaked in the summer of 1998 and he’s spent the next twenty one years, two months and three days becoming increasingly bitter about this steady decline.
I care as much about the opinions of Michael Owen as I do about reality TV, portions of side salad and modern art. If his book is anywhere near my Christmas tree come December twenty fifth then I’ll presume Santy Clause has run out of coal because there’s only one place it belongs, with chestnuts roasting on an open fire! He’s more than welcome to his book, his opinions, his tweets and his fading memories because right now we have far bigger fish to fry at NUFC.
Friday 6th September 2019 9.30pm
International Rugby returned to St James Park this evening and it’s safe to say it was a roaring success. More than fifty thousand fans spent their Friday night watching England dismantle Italy 37-0. Perhaps the most beautiful site of all was of an entirely pure SJP without any sports direct advertising. It’ll be a happy day indeed when we can all enjoy a Newcastle United match without the backdrop of this blue and red eyesore that blights the match day experience of any fan who hasn’t already walked away in disgust.
Tuesday 10th September 2019 9.47pm
The international break was something of a success for NUFC fans, canny goals for Schar (Switzerland) and Almiron (Paraguay) as well as Dubravka keeping his eye in for Slovakia, meant that we had no new injuries and all of our international players available for the trip to Anfield this weekend. Just a shame the rest of the squad was down to the bare bones. England beat Kosovo 5-3 tonight and I can’t help hoping that their many Liverpool players all picked up a violent form of food poisoning at the hotel that will render them useless for four days.
Saturday 14th September 2019 12.30pm
Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle
I’ve been to see the Toon twice at Anfield and have been able to see approximately 8.5% of the pitch during that time. The worst view in the premiership was hardly enhanced by those around me taking the Ameobi/hokey cokey song way too literally in 2004 and doing all the dance moves the entire match. My only other visit was in 2016 when I was lucky not to break my leg whilst leaping over two rows of seats celebrating Colback’s equaliser in an unexpected 2-2 draw.
Despite the ecstasy of cheering a superb opener, Newcastle were soundly beaten by the end of this one. The key moment came in the second half when we were still just a goal behind. Great work down the left wing by Atsu brought about a golden opportunity for Krafth to equalise. When composure was needed however, a wild swing of the boot sent the ball into orbit and the points on the way the Merseyside. By the time the final whistle blew, we found ourselves in the position of having played away to both of last seasons Champions League finalists. From these two matches we’ve scored two, won one, have a minus one goal difference and claimed three points. A pretty good return.
Monday 16th September 11.39am
Kevin Nolan used to be popular amongst Newcastle fans. Someone who always gave his all for the shirt and managed four derby goals including a memorable hat-trick in 2010.
His credibility has now been massively diminished by some baffling pro-Ashley stuff in the media this summer that has done irreparable damage to his relationship with the Toon Army. There’s also the admission that he was in line to be assistant manager to the loathsome Sam Allardyce had big Sham been shameless enough to darken our door for a second time.
This morning he’s been at it again claiming Newcastle’s first team are much happier under Steve Bruce than Rafa Benitez and when he went to visit the training ground they were all “buzzing”. Well this may come as something of a shock to Mr Nolan but Steve Bruce is head coach of Newcastle United Football Club and not head rep of ‘Ibiza Weekender’. Whether or not the team is ‘buzzing’ will count for very few points come the end of the season – maybe even none.
This statement does nothing but conjure up images of David Brent trying (and failing) to make people laugh whilst running ‘The Office’ into the ground. Maybe Nolan should be choosing his associates far more carefully because I saw something else ‘buzzing’ this morning…flies around sh… There’s an analogy in there somewhere.
Saturday 21st September 2019 3pm
Newcastle 0-0 Brighton
In the run up to this match, Steve Bruce told us it was ‘like a cup final’. By that I can only assume he meant we’d turn up, play badly, fail to score and disappoint everyone who attended. He was right in a way, it reminded me very much of our non-appearance at both the ‘98 and ‘99 FA Cup finals.
The lowest league crowd St James Park has seen for eight years sat uncomfortably as the Toon laboured to an unenjoyable point. Brighton will be kicking themselves that they couldn’t make their dominance count, especially in the first seventy five minutes where Newcastle were listless, uninspired and there for the taking. By the time we pulled our finger out, it was too little too late and we’d failed to beat another team around us.
I woke up at nine the next morning, racked my brains and couldn’t remember a single thing of note happening throughout the entire match. Once the footy had (thankfully) finished, I spent the next ninety minutes watching ‘Wayne’s World’, a far more enjoyable activity that actually managed to draw a smile on my fiddle-like face. The sequel is on standby for next week.
Friday 27th September 9.23am
It’s the end of September and attendances are down. This means only one thing: the annual Mike Ashley takeover story. Having whipped myself into something of a frenzy over previous rumours, this time I barely bat an eyelid.
I’ll believe a takeover story when the new owner is standing proudly by the pitch at St James Park with a black & white scarf in one hand and a bottle of brown ale in the other. Mike Ashley has strung us along with these stories far too many times for any fresh ones to be taken seriously. Don’t get me wrong, I’d dearly love to see the back of Ashley and his parasitic ownership but I’ll only celebrate when it’s absolutely confirmed that he’s gone for good. Until that glorious day comes, the champagne will remain unopened.
Sunday 29th September 4.30pm
Leicester City 5 -0 Newcastle
The king power stadium has provided the backdrop for two of our most enjoyable away days since returning to the Premier League in 2017. Under normal circumstances this would be a cause for real optimism going into today’s encounter.
Two things, firstly the architect of both of those victories no longer plays for the Toon. Secondly he has actually jumped ship to now play for our opponents Leicester City. Ayoze Perez fluffed his lines when missing two glorious chances against us in the league cup, the hope was that he’d once again be a double agent for the Toon. Turns out we had eleven players and a manager determined to hand this one on a plate to Leicester City.
The most enjoyable part of today was watching the excellent ‘Bobby Robson: more than a manager’ DVD that I’d been meaning to view for quite some time. It’s an absolute privilege to have a genuine legend of the game associated with NUFC. How we could desperately do with someone like him in the St James Park dugout for the rest of the season.
After the match Steve Bruce came out with the following -“I have only been at the club two months and I have never witnessed what I did today”, really Steve? I think 2,000 black and whites witnessed an equally gutless surrender against Norwich last month so let’s not pretend this was something of a one off. The post-match interview continued in a similar vein with the utterly baffling “We had Almiron, who’d I’d not seen before today”. WHAT?!!! He’s started every single league match you’ve been in charge of and completed more minutes this season than almost anyone else in the entire squad. When Joe Kinnear was coming out with bizarre statements entirely detached from reality he was (quite rightly) panned left, right and centre for it. Steve Bruce it seems is allowed to live in a similar fantasy world that exists only in his own head.
How would you describe this September, disappointing? Frustrating? Unacceptable? Or just plain irritating?
Whilst the highlight was undoubtedly celebrating Willems superb opener against Liverpool, the lowlights have been too numerous to list: stuttering to a 0-0 draw at home Brighton, getting hammered against Leicester, listening to idiotic interviews and now dreading each matchday that used to be the highlight of the week.
The lowest feeling comes with a realisation that no matter how out of his depth Steve Bruce is proving to be, nothing will ever change until we get rid of the real poison. That poison is currently owning the club.
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