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Opinion

There’s only one United…

12 months ago
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Hearing the club from Old Trafford referred to as ‘United’ in the media, is one of those modern era things that never ceases to annoy.

Fans of any kind of age can tell you that this was never the case back in the day, maybe in Manchester they locally have always referred to ‘United’ and ‘City’ but it is definitely a Premier League phenomenon, where nationally/internationally we are all now supposed to just get on with it and accept that media types dictate what we think/say.

All very annoying, especially when Newcastle United were formed in 1892, fully 10 years before the chancers from the North West adopted the title (Man) United instead of Newton Heath.

Sunday sees a meeting of the two Uniteds and it isn’t exactly one of those heavyweight contests that were so gripping in the days of Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby Robson. The Glazers having a good go at trying to make Man Utd an even bigger joke than what Mike Ashley has achieved at Newcastle United.

Sometimes you get sidetracked and on this occasion it was looking up Uniteds.

Maybe the reason that not many other people get so upset about the use of ‘United’ with reference to that lot, is because there aren’t many Uniteds.

At the moment there are four in the Premier League – West Ham (5th), Manchester (10th), Sheffield (12th) and Newcastle (19th).

In the Championship only the one – Leeds, then eight in the lower divisions: League One – Peterborough, Oxford, Rotherham, Southend and League Two – Colchester, Cambridge, Carlisle and Scunthorpe (apologies if we have missed anybody else amongst the 92 clubs).

The past 15 years only really ourselves and West Ham have been in the Premier League for any length of time and not really sure how much Hammers fans take the ‘United’ thing to heart like we do on Tyneside.

We will leave it to somebody else to delve through and see when Newcastle were on the last occasion the top United in the league, or indeed finding out how many times during the years that has been the case overall.

The word ‘United’ doesn’t apply to Newcastle at the moment, the current owner has ensured that. Although the last few years we did have the manager, players and fans bonding together for the greater good. That has gone as well, with Steve Bruce blundering around blaming anything and everything including Rafa’s legacy, and whilst the bond with the players isn’t totally broken, it certainly has been put under more strain since this summer’s changes.

Manchester also have ongoing issues and loathe their owners as well. Difficult to have much sympathy for them when you are a Newcastle fan BUT the fact is, whilst the owners at Man City have made inward investment of over £1bn in the club, in the same time period the Glazers have caused over £1bn to come out of their club with dividends, salaries and especially interest payments on the loans they bought the club with!

Maybe changing to Newcastle City could be the way forward to a change of fortune, three of the last four seasons have seen a City win the Premier League and currently Manchester and Leicester are in the top three.

We can always look back though at the odd times when there has been a real Newcastle ‘United’ such as in the KK and Sir Bobby days, times when once the club gained some momentum it felt like an irresistible force and anything could be possible.

The most important thing isn’t winning trophies, it is doing your best to compete and trying to be the very best you can be.

That is what we ‘demand’ as (Newcastle) United fans.

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