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Opinion

A tale of Mark Lawrenson and the Zombie football club

2 weeks ago
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If anyone tuned in to Football Focus on Saturday lunchtime, you would have heard Mark Lawrenson say “They’re never happy, are they? They want to win the Champions League, but they’re not in it unfortunately.”

I’ll tell you how I feel, Mr. Lawrenson.

One thing was right, I’m not happy and I haven’t been happy with Newcastle United for quite some time.

We are light years away from ever winning a Champions League, that year will be 4069 and football will be played in the sky. I’m not happy about uninformed pundits and journalists who think they know exactly what’s going on at the club and how the supporters should feel.

I want Newcastle United to show some ambition, regain their identity and actually play football. What we all witnessed at St. Mary’s on Friday night simply wasn’t good enough, it was yet another surrender. A game full of schoolboy errors making it a training exercise for Southampton.

I always look at the example of Wolves, who gained promotion a season later than Newcastle. Over the course of Wolves’ return to the Premier League, they have finished seventh in the Premier League and played in Europe. Newcastle on the other hand have been either sat in mid-table or fighting relegation.

Our expectations are painfully low because we know just how little care and attention is put into our club by an owner who simply isn’t interested. I’m genuinely surprised if we string a few passes together or have a shot on target and as for league positions, a top half finish seems unrealistic. Yet, we want to win the Champions League, don’t we?

The players are taking the field with no clue of what the plan is, mainly because there is no plan. Survival isn’t a success, it’s a realistic aim for a club that’s just gained promotion but it’s not a success nor should it be seen as one.

It isn’t wrong for us to want to see more from our side, what’s wrong with wanting to see some progression? The fact is, Newcastle haven’t progressed at all, if anything the club is going backwards.

The team has no game plan and the club have no directional plan, the club is sleepwalking and one day soon they’ll slip on the stairs. If you asked any of Newcastle’s hierarchy what the aims of the club are, all you would get in response is a wall of silence.

Newcastle are the worst team to watch in the Premier League, there isn’t anything for the supporters to feel positive about. It’s about time pundits and journalists actually look at the state of this football club, really look at the issues and understand the supporters because this old-fashioned, tedious rhetoric of Newcastle supporters expecting to finish in the top 4 is pathetic and just plain wrong.

Perhaps, Mark Lawrenson should get back in touch with reality because all we want to see is any sign of improvement in our team. Despite improving our squad from last season, there hasn’t been any progression. There is no reason why Newcastle shouldn’t be challenging for a place in the top half of the Premier League, the problem is Newcastle is a zombie club and are completely directionless.

Newcastle certainly have the players capable of lifting the club into the top half of the Premier League, however, without any direction or plan the sleepwalking will continue.

(This article originally appeared on the excellent NE1’s Game website, you can also follow them on Twitter @game_ne1)

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