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Warren Barton unveiled as the only football pundit to have actually watched Newcastle United

11 months ago

As Newcastle United fans, we have had to take an awful lot of stick from various media outlets and football pundits/

Often having to bite our tongues in the face of the now standard and often repeated “Deluded Geordies” tag, as well as the usual “What do these Newcastle fans want?”  line of questioning.

Well the simple answer to that question after Tuesday night’s embarrassment is emphatically – NOT THIS!

The best comment that is often trotted out is “Steve Bruce is doing a fantastic/excellent/reasonable job”…

There comes a time when that statement becomes like a faded T-shirt, in the sense that you can get away with wearing it for a while, but in the end it just makes you look silly.

Every spirited draw or lucky win is lauded by some (including Bruce himself) as evidence that he has performed miracles and that there is indeed that “progress” he keeps banging on about, yet conveniently omit the turgid and unwatchable football for the other half a dozen games.

So you have your Jamie Redknapp on Sky Sports insisting as recently as this week that Bruce is doing a “reasonable” job and that the football was no better under Rafa Benitez. At one stage that comment could hold a little water but now that’s plainly untrue. Redknapp’s argument pales like that faded T-Shirt the more performances we see and the further we slip down the table.

The staunch defenders of Bruce, such as Luke Edwards, Alex Bruce, Chris Sutton, Shola Ameobi, Robbie Savage and Simon Jordan have about as little credibility in their stance, as Steve Bruce has in his job.

Even Bruce loyalist Alan Shearer has had his say and while stopping short of a full on critique of his mate’s management, he at least offered some more robust scrutiny than the usual avoidance of blame. How helpful it would have been six months ago, instead of allowing the splinters up his backside to bed in even further, remains to be seen.

Warren Barton had his say this week in the wake of the Sheffield United shambles and rightly points out that this malaise and regression hasn’t just been the last few games, it’s been throughout the whole tenure of Bruce. “It’s demoralising, not enjoyable or fun to watch and I’m sure it can’t be fun to play. It’s negative, it’s boring and it just drains you.”- Warren Barton.

Finally, someone has stated what fans are seeing. He goes further: “They get men behind the ball, try to draw the game out and if they can nick a result from a set-piece or they get a penalty, apparently it’s all well and good.” Christ, it looks like someone has actually been watching the games. Thank heavens for the few like Warren Barton.

When you are famous and have been afforded a public platform to give out an opinion, you’d better be bloody sure you’re impartial and offer both sides of the argument, when dishing out false praise and deriding the public for voicing an alternative view, when all the facts point to the contrary. Even worse, when criticising a former manager, yet praising a current one, for doing no better (or worse) simply because he’s more favourable or a mate, is grossly negligent and lacking in professionalism, or even something more basic – Honesty.

But back to our plight, Newcastle United fans are looking at an upcoming group of fixtures that will either save or bury us. Arsenal, Aston Villa and Everton away, Leeds and Crystal Palace at home, is no easy task. Ordinarily I’d say six points from those fixtures but based on our current set up, I’d be surprised if we got one solitary point.

As we slowly slip down the table with each passing result, we as Newcastle United fans can only sit and watch as other sides eat away at our once reasonably comfortable looking cushion on the bottom three. We can also sit and look back at the many times we dared to call out the disastrous performances and shocking displays masking a hidden problem, only to be told by those supposedly in the know, that we’re deluded and stupid and that we should be happy with what we’ve got.

Someone who is on our side should be honest and publicly state that what we’re seeing now may not be the end of it. If our bleak mid-winter turns into a sombre spring, our position will get alarmingly worse, if that’s indeed possible.

Who were the people who said BEFORE Bruce was appointed that it was the wrong move, that he wasn’t right for Premier League management?

Who were the people that have repeatedly pointed out the dire stats and shocking performances week in week out over an 18 month period?

Who were the people who have said time after time that the odd result may paper over massive gaping cracks but that disaster was simply only a matter of time given this manager’s record?

Who were the people who were mocked for actually giving a damn?

We had the media talking heads, dial-a-quote pundits and disgrace to the profession journalists who failed to call out this God awful scenario as it was unfolding, effectively telling us to know our place and mocked the club we once called Newcastle United.

They should all now be issuing an apology to the one group of people who saw what was highly likely to be around the corner and called it out…the Newcastle United fans.


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