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Opinion

The Newcastle United curse strikes again

1 month ago
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Let’s get two things straight.

Firstly, I’m not superstitious.

Secondly, add to this that I feel Newcastle United deserve to be relegated this season.

We have an inept head coach, players of limited ability pursuing useless tactics, plus there hasn’t been enough interest or investment from the top. Mike Ashley at his worst.

That said, there has been an extraordinary sequence of events transpiring against the fans for some time. This can be traced back through our recent history but the Ashley years really highlight this.

Whether you blame the hanging of women at Gallowgate during the English Civil War or Hughie Gallagher’s alleged last words, ‘Newcastle United you’re doomed’, it’s fair to say we haven’t had much fortune at all. I blame Uri Geller myself!

Losing a world class manager and appointing a failed journeyman of a Head Coach is self-inflicted, as is failing to act in the transfer window even with with a club sale on the horizon. Survival on the cheap springs to mind.

The bad luck for the fans comes in when it’s a failed sale involving some of the richest people in the world. So close to getting rid of the league’s worst owner and gaining the best alternative on the planet.

This all sets the scene for a season of bad management, poor team selection, bad tactics, abysmal post-match analysis and internal conflict. I’m beginning to wonder if we are in fact talking about bad luck, or the worst possible management of what should be a great club.

So where is the bad luck?

You could point to being so near yet so far to change but is that politics rather than luck? Maybe the Saudis should legally sponsor an individual rather than pursue an unpopular/ unacceptable takeover? Or do they want a state owned club? Is there substance in the Premier League claims? Do they even want to buy us now?

The curse is more of a valid one when it comes to injuries and illness. Covid 19 has had a marked effect on our season, however in respect of those who have suffered, I’m not going into that as it is only sport, though sometimes it feels like more than that, I know.

Our injury list is unbelievable over the season, as Steve Bruce often reminds us, after saying that he’s not going to make excuses.

It could be argued that our strengths are our central defenders. I think we have six or seven if you include Lejeune who was rashly loaned out without replacement. At times five of them have been sidelined – Lascelles, Dummett, Clark, Schar and Fernandez, occasionally at the same time. Thank Heavens for Hayden.

Add to this losing our best three forwards for a considerable time. Your first choice forward line totally decimated. Add in your player of last season, though this brought the best out of Karl Darlow. This could of course all be down to bad injury management.

Contrast this to Fulham, who rely on seven or eight loan signings in a settled team. How many injuries have they had? Not many I can confirm. Only Liverpool can compare to us and they have a strong squad.

Laughably on Match of the Day, I heard the commentator question when Liverpool’s crisis would end, oh their poor fans!

My conclusion, it’s invariably down to mismanagement, lack of investment and professionalism rather than bad luck.

Though the sheer sequence of misfortunes over many years does make you wonder whether Hughie Gallagher’s alleged last words were right.

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