Going to Newcastle match on Wednesday gave me far better understanding of team and those who watch them
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a piece on The Mag, explaining why I wasn’t going to attend the first Newcastle United home game of the season (and possibly / probably no other matches after that either).
Now I’m going to write a piece about attending the Burnley game.
As I’m 62, you may think I’m starting to lose it, so let me explain.
What’s gone on recently means I have not seen my father in law, who lives near Wales, for some time.
He has finally been able to come up to see us for the first time in ages and asked about going to the match.
So, along with a friend of the family, we found ourselves heading to the match on Wednesday night.
And actually, attending the game has given me a much better understanding on both the players on the pitch and those who watch them.
Lets start with the team.
We were toothless. I reckon we could have had Harry Kane up front and it would make no odds.
The reason was the midfield of Sean Longstaff and Hendrick. Just how slow can you get?
The average age of us three crusties attending the game was 69, however, I reckon we could have still added more pace and guile to our engine room than those two did.
What was it with Jamal Lewis?
Please, just take your man on lad. Instead, he continued to stop and play the ball backwards, meaning the chance was gone. At least when Fraser put the ball in, we looked like we had half a chance.
Except of course Joe was in the middle. Seriously, its easy to jump on the bandwagon and slag him off, but my God he was truly awful. There was nothing about his play that you could praise.
His movement, holding the ball, pressing defenders. All were League One standard. If this is what he is about, then the man is simply woeful.
And finally Freddie Woodman, who actually didn’t have anything to do. I couldn’t understand why was he so slow at getting the ball into play from goal kicks? I can only imagine this was a tactic worked on in training.
It seemed the plan was to wait two minutes until the team had all gathered on the left hand side of the pitch and then kick it into the Milburn stand. Very strange.
The thing is, we did have chances, we should have taken one and therefore should have won.
But we didn’t. So we are out.
Now for my fellow attendees.
There were 30,000 there, which apart from buoyant Leeds (34,000), was the highest anywhere in round two.
Ten quid (fiver for kids) a ticket or not, it’s still some turn out.
Looking around me in the East Stand, I finally realised that I am totally irrelevant to the future of Newcastle.
In front of me were four kids, whose combined age wouldn’t have added up to mine. They are the future.
They acted like I did at their age apart from one very significant fact. They didn’t sing. Too busy on their phones I guess.
If they decide the match day experience is worth it, then they will take the place of me. The old are moved on, to be replaced by the new.
Just like my generation of gobby kids, who pushed out the Jackie Milburn generation.
They may have been silent but a mention to the lads in the Gallowgate corner, who were not.
They made some racket for most of the game. It may have only been 500 of them at most but they weren’t going to let the football spoil their night.
Again, it reminded me of the blind loyalty I had in 1981 and 1991 to a truly basket case club.
As I said, the world moves on .
I paid 10 quid and felt short changed because we didn’t have a real go at trying to win. We huffed and puffed but there is no cutting edge.
Would I pay 40 quid for Newcastle United v Southampton? Sorry, but no, it would make me angry watching this week on week.
But as I said, I don’t matter. Its the new generation who matter and there were 30,000 of them there on Wednesday night.
They have the club’s future in their hands.
Finally, why do people buy food in the ground?
It’s expensive and the money goes to the owner. I ate in the Chinese called Infusion just next to the ground and the food was superb.
If you do go to the match, its worth a try.
Winter is coming, it’s going to be a hard one.
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