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Opinion

First time in Newcastle…I’ll be back

3 weeks ago
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Well I did it in the end, at long last.

A day before my 34th birthday I arrived in Newcastle with my fiancee and did the two things I always wanted to do.

Watch Newcastle United play at St James Park (after having previously only gone to watch NUFC play in away matches) and to see the city itself.

It took a painfully long eight hours in the end driving from my home in Carmarthenshire to get to my hotel on the quayside. It was worth every ounce of diesel and second of my time getting up there.

We both enjoyed our three nights in the city and I’d happily visit the quayside and the city whenever practically possible again. In my opinion it’s truly a wonderful city where its inhabitants are lucky to live and breathe it every day, easily the nicest city on the eye I’ve visited in the country.

The football though I wouldn’t rush back anytime soon for.

I knew what was I was paying for and I knew I was hardly going to witness a classic in the making. I arrived at the ground around half seven after walking up from the quayside. It is truly something unique, a massive stadium smack in the middle of town with enough pubs close by to run it’s fair share of local breweries.

I payed £104 for two tickets and we sat fairly central, towards the back of the east stand. The seats were excellent and it was a great view of the pitch, I can’t complain about that. The actual viewing that followed though…

If it costs £52 per ticket to watch the Steve Bruce show, then it should cost at least five times the amount if you wanted to watch Liverpool or Manchester City play. I’m not suggesting paying to watch either of those two clubs instead, I’m just saying it wasn’t worth paying over £50 to watch this Bruce era Newcastle United play.

The first half of this Newcastle v Leeds clash wasn’t bad and it had a decent bit of action. Both teams should have scored more than the one goal each they had to show by the end. Allan Saint-Maximin was class and scored a great goal (even though I felt he’d mucked it up taking a touch too many…), Leeds on another night could have scored five or six, NUFC though also had our fair share of chances. Matt Ritchie a tad unlucky hitting the post, Joe Willock and Miguel Almiron had their chances and of course Joelinton missed a proper sitter. In fairness to the Brazilian, he wasn’t actually that bad on the night . He missed a great chance but his all round play was fairly neat and he looked decent-ish for once, given how poor he has been since the day he arrived.

Anyways, the second half of Newcastle v Leeds was drab and after a long day of travelling I was fed up after 70 mins but I persevered with it and saw it through until the end. A game of two halves you could say, the first a Bielsa one (good game), the second a very much a Bruce one (rubbish).

The atmosphere was fairly mixed, it felt fairly quiet where we sat. The Gallowgate end did it’s best in fairness and tried its utmost to create a great atmosphere. It lasted all of maybe 10 minutes until the fans turned on Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce. I don’t think I need to repeat what was said about the pair. The discontent was warranted though and the hostile atmosphere was hardly a surprise.

I’d like to come back again one day but I wont attend St James Park again now, until everything that is wrong with the club is long gone. Mike Ashley truly doesn’t know what a good thing he has got in his hands. It could be and should be so much more than what it currently is.

It is criminal what he has done to the club over the years. The club deserves more, the city and the people deserve more and I hope we all get it one day. The club, the city and most importantly it’s people are much bigger, better than one pathetic excuse of an owner in Mike Ashley.

I’ll say thank you, or Diolch yn fawr in my native tongue, for a cracking weekend up there. I’ll be back….

Comments welcome.

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