This appalling treatment of Newcastle United fans
I am appalled at how badly Newcastle United fans have been treated.
The abuse that has been heaped upon us from pundits, press, football managers and others has been hysterical, over the top and deeply unfair.
And the crime? Not being ‘happy’ with our lot. Daring to suggest that the manager of the team we love is not up to the task. And daring to challenge the status quo.
So lets break that down.
Newcastle United fans not being happy with our lot
Strangely, after dumping a manager who kept them in the Champions League for 20 years (never mind winning numerous Championships (one unbeaten all season) – winning FA Cups and other distinctions) I never saw Arsenal fans being charged with being ‘ungrateful’ by the largely London based press. I wonder why? And so few articles about whether they now regret their actions. And let’s face it – their pressure went on for years. And no mention of the vile chanting that was directed his way in stadia..
As for Manchester United fans, this is the fanbase who want Solskjaer removed (the manager who rescued them from 15th and they have ended up third and second in the Premier League these past two seasons. But that’s not ungrateful or deluded?
How about Newcastle United fans daring to suggest the manager might not be up to the task?
Where to start?
Much has been said on these forums (and not in the national press) about Bruce’s record generally and at the toon. We have the grim months of despair last season (two wins in 21), the last 10 months (seven wins in 38) and this season (no wins in nine, with eight of those in the league and 19 goals conceded, second bottom of the table).
Steve Bruce is the second worst premier league manager ever (on win statistics) who has managed 1000 matches (that have included at least some PL games). In contrast, Watford can dump their manager, who had done, by all reports, an excellent job with excellent win statistics (who coincidentally wasn’t a great mate of pundits or press) with hardly a raised eyebrow.
I’ve already talked about Man U and Solskjaer, Arsenal and Wenger, but I’d suggest that Bruce has had it easy. Due to Covid, he’s not been subjected to chants from the crowd other than very recently. Yes, a few social media trolls have been abusive (and that is a wider issue than football) but wanting a change of manager is different from abuse. And let’s remember – he might get a huge payoff for non-delivery – but we are paying for that. And relative to income, the hundreds we might spend on season tickets are far more significant to us than the millions he trousers through football! He’s think skinned. He does the job by choice.
This is our club. Owners and managers are only transients. Are we not allowed to express disapproval? To judge our manager’s effectiveness and comment when it is not up to scratch? I’d point out that we didn’t throw things at him in the stadium (unlike some other fans) – so why are we the bad guys?
And a third point – daring to challenge the status quo?
I suppose this is the crux of it.
We’ve talked here about the corruption within the Premier League and the cabal of the ‘biggish six’, but in addition, we are outside of the London and North Western football bubbles. And a key thing not really pointed out to date is that we (Newcastle United fans) are a soft target. They can have a go at us without comeback. It’s not that no one cares – because quite obviously, we do. But attack the toon (as a fanbase, or over the takeover, or any number of other things) and you know you are not going to be challenged. Fact checking and apoplexy will be limited to The Mag, rather than exposed in the national press.
So what can we do about that? Not a lot – other than not sinking to the level of others. There are a few journos who present a more balanced view. And they daren’t poke too deeply into the owner’s human rights issues as you do start to expose dirt on Man City, Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea, Uber, Disney and others (where exactly do you think your money comes from?)
We have an opportunity now, being associated with the Saudis, of encouraging western morality – and standing up when we are offended. I don’t see Geordies being naive in this.
And regarding the abuse of Bruce?
How the toon is an impossible club to manage?
Well… remember to remind people of Keegan, of Robson, of Rafa. Even Shearer as a manager. And of the next manager who comes in and cares for and communicates honestly with the fans. It will soon be conveniently forgotten how ‘difficult’ we are as a fanbase.
At the end of the day (recognising it will take a little time to come to fruition) we should be about to see some good football. That has been a long time coming. And that should make all this current nonsense worthwhile.
And having said all that, its genuinely nice not to be slagging off Mike Ashley for a change…so it’s not all bad!
(ED: Apologies to anybody who was offended by the original version of this article which had a clumsy reference to the disgraceful way certain parts of the media treated Liverpool fans in the aftermath of Hillsborough. That line has now been taken out. The intention was never to equate the two things. In retrospect, it obviously wasn’t the best way of trying to get any point across regarding the media coverage Newcastle supporters are attracting these days. The Mag looks to give all Newcastle fans a platform (if they choose to use it) and that will always be the case, a mistake made on this occasion by both author and in the editing process, in terms of leaving that reference in and once again, apologies to anyone who was offended by it.)
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