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Opinion

Could Newcastle United be the next…West Ham?

3 weeks ago
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Listening to the match yesterday between West Ham and Liverpool, made me reminisce of Premier League years gone by…

When Newcastle United had such memorable top four clashes with Liverpool at Anfield, Leeds at Elland Road and Arsenal at Highbury.

Bittersweet memories to say the least….but all in all, well worth living through.

After Sunday’s game, I tried to imagine what the happy Hammers fans were feeling like, as they had witnessed their team win a pulsating game 3-2.

Pundits even asking in their excitement if West Ham could even go on and pull off a “Leicester”?

There is nothing quite like that feeling of gatecrashing the little private party at the top of this league, that the powers that be tell us is “the most competitive league in the World”…ha ha.

Former Sunderland manager David Moyes should be commended for the job that he has done at the London Stadium, after having been scoffed at, ridiculed and written off not so long ago.

Moyes knows that his reappointment on a permanent basis wasn’t particularly welcomed by the East End regulars. They had been expecting a more glamorous name to take up the challenge.

This got me round to thinking of our own situation at Newcastle United and the impending arrival of Eddie Howe as boss.

Like Moyes’ tenure at Everton, Howe’s achievement when establishing Bournemouth in the Premiership has gone totally under the radar, because as football followers, we are continually drip-fed a diet of superstar players and charismatic foreign coaches.

This suits the image and agenda that the EPL want to portray and promote to the millions worldwide, who tune in for the razzamatazz of weekly satellite broadcasts.

Over the last 12 months an awful lot of water has passed under the bridge.

It all started off in December 2020 with the EPL / Rick Parry inspired Project Big Picture, initiated to hand more power to the so-called fundamentally elite clubs.

This was dismissed, as quite rightfully the plans were quickly exposed as a power grab, with a number of the instigators up to their eyes in  debt.

So, not able to get their own way, in May of this year the cartel of Liverpool, Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City and Spurs dropped the bombshell that they would be basically handing their notice in to the EPL, to become inaugural members of a new European Super League.

Not one thought was given to any of the other clubs in the Premiership or the Football League and it was as if the chairmen and executives of this ‘Gang of Six’ had all sat down together and watched a screening of the 1980s film blockbuster “Wall Street”.

Indeed, I can imagine the Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy (who it must be said needed this even more than the others), afterwards doing an admirable Gordon Gecko impression, whilst trying to convince the others that “Greed is Good”.

This episode triggered off the biggest ever backlash in English football as the Government, politicians and football fans throughout the country united to condemn this ultimate treachery.

One by one the cartel started backing down, ironically led by Chelsea and Manchester City, undoubtedly the two richest of the six.

The ESL plans were abandoned and ‘normality’ resumed. The bigger clubs carried on spending in the close season and we even saw the first £100m transfer between two English teams.

Just when everything was quietening down and the pecking order had seemingly been re-established, this October the Newcastle United Saudi Arabia PIF led takeover has upset the applecart, and led to most of the Premier League clubs spitting their dummies out.

As Newcastle United fans we can do nothing about it.

After over fourteen years of calamitous ownership and incompetence, we actually now find ourselves in a massive relegation fight (yet again) anyway.

After gaining another lucky point at the Amex against Brighton on Saturday, our only hope is that Eddie Howe can come in and have a “David Moyes” like affect on our dwindling fortunes.

They both have a lot in common, and I would love to see a scenario in the next couple of years where Newcastle are once again pressing for, and competing closer to the top of the Premiership.

With this West Ham resurgence the topic of the week, maybe it will be their loyal fans who will be accused of being deluded by pundits and the rest as they begin to dream…instead of Newcastle United’s long suffering ones?

I somehow doubt it though.

“I’m forever blowing bubbles”….the West Ham signature tune, is a poignant metaphor of what it is like to be a football supporter. Let me remind you of the lyrics lads and lasses….

“I’m forever blowing bubbles,

Pretty bubbles in the air…

They fly so high….nearly reach the sky,

Then like my dreams they fade and die.

Fortunes always hiding..

I’ve looked everywhere

I’m forever blowing bubbles…

Pretty bubbles in the air”

As the airwaves belted that out at the end of yesterday’s game, I smiled to myself and thought of what it will be like to once again be back up where I think we belong. Then as the red scousers probably sung back to the jubilant Hammers fans….I had a little bit of “Hope in my heart”.

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