Johnny Marr – There is no stopping Newcastle United
Johnny Marr has been talking about playing in front of live audiences once again AND being able to go and watch his football team play, now Covid restrictions have been lifted.
Just in case the name isn’t familiar to you, Johnny Marr is a true guitar legend to so many people.
A massive reason for why The Smiths were so successful and loved by so many, Marr is now set to tour with Blondie in April, though sadly not playing Newcastle.
Johnny Marr is also a massive Manchester City fan and is loving being able to attend matches once again. ‘I was grateful that football carried on through the Covid pandemic but when you look back at games from that period, it was pretty bleak. You can see what a strange, dislocated experience football was without fans. More than ever, it highlighted the contribution of the fan, not just as a passive observer but as someone involved in the game.’
The former Smiths guitar hero has been a guest of BBC Sport ahead of this weekend’s Premier League matches and as well as talking about playing gigs in front of live audiences and being able to watch Man City in the flesh, he has also predicted what will happen in all the top tier games this weekend.
Ironically, the last time Newcastle United lost a Premier League match was against the team Johnny Marr supports. Fully eleven weeks ago, that 4-0 defeat to Man City on 19 December not only a stand out because NUFC lost, it also summed up the shocking individual errors and series of outrageous VAR decisions that were sabotaging Newcastle’s recovery under Eddie Howe. Right at the start of that match at St James Park, Ciaran Clark inexplicably ducking out of a header in front of his own goal and allowing the simplest of chances for Man City to take the lead. Then later in that first half with United pressing to get back into the game, possibly the worst referee on the pitch and VAR decision ever seen, as somehow no penalty given despite Ederson completely taking out Ryan Fraser in the penalty area.
Happily, Howe’s endeavours have finally been properly rewarded with the results the performances deserve, seven unbeaten and winning four of the last five matches, Johnny Marr declaring, ‘There is no stopping Newcastle at the moment is there?’
Last weekend’s very professional performance that dominated Brentford indicative of the new NUFC now we have a proper manager, restricting the home side to just one effort on target and that came in added time. VAR thankfully having come to Newcastle’s rescue with a red card for Dasilva after 11 minutes after his reckless challenge on Matt Targett, this though only coming after Mike Dean had somehow originally given a free-kick to Brentford!
Johnny Marr going for a prediction of a 2-1 home win and Newcastle United making it unbeaten in eight, with five wins in the last six games after Saturday afternoon.
Johnny Marr talking to BBC Sport about playing in front of live audiences once again AND being able to go and watch his football team play, now Covid restrictions have been lifted:
“I’m really looking forward to that human contact again.
“I played a couple of shows last year just as restrictions started to change and it definitely felt elevated – the shows really meant a lot to everyone with the sense of freedom, but now to be coming back with some big new songs as the soundtrack is really exciting.
“Certainly with the music I do, which involves bands and guitars, gigs are the lifeblood of it really and music comes alive when you perform it in front of people.
“That’s not just for the musicians, but for the audience as well. It’s a kind of communal experience, to be fancy about it. It has always been that way, but it is particularly precious after everything the world has been through in the past couple of years.
“Being able to go back to City games again as a fan was the same sort of feeling.
“I was grateful that football carried on through the Covid pandemic but when you look back at games from that period, it was pretty bleak. You can see what a strange, dislocated experience football was without fans.
“More than ever, it highlighted the contribution of the fan, not just as a passive observer but as someone involved in the game.”
Johnny Marr asked for his Newcastle v Brighton prediction:
“There is no stopping Newcastle United at the moment is there?
“Newcastle 2 Brighton 1.”
A week ago, Mark Lawrenson gave very bizarre reasoning as to why he was confident Brentford (one point in last seven matches) were going to beat Newcastle (no PL defeats in last ten weeks). Lawrenson now though thinking that recent form might just be a good indicator of what could happen in the next match…
Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport ahead of Newcastle v Brighton:
“Newcastle’s run just keeps on going – they are seven unbeaten now in the league, and have won four of their past five games – and they keep climbing away from the relegation zone.
“Brighton are at the other end of the form table and have now lost three in a row which is their worst run of the season.
“They’ve not scored in any of those defeats either, but it’s nothing new for them to be short of goals.
“All things considered, it has to be another Newcastle win here.
“Their improvement shows what a difference a bit of momentum and confidence can make and a big home crowd will help them on Saturday too.
“Prediction is Newcastle 2 Brighton 0:”
Whilst no sensible Newcastle fan will be taking anything for granted, this has to be seen as a great opportunity to get another three points on the board, or at the very least, one.
As well as their recent poor run, Brighton having won four of the opening Premier League games of the season, have only won three of the next twenty one. However, they have got a massive twelve draws in that run of 21, with six defeats – including these latest three in a row.
For fans of The Smiths amongst you, any number of their singles perfectly matched the mood of Newcastle United supporters pre-7 October 2021…Heaven knows I’m miserable now…Panic…Girlfriend (Football club!) in a coma…
However, we always knew…There is a light that never goes out…and with…This charming man (Eddie Howe)…having replaced the Mike Ashley patsy / stooge. Newcastle United are one again on the up and even better, we can all now be there in person to see it, can you imagine just how bizarre it would have all felt, if the takeover had taken place during those long long months when fans weren’t allowed inside St James Park and other stadiums?
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