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I’d say Paul Merson being patronising about Newcastle United but not sure if he knows what that means…

6 days ago
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Paul Merson has been talking about Newcastle United. Again.

As usual, it is a bizarre series of statements that rarely make any sense on their own and when taken as a whole, most definitely leave you shaking your head.

We know that there are so many ex-players fighting to get noticed in the punditry world and so feel they have to say something a bit ‘out there’…but when it comes to Paul Merson and Newcastle United…it always tends to end badly.

This time Paul Merson has came out with this classic, declaring ‘I was up in Newcastle the other day for a charity dinner and I talked to a lot of fans who think they will spend £150m and buy this player and that player.’

Hmmm, these things are always amusing, the likes of Paul Merson and many others, claiming ‘this is what they are all saying’ as some kind of supposed ‘proof’ as to how deluded (in this case) Newcastle fans are and how this supposedly proves his (Merson’s) point about NUFC and the supporters.

I am a Newcastle United fan who speaks to other NUFC supporters every day of my life and yet I haven’t heard anybody say that they think the club will spend £150m this summer. Funny that.

So all of these countless Newcastle fans say one thing to Paul Merson, then all of us (Newcastle supporters) don’t say that or hear anybody else do so. Difficult who to rely on / believe isn’t it???

I would say that Paul Merson was being patronising about Newcastle United with his nonsense below but I’m not sure if he knows what that even means…

Look at these three separate sentences he includes in this latest about Newcastle United fans and their club:

“Newcastle should be happy finishing tenth next season if they can put together a good cup run as well.”

“But they need to be patient because they’re not going to get into Europe next season.”

“If Newcastle finish 17th and won a trophy, you’d have to be happy with that as a Newcastle fan surely?”

So you have Newcastle fans should be happy with 10th and a ‘good’ cup run…but you’re ‘not going to get into Europe next season’ he says. Then you have that third sentence, where Paul Merson is basically challenging Newcastle fans, inferring that we’re deluded because we (according to him) wouldn’t be happy with fourth bottom and winning a cup. So rather than mid-table and a ‘good’ cup run, Paul Merson now changing it to winning a trophy and getting into Europe (via winning said cup)!!!

They are two very different scenarios. A ‘good’ cup run would to me mean something like the semi-finals, which combined with mid-table obscurity would have been something you’d have accepted in pretty much every season of zero ambition under Mike Ashley. The bottom line is that often the gap between say tenth and seventeenth isn’t that big anyway, when we finished tenth in 2017/18, there was only eight points between NUFC and fourth bottom. If you are talking about winning a trophy, if that was say the FA Cup then talking about two winning visits to Wembley and qualification for Europe and staying in the Premier League (in this Paul Merson example).

The bottom line of course, in the real world, is that there is no reason why Newcastle United and the fans should be going into this 2022/23 Premier League season aiming for tenth. That is completely different of course to saying we automatically expect Newcastle to finish higher than tenth.

Newcastle were actually in tenth place at half-time on the final day of last season, then ended up eleventh as Brighton came from behind to beat West Ham in their final game.

Meanwhile, Newcastle with a much weakened team were relegating Burnley at Turf Moor, following up an excellent final home game of the season. On that Monday at SJP, Arsenal turned up needing to win to qualify for the Champions League, Newcastle had pride and…a mid-table tenth place…to play for. Eddie Howe’s team dominated the match from first to last, won 2-0 and even Mikel Arteta said that Newcastle deserved to win by many more goals than that.

Those two results helped Newcastle United end the season in eleventh BUT that was a miracle due to the mess inherited mid-season from Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce.

Newcastle United picked up 38 points in their final 19 PL games, only Liverpool and Man City picked up more, whilst Arsenal accumulated 34 points in their second half of the season.

Even with such a catastrophic situation that Eddie Howe and the new owners inherited, NUFC almost finished top half.#

Final 2021/22 Premier League table:

Premier League Table 22 May 2022

Nobody says it is definitely going to happen BUT why shouldn’t Newcastle United and their fans think that, just possibly, if everything goes right, it could be possible to bridge that nine points gap to sixth that was the case last season?

Now a club / team full of momentum with that third best form in the second half of last season, Wilson and Trippier now back fit, likes of Bruno, Burn and Targett now settled in even better, other new signings expected to be added.

Then you add in the mad make up of this coming season with a World Cup in the middle of it, same number of Premier League games fitted into less time, then the added demands for those in Europe of having to also play those matches in a tighter schedule.

There is going to be opportunity for sure I think, whereby one or possibly more clubs outside the top six can have a real go.

Newcastle United potentially being that club (or clubs).

Paul Merson ending with ‘But the one thing they all said to me when I was up there is they have got something now they haven’t had in a long, long time, and that is hope. Good luck to them.’

We thank you for your patronising messages Paul and yes, we indeed do have hope now.

Something that I seem to remember the likes of Paul Merson and many others lecturing Newcastle fans on, numerous times under Mike Ashley. Suggesting that we were indeed deluded to expect Newcastle United to try to be anything better than mediocre.

Paul Merson talking to the Daily Star:

“Newcastle should be happy finishing tenth next season if they can put together a good cup run as well.

“They have got to start turning up in the cup competitions because too many managers have mugged those off when they’ve gone there. Newcastle haven’t won a trophy in so long and their fans need something to get excited about.

“But they need to be patient because they’re not going to get into Europe next season.

“I was up in Newcastle the other day for a charity dinner and I talked to a lot of fans who think they will spend £150m and buy this player and that player.

“They’ve just got to buy right, spend steadily and patiently on the right sort of players and build it up slowly.

“If Newcastle finish 17th and won a trophy, you’d have to be happy with that as a Newcastle fan surely?

“But the one thing they all said to me when I was up there is they have got something now they haven’t had in a long, long time, and that is hope. Good luck to them.”

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