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Opinion

Newcastle United fans find it hard to let go

2 months ago
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There is no better fanbase than the Newcastle United fans.

Not saying we are unique, or indeed better than every / any other fanbase.

Just that, you won’t find anything better than our lot.

There are a lot of us and Newcastle United fans are loyal.

Stupidly so, some would say.

For example, Mike Ashley would never have survived so long at any other club.

If he had say chosen Aston Villa instead, Ashley would have lasted no more than a few years. A constant diet of zero ambition and relegation struggle after relegation struggle, some ‘successful’ and some not, would have seen Villa Park gates of little more than 20,000.

For Newcastle United fans it took well over a decade, two relegations and a number of near misses, treating club legends (Shearer and Keegan) disgracefully, undermining and treating shamefully any decent manager who agreed to work for him, discriminating against cancer victim Jonas Gutierrez, treating supporters as total mugs…

At last though, in summer 2019 so many of us said enough was really enough, sacrificed our season tickets and loyalty points, the only way to get him out. Mike Ashley accepting finally that he had to sell, having then had to give away 10,000+ free half season tickets to fill the embarrassing massive empty spaces next to his St James Park countless tat empire adverts.

The ghost of Mike Ashley still hangs over us though, well many Newcastle United fans anyway.

The Ashley years lowering expectations so much, that for a lot of NUFC supporters they lost all perspective on reality.

I notice it a lot now with many players, a case of Newcastle United fans finding it hard to let go….

When anybody suggests that clearly a player needs to move on, isn’t good enough etc etc, it is met by others with an over the top defence, you can’t be saying this.

The over the top defensive line picking out that particular player’s high points at Newcastle United, their loyalty to the club and so on.

The very fact that the high points so often relate back to the 2016/17 promotion season, says it all. Well says it all for me anyway.

As for loyalty…well getting paid decent Premier League level wages year on year (whilst in many cases not playing loads of games) when in reality you’re a Championship player, I don’t see that as loyalty. Sounds a lot more to me like living the dream.

Truth is, under Mike Ashley our club became a total joke and the failure to allow proper team and squad refreshing and rebuilding, led directly to the constant relegation struggles.

The arrival of the new owners and in particular them replacing Steve Bruce with Eddie Howe, brought an end to the holiday camp vibe that had become the norm.

It is like when some Newcastle United fans used to go on about Shola Ameobi having shown his loyalty as Mike Ashley gave him contract after contract. Loyalty? Supporters talking as though Shola would have alternatively been heading off to Real Madrid and tripling his wages, rather than scraping around for a Championship club if he’d left St James Park earlier than 2014.

For Shola and so many of these current players, it is they who have been so fortunate to be employed by Newcastle United, even if Mike Ashley was in charge. So lucky as well to then get year after year, contract after contract, that kept them here.

Yes, say goodbye and thanks for what you have contributed to Hayden, Ritchie, Darlow, Lascelles, Shelvey, whoever…however, keep it in perspective.

Some Newcastle United fans will say about how these players tried, well I’m sorry, but that is the starting point for every player. The likes of Bruno G, Burn and Trippier give maximum proverbial 110% effort but they are also very good / excellent players.

It was the same back in the day with Shearer, Beardsley, Given, Ferdinand and others, Newcastle United fans appreciated them so much, but at the same time knew their own and their club’s worth.

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