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Opinion

From Absurdism to Realism – Newcastle United owners and Eddie Howe

2 months ago
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On Boxing Day, I endured the Newcastle 1 Nottingham Forest 3 defeat sat with my Forest mate and our young lads in the Kings Head in Kennington.

The Police came in at midday to warn us all that there were groups of Millwall and QPR in the area so be aware.

At the time I thought to myself this was quite absurd being warned by the police about irrelevant groups of lads looking for boozers open on Boxing day and confidently settled down with my Notts friends to see us demolish the red half of Nottingham.

Roughly two hours later we are in the absurd position of a Chris Wood hat-trick and another defeat. Nuno getting his tactics right and implemented second half and then the irony of an ex player getting a hat-trick.

Absurd.

The word thumping in my head as we left the boozer with our bellies full of lager and red J2O, heading home to watch the rest of the Boxing Day football fayre.

Recently on The Mag there has been some great articles opening up discussion about our current situation and the run of results and implications. The term surreal is often bandied around by footballers (and others) when interviewed after simply strange unaccountable events happening, or even mildly odd events referred to as being surreal.

In the 1920s at the time of the unnerving Surrealist art movement, developing in the Soviet Union was an art form known as Absurdism, based on existentialist thinking. Created because of the authoritarian system but not the political viewpoint.

Absurdism is the Philosophical theory that the universe is irrational. Trying to find meaning will lead to conflict between rational and irrational. Cue rational and irrational debate after our run of defeats depending on your position.

Back in the nineties I saw an Absurdist performance at a Southbank theatre midweek, then the following Sunday had the great pleasure of seeing Newcastle play at Loftus Road on 16th January 1994, in the terracing at the side of the pitch with my mates. Not behind the goal where I had stood and watched us play on the plastic pitch. We had a perfect view of that Peter Beardsley amazing winner.

After the game we headed down to Shepherds Bush tube station. Me and my mates elated by the result, we go down to the platform packed with football supporters but one supporter stands out from the crowd.

He is wearing an attempt at a military uniform and what looks suspiciously like a Metro inspector’s outfit, all black with the black peaked cap. He is also carrying a piece of cardboard no bigger than A4. This is the first time I think I have seen a supporter carrying a piece of cardboard with a message.

On the cardboard scribed in blue biro are simply the words TOON ARMY. He raises it methodically above his head as we stand on the platform, for everyone to see. He is obviously the self-appointed Toon Army General. A piece of Absurdist performance art? Or is he a living sculpture in the style of Gilbert and George?

Today, after that defeat in this moment in time we are in an absurd juncture and I have no doubt that the next phase for us will be Realism.

Let us just hope that the realism is the Newcastle United owners backing Eddie Howe in the transfer market and seeing us getting back to winning ways.

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