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Opinion

Sick of it

2 months ago
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Most Newcastle United fans I know, are heartily sick of being also rans.

‘We don’t demand a team that wins, we demand a club that tries’, was the mantra during the CAshley era. That might have appeased all those fans of clubs who’ve won a domestic trophy these past nearly 70 years but really?

Is that the best a once proud nation that powered the country and sent ships on their way across the globe can say about the dismal state of it’s black and white football team?

We’ve seen it all, we’ve won the lot is what Man United fans sing. We’ve also seen it all.

Returning home from Wembley with nothing but the losers ribbons, finishing runners up after blowing a twelve point lead at Christmas and crashing out of the UEFA Cup at the semi final stage on a sultry evening in the South of France amongst the lowlights.

During my lifetime, the likes of Swindon Town, Stoke City, Norwich City, Everton, Nottingham Forest, West Ham Utd, Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday, Derby County, Leeds Utd, Oxford Utd, Wimbledon, Wigan Athletic, Southampton, Portsmouth, Luton Town, Coventry City, the Mackems and even the Boro have won a domestic trophy. For goodness sake, Leicester City have won five, six if you include the Charity Shield.

So excuse me and other Newcastle United fans for daring to complain when our team slumps to a sixth defeat in seven games.

Eddie Howe has done a fantastic job. He is has got us to the heights we’ve recently scaled, along with some much needed investment from the PIF that has brought quality to the team.

Injuries have cost us dear. Competing until very recently on four fronts with a depleted squad who have been running on empty for some time now, has caught up with us. So has, despite the investment, the need to place reliance on players who were acquired during the Mike Ashley regime or having to deploy a lad in the middle of the park who isn’t yet old enough to cast a vote at the ballot box.

That’s the reality. That’s the brutal truth.

Had we won at Luton and beaten Forest, we’d be fifth in the table. Things wouldn’t look so bad, but games that our so called entitled fan base expect us to win at a canter have been and gone and we end the year in a trough, which is so disappointing given what 2023 has brought us.

As a reminder, our first Wembley final in over twenty years. Our first Champions League qualification in over twenty years. The lowest number of defeats in a league campaign ever, coupled with the lowest number of goals conceded in a league campaign since 1970 or going back further in time, since the championship winning season of 1905. We also smashed the champions of France and won a Premier League away fixture 8-0. Not bad eh?

Whether folk like it or not, that is the yardstick now. So, never mind trying, let’s compete. The season starts again next year, at Anfield and then away to the Mackems. HTL

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