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Opinion

Luck, fine margins and Newcastle United

1 month ago
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We walked away after the Newcastle United defeat to Manchester City, disappointed but not deflated, like we were after the Liverpool game.

As we left, I put on my new lambswool purple scarf against the cold night, then my mate shouts “Where’s ya toon colours Greg?”

That last comment from my mate rings loud.

I wore that scarf watching the Forest defeat and the Chelsea defeat and now Man City. Was it all my fault?

Ruud Gullit believed that white socks were lucky! Good luck or bad luck?

Last week, one of the directors where I work, while talking to me, suddenly did a military salute. Apparently, a magpie had flown by behind me. Superstition, another layer to muddy logical waters.

Kevin Keegan driving up to Newcastle to discuss taking the Newcastle manager’s job, supposedly saw two magpies in a field and took it as a positive sign that he should take the post.

Footballers it appears are superstitious and over the years I have read, usually in football programme interviews, that many different players having odd routines that must be adhered to pre-match. In a recent interview where some of his quotes were published on The Mag, Bruno was quoted as saying he does not change his underwear for each game (washing them in between obviously). I suspect he is taking the mick here but the notion of luck is clear.

In the past I have had irrational and completely stupid thoughts that my behaviour could have an effect on a game.

Me wearing a specific item of clothing or going through a routine would create divine intervention for the team?

Has anyone else thought that wearing your lucky item of clothing would influence the result?

My mates came down for the 1999 FA Cup final wearing lucky white Ruud Gullit football socks, hidden by their jeans and Timberlands, in the absolute belief that they would influence the outcome.

This link between personal belief and something you have absolutely no control over other than giving your support. Then of course the inevitable happens and we get beat.

The connection is broken until the next one.

People are strange, some people believe in fate or good fortune. Some people have religious faith while others are lucky or unlucky.

Was Dubravka’s tip onto the bar last weekend against Man City, lucky for us or unlucky for City.

Well, I believe that Eddie Howe is right and so much is about fine margins.

I see myself as a logical and rational human being and do not believe I am superstitious in any way.

However, having said all of this the purple scarf is now in the wardrobe, never to come out again on a match day. Black and white all the way from now on.

I am sure I am not alone and I am sure that there are people out there who will make my purple scarf be a non-event compared to their good / bad luck stories.

The big question is though, is my mate still wearing his Harvey’s Heroes lucky silk scarf?

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