…or just a scam?
The recent return of King Kevin to Tyneside recently has had a massive
impact on the hoards of Geordie’s who manage somehow to turn out in their
thousands not only on a Saturday afternoon for the usual St. James dross,
but also on a Tuesday morning when the latest big money superstar is
unveiled prior to a not so long and not so successful stay on Tyneside. More
importantly to me though the return of Kevin Keegan to the Premiership and
English footballs elite reminded me why I dislike Newcastle United so much.
It’s a real dilemma though for me as I don’t actually dislike Newcastle
United, the players are OK no-one there who makes my blood boil (unless of
course Pires and Henry pitch up at St. James in their 34th year for that pay
packet that only Newcastle’s football retirement agency seems to provide),
it must be the fans I hear you call, no its not the fans, daft bunch with
intensive case of grandeur, but being a Spurs fan can I really accuse anyone
of that? The managers then, no still no alarm bells ringing, Keegan,
Dalglish, Ruud “not so sexy football” Gullit or Sir Bobby, they are all fine
But there is one thing that hits my football panic button about the black
and white army. What I can not stand is the English press who seem intent on
making the footballing public believe that Newcastle United is a “big” club.
Where did this myth start, well I believe I have worked it out.
Most clubs lets take Manchester United for instance, in the opinion of most,
outside of Merseyside, the biggest of them all established in 1878. Great so
let’s go down the ladder a bit, Tottenham Hotspur, fantastic club great cup
pedigree and one of the bigger clubs established in 1883. And then there is
Newcastle United, if you believed the writers in the national press, the
biggest of them all and established is the grand old year of 1993, yes
that’s right we are lead to believe that this great clubs history began in
1993, along with the Premier League and football as we know it today.
Within this 18 year period the club has won nothing, but don’t let this
confuse you they are massive, don’t let anyone tell you that there has been
more silverware added to the cabinets at Leicester City and Blackburn Rovers
in this period, it honestly means nothing. For Newcastle United have 55,000
bums on seats at every home game and this means more than anything, doesn’t
matter that pre-Keegan “Mark I” this crowd was about 30% of this figure.
But what about Shearer I hear you cry, and that 12 point lead, they were the
great entertainers; everyone loves them I will hear in the background. Each
and every point can be addressed.
Alan Shearer although undoubtedly a fantastic goal-scorer sums up Newcastle,
a player who choose to win nothing and remain a superstar in a goldfish ball
rather than explore his obvious call to greatness at Old Trafford. The 12
point lead, the great entertainers and all that jazz, it was only one
season, and as Aristotle said “one swallow does not make a summer”.
It’s such a shame, in my opinion, that a club like Newcastle United is made
a laughing stock by the mere fact that their reputation is inflated by the
press. For me, now take away the obvious financial implication of St. James
Park, there is no difference between same Bolton Wanderers and Newcastle
United, both have a reasonable pre-war history but in modern football mean
nothing. That’s right no league championships, no FA cups, no League cups
and certainly no European honours. Although should you bump into Big Sam I
think keeping the theory to yourself would be advisable.
I am of the opinion that your run of the mill Geordie man in the street does
not share the view that Newcastle United is a big club. They must be sick to
the back teeth with the way their club gets built up constantly by the
media, only to knock them down and laugh at them every Sunday morning when
things go wrong for the umpteenth time.
As big clubs go in England our friends in the north are struggling to hit
the top ten, and if you remove financial clout, so often now the deciding
factor in our great game, then they are clearly relegation candidates. I
think everyone will agree of a top three being Manchester United, Liverpool
and Arsenal. Although the obvious recent omission there is the Stamford
Bridge Mafioso, not even the most ardent Blue would fight their case against
the other three and although it hurts to say it recent history means they
fall into their own category just below the big three. Under this you have
to look at the bigger also-rans Everton, Tottenham Hotspur & Aston Villa.
Stage four would see the arrival of Leeds United and finally Newcastle
United. And we are all well aware where Leeds United find themselves now.
Beware Geordies those days of trips to Plymouth and 15,000 gates can return.
It really is time that the truth was shouted from the rooftops, Newcastle
United a big club – not outside the North-East. Just ask Alan Shearer, had
Manchester United manager been the position vacant and not the St. James hot
seat would he have turned that down to sit alongside Hanson and Co on the
Draw your own conclusions just don’t read the newspapers or you will be
wearing black and white, proclaiming the return of a Messiah (again) and
shouting “howay the lads” before the end of the article.