“Be careful what you wish for!” the immortal words of Jamie Redknapp just before we watched 90 minutes of a strong Newcastle side, pull their pants down, bend over and allow a weakened Brentford side have their way with us. Another quarter final passed us by, with no effort to even try and get into the semi-finals.
That seems to be the story of this season, and the continuing narrative ‘pundits’ push towards Newcastle fans as we are constantly demanding more from the club we have put our blood, sweat and tears into. We are told to know our place, sit in the corner and shut up. How dare Newcastle fans demand better performances from the club, how dare we try and sit above our station. How dare we question where the team are going under the current management team. A management team that seems to be the poster boys for the overpaid, nonsensical, opinionated, clueless ex-footballers, whose only way of making money in the game is to spout their displeasure towards us that they weren’t better at their chosen profession.
Yet while they sit in their studios, as an assistant brings them coffees, we are the ones sitting there watching the club slowly become worse game, after game. These same pundits who can’t understand our annoyance at a manger we never wanted, yet were quick enough to tell us we shouldn’t be happy with Rafa Benitez. Steve Bruce is the golden child of football media, and how dare we question him.
In a week when we have faced all three promoted sides and a championship side in the cup, where the performances have gotten worse in each game, we have somehow managed to pick up 4 points, but are not allowed to demand more.
It is their job to scrutinise the performance of the teams they are paid to watch, yet they can’t seem to look past the league table, and what happens on the pitch according to them isn’t happening, because Bruce is doing a good job. But when the game is over, they move onto the next one, and regurgitate the same nonsense towards teams they have no affiliation with, no connection with and expect fans to accept their ramblings as an expert view and should be accepted.
Yet we are the ones that have paid the money to watch our team, we are the ones who are effected by the outcomes of a match, we are the ‘vocal minority’ that is getting louder, yet are the ones being questioned. This may shock a few in the media, but we don’t expect to win the league, we certainly don’t expect to win the Champions League, but we do expect better than this.
For years it has been “support the team, not the regime!” And in a way that is still true. But it is becoming harder and harder with the current manager to see any sort of hope, or effort when it comes to the playing side of Newcastle United. Even under Pardew there seemed to be a plan, an idea, a team that was playing for each other, and the manager! Under Rafa players improved, it felt easier to support the team because the manager, the players and the fans were on the same wavelength. What we have now is manager that fights against the fans, and will not shoulder the blame for poor performances, and deflects it onto the players that he is meant to be coaching.
The team is going downhill, the handbrake has been left off, and its all going to come to an unpleasant end if something is not changed. Sean Longstaff in recent games has been awful, yet 18 months ago he was one of the most talked about young English midfielders, with even a £50m move to Manchester United in the offing, and we as fans begged for him to stay. The signing of Jamal Lewis excited fans in the summer, yet now we are worried he has a mistake in him. This is not down to lack of ability, it’s down to lack of coaching. The confidence from the team has dwindled, and not even Miggy Almiron smiles anymore.
Week after week we sit down to watch the club who has been ingrained in us from a young age deteriorate, but we are being told to be happy with it! This is a team that since the Premier league started has only missed three seasons, been a representative in Europe in all competitions in that time (yes im counting the Intertoto cup), broken transfer records, been involved in some the greatest games in Premier league history, yet we have to be happy with what we have now!
Being a Newcastle fan is draining enough, we will always fight for our club. But when we have to fight against an owner whose only worry is his bank balance, thats bad enough, but now having to fight against a manager who can’t see he is failing, and some corners from the media elite, this isn’t the life of a football fan.
Being a supporter should be easy. There will be bad days, there will be good days, but we shouldn’t be told how to feel. We are allowed to deserve better from our team. We are allowed to question a manager who just isn’t up to the level of managing a Premier league club. We are allowed to want better!