Shane Saunders gives his views on the current situation at Newcastle United, from a fan’s perspective.
It’s not very often that this writer discusses football on Pundit Arena. In fact, this is my first article on the subject and while this writer usually pens stories about MMA and combat sports, whatever fight that may have been left in Newcastle United Football Club has long gone.
Contrary to popular belief, this writer, and many other Newcastle fans do not regard ourselves as “deluded” or have “delusions of grandeur”. This writer believes you actually need to have won something in order to think like that.
Newcastle United may have a disjointed fan base when it comes to certain issues but the message from some fans this week – who held aloft a sign that read ‘we don’t demand a team that wins, we demand a club that tries’ – is one that echoes through the hearts and minds of people who are served up pathetic performances week in and week out.
Earlier this week we have had our captain Fabricio Coloccini pen an open letter to the fans to back the team ahead of this weekend’s crucial game against West Brom.
In what many feel is a PR exercise after many fans boycotted the Tottenham Hotspur game a few weeks ago, it must stick in the craw for any supporter who attends St. James’ Park or consistently travels to sold out away sections all over the country.
To fill a 52,000-seated stadium week in and week out despite losing a record eight games in a row and to still be asked to go and support the team is a real smack in the face.
It’s very easy for me to sit here in Ireland behind a keyboard and tell fans not to go but having been to Newcastle, this writer understands the passion and how much football is a big part of life in that region. It’s not something that is easy to give up especially when friends are forged through years of attending games. A routine like that is extremely difficult to break.
John Carver holding Coloccini’s handwritten letter:
At yesterday’s press conference ahead of the West Brom game, Newcastle ‘manager’ John Carver brought with him an inflated ego along with Coloccini’s hand written letter to prove a point that this was not the Newcastle hierarchy putting a spin on things.
And despite losing eight games in a row and having a win percentage 11.8% since taking over from Alan Pardew, Carver had this to say.
“I still feel that I am the best coach in the Premier League.”
I may have mentioned that Newcastle fans don’t have ‘delusions of grandeur’ in the opening paragraph of this piece but it seems lifelong Newcastle fan John Carver does.
Have you honestly heard such nonsense in your life?
We are the club that everybody is laughing at right now. Never mind on field ‘performances,’ it is these nonsensical ramblings from a man who wouldn’t know a winning tactic if it came up and hit him in the face that is making the whole thing a joke.
Not to mention, Coloccini’s letter. The only bit of passion this writer has seen from him this season and it comes by way of written letter.
Our retort to you: give us something to support and we’ll support it. You can’t just demand support, it is earned. If you lose, then lose by trying and competing instead of laying down your arms and embarrassing the fans and the shirt that means so much to those associated with Newcastle United.
You may claim these losses hurt you when you’re on a nice £50K wage packet, but it hurts more as fan who has seen a once great and entertaining team with hardcore fans being dragged through the mud by players and owners who show nothing but disdain for the club and the jersey they are supposed to represent.
Coloccini and John Carver have cited the next three games as ‘cup finals’ and given the club’s lack of desire to compete in cup competitions these days, in favour of Premier League survival, the writing could very well be on the wall.
The fact that this is the first real ounce of passion this writer has felt towards the club in a very long time speaks volumes as to how bad things have gotten.
Shane Saunders, Pundit Arena