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Newcastle United – “Your Club”

Newcastle United – “Your Club”

Earlier today Newcastle United released a statement confirming that John Carver would remain in charge for the remaining three games, three games that could play key to United remaining in the Premier League.

Carver has failed miserably since he was trusted by the club’s hierarchy to step in to replace the void ( albeit a rather small void ) that Alan Pardew left earlier in the season.

The news that Carver would remain in charge hasn’t really shocked anyone to say the least but the club made an unbelievably lack of judgement ending to the statement, one of which has left fans even more angered.

It reads;
“All parties accept responsibility for the current situation but are determined, together, to ensure this Club – your Club – retains its Premier League status.”

It has been a very along time since Newcastle United has been a fan club. Everything that this club once was is just a distant memory fading into the background of a once respected club in world football.

A stadium which once echoed chants of “Tino, Tino” as the striker netted his third goal to beat Barcelona in the Champions League. A stadium which once housed 50 thousand passionate Geordies who counted down the days with excitement until they would next walk through the turnstiles. A stadium that was the heart of a city, a stadium where there was “only one Bobby Robson”.

Now all we have left is a concrete billboard plastered with the tack brought along with Mike Ashley, now just an empty shell full of disappointment, broken hearts, pain, anger and worst of all …..apathy. All that remains is a grey building that casts a cold shadow over the city, a shadow that darkens the hopes of those that once loved the club.

This used to be “my” club, now it’s his.

Mike Ashley Out.

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No Captain – No Hope

No Leader, No Hope.

Another weekend passes with yet another NUFC defeat. Saturday saw Carver’s side lose their eighth consecutive premier league game, this one at the hands of Leicester City.

Newcastle were dead and buried within the first 40 seconds as Leicester showed determination and fight straight from the kick off and inevitably put the ball in the back of the net after just 37 seconds.

As Ulloa grabbed his first goal the body language amongst the Newcastle “players” was absolutely shocking, not one player showed any leadership skills or character; Hands on hips, looking towards the ground, a complete lack of desire and the game already lost in their eyes.
This is when your captain should take charge and try their hardest to regroup the team and sort the mess out on the pitch, but NUFC has lacked that captain figure since the days of Nolan and Barton, the two players who single handedly dragged a Newcastle the side to that famous 4-4 draw with Arsenal.

How many times have we seen this event this season though? Concede a goal and there’s no hope amongst the players that the game is still within reach, and that frame of mind certainly leaks onto the fan filled terraces. If those wearing the famous black and white shirt can’t motivate themselves on to winning a game of football then why should we remain there clinging on to any sort of hope that performances will improve?

Premier league survival is crucial over the next 3 weeks but wether we’ll be playing football in the premier league or championship next season, finding a captain and leader is crucial for the future.

An owner that doesn’t care, a manager who is blinded by pride and a captain that can’t lead.

I can’t wait for the season to end.

Jonas

Jonas – I’m Not Injured

“I am not injured” was the response from Newcastle’s Jonas Gutierrez when asked why he wasn’t on the bench against Spurs at the weekend.

The Argentinian winger was dropped after an alleged training ground bust-up with head coach John Carver which surely gives Jonas even less of a chance of extending his contract on Tyneside.

During his post match interview Carver claimed that Gutierrez was not included in the squad due to ‘selection reasons’ only and that he “did not want to talk about the player anymore”.

Since his return from battling testicular cancer Jonas has been one of the few Newcastle players to wear his heart on his sleeve and not replace his football boots with a pair of flip-flops in preparation for the summer.

Gutierrez has always spoke from the heart when addressing toon fans further doing so this week by tweeting “Tired about some things, I am a Geordie and Newcastle deserve more” which may have been the reason for the training ground fall out with now Mike Ashley’s mouth piece John Carver.

The treatment towards Jonas from the club, the owner, ex manager Alan Pardew and now John Carver has been nothing but disrespectful for a man who has always gave his everything when wearing the famous black and white striped shirt.

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Mike Ashley – An Open Letter

Dear Mr. Ashley,

 
My name is Robert Waters. I am a life-long Newcastle United fan and have been a season ticket holder since 1998. I have recently become a co-moderator of a small Facebook group (Footy, Biscuits and Banter) that invites fans to share their opinions about the club, and about happenings in football in general. From this recent experience, I feel it necessary to provide you with a summation of some of the thoughts of some of the fans of the club, including myself.

 
In 1998, I lived in Kent and regularly made the 600-mile round trip to see the home games at St. James’ Park. My family and I willingly made this trip as, whatever the result, we enjoyed the style and quality of football played by our team, week-in, week-out.
Living in Kent, I was surrounded by fans of the London clubs and the otherwise heavily-supported clubs from elsewhere in the land. The most common were Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham. I was constantly the butt of several jokes and jibes at school, but I would often retort (and rightly so)… “well, we’re better than you”. It is safe to say that I was a very proud Newcastle United supporter. As I’m sure you’re aware, the situation has changed drastically in recent years.
Now, children are sometimes ridiculed in their own city for supporting the local team and the state of affairs at Newcastle leaves them completely helpless to defend themselves. Now, suggesting that we are better than any other Premier League team, given our performances this season, can rightly be met with derision from pretty much any other club’s supporters. There is a very real danger that the club is about to lose an entire generation of fans due to the continued floundering of a club, the stature of which should have us challenging for European football every season, not fighting relegation.

 
I think it is safe to say that all Newcastle fans feel that the football club needs to be run as a football club first, and a business second. We understand that you have balanced the club’s finances and we are
grateful for that, however as the people without whom the club could not continue to function we feel that we deserve better. For too long now, the club has been run without treating the game as a priority and this, quite simply, is unacceptable and an insult to tens of thousands of people. This may not be your city, but if you are going to represent it, at least treat the indigenous people with some dignity and respect as opposed to the apathy and contempt you have displayed thus far.
Promises of money spent on signings, or appointments of new staff, need to be honoured, not used to temporarily appease the fans then reneged upon as soon as the transfer window is over. An example of this is the appointment of John Carver as head coach of Newcastle United. I do not have any experiences of Carver’s influence in training or in the dressing room, however it is clear to see from his conduct on the touchline (for several seasons), his tactical decisions (this season) and post-match interviews (this season) that he possesses neither the mentality nor the ability to manage a football club of this stature. Not only that, but he had no experience as a manager anywhere other than Toronto, never mind in the top flight of one of the most prestigious leagues in the world. His win percentage before he was Newcastle manager was 31%. Since becoming Newcastle manager, his win percentage has been 13%.
The only conclusion that the fans can draw from Carver’s appointment is that he was the most cost-efficient and convenient option available and not a single consideration was given as to whether he might actually be the right man for the job. This is one of many situations that need to be resolved as soon as possible. Should we still be in the Premier League at the end of this season, which I desperately hope that we are, we need a manager who has the maturity, the tactical nous and the man-management ability to run a football club at this level.

 
Aside from the manager, the level of ability in the squad is not congruous with a club of this size. Without disrespecting any individual players it must be said that there are several first-team regulars who are not of sufficient calibre to represent a Premier League club, let alone one of this stature. There are a few exceptions but the squad on the whole must be improved if the club is to even stay in the Premier League, let alone challenge for silverware or European football. This means spending money on quality players and building around them, not looking for bargains who can be sold at a profit, thus never giving the core of the team a chance to gel together.

 
Newcastle fans do not necessarily expect to win trophies, but we do expect a team of decent quality to perform to the best of their ability in every game, and to finish the season in a league position befitting the relative stature of the club. Whether this is a top-half finish or a European challenge may not be for me to say, but we should be outdoing the teams around us who are not in as good a position, financially, as we are. There aren’t many clubs that can come close to matching us in this aspect, yet we are languishing in the bottom half, fighting relegation and relying on youth players to fill in the gaps. We have lost 6 games in a row, equalling a Premier League record which will likely be broken on Saturday when we host relatively in-form Swansea City. This run of form is inexcusable for a club of our stature. The fans will not accept another relegation, especially one from which we are much less likely to recover with the players at our disposal. They will not accept another uneventful transfer window, especially after the recent figures from Companies House which suggest there is over £30m available for transfers and players’ wages. I implore you to take this seriously or we will surely be relegated next season. The only thing that has kept us up this year was the anomalous 5-game winning streak under Alan Pardew; we cannot count on something that unlikely happening again.

 
This message does not come from a Newcastle fan who smashed windows after a defeat against Sunderland, but from one who watched it happen and fully expects to watch it happen again. It comes from a Newcastle fan who, after 17 years of season ticket holdership, recently decided to boycott a match (against Spurs) for the first time ever. The boycott may not have had the desired effect, but the truth remains that no fan, whether they attended on Sunday or not, wants to see factions of the most passionate football fans in the world refusing to watch the game out of disdain for the atrocious performances and the incomprehensible contempt shown for them by the people in charge.

 
This city and its football club, while they may not be close to your heart, deserve the best representation they can get. In the name of all of the legends; Hughie Gallacher, Jackie Milburn, Alan Shearer, Gary Speed, Sir Bobby Robson and many others whose legacy you deemed fit to chuck in a skip only last week, please start running this club like a football club, rather than a device to make money at the expense of the people who make it possible.

 
If you do not want to run a football club properly, please leave, along with your money, and invest in something else.

 

Yours sincerely,
Robert Waters