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

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#BoycottSpurs

In the wake of yet another Derby defeat to rivals Sunderland, Newcastle United fans seem to be joining together in hopes of a successful protest against owner Mike Ashley in Boycotting the up and coming game v Tottenham Hotspurs on Sunday.

The idea was first voiced by the highly-followed Twitter account NUFC_Stats, the snowball effect swung into motion and within a few days the hashtag BoycottSpurs was wide spread across social media.

The group behind AshleyOut.com immediately got behind the boycott, posting regular updates via their website regarding plans and things to expect in the future. I’d advice everyone to browse through the website above, especially taking time out to read a great piece by George Caulkin regarding the current state at Newcastle United.

 

How do you join in ?

Join fellow boycotting fans for a visual and audible protest opposite the club shop, starting 30 minutes before kick-off, at 3:30pm.

Following this protest, at 16:00 fans will head over to Leazes Park after the game has kicked off.

Just before full-time fans will head back to behind the Gallowgate end towards the corner of Strawberry Place and Barrack Road where all fans are invited to join fans for a post-boycott/game protest starting at 5:45pm.

Remember that we all want this to be peaceful protest and that no one should be insulting or abusing any fellow fan choosing to enter St James’ Park on Sunday.

 

 

I myself will be Boycotting Spurs, but whether you choose to join those in Leazes park is entirely up to you. I fully encourage others to join us all in this  first crucial step in showing our discontent and prove to Mike Ashley that we can unite together and we can be powerful in numbers.

 

Thousands of empty seats is louder than a full St James’ Park.

 

Tim krul

Tim Krul – Half Time Error

The fallout from yet another dismissal display against our neighbours rages on, particularly as our next game is not until Monday night. There are no positives to take from Sunday’s performance at the Stadium of Light.

One thing was highlighted quite widely on social media, Sky and the press was Tim Krul. I might be a bit late to the party with giving my view on what happened between him and Jermaine Defoe but here it goes…

Defoe scored a fantastic goal; you have got to admit that, just before the break on Sunday. After the players walked off for half-time I received a text with a photo of Krul appearing to share a joke with the Sunderland centre-forward in the tunnel.

Probably only them two know what the real conversation was about which resulted in an image of a laughing Krul going viral straight after conceding a goal to his team’s biggest rivals. It is not something that painted the long serving ‘keeper in a good light and this apparent laughing, congratulation and patting Defoe on the back was picked up by Jamie Carragher who apparently criticised Dutchman live on Sky.

This incident comes on the back of reports that the Dutch international wants to leave United. You can’t really blame him for wanting to play at a better level but with his performances this season having not been great it could be seen as a question mark of his commitment to the club. Does he care anymore?

Krul, on the other hand, argues that he thought Defoe was a “lucky guy” and was “as hurt as anyone else” at the club losing a record fifth game in a row against the Black Cats.

Whatever happened between Krul and Defoe not much would have been made of it had Newcastle United managed to salvage something from the game. It is a lesson learnt for the shot-stopper who will be wary of being caught on camera in such a high profile game as it showed him in a negative light to the supporters. Sportsmanship is fine but doing it midway through such an important game when his team were playing poor was a mistake; it should have been left until full time, away from the cameras and the vast audience Sky Sports brings in.

Yoan Gouffran

Yoan Gouffran – What Happened ?

Yoan Gouffran arrived on Tyneside in January 2013 for just £500,000 due to having only 6 month left on his Bordeaux contract.

The french striker quickly became a fan favourite after an impressive run of form and his hard working attitude. During his first season in the Premier League he became the first NUFC player to score in five consecutive games at St. James’ Park since club legend Alan Shearer.
The “bargain basement” player was receiving exceptional reviews from his team mates, then manager Alan Pardew and fans.

….So when did it all go wrong for Gouffran?

YG was signed as a “striker” but over the last season and a half he’s been mainly used on the left wing in an attacking formation, a position in which he should be able to adapt to with his natural attacking mentality but the Frenchman is merely a shadow of the Yoan Gouffran that hit the ground running when he first arrived in the North East.

His “hard working” attitude has vanished into thin air over the course of this season and he is quickly becoming the noticeable figure on the pitch for all the wrong reasons.
Throughout each game Gouffran tends to drift in and out of consciousness, giving the ball away, his first touch resulting in his second being an “attempted” tackle and genuinely just staring up into the clouds.

The last two games YG has been placed into a central midfield role, arguably the most important role in the pitch. The position that tends to set the pace of each game, usually by a strong minded tackling player alongside a technically gifted midfielder who can pick out a pass and deliver through balls towards the strikers in on goal, Yoan Gouffran is neither of these. So why would John Carver play him in that position ? More importantly why is Gouffran accepting these conditions and playing in a position which surely he knows he’s desperately weak at, ending up to be more of a liability than anything else in the middle of the pitch.

Despite being pretty horrendous over the last year and a half and currently playing in his flip-flops whilst sipping on a Piña Colada by the poolside Yoan Gouffran is virtually guaranteed a starting position in John Carver’s side for a reason that only Carver can explain.