Jesus Christ man.
I don’t even know what to write. Where to start or end. I’ve tried to make these match previews not just about the upcoming game. There’s often so much more at stake than the next fixture in football. There’s the last fixture, and the ones before that too. There are the ones coming up. Next week. Next month. Now it just seems there is very little to say.
There is also everything to say. No doubt this fanzine will play host to a range of debate over the next few months. That’s a good thing. As long as mags can stay civil towards one another, we’ll always win. If you’re going to keep going, like me, then great. I’ll see you next season. Anyone not going – I feel your pain. It doesn’t make anyone less of a fan, or prove they care more or less than the mag at every home and away. There are different ways to support your football club.
If you’re not going, or haven’t been for a while then you’re no more superior than anyone else. You haven’t been
vindicated and you’re in no position to be judging or ‘advising’ other fans. Not attending Newcastle United home games comes more naturally to some than others. Some will jack season tickets and no doubt pick up £15 tickets on the turnstiles. They’ll save a fortune. Some will never be back. They’ll save a fortune too. Money isn’t everything, but it matters. I’ll be there next season. Gallowgate Corner. Access 1. Row K. Last season my whole row, bar one or two sacked it off. I wonder which faces will be nodding as they pass me at the start and end of each game.
This really is the great unknown. Again.
Who knows where we’ll be come August. Who’ll be in the dug out. On the pitch. I know who everyone wants. I don’t doubt that Charnley wants the same thing. Rafa Benitez was always too good for this lot. Always will be. He doesn’t need this hassle. Who knows what he is thinking.
Football is weird. When Pardew was leading us to a temporary 5th place in December 13, I enjoyed it nowhere near as much i’ve enjoyed the last 9 games. I’ve done all of them bar Southampton. We lost at Norwich and Leicester. Still enjoyed them. It’s that feeling that anything is possible. Anything. With Benitez in charge I felt 13 again. Desperate to get to the match. Desperate to hear the manager speak. Desperate for United not to get beat.
What came before was a ‘let’s hope they’re not shit today’ attitude. Home games become too easy to miss. You don’t realise it while it’s happening. You tell yourself you have to work. You have to go to that place. Do that thing. It’s a mates birthday in London. I could go on. Then Benitez arrives and you’ re going to every single minute of every single game that man is in charge of and nothing will stop you getting to the game. I don’t care who we were playing. Vile or Villareal, Barnsley or Barca, I’d back us to beat them, because of him.
I don’t care about other clubs. Couldn’t care less who stayed up and we didn’t. They’re not Newcastle United. They’re not important. What is important is this club and this city. Quick, someone tell Lee Charnley. And his boss. You don’t hire Steve McClaren if this club matters to you as much as it does to me. You don’t give Allardyce a 21 game head start on Benitez. You don’t sign Doumbia and Saivet. You don’t do a lot of things differently, if you care.
Sunday is quite fitting. I discovered this season that in United’s first 10 seasons in the Premier League, we finished above Spurs 9 seasons out of 10. Since then it’s one of 10. No Abramovic at Spurs. No oil rich, human – rights abusing foreigner to oversee the total role reversal in who was the more successful club. Just people at the top, who aren’t perfect, taking every single decision in the best interest of a football club. Spurs are a proper football club. We are not.
I hope we win on Sunday. I don’t know if i want it to be poisonous or rapturous. Rafa Benitez matters to me. He matters to loads of people I know. He gets it. He won’t ever be looking at the West Brom job, the Sunderland job or the Bournemouth job. That’s because he gets us. That alone has endeared him to a city. I want him to stay. I don’t want his last game to be about anger. I want to win the game, because he deserves the scalp. He deserves the send off.
I listened to radio 5 on Thursday morning. Loads going on. Loads. Current affairs and politics. Plenty. They found ample time for Newcastle United. Too much time. Leicester won the league and they didn’t flinch. United are shit and they can’t stop talking about it. They were digging the boot into Benitez saying he had ‘quarter of a season’ to turn this round. Benitez was never going to get any credit. He doesn’t care. He’s not Alan Pardew. If he’d have kept us up it’ll have been because of the failings of others. He didn’t, he couldn’t and I love him even more for taking the job because of that.
All the best all the people who can’t stop talking about us, can’t stop thinking about us. That ranges from most Premier League fans, to every fan in the Championship. Every Sunderland fan. Most Vile fans. Everyone in the media. All the best.
I think we’ll be back straight away. I’m allowed to think that. It starts on Sunday.
ALEX HURST – FOLLOW ALEX ON tf@alex1892
There is more brilliant fanzine writing from your fellow supporters in the latest issue of true faith (TF125). This is a free and digital fanzine and its brilliant on any device from PCs to lap-tops to tablets to smart-phones and i-pads. true faith is Newcastle United’s number one fanzine with the biggest readership. true faith is Newcastle United’s longest running title and has been providing the alternative view on life on the Black & White planet since 1999. We never miss a beat.
This latest issue (TF125) is forecast to be the most widely read edition we have ever published. It is over 120 pages of fantastic fanzine writing. It is the best fanzine for the best supporters.