125 Years, the last 48 of which have been trophy-less. The last 10 of which have been overseen by the dark lord. Newcastle United is a commitment for life, worse than any marriage. Love keeps us together but we can’t remember the last time we felt loved. We’ve been put through it all by this club either by those in control or the footballing gods who seem to intervene every time we get close to success.
Here in 2017, we are sat here in what could only be described as couples counselling, with Rafa Benitez the therapist tasked with saving our doomed relationship. His remedy? Faith. And Amanda Staveley of course. If this doesn’t happen I just can’t see anything other than a messy, messy divorce in the summer.
In the past 18 months Rafa has helped us recapture some passion for this club. We all care again. However, things still aren’t completely right. We still have all the same problems as before in spite of the manager. However, we once again have this hope. That hope can be dangerous as in recent weeks it has spilt over into anger and frustration when results aren’t going our way. Rafa continues to plead for everyone to stay calm and stick together. Listen to him. This relationship is a two-way street and we have to work just as hard to keep it alive.
So, on Saturday evening at 5.30pm when we welcome Leicester City (a symbol of hope in themselves as to what could happen with a bit of magic), let’s make St James Park the passionate bear pit it should always have been. We have three jobs here:
- Show Rafa that he has our complete trust and we are with him all the way. This team has worked hard since he arrived and have earned that.
- Remind Staveley et al why they want to buy Newcastle United. The past month will have been a bit of a turn-off and we have a role to play in keeping this dream alive.
- Get rid of the Fat Bastard who has done this to us. We mustn’t forget that any anger should be aimed at him and channelled into the atmosphere at St James’. We need to stand up for ourselves and let the world know we don’t give a fuck about him. He needs to go.
Do this and we will both win the game and bring the dream of freedom from the dark lord a bit closer. Fail to do this andwe won’t be able to look back after a divorce and know we did everything we could for the love of this club. If that same vocal minority of lazy supporters start again after 20 minutes, then we really aren’t helping ourselves. Come on lads. This is the time to hold back your nonsense. 125 years and still standing in spite of all the shit. We need to make our voices heard in the best possible way.
This will of course not be an easy game. Leicester had a terrible start to the season but since appointing Claude Puel they have only lost 1 in 6, to Man City. Last week they beat Spurs in a performance reminiscent of their title winning season. Vardy and Mahrez bagging as they hung on for the three points. This is what we need to do more. We’ve been starting games strongly and then fading away. Resilience and digging in won Leicester the league and it’s what got us up to 6th earlier in the season. We need to find this again to pick up some points in these important two home games.
Part of that would be the welcome sight of our captain in the line-up. At the time of writing there are suggestions he could be fit to play and the lack of leadership on the pitch without him has been concerning in the past few weeks. He’s by no means our best player, but he is clearly a great captain and has the respect of the squad. He speaks incredibly well for a 24-year-old in his first proper Premier League season and Rafa has clearly seen these qualities in him very early on. He’s the best we’ve had since Shearer, though there’s not been much to pick from in the last 10 years. Honourable mention for Geremi of course, what a bloke….
Of course it will take 11 strong performances to come away with the three points in this one. We must add to that 52,000 strong performances in the stands to make this an anniversary to remember. Listen to the manager. He still believes in us. I believe in him.
3-1 Rafa’s Mags.
SIMON CAMPBELL – FOLLOW SIMON ON @simoncampbell11
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true faith is Newcastle United’s longest running and most widely read fanzine. It is one of the UK’s most popular, well-known and respected fanzine titles. Since 1999, true faith has been providing the alternative view on life at Newcastle United and football in general. true faith is predominantly written and designed by people who pay to watch Newcastle United home and away.
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true faith – NEWCASTLE UNITED FANZINE – ISSUE 135 – NEW ISSUE