Another international break and a moment to reflect and take stock of where we are right now! It’s all rather good isn’t it? After battering Preston six zip at SJP in the League Cup we’ve ground out two back to back wins where graft and character have mattered more than the flamboyance of the performance. Anyone who expected a succession of exhibition matches as United parade to the Championship title must be one of those “deluded Geordies” © I keep being told about.
Everything in the Newcastle United garden is rosy (note to self: it can’t last) but I’ll confess to being quite pleased to getting to this particular break to allow the lads to take a breather, for any niggles to be sorted and for the team to get a second wind before we head into two away fixtures in Yorkshire that have got the juices flowing on Tyneside as well as West Yorkshire. Then there follows the trip to Humberside for a very exciting League Cup quarter final encounter with Hull City. In between of course there is another club that has fallen on hard times coming to St James’ Park in the shape of Blackburn Rovers and a treasure of trove of memories involving the Ewood Park club.
I make those three games eminently winnable but the work will have to be put in and Rafa’s resources will be stretched to
the limit as he plans a run of three wins that would put us in a magnificent position at the start of December.
I did overhear some Mags talking about our position this season and I’ll confess their over-confidence did alarm me a little. Any examination of the league table will bring a smile but confidence and satisfaction cannot be allowed to drift into a sense of complacency in the ranks because we know how this will come to bite us on the arse. We are eight points ahead of Huddersfield in third place but Brighton are only three points behind us and I really think Comrade Chris’ team are the ones to watch and will push us all the way this season. Three points is nothing with all of these games we seem to be playing and in many ways Brighton are in the perfect position with us top with all of the expectation and pressure of that and them tucked behind us breathing down our necks. There is a very long way to go this season and every point will have to be scrapped for. Thank God, Rafa has instilled a spirit in the team which appears to have a real grit about it and despite less than bravura performances at Preston and at home to Cardiff we put the points on the board.
Leeds have quietly raised their performances and results to now sit in sixth place and obviously will be thinking about the Play-Off places. I’m really looking forward to the trip to Elland Road. Time was when this was a white-knuckle clenched arse-cheeks kind of fixture fixture back in the 80s and even 90s where two sets of supporters from one-club cities weighed the other one up with a sense of mutual loathing. I think time has diluted all of that but if I never have to take that walk from the station under that subway to Elland Road I’ll be happy with that and no mistake. One thing is for certain Leeds will raise their game for us at a virtually full Elland Road and some startling cup results over the last few years has demonstrated there is a lot of passion in that club that can lift their players to achieve some unlikely results. Leeds have achieved some outstanding cup wins against better sides than Rafa’s while they have been in the doldrums so anyone going to Yorkshire expecting a cake-walk needs to have a word with themselves. I would also counsel some of our younger, less experienced supporters that if they give it the big one around Leeds, chances are they will come up against the type who’ll be all too happy to take them on. I’ve seen some of our younger (and to be fair not so young fans) posturing at venues in recent years and old farts like me have wondered on the wisdom of having carried on that way back in more livelier days following United on the road. I always think the advice Don’t Be A Twat is wise counsel on these occasions.
That was the football but I think congratulations are in order to the good people of Gallowgate Flags who pulled off a
superb Legends Day flag display at SJP before the Cardiff game. I think significant thanks are in order to the main organisers as well as those who have donated to make these displays happen. Just over 500 supporters have donated the money to Gallowgate Flags and those supporters are to be thanked for their generosity. Similarly, the volunteers who assisted with the flag display, notably the Legends Flags themselves should be recognised for their contribution. The images from Saturday are excellent and they do say a lot about the spirit at United right now but I’m delighted to learn Gallowgate Flags does not intend to rest on its laurels. As the item on this site as below demonstrates, plans are afoot for the design and purchase of surfer or jumbo flags that will be displayed in the Gallowgate. Supporters have been invited to submit designs which will be shortlisted and put out for vote amongst supporters. Obviously its be hoped some brilliant (and workable designs) are provided to Gallowgate Flags and they are able to be manufactured and displayed come spring time. Around £4000 has been mentioned as the sum required to make this happen. I know Gallowgate Flags will be in talks with the right people at United, who have been very supportive and recognise the galvanising effect this has amongst fans and the role it has in creating a bond between the supporters and the club.
Of course all of this needs to be funded. Great thanks has to be given to the 500 supporters who have donated but there are lots of supporters who have yet to donate and this is your opportunity.
Please donate here.
Without going off about Gallowgate Flags I happened to clock the display Man City fans put on before their Champions League game with Barcelona last week. There was nothing wrong with the display, in fact it was good but it was nothing compared to what Gallowgate Flags put on this Saturday gone for a Championship game against lowly Cardiff. I also saw a display down at Boro which was the worst kind. It was clearly corporate and sponsored by MFC. All of the flags were the same size, the same design and frankly it was one step up from Pig-Bag and foam hands.
Gallowgate Flags is completely funded by supporters. The designs and ideas all come from supporters. This is exactly how it should be. The whole enterprise says everything about our support and I’d encourage more of you to get involved and become a volunteer with Gallowgate Flags. Drop them a line on:
Our travelling support got another slap in the face this week as the Brentford game was switched to a Monday night pending FA Cup results. It’s the worst kind of treatment of supporters but it barely raises a murmur now because it is so common place and illustrates perfectly where the priorities are in football. It doesn’t stop it being wrong though.
Our new issue of true faith (TF127) seems to be going down well. There have been thousands of downloads and as ever we are constantly surprised at the reach the new format of the fanzine is achieving. Moving from the traditional hard copy version of the fanzine was a challenge and we always thought it would take time for readers to get used to and understand what we wanted to achieve but I think we are getting there. Over the last couple of years, various digital devices have become far more affordable and more people consume their reading via a screen. The print media is by and large finished. Fanzine culture is changing with the new technology as it always has done and we want to be at the forefront of that. We are Newcastle United’s longest running, most widely read fanzine and our writers have the biggest audiences for their work. If you would like to join us, please drop us a line on firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyway, no Newcastle United this weekend but as ever there are options to watch a non-league match this coming Saturday. We like the look of Newcastle Benfield v Penrith in the FA Vase and might just take a squad of gob-shites down there to take in proceedings. More information on that during the week ..
Have a great week.
Keep On, Keepin’ On …
This is the new issue of true faith (TF127). This issue is over 90 pages of some cracking writing about the fortunes of Newcastle United from every different angle and the world around it. We occasionally go off topic but the material we publish is always well-received.true faith is Newcastle United’s longest running, most popular and respected fanzine. We have been providing the alternative view on everything at the club since 1999. We made the switch to digital after publishing 111 hard-copy issues and our readership has gone stratospheric. The fanzine is free of charge and reads really well on any device though we recommend i-pad and tablet in particular. We all hope you enjoy it.
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GALLOWGATE FLAGS – HUGE SURFER FLAG(S) FUNDRAISING AND DESIGNS Next Post:
true faith – ISSUE 127 – A NEW BEGINNING!