THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – Broken Pieces – 23/Feb/15

by • February 23, 2015 • TBAWEComments (24)1031

Where now for Newcastle United?

The season is dying on its arse, just like the same time last year and everywhere I look ashley2there is rancour between and within the component parts of what constitutes the Newcastle United community.

Much of last week witnessed The Chronicle (or at least one of its main football writers) apparently skipping down the Groat Market every morning determined to be the cheer-leaders for John Carver’s coronation as permanent Head Coach of Newcastle United following Alan Pardew’s escape from St James’ Park at the end of last year. A series of sympathetic headlines and the promotion of Carver’s Geordie credentials has convinced many of a conspiracy between the powers that be at Trinity Mirror (aka The Chronicle/Journal and Sunday Sun) that in repayment for the restoration of full press privileges at the House of Pain and a steady stream of “raring to go” quotes from Steven Taylor et al, the region’s main media outlet for news on the club would be prepared to be more, how should we put it, on-message with Charnley and Co..

Personally, I think that is a wee bit simplistic and ignores some coverage of the club by The Chronicle which has been cutting and straightforward. I’ve a bit of time for the writing of Neil Cameron and Mark Douglas and as I’ve just read Stuart Rayner’s savaging of the surrender and incompetence at Man City, the image of the local paper as a lap-dog of the club, just doesn’t stack up. That won’t win me friends with those who want to attack the local press but despite some jaw-dropping pieces from one of their writers in particular (in terms of how sympathetic he appears to be to the United regime and the notion of Carver as permanent Head Coach) I don’t think it is right to describe the Thomson House press as completely in thrall to Ashley’s minions on Barrack Road.

That is not to say I’m after an invite to the Thomson House Christmas party. Like several special_widget_picothers I’ve criticised and will continue to question the depth and breadth of their coverage of Newcastle United and football in general. But with a number of contacts in the fanzine world across the country that seems to be a common theme amongst the regional press and as I’m wont to point out, the scandal at Rangers FC was never exposed by the considerable Scottish football media, it was by fans with a level of expertise working in spare rooms across Glasgow and beyond.

However, only on Tyneside does the vitriol and bitterness between fans and those covering the club spill over into some venomous attacks upon the local media. There will always be a healthy suspicion of what the local press is up to really (which can veer towards the paranoid) but as fans we should realise that few journalists go into work every day and decide to write what they want. They have editors and those editors have proprietors and so on .. for a grotesque example of the consequences of a compromised press, see The Telegraph and its HSBC coverage. With SKY all powerful, the local press matters less than it ever has done and maximise that further with United and an owner who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. This is the man who wants to charge the press for access for interviews with Mike Williamson.

Not that it is just the local press and its readership that is under strain. It may only have tfgallowgatesoulbeen a couple of our readers leaving comments under Jack McLane’s match report from Man City but evidently the strain between supporters extends to this fanzine and certain people who frequent this website etc. Allow me to offer a defence of Jack’s match report. Jack is a loyal Newcastle United supporter. He pays for his tickets and he rarely misses a United game home and away. Like all of our writers he contributes to true faith completely voluntarily. He gets no instructions from me (nor would he likely accept any) as editor, so what you get (occasionally topped and tailed by yours truly) is a match report completely from the heart of a loyal, match-going supporter(s). If you are after a set of match statistics, news on formations, tactics etc. then you have come to the wrong place – plenty do that, we don’t. Jack’s match reports, like many of others are written with the intensity, enthusiasm and experience of a fan. That’s our thing.

Now here’s a thing. Jack couldn’t stomach watching Carver’s team cave in and did the off tfleazessoulon Saturday. He wasn’t alone. On entering The Etihad on Saturday night, I jokingly commented to my match-going comrade that I was fucking it off at 2-0. As it happens I stuck around until HT and for the first time ever in my 40-odd years following this club, I breathed out and left the stadium. I can tell you when I boarded the tram back into Manchester city centre, I wasn’t alone. There was a good couple of dozen who had done the same thing. In the bus-park outside the away end, there were random groups of Mags variously having a smoke, having chucked it. I’m not particularly proud of having left the game early or ashamed either. Like Jack, I thought fuck this, I’m not letting this lot ruin another Saturday as they have countless others. Maybe I’m a lightweight, maybe Jack is too. Or maybe some of us are very close to a tipping point.

I couldn’t agree more with Jack’s point about the MH17 tribute. Why a certain minority of our away support has taken to booing opposing supporters during the minute’s applause for John and Liam escapes me. If anything is disrespectful it is attempting to score points off the fans of Man City or whoever else for their failure to join something they likely know nothing about. I’ve loved the minute’s applause this season to two of our supporters who were tragically killed following our club but this twist in the tail at away games is appalling. This is our thing. It doesn’t matter if anyone else joins in. It doesn’t matter but what does matter is the disrespect of attempting to use it as a stick to beat opposing fans with in some kind of mock-outrage. Jack is spot on about that. Absolutely and completely on the money!


I watched the first half at the Etihad and caught the er, highlights the following morning adidaspreorderon Match of the Day. We were pathetic – that is the correct word used to describe everything about that display – a description deployed by none less than Alan Shearer.

Carver has suggested his players didn’t chuck it but he is kidding no-one with that rank bad patter.

When Vurnon Anita, an abysmal player, failed to control a simple ball out of defence and barely any pressure, compound the error by giving away a soft penalty, you might expect to have seen words exchanged across the United back-line. There was none. There was no leadership, no rallying call and no air of defiance. And nothing following the second goal or the third goal either. There are players who not only lack the quality to take United any further but they also lack the heart as well.

It’s obviously just my opinion but I think we have a pair of decent full backs but what is pheonixlogobetween them is a rapidly fading force in Colo and one of the worst central defenders in the PL in Mike Williamson. In front of them, we have the “neat and tidy” Vurnon Anita who just isn’t good enough and like one or two more I can name questions the credentials of our supposed super scout, Graeme Carr. He basically does a less convincing job than Jack Colback, who let’s be honest is a mediocre player. Then there is Moussa Sissoko – the man who would be king, the man whose heart is at Arsenal. That statement surprises me. I didn’t know he had a heart. Once again, missing in action on Saturday. Five minute cameos here and there. Not a leader and not a game-changer. Fair play to Ayoze Perez, a player who has demonstrated courage and talent. Like Janmaat he deserves better than those he has around him and talking shite to him from the dug-out.

That isn’t a team, Newcastle United isn’t anything really other than a revenue stream. It is something that will have a lot fewer season ticket holders next season than this.


Vile on Saturday. Those that were at Vile Park on 24/May/09, know we owe them. A nice big push towards the PL exit door is required. Mr Carver, don’t let us down.

Keep On, Keepin’ On …  


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24 Responses to THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – Broken Pieces – 23/Feb/15

  1. KenBrown says:

    If I was John Carver I would already have handed in my notice. Surely he must realise that he is utterly pointless in the grand scheme of NUFC Ltd. Really, anyone who accepts the job of “head coach” and is told exactly what to do, who to pick and which games to deliberately lose isn’t worth paying attention to. Even the dimmest of employees would surely know that.
    Also, the fact is that the players simply don’t give a flying f**k. They know full well that the club has absolutely no ambition whatsoever so why should they care. A terrible attitude, I know, especially on the pay packets they get. It’s also patently obvious, and has been for some time, that not only do their abilities range from over-rated (Sissoko, Cabella) to below standard (Most of the rest) to absolute crap (Anita, Williamson etc) but that those who are saleable (Krul, Janmaat Perez) will already have instructed their agents to find them another club – or they will be sold anyway.
    We are well and truly a ZOMBIE club.

  2. Stephen says:

    Whatever the sh** structure is above the playing side, the Head Coach is there to set up the players at his disposal properly and get the best out of them tactically and physically on a match day. Carver is shown no signs since January 1st that he can do that.

  3. Gav C says:

    What strikes me is that none of this is in any way a surprise, i.e. the 2nd half of another season collapsing, Carver being another desperate man over-promoted within Mike Ashley’s NUFC, players not giving anything close to a fuck. Most people reading this website have seen this coming and are indeed getting to a tipping point. However what I do find a surprise is that yet again we’re predicting another cull of season ticket holders for next year, that I’m not too sure will happen. More to the point, what I do find surprising is the number of people who are prepared to put-up with having the piss taken out of them as well as their hard-earned from their pockets. Evidence for this band of people can be found all over social media as well as in the stands of SJP. Zombie supporters supporting a Zombie club…

    • mammyslittlesoldier says:

      Aye. Pound for pound is there a less appealing football match anywhere in the world than Newcastle/Villa next weekend? Why would anyone want spend their time and money watching that miserable shite?

  4. billmolyneux says:

    You watch Villa get at least a draw on Saturday !!!!!!!!!

  5. Dave says:

    I echo the sentiments of all above and sadly don’t have any solutions to our predicament although I’m now beginning to wonder where the hell we’re going to get another 8 or 9 points (if that’s enough) before the end of May. Confidence is obviously shot to pieces with our threadbare and permanently injured squad and what doesn’t help is that we have another yes man in charge who is so clearly out of his depth its embarrassing. I really wish he’d engage his brain before he speaks to the media as some of his interviews make me cringe. Carver as we all know is tactically inept along with his, (and I use these words carefully so as not to offend anyone), “backroom coaches” We all expect a player clear out in May I’d suggest the entire coaching staff get on the same bus, what the hell do they do in training? Someone told me they ran a training session before the Citeh game using our first team against 11 dustbins, no surprise the dustbins won 4-0.
    With regards to the Fat Controller and his treatment of the people who matter, us the fans, may I remind you of an explanation of Karma.
    No need for revenge, just sit back and wait, those who hurt you will eventually screw up themselves and if you’re lucky, God will let you watch.
    What comes around goes around Fat Man.

  6. Andy H says:

    I echo some of the comments made in reply to the article. However I will not criticise people for chosing to go to the match. It’s their money and their choice what to do with it. Calling people “zombie fans” is out of order in my opinion. People may be unhappy with they way the club is ran and I won’t argue with that but having a pop a people following their club is a bit rich, especially comining from people who complain and chose to do nowt to effect change.

  7. Paul smith says:

    Best article I’ve read this year. Absolutely nails it. Anyone wanting to do something about the current situation take a look at spiritofninetytwo nufc on Facebook. Some decent blokes wanting to go about things quietly.

  8. Bob says:

    Not sure why Williamson passed to Anita as he usually just lumps it. Anita was facing his own goal and didn’t appear to know what was behind him, instead of passing to his left so he could turn away from goal he passed in front of him and, with a bad 1st touch anyway turned into his own penalty area. All basic mistakes especially against good players. He might get away with it against Villa but shouldn’t even try it then.
    As for Carver, if he really is as passionate about NUFC as he says surely he would find the whole thing as unacceptable as the rest of us and do the honourable thing. However, how could he miss out on the compo and his next job would be……….Pardew obviously doesn’t want him for some reason.

  9. Peter Shearer says:

    I agree with the point not to attack the views of fellow fans-but I think it is fair for those of us boycotting to try and influence the views of others.Same the other way around.

    I am not sure life is always resolved by Karma.We need to help it out.Newcastle are 100-1 to get relegated.If 50,000 supporters invest £20 each on this that gives us 100 million pounds if it happens! We can all either boycott or attend and make the atmosphere as hostile as possible,as we are always being told how the players are affected by such an atmosphere! We are just manipulating markets-as Mr Ashley does! Then we are well on the way to buying him out or de-stablising the club.Or we could set up Newcastle West End!

    Probably not realistic-but I do believe that if sufficient numbers were mobilised to act against Ashley,then he is not as impregnable as people think.I think the Karma is that we are getting what we deserve because we are not fighting hard enough for our club.

    • Graeme Pringle says:

      With Richard Gough as it’s figure head, Rangers First have amassed almost 12,000 subscribing members in a matter of months and along with others look set to defeat Ashley and his cohorts at their EGM on 6th March.

      There doesn’t appear to be any collective fight amongst the Newcastle support, simply hope that Ashley will move on in due course. My biggest fear is that when he does, he’ll be replaced by Ashley Mk 2.

      • we can’t buy shares in NUFC mate. Rangers is a completely different situation – he owns NUFC lock, stock and barrel. Hall sold him the lot.

        • Graeme Pringle says:

          Thanks Michael, I worked that out some time ago.

          The point I was attempting to make was that they’ve at least taken some positive action, choosing to fund the likes of Rangers First with subscriptions instead of supporting the current regime through the turnstiles. The fact that they have a popular former player heading their campaign no doubt helps.

          The only solution at Newcastle is a boycott of home games. It won’t hurt him financially, but an empty stadium would completely negate the benefit of his perimeter advertising.

          • as has been said many times before, if anyone wants to step forward and organise a boycott, I’ll be happy to give all of the space they require through every channel we run via true faith. No-one ever does though.

          • Rob says:

            If you organise it Graeme, people might well get behind it.

  10. Peter Shearer says:

    I think it is foolish to think that an individual can organise a boycott on their own.We already have so many supporter organisations to do that including NUST of which I am a member.What we need is for all of those supporter organisations to combine their efforts against Ashley and I am convinced that if we are able to do that our support will grow and grow.So far we have not managed to unite those groups-one wonders why not.

    I am more than happy to do whatever I can do hasten the departure of this parasite,but we need to use the combined strength of whatever we have rather than start another group.I contribute ideas to NUST, so I am not just a “keyboard ranter” but I accept that I cannot influence all other supporters on my own.

    As it is NUST that I am a member of it is them that I am hoping will help fill the void.Currently,collectively,we are not doing enough to cause Ashley problems.I still wonder at just where all the old passion has gone from our support.I am hoping it is “dormant” rather than extinct!

  11. Tom Pitt says:

    I’ve just visited the NUST website with a view to joining.
    I thought I’d take a look at the minutes for the last AGM to see what was said,particularly in relation to boycotts,protests etc but couldnt locate them.
    So I had a quick look around to try to find something there about any campaigns to remove the current owner or any similar articles or even anything in the mission statement.
    Other than the claimed wish to own a stake in the club(!) I cant find anything.
    Could someone point me in the direction of anything like that on the site.

  12. Jackson Yates says:

    It’s over. Let’s all find something else to do until Ashley goes away.

  13. Ian Summers says:

    Supporting our club has become an exercise in self harming. I feel relieved my own recently cancelled direct debit will no longer help feed the two smug obese faces at the top of this article.

  14. Graeme Pringle says:

    Any campaign needs a figurehead who is capable of galvanizing the entire support of the city and the natural choice would be a past player, or better still, Keegan.

    Richard Gough has stepped up to the plate at Rangers and Shearer would be the natural choice at Newcastle. We all know that’s likely to conflict with his BBC contract, so it isn’t going to happen. Rob Lee perhaps?

    For the precise same reasons as Tom has mentioned above, NUST doesn’t seem to be the answer to me, unless they can get someone on board to lead a campaign.
    Meanwhile the only action that can be taken and which is down to personal choice is absence from the ground. Empty sets might not make a great difference financially, but they speak volumes if in sufficient number.

  15. Peter Shearer says:

    Re Tom and the NUST website-there is not a lot on there re boycotting etc,but we do need to join in with them and then we ourselves can shape the agenda.That is how democracy works.

    I am not willing to give in to Ashley yet.I agree personally that boycotting is part of the answer but it needs added to by an orchestrated campaign against everything Ashley stands for.We just need enough on board to get things going-then we can co-ordinate with all those of a like mind.The first step is to believe we can make a difference as so many people ( particularly on other Newcastle supporter websites) talk themselves out of doing anything.That attitude gives Ashley such an easy ride,

    • mikey says:

      “we do need to join in with them and then we ourselves can shape the agenda.”

      I’ve got a lot of respect for you Peter. I think you’ve got the right ideas and the right attitude. Collective organising, rather than defeatism, has won countless things throughout history.

      I’m with you mate. Join organisations, form your own, shape agendas, get people on board.

      I also think working with other fan groups more broadly is key. This is a problem across football, that just happens to be particularly acute at the Toon. We should, and i would be willing to participate in, a broad-based militant campaign for fan ownership across the country.

      Big dream sure, but we could win things along the way, one of which being the ed of Ashley’s regime.

    • mikey says:

      In fact if you leave your email address, or pass it through the lads at tf if you don’t want it public, i would be happy to chat about it and start organising something.