Thru Black and White Eyes

THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – Come Together – 16/Mar/16

by • March 16, 2016 • TBAWEComments (11)2753

TRUE15 LUKE 1977 Voucher (1)



Watching Newcastle United lose is never a pleasant experience and so I won’t dress up the 1-0 defeat at Leicester as anything it shouldn’t be. We lost, we didn’t score and we got no points. But. There is a big but. Two weeks ago we all know a Steve McClaren team would have been torn apart by The Foxes in the East Midlands. When the first goal went in, heads would have dropped, players would have stopped doing the basics and we’d have been on the end of a real ragging. Case for the prosecution – Man City, Palace, Everton and on and on. That didn’t happen on Monday night.

The reason it didn’t happen was that Newcastle United’s disparate squad after eighteen months being coached by deadbeats like Pardew, Carver and McClaren had received a couple of days direction under one Rafael Benitez. He did have an immediate impact and right up until the final whistle we were still in the game against the league leaders. I won’t insult your intelligence by claiming we played particularly well. You and I know we didn’t. But we were much improved on the disgraceful shambles we witnessed at home to Bournemouth in what represented one of the worst performances I’ve witnessed in over 40 years following United.

Frankly, I am still in a state of shock that an Ashley-run United has somehow managed to successfully court Benitez and Benitez2that he is in the dug-out at SJP. Let’s make no bones about it, Rafa is one of the best managers in the world and I’d put him up against any current manager in the Premier League. I honestly believe we have a manager who can look any of his peers in the eye and who has a CV to compare to the absolute best.

His appointment potentially signals a real sea-change in policy at United and in the long-term his presence at SJP could present a watershed for the club if he is allowed to implement the wisdom of a stellar career and transform our club – providing he carries the support of Ashley and I know we all have serious misgivings about that. However, Rafa has joined a club with so many failings there is no way Ashley can imagine he can ignore what Rafa advises how they should be addressed. If Ashley has appointed Rafa to piss about then we are really through the looking glass with our football club.

But that is all in the medium and longer terms. In the here and now our club HAS to survive this season. We HAVE to stay in the Premier League and we CANNOT be relegated.

That is why for the rest of the season we all have to pull together and back the manager and the players with everything we’ve got because the stakes are so high – we have to keep Rafa at United and we can only achieve that if we are a Premier League club.

I’m sure all of you have read this old twaddle for any length of time understand this is a fanzine that has much good to say about the people who own and run our club. We take none of that back and we also know a lot of the deep faults at United remain. The club is in a holy mess from top to bottom.

But those concerns have to be parked until we know what division we will be in next season. There is hope at United now and it comes in the shape of Rafa Benitez. We have to demonstrate to this man the support he has behind him from the people in the stands.

Clearly, that has to be shown on Sunday when we face the old enemy from down the road. Our cod-eyed, wet-lipped, SJP2empty-headed neighbours will waddle up St James’ Boulevard shouting their mouths off about six-in-a-row but what they have to witness at SJP is a support utterly committed to making our grand home the most intimidating cauldron their players have ever experienced and where the support for the man in the home dug-out and his players is full-on, committed and in frenzy.

Now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of the football club we all love.

No-one needs to be told about the stakes in this derby match and as I write this on Wednesday morning I can start to feel the nerves beginning in the pit of my stomach (or maybe that was last night’s chilli) and the old intensity starting. I know you’ll all be the same.

Whoever had the idea to suggest every single one of us brings something Back & White – scarves, flags, banners etc to SJP on Sunday to display as a welcome to Rafa and signal support for the team needs a pat on the back. The whole place needs to be buzzing at KO but thereafter I make no apologies for hoping the stands spit venom towards the visiting team, appeal every decision and make life very difficult for anyone who isn’t fully committed to getting a home-win.

Newcastle United expects ….

Keep On, Keepin’ On …


This is issue 124 of true faith, Newcastle United’s number one fanzine and the most widely read independent fans’ led publication in the UK. To date, this issue has achieved the largest readership we have ever received be that in hard-copy or digital format since we launched true faith in 1999. true faith is absolutely and 100% FREE. All you need to do to get access to the fanzine is click on the image as below. You can read true faith on any device you care to mention. Loads of you are downloading the fanzine onto smart-phones and tablets. The latter is our preference but we aren’t arsed how you read it, just so long as you rad it. We all hope you enjoy it very much and we’ll have a new one ready for you before two shakes of a lamb’s tail. All the best from everyone who has put this issue together for you.





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11 Responses to THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – Come Together – 16/Mar/16

  1. Peter Ward says:

    Well said Michael. We have to win on Sunday. To go down to the last match against Spurs would be more than flesh and blood can stand. I think the reservations about Ashley’s attitude are very real. I can see a scenario where we avoid relegation and Benitez still leaves. Ashley’s whole history indicates he cedes control to nobody. They might have been in a panic when Rafa was brought in but with the pressure off will that change? I’ve studied Ashley carefully. This guy is something else and nasty with it. He’s a dictator, very arrogant and self opiniated as many very successful self made men are. Look at his treatment of Keegan and Shearer. Read what has been critically said about him both in the press and the various court cases he’s been involved in. He bends his knee to nobody. Will Ashley/Benitez work out? The odds are against it but let’s first avoid relegation and then we shall see. The problem with the club is Ashley, not Charnley, Carr,Jiminez, Denis wise, Kinnear, Pardew, McLaren or any of the others he,, appointed.

  2. Peter Shearer says:

    I agree with that Peter and I suspect Ashley may be using Rafa and the fans again. It is easier to believe that than Ashley has undergone a transformation. However, it is understandable that the fans want this to work and yet again will show that it is not the supporters that are the problem at this club. The suspicion is that whether we stay up or go down, Rafa will be gone. I am happy to be proved wrong, and willing to at least stop “moaning” for a few weeks to see what happens!

  3. Anton says:

    Yes, I agree the Sunday game is a must-win for all sorts of reasons too many to mention (not just our Prem survival) and given the on and off the pitch ethos of “that club”, I’d be deliriously happy to see them obliterated.

    Having said that, I am a bit confused about the whole “we MUST stay in the Premiership”. If Rafa has been brought in to build a proper club/squad and re-build our club, a year in the Championship is not be the apocalypse; surely, this must be seen as another stage in our evolution that will make us stronger. Last time we got relegated, we got rid of the blood-sucking pests (Owen, Viduka, etc) and -call me nuts- but I would argue that Pardew got his moment of glory on the back of what remained of Hughton’s team spirit (and a very lucky Cabaye transfer).

    Don’t get me wrong, it would be great to stay in the Premiership and see both Villa and “that club” go down in our rear view mirrors, but I am not going to get too depressed if we go down fighting and showing signs that we can fix this broken husk of a club.

    • Tom says:

      Did you miss the Rafa release clause if we go down then?
      I have been advocating relegation for years now (I know!!) but the if we go down Rafa will walk away and then where are we?
      If we stay up and Ashley reneges on his presumed promises to Benitez,he will walk and surely the Ashleyites and those in a coma in the terraces will finally wake up and revolt!
      We need to stay up now to either force Ashley to treat the place as a football club again (which Benitez will insist upon) or if he does renege the place should erupt!
      Relegation now just takes us back to square one with some cheap lackey given the managers job.

      • Anton says:

        Is there a relegation clause for Rafa, or is this another urban legend? We don’t seem to have relegation clauses in any of our players’ contracts. In any case, maybe you’re right – let Ashley throw the dice one last time.

        Best case scenario: we become a club again under the stewardship of an experienced manager. Our brand reinstated, Ashley receives a £500m offer he can’t refuse and buggers off.

        So-so scenario: we stay up by the skin of our teeth (again), Ashley poisons the relationship with a good manager (again) and -at that point- even Kinnear won’t take the NUFC job. Revolt ensues. Ashley sells “at cost” just to get out.

        There is of course a worst-case scenario: we stay up, Ashley messes Rafa around (or the Inter or Monaco posts become vacant again) and Rafa walks. There will always be desperados who will take the job on, no matter what Ashley does. Also, Ashley has just received his £120m pay cheque from BT/Sky and he is not going anywhere.
        And, then, it’s March 2017 and we’re in the same old situation and we’re having the same old discussion.

        As ever, let’s hope for the best.

  4. n says:

    The trouble is we have seen Newcastle on the end of these 1-0 reverses quite a few times this season which had Steve McClaren talking hard luck stories and improvement.
    Was Rafa’s first game in charge just a “A Typical” performance of what we have come to expect from this squad of players ?

    The game against Stoke City was a lot similar although they pressed us more than a nervy Leicester side but we still played our usual nothing brand of non football and got nothing from the game.
    Are people just grasping at straws and any bit of hope they can when regarding Rafa’s first game in charge ?
    Yes it may take him a few weeks working with them but Newcastle’s team look devoid of anything approximating football imo.

    I cannot help but having the same feeling when we had Loic Remy on loan where you knew has wasn’t your player and he would leave when his allotted stint was up.
    I get that same thing with Rafa where he was kicking his heels after Real and he’s thought well not i’m doing nowt else until the summer so it’s win-win for me.
    It has the feeling of a manager on loan until “The Keystone Cops” are looking around for their next puppet to put in place with Rafa never hearing from them ever again come the summer a la Alan Shearer.

    After watching this sorry bunch all season long can we honestly see them beating “The Owld Enemy” on Sunday ?
    They don’t even do the basics on a football pitch and never look like scoring goals where Fat Sham seems to have Sunderland turning a corner.
    Personally i can seen Wahbi Khazri running the show on Sunday and being the star man in yet another Derby day defeat !
    Sunderland also have a natural goal scorer in Jermaine Defoe where we have nothing of that ilk.
    I hope i am wrong but you cannot see anything but another Sunderland win because i wouldn’t put any faith in our mugs to win the match !

  5. Kevin says:

    Well said Michael. We have perhaps our best chance for many years to make progress. Unfortunately my deep rooted cynicism of all things Ashley prevent me from getting too hopeful – there have been far too many examples of Ashley snatching any optimism away by frankly stupid decisions made in the interests of one person.

    I wonder what Benitez would have done with the £80m transfer funds which was spent this season? I bet we would have had different players lining up now…

    The Derby is , of course , massive for us. A win on Sunday could have an immense impact on the Players confidence which hopefully they can carry with them for the rest of the season and avoid what would be a disastrous demotion.

  6. gjbnufc says:

    I think if nothing else, the coup of bringing Rafa in has gave us all that tiny bit of hope to cling on to. After Bournemouth, the emphatic reality was that I was past caring that my club would be run into the ground, a la Pompey, Blackpool etc and that it was only the beginning of the end in the drive to relent us from Ashley et all.

    Fast forward a week and there is a chink of light from the deepest darkness of present day NUFC low and now it all matters again. If we go down and Rafa walks in the summer we will probably all carry on in apathy. Its too early to see if this could be the beginning of something, who knows under the dictatorship of Ashley.

    Lets get behind them on Sunday, we now have a need to stay up

  7. Bob says:

    I know Ashley and logic don’t sit well together but surely if Ashley is paying Rafa a salary, probably more than Pardew, McClaren, Carver and Hughton combined plus a possible bonus then he will listen to what Rafa has to say at the end of the season. It would appear but no where near certain that the relegation break clause is one way in Rafa’s favour in which case if he keeps us up Ashley would have to pay a huge wedge to dismiss him. I know Rafa could just walk away of his own accord if “things” don’t happen.
    still delusional.

  8. Pat Hughes says:

    A week isn’t a long time but hopefully a competitive game has given Rafa something to work on, sorting out the men from the wasters and time to plan for Sunday. A really good winning plan I hope. By all accounts we were better defensively on Monday but still turned to stone in front of goal. I suppose it’s up to us to intimidate Sunderland and will the wretched ball into the back of the net – I’m up for that, I’m happy to sing, shout and wave my scarf around wildly – I just want the players to match my enthusiasm. Still can’t believe we have Rafa Benitez – still can’t understand what’s going on in Ashley’s brain. He hasn’t suddenly started to love and respect us so it must be the obscene telly money he’s trying to cling on to and his free advertising. Perhaps we’re heading to the era of Shepherd/Hall when they were likening me to a dog and laughing at us for buying the merchandise. Life on the pitch was entertaining and bearable whilst the owners were despised! Our future may well become clearer at the end of the season but for now I’ll sit back and enjoy the Rafa show.

  9. Jarra mick says:

    We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that Ashley has only brought Benitez in out of sheer panic. There will be some tits out there who convince themselves that Ashley has turned another corner and has the club’s best interest at heart…….has he fuck.