I’ll be honest, I’ve thought about how to write this column more than a few times since I left the SoS with 3000 other seething Mags and I’m still not really sure how to go about it. Like you reading this, I am veering wildly between rage, depression, apathy and stomach churning frustration. Not that the defeat on Wearside came as any surprise. I didn’t think we could score and I didn’t think we could keep a clean sheet. I also seriously doubted the team’s mentality and I have absolutely no confidence whatsoever in John Carver, a man who has been in the United dug-out for seven derby defeats since 1999 to either organise or motivate a football team. The stench of failure and mediocrity hangs on him and it can only be the terminally brain-dead who fall for his Canny, Geordie John Carver, I knew Sir Bobby-me man schtick.
I was astonished at Carver’s post-match comments that his players struggle with these games. Not because I disagreed with him or that he was wrong but for what he was spelling out in reality – this is a collection of cowards we have pulling on Newcastle United shirts. Carver’s pre-match boasts that no team he put out would be out-fought was painfully shown to be way off the mark. John Carver’s players chickened out of a game they were fortunate to escape with only a 1-0 defeat. They are yellow and the only one I’d exclude that from accusation is Jonas who is more of a man than the rest combined.
All of the signs are that Carver will be around next season. This can only be as a result of the ludicrous contract Ashley gave him and Pardew a couple of seasons ago for reasons only he can explain but obviously won’t. Carver is still there because he will be too expensive to sack. Any new managerial, coaching appointee will have to accept this fraud onto his coaching staff because Ashley will not be prepared to pay him off. By virtue of accepting this arrangement, any new man automatically shows himself to be another sap.
Tim Krul’s act of congratulations to Defoe for his goal in the tunnel at half time has left me aghast. This is simply mind numbing. It is the act of a man who isn’t engaged with the scale of what is befalling the club he is paid handsomely to represent. It is a loser’s mentality. Can you imagine any of the great winners, the great competitors behaving like this? A Roy Keane? A Bryan Robson? A Patrick Viera? A Steven Gerrard? A Graeme Souness? Tony Adams? It was the act of a man with low standards and expectations. Sportsmanship? Bollocks.
But all over the pitch there were chickens – Sammy Ameobi put in a fuck-wit of a performance but he was not alone. Gouffran was again abysmal and Ryan Taylor looks like a player who will be signing on the dotted line for a Championship club at best next season.
As for the so-called captain, Moussa Sissoko … well, I think you will struggle to recall a more pea-hearted player than the man with Arsenal in his heart. Perez was shot, Cabella was completely and utterly out of his depth. The least said about Riviere the better – this is a lad who is making me pine of the days of Frank Pingel. He’s shit.
Any player who was fit and available and could not get onto the pitch at Sunderland needs to take a long hard look at themselves because if the current shower of shit-bags is keeping them out of the team, then fuck knows what that says about them.
I’m sure the club’s local media partners will put up a doughty defence of Carver and I think I can hear it already – down to the bare bones, lack of investment – blah – blah- blah and while all of that is absolutely true, what is unforgivable is the lack of fight, courage in his team. If Carver cannot motivate a Newcastle United for a trip to Sunderland, then what use is he at all?
He needs to be away from Newcastle United but so do the players and the rest of the inadequates on the payroll.
Of course this is Mike Ashley’s Newcastle United and a pale shadow of a sporting institution, a sham of a sporting outfit pitched to foreign players as a stepping stone to proper and more ambitious clubs. With that kind of club ethos no wonder there is no pride in pulling on the shirt, no camaraderie or team-spirit – the whole club is little more than an empty shell, run by lickspittles for the sole purposes of Mike Ashley.
Is anyone at all in any doubt whatsoever about Ashley? The man is a malignant tumour upon the body of Newcastle United, our city-region and football more generally. We will soon have a close analysis of the club’s accounts but in my opinion we will have big questions about money being soaked through the business and out again. Running costs? There appear to be a number of rabbits off.
What can be done?
I’ll be absolutely honest, I am heartily sick and tired of people who have decided to sack the match off getting all high and mighty and telling me the answer is simply to stop going. Well, thousands have stopped going in the last few years and Ashley is still there. Just chucking it in is not going to work on its own. It’s the equivalent of simply backing down from a fight.
If you want to fight Ashley then you all and me included need to do far more than we’ve ever done before. That will mean more than sending pithy comments via all manner of social media. It will mean getting off your arses and getting on the streets and acting. If you really care as much as how hard you all press those letters on a keyboard, you’ll be there with your fellow Mags and you’ll be putting up a fight with no guarantee of success. You’ll be doing it because you know it’s the right thing to do and you’ll be arguing with your mates who look and sound like they have lost all hope, the clueless twat next to you at the match who knows nowt but has all the answers … it will mean giving up your spare time and not leaving it to some unknown others to sort it.
That last paragraph might push the buttons of some of you reading this. Most of our support however is drowning in apathy. They don’t believe anything can be done. They have no fight and the match for them is just a social occasion when they see their mates, have a few beers, a bit of whinge and then they go home. That describes so many people I know who follow our club. They say they care … but not enough, not really.
Those who decide to have a go maybe shouldn’t be disheartened by the lack of guts in their fellow supporters … it’s always like this in any fight There are always runners.
Modern society has an X-Factor view of the world and that extends to our support and every other group of supporters in the land.
However, if we can get a good few thousand active on match-days then it might just spread and it might just persuade Ashley to finally get out of our club. Of course, it might not, there are no guarantees and there is no promise whoever comes out of the woodwork will be the right person. Nothing is guaranteed. You’ll be fighting for the sake of it.
We might also have to accept we are in for a long war of attrition with Ashley. After all, he holds the cards. Unlike at Rangers, we have no option of buying shares in United and indeed we have no power at all. But what we can do is make a racket, draw attention to the damage Ashley is doing to one of English football’s most iconic of football clubs and indeed to the sport itself.
That is why I urge you to get behind this new campaign. If you are already twisting your gob at the prospect of a new campaign then you probably not to the right kind of person to get involved in this. These are ordinary supporters who have come to be fed up to the back teeth of Ashley and who are bringing a new energy to the fight with Ashley.
They should be people who we rally around to support.
Have a look here – http://ashleyout.com/
And here – @ashleyoutdotcom
This group will inevitably need foot-soldiers, it will have enough people to bombard social media so the slacktivism is all covered. What it will need is people prepared to give up their time, a little bit of money (to pay for materials etc.), possibly hand out leaflets and all the rest of it.
Or are you not that arsed?
Keep On, Keepin’ On …
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