That was a welcome and deserved win at West Ham and while many of us have no particular axe to grind with The Hammers, we will take a not to secret delight in pushing Allardyce closer to the sack from his job at The Boleyn Ground and hopefully out of football for good. The win in the East End of London halted a run of three PL defeats without scoring a goal and in the first half at least we played some great football with our passing and movement as good as we’ve seen in a long time from a United side, particularly away from home. Three away wins in the capital in one season is staggering given our club’s traditional flakiness inside the orbital. Much was made in the media and inevitably by Allardyce himself about some chances West Ham missed but frankly had we gone in 4-0 up at HT on Saturday no-one could have complained. They were great chances missed by Sissoko and Remy, that on another day could have had the roof coming in on Allardyce and a pasty-faced, always glum looking Neil McDonald who appears stuck in that netherworld of hair-thinning and just going for the baldy look. Just take it all off Spotty, man!
Our first win of 2014 will put the manager, his staff and players in good heart as they set off for a bit of a winter’s sunshine break in Abu Dhabi. Personally, in principle, I can see nothing wrong with a change of scenery and a bit of heat away from the freezing wind and rain of Darsley Park in January. I’m intrigued by the choice of Abu Dhabi however. They will certainly have the sunshine but I wasn’t aware of the sporting facilities available in the Middle East. I’m led to believe it’s a 4-day trip, so hopefully, the whole United party will return with some heat in their bones and refreshed for the challenges of Norwich City on a Tuesday night in East Anglia and thereafter for our dear friends from Wearside and their annual visit to the NE regional capital. If we get good results in those two games, Pardew can take them to the moon next January and no-one will give a shit.
I must confess to becoming a little jumpy about the future of Yohan Cabaye. He is without question the most important player at Newcastle United and all of our creativity comes through him. He is the fulcrum of this team. On the park at least, he is a class act. Given that it would seem we have little chance of relegation and no chance of breaking into the top four as well as an apparent phobia about the Europa League, a substantial bid for Cabaye would likely be met favourably by Mike Ashley. How much truth there is in this Webster Rule about Cabaye being able to buy out his own contract for £6m remains to be seen but what I do know is United are making absolutely no effort to renegotiate his contract and get a long-term commitment from the midfielder to Newcastle United. That just seems completely off the agenda and if he doesn’t go in the next couple of weeks, it seems inevitable he’ll go in the summer. I can’t imagine the mood music being played by Kinnear that we’ll not really be a club that wants to improve much via the recruitment of better players will have impressed an ambitious lad like Cabaye that he can have a good pop at honours with us. If PSG, Arsenal, Man Utd or whoever weighs in with a c.£20m bid, I think that will mean a goodbye to Yohan. Where we have a strong hand to play currently is ahead of the World Cup. Cabaye is in sparkling form, playing for a manager who obviously loves him and who is the force around which the whole team functions. It would be a risk to step out of an environment that has led to him becoming such an important part of France’s World Cup plans but that stops being a consideration in the summer.
What is inconceivable is that we will continue not to bring any new players in for the second window in succession. We are incredibly short in striking areas with Cisse completely out of form and more or less told the club wants rid, this has to be Shola’s last season (it really has to be) and Remy looking no closer to joining us permanently than he ever was. I can understand the attraction to Luuk De Jong given we’ve lacked an aerial presence in attacking areas since Ba got his transfer/pension top up to a West London Retirement Home a year ago. Cisse and Remy have both been used as a target man by Pardew but both are wholly unsuited to the role and their form has suffered as a result. Shola has tried manfully in that role but well, the jig seems to be up for the Fenham Eusebio in all honesty. De Jong appears to want to come and Kinnear has reportedly been shuttling back and forth from Germany. But for Newcastle United signing a player, just seems to be a tortured process and you could be forgiven to being completely switched off by the whole dance. Then there is the question of Kinnear’s competence which is a subject for a whole new debate.
If we fail to invest in this window then we will have to do a lot of work to do in the summer. A lot of money will need to be spent just to stand still and that does not account for the changing priorities we might have by the end of the season i.e. Collocini may need to be replaced by then. United just cannot keep putting off investment in the team.
I may live in a world of my own but I really thought we, the followers of Newcastle United, were above spivving our tickets via touts, be they the street grafter variety or the legalised and approved variety such as Viagogo but I may be wrong. News that so-called supporters were pimping their tickets via Viagogo for the Derby, disgusts me. Where is the unity amongst us? Where is the solidarity of following our club? When did we become wide-boy dickheads? This isn’t Geordie!
The fact that Viagogo and their ilk are partners of the Premier League and Newcastle United couldn’t illustrate any more the moral vacuum that is modern football of which Newcastle United is a fully paid-up part! If people honestly can’t make a game, what’s the problem about passing it on to a mate for face value? Is it so hard to resist pulling a fellow fan’s eyes out and behaving like a spivvy bastard? We’ve said we’ll publish the names of any arsehole who attempts to rip off a fellow fan but that doesn’t mean we’ll be keeping a 24-hour surveillance of Viagogo. We need you to tell us when you’ve had your eyes pulled out and by whom. Twats!
Given the creaking online ticket purchasing some fans have been experiencing loads of our fans are susceptible to these sharks we have in the stands amongst us and don’t laugh, surely this is one for the Fans Forum or the PR lad (aka Supporters Liaison Officer) to deal with. Don’t hold your breath.
It seems the big story falling out of the woeful refereeing at SJP last Sunday was Alan Pardew calling the Rod Hull look-alike in the other dug out a cunt. Well it’s not very nice but for fuck’s sake it’s not the end of the world and there are far more deserving causes of outrage in football than a football manager losing his blob a bit. It would seem there was something of a concerted effort amongst the press boys and girls to have a pop at Pardew (ever wondered why they all cover the same issues?). I can well understand why some of them wanted to create a diversion in the last week (yes, Ms Taylor I’m talking about you) from some of the most lamentable sports writing you are likely to come across in terms of their defence of Mike Jones’ decision to cancel Tiote’s strike v. City. Former Referee, Graham Poll observed correctly it was the wrong decision and it’s no accident Jones spent the weekend gone in the naughty corner at the SoS. It’s understandable those dozy hacks who exposed their ignorance of the laws of football wanted to talk about a bit of industrial language and create a bit of faux-outrage diversion from their own piss poor coverage. Just to illustrate the general shittiness of football journalism, The Mirror (not Simon Bird I haten to add) had Debuchy having completed his 3-match ban before the game at West Ham. Remember, this is their full time job.
Many thanks to all of you who completed the second true faith readers survey of the season. Our man Steve Farrell is working through the results right now and he’ll have all of the gen in the next issue of true faith (TF109) which will be out a week this coming Friday.
We’ve received some great feedback from those of you who subscribe to the true faith : SATURDAY SPECIAL. This is the true faith weekly newsletter which has grown into something of a fanzine within a fanzine and is all the work of our deputy editor, young Mr Harrison, supported gamely by our design guru, yon Glenn Ashcroft. It seems like this weekly and free fanzine is picking up quite the cult following amongst those who get it. Obviously, it’s not enough of a recommendation to pitch something of interest just because it’s free (there’s loads of shite on the internet that’s free because no fucker will buy it) so what we’re saying to you is get on the SATURDAY SPECIAL, not because it’s for nowt, but because, well, it’s really good. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, you’ll be put on our mailing list and you’ll have it pinged into your in-box at some unearthly time of a Saturday morning. It’s great on smart-phones, tablets, i-phones, PCs, lap-tops or owt else that’s been invented since I started typing this old crap up.
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No game this weekend but stick with us in the week as we’ll have plenty to keep you distracted from doing the stuff you should be doing.
Have a great week.