There was a great day to be had at the football on Saturday and almost 3000 had one at the International Stadium for a top of the table game between Gateshead FC and Cambridge United. It was a beautiful evening, my campadres and I were decamped in the stand opposite the main one, taking in the sunshine, talking shite and thoroughly enjoying a really good game of football. £9 in, good entertaining football, what’s not to like? Happily, the home team triumphed 2-0 to finish third in the Skrill Premier and their highest league placing for 54 years. They now face Grimsby in the Play-Off mix.
What struck me was the unity on the pitch, in the stands and the delight at the end of the game amongst the Gateshead lads when the final whistle blew on a fully merited victory. This is a club with a unity of purpose with a Chairman/Owner, Manager, Staff and team who know where they are going and know how to get there. It was great to experience it and obviously every single person involved with TF (even the Blyth sympathisers) I am sure will be wishing Gateshead FC all the very, very best in their play-off games with Grimsby this coming week. Gateshead at Wembley? We would simply have to be there.
The buzz and happiness around the Gateshead game jarred hugely with the whole atmosphere around Newcastle United right now. I can’t help reflect that St James’ Park will have likely 10+ x the turnout for its next home game, that it thoroughly does not deserve while everyone associated with Gateshead FC merits a massive turn-out to roar them to Wembley and hopefully, pray to God back into the Football League. Life’s just not fair is it?
Before we face a Cardiff team looking for points to help them survive in the PL we travel to North London to face an Arsenal team looking to secure their place in the Champions League and who have an FA Cup final to look forward to. This time of te season throws up some unusual results, not least the ones the Mackems have racked up at Man City and Chelsea but I don’t think Newcastle United will provide any surprises at The Emirates. Anything below a 4-0 defeat is a bonus so far as I am concerned. I have absolutely no expectation United will deliver anything at all, despite Pardew bigging up his return to the touch-line as possessing some kind of significance. He’s been there for plenty of horror-shows and had no positive impact whatsoever.
Pardew is similarly bigging up the return of Sissoko, Debuchy and Remy. The cynic in me wonders how convenient this recovery is given I’d expect this is a big game in France and likely closely watched by the French national team management ahead of call-ups for Brazil. Of course it’s also an opportunity for players to show-case themselves to watching clubs. That shouldn’t really surprise us, its how our club sells itself to players and their agents.
The pressure upon Alan Pardew has now become intense. In many ways he has become the lightening rod for all of the discontent there is amongst supporters for the manner in which our club operates. Pardew can’t complain, he has signed up to be the front face of Ashley’s joyless corporate defeatism when had he any backbone he’d have resigned on numerous occasions over the last twelve months – Kinnear appointment, Summer transfer window, Cabaye sale/no replacements to name but a few. Ashley and Llambias before him always let Pardew to be exposed to the media. No-one stands next to him and that is a practice that Charnley, has now adopted. I don’t feel sorry for Pardew though. He has signed up to be Ashley’s man and his boss is chewing him up and spitting him out. He won’t be the last.
How long Pardew has left I don’t know but I do know this, we have little chance of appointing David Moyes as his replacement. Moyes would certainly be my choice to succeed Pardew but the ex-chosen one has high stock and he will have choices. Ashley tends not to like to work with people who have choices and who could go elsewhere. No, I’d imagine, Ashley’s target will be somewhat lower down the food-chain. He might appoint from within, Carver for example or reward Peter Beardsley’s brown-nosing by giving him the gig. Or he could go after say, a Steve Clarke, a competent coach available now with no compensation payable and a salary demand substantially lower than Moyes and perhaps similar to Pardew. Who knows? All guess-work I concede.
The Newcastle United Supporters Trust is having a public meeting this week on Thursday 1st May in The Lecture Room of the Mining Institute, Neville Hall, Westgate Road, Newcastle , NE1 1SE (near the Central Station) and will commence at 7.30pm and finish no later than 9.00pm.
The subject of the meeting is to discuss Ashley’s plan to sell off the lease on the land at the rear of the Gallowgate End. Ashley’s employees at United are refusing to answer any questions on the sale or enter into any discussion whatsoever on the subject. To my knowledge, they have failed to notify NEXUS, who own the land of their intentions.
Full details about the meeting is here.
The meeting is open to NUST members as well as supporters in general.
It would be great if the meeting is well-attended.
As we’ve been harping on about for weeks, our final paper issue of true faith is out now and for sale. You can buy a copy from every decent newsagent in Newcastle and surrounding areas or you can buy one directly from us by just clicking here.
The Digital Subscription will immediately allow access to the new issue we have out now but also every back copy of this season and the previous two. We also have a Summer Special due out at the end of May. Your Digital Subscription will allow you access to that as well. It’s shaping up to be something none too shabby if I say so myself.
We are also as ever on the look-out for people to help out with the fanzine. So, if you would like to write for true faith or contribute other skills – graphic design, illustrations, video etc. then just get in touch – email@example.com
Anyway, try to have a good week.
Keep On, Keepin’ On …
Buy the final hard copy version of true faith (TF111) here.
Take out a Digital Subscription here.