THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – Light At The End Of The Tunnel? – 13/Jul/14

by • July 13, 2014 • TBAWEComments (18)1754

The acquisitions of Colback and (S) De Jong generally speaking have been well received byDarylJanmaat the Black & White cognoscenti. I’m declining to count Perez as part of our summer first team strengthening as he shouldn’t be a part of our plans in the short term. What seems to be an imminent acquisition of Remy Cabella from Montpelier is also drawing a positive response from within our ranks though for my own part I’ll be honest and confess to never having seen our Dutch and French new lads play. They appear to have the credentials however.

Obviously we don’t want to lose any good players but fair play to United for planning for life post-Debuchy with a move for Dutch international full-back Daryl Janmaat who I gather has refused to discuss his future while out in Brazil at the World Cup. I like that kind of professionalism. Obviously, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and United has to finish the deal. That isn’t a foregone conclusion as we all know only too well.

Obviously, this is all a little encouraging as thoughts turn to the new season but like most of you reading this I’m still extremely cautious at opening the doors to optimism just yet. We’ve had loads of transfer tittle-tattle linking us to half the strikers in Europe but none have been signed just yet. I think some of the reporting is, well, a little “circumstantial” to put it politely. I’m finding it difficult to imagine Loic Remy or Demba Ba pulling on a B&W shirt again, simply because they just do not fit within our profile. Neither man would represent how we do business. We  brought in Ba on a free and sold him for £6m. That will doubtless have been thought of as good business and should we manage to confound my scepticism and sign Loic Remy that would be a substantial departure from the Mike Ashley blue-print. There would be no chance of a sell-on fee for Remy at his age and for that reason alone, I’d be inclined to scratch him off any imaginary lists of targets you have developed for yourself. I’d love to be proven wrong and have both Ba and Remy at United next season because the pair of them have goals in them and I think would complement each other.

Obviously both players are mercenaries but I think had I been in Ba’s position and been offered an opportunity to double my money and move to the then European Champions competing in the CL and for other silverware I’d have struggled to reconcile myself to staying under Pardew’s charge. I say that as a lifelong fan let alone a bloke from Senegal with absolutely no affinity to the club or our community. Nothing that either men have done hasn’t done before by Geordies – Stubbins, Waddle, Beardsley, Gascoigne and Carroll.

The only loyalty in football is in the stands.

But we need at least two new strikers and I still wake up in a cold sweat at the thought of Pardew getting his way and Darren Bent coming back to the NE for a last pay-day and moping around the place as per Sol Campbell or Kenny Sansom (for older readers) did.

The club needs to get these two new lads sorted soon and then get down to the business of signing strikers as well as a central defender. I don’t imagine the window will close without their being more outgoings. There is news Mbwia is wanted by St Etienne (enter own pop music joke here) and clearly HBA and Marveaux have passed the point of no return with the manager as we learnt this week both are now training with the U-21s. This is a great shame and loss of talent.

Of the two I’d imagine Marveaux will be the quicker to leave the club because of reports are to be believed he has spent the summer improving his condition. If photographs of HBA’s waistline is any measure, it seems one of the most naturally gifted players to have pulled on a United shirt in recent years hasn’t. It is entirely legitimate to question whether those players who have lost their way have been “Pardewed” but in all seriousness a professional athlete has it as their own responsibility to maintain their fitness at the very least.

I compare HBA to Ryan Taylor who has spent God knows how long out injured but has done everything possible to maintain his fitness. It’s just too easy to blame an unpopular manager. HBA has previous and the simple truth is no-one seems to want him and the story linking him to Inter Milan earlier in the summer seems to have been put about by a journalist who might have enjoyed a rather good lunch.

Clearly, like any other supporter I want the club to recruit plentifully and wisely but bringing in a host of new players in from abroad all in one go because of the inertia in previous windows carries risks to it as well. We desperately need to hit the ground running and Pardew needs results and performances like at no other time in his career because if we start the new season like we finished the last one he will find it difficult to keep the club together as I expect those in the stands will be in mutinous mood.

First excuse of the new season?

It will take players to settle into a new league, culture, city etc. You heard it here first.

There are moves in the right direction but it is far from enough to get us beating our breasts and rolling out the red (or B&W) carpet for Ashley. There is a long, long way to go.

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Jesus, it’s the first pre-season friendly at Boundary Park on Tuesday as we face another of Mike Ashley’s business interests to get the 2014/15 preparatory programme under way. As ever, we’ll have a match reporter at the game and a full report online as soon as we possibly can. Keep an eye on the site.

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A big thanks to the New Zealand Mags who have been in touch ahead of United’s trip down under. If any NZ Mag would like to get in touch, just drop us a line on editor@true-faith.co.uk and we’ll give you the gen.

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It’s not often I have to do it and I always hate it as well but recently I’ve had to trash one or two comments on the site which I feel have just gone a bit too far. I would hope those of you who have been reading true faith for any length of time would agree that whilst we have firm views on how United should be run and aren’t shy in expressing them, we’ll happily publish contrary opinions, particularly in the fanzine. But just because we do that, doesn’t mean anyone has persuaded us our argument is wrong or they can tell us what to do. You can take us or leave us. You can enjoy the bits of our output you like and ignore the stuff you don’t. We are what we are and hopefully stay consistent and resist the temptation of populism.

I really don’t mind criticism … that’s absolutely fine and we positively welcome it but abuse is a different matter. If anyone is going to make points of criticism I’d ask them to word them in the kind of way they would if they were standing opposite the writer in the pub.

Let’s have respect for each other.

I’d also ask the writer to be big enough to accept criticism and understand that’s just the way it rolls. The internet is a truly wonderful thing but the potential for keyboard warriors running riot is beyond belief. I’ve learnt of a number of digital hard lads coming face to face with the people they have slaughtered online and it never fails to provide hilarious results.

Clearly, involving yourself with something like a fanzine which excites the passions, over many years carries the risk of coming into contact with a wide selection of goons, ego-maniacs, personality-disorders and straightforward weirdoes (and that’s just the TF Christmas doo – boom-boom) but I’ll confess to getting a bit weary with it from time to time.

Take this last week. Apparently, I’m a hypocrite. The reason is I go to the match. I haven’t joined with those who have decided to chuck it. I respect the choices my fellow supporters have made. God knows, it’s understandable and I couldn’t make a case right now for anyone to go regularly to the match. What I detect in these boycott-zealots however is an intolerance and a desire to tell others how to behave because of the unshakeable strength of their conviction. They are absolutely certain a mass desertion from the stands will sweep Mike Ashley from the club and usher in a brighter, happier future with a nicer (sic) billionaire owner. They proffer no evidence to substantiate that claim other than their absolute belief that is what will happen.

They really are the Boycott Believers.  Woe betide you if you aren’t swept along by their passion. You must be a hypocrite or a traitor or have some kind of hidden agenda (I’m particularly fond of the vaguest of vague conspiracy theorists) … you just must believe.

I am not about to say they are wrong. I don’t have any evidence to say that other than I go back to the days of the United Supporters For Change, Board-buster days of the late 80s and it didn’t deliver exactly what we thought it might then when United’s finances were far more reliant upon the gate money than they are now.

I have had no evidence from similar clubs that it would work and I definitely haven’t had anyone telling me they are about to set up a campaign group organising and funding the whole thing. That doesn’t seem to be their thing. I apologise for my sarcasm.

It might make the boycotters feel better to feel they aren’t giving their money to Ashley. I absolutely understand that. But as a strategy for removing Ashley? The case just has not been made. If you think you can make it, drop me a line of editor@true-faith.co.uk and I’ll look to publish it.

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Once again, many thanks to all of you who bought the rather fetching true faith designed

SONY DSCCity of Newcastle upon Tyne crest last weekend. We’ve had a very positive response from those of you who have received them. The next item we have for sale is the bucket hat pictured which has had a great deal of interest. We’ll have it on sale from 7pm on Monday 14/July/14 from our online shop –  just click here

We will have a few more items coming on stream soon with the intention to provide some high quality merchandise for a discerning buyer.

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We’ve also had a fantastic response to the true faith DIGITAL era we have now set out

tf112_shola_ipadupon. The feedback has been fantastic but as you can see we are asking readers to set the direction for the fanzine as we move forward. Our survey is here. The intention with the DIGITAL fanzine is to be able to offer a better fanzine but make it bigger and cheaper. We will also be bringing our 10 issues per season and each issue will be 100 pages. In paper format we did 8 issues per season and the majority of them were 64-pages. No matter where you are in the world, you will get the fanzine at exactly the same time and at the same cost. We will be using profit from the fanzine to reinvest in what we do, using more channels and developing more consistency and at a higher quality.

We became one of the best print fanzines in the country and we are now determined to do the same with the DIGITAL version. We think we are pioneering a new era for fanzine culture but obviously we need you good people to support us down that road.

For an annual fee of £17.99 you will get next season’s 10 issues as well as the current 169-page summer special. You will also get access to a back catalogue of 30 issues at no extra charge. There is also an option to pay a quarterly fee of £5.99 and this entitles you to everything under the annual charge. If you would like to try before you buy you can of course do so – please check out a previous issue of true faith here. Once you have signed up, you will get immediate access. You can read the true faith on i-pads, tablets, smart-phones, lap-tops and PCs. All of them work very well. Just click here to get access to one of the best fanzines in the country.

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As mentioned in the last week we are continuing next season with the true faith : 

sat_spec_32SATURDAY SPECIAL. This is our FREE Newsletter that as you might have guessed goes out every Saturday morning and it is entirelyb the work of our Deputy Editor, Gareth Harrison who casts am eye over the football world over the last week as well as the weekend’s fixtures, not surprisingly and especially those involving our very own beloved Newcastle United FC. It is true faith’s fanzine within a fanzine. It is absolutely FREE and all you need to do to get hold of the thing is sign up here.

Have a great week.

Keep On, Keepin’ On …

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18 Responses to THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – Light At The End Of The Tunnel? – 13/Jul/14

  1. Johny says:

    Nothing Can Stop Us Now!

  2. Mikey says:

    Love the bucket hat!

  3. Rob says:

    Great editorial as ever, but if you think some of the comments on here are over the top, check out some of the vitriolic abuse doled out on the FB page which has led to a number of people leaving.
    Any mention that HBA might be a tad overweight over there will earn you a number of new names! Fans more than happy to take out their negativity on each other.

  4. Hoglan says:

    Fair play on your moderating comments stance. There are very few places where match attending mags can comment without facing abuse from none attending supporters. I’ve all but given up on The Mag website for that very reason.

  5. Chris Nappin says:

    I’d genuinely like to see a case put forward by the ‘boycott believers’ with some actual figures/targets. I’m not against them myself but am skeptical about the arguments they put forward on the FB site; ‘Ashley’s advertising would be crippled’, ‘The club would lose 28% of it’s income’, ‘Ashley would be forced to sell’ etc etc. I’d like it to be that simple, but I’m not fully convinced. It wouldn’t be that hard for people to come up with a plan that we could then discuss, surely

  6. Ali Moir says:

    Great editorial and well said ref the need for a bit of decorum on the facebook page. I’m still pishin’ myself laughing at “Digital Hard Lads”!

  7. Matt Flynn says:

    More than anything supporters currently boycotting the Ashley regime are doing so because they aren’t prepared to have the piss taken out of them. It’s a question of self respect not hard economics. They feel compelled to do something about their club being turned into little more than a giant billboard for Mr Ashley’s companies, they are not prepared to stand by twiddling their thumbs as NUFC drifts aimlessly into a hollow and meaningless excuse for a football club. Whether or not a widespread boycott would encourage Ashley to ship out is unknowable, but that’s hardly the point. It’s a question of principle, a choice between doing something of doing SFA.

    In many ways requests for a business plan arguing the case for a boycott signifies just how effective Ashley’s expectation management campaign has been. Football should be about following your heart not analysing spreadsheets. Impulsive, emotional, symbolic.

    The best way to get under Ashley’s uber thin skin would be to sing sportsdirect are fucking shit during live TV games, but like everything else it’ll never happen unless somebody outlines the logic via a pie chart to appease the naysayers.

    United we stand, divided we fall…. and I can’t think of any time over the last 30 years the support of NUFC has been so divided.

    • Stephen Brownlow says:

      Spot on Matt Flynn

    • Tom says:

      Exactly the conclusion I came to as well,Matt.
      I want others to do the same but dont tell them to.
      Everyone is entitled to make their own decisions.
      Ive made mine and wont return till Ashley has gone.

  8. That hits the nail on the head Matt, I agree completely. We are all aware of what Ashley is doing to “our” club, personal dignity means a lot more to some…

  9. Joe says:

    Meanwhile, two very good new signings have arrived this week, and in the correct manner. Both of which are arguably (unarguable in my opinion re Debuchy/Janamaat) better than the players they will be replacing. Another good young striker in the pipeline.
    But lets not beat our chests about the fact that the club seem to be finally listening to the fans & manager about recent self-destructive transfer policy.
    So what is it you want exactly?

    “First excuse of the new season? It will take players to settle into a new league, culture, city etc. You heard it here first.”

    Not really an excuse, more of a fact. Or is Collocini (remember how poor he looked on first arrival?) the only one allowed that luxury?

    • Rob says:

      I think there’s a balance to be struck. My happiness a seeing these players arrived is somewhat tempered by imagining how Pardew will set them up.

      Yes, the players we are signing appear to be good. Yes, for once there seems to be a logic both in the correct identification of areas of improvement (bring in the creativity we orely lack in Cabella and de Jong), and in the desire for securing replacements prior to letting Debuchy go.
      But don’t get conned into thinking that these signings are a real indicator of ‘ambition’- they are the basic housekeeping that should have been going on for the past three seasons. Ashley is well aware that our total lack of creativity, added to our poor defensive record, was, with relegation a realistic possibility given our post-Cabaye form, putting his asset at risk.

      But in the excuses stakes, it’s not about saying that the change of culture shouldn’t be an excuse- obviously, it may well take Cabella several months to adapt. But its more about when that is used as an excuse over others potential factors should we start slowly. Sure, it’s a very valid excuse- but it shouldn’t obscure Pardew’s own failings should they materialise once again. I would hope that if we go into any more games against John OShea and Wes Brown with the gameplan of trying to beat them with longballs, Pardew might look at himself this time.

    • Tom says:

      I will actually agree with Pardew if that excuse is trotted out.
      We have potentially 5-6 new players who will start the seaon in the team who have come in from weaker leagues.
      To expect more than 1-2 of them to hit the ground running is optimistic in the extreme.
      This is the result of 2-3 years of under investment in the squad,so therefore totally self inflicted.

      • Rob says:

        Yes exactly what I said, but I think the point is: Will Pardew cite that as an excuse (however legitimate) over and above looking at himself. We’ve lost a number of games (not least BOTH derbies last year) due to his own tactical ineptitude. Say if we try and beat Stoke on the 29th Sept by playing balls high and long at their centre backs (as was the plan against Sunderland at home)- would Pardew take a long hard look at himself, or would he fall back on the easy option of “new players, new culture”?
        Of course cultural change is a factor should we start slowly, but it doesn’t preclude all other factors.

  10. Malcolm says:

    Interesting comments re non attendance at matches. To be honest I haven’t consciously decided to boycott, I’ve just given up going. Losing interest, finding better things to do and not really caring any more. The soul has been sucked out of NUFC and along with it went my passion.

  11. kenthemag says:

    Re not attending matches; its up to the individual -simple as that. While some fans rightly feel that this is the only way forward, others think Ashley will never drive them away from Newcastle United. There is no right or wrong answer “whatever will be will be”. I was totally sick of going to watch Newcastle at the end of last season but as the weeks roll on i’m actually looking forward to seeing if we have learned our lessons from last season…Howay the lads!