It is the first week in January and the season is over. If Newcastle United remains rudderless, there’s a chance we can sucked into a relegation scrap but to be honest, I’m not sure if I care either way.
The abysmal, yet wholly predictable defeat in the FAC 3rd Round at Leicester City was all the more depressing for it was exactly what many of us had expected. If John Carver is genuine in his expression that he wants the United job, then this supine display in the East Midlands will be a point in his favour for directors and an owner who hold the Cup competitions with the same fondness as standing in dog turd.
Our FA Cup record over the last five years has led many of us to conclude that Newcastle United is deliberately throwing these matches. We were beaten at Stevenage, beaten twice at Brighton and we have now been beaten two seasons running by two sides heading for relegation. I don’t believe anyone whispers into players’ ears that they shouldn’t try or that they should deliberately play badly. However, I do not believe the club is honest when it claims regular first team players are injured or unwell. It would take credulity to breaking point to accept that these niggles all land in one go at the same time every year. It is just not believable. I do not believe the team that took to the field against Leicester in the FAC was adequately prepared for the game. With seven changes I do not believe it could have been. I’m not sure who picks the team for these games – John Carver or Lee Charnley. Placed alongside the club’s previous public statements about priorities and not valuing the Cups, it is difficult to believe Newcastle United is trying in these Cup competitions.
Thus, I don’t think I will be the only supporter who suspects the club of cheating the supporters, the FA Cup, its participants and sponsors let alone the game at large.
I was appalled to place John Carver’s public statements about the FAC in the week alongside the deeds of his team on Saturday.
As a preface to his public statement he wanted the job as Head Coach full time and permanently, it was laughable. Ironically, our willing FAC exit in the East Midlands will not have damaged his chances and if the level of bull-shit is any indicator, then he has some big parts of his CV already covered by those who might have influence in making the final decision. But John Carver? Really? Don’t make me laugh. There is nothing in his record to suggest he is anywhere near the level required to be the top man at our club.
Let’s not forget, it has Carver who has been at Pardew’s shoulder over the last desperate four years of derby debacles, hammerings and Cup disasters. It has been Carver and Co. who has been on the training ground drilling the players with those corners and set-pieces that make us despair.
Think on that when you see some local journalists advancing his cause for reasons I cannot believe are I the interests of Newcastle United but rather in guaranteeing a hotline to the seat of power for however long he is in the job before he is pedalled.
The Newcastle United Supporters Trust is the only properly constituted, members based supporters organisation at Newcastle United which is available for any supporter to join. It is recognised by Supporters Direct and the Football Supporters Federation – the national organisations in turn recognised by the FA, FL, the PL and national government. The Labour Party’s manifesto for the 2015 Election will contain details of how if it wins power will greatly increase the influence and power of Trusts across the country. The Newcastle United Supporters Trust is one of the leading Trusts of its type across the country. It is highly respected across the country and does a lot of work to advance the cause of supporters of our own club and others.
The Annual General Meeting of the Newcastle United Supporters Trust is on Wednesday 21st January 2015 and it will be at 6pm at the Mining Institute on Westgate Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne. It will all likely be sorted in an hour and a half and there will be ample opportunity to hear what the Trust is doing, plans to do, ask questions as well as speak informally to Trust board members afterwards.
To attend the AGM and support the Newcastle United Supporters Trust in its work you will need to be a member. You can become a member here.
I did laugh at the statement put out by the club regarding Pardew’s departure and the hollow claims of their ex-manager’s achievements. Jesus Christ, is that it? If every you needed a reminder of the Zombie-nature of the club we support, it was in the weasel words, probably typed up by Wendy Taylor or Lee Marshall to signal Pardew’s departure. These people, fucking hell, when will they go?
The emerging media narrative appears to be gathering some pace that Pardew has been run out of town by deluded Geordies. There is something of a flaw in their plan in that Pardew voluntarily left and has more than doubled his basic salary. The media spin that he is some kind of returning hero to Palace is similarly garbage as well – as any long-standing Palace fan will confirm. He isn’t any kind of iconic figure for Palace fans. That is just rubbish. The line that he is some kind of great manager, is similarly undermined by where he has gone to ply his trade. Pardew has joined London’s tenth biggest club and the third biggest in SE London. This is no Merton Mourinho making his way up to the summit of European football. This is a mediocre manager finding his level, though the perverse world of PL football, hitting the jacket with a four year deal of £2m p.a.. That his new club have paid £3:5m in compensation to release from his United contract is straightforwardly mental.
Alan Pardew has done brilliantly out of Newcastle United. After being sacked by West Ham, Charlton Athletic and Southampton (in the Third Division) Alan Pardew was finished in football. In the four years at United he has restored his reputation of some sorts and by moving to Palace her has more than doubled his salary. He is a four year contract with £2m p.a.. His salary at United was £800K pa. If anyone wanted an explanation as to why Pardew left – it is because he has massively increased his salary whilst at the same time getting himself out of a firing line which cannot have been enjoyable. Pardew has played an absolute blinder.
There are some in the media however, who appear to be committed to framing the United support as the villains in this piece and are deaf to the facts of Pardew’s mismanagement at SJP.
The worst of these are a braying pack of imbeciles on radio but are mainly Robbie Savage and Stan Collymore. For me, life is too short to be suckered by these imbeciles so I tend not to listen to them. Likewise the written media. There are journalists who I’ve just learnt over a period of time to screen out of my United routine. Its variously click-bait and utter dross. I’d advise you to do the same. Its better for your blood pressure.
The collapse of our season over the last three weeks has led to more supporters calling on match-going Mags to stop going and join with their boycott. I’ll be honest, I’d really need to be persuaded not to go to the match but I’m not about to argue with anyone that they should pay to watch a football club basically going through the motions. However, let’s be absolutely honest here. There is no boycott of United matches. Some people, lot of people as it happens, have stopped going to games, chucked their season tickets in etc. That does not constitute a boycott.
A boycott has to be organised. It has to be funded. It has to be publicised. It has to have agreed aims and objectives. People need to get off their keyboards and stop hectoring others to do something and simply take responsibility themselves.
If anyone wants to step up to the plate and start organising a proper boycott, rather than whingeing on social media etc. then we at true faith will give you all of the publicity we possibly can to get your message over. But you will have to have a message, an organisation and an energy to get stuff done.
Don’t wait for anyone else to do it, do it yourself, get organised.
Apart from what the farce that happened on the pitch at White hart Lane there was a similar shambles outside with thousands of Mags locked out and the means of entrance particularly inadequate. It has been widely discussed amongst fans on social media and recorded in fan publications such as this one, with our own writer at the game, Alex Hurst caught up in the farrago. If ever there was something a Supporters Liaison Officer to want to get involved with – investigate what happened, represent the grievances fans had at what happened and how they were treated, it would be the failures at White Hart Lane. I have not heard a peep from Lee Marshall, our erstwhile Supporters Liaison Officer or anyone else at Newcastle United for that matter. Nor did I expect to.
We have Chelsea away this coming Saturday. Frankly, I think it will be cruel to watch. The very thought of the likes of Jak Alnwick taking part in this fixture makes my blood turn cold. For our own part, although we will have a match preview of this game, we will not be carrying match report and the reason is down to the price of the tickets. We’ll have a report of the game (as we’ll watch it on the telly somewhere) but I think for the first time we have running this website in what is likely to be more than ten years we just cannot wear the price of the tickets at Stamford Bridge. So, for the first time in God knows how long, I think for the first time in the fanzine’s existence, we will not be represented at our first team PL fixture. With available tickets for this match at £52 – £55, we’ve just decided to fuck it off. Enough is enough.
What a lot we have planned for you this week. Matt Flynn was good enough to travel to a secret rendezvous on Sunday morning to film the new true faith : VIDEO BLOG featuring none other than our deputy editor, Gareth Harrison. Gareth was in top form, or should I say at his ranting best. I’m kidding of course, Gareth was great and I’m sure many of you will recognise the frustration and anger Gareth feels at how our club is being fucked over by Ashley, Charnley, Carver et al. We’ll have it online in the early part of the week as soon as Matt gets it edited etc. Not to be missed.
I’m sure Alex Hurst and Co. will be recording a new weekly podcast this week. I love downloading these podcasts and listening them on my i-pod. They are great on the way to work in the morning etc. They are really entertaining and I’d encourage anyone to give them a try.
Again, in the early part of the week, we will have another issue of our fanzine available for you and as ever it is an absolutely cracking read. The main subject matter is of course Newcastle United – we’ll be covering in depth and in detail all elements of the club as well as history and nostalgia but similarly we’ll be bringing in the experiences of Mags visiting and living abroad. We have pieces from Spain, Italy, Germany, So Korea and Brazil. You can’t say we don’t get around. We’ll also have something from Blyth Spartans and their FAC adventures. Each issue is 100-pages plus. There are loads of bells and whistles and its superbly designed by Glenn, our in-house design guru.
It is the same price and service no matter where you are in the world. Everyone will get it at exactly the same time.
Click here to take out a subscription.
Obviously, we will have our usual online offerings via Blogs, previews etc. but on Saturday morning, ahead of the game at Chelsea, we’ll have THE SPECIAL available for you. THE SPECIAL is our alternative match-day programme. It is a cracking little read with contributions drawn from regular writers including yours truly, Gareth Harrison, Alex Hurst, Mark Brophy, Guy Hannay-Wilson and Wallace Wilson. David X Smith contributes with a cracking quick quiz and we even have a mini-podcast, so don’t forget to have a pair of earphones at the ready.
THE SPECIAL is designed with the match-going Mag in mind and is brilliant on smart-phones and when you are sitting on the Metro, Bus, in the pub waiting for your mates, half time and on the way home again.
Of course it isn’t just for match-going Mags and it can be read perfectly well on i-pads, tablets, kindles, lap-tops and PCs. It’s a great match-day custom and we have been knocked out by the numbers of supporters who have signed up for it and who are thoroughly enjoying it.
It’s absolutely FREE. Just click here to sign up for it.
And that’s your lot.
Keep On, Keepin’ On …
You can subscribe to true faith and get instant access to one of the best fanzines in the
country which is now available only in digital format. For only £17.99 annually or £5.99 quarterly, you will get a subscription for 10 issues. The price and service is exactly the same no matter where you are in the world. As well as 10 future issues (all at least 100 pages) you will get instant access to our archive of over 30+ issues at no extra cost.
All you need to do is click here.