Well, as many of us retreated to the shabeens of NE1 after witnessing United collect a very valuable 3 pts over a decidedly stale Fulham, courtesy of a peach of a goal from Hatem Ben Arfa without a cloud in the sky on a beautiful Saturday’s summer evening in our fair and noble city, all seemed well with the world. Throw in the Mackem Mussolini’s post-match histrionics (he’s going to call them sons-of-bitches soon isn’t he?) following their 3-1 televised defeat to relegation shoe-ins Crystal Palace and there would be something wrong with you if you didn’t have as smile as wide as the Tyne.
In truth, although we laboured for much of the Fulham game I always felt we were the dominant side and although creativity was scarce, we had more of it than Martin Jol’s team. The game however, was turned with the introduction of Cabaye and Remy, the latter of which seemed to have a galvanising impact upon Sissoko and Cisse in particular. He’s a strong lad, intelligent, with pace and he caused problems for the Fulham defence with some smart, well-timed running. I like the cut of his jib.
What we’ll achieve this season is anyone’s guess but I do know 3pts and the first goal in five matches at SJP and first in the PL this season was very welcome. A tonic for the troops after a summer of gloom around Newcastle United Football Club!
Not that listening to Alan Pardew’s post-match comments would be likely to keep you in a sunny disposition for long. The Cabaye deal isn’t over and did I get that right, were Everton to come calling with a bag of Fellaini loot from Man Utd, they could take Ben Arfa – the only player at the club with an iota of creativity about him? Still, we are being “linked” to players all over the shop though. Forgive me my cynicism. Everton though? Much as I respect the tradition and status of Everton as one of English football’s most aristocratic of clubs, they have by common consent, not got a pot to piss in and should be a club we are targeting to overhaul. Sorry, I forgot, that would be the case if we were a normal football club with some ambition rather than a cash-cow for Mike Ashley.
So, we’ll go into the last day of the transfer window with Ashley and Kinnear looking at the phone and waiting for someone, anyone to give us big bucks for any player they want whilst Pardew gets pushed out to talk shite to the press. Anyone who thinks we’ll do some last minute buying of our own, clearly hasn’t been paying attention. But should we fail to buy or sell any players then you’ll have to start wondering what the point of Joe Kinnear is at all. I’d imagine his failure to shift any sellable assets will have Ashley wondering if he’s had one too many pints of fizzy in the Orange Tree when he gave Kinnear a job.
It was largely a turgid affair over in the North West on Wednesday night in the League Cup, when a lacklustre United managed to squeeze past a big, bruising and up for it Morecambe side. The reward for that win is a home draw with Leeds in the next round. Like many Mags of a certain vintage, I am part of a generation that grew up loathing Leeds United. Revie’s Leeds was capable of great football but were also dirty, cheating, cynical bastards that spoilt countless games in their pursuit of honours. Off the park, their fans were no better with a large thug element who made trips to Elland Road in the 70s and 80s something of a white knuckle ride. A large canon of hoolie-porn has been compiled over the years, much of it utter shite but Leeds was where it was at and I think as a fully-paid up member of the Inter-City-Soft-shite Army, I regarded trips to West Yorkshire as the most daunting of any outside of West Ham and Chelsea. Fortunately, in those days, Newcastle United had a very large and very radged up element to its support as well, so they seemed to occupy each other well enough. Our trips to Elland Road were a lot hairier than to Roker Park for example. Incidentally, the Mackems have a real, deep loathing for Leeds as well. Something we can agree upon. That’s got to be a first.
I’ve missed Leeds from the fixture card though. Elland Road is a great place to visit, they have a large and passionate support, they are by and large an obnoxious set of twats and games with them mean more than shitty-arsed encounters with the likes of Hull, Crystal Palace et al. This is going to be a big deal of a League Cup tie. I imagine they will bring a good 5000 to SJP, they will be loud, obnoxious and a timely reminder of why the er, more mature end of the B&W spectrum spent so much time loathing them for so long. Losing to them at home doesn’t bear thinking about but they will have to be treated with respect because they have a history of pulling off some big results in the Cup games against their so-called betters.
Sometimes I wonder about some of our fans. Dave Smith, true faith’s match reporter over in Morecambe let on he’d seen a grown-man set off a smoke bomb in a small pub near a caravan site where there were lots of families with small children. If it had been a daft young’un, I might have understood and put it down to the knob-head conduct of youth. Have a word with yourself man, mate. Then there are those resplendent in the W*ng* sponsored kit giving it plenty with the “get out of our club” chants directed at Ashley. You couldn’t make it up. “Support The Team, Not the Regime!” Er, how does that stack up? It doesn’t end there with some booing greeting Cabaye’s entrance to the game with Fulham, translating to cheers in a matter of minutes. By the same people! Maybe, I’m looking too hard at things.
We don’t have a match this coming weekend because of the international break but we at true faith are falling four-square behind the Football Supporters’ Federation’s NON-LEAGUE DAY. Obviously, you don’t need anyone here to tell you what games to go to but we are recommending;
Gateshead v Hereford United at the International Stadium KO 3pm
Blyth Spartans v Grantham Town at Croft Park KO 3pm
In the case of Gateshead, this is an opportunity to take advantage of the reduced price deal for Newcastle United season-ticket holders that was recently announced. In the case of Blyth, Croft Park is brilliant and their Green & White stripes, black shorts combo, for me, is an absolute classic. Love it.
It’s a canny way to put in a Saturday afternoon and will keep many of us out of B&Q, IKEA and other hell-holes at the very least.
We’ve had a great reaction to the true faith : SATURDAY SPECIAL which made its debut last week. Our Deputy Editor, young Mr Harrison is leading on this for us and although supported by our design genius, Glenn Ashcroft, Gareth will doubtless be building up a head of steam with this throughout the season. It will be in your in-boxes every Saturday morning and can be accessed on i-pads, tablets, smart-phones and all of that schmutter. The response has been brilliant and if you haven’t already, you can register here. Don’t worry, we won’t be sending your e-mail details to anyone with exciting investment opportunities from Nigeria or an endless supply of Viagra.
And the true faith : SATURDAY SPECIAL comes at you for the princely sum of …. NOWT! It’s absolutely free.
Not only … but also, the two big ‘uns, Taylor & Besty will be recording a new true faith PODCAST on Tuesday evening and will be joined by a very special guest (no, not me) and doubtless one of the main subjects for debate will be the transfer window which closes on Monday night. We’ll have all of the gen for you here about how to access the PODCAST. It will entertain and inform.
With all of this new-fangled technology we are starting to get our heads round we’ve been able to substantially increase our output and the new website has been a boon in that regard. Six weeks after it’s re-launch and things are going really well on all fronts.
But I’d especially like to make special thanks to those of you who have bought the paper copy of our fanzine or downloaded it on to your i-pads, tablets etc. The fanzine remains the heart and soul of everything we do. Thankfully, sales are really strong in this our fourteenth season and as ever, we are all really humbled at some of the nice things you say about what we do as well as privileged you not only spend your hard-earned on our fanzine but also your time reading it. We are honoured by your indulgence of us.
Have a great week, let’s hope our cynicism and suspicions are confounded and the absolute shambles that is Joe Kinnear proves us all wrong. Don’t hold your breath.
Keep On, Keepin’ On ….
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