It’s been a really long time since my last blog, but I’ve got a really good reason why! I love writing this blog and am usually full of enthusiasm to get my latest ponderings down on paper and off to the Editor so my huge readership can indulge herself (hi Mam!)
Why has it taken me so long to get this down on paper? First of all I’ve been mental busy at work and at home, so I haven’t had a chance to sit down to write.
Secondly, and most importantly is that, well, I’ve got nothing to write about! Let me explain…
I made the conscious decision many months ago to not write about NUFC in this blog. I decided that not only was I was taking up a fair amount of my BRAZILIAN blog to talk about Newcastle Utd, but also because whatever I was writing had usually already been written, far better, by tf’s regular scribblers. So why waste my word count and your time by repeating what others have already said?
However, I have had to break my own rule because I have found myself engulfed in the tide of apathy surrounding NUFC. From what I’ve read on social media sites it seems hard enough for NE1 based Mags to get worked up for the latest offering from, what appears to be, a disinterested group of players with nothing left to play for, waiting to hear if they’re coming to Brazil or are off to Benidorm in (your) summer (our winter). Both the deputy editor and editor of this fine publication have both written about their trips to SJP as being a bit of a chore in recent weeks – that is, or should be, unthinkable.
Being 6000 miles away from the hallowed turf means that it takes even extra effort to keep in touch with all things black ‘n’ white. As we’re not really what the global market drool over when thinking of ‘The Best League In The World’ we’re hardly in the news over here. This means I rely heavily on the (trusted) output of tf and nufc.com, as well as utilising Twitter (especially for any Vince McMahon/WWE tomfoolery) to keep myself in the loop.
Ashamed as I may be to admit it, sometimes it’s just too bloody hard to keep up the effort. I’m not talking about the recent slump in results and the Cabaye nonsense. Newcastle United going through a disastrous run of results, selling their top players and playing like absolute dogshite? Howay man, that’s in the DNA! Par of the course and all that. No, it’s the complete lack of anything approaching passion and pride that is on display from the very top of the club, down through the manager, coaching staff and players. The negativity has spread its malignant fingers down onto the pitch, up into the stands and down the throats of each and every one of us. I can’t remember feeling positive about the goings on on Barrack Road, I can’t remember anyone stating a feeling of joy in going to watch the lads play. Whenever we have had reasons to be cheerful we’ve had to reign ourselves in, knowing that the fat prick upstairs was a half a shandy away from fucking us all off. We were proven right (once again) when Cabaye au revoired himself out of Newcastle International, we will be again come the summer when Remy, de Jong, Debuchy, Tiote and whoever else we can squeeze a profit out of follows him.
It’s no exaggeration when I say that I only check BBC Sport, nufc.com and The Guardian every morning to see how mad Mike ‘Manage-by-Grenade’ Ashley and his cronies have been while I’ve been dozing. I don’t absolve Pardew from his share of the blame, either. The manager has to take responsibility when his team are not performing. He has to explain why, when chasing a match, he feels a like-for-like swap of the left back is going to improve our ability to attack (a ‘tactic’ my Hammers mate recognised well, by the way), he has to be held accountable when his group of players aren’t up for the local derby and are 2nd to every ball in and around their own 18 yard box. Would I be sorry to see Pardew jettisoned? Not particularly. I would be, though, concerned as to what would be dragged in to replace him. I firmly believe that ANY manager in world football, who would willingly take over the reins at NUFC today, under the current circumstances and working under the current regime, COULD NOT have an ounce of self-respect in their bodies. Until MA sells up and fucks off, we, as a club, are treading water.
What a wonderful state of affairs.
But at least I’m in Brazil, right? At least I’ve got the whole World Cup shebang to get excited about! Well actually, no, I haven’t!
You’d think that with 4 months to go to the big kick off the whole of Brazil would be buzzing with World Cup fever! That there’d be posters and events and reminders and FIFA branded memorabilia in abundance. But you’d be wrong. There’s not a bloody thing to suggest that the world’s craziest football nation was on the verge of hosting football’s biggest event. WHY?
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and I have come up with two possible answers. Either everything’s fine and dandy and the build-up is going to start in earnest after carnival (it’s a fact of life here that EVERYTHING starts only after carnival.) In which case, no problem – that’s just how Brazil rolls.
However, I have an idea that maybe, just maybe, there is something deeper going on. You’ll all have read about the dissatisfaction over here over the spiralling costs of the tournament. Ok, ‘dissatisfaction’ may be a little light. Maybe ‘outright anger, despair and foaming-at-the-mouth, sick-to-the-back-teethedness’ would be closer to the mark. I have begun to wonder if the CBF has decided
that an extravagant promotional campaign would be too much. That the public, seeing even MORE of their cash being splurged on the tournament, would simultaneously spontaneously combust in a huge, fetid fireball of indignation.
Also, maybe the official sponsors have decided that the tournament is so toxic right now that they daresent touch it with the proverbial barge-pole.
Obviously, I can’t know for sure. All I do know, though, is it’s all eerily quiet over here…
Meanwhile, in the Carioca Championship, Flumi… Ah bollocks to it, I can’t even be arsed.
Well – that ought to have cheered you right up. And if it hasn’t, I’ll leave you with the news that while you lot back in Blighty have the unimaginable joy of celebrating Pancake Day, we out here in Brazil, and Rio in particular, will be enjoying the start of Carnaval! I can’t even to begin to describe what a fantastic week it will be here in Rio – but I’ll be trying my best in my next Blog from Brazil!
Finally – I came across this magic article on Twitter a few weeks back and I have to share it with you. It’s by a writer called Jack Lang and he sums up perfectly the feel of Brazilian culture and the culture of nicknames beautifully. If you want to gain a better understanding of Brazilian life, please take the time to have a read. It’s mint. http://roadsandkingdoms.com/2014/the-beautiful-language/