I’m surprisingly a lot calmer than I thought I would have been. I came to terms with relegation several weeks ago and when the final whistle blew at Villa Park I was in a sombre mood. But, consigning myself to relegation, I was preparing for the worst. It’s not easy to take, and to think we won’t be playing Premier League football again (at the earliest) until 2010 just adds to the misery.
However, it’s not like the Toon went down fighting. The performances of the players have been less than encouraging. There was a brief respite with Joe Kinnear, but it’s obvious by the dire second half performance yesterday afternoon that there are players and staff members at Newcastle United football club who don’t need to be there.
So Where did it go Wrong for NUFC?
Some of the comments I heard from fans on the radio and on Sky pinpointed the dismissal of Bobby Robson as the cataclysmic event that saw the beginning of Newcastle’s downturn in fortune. They wouldn’t be far wrong, but those same fans that are now citing the sacking of Sir Bobby were the very same fans calling for him to go – we can’t have it both ways.
The fact of the matter is, that for the past two seasons, the end product that Newcastle United put out on the pitch just wasn’t good enough to compete – end of story. No ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’ or refereeing decisions saw our downturn, the players who were charged with playing for Newcastle were not good enough to put on the black and white shirt. Kevin Keegan said it at the beginning of the season, that we were a million miles away from the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Man Utd and Liverpool. It was only a few years ago that we were above Chelsea in the league, how times change.
The players were calling upon the fans in recent weeks to provide an atmosphere second to none so they could do the business on the field. The fans stepped up to the plate, but the players again were all talk as so often has gone on before.
Yes, we’re relegated. Yes, we’ll be playing the likes of Scunthorpe and Peterboro. But we’ll be rid of overpaid players who can go on to their next club and bleed them dry. Good riddance, you’re not wanted here.
Here’s to the future, here’s to Newcastle United and here’s to the three thousand fans at Villa Park yesterday who did the Toon Army proud.
Howay the Toon.