#9 v1 - Page 42

genuinely believe when we had Shepherd he wanted the team to do well. Yes, he was a fucking idiot with his comments, decision making and crazy signings, but I think he wanted us to do well. He was just a buffoon who was steadily taking us down. Ashley came in as the big geezer, splashing the cash on a load of big signings, and trying to be the hero by bringing in Keegan. I actually think that could have been a masterstroke. When Keegan came back he brought a buzz that hadn’t been here for years, and I think he could have taken us back to being a regular top 6 side, even without the money to spend. Keegan was special, and I honestly feel ashamed when some of our younger fans slate him. They don’t appreciate what he did for us in the 90s. It’s not their fault they don’t understand, but sometimes I find myself resenting them. How dare they slate him? The very man who gave us the opportunity to become something special. It was a sad day when he left under such a cloud. My club and my hero at legal loggerheads was hard to take and that took a lot out of me that season, so half an eye was taken off relegation. It almost paled into insignificance for me. Football, for me, is about heroes. It’s about your Gazzas, Shearers, Bobby Lee’s, Bobby Robsons, and Keegans. Hell, even your Laurent Roberts, Ben Arfas and Nobby Solanos. It’s about grafting your arse off all week so that you have the cash to spend on going to be entertained. It’s not only about winning, if anyone supports NUFC because they want us to win trophies, then you’re supporting the wrong team. Winning games is great. But dont be fooled by the media bollocks of “we’d rather lose 4-3 than win 1-0’ because we wouldn’t. It’s bollocks. I suppose that’s where I get round to today (We’ve just lost 1-2 at home to Reading). If we were given that choice of the 1-0 win i’d be delighted, but I want us to do it in the right way. I don’t want to be one nil up against fucking Reading and sub off our only two attacking midfielders and end up with FOUR defensive midfielders on the pitch to ‘see it out’ (granted we now know Cabaye was injured and we couldnt see it out). Jonas, Bigi, Perch and Anita all on at the same FROM... 42 THE SUMMER OF 43 OUR DISCONTENT 41 WORDS//JONATHAN ANDERSON “ KEEGAN  WAS  SPECIAL,  AND   I  HONESTLY  FEEL  ASHAMED   WHEN  SOME  OF  OUR   YOUNGER  FANS  SLATE  HIM. time against one of the worst teams in the past 5 years of the PL. Bobby would shudder. Keegan probably is. I don’t want this to turn into a Pardew bashing because his failings are obvious, so don’t need to be repeated. Similarly, Ashley’s are too. The saddest thing of all for me is the fact that money dominates all in football. It’s all about seeing games out now. 2-0 up and clubs shut up shop. If my club ever got to the lofty position of being 2-0 up i’d want us to stick 4, 5, 6 past the opposition. The thought of doing that is simply gone in modern football. Clubs see cups as not worth going for as they’re not financially viable. Personally I couldn’t give two hoots if the Europa League isn’t financially viable. If it takes 16 games against Scandanavian farmers in front of sub 20k crowds in the snow to win it, then so be it. A lot of people say football sold its soul when Abramovich came to Chelsea but I don’t buy that completely. For decades it’s largely been a case of he who has money does well. It’s just largely more highlighted now because of the Sky era. The sad thing I think is that because of the complete vastness of his and the Man City’s wealth, it means we start a season knowing that the best that 17 out of the 20 clubs can hope for is 4th place… a depressing situation. It eliminates the skill of coaches and management, almost making it worthless. If Allardyce got his dream role at someone like Man U, they’d still more than likely end up in the top two. It’s sickening seeing people get paid millions to be very average and have very little input into work, when 10k people are being made redundant from Blockbuster, Comet, HMV, Jessops etc… I’m waffling now so getting away from my original point, what is wrong with football? The answer would probably be ‘nothing’ if Abramovich had bought us, or even if we’d seen out a win against Reading today. But he didn’t and we didn’t. There are significant issues at our football club both from boardroom level down to the pitch, but it’s nothing new. What is new to us, is we now have a club that’s sole purpose isn’t to entertain us. It’s to be profitable. We may benefit in this window with a couple of panic buys so we don’t miss out on the new TV deal, but ultimately it’s going to leave us with a constant feeling of a half full club. Keep the faith. It’s a pretty fair observation to say that most Newcastle fans do not hold a lot of love for the summer transfer window. A period that holds so much promise and possibility for most teams usually ends in nothing but disappointment and frustration for us. In fairness, we have picked up the odd gem in recent years like Cabaye and Ba, but overall Mike Ashley’s relentless penny pinching has left most pretty pessimistic when it comes to the transfer windows these days. With only Cisse and Shola as the only senior, recognised strikers currently at the club (at time of writing), we are woefully short of numbers up front. This summer we were hoping to see the club linked with a whole host of strikers and forwards, and to be fair we have, problem is, none have actually signed! Loic Remy, Bafetimbi Gomis and Darren Bent have all been strongly linked, yet not have made it “over the line” as Alan Pardew frustratingly likes to say. Sadly, the main reason for the clubs failure to bring in a recognised striker this summer has largely been down to their own doing; namely Joe Kinnear. After a relatively calm couple of years on Tyneside, Newcastle returned to their usual ways this summer by well and truly imploding in spectacular fashion once again. Nothing unusual for a Premier League club to suffer a tumultuous summer you may sa