#9 v2 - Page 11

BEGINNING TO SEE THE LIGHT 10 Cont. from pg 9 While the majority of the support engaged either in heavy drinking, on line recriminations or the pursuit of the red herring of the local press ban, I booked K127 in the East Stand for myself. You see, whenever the club finds itself in straitened circumstances, I find the elemental urge from the very depths of my soul to go along and show critical support. That doesn’t mean moaning or slagging the team off; it means putting the team’s performance into a wider context. Thankfully I didn’t show this in the way that those risible, self-appointed uberfan messiahs in the Strawberry Corner, who had defected from the Division 92 corpus in the Gallowgate Upper, decided to. Singing your support is fucking shit to 2,000 City fans that’d made the trek up here for a midweek game that was on the telly in their 4th most important competition, is simply beyond parody. While we lost the game, to a score line I predicted beforehand, we could have won it in the regulation 90. Certainly if Remy had started instead of Cisse, I think we would have done. In addition, I was greatly encouraged by the performances of several players: Anita is a superb, unfussy distributor of the ball, Williamson looked very steady, and Yanga Mbiwa was an assured presence, while both Sissoko and Tiote showed a degree of dominance in midfield. However the least said about Cisse and Gouffran the better, while Cabaye and Ben Arfa had cameos to forget. Worst of all was Krul; it simply amazes me that he is still in the team ahead of Elliott. How much of a miscalculation was it to keep the Dutchman and allow Fraser Forster to leave for Celtic? Of course, let’s be realistic about things. Looking at the bigger picture, my mantra is unchanged; while Mike Ashley continues to own Newcastle United, it is completely irrelevant who plays for the club, who manages the club or where we finish in the table at the end of the season. All that matters, regardless of populist window dressing like the proposed £20 away tickets reciprocal agreement or the seemingly otiose Fans Forum, that appears to be blighted by resignations already, is getting Ashley OUT and 100% Fan Ownership IN, though I’ll settle for 51% as a transitional demand. On the pitch it appears that the squad have enough quality to overcome both their maddening inconsistency and the tactical idiocy of the frankly laughable Pardew, to ensure a spot somewhere between 8th and 15th, giving Ashley the succour and stability that huge injections of Premier League and Sky TV cash can provide. As per his instructions, we’ll be becalmed in lower mid table, avoiding any danger of qualifying for Europe, with only the merest flirtation with relegation and dismally exiting the cups at the earliest opportunities for the entirety of his ownership; a situation that will allow him the Words by Ian Cusack chance to harvest money without undue expenditure. Meanwhile, the big question is what do the fans do to register our opposition to this state of affairs? NUFC Fans United were instrumental in helping Lee Marshall set up the Fans’ Forum, but the pace of events mean this channel of communication has much to do to avoid accusations of being a hollow talking shop. Additionally, the Time 4 Change was a huge success in uniting the support; let us hope that it continues to be a force for good and isn’t hijacked by those with a personal agenda of harbouring grudges and ensuring their positions of influence and power are maintained, at the expense of the involvement of those who’ve worked tirelessly for the good of NUFC’s fan base. Whatever happens, it is clear that the pace of events will leave us all scratching our heads at the ultimate meaning of them. I’m looking forward to catching up with the true meaning of both Christmas and the way forward for Newcastle United’s support at the Stoke game on Boxing Day. 11