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Newcastle United from the outside, looking in: The view from Leeds.

Posted on July 31st, 2009 | 6 Comments |

Different allegiances but talking the same language
Different allegiances but talking the same language
No one can sympathise more with your current situation than the Leeds United fans that preceded you. It seems unjust for a club with such an impressive fanbase to be totally annihilated and ruined by incompetent ownership and bad management, but the Premier League has gotten into such a crazy situation with money that teams wanting to compete put themselves so heavily into debt in a bid to do so that it can backfire catastrophically. The saddest thing is that the players, owners and pretty much everyone else associated with the club will move on and happily forget their part in causing this destruction whilst the fans are the ones that suffer most.

I am of course a Leeds United fan. I was approached by the sites admin before the match and asked whether I’d be willing to write a review of the night’s events from an outsider’s perspective. I was more than happy to do so as Newcastle is a club I’ve always been fond of. It comes from growing up near the Kellingley Pit (about 15 miles from Leeds) where many of your fellow Geordies moved to work. I became friends with a lot of these people, as did all the people of my hometown and a friendly rivalry between Newcastle and Leeds emerged.

My last visit to St. James’ was early 2004 when you beat us 1-0 in the Premiership. I knew tonight was going to be an entirely different affair and expected a much different atmosphere to greet me. In the bar pre-match the atmosphere was remorseful. I listened tentatively to the Newcastle fans sorrow as they discussed the situation – sometimes bitterly – and their thoughts for the future. Not many had an optimistic outlook.

I’d always remembered Newcastle for their fans stony determination in the face of diversity. I’d often likened them to Leeds in the sense that they’d perhaps underachieved where we both could, and probably should have done better. It was a uniting attribute for both sets of fans. No matter how many times the clubs had failed the fans remained defiantly optimistic and followed their team through thick, thin and thinner. Another similar attribute is the self-deprecating sense of humour that both fans possessed. Luckily, this still hadn’t escaped you all and when the mood lifted, a good deal of banter was shared between the two sets of fans.

The game itself was perhaps an afterthought of the night’s events. A goalless draw was a fair reflection of your inability to convert chances and a stronger looking Leeds United team that I actually believe can achieve promotion this time round. Looking on in a positive light, you’d improved a lot from the 6-1 stuffing you took against Leyton Orient, but the lack of quality leadership was evident throughout. Whoever’s idea it was to have a lone striker upfront when you were struggling to convert chances wants shooting! I suspect it was the same man responsible for moving Smith to an holding role when your real problems were in the final third.

Alan Smith remains a popular figure amongst the Leeds faithful and was unsurprisingly booed throughout. Jermaine Beckford has since come in for some stick too for shaking our ex-strikers hand when leaving the pitch. Leaving Leeds for Manure is the ultimate betrayal and it’ll be a long time before all the Leeds fans forgive him.

Kudos to the Newcastle fans for their usual good-spirited banter. Despite Leeds’ best attempts to wind you all up with chants of ‘Mike Ashley is a legend’ and ‘Shearer took you down’ you definitely got the last laugh when you voted Alan Smith man of the match.

A big shout has to go out to the Geordie who ran across the pitch in the second half too. Some impressive moves shown by him to dodge the stewards before they eventually outnumbered him. With moves like that you want to see if you can get him signed up as a winger!

Not much to really say about the match other than that. Overall it was a pretty dull encounter but I really enjoyed the night and only wish it had been under better circumstances for both clubs. The coming weeks, months and years will be the toughest some of you have ever faced as Newcastle fans, but in tough times, the fans will only grow stronger and more united. Your support will see you rise again. It may take a few years, but the truly great clubs can never be kept down. Best wishes for the coming season, and everything it throws at you. MOT.

Courtesy of MOT – http://www.thescratchingshed.com

Thanks to him for writing this for us and our best wishes for the season go to him and the lads from his site and Leeds fans in general, due to something of a kindred spirit and a mutual respect. Fortune favours the brave!

NUFCBlog Author: bowburnmag bowburnmag has written 234 articles on this blog.

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6 Responses

  1. Sounds like it beye. It’s on Radio 1 and all over the internet.

    RIP Sir Bob. The legend that he is will live on in my memory always.

  2. I Just wanted to pass on my condolences to Sir Bobby’s family and friends. He was a great ambassador not only for NUFC but for football in general. May he rest in peace Paul L (a Leeds fan)

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