A season at the races for Newcastle fans?

A promotion race would do us the world of good

A promotion race would do us the world of good

While fans are divided on their thoughts away from the pitch, it would be hard to argue that you’re not happy with the results on it. The football is hardly of the ‘total’ variety but in a results game, we’re grinding out the points where it counts and really, for now, that’s what matters most. Because it gives us something to get a bit carried away about and something to focus on. Not least it restores a bit of pride.

The last time we were relegated to this division, I was really just starting to watch regularly and for those old enough to reminisce prior to the ’90s, the parrallels between then and now will not be lost on you. The 88/89 season saw lose us our top flight status while discord was rife on the terracing and a Newcastle board struggled incompetently to run our beloved football club.

However, a summer and some inspired Jim Smith signings later, the sun was out, Mick Quinn and Mark McGhee led the division a merry dance and before you know it we’re sitting in a healthy league position behind the top two and the future was looking slightly rosier. Of course, that season ended in painful play-off defeat at the hands of the North-East undesirables, sticking in the craw of the black and white collective and putting the focus firmly back on the fan’s disenchantment with the powers-that-be.

Another summer later and with little left in the coffers, we began a steady decline both in terms of the quality of football and the numbers prepared to pay to watch it. The era in which our detractors like to recall, with startingly inaccurate attendance figures to back up their theory of our fickle behaviour, was neverthless a dark one before Hall and Keegan dragged us kicking and screaming from obscurity as we slid towards the old Third Division.

So fans with good memories have every reason to be worried about the nature of this particular beast, when you consider that much of what happened then is apparent now. A board to fan relationship that was realistically severed roughly twelve months ago, an owner without money or the inclination to spend it. The squads are quite different but where the overall quality is arguably better now than it was then, the squad of 89/90 had the guile required and the division itself was probably also poorer overall.

It would be difficult to find any Newcastle fan who wasn’t aware of the charge we made on the old First Division championship under Keegan’s lead. But even the most optimistic is aware that that particular season was a fairly unique instance when money was freely available and Keegan struck gold with a cavalier approach that proved irresistible to not just us but even rival suppporters. It’s probably unlikely to be witnessed again here in the near future.

Despite that, promotion itself is not beyond us if these first set of games are anything to go by. We may not marvel at the natural ability and attacking flair of this current squad but surely that won’t taint the exhiliration of an immediate return to the Premiership or at least a good go at it? I took a pasting after I wrote an article about Ashley the other day, despite the fact I believe little of the theory myself but it’s getting to the point where I’m bored of the off-field crap.

I want the man gone from the club to be honest because I just think it’s in everyone’s best interests, regardless of what you think of him and in my case that’s not very highly to say the least. And arguably a promotion push could be a double-edged sword that sees Ashley keep hold of the club, with a view to making more back on his money if we were to get back into the top flight. But we can worry about that when he comes out with his favourite saying about sticking around and taking the club forward together. In the meantime we could just enjoy the good fortune on the pitch for what it is.

I’ve said before, I share the view that this squad may not be capable of a sustained assault on automatic promotion and there is a long way to go before we can really start to get excited. But surely, the main thing we’re here to do is watch the lads and support them and if we’re winning then we can allow ourselves some down-time from all the gloom and just enjoy the fact we’re doing alright at the minute? There’s really not a great deal any of us can about what’s going on away from the green stuff but if in the meantime we stay in the promotion race, then I’ll be affording myself some time to indulge.

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

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18 Responses to “A season at the races for Newcastle fans?”

  1. 1
    avatar cooldj says:

    cooldj strikes again. :)

  2. 2
    avatar Hugh de Payen says:

    “But surely, the main thing we’re here to do is watch the lads and support them and if we’re winning then we can allow ourselves some down-time from all the gloom and just enjoy the fact we’re doing alright at the minute?”

    Yes indeed. Cardiff will be my first game this season. Last time I was there was 1981. They’ve moved grounds since then.

  3. 3
    avatar workyticket says:

    Hugh de Payen says:
    September 7, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    “Yes indeed. Cardiff will be my first game this season. Last time I was there was 1981. They’ve moved grounds since then.”

    I think it’s only a few yards from the old dump though, Hugh. I hope you’ll be writing a match report! :-)

  4. 4
    avatar Hugh de Payen says:

    Lol, yes, I remember it being a dump.

    I will be writing a match report. I’m gannin with my father-in-law who has the Toon down as his second team these days (after the Baggies).

    He is Victor Meldrew personified so I’ll have to listen to his moaning all afternoon too, which he has down to an art form.

  5. 5
    avatar Stardust says:

    Worky just saved a draft as pending – have a look – see if its got legs?

  6. 6
    avatar geordie deb says:

    Sounds a barrel of laughs Hugh!
    I was last down there a few years later probably around 84 when after schleping down to Swansea for a Saturday afternoon match, it was called off due to torrential rain. This resulted in an impromptu overnight stay and the match being played the next day which I think was the first time we had ever played on a Sunday. Oh happy days

  7. 7
    avatar Dragonera says:

    Great read. Keep up the good work.

  8. 8
    avatar Stardust says:

    Ideally since I havent got time to do huge posts Id like to keep them as a series of tall but short tales, plus its bloody hard work spelling that badly!

    The current situation……..that gives me an idea of a style to write in.

  9. 9
    avatar workyticket says:

    Stardust says:
    September 8, 2009 at 12:07 am

    “plus its bloody hard work spelling that badly!”

    I know what you mean Stardust. It harder than it sounds.

  10. 10
    avatar Stuart79 says:

    BBM – Spot on mate!

  11. 11
    avatar Norn Iron Mag says:

    So your saying back the team on the pitch then? Should we not being that anyway? Its the players rounding around in black n white stripes? Tbh there is nothing to we can do to make a difference to all the crap off the pitch, so get behind the lads. Enjoy it while we can. Off to work so the wife can buy new shoes and a handbag.

  12. 12
    avatar batty says:

    Stardust says:
    September 8, 2009 at 12:07 am
    Ideally since I havent got time to do huge posts Id like to keep them as a series of tall but short tales, plus its bloody hard work spelling that badly!
    <<<< i dont find it that hard lol

  13. 13
    avatar batty says:

    stady when will it be ready

  14. 14
    avatar Mick says:

    i think the real test of character, for both players and the fans alike, is when we have lost a few on the trot!
    but i echo the sentiment, get behind the lads on the pitch, no matter what!!

  15. 15
    avatar Tino 11 says:

    Quiet on here today, i think Stardust, Stuart and Worky must have tired themselves out yesterday with their wide ranging comments!

    Cardiff will be a tough game, i am over the moon with the start we’ve made and i’m quite happy with the squad, 3 more on loan would make me very happy with the squad.

    I feel some people are getting carried away too quickly, i think sometime soon we have a period of around 7 games in 20 days or something like that, i would say after that period is a better time to see how good a shape we are in for promotion.

  16. 16
    avatar bowburnmag says:

    Tino – it’s a long time since I looked on the bright side of life where the town is concerned so I know exactly what you’re saying. Nothing wrong with being realistic.

  17. 17
    avatar workyticket says:

    bowburnmag says:
    September 8, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    “Tino – it’s a long time since I looked on the bright side of life where the town is concerned”

    Miserable get!

    “Tino 11 says:
    September 8, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    “Quiet on here today, i think Stardust, Stuart and Worky must have tired themselves out yesterday with their wide ranging comments!”

    Can’t speak for Stuart, Tino, but I think Stardust is working on his magnum opus, ‘Billy Bunta telt ye forst!’.

  18. 18
    avatar cloudstrife says:

    hey fellas! great blog u got here. been on .com for a very long time tho i dont post much. seems most of the people here came from there. i’m not from Newcastle, i’m from Kenya but the Toon is by far and away my favorite team. here the net is too slow for me to stream games and we only get prem games so i use the websites to get my fix on how our promotion bid is going…

    we seem to have a decent shot as the opposition in this division is pretty poor but we have a paper thin squad. if/when Enrique goes down, i wonder who’ll play there. Edgar would have played there but now that he’s left, who can play there? one of the youngsters? Jonas?

    there’s a lot of questions to be asked, but as for now i’m talking s**t to all my ‘big four’ supporting friends that the Toon are top of the league!! we are… so i aint lying!!

    HOWAY THE LADS!

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