Keeping up appearances on a shift called Dignity.

Posted on September 12th, 2009 | 11 Comments |

Strength in numbers
Strength in numbers
The slant on this is two-fold. I’m talking both about the new found optimism and feel-good factor surrounding the team on the pitch, and also about our ability to keep that pitch chock-full of experienced professionals.

Clearly our start to the season has given cause for genuine surprise throughout the football world, none more so than up here. To land on our feet and start making progress in the right direction was probably the last thing we expected.

So we can also probably safely assume it was also the last thing the media and our detractors were expecting. Therefore a pleasant surprise, as it’s a bit of a two-fingered salute to them.

Sunday’s game against Cardiff City could well prove to be the biggest challenge yet but ultimately if we succeed, it’s yet another piece tacked onto our new-found and developing cloak of pride. Even if we manage a draw, our reputation will be upheld and so there is a lot to be look forward and much to be gained in that game. We just seem to have picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves down and started getting on with it, everyone putting in a hard, honest and decent shift. For every point we pick up that goes towards our tally in the league table, we also pick up a voucher of dignity that will hopefully be redeemed in the near future. A day when we hold our heads high and we’re regarded as a proper football club again, for the right reasons.

Of course, relating to the other level I was aiming at, even the most optimistic Mag is acutely aware of how small the squad is and every game we step into is somewhat steeped in trepidation that we could lose another important member or members of the squad. We’ve already lost some key players in people like Butt, Carroll and Ameobi (although it’s still amusing reading that out aloud; all due respect etc etc), Gutierrez looks like he’s now missing, and it probably won’t take much to sink us. Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood are doing a sterling job but what will they do if half the team are missing?

Consistency is a major factor in this game and to keep a strong unit of players fit and playing regularly together is essential. But straying again, and perhaps worryingly to the side of postivity, I’m looking at tomorrow as a clean sheet at the back, a clean sweep on points and a clean bill of health. Our players can keep up appearances by keeping up their appearances. Black and white and alright on the night.

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

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11 Responses

  1. “Clearly our start to the season has given cause for genuine surprise throughout the football world, none more so than up here.”

    If they did, they shouldn’t because it’s obvious. Teams who struggled just as badly as we did last season, ie West Brom, the smoggies and many others down the years can bestride the Championship like a colossus. Their biggest problem is not becoming a ‘yo-yo club’. The quality is still there in this league despite the exodus. All we need is a bit of managerial consistency for once.

  2. I agree worky, which is why I am quite happy for the sale of the club to take until xmas. The last thing we need now are new owners bringing in a new manager and upsetting the apple cart. The players seem happy playing for CH/CC and for each other, and long may that continue. I’m not advocating CH/cc as permanent, but just for now leave them alone and see what develops. Really important right now for US, the fans, to show our support for the lads. Especially when we start to struggle. Dont want to hear anymore booing this season, its bloody embarrassing at the best of times.
    Howay the Lads.

  3. By the way lads and lasses, really appreciate your articles and opinions on here. Good stuff, keep them coming. Cheers.

  4. ‘I’m looking at tomorrow as…. a clean bill of health.’

    It would be a very precarious sense of pride that appears to be conditional upon lack of injuries to a notoriously injury prone and under-strength squad in a notoriously physical league. September sunshine that presently lights up the summit could equally turn to hard, cold frost in a few weeks as we tumble back to mid table amidst an injury crisis as we prove unable to cope with the upcoming 7 games in 20 days schedule.

    This is in no way to take away anything from the superlative achievements of the squad to date, but as team after team (literally) get stuck into their ‘must win’ games of the season it will take its toll. Unlike Workyticket, I don’t think NUFC will ‘bestride’ the CCC so easily, as too many teams want the Toon scalp to hang in their own threadbare trophy rooms, and will play out of their skins to get it

    Meanwhile 10 players out and 2 in essentially means the team is being set up to fail, and when Chris and Colin cease walking on water from sheer fatigue do we condemn them and the squad for simply being talented pros, as opposed to being superhuman?

    Perhaps if we had suffered an indifferent start the sales money would have been made available for squad strengthening. Not so, clearly the aim is now to ‘do’ promotion on the cheap, and this excellent start to the season could well turn into a curse as we run out of steam (and legs) on the November & December pitches, if not before.

    The team has been let down so badly in this transfer window by Ashley that we are now living on miracles as contingency and good luck as a given, I simply hope we don’t forget that fact.

    Fingers crossed, again…

  5. Beardsleys Boots says:
    September 12, 2009 at 8:22 pm (Edit)

    I agree worky, which is why I am quite happy for the sale of the club to take until xmas. The last thing we need now are new owners bringing in a new manager and upsetting the apple cart.


    I can see your point but when is it a good time to sell the club?

    When is it a good time to bring in a long-term manager (or appoint Hughton as the long-term manager)?

    There will always be some ‘aim’ that we’d rather was out of the way before we make change. I thought Ashley put the club up for sale at the best time actually, although I didn’t think it would take this long to fail to sell it.

  6. Hugh de Payen says:
    September 12, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    “There will always be some ‘aim’ that we’d rather was out of the way before we make change.”

    B*llocks to change. That’s what got us in this mess in the first place.

  7. Unfortunately Worky there will be change again unless Ashley makes a U-turn and decides to keep the club for the long term, which is extremely unlikely.

    I’d rather just get it out of the way.

  8. Post Cardiff, its fairly easy to take another look at this. Smith’s booking and subsequent red card could well be the beginning of a blip because he will be difficult to replace. And as is rightly said above, there are plenty of teams gunning for us right now. Although it’s early doors, it’s becoming fairly obvious that it’s going to be a closely contended top 6 positions.

    I admit I am one of those supporters who believed it would go either one way or the other. We would capitulate and be fighting relegation, or we would be up there and in it. While I am glad we are where we are, I am even more heartened by the performances of the team as a whole. When I look back to, not just last season, but some of those before, when I was filled with trepidation before every game wondering which Newcastle United would turn up, it is good to know that even though we may not win any given game, the team that we put will be up for it and give their all.

    It is perhaps the saddest reflection on our relegation season that many of the players that the vast majority of fans, myself included, wrote off, have proven to be the cornerstones of our early season form. I am more than happy to eat humble pie and hope that many more like me will do so and give those players who are still part of our obviously threadbare squad a chance.

    Looking to the future, and assuming we are still in the mix in January, I can see some strengthening taking place, although I don’t expect it to be the kind of signings we have been used to in the past. To be honest, I wouldn’t be unhappy to never see another Hollywood signing at Newcastle. The last lot were hardly outstanding examples. I would be happier to get in a decent bunch of sqaud players, loans or otherwise, and confirm the permanent departure of Xisco who will never now make it at Newcastle.

    As for the managers position, leave it alone. It may well be that Chris Houghton has found his level, but right now it is also our level. Until we know for certain he’s out of his depth, let him continue and put aside calls for Shearer or anyone else for that matter. There are years and years ahead of us for other managers to have a pop at winning us trophies. Right now, the only trophy that counts is promotion and Houghton, Calderwood and the remainder or the backroom team are doing OK.

    On the whole, I think patience if the key here. It has been a common complaint among many of the posts on this and other sites that we make decisions based on knee-jerk reactions and that long term, they always work out bad for us. A lack of signings and a lack of movement of the sale has already started to put the wind up some. W have to put that aside, we cannot influence that an any way other than to turn up in our thousands (as we do) and show propective player and owners what they could get if they go for us.

    Despite our current form, we are by no means there yet, not even as a successful Championship team because we barely have enough players to cover all eventualities but let’s not panic, lets take it slow. Build slowly and carefully from this foundation and we will get back to the premier league. It might not be this year, but we will get there and it will be soon.

    Keep the faith, even though at some times you might believe that the faith has deserted you!

  9. If Smithy only has to miss the Blackpool game, then I think we will manage ok We seem to have plenty MF available to cover.
    Good to see the lads playing with commitment and pride for a change. Backs to the wall at times today, but couldn’t ask for any more by the end. Some games are going to be scrappy, but to come away with all three points and a clean sheet is a big boost for the lads.
    Need to sort out better supply for young Ranger/Nolan. Asking a lot of the lad up front on his own, but I thought he did really well with what little he got.