Fraternal welcome to Newcastle on rejoining the big boys’ league

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It made only a paragraph in today’s edition of the Var Matin newspaper, and the text was limited to a mention of Nottingham Forest’s draw sending Newcastle United back up. In the North East, Pete Sixsmith could hardly escape the fuss, but this evening finds him in deeply conciliatory spirits …

When I opened this morning’s Guardian Sport and saw the headline “We can take on the might of Europe”, I thought: “Here we go again. They’ve only been promoted for 10 hours and they’ve bloody well started.”


Alas, as I read on, it was Arsene Wenger, the manager who, when confronted with the likes of Sunderland, Wolves and Birmingham City, always pulls a face like the man who has just put his finger through the toilet paper. He struggles to beat those three, but he fancies taking on Barcelona.

Let’s get this on record; I think that Chris Hughton has done a tremendous job in stabilising what was a very, very rocky boat last summer. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I like him (he is a Mag, for goodness sake), but he has shown common sense, dignity and tactical acumen over the season – probably the first man to put all three together since SBR was sacked by Fearless Freddie Shepherd.

Add to that his impeccable left wing credentials and I could be embarking on a love in with the manager of our dear rivals and neighbours from along the A184. But I won’t.

My Facebook status page was full of Mags, mainly young, crowing (something they like to do, but without any due cause or reason) about being promoted. As usual, no sign of humility or common sense as they rejoiced over winning a division which appears to be far weaker than it was the last time we won it.

Older, sensible Black and Whites , eg Shildon Hairdressers and Landlords in Croxdale, are still so embarrassed about the state of their club and they remain to be convinced that Ashley and company have anything other than the interests of Ashley and Company at heart.

The Premier League chairmen and owners club must be overjoyed at the fact that he is returning to the table. The dress rules will have to be reiterated, the lager pumps will have to be switched off and the vol-a-vents will have to be hidden. That nice man from Burnley and whoever was in charge at Portsmouth last will be sorely missed.

Still, we have the resumption of Wear/Tyne derbies, always a light hearted and enjoyable occasion. To those who say that they have missed them, I say: “What, you have missed being herded on buses, forced to climb the footballing equivalent of Mount Kilimanjaro and then have to watch a referee give them the most dubious penalty ever? Not me. Nor have I missed the stomach wrenching, gut churning feeling that is with you for 90 minutes. Give me a pleasant day out at Turf Moor any day.”

Anyway, they are back and the Championship will miss them. It would have been nice if they could have spent a couple of seasons down there and a few of the younger ones may have learned the meaning of the word humility. But it has been a pleasure to see fixtures like Scunthorpe (H) and Doncaster (a). Maybe in 2011-12 – but don’t hold your breath.

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16 thoughts on “Fraternal welcome to Newcastle on rejoining the big boys’ league”

  1. All worrying about others,bringing up the Derby County results with others,get a grip the lot of you and accept we are mediocre at best,forget others look at ourselves and honestly do you think we are a good outfit,we are filled with non contributors earning damn good wages you can only paper over the cracks so much Brucie.

  2. The Mags should rightly be celebrating because their battle to avoid the drop is already 24 hours old.

  3. Loving the predictions lads. We’re going to have to wait and see on all of the above though. How much money will be spent, whether Hughton can cope, who will finish higher; us or the Mackems????
    I don’t mind who finishes higher next season, as long as we stay in the league. We basically have a big rebuilding job in the summer and winter close seasons, and then again the following season.
    On a related note, much to my great distaste, I took great delight in watching your lot beating Spurs at the weekend. Zenden’s goal was a peach.

  4. And they got a draw in the reverse fixture too I do believe?

    Although they also got a point out of us too. Still, I’m very thankful that after our 19 and 15 point season debacles, that Derby County came along, told us to “watch this” and contrived to be even worse than our 15 point season, and by quite a margin too.

    Kudos to Derby.

  5. I should point out that Derby County are the worst team in the history of the Premier League. They won a single game that season – against Newcastle United.

  6. When will all of us ever learn,our team is nowhere near good enough to reach the glamour of europe,we have spent a good amount of cash this season in comparison to others and are still anything but a decent side,we were relegation fodder a couple of games back,sack bruce were the mumblings,crap this crap that it is only because 5 or 6 teams are worse than us that we have stayed up,those 5/6 teams have spent nothing in comparison.As long as the mags have agent Bruce in our ranks we will do nothing,as for there lot doesnt really bother me what they do Im more interested in what we do and believe me Ive not been impressed by many pulling on our shirts for big wages,mercinaries springs to mind and if we had lost Bent for any period of time I shudder to think where we would be,all in all in my opinion a crap season,I am considering my options for next season as I dont think we are worth my hard earned a general feeling gaining momentum when you look at our attendances this season,cannot even better that lot when we are supposed to be with the big boys,I know who the deluded are and if we are all honest and take a look at ourselves we must agree.

  7. Could some sense of humour breakdown be evident here in some of the responses? I have just re-read Pete’s piece, Staffstoon, and it slots comfortably into the category headed good-natured banter.
    In the end, KK, it has nothing to do with how long it is since you or we won anything meaningful. We both support big clubs that have in recent years fielded small teams. We’ve struggled this season not just because we’ve been unlucky with injuries, but because we’ve not been very good. You went down because in a season when we were atrocious, you somehow managed to be marginally worse. The reason people laughed at your fate – and not just Mackems (see the replies in our Who Are You? feature when opposing fans are asked about it) – was that, unlike us, you have rather a lot of supporters who assume some God-given right to be top four.

  8. Newcastle have a mountain to climb, let’s be honest the team that got relegated last year was more talented than the present team. Martins, Duff. Hebe, and Bassong have not been replaced and it will cost million to get similar players in, even if Ashley opens his tight fisted wallet. Hughton is not charismatic and as such will never be fully accepted by the Mag faithful, the alternative is Shearer and the road to ruin. A touch of reality is needed and a lot of hard work and cash to even get to the next stage. By the way Bobby Robson was a Sunderland supporter ask anybody from Langley Park he went to Roker for every game.

  9. A list to raise debate … match to respective club:
    Champions League, Top 20 of recognised European “big” clubs, in the last 15 years … 2 FA cup finals, 2 FA cup semi finals, 1 UEFA cup semi-final, 2 charity shield appearances, beating Barcelona, Juventus, etc. in Europes elite competition, Premier league runners up twice, etc. etc.
    VERSUS
    Worst EVER premier league team in history, ground that’s too big for it’s fanbase, I could go on but must also point out “third tier” of English football – says it all!

  10. to be honest, if we don’t play ’em, we can’t beat ’em. The mags I bump into go from the ridiculously optimistic (probably the tedious ones referred to) “we’re gonna win the Prem and fly to the moon without a rocket” to the ridiculously pessimistic. I had to remind a mag neighbour recently that you can only beat the teams you play, and that we know as well as him that big changes will be needed up there in the summer. It didn’t cheer him up any, and he moped off home mumbling about Ashely and coming straight back down. They beat Barnsley 6-1 a few hours later.

  11. I’m sort of glad to have them back, partly for the rivalries and partly so I can watch a Championship match on TV that’ll have two completely different teams in it to the one last week. That’ll be refreshing.

  12. I have to say I dislike the heavy bias in this piece just as much as the NUFC blogs heavily biased the other way.

    I don’t get this tag of delusional fans we seem to have picked up – we will be more than happy just to survive in the PL next season and the thought of competing in Europe is so far distant it will probably coincide with Wenger pulling the gerkin out of his backside.

    Whatever occurs, I hop Ashley goes – he is a liar and I would rather we be poor but honest.

    The one thing I will take my hat off to our lovely Mackem cousins is for the way they have given their support to Bruce even when things looked like they could get a little sticky – i’m pretty sure we would not accept a Sunderland fan as manager of Newcastle.

    Finally, you’ve got to love the ‘real’ derbies – maybe UTD111 has a very good point in why it churns your stomach 🙂

  13. Please tell this mackem that he is not qualified to talk about our fixtures until he has played champions league football and beaten the likes of Barcelona and numerous others.

  14. Not surprised to find a mackem who reads the Grauniad – dedicated follower of “wheyse keys Louise” eh?
    Aye, we’re back, but there are still loads of us who would agree with your bit about distrusting the Fat Cockney B*****d.
    But howay man – where’s your spirit of adventure? The derby games are great occasions, especially as, on balance, you seem to have struggled to win them in recent years.
    Personally, I’m one of those United fans who watches a Sunderland v Manure (or Chelski or Scousers) game on the telly and hopes to see Sunderland win. It’s a “pride in the North East” thing allied to a sickness of the arrogance emanating from those other areas.
    Here’s to renewed rivalries!

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