Every Newcastle game is the same now.
A post-match battle to claim the moral high ground.
At one extreme you have those who refuse to see any negatives whatever the result/performance, whilst on the other and you have Newcastle fans who refuse to see any positives however the game has turned out.
The vast majority sit somewhere in between these two polar opposites.
On what we have seen so far, my opinion is that we haven’t seen very much to suggest the silent majority should be straying too far away from a more negative point of view.
However, these people are generally happy to acknowledge and indeed love it when we do see something good happening.
Whether that is winning away at Tottenham, the Willems goal at Liverpool and of course beating Manchester United, especially with a 19 year old local lad taking centre stage on his PL debut. That however has been pretty much it in terms of positives this season and of course we know that this was a quite shockingly poor Man Utd team. People say it was still Man Utd etc etc as though beating a name is somehow more difficult, the simple truth is they were the worse team Newcastle have played this season. Suggesting that beating this Man Utd team is some unbelievable achievement is like saying that beating Newcastle at the minute is a bigger deal than say winning against Bournemouth, just because NUFC have a bigger/better history.
Anyway, the post-match battleground between Newcastle fans is fair enough, it is a key part of being a supporter. The debate after the game about who did/didn’t play well and anything else that is thrown into the melting pit about the match is fair game.
However, with Newcastle United that isn’t where it ends.
We have ended up with a situation where there are those outsiders who take far too much interest in the affairs of Newcastle United and are waiting to pounce on anything positive that happens, doing their best to spoil the moment for so many Newcastle fans, as they get involved in something that isn’t their business.
I give you Robbie Savage.
Talking on BBC Radio Five Live he said after Newcastle won on Sunday:
“If that had been a Rafa Benitez performance against Manchester United, all the Newcastle fans would be saying: ‘It’s a Rafa masterclass, magnificent, but because it is Steve Bruce and not a lot of you like him…‘Oh, it’s a poor Man United side.’
“If that was Rafa’s team you would all be saying: ‘Brilliant from Rafa. A masterclass, (what a) tactician.
“Rafa’s tactical masterclass has kept Newcastle up for the last three years and I think Steve Bruce will keep you up…and if he does, he would have done as well as Rafa. You’ve beaten Spurs and Manchester United six points against those two sides is always good.
“I have got stick from Newcastle fans for defending Steve Bruce (Savage played under Bruce for three years) but we fell out big time, I didn’t like the guy and he didn’t like me but I admitted I should have done things differently leaving Birmingham and we (later) made up.”
We can’t even enjoy beating Man Utd without an idiot nobody such as Robbie Savage questioning why we have the right to, if at the same time we still think Steve Bruce is a really bad appointment.
Yes we enjoyed Sunday but overall this season we have seen a team that struggles to create chances and score goals, which was the same against Man Utd, I can’t remember De Gea making a save.
On The Mag those form tables (see them HERE) from last season have regularly featured, Rafa Benitez didn’t just have Newcastle avoiding relegation, the last 28 games of the 2018/19 season saw NUFC eighth best in terms of form and in the final 16 games they had the fifth best form.
Plus at last some more realistic money has been spent now compared to Rafa forced to make a £20m+ profit in summer 2018 BUT fans are left bemused as to why Mike Ashley has insisted on £40m had to be spent on Joelinton. Yet only £5m on the two wing-back positions where quality was desperately needed, especially playing the three/five at the back system.
Savage was not alone of course…Ashley’s mate Martin Samuel detailing how many points Steve Bruce has now compared to Rafa at this stage last season, as though that snapshot properly defines anything. Andy Gray also pitching in saying this shows Steve Bruce etc etc…and no doubt if I bothered to look, we will have Richard Keys, Simon Jordan, Sam Allardyce and the other usual suspects lecturing Newcastle fans on why they are a disgrace and we are lucky to have Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce.
It is funny how they are all happy to define Newcastle United. They say Steve Bruce keeping Newcastle up will be success but they don’t say that about the likes of Leicester, where they have a credible long-term ambitious strategy of trying to bring success to their club.
Rafa Benitez wanted to build far more at Newcastle United than the odd victory against a ‘name’ team and hoping to avoid relegation each season.
The likes of Robbie Savage and the rest don’t want to acknowledge that Newcastle United are capable of targeting so much more than possible survival.