Newcastle Go Down – Does Pride Come Before A Fall?
We tried to explain last night to our “caring for football not a jot” friends the magnitude of the Newcastle drop. We tried our best to talk about the season-long narrative, the highs and lows, the cast of characters, the fans. I am not sure they got it though.
I am not sure I get it either. Are the Magpie fans the goodies or the baddies of the piece? I know there are football fans who delighted in the sight of sobbing geordies at Aston Villa yesterday, in fact I have read a post that said the poster went to the match specifically hoping to see said sight. I have read opinions which say the Newcastle fans only have themselves to blame – their impossibly high expectations driving the board to chuck out manager after manager as they only try to go to war with what they’ve got. Doubts are also being cast on the financial security of the club since they have lost a big chunk of income and the owner’s bank balance is not what it was.
On the other side of the coin, are the devastated fans who pride themselves on turning up at St James’ Park in quantity to support vociferously and then again as the travelling Toon Army. They may have alienated other football teams’ fans in the process but isn’t that part of the game? They are loud and proud of it.
I suppose that the truth of the matter lies somewhere between those black and white stripes in the grey areas that all of us inhabit, even football fans. Partisanship is nice for a few hours on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon but it isn’t sustainable living. So, the gutted Geordies will have to take their medicine along with the board and the staff and hope that the period of reflection they have been offered on the lower rung will give them a clear chance to rebuild their squad – body and soul. Come next season, those sobbing fans will be back with a song in their heart expecting promotion. Maybe we will miss them…