Allow me to take you back, back to a time before Covid, a time before Brexit, a better time for sure. Yes the world was a very different place but sadly a time when Newcastle United were still regrettably shite. Now let’s hop in my black & white De-Lorean and get the foot doon to ‘88 and off we gan.

The year was 2009 and the premier league had ended with the worst possible outcome for us, for the first time in 16 seasons United were relegated from the top flight. How on earth did this happen? The season had begun with much hope after all the King special K had returned to his beloved Newcastle United and we were feeling confident, especially with a squad of players with plenty of ability & pedigree, arguably a lot better than we have currently I’d say. Yes with Keegan in charge what could go wrong right? Well we were about to find out.

KK had managed to do some nice business in the summer bringing in the likes of Guthrie, Bassong, Jonas & of course every wife’s favourite Coloccini! A decent window right? But the madness was about to begin. As we now know KK only sold Milner (who was great for us) to villa as he’d tied up deals for both Schweinsteiger (yes that’s right!) and Hypia with the Milner cash which would’ve been two solid buys, however this was the moment where the lies & general dishonesty from Ashley and Co first raised its fat cockney head. So after phantom bids & empty promises KK did what KK does and walked, only this time who could blame him right?

I’ll fast forward through a turgid season which included the club seeing 5 managers  (if you count Hughton twice) the lowest point seeing Joe Kinnear dragged off his social club bar stool and handed the reins of Newcastle Utd, I mean WTF was that all about? Cut to the end and again Ashley played the “Hero Card” and brought in our favourite son Shearer to save us and I believe it may have worked but by that time most of this squad had given up on this club completely, with our top goal-scorer Michael Owen being the personification of the overwhelming apathy shown by our players who showed as much fight as a toothless dog, and with the help of Damien Duff’s left foot (which I thought he’d seemingly left at Chelsea) we were down. For the first time in 16 seasons.. Thanks Mike! We would return thank god.

Now we’re back in this time motor speeding towards the year 2016 again I’d wish I could say things were better for Nufc, but then I’d be as big of a liar than one of Ashley’s cronies. Having just survived the season before by the skin of our nuts and the Christ like return of Jonas Gutierez to save our bacon on the final day, we began the 15/16 as a premier league side and thankfully without the self imposed “Best coach in Newcastle” John Carver. Again the transfer window was decent with notable additions of Mitrovic and Wjinaldum there was cause for optimism, but there was a dark cloud looming over all this which is reminiscent of this season and that’s the quality of manager the club has appointed.

Yes, the “Wally with the brolly” had returned to top flight football, the man who spectacularly failed with the golden generation of England was now expected to get a tune out of Newcastle Utd? I wasn’t confident and sadly that turned out to be the case. Once again the season was full of disappointment and utter bewilderment as this clueless manager took us nowhere, our defence was as open as Sharon Stone’s pins as it rained goals for opposing teams more than summers’ days in Cumbria. This knacker was even given money in January to turn things around and we brought in both Jonjo Shelvey and Andros Townsend which I thought was great business but once again it just didn’t work.

So after an utterly depressing and a much overstayed  9 months in charge of our football club the wally with brolly was again shown his P45. So who’d we get now? Another useless twat? To our utter amazement it was Rafa bloody Benitez! A manager of actual pedigree at our football club, the most decorated since Sir Bobby but despite a glittering CV Rafa didn’t go to Hogwarts and couldn’t perform magic to keep us up. I don’t blame Rafa for that; the simple fact was Ashley left that useless knacker in charge way longer than he should have and if Rafa had been brought in sooner he’d of kept us up. Fact! Imagine what things would have looked like today if that’d happened?

So as I bring the De Lorean back to 2021 and park up it’s time to reflect on where we are now in comparison to the other 2 relegation campaigns. We don’t have the same quality in the squad as we did in 09 or 2016 but what these lads do have is a shite sight more heart than those 2 squads did. Also things have flipped a bit as in we had shite defences and decent attacking talent back then whereas we have decent defenders and are gutless up top (Wilson and ASM aside) now.

There is however a hugely worrying similarity to the dreaded Steve McClaren season in that we have a pretty incompetent manager at the helm of this club and I fear that Ashley may be doomed to repeat the sins of the past by waiting too long to bring in a manager far more capable of getting the best out of these players than the current incumbent of the St James Park hot seat. The only exception that this shite Steve shares with the other shite Steve (no more Steve’s after him please!) is pure blinding luck! He’s the luckiest Nufc manager I’ve ever known! With some notable jammy results and covid preventing us from booing him out of the ground, I’m sure plenty of his predecessors would envy the roll of the dice Bruce has enjoyed.

So after another non performance against Arsenal who couldn’t really be arsed and when they could, dumped us out of the cup quite easily. This was followed up by the utter shower of shite that was tonight’s game against Sheffield United, a team with 2 points all season prior to playing us off the park. A match that was riddled with mediocre performances and ill discipline reminiscent of relegation seasons gone by. So what’s the answer? It’s clear to all of us! Time for Bruce to go now before it’s too late. Don’t make the same mistakes you made with McClaren Mike and leave it too late, or you’ll make the same mistakes you did before and potentially set fire to your £300m cheque you owe so desperately crave.

CHRIS CURRIE – @wig82