During this pandemic era, it was sold to us that football was reintroduced as a way to help lift the spirits of the nation, as a form of escapism, as entertainment.

Now, I know the saga of Newcastle United is often referred to as “the ongoing soap opera in the North East” with storylines less believable and more farfetched than the ones seen on any given EastEnders Christmas Special, but in recent times I think it’s more appropriate to place the club in the comedy genre.

First up we have a clown as a manager – someone who is a figure of ridicule, not to be taken seriously. I honestly laugh out loud at the ramblings of this buffoon, to the point I actually look forward to his interviews. To me, they are entertaining. And the worse we perform, the funnier the interviews.

The disconnect between the club and myself is at the point now where gone are the days of conceding a goal and sitting there with my head in my hands in disbelief. I now laugh. Actually laugh out loud when a goal goes in. Schadenfreude.

Its not because the club I support are heading for the Championship faster than Bruce finishes a bacon sarnie, it’s because I love to see frauds exposed. It’s amusing to me. There used to be a show on TV called Cheaters, someone would suspect their partner of infidelity and a hidden camera would catch them out while they would scramble for excuses, caught in the act and looking for justification. I loved it, and that’s what it’s like at a post-match press conference right now.

This week alone we’ve been told that the word rotation is a new word, and that we have been playing with 2 false number 10s. It’s just incoherent rambling. It’s quite exciting, you don’t know what he’s going to say next.

Next are the team selections. When its announced on the clubs official Twitter account an hour before kick-off, the first thing I look for is the defence. Is it a back 5? Of course it is – first laugh.  Then it’s on to personnel – second laugh. The team has been picked like I would pick my team on Championship Manager when I was 12. Hendrick is the second top scorer for us in the league so of course he must start – he gets goals you see (2).

Then of course are the fan reactions. Lets be honest here, is a podcast more entertaining when we scrape a win, or when we get humiliated? As soon as the final whistle went on Tuesday night, I started refreshing my podcast app eagerly waiting in anticipation the venom that was going to be projected towards Bruce and the hierarchy. A fraudulent head coach getting what’s coming to him. I love it.

Same goes with NUFC Twitter. It explodes with memes, one liners and photoshopped images when things are going horribly on the pitch. You need to laugh in the face of adversity and I think Newcastle fans do this better than anyone. We have become so accustomed to dross during Ashley’s tenure that we have to find pleasure somewhere.

I know it’s a taboo subject to take any sort of pleasure out of how pathetic and inept we are, but I know for a fact I’m not the only one. Whatsapp groups all over the North East will all be saying the same thing, with images showing the team stats with the letters LOL underneath.

This is what it’s come to. Its difficult to enjoy a win under this leadership right now, as that leads to a big smug face appearing on the television being passive aggressive towards the fanbase.

So right now, and until we replace the manager and/or owner I find myself enjoying schadenfreude during these crazy times. Thanks Steve, I appreciate it.

JOHN LIDDELL – @johnliddell1982