Before I start, have you completed the true faith READERS SURVEY yet? It will ake you about 30 seconds. Just click here.
I never expected us to beat Man City. Having seen them take apart West Ham in the League Cup on TV last week I didn’t think we had a chance. I thought their football would overcome us and we’d continue our appalling sequence of results against them. When we’ve got our first eleven out we are a decent side but any injuries, suspensions and drop-off in form for any player hits us really hard. Without Coloccini and Debuchy I never imagined we’d end a run of defeats – Arsenal (h), West Brom (a), Cardiff (h). I just thought we’d be out-played by a vastly superior team. But we weren’t overcome by Man City. We were overcome by the astonishing refereeing of Mike Jones from Cheshire.
I have watched Tiote’s goal repeatedly and I don’t think anyone who has any understanding of football and the offside law believes that the referee was correct in ruling out that goal. Mistakes are part and parcel of football but Jones’ cancellation of Tiote’s goal goes beyond a mistake. Jones appeared to be determined to disallow Tiote’s goal. Let us be clear. There was no flag from the linesman. The linesman saw no infringement. Quite clearly Gouffran was in no way interfering with play. He was completely inactive. He made no attempt to participate in the game as Tiote’s shot came through the players and was absolutely clearly moving away from the goal. He was completely inactive.
Jones looked for a reason to disallow that goal. This was no impulsive decision or human error. This was a deliberate effort not to allow a goal that the whole of football, bar a balloon like The Guardian’s Mackem football reporter, Louise Taylor believes was completely legitimate.
I do want North West-based Mike Jones to referee our future games. I’d like him here for the derby. There is no way he can referee as badly ever again. He has put in the worst all-round refereeing performance (and remember it wasn’t just the goal that was terrible) I have witnessed in 40+ years of watching Newcastle United. This prick is right up there with Trelford Mills, Brian Coddington, Uriah Rennie and whatever the name was of that arsehole who sent Ginola off in that League Cup tie at Highbury back in the day.
Mike Jones is King Cunt but I want him back at St James’ Park as soon as possible. I’m sure it’s not a bad drive up from near Manchester.
Beyond all of the hoopla of the manner in which we were cheated by Jones should be the realisation that we have now just lost three games and haven’t scored a goal. Shola went the whole of 2013 without finding the back of the net, Cisse looks terrible (few will shed any tears if he heads for the desert) and Remy is missing the kind of chances he was putting away at the start of the season. We are desperate for a goal-scorer. But because we are in no imminent danger of relegation and have no ambition to get into the Europa League (it seems quite the opposite) no investment will be made. Happily for the club we are out of the Cup competitions so the rest of the season would appear to be a grind to finish … well, anywhere really. There is absolutely no ambition whatsoever at Newcastle United beyond staying on the PL gravy train and I can’t have been the only one to have sneered at Pardew’s statement he’ll prove the critics (i.e. anyone with a brain) wrong by qualifying for the Champions League. Please Mr Pardew, don’t talk so much shite.
Our next three games our fixtures that should see us getting back on track. Should being the operative word. Perhaps it’s my sense of fatalism but Carroll’s return for West Ham fills me with foreboding ahead of our trip to East London this weekend and we’ve been really poor each time we’ve been to Carrow Road since Norwich were promoted. Then there is the small matter of the derby – probably the last game we have to play this season that actually means anything. So far as I am aware, Pardew has faced Poyet three times as manager (twice for Brighton and once for the Mackems) and lost every single time. Pardew has lost two derbies on the spin – the first time since the 1960s. Were he to lose three derbies successively – that would be the first such time since the 1920s. Were that to happen, Alan Pardew would have very few friends in the stands at SJP. We have lost three PL games on the bounce and not scored a goal in any of them. We have Joe Kinnear talking shite about not signing players is if that’s a clever strategy rather than just a hopeless lack of ambition and I believe we are being softened up for a sale of Yohan Cabaye. I’d expect Kinnear will be active in attempting to move him on, particularly if this Webster law is kosher, though I suspect that is being out about by Cabaye’s people.
Quite a bit happened off the park last week that was worthy of mention but it was great to see both Newcastle United and The Mackems make that statement that absolutely nailed Northumbria Police. Our Polis has had a cold hand on the shoulder of NE football for decades now and the clubs have lacked the gumption to stand up to them. Last week enough was enough. Having sent a 4-page document to the Premier League insisting there was no way the derby could kick off later than 1:30pm and also expressing complete innocence at ever having any say in ko times or influence over the decision to appoint the game as a “bubble trip” for travelling supporters, I think the two clubs just thought enough was enough. The main driver, I believe behind the clubs sudden disenchantment with Northumbria Police however, is because they are costing them money. If the derby cannot be played at any times other than noon or very early afternoon, it means it could be missed for TV slots later in the day or on a Monday evening. And that costs both clubs lots of money. The “bubble trip” was dreamt up by Sunderland as a way of getting supporters in and out of Newcastle mistakenly imagining this would be trouble-free and as a means of persuading the Police to remove their surreptitious objections to later KO times. Have no doubts about it though, had this gone ahead as originally planned then we’d have been subject to the same ludicrous restrictions in years to come. That would have been the norm. That would have been a grotesque infringement of the civil liberties of football supporters in this region for years to come.
But please have no doubts whatsoever, without an unlikely alliance of Newcastle United fanzines and websites etc. (namely true faith, The Mag, nufc.com and the Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) on the Newcastle side and A Love Supreme, Roker Report, Wise Men Say, Ready To Go and Seventy Three on Sunderland’s led by the Football Supporters Federation) no pressure would have been brought to bear to bring about this change of heart. I had the rather surreal experience of meeting with the people as above last Monday in a public house which played host to Louise Wanless, Sunderland’s Head of Media and the Sunderland Supporters Liaison Officer where to be fair, the full force of the argument against the “bubble trip” began to be realised by those close to the decision-making. The following day those of the Sunderland side with the FSF (we were invited but couldn’t get) were invited to meet those further up the SAFC food chain and that’s where the volte-face was delivered.
The argument was put strongly if derbies at least as volatile as the Tyne & Wear fixture can go ahead in London, Manchester, Glasgow, Merseyside etc. what is so wrong with our Polis in Northumbria? I think that argument was a game changer for the debate, though I suspect matters of a fiscal nature were uppermost in the clubs’ thoughts as well as the PR furore that was gathering around them. A fairly decent campaign was gathering momentum.
It was amusing in the days that followed to see the usual suspects climb aboard the media bandwagon and as ever, approach the subject with an empty head and an open mouth. People phoning up media outlets and offering to give interviews on a subject they had very little understanding of surprised even me. We gave one interview, young Mr Harrison responding to a request from the Telly but with this kind of stuff, we believe its best left to those who were in the box seat of the discussions and who knew the facts, namely the FSF.
Then of course there was the Fans Forum. I don’t want to go over old ground least to comment upon the quality of questions being made by all but Andrew McClay who did a decent job. I despair at the lack of skill in some of the questioning but perhaps now we’ve just learnt why United wants it this way. I do take objection however to the Newcastle United Disabled Supporters Association passing a negative comment about the development of safe-standing (as set out by the FSF) given just about every sample and survey of our support is emphatically in favour of safe-standing being introduced to St James’ Park. That was bang out of order.
By all accounts Jonas Guttieraz seems to be on his way out of Newcastle United. He’s barely figured this season for reasons I suspect are contractual but on behalf of everyone connected to this gob-shite fanzine, I’d like to thank Jonas for the service he’s given the club since he arrived in 2008. He’s always been a 100% for us, been a great professional, never been a scrap of bother off the park and I think he’ll always be welcome back on Tyneside and hope he realises he has plenty friends in this frozen corner of Northern Europe when he’s back home in the sunshine of Argentina (or where-ever else he ends up). Thanks Jonas and all the very best to you and yours.
But back to the football. We have three games against sides really struggling beneath us .. we have to get back to winning ways and it would help if we did some transfer business of the in-coming variety.