These Days…

I was asked yesterday to name my top 5 moments supporting Newcastle United at St James Park…I purposely named only 4.

Casting my mind back, the first four that sprang to mind were my first game (Shrewsbury (H) 1983), the Gosforth Lion signing, Leicester (7-1) and Sir Bobby’s first game against Sheffield Wednesday.

The fifth? Well, that one will arrive this coming Sunday.

The past 14 years has almost broken me. Almost.

As I type this at 12:45pm on Friday lunchtime, social media is in meltdown as because Steve Bruce is scheduled to face the media at 13:30pm and is subsequently expected to be in the SJP dugout against Spurs. Me? I couldn’t care less.

Why? Because Bruce being in the dugout will not in any way shape or form take away the feeling of having my club back as I walk into SJP with my bairnon Sunday afternoon – Steve Bruce will be irrelevant to me, a man who will very shortly be condemned to the history books as far as Newcastle United are concerned.

Sundays game has gone from being one I, like many of you, had down as a nailed-on defeat – that changed at 17:25pm on 7th October.

It didn’t change because we may now be in the market for shiny new £50m players, or because Yasser had given the green lightto peddle the incompetent buffoon in the dugout – it changed simply because the for the first time in 14 long years, the Newcastle fans became UNITED once again.

UNITED, and ready to stand as one behind the 11 players who will be fighting for our just and righteous cause. UNITED, and ready to turn St James’ Park into the bear pit we all know and love. UNITED, and ready to scream at every decision that Peter Banks dares give against us.

UNITED.

Spurs, admittedly, have the tools in their armoury to hurt us and in Kane and Son they have goals and guile to spare, so Willock, Big Jow, Miggy (if available) and Co. will have to perform way above the levels they have shown so far this season to get anything from the game. I think we will.

Enjoy it, drink it in, soak it up – days like Sunday don’t come around to often. 

Dangerman: Son. An outstandingly intelligent footballer.

Prediction: 2-1, and an atmosphere to remember.

Lee Forster @LeeDForster 

Let the world hear us roar 

Sky Sports Super Saudi Sunday was always going to be more about the event than the game itself.

For those attending the match there are plenty of reasons to celebrate. Ashley has gone, Wor Flags are back, and so are the fans, with a full house at SJP. As the final, triumphal notes of Local Hero ring around the stadium, a 14-year exercise in brutal drudgery will be swept away in a huge, cathartic roar. We have new owners with a new vision, bringing a new sense of hope on Tyneside – let the world hear how we feel about it.

Unfortunately, there is also a football match happening and the omens do not look good. Pissing on the takeover parade is Steve Bruce, a punctured balloon of excuses who looks increasingly deflated. Anakin has been moaning to Luke, his best friend in the press, about his precarious position, and how he feels demotivated by it all. Seven games without a win should be the all the motivation any manager needs. It should also be the focus of any debate around the most obnoxious man in charge since Joe “which one of you is Simon Bird?” Kinnear. However, his media mates have been out in force to push Bruce as the only man capable of turning around a disastrous start by – checks notes – Steve Bruce.

While NUFC have been a bogey team for Spurs in recent years, can you see our luck holding this weekend? Nuno’s Tottenham are a team still in transition, but they are becoming hard to break down and have real quality on the counter. They narrowly beat Villa last time out but will perhaps be weakened by the absence of their South American quartet – four players returned from international duty on Friday, having played late Thursday night, so could well miss this fixture.

The worst thing for fans in the ground would be conceding an early goal. They deserve to be able to saviour a takeover that many of us, me included, thought was dead and buried. Can the players overcome a morose manager to give the fans a performance they deserve? I personally think not. This is a side low in confidence, playing against a well drilled team that has goals in it. Those tea towels commandeered as head dresses may well be wiping away tears of frustration at full time.

During and after the match, I hope SJP is in full voice to tell the new owners to take action sooner rather than later: “We Want Brucie Out” should ring around the ground. Only once he’s gone will it truly feel like the dawning of a new era. 

Danger man: Son is a sublime footballer and could really hurt us

Prediction: 1-3 

Dan Jenkins @PlumsGinger 

And now for something completely different. 

Well as international breaks go, this one was slightly more entertaining for us than previous. It has been nice to be thinking positively about the club and the games going forward, although at one point this week my son did point out that we were still nineteenth. I will admit to even thinking about bringing out the home colours for this one. The old faithful of the 95/96 Adidas shirt was dusted off the other day, and my 1976 League Cup final top from Toffs is also in contention. Sunday should be the party we promised ourselves when Ashley left the club.

However, before we all go misty eyed and just dream of great days in the future there is actually a game to be played. There have been no signings and the squad that takes to the field will most likely be exactly the same as the one that left the field against Wolves. It would be nice to play a more attacking formation and try and go at Spurs who have looked brittle recently, the return of Callum Wilson would be very welcome. However, this would be an opportunity, however fleeting for players to show how good they are. For the last few weeks, we have looked slightly better, but we still have not won. The next home game after this is Chelsea and regardless of who is in the dugout this club needs points.

I would hope that we can pull together as a fanbase and really go after the three points. I do remember us taking apart Spurs sides in weird and wonderful atmospheres in the past, being relegated but winning 5-1 anyone. 

Prediction:I will predict a 1-1 draw, but I hope more than anything that we can enjoy the feeling of returning to a club that will try, if nothing else, to be better than ticking along. 

Stephen Ord@smord84

Beware…

Walking up to the game actually wanting to be there? Got to be honest apart from the Leeds game last month when any feeling was alcohol induced, that hasn’t happened for years.

This Sunday however will flick that switch back on again as we are going to watch a Newcastle team not shadowed by “Ming the merciless” and hopefully if I’ve got my way , not coached by Steve Bruce either.

Expect a feel-good factor, a fervent atmosphere , people hugging and shaking hands and that’s just in the bogs beforehand. Wash your hands afterwards.

Newcastle are back and Tottenham are the cannon fodder.

The thing is, can the feel-good factor inspire a not very good team to beating a team who are not great but usually hang around the top 5?

Can we inspire a team that has zero in the “W” column to get a first victory and make a pretty bad situation that little bit better?

The richest club in the world are second bottom and if we repeat every home game so far , it will be the shortest party atmosphere in history.

I think we can inspire the side. Can you imagine the atmosphere come 4.30? If these players can’t give that little bit extra to beat a Tottenham side, who to be fair we have beaten on darker days than this, they don’t deserve to be anywhere near the club when we cut , cut and cut again.

Wilson is rumoured to be back and if he’s fit, I can see us winning, simple as that. Whip crosses in, get at them early, pin them back and let the crowd do the rest.

Dangerman: Believing our own hype as the Beastie Boys quite rightly said.

Prediction:I’m going for our first win. 2-0 up early on, Tottenham response and we crawl over the line with the sort of heroic backing not seen in years.

Scott Robson 

Stand Up. Be Counted…

It is a new dawn on Tyneside, and the future certainly looks bright. But while the past week of celebration and speculation has been a joy to behold, we come crashing back down to reality with an actual game of football. On the face of it, this game seems like a free hit. But regardless of who now occupies the boardroom, Newcastle still sit 19th in the table, and are yet to win a game since the season started. That’s not really surprising considering who still finds themselves in the dugout. While the joy that we have new owners is there, there is still a bit of apprehension with the fact Bruce looks like he will still be the man in the dugout.

Newcastle have looked poor this season, and that is against teams that aren’t exactly setting the world alight. Even though the Watford game saw us creating a whole host of chances, they couldn’t be converted! Wolves saw the return to 5 at the back after about half an hour, which just killed our attacking intent! WE will not get the same chances against Spurs and are more than likely to be punished more than we were in the last game.

Spurs aren’t exactly performing as the team they were under Jose or Poch, but the quality is still there. You do feel there is a result to be had for Newcastle, and it may not come down to set-up but the best 12th man in the league! A packed, jubilant St James’ is intimidating for anyone, and may be the best way to unnerve Nuno’s Spurs side.  The usual dangermen will be there for Spurs, Son, Alli and Kane (who hasn’t scored this season), but I have a sneaky suspicion that we may yet cause a shock!

Dangerman: Harry Kane 

Prediction: 2-2

Carl Richardson @Carl_TFaith 

Fortress.

It’s the start of a new era on Tyneside this Sunday as Newcastle United welcome Tottenham Hotspur to St James Park for the next instalment of the English Premier League and what will be the first home game of the new ownership for Newcastle United.

The visitors come into the game on the back of a 2-1 over Aston Villa and have won 5 out of their last 7 trips to St James Park whereas the hosts will be hoping to fight back after a disappointing 2-1 defeat away to Wolves before the international break and are now one of four teams yet to win a league match this season.

What will give the Newcastle United players a boost will be a packed-out St James Park. As soon as the takeover was announced, fans have been pouncing on the opportunity to get tickets and show the new owners why they are the best supporters in the world. The Geordie faithful now have their club back and the atmosphere will be buzzing.

At time of writing this (Thursday 14th October) there has been still no word on whether Steve Bruce will still be in the dugout. If he is still in charge for the game which will happen to be his 1000th game as a manager, then I hope that the fans don’t ruin the positive atmosphere by the silly chants of “We Want Brucie Out” which will turn the atmosphere toxic. The new owners seem to be not rushing into things by immediately dismissing Bruce and instead are evaluating their options properly.

  • Early Newcastle United team news: Paul Dummett will miss the game through injury, but captain Jamaal Lascelles, Martin Dubravka, Joe Willock and Callum Wilson will hope to be included in the matchday squad in some capacity. Miguel Almiron will play on Thursday evening for Paraguay so we will have to wait and see if he features at all.
  • Tottenham Hotspur team news: Spurs will be without Davison Sanchez, Giovani Lo Celso, Cristian Romero and Emerson Royal as they all represent their retrospective nations too close to Sunday’s game. Ryan Sessegnon and Steven Bergwijn will both miss the trip to St James Park, but Ben Davis is hopeful to overcome an illness and play a part on the day.

What would I say to the fans attending the game? Get behind the new owners and the team, they will be raring to go so be the 12th man and show them why St James Park is our fortress.

Prediction: I am being optimistic here and going for a Newcastle United victory. I don’t think it will be a walk in the park, but the capacity crowd and the buzz of new ownership will give the magpies the determination and adrenaline they need to cause an upset.

Howay the lads!!!

Jack Sutton @JSnufctruefaith 

Not so super Sunday after all 

The game we were all waiting for has arrived, the dawning of a new age, under ambitious new owners, who are willing to invest in Newcastle United once again, we were buzzing for this, so much so the stadium sold out for the first time this season, and the Geordie nation expects. There was something they weren’t expecting though, and that was Steve Bruce to still be in the dugout when this game came around, but it looks like he will be.

I understand trusting the process, and that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and all the other superlatives people will use for this happening, but for me I feel it’s took a huge dump on what should’ve been a special occasion for a long-suffering group of supporters craving the change that was coming. Whilst I don’t want to be critical about our new owners and saviours, I feel it would’ve kept the party going if the Baron of Bacon had been fried extra crispy, one short of his 1000th game as a manager.

This for me gives Spurs something to use, extra motivation to turn the stadium on Bruce, and I think they’ll exploit it. Whilst they’re not exactly in the best of shapes, if they get their noses in front early on, we’ll hear 52,000 sighs, which could swiftly turn to Bruce out chants, and that return of toxicity. I’m sure the stadium will be rocking to begin with, but if we’re served up another steaming pile of Bruceball this won’t be pretty, and for that reason I’m going for a draw. Unless Callum Wilson can pull something out of his bag of goals, or an ASM magic moment nicks us the points, sounds like nothing’s changed, eh?

If Bruce had been peddled, I think the players would’ve had an extra 20% in their tanks, but with the same old knacker calling the shots, I’d imagine the same old Newcastle performance. Yes, Ashley was the route of all Evil, but it’s not Mike Ashley who makes the team play so badly, it’s the manager, and Bruce is the personification of mediocrity, and sums up the previous ownerships standards and aims for our magnificent football club, and for that reason alone, he should have been dispensed with instantly in this rebuilding process. I hope we don’t live to regret it. 

Prediction 1-1 

Chris Currie@wig82